Tuesday, January 14, 2014

All Dressed Up and Covered in Cat Hair

An industry acquaintance and Facebook friend called me up at work yesterday. "Hey, a bunch of us girls are coming to Austin this weekend!" she said. "And I thought about you right away. You're still single, right? So, can you recommend some good bars for older people?"

The joke's on her, because I usually just get drunk at home with my cats.

Actually I do know a couple. Donn's Depot is probably my favorite. It's a very, very relaxed place, to the point where I don't think they've dusted the rafters since the Reagan administration. But it's comfortable, it's unpretentious, and it's made of an old train depot (moved down from McNeil) and a couple of train cars and, of course, the famous caboose. The drinks are cheap, and the service is fantastic and Tammy will always remember your usual even if you only show up three or four times a year.

Firehouse Lounge is cool too, or at least the entrance to it is (through a "secret door" bookcase in the hostel lobby). Once you're in there, the bar is a little too artisinal: artisinal cocktails, with artisinal prices. It's hard to get properly buzzed at $10-12 a drink. There's a mathematical formula involved, where the alcohol content per drink must be equal to or greater than the amount of anxiety you feel over your inexorably mounting bar tab.

Our Friday happy hour group has a few regular rotating spots: NXNW and Billy's on Burnet in the "way the hell too far north for me to ride a bike at the end of a long workweek" category; Donn's Depot, of course, which I'll generally try to make; Texas Chili Parlor, Shoal Creek Saloon, and Opal Divine's at Penn Field which are all within easy reach. And then there's Uncle Billy's on Barton Springs Road, which is very conveniently located but has nothing but beer beer beer and the type of barbecue you shouldn't attempt eating without first adjusting your beer goggles to cover your mouth.

My friend listened politely to all my suggestions, thanked me, and said they'd just go dancing at the Broken Spoke. So there you go! They'll have fun.

Maybe it's time to get another kitten.

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