Upon waking up on day 2 of our mini-Texas vacation, we walked to a unique, coffee “stop” just around the corner from our adorable abode. Jo’s Hot Coffee (http://www.joscoffee.com/congress/jossouthcongress.htm) is located next to San Jose Hotel, a hip hotel tucked away in luscious greenery, in the funky district of south Austin.Jo’s menu did not include just your ordinary coffeehouse selections. Jo’s menu included fresh baked goods, hot & cold coffee beverages, deli-style sandwiches, side items (potato salad, coleslaw, fresh fruit, chips, and shredded green salad), beer, and cigarettes! Since it was breakfast time, I was focused mainly on the breakfast menu which included breakfast tacos (which seemed to be a popular menu item in Austin), fresh baked muffins, and homemade granola!
The main advertisement on their aluminum siding shack, bragged about an original specialty drink called “Iced Turbo”. I decided I must go with their original creation to ensure I was experiencing Austin's food genre! So I ordered a small “Iced Turbo” and picked up a bag of homemade granola. Since Mike and I planned to nibble on each other’s food, he picked out a freshly baked blueberry muffin! Both items were absolutely incredible, but the true essence of Jo’s was captured in the funky, eclectic environment that consisted of an aluminum shack, random outdoor tables, non-matching chairs, and the ambiance that encouraged friends to converse and people watch as the city of Austin begin to awaken!
On the way back to the house, we decided we better go ahead and pick up cupcakes from “Hey Cupcake” (www.heycupcake.com/) since they were closed the previous night when we wanted to pick up a few treats. Just like Jo’s, Hey Cupcake was a small establishment, (it was actually a trailer) located on the side of South Congress Avenue. By the looks of the trailor, you would never realized that located inside was an array of delicious, delectable, freshly baked cupcakes! Their slogan: “Who You Callin Cupcake?”
As we began reading through the menu, the decision making process became more difficult with each menu item! So I, the dietitian, make the final decision that a decision does not have to be made because I read a sign that states “The Dozen Deal: Buy 11 cupcakes and Get 1 Free” so that is exactly what I ordered. I asked for two cupcakes of each flavor and agreed to a sampler party later on that evening with April, Zach, and Mike! Our "dozen deal" flavors included: Vanilla Dream, Carrot Cake, Red Velvet, Pumpkinator, Michael Jackson, and Sweetberry!
After sampling a combination of the Pumpkinator, Sweetberry, Carrot Cake, and Red Velvet, I claimed the Pumpkinator (the Pumpkinator cupcake is the third cupcake from the top in the box on the right-hand side in the picture above) as the winner of my personal taste test. I have to admit that my cupcake taste buds are hard to win over since I am a Birmingahm local with unlimited access to Dreamcakes Bakery (www.dreamcakes-bakery.com) in Homewood! Although "Hey Cupcake" put up a strong fight with the Sweetberry cupcake (equivalent to Dreamcakes Simply Strawberry cupcake), I still claim Dreamcakes as the champion of strawberry cupcake making!
With a cupcake sampler plate consumed, a tall glass of organic milk to wash it all down, and tired feet from walking the city of Austin all day, it was no doubt the perfect combination to get us all ready for bed!
Austin's laid back environment continues to intrigue me on our visit. I think the following quote can really sum up the unique and inviting restaurant industry in Austin, Texas! It's good food without the haughty attitude!
"Never trust the food in a restaurant on top of the tallest building in town that spends a lot of time folding napkins."
~ Andy Rooney