Need to Know: Austin's Trudy's
By Stacy Lambe
Writer Stacy Lambe, best known for the concisely-lived site Texts from Hillary, was in Austin earlier this week for SXSW's "The Making of a Meme" panel, on which he spoke about the state of copyright law in the digital era, how traditional institutions are breaking the fourth wall and how in the span of one week — April 4-10, 2012 — he and the site's co-creator Adam Smith went from posting a gag picture of then-Secretary of State Clinton texting on a military plane to meeting the woman herself. Needless to say, Lambe had a pretty full schedule, but he still made room to sample Austin's plentiful food scene—a boy's got to eat—and ended up finding culinary passion in a place Austinites have been loving since 1977. We asked him to sample the local fare and report back. Here's what he has to say:
When wandering the streets of Austin during SXSW, it became clear why the city is considered a foodie’s delight. Food carts fill empty lots. Burger joints with a twist, like Doc’s and Hopdoddy, line South Congress. Then there’s all of the southern style food and barbeque. But the real treasure is Trudy’s, a local chain that offers some of the best Tex Mex in the city.
The original location, tucked away in the middle of Central Austin, is an old converted house filled with locals andcollege students. It’s no wonder why so many people recommended the place: The relaxed vibe is perfect for anyone looking to kick back while enjoying an unnecessary amount of food.
The menu is filled with tons of options (maybe a page too many), but there’s really no question that you’re ordering the fried avocado stuffed with spiced chicken and cheese. It's practically the only thing the other guests were eating. It's dangerously delicious: The flavor draws you in before you realize you're nearly stuffed.
Food aside, Trudy's is probably most famous for its Mexican Martinis, a potent combination of tequila and liqueur splashed with juice and Sprite. If you are with three of your friends, you’ll feel like the southern, gay version of Sex And The City. The restaurant limits you to only two shakers per meal, but after downing both you’ll all be a Samantha. And for the truly brave, there’s a drinking game known as “Trudy’s Trifecta:" drink six martini shakers worth of booze at three of Trudy's five locations in a single night. When asked whether they had tried it, most students offered stories with messy endings.
In all honesty, two Mexican Martinis are the right amount of booze to wash away the overstuffed feeling of the avocado (and endless chips and salsa) and strike a balance before your night descends into total debauchery. You can save that for the gay bars that line W. 4th Street. Warning: We can't recommend you attempt both on the same night.