Win My Stomach, Win My Heart: A Valentine’s Travel Guide, Vol 3

The clock is ticking, and if you still haven’t planned a delicious Valentine’s Day food adventure for your significant other, I have one more tantalizing suggestion for you, and it’s not too late. Head to the Lone Star state and be still your beating heart with BBQ in Austin, Texas!

 Option #3: Austin. I feel quite confident recommending a Valentine’s Day foodventure in Austin. After all, this is my new hometown and I have spent much of the last six months exploring every meat establishment on your behalf. I’ve also gained 15 pounds, so you’re welcome! Austin has it all: stunning hill country vistas, authentic BBQ, and live bands to satisfy any musical taste. Your romantic journey can begin before you even leave Austin-Bergstrom International Airport (AUS) at the legendary Salt Lick BBQ. Be sure to sample the mouth-watering Pork Ribs, but don’t go crazy! The plan is to sweep your lover off their feet by visiting as many BBQ joints as possible, and you don’t want to get too full right off the bat.

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Sexy, sexy Salt Lick

Your next stop should be Franklin Barbecue, where you might have to stand in line for hours but trust me, it’s worth it. The tastiest Brisket and the moistest Turkey you’ve ever had in your life await you. Plus you can do some serious hand holding to pass the time while you wait.

But my personal favorite BBQ joint in Austin is The County Line. With cowboy décor lining the walls and plates overflowing with all varieties of meats, The County Line is a BBQ dream. Order up a combo plate of Brisket, Sausage, and Pulled Pork and share them a la “Lady and the Tramp”. With side options like Mashed Potatoes, Macaroni and Cheese, and Fried Okra rounding off the meal, you’ll be bursting (with love!) when you waddle out of this restaurant.

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Austin is more than just sweet, delicious meat. Take a stroll through the grounds of the Texas State Capitol and admire the way the sunlight reflects off of the golden dome. Afterwards, have a cocktail at the bar of the Driskill Hotel, which has been in operation since 1886 and looks like the set of a John Wayne movie. They make a mean Bloody Mary!

As the sun starts to set over the hills of Texas, grab some Mexican Vanilla ice cream from local favorite Amy’s Ice Creams and climb to the top of Mount Bonnell. You can take in the stunning panorama of downtown Austin and the Colorado River as you kiss your Valentine, who might still taste faintly of BBQ sauce.

Wherever you may travel this Valentine’s Day, I hope it’s full of flavor and absolutely delicious. Wishing you true love and tasty travels!

Pro Tip: If you loved Amy’s Ice Creams, you’re in luck! They have a shop located at Gate 12 at Austin-Bergstrom International Airport. Order up a dish and toast to a very sweet Valentine’s Day!

Image Credits: Lara Pasternak

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