October 5

Next update October 12

New York Comic Con is coming fast, so I’m doing an update today and another next Wednesday before I leave.

In case you missed it, you can find my updated NYCC schedule on my September 30 update. I’ve got a few things going on, but there’s still some free time for me to check out the convention and maybe check out a few other things in the Big Apple.

Uh… by the way. If you can hook me up with Book of Mormon tickets at a reasonable price, or tickets for the October 13 taping of The Daily Show or The Colbert Report, fire me an e-mail. (Hey, if I can’t use my low level celeb status for freebies, then what’s the point.)

But while NYCC is just over a week away, the Austin Game Developers Conference is even closer! So why haven’t I been promoting it? Well… I’m not actually going to be there. This year the focus isn’t on writing; instead the theme is “online”. But BioWare will have a presence, including a talk by my friend and co-worker Georg Zoeller.

Georg’s a great guy. Very smart, and very German. (Trust me, as an adjective it totally applies here.) Some people also think we kind of look alike, though I’m not sure which one of us should be insulted by that.

While I lack the technical expertise to give a presentation at this online-themed GDC, I can contribute something of value to those folks coming to Austin for the convention. So, without further ado, here are my restaurant recommendations for my new hometown:

Torchy’s Tacos – awesomely creative tacos and the BEST QUESO IN AUSTIN!! Multiple locations around the city, perfect for lunch or a quick meal. (The lines are long, but they move fast.) My go-to menu selections – the Republican with extra cheese and the Crossroads with extra cheese and chipotle sauce instead of tomatillo.

Mighty Fine Burgers – keep your In’n'Out and your Five Guys, this is THE burger place in Austin. Meat ground up and patties made fresh right out where you can see them. The fries are awesome (fried in peanut oil), and I highly recommend DOUBLE BACON on your burger. Good shakes, too. But don’t take my word for it – here’s some random stranger’s post on the internet comparing them to Five Guys.

If you’ve got more money to spend (or are on the company dime), you can’t go wrong with the Brazillian steakhouse Fogo de Chao, conviently located right near the convention center. (Unlimited meat = awesome.) You can also get excellent steaks and seafood (for a price) at Eddie V’s.

But if you’re coming to Austin and you’re a carnivore, what you really want is BBQ, right? Here’s where it gets complicated. I go to Mann’s BBQ about once a week (yes, I’ll die young), but you’ll need a car if you’re staying downtown. Love the pulled pork, and they have the best sides and my favorite potato salad. However, I actually think the best brisket is at Rudy’s. (Don’t be turned off just because it’s a chain. They’re quick, they’re cheap, the moist brisket is awesome, and they have locations all over the place.)

However, if you’ve got a vehicle and the time to make a 40+ minute drive, I think the best “overall” BBQ experience is to take a trip to the Salt Lick in Driftwood. Get the all you can eat special: unlimited brisket, pork ribs, sausage, buns, beans, coleslaw and potato salad (goes great with the baked beans). Do yourself a favor and order a beef rib on the side; it’s worth the extra cost. But bring cash, and BYOB, because they don’t take credit cards and they don’t sell alcohol. (They will give you a giant ice bucket to keep your bottle cold.) And be prepared for a long wait; the parking lot always has hundreds of cars, and they actually bus people in from the city just to eat there. They have off-duty cops directing traffic, and everyone waiting to get seated enjoys an informal picnic atmosphere outside while waiting. Sometimes they even have live music while you wait. (Don’t go to the Round Rock location; it just doesn’t have the same charm and feel. Sorry, Round Rock.)

Okay, that’s my personal guide to the Austin food scene. There are plenty of other fine restaurants in the city and I’m sure I missed some great ones, but these are the places I go to over and over. And if you see me in person, you can tell I’m a man who knows and enjoys his food.

Back next week with a final update for my New York schedule.

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