Hiya kids - First day of SXSW successfully conquered!
After landing in Austin, first order of business (after dashing off Fitz Meatloaf blog) is having a proper Texas dinner. I polled various Austin natives and seasoned SXSW'ers for the very best Austin BBQ and the choice was unanimous - Iron Works BBQ right in downtown (followed by Salt Lick as a distant second).
On a recommendation from the gent behind the counter, I ordered their speciality - the beef ribs plate, and 8,000 or so calories later, I was an incredibly happy girl! Definitely an ecletic plate - you get beans, potato salad, a white plain slice of bread, raw onions and pickles, along with theree luscious ribs slathered in Irons Works signature BBQ sauce.
There is no way to eat this daintily (and I ain't a dainty eater generally). I rolled up my sleeves, stretched out, did a couple yoga sun salutations to ready myself to dive into this massive tray of Texas BBQ goodness.
I am not usually a big beans person, but I loved these - they weren't too sugary and went really well with the tangy, but a touch sweet, Iron Works signature BBQ sauce (provided in a squeeze bottle for your convenience and can be purchased on their website). The onions and pickles were a nice crunchy tart counter balance to the beans and creamy potato salad so they really worked on the plate (at first I was confused by them). The bread slice functions to sop up on any extra beans and BBQ sauce and also nicely absorbs the flavor of the ribs laying on top of them. And now the ribs - If you are going to have ribs you may as well have the best and these were freaking awesome. They were thick and meaty with a perfect char on the ends - the pork loin dish my wonderful friend ordered sadly paled in comparison so I gave her a rib and that was the end of eating pork loin. I gobbled it up and washed it down with Texas' owner Shiner Bock beer... Ah... so good. Full of Texas' best I was ready to hit the bands!
Of the 5 bands I hit up last night - I will quickly highlight 3:
Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr - A duo into car racing hailing from the Motor City (Detroit... duh). Despite the weird name, these guys are fun and even wear car racing suits! Although definitely rock, their sound has a poppy ethereal breezy quality with a lot of "da da da da das". I liked the track "Simple Girl" and the cover of "God Only Knows". EP is now out on Itunes with the full length album, tentatively entitled "A Corporate World," expected to land Summer 2011.
Royal Bangs - I knew nothing about this band before last night, but heard some buzz so decided to make my way down 6th Street to check them out. From Knoxville, Tennessee, they have a Black Keys sort of look and an experimental rock sound. One dude is on guitar, an other is a master on the keys, and the third is on drums. The sound is big! For never having heard a single song, they kept my attention and I didn't mind that they didn't move around too much - it was all about the sound.
Duran Duran - Umm.... No introduction needed. These UK legends kicked off their world tour to promote their new album at Stubb's last night and I was lucky enough to get in (thanks MW!). They still got it! Girls on Film!
That's it for me from Austin - Will be back tomorrow with my highlights of Austin street food, more music, and whatever St. Patty's day shenanigans occur...