Great reasons to live in Austin. Number sixteen. 6th Street.

Sixth Street is a historic street and entertainment district in Austin. It is located within the city’s urban core in the heart of Downtown Austin. Sixth Street was formerly named Pecan Street under Austin’s older naming convention, which had east-west streets named after trees and north-south streets named after Texas rivers.  It is now listed in the National Registry of Historic Places. It is also listed on my personal list of FUN places!


That is the classic sign that lets you know you are in the right place. There is plenty of other great music to be found on 5th Street though as well as scattered around the city of Austin.


More live musicians and live music venues than any other city in America. You can listen to the best of every kind of music while wandering the length of 6th Street.


Look like fun? You bet your life it is, grab a beer and a slice of pizza and live the good life on 6th Street.



Great reasons to live in Austin. Number twelve. Asleep At The Wheel.

Bob Wills and the Texas Playboys were the undisputed kings of Western Swing. If you are not familiar with Texas Swing it is a glorious countrified blend of swing music with a touch of jump rhythm. Texan legends, Bob, his brothers and the band travelled by bus from town to town spreading musical joy from city to city.

 The legacy was continued in recent years by the magnificent band ‘Asleep at the wheel.’ As the saying goes Texas Swing isn’t dead it is asleep at the wheel……. Formed in 1969 by vocalist/guitarist extraordinaire Ray Benson, this is one of the finest and rockin’est bands in the country. For a special treat download their two tribute albums to Mr Wills. Filled with a plethora of guest stars including Merle, Willie, Reba, Lyle, Dolly, DwightDixie Chicks they are an encyclopedic tour of who’s who in Country. Just a personal favorite but I would start with ‘Ride with Bob.’ 

 Back in the 70s Van Morrison surprised a lot of folk by quoting them as being one of his favorite bands, and the Belfast Cowboy sure knows his music. Check them out at




Great reasons to live in Austin. Number ten. The Broken Spoke.

If you are looking for an evening’d boot scooting entertainment that head over to 3201 S. Lamar, to the ‘Broken Spoke’ (no it’s not a bicycle repair shop!) and enjoy the best little honky tonk on the Third Coast. The parking is a nightmare and the interior is a dream! Enjoy one of their signature chicken fried  steaks washed down with a whisky iced tea served in a jam jar. I’m not the only Brit to enjoy ‘The Spoke’ and on a recent trip to Texas by Queen Elizabeth (The monarch not the ship!) Her majesty’s entourage visited the joint to see what Honky Tonkin’ was all about. Check it out at

 The music and dancing is great and the ambiance is a treat, and leave a little time to enjoy the mini Country Western museum after you enter. The list of performers who have played here is something very special. Check them out at  Asleep at the Wheel still play some sets here and that is a perfect night in my book. Oh. I keep mentioning ‘The Wheel’ so perhaps I had better make them another upcoming great reason to live in Austin—‘cos after all they do!



Dance lessons at the Broken Spoke on July 26, 2013


Great Reasons to live in Austin. Number eight. The Iron Works.

Yes, another barbecue spot! This gem is in the heart of the city and is The Iron Works. It is called that because it used to be an actual Iron Works, however it now serves up some of the very best food you could ever wish to eat. It is HIGHLY recommended! You can find out more about it at The decor is fabulous and the service first class. You also just have to love a joint that features signed pictures of George W. Bush and Rick Perry on the restroom door! I guess this really IS the third coast!


The exterior of the building is very authentic and running right behind it is the river. A perfect setting for a perfect lunch!


How cool is the interior of this building. There is a huge container of classic soft drinks in real glass bottles –stored in ice! Of course you can always go traditional and enjoy a Shiner….


I think that pork ribs get an unfair rap in Texas. The beef is great but they know all about getting the best out of pork ribs too. A visit to the Iron Works is not complete without sampling their rack of pork ribs!


Great reasons to live in Austin. Number seven. The Salt Lick.

As hinted at in great reasons number five….. The Salt Lick! My favorite barbecue spot in the world. The scenery and food are glorious and Out Of This World Class. When George W. wanted a real treat in the White House he would talk Laura into allowing him to have barbecue flown in from the Salt Lick. It is a ways out of town in Driftwood, and worth every minute of your drive. Check out details at


Now there are open pit barbecues and open pit barbecues, but have you ever seen a better one than this? I haven’t!


Probably the finest beef rib in the world. They are cut in a very complex manner to incorporate three separate cuts of meat into the rib. Not only is the barbecue sauce great but the pre-coolking rub gives a flavor that is out of this world. You can buy it in stores too….


See if you can blow up this picture to read the menu. It will make your mouth water. Not only is the meat good but the blackberry pie and Blue Bell ice cream desert is the best!


Great reasons to live in Austin. Number six. Bobalou Cigars.

My favorite way to start the day in Austin is with a hot, thick tasty cup of Cuban coffee at the Bobalu cigar shop on 6th Street. Not only is the coffee and conversation great but they have a world class humidor filled with fabulous cigars! One of the joys is seeing the cigars hand made on the antique Cuban cigar press at the front of the tiny little store. Check out their online store at You will love this little gem of a store situated at 509 East 6th Street.


You have to love the Kinky Friedman for governor poster…..


As tiny as the front of Bobalou appears you will be amazed at the size and the sophistication of the cigar humidor inside. Their Internet business ships cigars around the world.


You don’t see many cigar presses like this much closer than Cuba! The gentleman hand making the cigars also hails from Havana I believe.


Great reasons to live in Austin. Number five. Austin Airport.

One of the simplest joys in Austin is how great the airport is! Small, fast and friendly it has live music and ‘Ray’s Roadhouse’ a really neat eating/drinking spot in the heart of the airport. You can even stand next to a cut out of the great Ray Benson. Ray is the leader and founder of the Western Swing Band ‘Asleep At The Wheel.’ If you have never settled back and jumped to the sound of this band then you have never lived. Trust Me. Check out their website at


Follow this sign at the airport to kick ass food and cocktails! You will even find great live music going on, was there ever an actual entertainment destination at an airport before? Thank you Ray!


Ray Benson is a giant in the music industry, and a pretty tall dude too. I’m not sure if this cut out is life sized or not, however when i got to meet him in Los Angeles after a solo concert at the Mint I felt pretty petite and I’m a BIG guy!


Oh, and lets not forget the amazing Tacos at Ray’s Roadhouse courtesy of the Salt Lick! Don’t know about the Salt Lick? It will be a reason all its own……. Here is just a picture of how your plate will look!IMG_6649

Great reasons to live in Austin. Number four. Batfest.

BATFEST. Yes, Holy Batfest Batman, once a year their is a very cool street festival on the bridge across the river in Austin leading to the capital building. It costs about 7 bucks and includes free music, great vibes, lots of beer (this is Texas!) and of course the Bats. Every evening 1.5 million bats fly out from under the bridge and blacken the sky briefly. It is quite a sight. During Batfest we celebrate the little suckers………check out some details at this website

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Great reasons to live in Austin. Number Two. Torchy’s Tacos.

One of the finest reasons to sell everything you own and move to Austin is that you get to eat at Torchy’s Tacos whenever you want to! They have some regular little fast food joints (one is only a mile from our house!) but my favorite is in the Trailer Park Eatery.  Here are some photos to wet your appetite. There is even a secret menu– and you can find out about it at 


An unbelievably cool gold sprayed montage is situated on the front of the little veranda area where you get to sit and demolish your tacos…..IMG_6918

This is the chicken fajita taco and it is so good that salsa is scarcely required.


The deep fried avocado is a superb addition to almost any of their delicacies….


If you like seriously great Tacos then you have to visit Torchy’s. Worth a flight to town just for lunch. Oh, the breakfast Tacos are pretty dang fine too…..

Great reasons to live in Austin. Number One. Stubbs Barbecue.

Stubbs Barbecue comes in very high on my list of Austin highlights! Not only great food but a fabulous Gospel Brunch on Sundays. It was also the venue where Reckless Kelly recorded their first live album. Three great plus points…….


In case you want to download the album it is called Reckless Kelly: Live at Stubbs. It includes one of their finest tracks, ‘The Ballad of Tommy and Marie.’ The touching story of two ill fated drug addled lovers. It includes the classic line, ‘Sometimes she wore her hair like Charlie’s Angels and sometimes she looked as weird as Mr. Spock.’ 


Just a gentle hint but make sure you do not leave Stubbs without trying their brisket! The BEST!