Brunch is a huge part of Austin's weekend diner culture, and the competition in this town is steep with so many brilliant culinary minds constantly crafting the next decadent morsel to appease hungry guests. I will admit that for a long time I missed brunch. No, I didn't miss it in as I pined longingly for it. I literally was sleeping through it on most weekend days, much to my dismay. While I am not one of those people who HAS to start their day with breakfast, my boyfriend is, and thus it became quite a challenge to find a quality place still serving a full breakfast menu at 2 pm that wasn't "fast food." However, recently we have begun to find ourselves awake on Saturdays at a normal morning hour and, to our delight, the world of brunch is now within our reach!
Hello everyone! It's been a hot minute since I last posted here. I have been moving to a new apartment, traveling to writers' conventions, and other life cray cray. In the past few weeks I have had some extraordinary bites around town which I would like to share with you, all from Austin institutions that have been around for decades!
Returning to our Tex Mex staples is another iconic Austin restaurant tucked away on busy Oltorf Avenue in South Austin, Curra's Grill. It had been about fifteen years since I had last patronaged Curra's largely in part because of its overwhelming popularity and damnably small parking lot. Of my pet peeves in life, waiting in long lines when I'm super starved is near the top. And in Austin, with so many great options, you have to be in the clutches of a mighty craving or insanely dedicated to a restaurant to do so. That said, being a bit burned out on my go-to Mexican restaurant Azul Tequila, I opted for an early dinner at Curra's and was delighted to arrive just in the nick of time before the dinner rush began. Sometimes it pays to eat at "old people time." Honestly, after the exquisite food I experienced I just may have to reconsider my stance on waiting in line because the dishes I and my companion ordered were craving clutches material, for sure!
As one may imagine, a state as wild and riddled with outlaws as Texas has given birth to more than a few twisted tales of the strange. Miles and miles of sparsely populated plains covered in the gnarled corpses of thorn covered mesquite, prickly pear cactus and dry gray tumbleweed has lent itself well to the cultivation of myths and legends born of superstition and moonshine. No matter how we attempt to civilize the massive state, its restless spirits simply will not be tamed and the rough, iron-willed people who inhabit its small towns have become the story-keepers, passing down the terrifying myths from one generation to the next. Some stories are simply wives tales, old yarns spun to keep the children close to home and the men from getting too rowdy on a Saturday night before Sunday mass arrives. But others hold far more credibility, with eyewitness accounts and chilling documentation that would make a believer out of the most stalwart skeptics.
As of late, after having watched several documentaries about haunted orphanages and “children of the grave”, I have found myself intensely interested in this particular variety of hauntings. Always fascinated with paranormal subject matter and a firm believer in the existence of the supernatural, stories focused around apparitions hold a special allure for me. It is not so much the mere chilling concept of spirits lingering between worlds, unable to rest, but the fact that the stories behind why they remain behind instead of crossing over are often far more disturbing the existence of the ghosts themselves.
I have to admit, first of all, that I am a complete zealot for anything Scottish, especially when it comes to film. Over the years, the Scottish have continually produced noteworthy movies that instantly become classics. The producers, directors and actors alike all seem to have the same intuitive insight as to what makes for a tremendous film. The scripts are almost always superbly written, riddled with clever dialog; the scenes are always staged and cut with a keen eye for action and detail, allowing for the story to unfold naturally with momentum. I may be a bit biased due to my obsession with Scottish history and culture, but I have yet to find myself disappointed with any movie I have seen, thus far. The 2002 werewolf film DOG SOLDIERS, by the producers of HELLRAISER and director Neil Marshal, is no exception, keeping me on the edge of my seat till the rolling credits!