I Left My Heart In Austin (Day 2): Dai Due, Frank, La Condesa, And Lick

To continue with my whirlwind trip to Austin, let’s move on to day 2 (see day 1 here).  Warning: it’s lengthy!

This day was exhausting yet filled with lots of walking, driving, and of course, stuffing our faces.  The plan was to hit up the farmer’s market, grab some breakfast, and plan out the rest of our day.

Sustainable Food Center (SFC) Farmer’s Market and Dai Due

Our first stop of the morning was to the gorgeous SFC farmer’s market in downtown Austin.  This market ‘boasts over 110 farmers and vendors and is the largest certified* growers-only farmers’ market in the state!’  Jackpot, baby!

SFC farmer's market

We did a quick walk through of all the amazing vendors then headed to Dai Due for some much needed breakfast.  Dai Due Butcher Shop is an old-style sausage and charcuterie source, available at local farmers markets.  Our weekly menu of meats and condiments changes with the season.  All of our meats, vegetables and herbs come from local ranchers and farmers, and are treated with simplicity and minimal processing.

Dai Due Butcher Shop in Austin

After much hemming and hawing, Casey opted for the Pan Haus and I decided on the Shrimp and Grits.  I told Casey I better not send a picture to Josh…he would for sure hate knowing I’m eating one of his favorite dishes while he busts his butt at work.  I did my best not to brag what a wonderful time we were having while he was stuck in the nasty weather at home.  What a good wife I am.  Not!

shrimp and grit from Dai Due

With our bellies full of local goodness, we walked around and stopped at several vendors to check out their fare.  We grabbed a tamale (Casey’s first) along with a gluten-free cinnamon roll, which was too sweet for both of us, then grabbed a seat to enjoy some live music.  As we sat there, I was telling Casey, this is what a Saturday should be about: picking up some local produce/meats, listening to live music, and letting Emma run around in the fresh sun…no Saturday morning cartoons for this mama!

When we finally finished drooling browsing and decided we had lamented seen enough, it was time to go.  We headed back to the house to put everything in the fridge and get ready for the second half of the day.

duck and goose eggs

Oh, we did grab a few eggs that we’ve never tried before and thought why the heck not!  Casey and I split a dozen duck eggs and she bought a single goose egg.  We both agree that the duck eggs are out of this world, and Casey seems to think the goose egg was a bit much to handle (it’s equivalent to 2 regular eggs).

Frank and The Sipping Room

Next on our agenda was lunch (I told you the trip was all about food).  It happened to be my best friend of 29 year’s birthday, so I invited her to come up from San Antonio for lunch.  I kept raving about this sausage/hot dog place called Frank, so Casey agreed to go there and save La Condesa for later.  My friend, Cat, was running late (as usual), so we swung by The Sipping Room for some hot tea and coconut tomato soup.  It happened to be in a nice shopping center, so we did a little walking, girl chatting, and shopping while sipping on our tasty beverages.

me and Cat at Frank

When our stomachs couldn’t take it any longer, we hoped in the car and headed to Frank.  They are the ‘Purveyors of Artisan Sausage’ and you can bet they ain’t messing around!  All Frank Sausages are made IN-HOUSE or locally for Frank by Hudson Sausage Co.  Aww yeah.

I was torn on which frank to choose, even though I’d been there before, so this time I went with the Jackalope, which was custom-made smoked antelope, rabbit, and pork sausage, cranberry compote, sriracha aioli, cheddar.  I held the cheese like a good girl, but splurged on getting it on the gluten-free bun, while Casey went sans bun.  I’m pretty sure I could have eaten two, as hungry as I was, but decided to hold out for dinner and what was to come afterwards.  Yes, the fries are gluten-free!

gluten free sausage from Frank

La Condesa

After lunch, we decided to walk down 6th street to see if it was worth hitting up again later that night.  The night was still early, but it was pretty busy with people already getting their drink on, as well as gearing up for a night of bachelorette parties and techie debauchery.  We agreed to see how dinner went and go from there.

It couldn’t have been but an hour or so that Casey and I both expressed our hunger.  We have both met our match in the eating department, so after a few stops to some fresh, local stores (and a new hat!), we decided to walk our lunch off the four blocks to La Condesa on West 2nd street.

Once the server came back with our marked up menu, it was that time again to decide what the hell to eat.  I tell you what; it’s tough making that many food decisions in one day…but sure is nice not cooking and cleaning it all up!

guacamole tasting from La Condesa

We both decided to split the Guacamole Tasting and I’m darn glad we did.  You got a sample of each of their four guacamoles along with their four salsas.  I already knew which one I would love, and wasn’t steered wrong when I brought the bite of jump lump crab to my mouth.  Out.of.this.world.  We both couldn’t stop until all the bowls were licked clean!  Who knew you could make guacamole so many different ways…I told myself to tuck those ideas away for getting crazy at home.

crab tostadas

For our entrées, I ordered the Cangrejo Tostadas (to keep with the lump crab theme) and a side of Coles de Bruselas (Brussels sprouts), and Casey went with the Cochinita Pibil (pork) Taquitos.  I tell you what, when those Brussels sprouts came out, both tables on either side were asking what in the world I had ordered.  This was where the meal got fun and very Austin-like.  I told the girl it was the sprouts and she said no way, so I told her to stick her nose in my bowl and decide for herself.  I think Casey was a little embarrassed by me, but I feel like that’s totally Austin-to get to know your neighbors while you eat.  Once the girl decided it was the sprouts, she made sure to order them, and I made sure to try to recreate them when I got home.

Brussels sprouts

We finally wrapped up our meal, with no dessert, and headed back to the car.  We were torn on what to do for the night, since the previous was a bust, and finally settled on heading back to Bufalo Bob’s Chalupa Wagon for the *ahem live music.


When we got to Bufalo Bob’s, and discovered he was closed AND the live music was non-existent, we headed across the street for some hot tea and a gluten-free mocha cookie from Fair Bean Coffee.  Being in Austin surrounded by live music, we found yet another performer, named Court Hoang, and settled in to hear him play.  It was a chilly night but nice to relax outside, surrounded by food trucks, and listen to a guy with only a microphone and an amp.  Sometimes it’s the simple and free things in life.

mocha cookie and tea

After he finished his set, Casey looked at me and asked if we could head over to Lick (again) for a late night cap of yummy, local ice cream.  I of course said yes, and we were promptly cruising the one street over to fill up our frequent buyer card.

flavors at Lick

This place is pretty cool.  Their slogan is, Honest Ice Creams, and that it is.  The milk comes from a ‘herd consisting of handpicked Jersey, Brown Swiss and Holstein cows that are never given hormones or antibiotics and are primarily grass-fed.’  Ya’ll know I’m all about grass-fed AND no hormones or antibiotics…so if you MUST have your ice cream, check this place out.  They even have compostable cups and spoons; I’m in love!

Lick dairy free ice cream in Austin

What really drew us were the non-dairy varieties.  They have four dairy-free/vegan choices, made from primarily coconut, so I didn’t have to break my no dairy eating and was able to indulge.  I’m pretty sure Casey would have liked me to leave her there, so she could curl up with one of the dairy-free pints, but alas, we still had more eating to do on Sunday.

After Lick, we decided to go back to the house and watch Eat Pray Love on her iPad…and man am I glad we did.  At about 10pm we heard some terrible storms blowing through (which most of the state got), and I had to laugh a little thinking about all those dolled up girls running for shelter in their 4″ heels, while we were nestled up just chillaxing.  I was convinced that we made the right choice, while visions of dairy-free coconut ice cream danced in Casey’s head.

hanging out on 6th street in Austin

All in all, it was an exciting day, and fun to see what a city that prides themselves on supporting local is like.  I promise Sunday’s recap won’t be this long (good grief!).  I told ya we covered a lot of ground and I was not about to let all the yumminess go unnoticed.

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