BBQ + Blues

It was just after 9:00 pm as we cruised along the busy downtown boulevard.  The sounds of live music reverberated from both sides of the avenue as people meandered from club to club sampling the many varieties of music.

Stopping for a red light we pulled up alongside a horse drawn carriage and the pups immediately began to bark.

This is what they do when they see a moose along the highway at home, but we were not in Alaska but on 6th street in the heart of Austin Texas.


Continuing our tour of the Texas Hill Country we find ourselves camped near downtown Austin for about 2 weeks now.

Our goal since leaving Luckenbach was to immerse ourselves in Austin’s legendary music scene, taste what is unequivocally some of the best BBQ’d meat in the country, partake in its outstanding food truck scene and generally experience the Texas lifestyle.


The city’s official slogan promotes Austin as “The Live Music Capital of the World,” a reference to the many musicians and live music venues throughout the city, as well as the long-running PBS TV concert series Austin City Limits, which by the way is located downtown.


In recent years, some Austinites have adopted the unofficial slogan “Keep Austin Weird” which refers to the desire to protect small, unique, and local businesses from being overrun by large corporations, a very worthy cause.

With hundreds of clubs we had a hard time deciding which ones to visit. We eventually choose some of the cities oldest and most revered venues such as Antone’s, The Continental Club, C-Boys Heart and Soul, the One-2-One Club and several others.

On these stages have performed the likes of Stevie Ray Vaughan, ZZ Top, Willie Nelson, Muddy Waters, B.B. King and Nanci Griffith to name a few. Many still routinely perform here in these small and intimate clubs.

Miss Lavelle White Sings the Blues At Antone's
Miss Lavelle White Sings the Blues At Antone’s

One of our favorite blues singers was Miss Lavelle White. Born July 3, 1929 she is now 87 years old and still belts out the blues. She is simply amazing!

In Austin, Texas born Stevie Ray Vaughan is widely considered one of the most influential electric guitarists in the history of music and one of the most important figures in the revival of blues in the 1980’s.

We visited his memorial statue situated along the banks of the Colorado River with a backdrop of the Austin skyline.

Stevie Ray Vaughn With Austin Sky Line
Stevie Ray Vaughan Monument

Austin has one those “fastest growing cities in the US” monikers with just under 1 million people. Traffic during the rush hours can be intense. We tried to time our excursions into downtown to miss the “rush” but sometimes we missed the window.


And then there was the food… We have been routinely sampling Texas style BBQ since we entered the big state and found some excellent BBQ’d meat along the way.

But when we found Franklin’s in Austin the music stopped so to speak. Never had we eaten a more succulent, tender, fall of the bone BBQ’d meat.

The brisket is top of the line and after spending 1 and 1/2 hours in line it was well worth the wait. The meats sell out within  1 and 1/2 to 3 hours after they open. Every day people are turned away.

Do not miss this place!

In Line At Franklins BBQ
In Line At Franklin BBQ
Denise Makes New Friends While Waiting For BBQ
Denise Makes New Friends While Waiting For BBQ
Worth The Wait
Worth The Wait
Franklin's Manafesto
Franklin’s Manafesto

There is also an amazing food truck scene in Austin. With over 1000 colorful trucks throughout the city serving all types of ethnic foods and delicacies. There is nothing quite like sitting under a large oak tree in the warm evening air eating excellent food.

Most trucks serve gourmet quality and are very reasonably priced. Needless to say in the evenings we sampled as many versions as we could.

Denise Samples Food Truck
Denise Samples Food Truck
Torchys Tacos
Torchy’s Tacos

Our basecamp during this period of city fun was the beautiful McKinney Falls State Park just a few miles from downtown. Our good friends Technomadia had recommended this park in one of their posts and what a pleasure it was. 

It is a beautiful respite in the middle of a very busy town. Quiet, large campsites, power and water and all at a very reasonable cost, we loved it.

There were great trails to walk the pups with plenty of deer and raccoons wandering around. The bird life was excellent.


Tuks Checks Out the Ancient cave Along The Onion River
A McKenny Falls Trail
A McKinney Falls Trail

Sadly we must end our very enjoyable Hill Country experience. It was definitely worth the long drive across the flat desert plains to reach this great part of Texas.

But what really made our visit special was the local people. Never have we met such friendly out going folks. They made our trip through the Texas Hill country unforgettable!

Don’t miss our latest video “BBQ + Blues”, slip in the ear buds, crank up the stereo, use your Apple TV so you can watch it on the big screen and enjoy! 

Next stop? maybe the Big Bend area? Keep you posted……..





14 thoughts on “BBQ + Blues

  1. Guess what showed up in the mail today? Excellent book! Tons of great info. Can’t wait to put some of it to use next summer! Thank you, thank you!


  2. Oh Denise – finally made time to watch the videos I have missed while on vacation . . . and they are such a delight! I am not sure who all does what – but you and Tim have done a fabulous job with these. You know, there are only 2 places in Texas I desire to see – Austin & San Antonio, so this was a real treat! Thanks for sharing your retirement travel with us . . . I felt so great taking 3 weeks vacation in one chunk – can’t imagine the whole winter! Love you to you both! Denise 🙂

    On Fri, Feb 17, 2017 at 7:41 AM, Gone With The Dogs wrote:

    > gonewiththedogs posted: “It was just after 9:00 pm as we cruised along the > busy downtown boulevard. The sounds of live music reverberated from both > sides of the avenue as people meandered from club to club sampling the many > varieties of music. Stopping for a red light we ” >


  3. Postcard perfect photos….Franklin BBQ needs to use your photo of their grilled meats on it’s business cards…hell…I want to print it and put it up! Your video is Imke’s fav…wonder why? She must have viewed it a dozen times. Miss you both and the pups…had a great visit… wonderful conversations, cool walks…alot of joy for both of us.


    1. Our videos do get better later in the evenings 🙂 Franklins was good but your BBQ’ed meat is right up there with the best of them. Truly enjoyed you guys generosity and your willingness to BBQ for our entire visit, you spoiled us. Thank You.
      Michael Blanic- Grill-Master


  4. Hey,

    I was just directed over here by Ingrid at Live Laugh RV. She knew we were headed to Austin next month and thought we might be able to get some information from your blog. This article has some great ideas. We are actually staying at McKinney Falls too, and my husband, who loves BBQ more than he loves me, has already put Franklin’s at the top of our to-do list. I’m looking forward to checking out the other stuff you have on here (especially the music clubs… I hadn’t started researching which ones to focus on, so this will be helpful). Looks like we’re in for an excellent time! Great video, by the way!


  5. Hi Denise and Tim,
    Good to hear from you again and thanks for the wonderful pictures! I am envious of you being able to travel and see our wonderful country – thanks for sharing! There is only one problem with this – when I finished watching it believe it or not I was hungry due to all the pictures of that wonderful food! I also loved that picture of your dog under the cave – I first thought it was a little bear. Have a great trip and hope to see you again soon!


  6. I love Austin
    Lived there for about 6 yrs
    Do try Zen it is Japanese food fast. It is awsome
    The owner s a great young man who happens to b the sponsor of a running club I joined. We worked out at town lake it was soooo fun


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