Eat, Drink, Run
Your ACL prix fixe
We admit it's not easy grabbing a bite to eat when you're at ACL. Sure, you hear the siren song of the food court, but how the hell are you going to grab anything to eat when Run the Jewels ends at 6pm and Tame Impala starts at the same time? Leave it to us. This isn't our first festival. Here's your plan: Pick a slow hour (we know it's hard to miss anything, but you have to eat, fools), assign one member of your squad to a vendor, order multiple items at each, and combine hauls into multi-course feasts that will keep you dancing to Disclosure or ... whatever it is people do when listening to Foo Fighters.
Zilker Park is going to be hot, y'all, so you might as well pretend you're on a tropical vacation and the tides of people are the cool, refreshing ocean (stay with us here). If temporary psychosis is too hard to muster, at least you can make your dinner a getaway. Start at Burro Cheese Kitchen for the O.G. grilled cheese made on a King's Hawaiian bun, grab a few orders of Mighty Bird's Caribbean burrito, and then order twice the amount of mmmpanadas' fried plantains as you think you can eat. End the meal with Amy's Ice Creams' Aloha Lemonade paired (on the second weekend only) with Thai Fresh's coconut ice cream, remembering the sage advice, "put the lime in the coconut and drink 'em both up."
If you're coming from out of state, don't miss the chance to dine on some of Texas' best. Sure, Texans make some awesome tacos and barbecue, but we have also created a rich regional cuisine influenced by settlers from all over the world. Grab a grilled bratwurst sammie at Frank or a venison wrap from the Mighty Cone, pair it with rabbit & rattlesnake sausage from celebrity chef Tim Love's Lonesome Dove Western Bistro. Lighten up with chile-spiked watermelon from Love's Woodshed Smokehouse, a Hill Country peach snowie from, well, Snowie, and some tangy Torchy's Tacos' street corn in ancho aïoli. The drink pairing? Naturally, Maine Root's Texas pink agave lemonade.
Lone Star Part Deux
Then again, Texas' barbecue and tacos are damn good. You'd be crazy to miss out. Get sloppy with a pork rib boat from the Salt Lick, and a few fish tacos from Trudy's for contrast. On weekend one, El Cruz Ranch Cafe has a classic picadillo taco, or you can get a taste of local creativity with Chi'Lantro's Korean fried chicken taco. Get both specialties in one over at Stubb's Bar-B-Q, where they put jalapeño brisket in the taco. The bold flavors deserve a tart drink. Go with a Shade Tree strawberry lemonade.
Just because your makeup has sweated off onto your suede halter doesn't mean you have to eat like a hot mess. There's plenty of refinement on the grounds. For a sophisticated buffet, order black bean & goat cheese and spinach & caramelized onion tamales from Tamale Addiction, followed by East Side King's addictive brussels sprout salad and the Peached Tortilla's très jolie Parmesan and parsley fries. For dessert, indulge in a GoodPop hibiscus mint frozen pop or a Skull & Cakebones affogato cakewich.
If you're not quite ready to give up your six pack for a pulled pork sandwich, ACL Eats still has you covered. For a sip, begin with JuiceLand's Green Drink with cucumber and kale, then move on to Freebirds World Burrito's vegan option stuffed with braised tempeh, squash, and zucchini. At Tino's Greek Cafe, order the veggie plate with hummus and tabouli for all-day fuel, served with a cross-cultural exchange program of Lamba's Royal Indian Foods' vegetable samosa. Don't skip out on the probiotics while you're watching Drake. He would totally approve of HOPE Farmers Market's kombucha frozen pop.
As for us, we'll be downing delicious slices from Southside Flying Pizza and Austin's Pizza, or burgers from P. Terry's or Hat Creek, stuffed in our mouth in between Tiff's Treats cookies and Children of the Kettle Corn popcorn. We are not going to miss Tame Impala again.