Point/Counterpoint, Kind Of: Reagan and Tyler Discuss “The Top Ten Reasons to Visit Austin”

Hello internet. The lovely Adele passed along a list of the top ten reasons to visit Austin. I looked at it! It was good! It is a very fine introductory guide to Austin. However, it’s chock full of the places that people always go, so I’ve recruited fellow writer Tyler Booker to discuss their choices and add a few of our own.

1. Alamo Drafthouse

Reagan: Okay, we’re off to a great point/counterpoint start because I agree with this one. Way to go, this list. You’re ruining my post already.

Tyler: Yep. Easy. Good place. Go to there. NEXT.

2. Waterloo Records

Tyler: Okay, I agree with this one too. I DO spend a lot of time there. Particularly on Tuesday evenings during vinyl happy hour because I’m one of those people in my generation that spends a good portion of his paycheck on an outdated music medium.

Reagan: Alright, Rob Gordon. No, but really, I enjoy Waterloo, too. But there are tons of record stores in Austin! Why not try a different one AS WELL AS Waterloo? Might I recommend End of an Ear?

Tyler: Well, yeah, there are record stores all around town, but none with as good of a selection of NEW records than Waterloo. And they’re expanding their vinyl bins. End of an Ear is great, but if we’re throwing around new options, how about Friends of Sound?

Reagan: Yes, there too. Now we’re talking. I like Friends of Sound because it feels like you’re going to a secret place.

3. Top Notch

Reagan: I have literally never been to Top Notch.

Tyler: I’ve never been and I can’t think of a reason that I would go. Is it to get a burger? Because I like Hut’s. If you want a fancier burger? Hopdoddy.

Reagan: Rosemary fries!

Tyler: Why did the article say to go to Top Notch?

Reagan: Because Dazed and Confused was filmed there?

Tyler: Alright, if you need to go somewhere that’s been on the picture box, go to Top Notch.

4. Guero’s

Reagan: Alright, as I’m reading this article, it just seems that they’re just recommending places that have been in movies. Please don’t go to Guero’s.

Tyler: The location is great, that building is nice, but you could do a lot better.

Reagan: True story: Guero’s was the first restaurant I ate in in Austin. IT WAS ALSO THE LAST. Not really.

Tyler: Also, on their sign: A chicken, a cow, a pig and… a donkey.

Reagan: How about Curra’s? I eat there all the time. I might see you there! (I will probably see you there).

Tyler: Yeah, Curra’s is good for that level. If you wanna go a little fancier, La Condesa is great.

Reagan: Oh man, street corn.

Tyler: If you’re looking for tacos, find a trailer.

Reagan: Yeah. Find a trailer!

5. Hill’s Cafe

Reagan: Also, never been there. But it was on Friday Night Lights, to keep with the TV thing…

Tyler: [heavy sigh]

Reagan: I don’t even know.

Tyler: What is Hill’s Cafe? Are you looking for something with cafe in the name? East Side Cafe. Go there for brunch.

Reagan: Or an agency favorite Counter Cafe. It also has the added benefit, if you need that FAME FACTOR, of being called one of the best burgers in Texas by Texas Monthly. So get that.

6. “Hi, How Are You” mural — Daniel Johnston

Tyler: I mean, sure. Check it out. It’s not a reason to come here, but it is definitely something to see.

Reagan: Yes. Let’s put this on the list of things to see in Austin. But if you’re in the area putting that in your eyes, why not explore the University of Texas campus? Did you know that you can take a tour that takes you to the top of the Tower? You can!

Tyler: You can also go look at that statue where the horses have webbed feet.

7. Paramount Theater 

Tyler: Just between you and me, I’ve never been. I’m sure it’s cool, but we’ve already got one theater.

Reagan: Aw, you haven’t? It’s fun. I saw a concert there once. They also have a pretty great film series that runs through the summer. But you’re right, we’ve got a theater, so let’s do something outside. How about the Town Lake Trail? If you don’t like walking, kayak or canoe or something. Come on, be flexible.

Tyler: Get up and get out.

8. Baker Street Pub and Grill

Reagan: This place was recommended because it was in Office Space. Come on.

Tyler: I’m calling this woman.

Reagan: I’m sure this place is great, but I’ve never been. So, take this for what it’s worth. But it says pub in the title, so where can you drink? Tyler, where do you like drinking?

Tyler: Hmm. Cocktails. The drink menu at Contigo is nice. I’ve worked my way through it several times.

Reagan: Oh, you’re right. Good call.

Tyler: And that place on South 1st. G&S.

Reagan: Oh they have a Zoltar machine!

Tyler: Go there. Play pinball. If you need your celebrity fix, I hear that Matthew McConoughey crop dusted this place on his way to ACL.

Reagan: So famous! Also, I’d be amiss if I didn’t mention two of my favorite cucumber cocktails in Austin: the cucumber gimlet at Lambert’s and the 78704 at the Highball.

9. Austin City Limits’ Moody Theater

Tyler: Well, yeah.

Reagan: Another thing to see.

Tyler: It’s certainly my favorite place to see a show.

Reagan: Definitely check the calendar to see if there’s a show. It’s a fun place. Mohawk is my personal favorite, though.

Tyler: That’s my second favorite.

Reagan: I also like the Parish, but I feel like it’s been ages since I’ve been there.

Tyler: Yeah, that place kind of reminds me of the Moody Theater.

Reagan: I get that.

10. The Continental Club

Reagan: The reasons to visit this place also included three celebrities.

Tyler: Surprise. But the Continental Club is worth going to, though. James McMurtry plays there frequently. Mel Davis and the Blues Specialists do a standing gig every Friday afternoon as well. Go to that.

Reagan: A plan, indeed. Also, if I’m allowed to recommend places I’ve never actually been, The Elephant Room has a most excellent reputation and has been on my to do list for some years now.

Tyler: Pip, pip!

Reagan: So that was fun. Come to Austin, expand your horizons! Eat food! Drink drinks! See shows!

Tyler: And whatever you do, don’t live your life according to what you’ve seen on television.

Reagan: Good call. Austinites, any favorite places? Leave ’em in the comments.

‘Til next time…


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