Saturday, October 31, 2015

On the road again: Austin, day 7

After a bit less than three hours of sleep, I got up, showered, and began the trek home.  Though the rains were falling again on the drive to the airport, this time my flight from AUS took off on time and carried me safely to DFW.  Another flight brought me home.  My luggage arrived.

This travel day went about as well as it could have.

I should write more, but I'm just too tired.

I'm home.

Friday, October 30, 2015

On the road again: Austin, day 6

I was supposed to be home now.  In fact, I was supposed to hit home quite some hours ago.

I am not home.

Instead, I am still in Austin, but now in a new (and quite nice) hotel.  Today has featured more kinds of travel hassles than I've experienced in quite some time, a lot of work, and a fabulous dinner.

I'd tell you more about each of them, but I have to get up at 5:20 a.m., so I am crashing as quickly as I can.

More about today later.

Thursday, October 29, 2015

On the road again: Austin, day 5

Yup, you guessed it:  a day full of work stuff I can't discuss.

Another Austin restaurant I had not yet tried, Dai Due, was tonight's dinner destination.  The food was good enough that I would definitely go back again.  Particularly impressive was the giant beef rib with potato and sauerlach dumplings.  They mean the dish to serve two, which is how we ordered it, but after eating too much and still leaving at least a third of the meat, we concluded that it could easily feed most groups of four normal eaters.

Tomorrow morning, I get up early to begin the trek home!

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

On the road again: Austin, day 4

Today's most unusual event occurred in the bathroom of the restaurant at which I was eating with friends and colleagues.

I was standing at the urinal, doing my business and keeping to myself, as one does in such situations, when from the stall next to me a man shouted--and I do mean shouted,

"I'm sorry!  I didn't mean to do that to you!"

A lightning-quick personal inventory reassured me that I was fine, that he had to be on the phone to someone else, and that he was not addressing me.

He continued, yelling the whole time.

"I didn't mean to hurt you!

"Just tell me what I can do to make it up to you!"

"I'm so sorry!"

I hustled out while he was still screaming.

I know I'm old, and so perhaps some of my attitudes are antiquated, but I nonetheless remain convinced that a stall in the men's room of a Japanese steakhouse is not the ideal location for a screaming apology.

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

On the road again: Austin, day 3

Another day on the road for work, another long day full of work.  No surprises there.

Dinner, though, provided one delightful taste surprise after another, as the chefs at Counter 3 . Five . VII, an excellent and fairly new Austin restaurant, created seven delicious courses as we watched.  The premise is simple:  24 diners sit at a counter around a kitchen in which a group of chefs cook your food.

Click an image to see a larger version.

You can order three, five, or seven courses, and that's it; they serve whatever menu they're making that night.  We, of course, opted for the full seven.

The chefs provided two amuses and some treats at the end, so it was really more like ten courses.

The first savory course, the divers scallop with potato and a sort of heavy potato foam,

set a high bar--it was amazingly good--that all the other courses managed to clear.  Often at this sort of place, the savories are great but the dessert is a disappointment, but not here.  No, this sweet, was both colorful

and deliciously complicated.  It provided a wonderful end to the meal.

This dinner was easily the best meal I've had in Austin in some time.  I would return here any time the menu changed.  If you live in Austin or will be visiting it soon, don't miss Counter 3 . Five . VII.

Monday, October 26, 2015

On the road again: Austin, day 2

In the midst of a day that started with early morning email and meetings and ended about 21 hours later, I simply had no time for a fancy dinner.  So, I instead opted for something equally satisfying--if not as nutritious: a stress-eating blow-out at a local In-N-Out Burger. This chain doesn't exist in Raleigh, so ever since I realized Austin had one (it now has two), I've wanted to eat at it.

The restaurant was as clean and pretty as it should be.

Click an image to see a larger version.

When you rarely get to visit an In-N-Out, you really have to eat the two things that the menu will not include (actually, my understanding is that there are many options not on the visible menu, but these are the ones you must eat): the double-double animal style, and the animal-style fries.

Oh, yeah, those combinations of cheese, onions, dressing, and fat are exactly as healthy for you as they look--but they are more delicious than you would believe.

A little Amy's made the perfect dessert--and also made me glad my lunch had included salad, so that something green hit my stomach during the day.

Finally, to bed.

Sunday, October 25, 2015

On the road again: Austin, day 1

If you're a nervous flier, you would not have enjoyed today's flight from DFW to AUS.  Normally a trip with about 25 minutes of flying time, today this leg of my journey required nearly an hour in the air, as the pilot and air traffic control kept trying to find us a path that avoided the bumpy air.  They failed.  With about half an hour to go, the pilot said over the intercom words no one enjoys hearing:

"There's no way to avoid the rough air, so we're asking the flight attendants to buckle in."

Oh, yeah.

As it turns out, I didn't find the remainder of the flight to be particularly bad, though I am decidedly not a nervous flier.  Many people on the plane, though, clearly disagreed with my assessment.

Once we landed in Austin, everything went well, including my traditional dinner trip to The County Line On the Lake.  As usual, I ordered the three-meat combo with beef rib, and as usual, I ate only half of the meat and none of the sides--but a delicious half of the meat it was.

Click the image to see a larger version.

Afterward, we headed, again as usual, to the Amy's at the Arboretum for a small cup of frozen deliciousness.

The weather here is cool and windy, perfectly fall.  It's lovely.

Tomorrow, the work meetings begin!


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