I attended a conference for my industry called PCMA Convening Leaders in Austin, TX. You may recall last year’s post, the conference was in Vancouver, Canada. This was my first time visiting Austin and it did not disappoint. The Austin CVB pulled out all of the stops. One of the guest speakers was Matthew McConaughey and Willie Nelson played at the closing reception.
Where I Stayed
Hyatt Regency Austin: I arrived around 1:15pm and checked in at the Hyatt Regency Austin and was greeted with a Bloody Mary made with Titos vodka with a meat and cheese garnish stick. As I’m sure you all know, Titos is a corn-based vodka made in Austin, and it’s also my favorite! The hotel itself is about a 15-20 minute walk from the Austin Convention Center. Very close to South Congress Street which is where the locals roam. The rooms are relatively nice and looks like it went through a recent renovation.
Where I Ate
La Condesa– Known for some of the best Mexican food in Austin. I had the Cubanita sandwich, and I will say I was not all that thrilled. By bread was extremely greasy and overcooked. I couldn’t eat the outside and just picked at everything in the middle. The cuts of pork and ham were thick, probably thicker than normal. Everyone else in my group ordered the tacos (fish) and apparently loved them.
Lambert’s– This venue is super cute and has live music on the second floor. It’s some of the best BBQ I have ever had. I am so disappointed that I had stuffed my face at an earlier reception, because this was so good.
We ordered the Fried Green Tomatoes, Brisket, Short Rib (slow cooked for 24 hours), Brussel Sprouts with Bacon, and Mac and Cheese. My mouth is watering as I am typing this. Perfect!
Max’s Wine Dive– Known for Austin’s best fried chicken. It was delicious, but my mom’s is better 🙂
Searsucker– I came here for a reception, so I couldn’t select what I wanted. But I’m pretty sure just by looking at the menu that we had the pork belly and poached egg. My pork belly was not as tender as it should have been. But pork belly doesn’t really belong in a buffet station. It was good, not memorable.
TRIO @ The Four Seasons– I ordered the seafood gumbo and the tuna nicoise salad. The soup was watery and bitter. The salad is not your typical tuna nicoise. The tuna was slightly over cooked and dry. But the herb yogurt dressing was really tasty. I’m pretty sure I was more interested in traipsing the grounds than eating my lunch.
Things I did
- Austin Destination Tour- An hour and a half tour of Austin and the surrounding area. Our tour guide was a former stand-up comedian and showed us all of the hot spots in the city.
- Shopping in SoCo (South Congress Street)- A cute area for locals for boutique shops, cafes and antique stores.
Fun Facts About Austin
- Home of Whole Foods
- Home to SXSW and Austin City Limits
- Austin has become a huge tech industry, second to Silicone Valley. There are over 5,000 tech companies established in Austin. It’s nickname is “Silicone Hills”.
- 6th street is the prime night life district for the younger crowd. Also referred to “Dirty Six”, has more liquor licenses in a one block radius than Bourbon street in New Orleans.
- No Ubers/Lyft- The city could not come to an agreement regarding Uber’s business practices, so they decided to eliminate the company overall
- Red River District is the dedicated live music district.
- Live music is a huge driver for the city. The music scene brings in over $1.9 billions dollars each year.
- On average, 160 people a day move to Austin. In order to maintain the culture, music and the arts, the city created the slogan “Keep Austin Weird” to help protect the city
- Matthew McConaughey is an Austin native. He also has a running club and will occasionally tweet out when he’s going on a run.