2014 Cap10K Race Report

Another year, another Cap10K.  As my fourth time running this race, I wanted to set a new PR (currently 39:45).  I had big hopes of following a brutal training plan full of speedwork, tempo runs, and general self-torture.  It’s all about pain management after all.  And everything was going to plan, except that I didn’t do any actual training.  At all.  Sure, I ran; just nothing you could call “training”.  So would I set a new PR?  Did I overcome the deck that I had stacked against myself?  What are lofty goals for if not dramatic cliffhangers in a blog post?

CAP10K

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The Ladies Come to Town

Well it happened again. We had guests in town and we went on an eating frenzy. Four of Evelyn’s good friends from college came to Austin to check out the city and see Evelyn before our little man gets here. Here’s a recap of how the weekend of indulgence played out.

Capture

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I Eat, You Eat, We Eat

Time for another for a food round up before a big weekend of eating. Like last time, here’s just a taste of the noteworthy places I ate that I think you should eat too.

Last Friday Evelyn and I went out on a fancy date to the newly-opened La V out on East 7th. The space is beautiful, the service was great (thanks Courtney!), and the food was fantastic. We shared everything and the real standouts were the “grilled baby octopus” (amazing; the best octopus we’ve ever had) and “veal two ways” (exceptional and truly memorable; veal cheek and sweetbreads). The meyer lemon cream dessert might be Ev’s favorite dessert in Austin. The menu changes weekly, so over time everything will phase out to make room for new, seasonal dishes.

And as you’ll notice there are no photos because, and this is important, sometimes most times every time, the company you’re with deserves your attention more than a future blog / Facebook / Twitter post audience. That important fact is something I need to remember much more often.

The next day we met up with friends at Curly’s Carolina, Texas to get Q’ed up. I followed my own advice and got “The Texan”, a brisket-on-bread-and-nothing-else sandwich, and topped it with some wasabi cole slaw. Banana pudding rounded things out for good measure. It was incredible.

curlys brisket sandwich

After a few days of recovery I stopped by Guac N Roll, who sets up shop at The Draught House on Wednesdays. I tried an experimental tamale featuring Adelbert’s Brewery Naked Nun, Tillamook cheddar, queso fresco & Anaheim peppers. Not quite as good as the standard tamale, but the regular tamale is the best tamale I’ve ever had, every time I have it. But I love that they continue to try new things.

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And finally Ev and I went for a walk back over to The

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Draught House the next night to get a post-dinner snack. We grabbed some always-delicious Chicken Kara’age –deep-fried chicken thigh, sweet-spicy sauce, fresh basil, cilantro (bleh), mint, onion, jalapeño– and the daily special “Broccoli Two Ways” –shaved stalk & dehydrated florets, togarashi candied peanuts, nori paper, yuzu, mixed herbs, Thai coconut dressing. Both were great and hit the spot.

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p>And now, if you’ll excuse me, we have guests coming to town, so it’s time to loosen the belt a notch.

Ultimate Showdown: In-N-Out Burger vs P. Terry’s

headtohead

Here we go. The ultimate showdown between the hometown hero, hailing from AUSTIN, TEXAS, and the challenger, just in from CALIFORNIA. Lots of buzz surrounded the invasion of In-N-Out Burger into the home turf of P. Terry’s. The people are split: the West Coast transplants came out in force when the first store opened while the locals dug in their heels defending their local love. As an unbiased outsider* I felt it was my duty to pit them head to head and settle the debate once and for all**. So let’s get into it.

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When the Parents Come To Town

My dad and step-mom came into town to visit for the first time, so we showed them the ropes.  And by ropes I mean we ate a crazy amount of food in a very short period of time.  Like a few weekends ago, it would be a lot for a week, let alone two days.

Driskill Longhorn

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English Muffins… IN TEXAS

Move over, England. You’ve owned this muffin long enough! This is America Texas. And on Texas Independence Day (March 2nd, of course!) I decided your reign over the English Muffin has come to an end. You can come and take it.

english muffins close up

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Curly’s Carolina, TX

photo credit: Texas Monthly BBQ

photo credit: Texas Monthly BBQ

Texas has always been the center of barbecue in the country. Anyone who disagrees, well, isn’t from Texas. In the past few years there has been a resurgence of great BBQ, particularly here in Central Texas, with new places pushing the envelope. To succeed in this market that values tradition and consistency, you also need to innovate. And that’s where Curly’s Carolina, TX comes in.

Curly’s Carolina, TX is a coming-together of two former Austin-area BBQ food trailers. Hall of Flame BBQ brings its old school Texas style while Curly’s Perfect Pig shows off its Carolina roots. The menu offers each style on its own as well as mash-ups combining the two for something you can’t find anywhere else. Pitmaster Jay Yates is one of the nicest guys in the business, and he’s brought great barbecue to the I-35 corridor in Round Rock, Texas.

The space is large, with two dining rooms and a large patio out back. There’s even a dedicated parking lot behind the restaurant, making it easier for you to get great food into your mouth even faster.

As for that great food, from experience I can say that literally everything is worth your money. If you’re looking for that traditional, pinch-me-I-think-I’m-dreaming meal, go with the brisket. I prefer mine on a sandwich (called The Texan), but as long as you’re getting some brisket, it doesn’t matter how it’s served. They’re using USDA Prime meat and smoke it all through the night to make sure your meat can barely

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hold itself together. The rub they use is a secret blend with salt, pepper, brown sugar, and a whole slew of other spices. And it’s amazing.

curlys brisket sandwich

If you want to try something a little less traditional, but no less delicious, I recommend the Carolina Quesadilla. As a matter of fact, you should order it every time and share one as an appetizer. And then order another just for you. They fill stuff a huge flour tortilla with their Carolina pulled pork, smoked Gouda cheese, and poblano peppers, top it with a chipotle-avocado sauce, sour cream, a little more cheese, and serve it with a side of pickled onions. No Tex-Mex joint can touch this quesadilla. Trust me.

curlys pulled pork quesadilla

At most BBQ spots, the sides are forgettable. Not here though. The fried okra, wasabi cole slaw (yep.), hushpuppies, and fried green tomatoes are all worthy companions to your meat(s) of choice. Keep an eye on their Specials board to see what else they have that day.

Curly's Okra and Sandwich

And no matter what you do –I’m serious here, so pay attention– be sure to order the banana pudding for dessert. Oh man, it’s indescribable. It’s like… …

But really, it’s creamy and satisfying and light and if you catch it on a special day, they smoke the bananas before placing them on top. Do it.

curlys banana pudding

And here are a few additional shots of what Curly’s has to offer:

 

You can let your friends stand in 3 hour lines, be greeted by “Sold Out” signs, and fret over who has “the best” barbecue, but you’ll know the secret to avoiding all those things sits just up the highway.

cityguide_afba_badge
Address 112 Main Street
Round Rock, TX 78664
Phone number (512) 537-9227
Hours of Operation Tues. & Wed. 11 am – 2 pm, or until sold out
Hours: Thurs. – Sat. 11 am – 7 pm, or until sold out
Hours: Sundays 11 am – 5 pm, or until sold out
Website http://www.curlyscarolinatx.com/
Facebook Curly’s Carolina, Texas
Twitter @CurlysBBQ
Additional Info Yes BYOB, No WiFi, No Reservations

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Back to the Food Reviews!

Capture

It’s been WAY too long since I’ve posted any sort of blog post about food, food trucks, or really anything you put in your mouth. In an effort to get back to it, I’m going to try something a little different. Rather than a full, detailed post about each and every food truck I’ve visited (like I used to do), you can expect more ad hoc “summary” posts about places I’ve really enjoy recently. The focus will probably still be on food trucks, but honestly that’ll be because that’s where I eat most!

To kick things off, this past weekend Evelyn was out of town. And I went a little overboard, so I’ll (try to) keep things brief.

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Tackling the Bucket List

2013 was a pretty huge year for my “Bucket List”, even if I didn’t know I had a Bucket List. Looking back, I knocked out quite a few “once in a lifetime”, or at least “big ticket” things in very short succession. It’s actually hard to believe it all happened last year.

bucket

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Rogue Distance Festival Half Marathon Race Report

I made a promise to take it easy after Ironman Arizona.  For the six weeks that followed, through the end of the year, there’d be no structured training or races.  Keeping to my word, the next race I signed up for wasn’t until 2014.  The Rogue Distance Festival 30K, Half Marathon, and 10K.  On January 5th.  I signed up for the half marathon on a whim.  I didn’t anticipate getting sick the week of the race, nor did I think there’d be a nasty cold-front dropping in race morning.  But so it goes, and so I went!

RDF_forwhitebkg_web

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