Category Archives: Cool Spots

Cool Spot: Mettle

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image credit: Mettle

Generally speaking, the terms “warm” and “industrial” don’t really go together, but somehow, eastside warehouse-turned-restaurant Mettle seems to pull them together in a comfy brunch setting perfect for whiling away a sun-drenched Sunday afternoon over coffee or cocktails. Among its menu’s better and/or more inventive options: the grilled pear French toast and beef tongue tacos. With a few recent changes in Mettle’s kitchen lineup, we’re interested to see how its fare evolves in the coming months.

Mettle, 507 Calles Street
Tues-Thurs 11am-10pm; Fri-Sat 11am-11pm; Sun 10am-9pm
Closed on Mondays

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Filed under Coffee, Cool Spots, Dog Friendly, Eatery, Happy Hour, Weekend Activity Ideas

Cool Spot: Painting with a Twist

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If you’ve been wanting to let your creative side out but haven’t been sure what to do with it, a fun experience called Painting with a Twist provides the perfect opportunity for you to cut loose and create. Hosting a never-ending series of basic painting classes, each one offering instruction on how to recreate a different work of art, the experience is wine-friendly, laid-back and fun. Ice and cups are provided; bring your own drinks and snacks and let the magic happen.

Painting with a Twist, 8820 Burnet Road, open seven days a week
Class times vary day to day; see calendar for exact dates & times

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Filed under Art, Cool Spots, Happy Hour, Northwest Austin

Cool Spot: Swift’s Attic

Swift's Attic

image: Swift’s Attic

Rare are the sorts of bars anymore where you can walk in alone and have a drink, undisturbed, without being hassled by groups of folks who think watering holes are only for couples and large crews of people.  But at Swift’s Attic, a converted second-story space in the heart of Congress Avenue, weeknights are perfect for stopping in solo to enjoy their inventive, carnivorous menu and sample a few fine drinks before dipping downstairs to enjoy some live jazz at The Elephant Room — another great place for a loner’s night out. Enjoy the dark, cozy ambience amid the thump of hip hop and other unexpected tunes playing overhead, and don’t forget to tip the barhop well.

Swift’s Attic
315 Congress Avenue, above The Elephant Room
Dinner hours: M-W 5-11 pm, Th-Sat 5 pm-12 am,
Bar open til 1 am Th-Sat nights, Sunday brunch 10:30-2:30

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Filed under Cool Spots, Eatery

Cool Spot: Annapurna Gardens

Annapurna Gardens

image: Annapurna Gardens

Few things are quite as delicious during the coldest months of the year as a steaming bowl of tikka masala and soft, warm naan to soak up the sauce. Luckily for those of us too far north to enjoy Austin’s favorite Indian restaurant, the Clay Pit, there’s now a Round Rock restaurant worth popping into: Annapurna GardensAnnapurna is Sanskrit for “full of food” and “kitchen goddess,” and the eatery lives up to its name: with perfect winter dishes from curries to cake (as well as a kids’ menu), it’s not difficult to satiate your appetite in this little strip mall hideaway.

Annapurna Gardens Indian Restaurant

3203 S Interstate 35 (at SH45 intersection, same parking lot as Target)
Mon, Weds, Thurs 11:30-2:30 (lunch) and 5-9:30 (dinner)
Fri-Sat 11:30-2:30 (lunch), 5-10 (dinner); Sun 11:30-3, 5-9:30
closed Tuesdays

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Filed under Cool Spots, Eatery, Northwest Austin

Cool Spot: The Austin Steam Train

austin steam train
Did you know you could take a one-day excursion through the grandeur of Texas Hill Country by steam train? Well, you can. This family-friendly activity is available year-round, but what better way to enjoy the crisp fall weather than to bundle up and hop on board the Austin Steam Train for an old-fashioned trek through the natural wonders of Central Texas? Reservations are recommended, and you can choose between heated/air-conditioned excursion coach and first-class cars or the slightly more authentic (i.e., not climate controlled) standard coach cars. Tickets start at $20, and there’s a concession car with snacks on most rides.
Austin Steam Train

401 E. Whitestone Blvd., Ste A-103, Cedar Park
Tickets $20 and up, depending on car type

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Filed under Cool Spots, Family Fun, Northwest Austin, Outdoors, Weekend Activity Ideas