5 Massage Studios in Austin That Offer Diverse Healing Therapies

Cryotherapy Chamber Austin

Cryotherapy saunas use dry cold for healing (Credit: @sethprochazka)

No one moves through life unscathed. Fortunately, there are many massage and holistic healing studios here in Austin. The following are five local businesses that offer diverse, unique, and sometimes surprising services that can be enjoyed alone, or in conjunction with a massage treatment.

1/ Serasana

Serasana Tea Bar in Austint

Come in and sample the tea of the day (Credit: Serasana)

There is plenty to discover at Serasana, but it all starts and ends at the tea bar. An impressive selection of teas and herbal infusions can be served piping hot to keep you warm in the winter, or iced to cool down in the summer. The bar also serves yummy seasonal smoothies and kombucha on tap.

Venture beyond the tea bar, and you'll find a full schedule of yoga classes, group and individual acupuncture treatments, and regular workshops. Workshops include Tibetan singing bowl sound baths and tarot card study. And, of course, massage!

Serasana also offers cupping therapy, which can be a standalone treatment or incorporated into a massage. With cupping, either silicone or glass cups are placed on the body. Suction from the cups helps move stagnant blood and loosen tight muscles.

Once your session or class is finished, rejoin other guests at the tea bar to continue relaxing.

Multiple locations – Website

2/ Ace of Cups Massage and Wellness

Ace of Cups Workshops in Austin

Brush up on your anatomy with a workshop or study group (Credit: Ace of Cups)

Ace of Cups is tucked away in a mural-clad east Austin neighborhood, next to other quaint shops and eateries. This local business offers yoga classes, cupping therapy, and a variety of massage styles. The team's method is to fuse magic and science. Classes are offered on topics like tea leaf reading, tarot cards, and herbal medicine, as well as study groups that delve deeply into anatomical knowledge.

One way Ace of Cups fosters a community atmosphere is by renting rooms to allow people to start their own practices. Many skilled healers, from acupuncturists to skincare specialists, make use of the space.

Ace of Cups also has an apprentice massage program that allows newly graduated therapists to study and work alongside more experienced therapists. Massages with an apprentice are available at a discount.

2121 E. Cesar Chavez St. – Website

3/ Sage Blossom

Sage Blossom Massage Group Sauna

Up to five people at a time can enjoy the sauna (Credit: Sage Blossom Massage)

A massage and a hot sauna session. Sounds like a match made in heaven, doesn't it? Sage Blossom uses a full spectrum infrared sauna. Infrared saunas use lower heat levels than traditional saunas, but can penetrate more deeply, allowing more detoxification with less intensity.

Saunas have a variety of benefits, including skin purification and improved cardiovascular function. At Sage Blossom, every sauna session comes with a refreshing peppermint towel and glass of cucumber water. With a spa package, guests receive a massage, then move to the sauna to continue detoxing while basking in post-massage bliss.

Cupping is also available as an add-on to any massage.

Multiple locations – Website

5/ Zero Gravity Institute Float Spa

Zero Gravity Institute Float Tankst

Owners Carol and Kevin Johnson designed and built their float tanks to be bigger than average
(Credit: Zero Gravity Institute)

The moment you walk into Zero Gravity Institute Float Spa, all of the trappings of frantic daily life fall away. Before every float, you change out of your street clothes into a robe, and relax in a massage chair to allow the process of unplugging to begin.

What is floating? At Zero Gravity, it means climbing into a tank of skin-temperature water that contains 1,200 pounds of Epsom salt. Free from the constraints of gravity and the sensory overload that normally bombards us, you float in complete darkness for either 60 or 90 minutes.

This rare tranquil state has been shown to relieve stress, speed up muscle recovery, and even inspire heightened levels of creativity.

The therapists at Zero Gravity offer a variety of massage styles, including Lomi Lomi and Thai. You can enjoy a massage before floating, or afterwards. If someone has not floated before, a massage beforehand can help ease anxiety about the process. On the other hand, floating before a massage can help relax the muscles, which allows the therapist to work more deeply.

2919 Manchaca Road,  Suite 105A – Website

5/ Evolve Cryo + Wellness

Infrared Sauna Pod Austin

Infrared sauna pod (Credit: Evolve Cryo + Fitness)

Living up to its name, Evolve Cryo + Fitness is stacked with the latest technology to promote wellness and help guests feel energized.

The main attractions are the cryotherapy saunas. But Evolve also offers acupuncture, futuristic facials, an infrared sauna, compression therapy, and oxygen therapy in addition to massage.

Cryotherapy is popular with athletes to speed up recovery and improve endurance, but anyone can benefit from the anti-inflammatory effects. It's recommended that the first time you try cryotherapy, you do three sessions close together, to allow the effects to accumulate. After that, listen to your body to gauge when to return for a session.

3411 S. Lamar Blvd. – Website


@theAustinot wants to know:
Have you been to a non-traditional massage studio in Austin?
We always have unique content on the Austinot, and we love to give things away. You know, like CDs, event tickets and other cool stuff. We only send out our Best of the Austinot newsletter two times/month. It's where we give you a recap of our best articles and give stuff away. Interested? Subscribe to Best of the Austinot here!

The post 5 Massage Studios in Austin That Offer Diverse Healing Therapies appeared first on The Austinot

4 Reasons To Stay At Tru by Hilton

My stay at Tru by Hilton was the perfect quick, weekend getaway with everything I needed for an energetic and relaxed experience at an affordable price.

The post 4 Reasons To Stay At Tru by Hilton appeared first on A Taste of Koko - Austin's Top Food & Travel Blog.

5 Volunteer Opportunities During Thanksgiving Season in Austin

Volunteering thanksgiving 2018 Austin

Guest article by Krista Hager

Aromas of pumpkin spice and cinnamon fill our homes. Crackling fireplaces hold actual purpose in Austin this holiday season, with temperatures steadily dropping to legitimate fall weather. Thanksgiving peeks around the corner, inviting us to let go of the holiday chaos and give back to our community.

Austin is home to thousands of nonprofits, so get out there and connect with at least one of these charities, events, or groups during Thanksgiving season.

1/ Austin Empty Bowl Project

Austin Empty Bowl Project

Empty Bowl Project in Austin (Credit: Studio Stence Photography)

Austin Empty Bowl Project blends art, music, and food into a family-friendly community event. So on Nov. 18, 2018 from 11-3 p.m., head to Central Texas Food Bank to select a local artisan pottery bowl and fill it with gourmet soup from one of Austin's participating restaurants. Sit back, slurp your savory soup, and take in the sounds of local musicians as the spirit of volunteerism oozes through the air.

Proceeds from Austin Empty Bowl Project benefit Meals on Wheels and Food Bank's Kids Cafe program.

6500 Metropolis Dr. – Website

2/ Feast of Sharing

Feast of Sharing Austin Thanksgiving

Feast of Sharing (Credit: Jared Tennant Photography)

Providing over 14,000 Thanksgiving dinners, H-E-B and United Way for Greater Austin need volunteers for the 29th annual Feast of Sharing. This is the largest community Thanksgiving meal in Austin, thanks to over 1,400 volunteers. This epic Austin feast is sure to nourish the soul, as you help nourish others.

This year's event will be held at Palmer Events Center on Tuesday, Nov. 20, 2018. Volunteer shifts are available from 3 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. and 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.

900 Barton Springs Road – Website

3/ Operation Turkey

Operation Turkey Austin

Operation Turkey volunteers gather on Sixth Street (Credit: Operation Turkey)

No child, woman, or man will be left behind this Thanksgiving, if Operation Turkey has anything to say about the matter. Since many homeless Austinites struggle with ease of mobility, traveling to food banks isn't always a practical option. Operation Turkey is a 100 percent volunteer-run organization, with over 20,000 volunteers helping to make sure everyone gets a warm Thanksgiving meal this year.

How can you help be part of this tremendous surge of volunteerism? Mark these important dates:

  • Volunteer orientations on Nov. 15 and 18
  • Turkey Tailgate on Nov. 21: smoke 600+ turkeys, accept donations, stage food and supplies for the big day
  • Thanksgiving on Nov. 22: Prepare, package, and deliver food to our neighbors in need

Multiple locations – Website

4/ ThunderCloud Subs Turkey Trot


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by OB/GYN Group of Austin (@obgynaustin) on

This event blends three of my favorite things: running, giving back, and sandwiches. Okay, you don't actually get a sandwich after you run, but you do get all the feel-good endorphins for supporting Caritas of Austin during that five-mile community trek downtown.

With over 20,000 participants expected in the Turkey Trot's 27th year, run–don't walk–(you can totally walk) to support Caritas of Austin. The nonprofit's mission is to help people have access to a safe home, education, healthy food, and jobs with reliable living wages.

Register to run or walk, or volunteer to help with the Trot on Nov. 22, Thanksgiving morning, at the Long Center.

701 W. Riverside Dr. – Website

5/ Saint Louise House Home for the Holidays


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Saint Louise House (@stlouisehouse) on

After the sleepy turkey haze dissipates, wake up to a renewed commitment to keep the giving spirit going, by trying a different type of Black Friday shopping on for size. Sponsor a family through the Saint Louise House Home for the Holidays program.

This is a fun way to instill the spirit of volunteerism in your whole family, while bringing joy to another family that may have had a really tough year. Saint Louise House provides housing and wraparound services, intended to instill a foundation of empowerment in the female-led families the organization serves. This is about going beyond the bandaid issues of homelessness and digging out the roots.


Spread the Cheer All Year

Volunteer for Thanksgiving in Austin

With so many options, it can be overwhelming to actually start volunteering. This Thanksgiving holds a reminder to get out there and give back. However, you can also look beyond the season of giving and consider serving others in need year-round.

GivePulse, an Austin-founded company, gives local volunteers a platform to search for nonprofits that match their interests and schedules. Also, many online networks like Generation Serve and Austin Allies, as well as Facebook groups such as Community Helping Hands, are popping up to help Austinite volunteers and nonprofits synergize community impact, and share opportunities.


@theAustinot wants to know:

How are you giving back to the Austin community during this Thanksgiving season?


Krista Hager is a word, coffee, muscle, dance, and Austin enthusiast. Scattered in life, focused in business, she owns a small content creation agency and its sister site, a mom entrepreneur networking platform called Mama on the Internet


The original version of this article was published Nov. 19, 2015.

We always have unique content on the Austinot, and we love to give things away. You know, like CDs, event tickets and other cool stuff. We only send out our Best of the Austinot newsletter two times/month. It's where we give you a recap of our best articles and give stuff away. Interested? Subscribe to Best of the Austinot here!

The post 5 Volunteer Opportunities During Thanksgiving Season in Austin appeared first on The Austinot

Savor the Flavors of Argentina at El Gaucho Winery

Wine Tasting at El Gaucho Winery in Spicewood TX

Kick back, relax, and savor the flavors of El Gaucho's Argentinian wines

Head out in any direction from Austin and you're bound to come across a winery. In Spicewood, you'll find El Gaucho Winery–a little piece of Argentina tucked away in the rolling hills near Lake Travis. Check it out the next time you're looking to kick back in the Texas Hill Country, sip on full-bodied Argentinian wines and savor authentic cuisine.

Thank you to El Gaucho Winery in Spicewood for allowing me to sample food and drink at no charge. All opinions are my own.

The Story of El Gaucho Winery

Welcome to El Gaucho Winery in Spicewood Texas

El Gaucho Winery is perched on a hill just off Cathy Lane in Spicewood, Texas

Bennet and Eugenia Sewell met while Bennet was vacationing in Argentina and Eugenia was working as a sommelier. Eugenia actually served as the honorary Sommelier for the Office of the President of Argentina, where she was in charge of food and wine pairings at official state functions.

Upon returning to Texas, Bennet hired Eugenia to work for him as a wine consultant, and then bought two vineyards: Finca Austin and Finca la Passion. Working together, the duo formulated two wines, Tierra de Gaucho and Estado Natural.

Soon after, the two were married and opened El Gaucho Winery on top of a hill in 2015.

El Gaucho's Wine Selection and Classes

El Gaucho Estado Natural Wine

El Gaucho's Estado Natural is best enjoyed on a softly lit patio

The winery offers 11 wines under two labels. Under the Tierra de Gaucho label, the winery produces a Malbec Reserva that arrived in fall 2018, as well as a regular Malbec. The grapes for the latter hail from the winery's vineyard just southeast of Mendoza, Argentina. Over 50,000 acres of land in Mendoza are dedicated to the production and cultivation of Malbec, making El Gaucho's Malbecs the can't-miss stars of this wine lineup.

El Gaucho's other label, Estado Natural, includes:

  • Torrontes
  • Chardonnay
  • Malbec Rosè
  • Sparkling Wine
  • Malbec Classico
  • Cabernet Classico
  • Malbec Reserve
  • Cabernet Reserve
  • Gran Reserve

With a wine list this diverse, everyone's bound to find a glass of something to sip.

Wine Class at El Gaucho Winery

Expand your wine knowledge with one of El Gaucho's wine classes

Guests can choose between a tasting flight, or the Light, Classico, Reserve, Sparkling, Gran Reserve, or single tasting menu options to savor on El Gaucho's expansive outdoor patio, or within the indoor tasting room.

And for those looking to level up their wine knowledge, the winery currently offers a fall wine class series the Sewells are hoping to extend into 2019. Don't miss the next class called Holiday Bubblies on Nov. 16, 2016. The class will cover how champagne, cava, prosecco, and sparkling wine are made, which types of grapes they are sourced from, and the flavor profiles, aromas, and quality of each. Holiday Bubblies is $115 per person and includes appetizers. Reservations are encouraged, as the classes fill up fast!

Sunday Argentine Asado Dinner

Sunday Argentinee Asado Dinner at El Gaucho Winery

Don't miss Sunday Argentine Asado Dinner at El Gaucho Winery

We need to talk about El Gaucho's Sunday Argentine Asado Dinner, made-to-order over an open fire by Chimichurri ATX every Sunday. At the head of this unique food operation is Rodolfo Sosa, founder and second-generation immigrant to Argentina.

Specifically, we need to talk about Lomito, a type of steak sandwich Sosa and his crew are serving up. It's considered to be a national treasure by some Argentinians, and for good reason. The popular sandwich features a giant hunk of Lomo steak, cheese, ham, lettuce, tomato, and a spicy mayo of sorts, all between two slices of bread. It's Argentinian comfort food at its best.

Chimichurri ATX also bakes empanadas from scratch every Sunday from El Gaucho's kitchen, and offers an array of authentic Argentinian desserts to satisfy your sweet tooth.

Whether you feel like wining and dining Argentinian style on a Friday night or Sunday afternoon, El Gaucho Winery is the hottest new destination for both.

21301 Cathy Lane, Spicewood, TX - Website


@dollarsaenz86 wants to know:

Have you been to El Gaucho Winery yet?

We always have unique content on the Austinot, and we love to give things away. You know, like CDs, event tickets and other cool stuff. We only send out our Best of the Austinot newsletter two times/month. It's where we give you a recap of our best articles and give stuff away. Interested? Subscribe to Best of the Austinot here!

The post Savor the Flavors of Argentina at El Gaucho Winery appeared first on The Austinot

ThoroughBread Bakes Loaves to Love in South Austin

Ryan Goebel Kneading Bread at ThoroughBread Austin

Ryan Goebel kneads the bread you need in your life (Credit: Sara Strick)

Wholesome. That's the word that rose to mind when I walked into south Austin's newest bakery, ThoroughBread. ThoroughBread's doughy delights were once available only by special delivery, or at coffee shop pop-ups hosted by Spokesman and Once Over.

Now baker and owner Ryan Goebel has opened the dearest little bread and cookie shop for Austinites to enjoy.

Wistful Wheaty Whiffs

Ryan Goebel Fresh Bread Bakery in Austin

Owner and baker Ryan Goebel bears bready offerings for Austin (Credit: Sara Strick)

I immediately craved Goebel's bread when I walked into a recent media preview and THAT SMELL wafted over me. That wholesome smell makes me nostalgic. Maybe it's all those field trips we took to the Wonder Bread factory as a kid–only much, much better.

The bread tastes as good as it smells. Goebel focuses heavily on sourdough or, in his words, the "holiest of bread." He bakes several variations of sourdough, including white, wheat, rye, and olive. The Austin baker also offers traditional white and wheat seeded loaves.

Goebel, a lifelong south Austin local, did the whole Austin musician thing, playing in bands for years. In 2015, he found himself wondering about the new life he could form as he returned to Austin after years on the road. He bought a bag of flour and confesses that he more or less failed at making delicious bread that first time.

No matter. He knew he was hooked.

Sourdough Softly Rising

ThoroughBread Fresh Baked Bread in South Austin

ThoroughBread piles on the goodness at its south Austin bakery (Credit: Paula Biehler PR)

Goebel is affable and immediately struck me as someone I'd be happy to, well, break bread with. He found more to baking bread than merely its comforting, feel-good qualities. As he explained, "There was something so scientific about the measurements and temperature regulations, and simultaneously creating something; like precision art."

He threw himself into reading about bread making, practicing and waiting months for the lightbulb-over-the-head moment. It all clicked once Goebel's brother, Matt, gave him the "Tartine Bread" cookbook by Chad Robertson. The lightbulb illuminated for Goebel.

Ryan Goebel Owner of ThouroughBread in Austin

Ryan Goebel loves baking bread this much (Credit: Sara Strick)

Goebel spent months perfecting each recipe by baking several variations of each one (and becoming everyone's favorite friend by sharing his test loaves).

Once he achieved doughy nirvana, circa 2016, good things began happening. One of his happy human guinea pigs offered to buy a loaf a week, and Goebel knew he was onto something. ThoroughBread launched with a few choice customers who kept spreading the word. Soon, Goebel expanded to delivery service within his 78704 zip code.

Cookie Creations

Fresh Cookies in South Austin

Cookies are another ThoroughBread treat (Credit: Sara Strick)

With a brick and mortar shop as his end goal, Goebel kept experimenting–now with cookies. He told me he likes to bake his cookies so they are crunchy on the outside and still a bit gooey inside. The chocolate chip pecan, which I consider the standard for any cookie peddler, is solid.

What stands out for me are his stuffed cookies, though. Among Goebel's sweet concoctions are a banana cookie stuffed with Nutella, and his version of a peanut butter and jelly cookie. I find basic jelly a bit gross, so I was delighted to hear he uses raspberry preserves in his cookies. The tartness and low ooze factor of the raspberry preserves complement the peanut butter well. It's like PBJ for grown ups.

Pop in to ThoroughBread

Making Bread at a Bakery in South Austin

Ryan Goebel embarks on the three-day process of baking his bread (Credit: Sara Strick)

The shop itself is humble and lends itself to a neighborly chat. The bread and cookies are phenomenal, but you know they will be as soon as that wholesome smell hits you right in the feels.

ThoroughBread opens its doors to the public today, Nov. 6, 2018. Stop by soon and feed your inner child.

1709 Bluebonnet Lane – Facebook


@theAustinot wants to know:

Where do you get fresh-baked bread in Austin?

We always have unique content on the Austinot, and we love to give things away. You know, like CDs, event tickets and other cool stuff. We only send out our Best of the Austinot newsletter two times/month. It's where we give you a recap of our best articles and give stuff away. Interested? Subscribe to Best of the Austinot here!

The post ThoroughBread Bakes Loaves to Love in South Austin appeared first on The Austinot

5 Austin Donut Shops That'll Make Your Eyes Glaze Over

Best Austin Donut Shops

Box full of delicious Austin donuts from Mrs. Johnson's Bakery

Whoever thought of deep frying dough and adding glaze did us all a favor. Glazed, plain, sprinkles or none, every form of this carby goodness is mouth-watering. Donuts have found a home in Austinite tummies. Here are our favorite Austin donut shops to satisfy your cravings!

1/ Little Lucy's

Little Lucy's Donuts Austin Texas

Mini donuts with dipping sauce by Little Lucy's (Credit: Little Lucy's Facebook)

If you've ever been on Rainey Street, I guarantee you've seen Little Lucy's pink food truck. The mini donuts, made fresh to order, come in a signature pink baggie, and the menu has a large variety of flavor combinations to choose from.

If you're more of a DIYer, you can choose your own toppings and dips to achieve epitome deliciousness.

74 Rainey St. – Website

2/ Zucchini Kill

Zucchini Kill Best Donuts in Austin

Zucchini Kill's Chocolate and Pumpkin Donut

Tucked away in North Loop next to Bistro Vonish, Zucchini Kill is a haven for gluten-free and vegan dessert lovers. This women-run shop creates donuts and other baked goodies from scratch. The ladies love music and are all talented musicians. This love travels to the baked goods themselves, which you'll notice in names given to them.

Flavors change frequently, so visit as often as you can.

701 E. 53rd St. Suite C – Website

3/ Master Donuts

Mermaid and Unicorn Donuts at Master Donuts in Austin

Mermaid and Unicorn Donuts! (Credit: Master Donuts Instagram)

Master Donuts' Riverside shop dishes out delightfully creative donuts. It's the go-to place for alphabet donuts in Austin! I mean, who wouldn't want to start their birthday with an edible greeting?

Keep an eye out for the rotating specials, like mermaid and unicorn donuts.

6100 E. Riverside Dr. #103 – Website

4/ Bougie's Donuts

Bougie's Donuts Delicious in Austin

Fresh and delicious donuts at Bougie's (Credit: Bougie's Donuts)

We all love Bougie's! The South Austin shop serves gourmet donuts along with the hot beverage that complements them best: coffee.

The warm, inviting shop is full of interesting flavors like chocolate bacon, double berry, and blueberry cake. Bougie's even serves a donut inspired by Homer Simpson, aptly named "The Homer."

5400 Brodie Lane – Website

➡ Keep reading: No Experience Necessary: Bougie's Donuts Serves Fresh, Creative Donuts and Coffee

5/ Mrs. Johnson's Bakery

Mrs. Johnson's Bakery Donuts in North Austin

Happy dozen of Mrs. Johnson's fresh donuts

No donut roundup is complete without Mrs. Johnsons Bakery! The iconic north Austin shop has been belting out classic donuts since 1948. It should be the first place you think of when midnight cravings hit. The shop's open all night long.

Starting at 8:45 p.m., you can grab hot-off-the-line donuts in a variety of classic flavors. The best part? The donuts are made right in front of you!

4909 Airport Blvd. – Website


@theAustinot wants to know:

What are your favorite Austin donut shops?

We always have unique content on the Austinot, and we love to give things away. You know, like CDs, event tickets and other cool stuff. We only send out our Best of the Austinot newsletter two times/month. It's where we give you a recap of our best articles and give stuff away. Interested? Subscribe to Best of the Austinot here!

The post 5 Austin Donut Shops That'll Make Your Eyes Glaze Over appeared first on The Austinot

9 Restaurants in the Raleigh-Durham Area to Get Your Sandwich Fix

When I was younger, I thought sandwiches were boring. Bread with just stuff in the middle was how I looked at it. Thankfully, with age, I wised up. Sandwiches can be fantastic! And I'm paying them more mind and am basking in our honeymoon phase. I have been exploring the world of sandwiches in the Research Triangle Area of North Carolina and am happy to share with you a list of winning sandwiches.

9 Restaurants in the Raleigh-Durham Area to Get Your Sandwich Fix

1. Na' Mean



Baht Mi; BBQ short rib, honey peanut sauce, chilies,
cucumber, mint, cilantro, pickled vegetables, KoKyu
chili sauce, crushed peanuts; $12
Upon pulling up to Na' Mean and seeing that it's tucked inside a quiet strip mall, I'm already smiling to myself. You may remember how I feel about strip mall gems. Just glancing at their creative menu made me happy. There were banh mi inspired sandwiches the first half of their menu, and noodle and salad bowls the second half. When I took my first bite of the "Baht Mi" sandwich, which has BBQ short rib, honey peanut sauce, chilies, cucumber, mint, pickled vegetables, and their housemade chili sauce, I was converted to a loyal fan. I am excited to work my way through the rest of the menu.


4823 Meadow Dr. Suite 108, Durham, NC 27713

2. Beasley's Chicken + Honey


Nashville Hot Chicken Sandwich; buttermilk bread
with house made pickles, iceberg lettuce
and buttermilk herb dressing; $8.50
(In the blurred background) Classic Chicken Sandwich;
iceberg lettuce, special sauce, potato bun; $6.50

Beasley's Chicken + Honey was my first experience of an Ashley Christensen restaurant and though I admired her from afar, eating at Beasley's endeared me to her work even more. I had been scouting the area for Nashville Style Hot CHicken and was almost certain that it doesn't exist in the area when I got wind of Beasley's Chicken + Honey having it on their menu. That spicy sandwich had me sweating in seconds, and yet, I'd go back for more. It hurt so dang good. I also tried their fried chicken sandwich, and what it lacked in spicy kick, it made up in uncomplicated pleasure. Mmm, that perfect crispy batter on the outside and the juicy chicken on the inside!

237 S Wilmington St, Raleigh, NC 27601

3. Raleigh Times

Bangin' Shrimp Po' Boy; seasoned fried shrimp, lettuce,
Vietnamese slaw, sesame oil,
and a spicy yum-yum sauce; $12.95

Far East Reuben; beer-braised corned beef,
collard green kimchi, swiss cheese,
special sauce on grilled rye; $11.95

One of my Austin friends, Patrick, would ask me if I made it to Raleigh Times anytime we caught up since I moved to the area. He kept mentioning their Reuben. I finally heeded his advice and tried their Reuben (blurred in the background of the photo above), and their shrimp po'boy. And I loved both their sandwiches so much that I'm certain I'll only order these two sandwiches when I return. Maybe future dining companions will broaden my experience by ordering other things that I can steal bites of, but I'm smitten with these two sandwiches. The Reuben had kimchi collard greens. I've yet to have a Reuben with collard greens, much less kimchi collard greens. It worked pretty well! The shrimp po'boy was just as delightful with their Vietnamese purple slaw. I highly recommend both sandwiches!

14 E Hargett St, Raleigh, NC 27601

4. Merritt's Grill

Merritt's Single BLT; toasted bread of your choice,
bacon, bacon, bacon, lettuce, tomato, mayo, salt,
pepper, and bacon; $7.15 / Extra $1.31 for avocado (worth it!)
I like when a restaurant or business does one thing so well, they can operate their business with just that one thing if they wanted to! Such is the case with Merritt's Grill and their BLT. They have other things on their menu aside from the BLT but really, just get the BLT. I add avocado to mine and have to refrain from humming happily as I eat this famed BLT sandwich.

1009 S Columbia St, Chapel Hill, NC 27515

5. Saltbox Seafood Joint

You can get amazingly fresh seafood at Saltbox Seafood Joint. Their fish sandwiches are topped with their slaw will have you excited to come back and order another. Order yours with a side of their hush honeys! 

608 N Mangum St, Durham, NC 27701

6. Sunrise Biscuit Kitchen


When in the South, you must partake in the chicken biscuit sandwich. And if you're in the Research Triangle Area, the place for chicken biscuit sandwiches is an unassuming drive-thru establishment opened only for breakfast and lunch, called Sunrise Biscuit Kitchen. I've learned this humble establishment has become somewhat of an institution for the chicken biscuit sandwich. I decided to order my chicken biscuit with added pimento cheese, to give it another layer of Southern charm, and because I'm a glutton, I ordered a hash brown and slipped it into my sandwich. Um, if that's too much for you to handle, just the chicken biscuit will probably make you happy too!

1305 E Franklin St, Chapel Hill, NC 27514

7. Lula's

Fried Chicken Thigh Biscuit Sandwich
My favorite chicken biscuit sandwich in Chapel Hill is from Lula's. They just opened on Franklin St. and have been quite impressive. Their Fried Chicken Thigh Biscuit Sandwich is my go-to order. The fried chicken thigh is drizzled with the same house-made spun sage honey they give out with their biscuits. The sandwich is bigger than my head and is so reasonably priced! Look out for their fried shrimp sandwich that they have occasionally on special!

101 E Franklin St, Chapel Hill, NC 27514

8. Grub Durham


Beer-Battered Oyster Mushroom Sandwich
Who knew a vegetarian sandwich can look this enticing? Grub Durham makes a beautiful beer-battered mushroom sandwich with feta cheese and sriracha ranch! What a winning combination! I've also tried and liked their Reuben sandwiches!

1200 W Chapel Hill St, Durham, NC 27701

9. Eastcut Sandwiches

This adorable new sandwich shop in Durham is a popular and casual new addition to Durham. I went recently for the first time and loved everything about my order. The buffalo chicken sandwich with curly fries. I didn't realize how long it had been since I enjoyed curly fries! Simple pleasures, my friends, simple pleasures.


3211 Old Chapel Hill Road
Durham, NC 27707

Over to you now! Did I miss your favorite sandwich? If you're not from the RDU area, please comment and tell me about your favorite sandwich.

Follow my eating adventures and happenings on Instagram. You can also see what is catching my attention in the food world on Twitter and Facebook.

The post 9 Restaurants in the Raleigh-Durham Area to Get Your Sandwich Fix appeared first on Girl Eats World.

The Austinot Weekend Concert Picks: Nov. 2-3, 2018

Austinot Weekend Concert Picks Nov 2 2018

Another week, another weekend! As we come down from the costumed chaos, it's time to get back in the groove of live, local music. This weekend, we recommend a rad music fest, Jim Morrison-tinged psych rock, and early 2000s-era emo rock. Dive in, stalwart music fans–and listen local!

Friday, Nov. 2

Dawn and Hawkes Band Austin

Dawn and Hawkes (Credit: Jackie Lovato)

UTOPiAfest w/Luka Nelson, Wild Child, The Deer, Trouble in the Streets, Dawn and Hawkes, and other non-local artists

@ Reveille Peak Ranch (105 CR 114, Burnet, TX) – 12:45 to 11 p.m. – Tickets

With three days chock-full of musical goodness, it was hard to pick one day of UTOPiAfest to profile. This year's event features a diverse and exciting lineup of locals, and non-locals alike.

While technically California-based, Lukas Nelson's rad country/rock has Austin roots and heads a long list of incredible acts. Highlights include the experimental folk of The Deer, rap/rock stalwarts Trouble in the Street, and the touching folk two-some Dawn and Hawkes.

NOTE: As of this writing, full weekend passes are still available.

Saturday, Nov. 3


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Mama Bear Music (@mamabearmusic) on

The Cuckoos w/Doom Lagoon, Satalights

@ The Electric Church (5018 E. Cesar Chavez) – 9 p.m. – $5

With psychedelic guitar squeal, trippy organ vamps, and brooding vocals plucked straight from the '70s, The Cuckoos elevate the notion of being a "retro act," through solid song craft and style. While the group's most obvious influence would be The Doors, the band blends lengthy guitar solos and soul into Jim Morrison-soaked growling head rock. The sort of band perfect for hazy evenings of mind-expanding introspection.

Also playing are Omaha-based off-beat rock band Doom Lagoon and ATX space rockers Satalights.

Honey & Salt w/Stagehorn, Dexorah, A.M. Feelgood

Honey and Salt Band Austin

Honey and Salt (Credit: Kelly Ngo)

@ Mohawk Inside (912 Red River) – 8 p.m. – Tickets

Hard driving emo rock with shades of Cartel and Saves the Day, Honey & Salt combines the best of the genre with complex rhythms and rhymes. "Simple Errors" channels early Taking Back Sundayt, while the cleverly titled "A Nihilist Takes Up Knitting" shines with soaring drums, indie rock guitar squeal and lead vocalist Wade Allen's dramatic emo scream. If you have a soft spot in your heart for early 2000's emo, then this electric four-piece will more than deliver.

Also playing are local post-rock band A.M. feelgood, McAllen-based prog act DEZORAH, and Illinois-based experimental spoken word/post-punk outfit Staghorn.


@theAustinot wants to know:

Where are you going for live music in Austin this weekend?

We always have unique content on the Austinot, and we love to give things away. You know, like CDs, event tickets and other cool stuff. We only send out our Best of the Austinot newsletter two times/month. It's where we give you a recap of our best articles and give stuff away. Interested? Subscribe to Best of the Austinot here!

The post The Austinot Weekend Concert Picks: Nov. 2-3, 2018 appeared first on The Austinot

Austin Roller Rink Provides Rock and Rolling Good Time for All Ages

Austin Roller Rink Skate

Are you ready to lace up and feel like a kid again? (Credit: Kurt Larson)

Guest article by Katrina Cervantes

Austin Roller Rink is tucked away behind Southside Flying Pizza on Manchaca. While it can be hard to find, it's easy to love. Usually, whenever I tell people I'm off to a night of skating at Austin Roller Rink, I'm met with a wistful nostalgia. "The last time I went, I was a kid," they'd say.

Thankfully, we need not reminisce in perpetual longing for our younger, more carefree days. Austin Roller Rink is accessible to the inner child in all of us.

Family-owned Business

80s themed party at Austin Roller Rink

Patrons arriving for an '80s-themed party (Credit: B Turner Photography)

Austin Roller Rink has been a neighborhood staple since 2010. It's family-owned and operated. The business has even been featured on Discovery Channel, and was deemed "Best SXSW Venue" in 2015 by Rolling Stone magazine.

All of the employees act as a tight-knit family. As a frequent patron for a few months now, I can testify that the family and community atmosphere is strong. I see the same smiling faces from week to week, and it's fun watching new skaters improve. Year round, employees and regulars throw birthday parties there, knowing all of their friends will be ready to celebrate at the drop of a hat.

Party and Event Space

Roller skating dance moves at Austin Roller Rink

An employee takes a break to show us some dance moves (Credit: Kurt Larson)

With three private party rooms, as well as a VIP section right next to the skate floor available for rent, Austin Roller Rink is the perfect venue for your celebratory needs. Parties are held during normal business hours. Or if you want to go all out, the entire rink is available for private rental on Mondays and Tuesdays.

In addition to hosting its own events and theme nights, such as Ugly Christmas Sweater parties and foam parties, the rink has also served as a venue for fundraisers, business promotions, music events, and even amateur MMA fighting.

All Ages Fun

arcade games at Austin Roller Rink

Play arcade games if you want to take a skate break (Credit: Kurt Larson)

The schedule is intentionally structured, so guests of diverse ages can enjoy what Austin Roller Rink has to offer. There are designated times for open skate and family skate. And even though all ages are welcome on Friday nights, it's a favorite for teens to gather with friends.

The rink holds adult night twice a week on Wednesdays and Sundays. It's an 18+ event, and those of legal drinking age are free to bring their own alcoholic beverages. It's perfect if you want to drink, dance, and have a good time with your friends. But you have the added challenge of practicing an activity that requires balance, agility, and stamina.

There is always a DJ spinning during adult night. The music selection is often a mix of hip hop, R&B, funk, and occasionally disco. If there's a song you and your friends are excited to jam out to, then make a request!

Pro-tip: Bringing your own skates to consistently practice with will help you improve more quickly. You may be able to find a nice pair of used rollerblades or quads at a used sports store like Play It Again Sports, or in the sports section of Goodwill. You may also be able to find knee pads, elbow pads, and wrist guards at the thrift store. It doesn't cost extra to borrow some rink skates, if you don't have your own.

Halloween Costume Contest

Because of the rink's quirky, retro feel, it's normal to spot a few wacky costumes there, especially roller disco outfits, no matter the time of year. However, this Halloween evening for adult night, a secret prize for the best costume is bound to motivate the masses to put their finest disguises on display.

Do you think you have what it takes to skate in costume?

11600 Manchaca Road – Website


@theAustinot wants to know:

When was the last time you roller skated?


Katrina Cervantes paints, writes, is a massage therapist, and lives with a few goats and a sweet donkey named Lucy. Keep up with her travels at passageablaze.com.

We always have unique content on the Austinot, and we love to give things away. You know, like CDs, event tickets and other cool stuff. We only send out our Best of the Austinot newsletter two times/month. It's where we give you a recap of our best articles and give stuff away. Interested? Subscribe to Best of the Austinot here!

The post Austin Roller Rink Provides Rock and Rolling Good Time for All Ages appeared first on The Austinot

Meet All the Local Businesses at The LINC in North Austin

AFS Cinema Theater in Austin

AFS Cinema shows independent and themed films at The Linc in North Austin (Credit: AFS Cinema)

Guest article by Camellia Falcon

If you need a break from tracking down a charged scooter, then soothe your frazzled nerves with an outing to The LINC. The LINC is a one-stop entertainment destination in a former outdoor shopping center (read: it has parking). This north Austin venue offers plenty of fun with one turn of the ignition or a rideshare trip.

Long ago, Austinites flocked to a place known as Lincoln Village to get outfitted for prom or do a quick workout. Times changed, and Lincoln Village emptied out, save for a few holdouts like FedEx and Men's Warehouse that are still there today.

But in 2013, Mazuma Holdings bought the property with the intention of giving Austin businesses a place to expand, especially given other redevelopment in the area.

The LINC shopping and entertainment center

The LINC shopping and entertainment center

Five years in and The LINC is now a reliable place to experience a variety of local flavor. If you're new to the area, we're here to make your first visit easy by mapping out ideas for a leisurely, Austin-focused few hours at The LINC.

Trip 1: Get Creative

Lima Criolla

Lima Criolla Peruvian Food Austin

Lima Criolla serves Peruvian food at The LINC

Before you start your LINC day, you need to fuel up with a hearty meal. For that, you can't go wrong with Lima Criolla. Lima Criolla is a Peruvian restaurant that relocated to TThe LINC from the former Highland Mall.

As one of few places serving non-Mexican Latin food in Austin, Lima Criolla will help you get creative with your food rotation. Serving hearty meat dishes, rich food, and a side of something starchy, this local restaurant will serve you well for the rest of your LINC adventure.

For specific recommendations, check out The Austinot's Lima Criolla review.

6406 N. Interstate 35 Frontage Road, Suite #1550 – Website

Austin Creative Reuse

Austin Creative Reuse

Crafting supplies at Austin Creative Reuse

With your stomach full and your creative juices flowing, head around the corner to Austin Creative Reuse where you can let your inner artist loose. Austin Creative Reuse is a nonprofit that runs this store to promote conservation and reuse.

The organization accepts donations of abandoned craft materials, and items that can be reused or upcycled into new creations. The team then sells donations, so you can make your creative visions come true.

Need 200 brown containers to construct a massive dinosaur for your front yard? Head to Austin Creative Reuse. Need a new-to-you pencil (or 20) to write your novel? This is the place.

If you need ideas for your project, visit the store's Pinterest or attend a workshop.

6406 N. Interstate 35 Frontage Road, Suite #1801 – Facebook

My Salon Suite/Big Joy's Wigs Beauty Supply

Freak Flag by Iana LINC

Give your hair a creative hue (Credit: Iana Wi/freakflag by iana)

If your crafting abilities don't live up to your expectations, or you're just ready to BE the art, then head over to My Salon Suite. Independent beauty professionals rent space to serve their clients, with stylists, barbers, and makeup and lash professionals all available.

Maybe visit Jess Braids for a new hair-do (Suite #106) or freakflag by iana (Suite #107) who will give your hair (or Halloween wig) a cut and creative hue.

If this was a spur of the moment decision and you need hair or a wig for your venture, then head to Big Joy's Wigs Beauty Supply (Suite #2700), where you'll find the items you need.

6406 N. Interstate 35 Frontage Road – Website

Trip 2: Let the Good Times Roll

AFS Cinema/Austin Film Society

AFS Cinema North Austin

Credit: Ellen Bruxvoort

For this trip, start at AFS Cinema and buy a ticket for a show that night. The LINC is home to Austin Film Society, which not only has a movie theater showing independent and themed movies, full bar, and comfortable lobby to visit with friends, but is also a nonprofit that supports local and future filmmaking talent through education and showcases.

Aside from the feel-good vibes of supporting this nonprofit, the movies and screenings are just plain fun. For example, this past weekend, AFS Cinema screened films all related to cats. So fitting since the space–formerly The Marchesa Theater–was once home to the world-famous Acro-Cats show!

6406 N. Interstate 35 Frontage Road, Suite #3100 – Website


Vivo Menu Austin

We recommend Vivo's puffy tacos

With your ticket in hand, congratulate yourself on a great film choice by heading to Vivo for pre-movie food and drink. Vivo was one of the first businesses to move to The LINC, after a long time as an underrated Tex-Mex favorite on Manor Road.

While many items on the menu won't be a surprise in Austin, be sure to try the puffy tacos. Happy hour lasts until 7 p.m., making this an ideal post-work destination. Monday brunch is also available, for those times when you aren't ready for the weekend to end.

6406 N. Interstate 35 Frontage Road, Suite #2343 – Website


Pluckers LINC Austin

Pluckers first Austin location in 10 years at The LINC

After you've finished your movie, head around the corner to another hometown hero, Pluckers. Pluckers opened a location at The LINC in May 2018, the first new Austin location in 10 years.

This Pluckers is the cool younger brother of the other locations, with a large outdoor patio where you can sit with a drink, and calculate how much gas and mental energy you saved by heading to The LINC.

6406 N. Interstate 35 Frontage Road, Suite #2949 – Website

Trip 3: Travel to the Future (Coming Soon)

Easy Tiger

Easy Tiger The LINC in North Austin

Soak in the outdoors at Easy Tiger's latest location at The Linc (Credit: Easy Tiger)

The LINC will soon be home to two new restaurants. The first is the latest outpost of Easy Tiger. This will diversify The LINC's offerings even more, with the addition of a drive-through coffee bar, live music, and baking classes. This location of Easy Tiger is currently set to open at the end of November 2018.

6406 N. Interstate 35 Frontage Road, Suite #1100 – Website

Tio Pepe

Tio Pepe Chicken The LINC

Tio Pepe Chicken will open soon at The LINC

The second upcoming restaurant is a new offering that follows the Portuguese tradition of chicken served with a selection of Peri-Peri sauces. Tio Pepe projects its opening for Nov. 2, 2018.

6406 N Interstate 35 Frontage Rd, Suite #2510 – Website

From these trip ideas, you'll see there are several fun combinations to be had. On The Austinot's scouting trip, we encountered women making headpieces, a reunion of old friends, a family grabbing lunch before a movie, and several football-focused groups. Said differently, multiple versions of a classic Austin weekend were happening, all within a few paces of each other. See you there!


@theAustinot wants to know:

How would you spent your day at The LINC?


Camellia "AuntieCam" Falcon is a financial consultant by day and "half-native" Austinite at all other times. She can be found dancing, biking, and spoiling her littles around Austin, or asking herself tough questions at Auntiecam.com.

We always have unique content on the Austinot, and we love to give things away. You know, like CDs, event tickets and other cool stuff. We only send out our Best of the Austinot newsletter two times/month. It's where we give you a recap of our best articles and give stuff away. Interested? Subscribe to Best of the Austinot here!

The post Meet All the Local Businesses at The LINC in North Austin appeared first on The Austinot