Some other places that might interest ARSC visitors,
looking for something off the beaten path:
Not sure if anyone mentioned Jim Cartwright's
"Immortal Performances," and I am sure many of you
know Jim. He has an astonishing selection of records
and phonographs and a shop with pre-EBAY prices. If
he's not too busy, he'll show you his collection of
phonographs -- a working mid-20s Brunswick Panatrope,
a ca 1920 Actuelle, and a Victor long-playing
phonograph (seems like he has Stokowski's Gurrelieder
on a '30s LPs, but I may not remember correctly). Lots
If he's really not busy, he may cut the end off an an
old extension cord and show you his amazing collection
of antique light bulbs. Breathtaking, but not for the
No matter where you've been and what you've seen, you
will never forget Immortal Performances, I'm certain.
1404 W 30th. 478-9954
La Fonda San Miguel specializes in interior Mexican
food. It's tucked away in N Austin, 2330 W. North
Loop. It's pricey and the owners aren't especially
neighborly to the middle class folks who live on their
street, but still, when we want to folks from out of
town to have meal they can't have elsewhere, we take
them to Fonda San Miguel.
For a less corporate feel, here are other recommended
places in North Austin, all neither trendy nor
Elsi's is an El Salvadoran/Tex-Mex restaurant at 4708
Burnet Rd. Not nearly so whoop-de-doo as Fonda SM,
but they also have things you can't find
elsewhere—yuca frita, Salvadoran tamales, migas with
vegetarian chorizo, pupusas, and a great molé. Not
quite as funky as the location they had to move from,
but still good food and great folks.
Across the street from it is a smaller scale place
called Aranda's that caters to working-class Hispanics
-- menudo, horchata, pozole, and torte Cubana. Very
cheap and big servings. I always leave a big tip
because i don't think they charge enough.
A campus standard is Martin's Kum-Bak aka Dirty's -- a
great greasy hamburger joint with killer (literally)
milkshakes. In about the 2700 block of Guadalupe
(regrettably pronounced Guadaloop). Knowing how to
play backgammon will allow you to nestle up with the
And not far north of that, ca. 2900 block, is a
Korean-run burger joint called Burger Tex that makes a
not-yet-but-should-be famous bulgoki burger. Right
across the street from the second Antone's, where I
used to play piano several times a week (okay, back
when it was a Shakey's Pizza Parlor). Antone's record
shop is in the same block.
And if you want unselfconscious '50s-style Tex-Mexican
food, at the north end of the 2900 block is El Patio,
where they serve crackers instead of tostadas. This
was former chairman of the UT Board of Regents Frank
Erwin's favorite restaurant. That should tell you what
you need to know about the cuisine. I'd swear they use
cream of mushroom soup in their enchiladas.
One block west (30th and Fruth) is Trudy's Texas Star
Cafe, which I mention it because lots of people like
it, and it's in this neighborhood. Good food, really,
and a favorite of college students, so it's not too
expensive. Knowing sign language is a plus if you hope
to carry on a conversation.
In East Austin, 1511 E. 6th, is the famous Cisco's
Bakery. A great breakfast place where you will see
photos of famous folks who have been eating there
since the '50s (not continuously).
And if you have a car, or a friend with one, there's
the Salt Lick out south of town. Great barbeque in a
lovely hill-country setting. Vine-covered screened-in
patio where you can watch the hummingbirds nectaring.
After your eyes adjust to the light, look for the
soot-covered piñata that may still be up in the
rafters. Important: they don't sell beer, but you can
bring your own.
See you soon.