Author Archives: Do512

Do512′s Restaurant of the Week: Crave

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At Crave, there’s something for everyone. So if you find yourself in the midst of a real meal time pickle because Suzie wants sushi, and Bob wants a burger; but all you have in mind is a sumptuous patio and a pitcher of sangria, everyone can still win. Crave, conveniently located just across the street from the Convention Center downtown, is a fresh American fusion restaurant that offers a little bit of everything, from delectable sushi rolls to sizzling steaks, making it the perfect spot for birthdays, group outings, and celebrations of all sorts. Crave has a friendly family feel, but is also a place where adults feel comfortable. There’s a special menu for the kiddos, and a complimentary fruit cup given to parties with children so grownups can have an uninterrupted moment to peruse the menu.

For us, a solid brunch spot is everything, and we highly recommend checking out Crave’s luxurious late morning offerings, especially since Happy Hour runs from 7-4 on Saturdays and ALL DAY Sundays! It’s a great in town brunch, and for $22.95, the possibilities are endless at the grand buffet style with an omelette station, biscuits, bacon–the whole works. There’s even an in house pastry chef at Crave to satisfy all your sweet tooth’s demands, at brunch or anytime. The real draw for the 21+ crowd is the Bloody Mary & Mimosa bars though. At the Bloody Mary bar, guests can choose from Absolut brand’s peppered vodka, cilantro vodka, or Texas vodka, and choose from 10 different fresh juices at the Mimosa bar. (First drink is complimentary with the price of brunch, and afterwards, mimosas go for $3.50, Bloody Marys for $5.50.)

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On our visit to Crave, we opted for dining on the gorgeous, open patio, and eased into our meal with some signature drinks. We tried the White Sangria, Dirty Flirt, and Longhorn Buck. The White Sangria is crafted with Torrontes, St. Germain, fresh strawberries, blueberries, and raspberries for the ultimate refreshing patio drink. For all the martini lovers out there, don’t be demure about ordering the Dirty Flirt. It’s made with Grey Goose and olive juice, and garnished with prosciutto and blue cheese stuffed olives. This drink calls for slingback sandals and a face that smirks. And as for a Crave drink that encapsulates the spirit of Texas, the Longhorn Buck is made with Bulleit rye, Strawberry Moonshine, fresh lime, and Gosling’s ginger beer. It’s sweet, sensitive, and perfect for sipping–definitely the Carrie of the bunch.

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We decided to feast on some of the many amazing Happy Hour options at Crave, and started off with the edamame, which comes in a gluten free option, made with a Tamari glaze rather than the regular soy sauce, still giving the same savory flavor burst you’re accustomed to.

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Then the ante was upped with edamame cream cheese wontons made with a smooth cream cheese and pureed edamame filling, made fresh daily. It’s like a dressed up, classier version of a Crab Rangoon, and comes served with a sweet chili dipping sauce.

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The burger sliders are by all means not your average sliders, believe you me. Made with smoked cheddar and sautéed onions, served on Hawaiian sweet rolls, they’re incredibly difficult to eat without cracking a smile.

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The lemon garlic wings are clearly not the average or wimpy wings you might find at the neighborhood sports bar. Rather, they are large and in charge, marinated in a house made lemon garlic sauce, and grilled, served up with a blue cheese dressing and cucumber stick garnishes.

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With in house sushi chefs crafting rolls with fresh ingredients daily, Crave manages to contend with restaurants who operate with sushi as their mainstay. We tried the Mexican Roll, made with tuna, escolar, jalapeno, avocado, cilantro, spicy mayo, and a soy citrus sauce. The flavors are brought out perfectly with just a light spritz of lime before indulging. We also tried the Bamboo Bite made with crunchy tempura shrimp, cream cheese topped with avocado, thin slices of jalapeno, and hibachi and unogi sauces. Its simplicity is what makes it beautiful and freakin’ delicious. Top pick, y’all. Top pick.

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Though quite stuffed, you should know by now that we always have room in our dessert stomach, so we got down on some of the Crave Miniatures in the flavors of sweet potato pie with a marshmallow creme and gingersnap cookie, blueberry cheesecake with graham cracker, fresh blueberry, and shaved white chocolate, and a traditional tiramisu cheesecake made with espresso soaked white cake, mascarpone cheese, and shaved chocolate. Which is our favorite? That’s one secret we’ll never tell. But we will say that we went into the tasting without a strong penchant for sweet potato pie, and left wanting more. That’s what’s perfect about the dessert miniatures– they give you just enough of a taste without causing you to overload your britches.

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You can take advantage of the incredible Crave patio and feast on all these same treats and more very economically, because Happy Hour is every Monday-Friday from 4-7, 11-4 on Saturday, and all day every Sunday. Our server, Trang Dang told us, “I can’t sell something I don’t really like,” and it shows in the passion and excitement of the entire staff of Crave. They love their food and are proud of what they have to offer. We’re proud to share them with you as Restaurant of the Week!

Get social with Crave on Facebook and Twitter, and be sure to enter for your chance to win a $25 gift card on Do512!

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This Sunday: African Inspired Brunch at The Scoot

Responsibility: some are really good at it. Others are really good at accidentally breaking the dining room table after one too many drinks. Sunday Funday in Austin is a survival of the fittest, and we are okay with that. There are many restaurants around town that help Austinites start their Sunday right, but one we’re particularly looking forward to is Cazamance’s new brunch offering at the Scoot Inn.

Since its opening, Cazamance has been one of the best spots in Austin to get African-inspired cuisine. Their quality ingredients and variety of gluten-free and vegetarian options have made them a town favorite for good reason.

Regular menu items like Yassa Chicken, Mafe and the Dakar Boy’s Lamb Burger make us salivate, and we can only imagine how delicious an African-inspired buffet brunch will be. Bonus: A build-your-own omelet bar. Seriously.

Bunny Chow with Yassa Chicken. Photo via Gabriel H. from Yelp.

The food itself is worth the excitement, but there’s also $2 Mimosas, $3 Deep Eddy Bloody Marys AND $2.50 Pearl Micheladas served along with a full bar. Acro yoga, live music, live painting and whatever your heart desires can be achieved while sipping on tasty beverages.

The best part about it all: Do512 is giving away a pair of brunch tickets for the all you can eat buffet! Don’t miss out on Cazamance’s African Inspired Brunch at Scoot Inn this Sunday, April 27. For details, check Do512.

Austin Derby Fest w/ Deer Tick, Ray Wylie & More

The Kentucky Derby is popular for a few good reasons. Bourbon, for one. It’s also unique in that it populates the Bluegrass state with visitors that range from A-List celebrities to European royalty. The only real problem is that the event is in Kentucky. If you haven’t been there, you aren’t missing much. That’s why we’re excited about Austin Derby Fest.

The first of its kind, Austin Derby Fest is bringing a “Run for the Roses” party right to our doorstep. It will take place block party style at 360 Nueces, and of course there will be an abundance of the Derby beverage du jour, the Mint Julep. Guests are encouraged to wear southern attire along with the biggest, most Derby-tastic hats they can find.

In addition to a live jumbotron viewing of the Kentucky Derby, also known as “the greatest two minutes in sports”, Derby Fest is offering a star-studded music lineup that includes Deer TickRay Wylie HubbardWhiskey ShiversThe Dirty River BoysPossessed by Paul James, and Milkdrive. There will be music on stage all day and night, from 1:00 PM until 10:00 PM. See our friends Deer Tick below.

They are just the icing on the cake, though. Legend Ray Wylie Hubbard will be there along with the Dirty River Boys. Kentucky will get real Texas, real fast. Performances by MilkDrive, Possessed by Paul James and Whiskey Shivers (seen below) will make this a derby party for the ages.

Advance General Admission tickets start at just $20, and VIP tickets are also available. Does this sound fun? Head over to Do512 to learn more about Austin Derby Fest, and click “Enter to Win” for your chance to snag a pair of free tickets!

Drive-By-Truckers w/ JD McPhearson at Stubb’s 5/1

Drive-By Truckers do an impressive job of towing the line between salt of the earth Country music and writing songs that deal with taboo subjects like murder, incest, and suicide. This is precisely why “Alternative Country” exists as a genre. This is not to say that Drive-By Truckers won’t take pulls from a bottle of Maker’s Mark on stage. They have, they do, and they will.

Drive-By Truckers formed in the musically fertile town of Athens, Georgia in 1996. We’re not sure what’s in the water there, but that town has given the world R.E.M., Neutral Milk Hotel, The B-52′s, and a whole mess of other insanely influential bands. Drive-By Trucks continue the Athens tradition of producing ace music.

10 albums in, the Truckers have an established sound with consistently strong songwriting. It’s boot stomping at the right times, and tender when need be. They are many things, but a one trick pony is not one of them.

Drive-By Truckers play Stubb’s Outdoor on May 1st, and there couldn’t be a better venue for them. With a new album released this year and an extensive back catalogue of rocking songs, these guys are a very good choice for your Thursday night. Grab tickets here, and as always, don’t forget to “Enter to Win”.
 

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ACL Fest 2014: Beyond The Headliners

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Yesterday the lineup was announced for the 2014 Austin City Limits Music Festival. Our initial reaction went something like this: “Woah! OutKast! Holy crap they got Eminem! And Beck! And Pearl Jam! OMG Lorde! And St. Vincent!”

Everyone knows the headliners, but you might not be so keenly aware of quite a few bands that we think are totally rad. For one thing, there are nearly a dozen local bands you need to see, including Hard Proof, Riders Against the Storm, Black Pistol Fire, Wood & Wire, Mike And The Moonpies, Arum Rae, Ray Benson & Milkdrive, Emily Wolfe and more.

We’ve also explored the full lineup and done some research on bands we were less familiar with. In doing so, we found quite a few up-and-comers that need to be and your radar. Take a look at a few of them below.

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Mø: Karen Marie Ørsted, aka MØ, is a young Danish songstress who The Guardian hailed as ‘the next Grimes. Her unique mix of indie, pop, hip-hop and electro has also stirred up buzz via tastemakers such as Pitchfork and NME. Collaborations with AVCII and Diplo also gave her a strong start. Mø’s debut studio album, No Mythologies to Follow, was just released in March of 2014.

Spanish Gold: This is a brand new band featuring Patrick Hallahan of My Morning Jacket, Dante Schwebel from Hacienda, and Adrian Quesada from Grupo Fantasma/Brownout. That’s a pretty dynamite combination. The trio’s debut album, South of Nowhere, will be released on May 27th. They self-produced the album with the help of Collin Dupuis (Jeff the Brotherhood, Bombino). Hear the debut single below:

J Roddy Walston and the Business: We’ve been digging these guys for a while now. The Cleveland, Tennessee rockers put on an incredible live show every time. Walston’s unmistakable vocals perfectly compliment the band’s riotous rock ‘n roll sound, a must-see for fans of Drive By Truckers, Lucero, Deer Tick and the like. The third album from J. Roddy Walston & The Business, Essential Tremors, was released in 2013.

Temples: Hailing from Kettering, England, Temples quickly made fans at home and abroad after releasing their debut full-length, Sun Structures, in February of this year. If you dig ’60s-influenced psychedelic pop, you need to see Temples. The band performed at SXSW earlier this year, and just did Coachella, along with an upcoming appearance at Austin Psych Fest next weekend.

Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue: Simply put, Trombone Shorty is the man. He recently joined Macklemore and Ryan Lewis on stage at the Grammy Awards, made an appearance on Conan, and took home 7 awards at the OffBeat Magazine Best of the Beat Awards, including Artist of the Year, Album of the Year and more. Hailing from New Orleans, Trombone Shorty mixes jazz, funk and hip-hop into one sweet, funky cocktail.

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There’s plenty more bands playing the festival this year that we’d highly recommend. Phantogram, Fitz & The Tantrums, Jenny Lewis, Beats Antique, tUnE-yArDs, Jagwar Ma, Mac DeMarco… and the list goes on.

It’s all happening at Zilker Park on successive weekends, October 3 – 5 and 10 – 12. You can grab a 3-Day Pass, find more details and explore the full lineup at www.aclfestival.com.

 

Experience the Euphoria Music & Camping Festival

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Springtime in Austin brings bluebonnets, plentiful sunshine, and music festivals of all shapes and sizes. It’s the perfect time to enjoy the great outdoors while dancing your heart out. Rest assured, all of those good things and more will be taking place at Carson Creek Ranch this weekend for the Euphoria Music Festival.

“I’ve always been somebody who takes pride in creating an experience for others”, says festival organizer Mitch Morales. “I’ve been to the bigger festivals around the states, and they have showed me something about how you can live your life.”

“If I can help other people find that, and give them that more “global conscious ” experience, that makes it worth it. I am not trying to change the world, but I am trying to bring people something different.”

This Friday and Saturday, April 24-25, an all-star cast of electronic artists will descend on Austin for a whirlwind experience of sights and sounds at Carson Creek Ranch. Located just minutes from downtown Austin, the 40-acre ranch will be hopping with three stages, stunning art installations, food trucks, camping, workshops and more.

“I think the Fractoid is going to steal the show”, says Mitch Morales. “I think it will blow some peoples minds. Each stage is a little different, and it’s a wonderland of crazy stuff that’s hopefully eye-opening, even for veterans”

The staff here at Do512 has been exploring the Euphoria 2014 lineup, which includes both DJ and live sets, and compiled our list of top picks for the festival:

Beats Antique

With roots in the performance arts, the trio is well traveled and has been soaking up culture as though it is their life-force. With stints in places such as Serbia and Bali, David Satori and Tommy Capel enhanced their classical training and gained experience in multicultural musical production. So then these finely tuned musician guys were all…man I wonder what could make this even more badass? In walks Zoe Jakes. Bellydancing.

Bonobo

Bonobo’s music can complement just about any mood, whether you want to get down or be lulled to sleep. Picture warm days in tall grass, a fire on the beach or a long bike ride at sunset – Bonobo would be the perfect background music.

BoomBox

You want a little rap, a little funk, and a whole lot of dancing? You got it. This group hits the stage hard with a set full of sounds that will do a body good. Get your soul prepared for a smooth bass, a larger than life brass section and vocals from Carlos Sosa; influenced by all types of music and styles.

Crystal Method

Because DUH

Earphunk performing as Daft Punk

That’s right, its a full set of Daft Punk music as performed by the talented and rambunctious group, Earphunk. This set has impressed so much that Earphunk continues to perform as Daft Phunk at shows and festivals all over. Think about it, a funk band plays Daft Punk. Need we say more?

The Floozies

When live drums accompany the artistry of an electronic set put on a stage where the lights and set up compliment the bass drops and tunes flowing, you know The Floozies have arrived. This duo’s sound seeps into your soul as the remixed rap tracks and dubbed over funk sounds produced by Matt Hill combine with the talent of drummer, Mark Hill. That’s right, go for an eclectically electronic ride with the Hill brothers.

Lotus

Your eyes and ears will collide for a musical experience when the 5 members of this group that have been creating sounds since 2000 step onto stage. The group intertwines a live stage show with a fusion of electronica and then drops in a mind blowing light show to seal the deal.

Peligrosa

If you have been to one of their shows you get it. This dj collective intertwines their love for Cumbia and all types of dance music into one big party. It’s a party that without fail will cause a sweaty dance session where you will see DJs swapping out for each other and records being spun from music created both near and far. Born out of the desire to combine the flavors of Austin and beyond, they just get it.

Zeds Dead

As a headliner, these guys will do nothing short of amazing on stage. Prepare to be impressed with the ingeniously combined beats that this duo fuses into songs full of highs, lows and tripped up sounds to keep you on your toes.

We’re ready, are you? It’s all goin’ down this Friday and Saturday, April 24-25. Check out more on the festival and see the lineups by day, and even enter to win passes on Do512!

FTMOA: My Record Store Day 2014

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Just the mention of the burgeoning annual tradition that is Record Store Day can conjure up feelings of excitement and anticipation. And that was definitely the case over the course over the last few months as the “rare,” “special” and “one-day only” release info started trickling in. Personally, I spent a good chunk of my evenings last week plotting my plan of attack for Saturday, April 19th, 2014.

Record Store Day dawned beautifully in Austin, Texas and I kicked off my hunt at North Loop’s Breakway Records. Besides friends and acquaintances, I was joined in line by the one-and-only Lawrence Boone (the editor of Do512) as we spent an impatient 30 minutes in line, listening to somewhat stern but unerringly precise instructions on how “this will work” from the store’s owner.

recordstoredayfeat600Having a knowledgeable staffer by the door was an extremely useful service the store provided – I was able to quickly grab some of my first choices by just mentioning the band’s name to him as I walked in. A dash here and a run there, and lo and behold, I had in my grasp four prized items in the form of Pissed Jeans (The Very Best of SubPop 12″), Joy Division (An Ideal For Living (1978) 12″), plus The Cure/Dinosaur Jr. and Devo/The Flaming Lips Side By Side Series 7″. Had to pass on the The Pixies’ Indie Cindy 2 x 12″ mostly due to FOMO on something else. Oh, and the $37.99 price tag.

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Next up, I headed to Waterloo Records where folks had been lining up since seven in the morning thanks to the store’s generous offer of coffee and pastries. Luckily, most of the super serious collectors had moved on by the time I arrived. Not only was I able to park in the actual store parking lot, I quickly (perhaps in an overexcited state in regards to the latter two) snagged White Denim (A Place To Start (Jamie Lidell remix) 7″), Oasis (Supersonic 12″) and Motörhead (Aftershock 12″).

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End of an Ear had the longest line I was to experience all day long, largely due to some strict one-in/one-out rules and perhaps the free flowing mimosas inside. Here too, I was fortunate enough to grab two of my desired records – the inimitable Bruce Springsteen’s American Beauty 12″ and local legends The Black Angels’ Clear Lake Forest EP.

Encore Records, the oft-forgotten store, was a useful stop as my partner-in-crime was able to find releases not available elsewhere without any lines, or really traffic of any sort. Definitely need to be sure to hit this store up every year as it’s somewhat of a hidden gem.

10173785_10152003787181587_2872052653122621021_nThis was followed by quick treks to Trailer Space Records, where I acquired Ex-Cult’s Ties You Up/New Virtues 7″ (recorded by Ty Segall at his house in L.A.) and RVRB Records, which conveniently had its Opening Celebration set for this auspicious day. All in all, Saturday turned out to be a stellar day of record shopping, so easy on my ears, if not on my wallet.

The fact that most stores also added in some live in-store sets or autograph sessions to the mix only enhanced this great day. A genuine sanctuary for all still in love with this timeless medium. Here’s to many more years of this fine custom and to this fall’s Cassette Store Day.

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PS. My key misses: Black Lips (Funny 7″), Neko Case, Jason Lytle and Friends (Satellite of Love 7″), Parquet Courts (Sunbathing Animal 7″), Soundgarden (Superunknown: The Singles 5 x10″), OFF! (Learn to Obey 7″)  and yes, Ray Parker, Jr. (Ghostbusters 10″).

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-From The Mind Of Adi

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The Pecan Street Festival Returns May 3 – 4

Sixth Street is mostly known for its world-famous nightlife, but families and people of all ages have been enjoying the wholesome entertainment offered by The Pecan Street Festival for nearly 36 years. The free, family-friendly arts festival returns to the Sixth Street Historic District on Saturday, May 3 and Sunday, May 4. 

Hundreds of people flock to the Pecan Street Festival to shop for fine crafts, handmade gifts, pottery, paintings and more. For the kids, there’s a petting zoo, rides, games and interactive activities. Also, the food. So much food. Over 30 venders with options that range from BBQ to shaved iced stands will be there, making an empty stomach inexcusable.

Then there is music. Dozens of Austin-area acts from all different genres perform from noon till night. Whether you’re a little bit country or a little bit rock n’ roll, there’s a variety up-and-coming musicians for you to discover.

Get the picture? Don’t miss this year’s Spring Pecan Street Festival. It’s free, and the best part about it is that every dollar you spend goes to local artists and charities like Mobile Loaves & Fishes, Austin Pets Alive!, Meals on Wheels, the Capital Area Food Bank and more! To learn more about the fest, check Do512.

North Drag Bazaar at Spider House Cafe 4/26

There’s just an abundance of cool stuff to see and do on Guadalupe, especially on what we lovingly refer to as “The Drag”. As part of AIBA Local Business Month, our friends at Spider House are hosting a day party to celebrate many of these local businesses. This Saturday, April 26, check out the North Drag Bazaar.

Like pie? Both Conans Pizza and Royers Pie Haven will be there with sweet and savory noms. Wheatsville Co-op will have a variety of samples to try out, and the Spider House Cafe will have food and drink specials throughout the whole event.

While snacking, you can browse select items from Frock On Vintage. If reading is your thing, you can leaf through the Malvern Books pop-up shop. Movin’ Easy Dancewear will also have everthing from ballet shoes to whatever else you need to get your groove on.

Bonus: after the food, beverage and shopping is complete, you can head to Salon O Organic Day Spa for specials on everything beauty. And don’t worry the music will be going all afternoon, the courtyard stage will host Horse Opera and Rosie and the Ramblers from 2-6pm.

Don’t miss the North Drag Bazaar at Spider House Cafe this Saturday, April 26th, from 11am-6pm. Enjoy sales, specials, giveaways, entertainment, and fun for the whole family from these locally owned businesses. For more info on what’s going on in the area, check Do512.