Austin City Pie Limits
After a reasonable free continental breakfast at the La Quinta (Spanish for "a cockroach in every room"), we saddled up and headed out. The weather was humid but overcast, so it was quite a pleasant stroll through the UT campus. We circled it a couple of times and then headed into the middle so that The Boy could live out his lifelong dream of seeing the clock tower. (It’s a long story.)
At the base of the tower is a small pond with water liles and a sizable population of turtles. It’s a quiet, attractive memorial to the victims of Charles Whitman’s sniper-based escapade—much more compelling than a chunk of marble.
And then a reviving stop at Jamba Juice, because my friend Sue in LA says it’s the best thing ever, and they don’t exist in Boston yet. The Boy had a Pomegranate Paradise; I had the Aloha Pineapple with an extra shot of immune-system booster. Very fresh and delicious.
As we sat, we read the Austin Chronicle, the free alternative rag (think Phoenix) and found a listing in the dining section that promised “11 different flavors of authentic Aussie meat pies in flaky crusts.”
If that’s not lunch, I don’t know what is.
So we headed further north up Guadelupe. And after a short detour in the form of Buffalo Exchange, a vintage and second-hand clothes store, where The Boy picked up a soft gray-black cord jacket and I found a couple of funky t-shirts, we found Boomerang's Pies.
I guessed correctly that the place was the result of the owner’s trip Down Under, in the course of which he discovered pie and found it good and decided to share it with the residents of Austin. (I should do the same with parmo.)
When I think pie, I think pork, beef, steak and onion. The varieties here include Southwest Adobe chicken, Texas BBQ, Mediterranean Veggie. I opted for the Guinness steak, as it was the last one, and The Boy chose traditional beef. And as the best accompaniment for Australian pie is Australian beer, we got one each: a Cooper’s Light Ale (bottle-fermented, so there’s sediment at the bottom) and a Tooheys.
Both pies were good—excellent crust, generous filling. This is the Guinness version:
But the trad beef actually brought tears of nostalgia to my eyes: the meat had been cooked for so long that it had almost completely dissolved, creating a thick, beefy, salty ragu-like sauce. Took me back, it did.
And the restroom had this on the wall: