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PDQ (aka “People Dedicated to Quality”) the award-winning restaurant with two locations in Austin and many many devotees, has just announced a bunch of new menu items that have us counting down the minutes to an acceptable lunchtime.

Fans of the restaurant know that the food is ready fast, but that’s where the comparisons to “fast food” end. The new dishes were created by PDQ Executive Chef Michael Brannock and Chef Bryce Bonsack, and include seasonal bowls like the Thai Peanut and Smokehouse BBQ with hand-fried pickles, and premium chicken sandwiches like the Southern Pimento Crunch and Grilled Hawaiian. There are also four new salads, including a healthy Garden Citrus salad and a new Kale Caesar, with shaved brussels sprouts and shaved Parmesan, Asiago, and Romano cheeses.

They’re also rolling out unique sides like roasted garlic broccoli, oven-roasted sweet potatoes with marshmallow fluff and pecans, and hand-breaded fresh zucchini fries. Nearly everything on the menu features PDQ’s 14 homemade sauces and dressings, all made from scratch in-house every day.

PDQ is open for lunch and dinner seven days a week and each location has dine-in, take-out, drive-thru, and event catering. Ok, that’s enough talk about food, we’re off to eat some zucchini fries …

This is exactly the kind of thing that Austin does best: a day of great food, drinks, and music. If you’re a foodie—and who isn’t these days?—come spend the day at The Domain and see what the various restaurants at the shopping mecca have to offer. The 10th Annual Taste of North Austin is an all-day family food festival that will feature delectable tastes, beverage sampling, free live music, children’s entertainment, and lots of fabulous shopping. Guests who want to go all-out for the VIP experience will get a goody bag, complimentary drinks, and access to the swanky VIP lounge.

Balloon twisters, caricature artists, and crafts will be on hand for the kids.

When: Saturday, June 10th

Time: 11 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Cost: Live music and children’s entertainment are free. Wristbands are $20 and include 10 tastes. The VIP experience is an additional $15. Beer and wine will be available for purchase at select restaurant booths.

Location:
Domain II
3225 Amy Donovan Plaza
Austin, TX 78758

Call 512-873-8099 or click here for more information. For the latest deals, contests, and event information at The Domain, click here.

 

If you haven’t taken the kids to Austin’s Park N Pizza yet, the fam is missing out. Imagine the arcade and Go Kart track of your youth, and then multiply it by about 100. This massive entertainment center in Pflugerville is officially the largest in Central Texas (23 acres!). They already have bowling, three Go Kart tracks, 18-holes of mini-golf, rides, laser tag, and two restaurants, but they’ve just announced more attractions.

The XD Dark Ride Motion Theater is a fully interactive 7D adventure for up to eight riders at a time. The XD Theater includes special effects, wind machines, strobe lights, and rapid motion seats. Participants will grab their own blaster guns and compete for scores as they fight against on-screen enemies.

There are six brand-new climbing walls reaching over 28-feet high and featuring a variety of climbing surfaces: metal, piping, and a zipper climb, all illuminated with LED lighting.

Finally, the arcade has been expanded by 3,000 square feet and 25 new video and prize games have been added to an already expansive selection.

Get the crew out there this summer and see all the craziness for yourselves .

 

 

 

 

Look at that beauty, would you? She could be all yours! (Are bikes “she” like boats? Well, we’re going with it.)

Bike Austin’s annual Bike to Work Day (B2WD) is next Friday, May 19, and it’s an amazing way to see a whole new side of our city.

To celebrate this year’s event, we’ve partnered with one of our favorite local bike shops, Bicycle Sports Shop, as well as the nonprofit group behind the annual B2WD event, Bike Austin, to host a special giveaway featuring a brand spankin’ new 2017 Lookfar bike. It has a retail value of $529.99 and is available in Black or Cadet Blue. The Lookfar makes cruising and commuting easy and is great for all levels. One simple trigger shifter changes the gears up-or-down through all 7-speeds, and 42mm-wide Continental tires feel fast on smooth ground while still confidently handling rough terrain. To read more about your future bike (fingers crossed!) click here.

To enter, just fill out this B2WD 2017 pledge-to-ride form anytime now to 11:59 p.m. on Monday, May 15. One lucky winner will be chosen at random. Good luck, people!

The mission of Bike To Work Day is to attract new cyclists to commute while rewarding those who already do so. Not only do commuters improve the community by decreasing traffic congestion and reducing air pollution, but cycling commuters are proven to arrive at work more alert and in better health.

To encourage citywide participation, Bike Austin has partnered with over 45 local businesses across Austin to participate as official “fueling stations” for participants to visit during their morning commute to work. These partners will offer various gifts to participating riders, including free coffee, small snacks, merch, and swag, from 7:00 to 9:30 a.m during the day of the event.

Notable fueling stations include Flyrite Chicken, who will offer a free tall-boy Lonestar Beer to cyclists (21+) that bike through its drive-thru at either the East 7th or the new Burnet locations; Bikealot, who in partnership with Austin Massage Company will be offering quick “body tune-ups” throughout the morning; Bouldin Creek Cafe, will be serving up tasty breakfast tacos, muffins, house-made granola and fresh fruit; and Houndstooth Coffee, who are offering free 12oz iced coffees on the patio at their Downtown location. Other key stations include Juiceland; Whole Foods Market; Bicycle Sport Shop; Livestrong Foundation; and as well as Jugo, who are set to offer riders complimentary fresh-pressed juice; and City Hall, the largest fueling station each year hosting over 10 booths onsite including TacoDeli, who will also be offering some of their beloved tacos to participating riders.

They’re also bringing back the beloved B2WD Passport Program, in which 2017 riders will receive a specially created passport to collect unique stamps from each fueling station. Each stamp will enter cyclists into a raffle for numerous door prize drawings at the after-party, such as goodie bags and gift cards from Birds Barbershop, Rhythm Superfoods, Bennu Coffee, and more.

This year’s 2017 B2WD After-Party will be held at the Google Fiber Space on Friday evening starting at 5:00 p.m. At the after-party, participants will be offered complimentary beverages including beer from Hops & Grain Brewing, along with bites from Verts. All Austin cyclists are encouraged to stop by and partake in the community-wide event—no RSVP required.

Here’s the full list of fueling stations:

  • Alliance Transportation
  • Austin Cake Ball
  • B Cycle
  • Baby Greens
  • Bennu Coffee
  • Bicycle Sport Shop
  • Bikealot/Austin Massage Company
  • Birds Barbershop/Torchy’s Tacos
  • Bouldin Creek Cafe/Please Be Kind to Cyclists
  • City Hall
  • Cuvee Coffee
  • Cycleast
  • Dia’s Market
  • Easy Rider Pedicab
  • Easy Street & Monkey Wrench Bikes
  • Flyrite Chicken
  • Foreflight
  • Ghisallo Cycling Initiative
  • Hops and Grain Brewing
  • Houndstooth
  • Jugo
  • Juiceland
  • Kramer Station/Alliance Transportation Group
  • Livestrong Foundation
  • Mellow Johnny’s
  • Michael F. Adams Station @ Mueller
  • Quack’s Bakery
  • Rhythm Superfoods
  • South Austin Medical Center
  • Thunderbird Coffee
  • TownLake YMCA
  • Upper Crust Bakery
  • Volunteer (Randy Greenberg)
  • Wheatsville Coop
  • Whole Foods Market

 

 

If you can’t get yourself and your giant hat to Louisville this year, don’t fret—the Austin version is every bit as fun. The third-annual Derby in the City Music Festival, an event that fuses everybody’s favorite horse race with live music, is the best way to catch the 143rd running of the Kentucky Derby in Austin. This is, by far, the biggest Race for the Roses party in the city. Dress to impress and head downtown for an amazing lineup of live music featuring Black Pistol Fire, Sweet Spirit, Los Coast, The Watters, and headliner Citizen Cope with his full band!

The 3rd Annual Derby In The City Music Festival

Odd Duck will be crafting their Makers Mark mint julep, Kentucky mules, and other fabulous cocktails and there will be a solid beer list with Oskar Blues, Odell Brewing, Sierra Nevada, Deep Ellum Brewing, and Schilling Cider. Also check out the food trucks and massive Jockey Club Tent with flat screen TVs.

When: Saturday, May 6th

Time: Gates – 1:30 p.m. | Festival Ends – 9:30 p.m.

Cost: General Admission Tickets – $31.50 for a limited time – price increase coming soon!

VIP –  $100, includes:
  • Intimate area tucked beneath the oak trees for the ultimate shaded experience
  • Complimentary food provided by Odd Duck
  • Complimentary massages provided by Austin Massage Company
  • Dedicated bar with exclusive choices not available in general admission area
  • UPGRADED Luxury VIP toilet station
  • Ticket holders receive a swanky VIP GIFT BAG with access to exclusive discounts, products and experiences from companies/merchants such as Kendra Scott, Odd Duck, Austin Massage Company, Soul Cycle and more
  • Tables and chairs for seating (seating on a first-come basis)
  • Complimentary bottled water
Location:
Austin American Statesman
305 S. Congress Ave.

The problem with traditional exercise is that it never involves food—amiright? Luckily this has been rectified by John Hancock Hosts the Cooking Light & Health Fit Foodie Festival & 5K, just the sort of fitness event that a food-obsessed town like Austin can really get behind. Runners will eat their way to the finish line with healthy and amazing bites at every mile, then celebrate at the post-race John Hancock Vitality Village Food and Fitness Festival.

Billed as “the most delicious run ever” (and really, who can argue with that?), the Fit Food Festival & 5K will be serving up a ton of fun on Saturday, May 20, 2017 at Old Settlers Park in Round Rock. The mouthwatering festival proves that a calorie burned is a calorie earned and brings the pages of Cooking Light and Health to life to help you achieve a balance of delicious, healthy food and a fun, active lifestyle.

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Inside the John Hancock Vitality Village Food and Fitness Festival, runners will be rewarded for making healthy choices with bites from local restaurants, a beer and wine garden, mini-workout classes, cooking demonstrations, meet-and-greets with John Hancock elite athletes—Olympic marathoners Ryan Hall and Desiree Linden, and more.

Your registration includes:

· Race registration and bib
· Bites at each mile
· Finisher’s medal
· Delicious tasting stations
· Goody bag with gifts from top health and wellness brands
· Cash reward for top finishers
· Included donation to No Kid Hungry

An invaluable part of the Fit Foodie journey is giving back to the community, which is why the series has teamed up with No Kid Hungry as the Official Charity with the mission to encourage runners to form teams, fundraise, and increase awareness for No Kid Hungry. The No Kid Hungry campaign connects kids in need with nutritious food and teaches their families how to cook healthy, affordable meals and also engages the public to make ending child hunger a national priority.

Race registration is open now, so click here to sign up! The cost starts at $35 per person and goes up to $45 on April 17. Spectators receive complimentary admission to the post-race festival.

When: Saturday, May 20th

Time: 8-11:30 a.m.

Location:
Old Settlers Park
3300 E Palm Valley Blvd.
Round Rock, TX 78665

Hours and hours of live music in the summer is great, but in Texas we always have the issue of it being roughly one thousand degrees. Well, no matter. The brilliant people behind Float Fest have solved that problem for everyone—float the river first, then music! It’s nature’s air conditioning.

float fest

Everyone’s favorite concert/festival/tubing adventure just announced its line up and this year’s bands include: Zedd, Weezer, Cage The Elephant, MGMT, Passion Pit, Mac Miller, just to name a few.

This wet, wild, and weird adventure will take place July 22nd and 23rd in San Marcos, Texas.

Here’s how it all works:

The gates at Cool River Ranch open at 10 a.m. to all tubers on Saturday and Sunday. Once you show up you will be pointed toward the box office where you can redeem your tubing passes, camping passes, and concert tickets. If you are camping you can check in to your campsite starting on Friday at 2pm-8pm. See our Tubing and Camping page for more information on camping. Once you get your wristbands we will have a large tent and tubing staging area near the box office that tubers will wait for the shuttles. Once your turn arrives to hop on the shuttle, the shuttle will take you a few miles up river and drop you off at our river drop in location. Then, you FLOAT about 2 1/2 miles back to Cool River Ranch. The FLOAT takes about 2.5-4 hours so come prepared! Once you arrive at Cool River Ranch river exit you will be directed up the hill to the concert gates! Feel free to go back to your car and change or whatever you need to do before you come party at the concert.

float fest

Click here to learn more about the weekend and to purchase your tickets. This event really is worth planning your whole summer around—so get your crew organized.

 

You may have been thinking the last thing Austin needs is another food festival, but you would be wrong—oh so wrong—to think that. Because the Hot Luck Festival isn’t just another festival, it’s the brainchild of barbecue hero Aaron Franklin, Mohawk owner James Moody, and Mike Thelin, the cofounder of Feast Portland. As the press release says, “together they have curated a Texas-sized get-together featuring world-class culinary talent and a true Austin live music experience.”

Here’s the concept, in a nutshell:

Hot Luck is a chef-driven, celebration of fire, food, music, and camaraderie. An a la carte eat-with-your-fingers picnic and party experience that highlights open-pit feats of culinary know how, and music in your ears that is as thoughtfully created as the food on your plate. Come hungry, thirsty, and bring your dancin’ boots.

Click here to buy your tickets.

When: May 18-21

Where: Hot Luck consists of more than seven events that will be held at various locations centered around Downtown Austin. and throughout the city.

And here’s a list of all the chefs who are participating:

Adam Perry Lang, APL Restaurant (New York); Adam Sappington, The Country Cat (Portland); Alex Stupak, Empellón (New York); Andy Ricker, Pok Pok (Portland); Roy Choi, Kogi BBQ Truck (Los Angeles); Joshua McFadden, Ava Gene’s (Portland); Joshua Pinsky, Momofuku (New York); Matthew Rudofker, Momofuku (New York); and Nong Poonsukwattana, Nong’s Khao Man Gai (Portland).

Chris Shepherd, Underbelly (Houston); Jason Dady, Jason Dady Restaurants (San Antonio); John Tesar, Knife at The Highland Dallas (Dallas); Rebecca Masson, Fluff Bake Bar (Houston); and Steve McHugh, Cured (San Antonio).

Aaron Franklin, Franklin Barbecue; Andrew Wiseheart, Contigo; Bryce Gilmore, Odd Duck; Callie Speer, Bombshell; Chad Dolezal, The Hightower; David Bull, Second Bar + Kitchen; David Norman, Easy Tiger; Fiore Tedesco, L’Oca d’Oro; Jason Stude, Boiler Nine Bar + Grill; Jesse Griffiths, Dai Due; Kevin Fink, Emmer & Rye; Laura Sawicki, Launderette; Michael Fojtasek, Olamaie; Michael Paley, Central Standard; Miguel Vidal, Valentina’s Tex-Mex BBQ; Philip Speer, Bonhomie; Rene Ortiz, Launderette; Sarah McIntosh, Épicerie Café & Grocery; Tatsu Aikawa, Kemuri Tatsu-Ya; Todd Duplechan, Lenoir; Tyson Cole, Hai Hospitality; and Yoshi Okai, Otoko.

Photo by John Valls.

Euphoria -a feeling or state of intense excitement and happiness

Article by: Chris Allen for 365 Things Austin

Euphoria– happening April 6-9th, 2017- has announced the full line-up for its annual multi-pronged festival and now awaits the arrival of an estimated 50,000 plus enthusiastic attendees. Now in its 6th year, the increasingly popular celebration- situated at Carson Creek Ranch on the banks of the Colorado River- boasts not only a mightily diverse musical line-up, but also non-stop creative stimulation ranging from art installations to yoga to late night ‘silent discos.’

The outdoor festival- one of the largest music fests in Austin- showcases a mélange of inventive cross-disciplinary talent. Although the sounds from the stages are the crown jewel of Euphoria, there are also daily seminars and workshops. The ‘Art Outside Village‘ promises installations, performances and interactive elements. They will even be conducting wedding ceremonies this year for couples looking to take the plunge on festival grounds.

Elements Experience 4

The musician’s slate is supremely varied, with acts ranging from Zeds Dead to Wiz Khalifa to Moby (and much in between). “From top to bottom, this is Euphoria’s most amazing lineup to date,” says festival producer Mitch Morales. “We have major players, institutions, exciting up-and-comers and even a GRAMMY nominee – all of which cross a multitude of genres, yet still reside within our euphoric musical vibe. I cannot wait to host our festival family, both new and old, again this April.” The complete lineup is now available online.

They have also announced an eco-friendly green initiative- dubbed Ecophoria– with a list of programs and priorities in order to ensure the natural space hosting the festival remains beautiful and vibrant. Euphoria will be partnered with Keep Austin Beautiful, adopting Carson Creek for a pre-festival cleanup.

Tickets are available via a tier system, allowing a range of choices to fit your needs. Whether you’re cruising up in your RV and plugging in, camping out, hitching a ride, day passing or wish to ‘glamp’ in the trees with a Tentstile hanging tent (looks as fun as it sounds), your Euphoria experience can be tailored to your impulse.

Bag your tickets now and join thousands for the “state of intense excitement and happiness” that Euphoria pledges.

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If you love fishing but don’t have your own boat, we have the best recommendation for you. Rowing Dock, on Lady Bird Lake, has just launched their new Fishing Kayak Rental program.

Their fishing specific kayaks are perfectly outfitted with a stadium style seat, rod holders, recessed tackle box storage, anchors, and a center console for rigging fish finders and other tools to help you haul in a big catch! Bring your own rod, reel, and bait and let Rowing Dock take care of the rest.

For more information on renting a fishing kayak in Austin visit Rowing Dock’s FAQ section.

GIVEAWAY: Sign up here for a chance to win a half day fishing kayak rental for two.

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