Let’s Celebrate the Fourth of July with Food and Fun
Wave that flag, raise a toast, maybe kiss a fellow American
By Wayne Alan Brenner,
12:05PM, Thu. Jun. 24, 2021
Ah, yes – here comes the 2021 celebration of Independence Day in the good old U.S. of A!
It’s a 245-year-old Fuck You to Great Britain’s King George, basically, and it’s reason (as if reason is required) to party hearty and unleash the sort of patriotism that only Real Americans™ can ever truly know.
We’ll let the rest of you argue about what that might mean, all you doomsday preppers and conspiracy theorists and political provocateurs and other folks who seem to lack the capacity to realize that the sheer blazing miracle of existence, this momentary taste of being, is beyond all borders of geography, culture, time, and space.
Meanwhile, we’ll offer some opportunities for temporally bound local action (and some relevant culinary merch) right here:
1. LOBSTER & FRIENDS The menu at Launderette on Sunday, July 4, includes a seafood boil with lobster, shrimp, crab, clams, mussels, sausage, corn and potatoes, family-style sides, and special desserts. This … is pretty irresistible, hey? I mean, we love that Launderette that's tucked away among the tree-studded residential stretch near E. Cesar Chavez, and we love seafood boils; and we reckon the combination of those two foodie phenomena will have you clicking for tickets (just $50 each) at the Resy link right here.
2. QUE PASA: LIBERTY CHIPS Oh! These things are making us laugh almost as much as they’re pleasing our palates! But it’s a laughter of righteousness, mind you, because the idea that these tortilla chips (a treat that originated south of the U.S. border) are produced by a company in Canada (which, as you may recall, is north of the U.S. border) for the Fourth of July … well, that just seems quintessentially American, doesn’t it? And let’s note that this Que Pasa brand also tastes good, like tortilla chips should taste, and of course the Que Pasa people have used natural ingredients (whole grain organic blue corn, whole grain organic white corn, and beet juice) to color these particular chips in hues of our great nation’s flag. Oh, say – can you see, by the dawn’s early light, what guacamole you’ll be dipping into with these tasty little shovels of corn?
3. FIREWORKS AT DREAMLAND You already know about this humongous new entertainment complex out in Dripping Springs, right? Yeah, it’s a sprawling, 64-acre spread of outdoor arts, entertainment, and recreation at the beginning of the Hill Country, and they’ll be staging a commensurately-sized fireworks display on the Fourth, There’ll be food and drink specials all day long, too – from the venue’s enticing array of food trucks (and taproom that features 50 local beers, hard seltzers, ciders, and kombuchas – and a wine selection of 40 Central Texas and world-renowned varietals). Serving suggestion: Enjoy a whole afternoon out there, before masterful pyrotechnics spark the nightsky with glory at 10pm.
4. COOKIE RICH: RED, WHITE & BLUE We already told you about chef Lorin Peters’ scrumptious confections and the way they bring pleasure to the tastebuds mingling at any party. Well, the busy lady’s kitchen has gone all tri-chromatic with these latest sugar cookie creations, sure to supercharge whatever Independence Day gathering you’ve planned, and they can be ordered now for pick up or delivery from June 28 to July 4.
5. SALT & TIME CAFE'S 3-D SPECIALS “Nothing,” they tell us, “nothing screams ‘Cold beer and hot dogs!’ more than a summer holiday weekend in Texas.” Well. If the July 4th weekend isn’t a summer holiday in Texas, then we don’t know what the fuck we’re talking about and should probably start voting Republican. [Note: God forbid.] But it is such a holiday, and so we’re looking forward to the $4 drinks, dogs, and desserts that this lively little outpost (in Downtown’s Republic Square Park) will be serving up on Sunday, July 4, 4-10pm. It’s especially compelling because the featured beer will be a Fireman’s Light Draft – and that quaff is, omg, *chef’s kiss*
6. AUSTIN SYMPHONY CONCERT & FIREWORKS Yes, it’s the obvious one, isn’t it? But, in the first place, it feels a bit less obvious after last year’s Covid restrictions … and, in the second place, this annual event at Vic Mathias Shores near the gorgeous Long Center is a beloved 44-year-old institution due not to nostalgia but, rather, due to its continuing magnificence … and, third, it’s sponsored by H-E-B. We don’t know how the rest of this country feels about their local grocery chains, but here in Texas, tell you what: This corporate citizen is better run, more compassionate, more effective, and more widely beloved than the *fnord* state legislature’s ever been. So, yeah: This concert, on the shores, starting around 8pm. Just drive safe, y’hear? Or be even smarter and ride a bike.
7. BOOZE? BOOZE! Because, except for that brief disaster called Prohibition, our multivalent and immigrant-founded country has been partying with alcoholic beverages and distilled spirits from the get-go. And we’ve recently provided a fine listicle huzzah telling you about a small flotilla of powerfully good sipping products. But, even though the Fourth is about giving the revolutionary heave-ho to those foreign, lime-chomping devils across the pond, we can’t help but want to celebrate with the best whiskeys available. And even though that might actually, depending on who you talk to, come from Japan, these days … we’ll sure ‘nuff be decking our tables with bottles of the Glenfiddich. Mind you, a working journo at one of the nation’s few remaining altweeklies can only afford the Glenfiddich 14-Year-Old; but even that, a single malt matured for 14 years in ex-bourbon American Oak casks, is sufficient to elevate any shindig by several magnitudes of elegant flavor. And, anyway, we know a fellow whose son, for Father’s Day, got him a $300 bottle of the Glenfiddich’s 23-year-old Grand Cru … and we’ll certainly be inviting him and his gift to the party.
BONUS: THE ROADIE Because single malt whiskey is all well and good (to put it mildly), but for a perfectly, shall we say, Texalicious tipple this Fourth of July, you might want to consider a big fat bag of frozen margaritas. Yes, a b-a-g. Listen: The Roadie, Hopdoddy’s signature half-gallon frozen margarita, is available to-go and is sure to liven up your backyard BBQ, picnic, or party. That's a half-gallon, yes, at just $29.95. And you know it's the perfect complement to the Doddy DIY Burger Kit, which includes all the ingredients you need to make Hopdoddy’s classic cheeseburgers and truffle fries at home. (And if you get a Burger Kit this weekend, you can add a Roadie for just $15!) And – oh, you can order 'em right here ...