Austin: the buckle on the barbecue belt. We happened to be in town on a day when most of the high profile pits were closed. I wasn't up to waiting in line for two hours at Franklins anyway. A boat-tailed grackle tried to resuscitate its dead mate on the sidewalk by standing on her back and madly pressing his beak to hers as we snuck into Lamberts Barbecue. Happy hour was just getting rolling.
The place is located in an old store that has been tastefully refurbished. We parked ourselves at the upstairs bar for a restful couple of hours and availed ourselves of the half-price bar food menu and drinks, each of which was $2 off. There was glory in the Austin Beerworks Pearl Snap, a crisp and creamy pilsner with a polite ABV of 5.3%. The cocktails were so-so, but not the gigantic spareribs or the broiled gulf oysters with creamed poblanos and lump crab. We lulled ourselves into a comfortable stupor after this very warm first day on a little southern tour. We took the abandoned grackle body and placed it in some ornamental grass near a parking garage and walked back to our bed across town.