Five Great Gifts For Father’s Day
It’s almost time to honor your paterfamilias again
By Wayne Alan Brenner,
8:00AM, Mon. Jun. 6, 2022
“O mein Papa,” as the old German tune goes, “to me he was so wonderful.”
If that’s the case, especially if it holds true today, you may currently be looking for a proper treat for the old man, for when Father’s Day comes ’round on June 19.
Not to be overly paternal about it, but we’ve compiled a list of items to help mitigate that pesky tyranny of choice, here recommending a diversity of goods (available at a diversity of prices) to narrow your options to a more manageable array.
1) FUEGO BOX
We enjoy – oh, boy howdy, we fuckin’ love – hot sauce here at the Austin Chronicle. It’s why we’ve run that Hot Sauce Festival for the past 31 years, celebrating so many locally wrought concoctions, cheering on the goodness of, for instance, Yellowbird and Ghost Scream and 3Sons; and, tangentially, shouting out the upscale yum of Truff, since those peppery bros moved to town; and so on. And if your particular Pops is among the aficionados of capsaicin creativity, we reckon nothing’s gonna float his flavor boat higher than a hot-sauce-of-the-month subscription. That’s where Fuego Box comes in, with its focus on discovering and sharing the tastiest craft and small-batch hot sauces from all over the planet. Suggest: Click on over to their website and check out the various levels of subscription available – from easily affordable to oh-my-we’re-living-all-fancy-now, from the milder brews to some aieeeee-my-mouth-is-on-fire mind-warpers, with every boxed curation bringing you (or your lucky father) the very best of global culinary heat.
2) SON OF A SAILOR
Dads like leather, even if they’re not definably Leather Daddies themselves, right? And so you want to get your father a gift of shiny, shiny leather? Or even perfectly matte leather, all rugged yet stylish like the man himself? We’re recommending Jessica Tata & William Knopp’s Son of a Sailor emporium in the ever-compelling Canopy compound (916 Springdale) for such shopping, as that husband-and-wife couple (and their equally skilled assistants) make so many of the displayed goods from scratch: wallets, knife holsters, billfolds, keychains, and more, all lovingly handmade right here in the ATX. Bonus: They offer plenty of goods from other high-end crafters, too, making for an enjoyable retail visit among the galleries and stores of that Eastside destination point.
3) AUSTIN HAIR INK & McGUIRE’S
Full disclosure: Unlike a certain John Erler, we’re no Latin scholars, so we didn’t start using the term “paterfamilias” until we’d heard it voiced by George Clooney in Joel & Ethan Coen’s O Brother, Where Art Thou? And, if you recall, that was also the movie that product-placed the brand of gentlemen’s hair pomade called Dapper Dan. Well, never mind that fictional Dan gunk – because, right here in the heart of Texas, we have Tiffany Hale’s Austin Hair Ink. This is a tonsorial outfit that offers not only haircuts, but full straight-razor shaves, beard trims, waxing, gray blending, and nonsurgical hair replacement options like scalp micropigmentation and Hairskeen Hair Replacement Systems. Yes, we have these guys (at 5601 Brodie) for all our follicular grooming needs – and they’re also the operation behind that superb McGuire’s line of small-batch barber supplies, available to the public and the trade. Our point here is that, whether your dad has plenty of hair, or wants more hair, or is happy with none at all, hooking him up with these professionals will likely increase his Basic Attractiveness Quotient by a magnitude or two.
4) PIT COMMAND
Whether your father’s working the live-fire situation to grill up a plethora of meaty groceries that he scored from Salt & Time or Nolan Ryan’s Goodstock up in Round Rock, or he’s got those flames going just to add a certain paleolithic je ne sais quoi to an evening’s backyard gathering, he’s gonna need the proper tools to work his incendiary magic with. And what he’s gonna want, we reckon, is tools made (right here in the USA!) of lightweight carbon steel, with custom molded grips, with helpful form-equals-function variations for chopping, gripping, poking, and easily adjusting the wood that fuels a roaring fire. Pit Command’s eponymous Commander, for instance, is 30 inches of solid metalcraft, with “an axe-like chopper for splitting burning wood, a serrated hook for rolling big logs, and a poker for getting everything into the right position.” They’ve also got what they call Talons, and a sort of Commander Mini-Me aka the Ranger, and they all look kinda like what Thor might’ve wielded whenever Mjölnir was out for repairs. Just about as sturdy, too, although no one’s saying you’ll be able to slay a Frost Giant with the things. No – just that, if your dad’s working a fire pit and doesn’t want to end up burnt to a crisp himself, these Pit Command tools will be his new best friends.
5) FATHER’S DAY WHISKEY DINNER
Of course we’re gonna include whiskey in this lineup. And of course we’ve often shouted out the best spirits, the most exemplary amber waves of distilled grain, and just recently sounded the alarum about new releases from Treaty Oak and Garrison Brothers and Still Austin and Milam & Greene. Right now, though, culminating this Father’s Day fivespot of recos, we’re pointing you toward the Hotel Granduca just off the Capitol of Texas Highway. We’re pointing you there because the hotel’s Visconti Ristorante has been doing a series of Long Table Dinners for a couple of years now, and those dinners are always superb renditions of Italian food paired with wines from Texas and beyond. But! But the Long Table Dinner that’s coming up next, on Thursday, June 16? It’s a whiskey-paired dinner, featuring maple-lacquered dart quail, smoked short rib with shrimp, gouda dauphinoise potatoes, and vanilla bourbon mousse cake for dessert. And the generous whiskey pourings will be provided by the aforementioned Hill Country bourbon savants of Milam & Greene. Verdict: This is an excellent gift for a man who enjoys a good bourbon; this is a good family gathering option right before the weekend.