Texas Finest – A Franklin Barbecue Review

Texas BBQ

There are just so many great places in the world where you can eat. But if you’re a true culinary fan, you know that it doesn’t do to go to Italy, for example, and try ramen, or eat fish in Germany. Each part of the world has a specific cuisine that you should try. If you’re a barbecue lover, then you probably know that the “best of the best” is located in the United States. With the size of the U.S., there are differences in barbecue styles by region. This time, though, we are reviewing Franklin Barbecue in Austin, Texas. According to many, this is the best barbecue joint in this part of America. So, is it worth checking out?

Franklin Barbecue – What do you need to know?

Before you head off to Austin to check out this great barbecue joint, you have to know certain things about Texas-style barbecue. As mentioned, there are different American barbecue styles by region, but the Texas-style comes with beef as their meat of choice and a spicy, tomato-based sauce with some sweetness.  Now, as you’re coming close to Franklin Barbecue, you will notice the tremendous line that’s always happening in front of the restaurant. Waiting for at least 2 hours (sometimes even longer) to get a taste of their dishes is a common thing, with many people waiting from early morning to be the first in line at 5 am. This is a BBQ joint that received two stars according to The New York Times and was featured in a TV show by the amazing Anthony Bourdain.

Texas BBQ

Why do they do this? Well, basically – once something is gone for the day, it means it’s gone, so it’s always best to come early and have a wide range of options to choose from. If you want the best case scenario, you should come during a weekday as the lines grow faster on weekends and during the South by Southwest festival in March.

Franklin Barbecue – What do you need to try?

Well, this is probably the most difficult question of them all, because no matter what you try at Franklin Barbecue – it’s worth it. Of course, everything depends on what will be left once you have your turn. Probably the most important things to try are the brisket and the pork ribs which are simply delicious. As far as the brisket goes, you have plenty of time to figure out just how much brisket you need. Don’t skip this, since it’s the foundation that Franklin Barbecue was built on. (The owner of the joint, even has a book called “Franklin Barbecue – A Meat-Smoking Manifesto” that you can read if you want to know something more about the history of this place and its brisket).

Texas BBQ

Their meat is wrapped midway through smoking so that it doesn’t dry out, and helps to give it that special taste that you will literally die for. Apart from that, you really want the pork candy, known as pork ribs, which are probably the best in Texas, and perhaps in the States. You can also try sausages and even smoked turkey – everything here is super tasty and good, but make sure to have your essentials first!

Texas BBQ

Franklin Barbecue – What to do afterwards?

After waiting for at least 2 hours to eat one of the world’s best barbecues, there’s no lingering – you should hit the road and let somebody else take your place and enjoy this once-in-a-lifetime experience (if you’re not from the USA). Now that you’re probably full to the max, it would be a great idea to head a bit further down to the Zilker Brewing Company and enjoy a pint of their amazing beer. They work every day except Mondays, but you can check on their website for the exact working hours because they differ each day.

Texas BBQ

Hopefully, you will get the chance to spend at least one day in your life eating at Franklin Barbecue and to drink beer at Zilker’s afterwards. It is definitely something that you will  remember for the rest of your life.

Visiting the Lakes? Here are the Walking Routes with the Best Pubs

Lake District

When you think of the Lake District, you probably think of long walks, huge lakes, epic views and a nice cold pint at the end of a long walk. But with so much choice, it can be overwhelming deciding which walks to go on.

To help guide you, the Lake District hotel, Craig Manor have mapped out the best walking routes featuring beer gardens for the ultimate pint pick-me-up.

Craig Manor, Bowness-On-Windermere

 Craig Manor itself offers the perfect start to any Lake District holiday. Situated in Bowness, there is a 4.5-mile circular walk around Bowness-on-Windermere that explores the countryside nearby and visits some great photo hotspots. If you want to extend the walk there is the option to, or circle back for a spot of lunch and a pint in the gardens at Craig Manor.

This walk is nice and flat so is suitable for all, although as with all the walks we would advise wearing sturdy boots!

The Bridge, Buttermere

 One of the lesser known but possibly most beautiful lakes in the Lake District, is Buttermere.

This beautiful lake is on the smaller side so offers a walk right around its edge and you could even spot some highland cows. In April to June the far side of the lake is closed for nesting Sandpipers, but half of the walk is still open.

Head to The Bridge for a delicious pub lunch or a drink in the Beer Garden – and rumour has it they do a good Sunday lunch too!

The Crown Inn, Pooley Bridge

 Next, Pooley Bridge offers another lakeside walk and this one is for the more advanced walker. At 6.5 miles it will take approximately 3 hours to walk and does have some rougher terrain.

However, with views over the water and a visit to Aira Force it is well worth the effort. And starting and finishing at The Crown Inn, we’re certain you’ll find a way to rest up after the walk.

Lake District

The Britannia Inn, Elterwater

 For a central location, rustic dining and amazing views, head to Elterwater for a pub lunch in The Britannia Inn before heading out on your walk. This walk is a great option for those wanting a longer walk (this will take at least two hours) but without the harder going terrain.

Start from the Inn and head along passed Elter Water where the views are amazing. Head through Crag Head and over Skelwith Bridge, another beautiful spot.

You’ll head back in a circle through Little Langdale before returning to the Inn.

The Outgate Inn, Ambleside

 Our final Pub Garden recommendation is the Outgate Inn in Ambleside. This four-and-a-half-mile walk offers mixed terrain but will be suitable for most walkers.

It circles around Blelham Tarn and then round passed Wray Castle which is a great place to visit for all the family. Return to the Outgate Inn for a well-deserved break.

Feeling inspired? Check out Craig Manor’s beer garden map of the Lake District.

Lake District

Plan The Perfect German Road Trip

Munich is a city known for Germany’s traditional Bavarian culture and the ideal starting point for the perfect German Road trip. It’s new and spirited population have filled the old city with modern technologies and exciting new cultures. Before you drive off, spend some time getting to know one of Germany’s great cities. Explore the bustling beer halls, historic buildings, and enthralling museums.

When you have had your fill of Munich’s exceptional sights, why not explore the surrounding region by jumping in a rental car and going on some adventurous Munich day trips. By driving through the brilliant Bavarian countryside, you’ll experience some of the German towns, villages, memorials, and castles that many travelers don’t get to see when they visit Munich. You also get to explore the locations in your own time – taking as little or as long as you want.

Get planning with our Munich day trip guide as you follow Neuschwanstein Castle tours from Munich:


MUNICH

Munich Downtown

Start your journey in the thriving city – with its lush green city parks and regular festivals, there’s always something to do in Munich. Lined with buildings that are centuries old, Munich is ideal for history buffs who love tasty beer and delicious local food. What’s more, the large cosmopolitan city is also a modern mecca with a world-famous nightlife and plenty of modern art galleries to explore, as well as a connection to its surrounding Alpine landscape. Try to visit the city around its most famous festival, Oktoberfest, the beer-toasting super festival that consumes that city and fills it with fun and games! (Honestly, everyday is Oktoberfest in Munich – head to Marienplatz in the centre of Munich and grab a beer or 2 and a sausage).

DACHAU CONCENTRATION CAMP MEMORIAL SITE

Dachau Concentration Camp

The concentration camp at Dachau was Nazi Germany’s first ever concentration camp. The prison held over 200,000 people during its 12 years, but since 1965 the site has been a memorial to the devastation of that era and the lives that were lost. Dachau is located close to the city and 30-minute long or two-and-a-half-hour long walking tours are available as well as audio guides. (It’s not an easy tour but well worthwhile).

LANDSHUT

Landshut Day Trip

The picture-perfect town of Landshut is bright and beautiful – with stunning multi-colored houses and a very famous castle. It hosts the Royal Wedding Festival every four years to celebrate the companionship of Bavaria and Poland. Discover the town’s differing architecture, from the Middle Ages to Renaissance-Baroque. There are Bavarian beer halls, delicious local restaurants, and Trauznitz Castle, which dates back to 1204.

HERRENCHIEMSEE NEW PALACE

Herrenchiemsee New Palace

This impressive palace was the incredible vision of King Ludwig – precisely his idea to build an exact replica of Versailles Palace in Paris. The stunning complex of royal buildings is located on an island in the region’s large lake – the Chiemsee. Explore the majestic interior of this fairytale palace, which features marquetry floors, carved panels, stucco marble, and ceiling frescoes. (King Ludwig is also responsible for the ultra famous Neuschwanstein Castle- below).

WENDELSTEIN MOUNTAIN

Wendelstein Mountain

Wendelstein Mountain is probably one of the easiest access points for exploring the Alps in Bavaria. Drive to the base of the mountain, before taking the cable car or train to reach the 6,000-foot summit. Revel in the spectacular Alpine views from the top, where you can also enjoy a warming coffee or hot chocolate in a delightful cabin restaurant or cafe. If you are more of an adventurer take the hiking trails to the top – although you might want to allow more time for this option.

LANDSBERG AM LECH

Landsberg am Lech

Just half-an-hour from Munich, Landsberg am Lech is yet another shining example of a stunning and traditional Bavarian city. On a first glance Landsberg am Lech looks as though it hasn’t changed at all since its creation, with buildings dating back to the Medieval period – including the impressive Mother’s Tower and the Schmalzturm Tower. Visitors can trace the ancient lines of the city by walking the old city walls or learning more about its intriguing history at the Herkomer Museum.

NEUSCHWANSTEIN CASTLE

Neuschwanstein Castle Road Trip

The absolutely mesmerizing Neuschwanstein Castle is the moment that those fairytale dreams truly become a reality. The breathtaking 19th century palace is something to behold – and is known for being the real life inspiration for Disney’s fairytale classic “Sleeping Beauty”. Originally built for Ludwig II of Bavaria, the castle has been open to visitors since his death and offers its guests unique views across the Bavarian landscape. Be sure to spend some time exploring the beautifully landscaped gardens here, too. (Allow most of a day for your visit. The parking lot is busy and a 10 minute walk from the base of the mountain. You can walk up to the castle (minimum 30 minutes) or pay to ride in a horse drawn wagon. You’ll also wait and pay an admission to get inside the castle).

Travel Freely and At Your Own Pace

When you are looking to experience the best Germany has to offer, you’ll need a reliable means of transportation. Book an affordable car rental in Munich and you’ll have access to endless touristic opportunities and sites! Compare rates, shop names you recognize and find the best deal. Save time and money with my link to Auto Europe.

 

Sydney’s Coolest Places

If you already reside in sunny Australia or you long for visiting this irresistible country, you just can’t miss the jaw-dropping beauty of one of its greatest jewels, Sydney. As the home of the world’s most beautiful Opera House, impressive harbour and stunning beach richness, Sydney really captivates with its attractiveness and cosmopolitan spirit. Gladsome mentality, unique lifestyle and eternal summer are just a part of astonishing Sydney magic, and if you add an endless number of magnificent spots, you realize why is this city among the best ones in the world.

Sydney1

There’s no doubt Sydney is a very vibrant city, but here you can read couple of extra firsthand insights:

Surry Hills

In the very heart of the Sydney, Surry Hills is an entertaining and artistic kingdom. Energetic Crown Street is the ultimate location where you’ll be overwhelmed with cuisine and yummy Aussie snacks and desserts along with a variety of prime beverages. From wine bars and cafes to comprehensive restaurants, everything is wrapped into a creative atmosphere. Moving further through the street, you’ll come across a stunning artistic nest full of greatest galleries, design and fashion studios presenting top local and international artworks, designers’ pieces and vintage items.

Sydney2

You just can’t miss a chance to peek into lovely the Cream on Crown boutique, magnificent Brett Whiteley Studio and imposing Badger and Fox Gallery. As you stroll around, you’ll find the architecture amusing wherever you go.

Sydney3

Restaurants and bars

Sydney’s tremendous restaurant and bar scene offers a true journey through culinary treasures and premium amusements. Stylish and relaxing at day and powerful parties during the night make The Argyle Bar the ultimate Sydney dining and nightlife venue. In the middle of central business district, there’s a fantastic rooftop bar – The Rook, offering the best lobster dishes and a variety of great wines and cocktails. Excellent restaurants abound from Emperors Garden BBQ and Noodles abounding with royal barbecue menus, pastry delicacies in modern Kingston &Co restaurant to great Asian and Italian specialties in Blue Fin Sushi, Bar Nosh, Pompei’s, Lang Suan restaurant , etc.

Sydney4

Sydney5

Nature

Not far from downtown, there’s spectacular beaches, from Aussies’ glorious Bondi Beach great for waves’ riding, bathing and relaxing, to spacious Cronulla ideal for beach walks. The best surfer paradises are definitely Narrabeen, Manly and Coogee Beach.

Sydney6

The greatest natural landmark near Sydney is certainly the breathtaking region of the Blue Mountains, known for impressive rock formations, blue mist and amazing local wildlife. Enjoy the wonderful scenery by taking a Blue Mountains day trip, take a bushwalk, or visit the famous rocks called The Tree Sisters, spot kangaroos, emus, dingo and a lot more.

Sydney7

Beer

If looking for place to enjoy the best “Amber fluid”, start with old style Keg & Brew that serves traditionally hand -brewed beer. In Surry Hills, jump into the legendary Dove & Olive to drink excellent beer on tap.

Sydney8

For a multi-tasting experience, head for 4 Pines Brewing Company in Manly, and try anything from stout to Aussie Pale Ale.

Sydney9

 

This article was written by Roxana Oliver, a travel enthusiast and an occasional blogger from Sydney, Australia.

 

Interesting Things to Do In Brussels

The Capital and the largest city in Belgium, Brussels is also the capital of the European Union and the seat of the French Community of Belgium. The city was founded in 979 AD by Duke Charles of Lower Lotharingia and served as an important trade route by 1000 AD. By the 14th century, Brussels became one of the most important cities in Europe and was part of the Holy Roman Empire. The city was stormed by King Louis XIV of France in 1695 when it was bombarded with artillery, causing major damage to most of the city.  After the Second World War, Brussels emerged as a rapidly developing urban capital with the building of several modern buildings in a process known as Brusselization. Located in central Belgium, Brussels experiences a temperate maritime climate with mildly warm summers and chilly winters which make it a preferred tourist attraction. For those of you planning to visit Brussels, here are some great things you can do in Brussels on your next vacation.

1. Visit Grand Palace

Belgium1

Photo by Dennis Jarvis, CC BY-SA 2.0

The Grand Palace is located in the central square of Brussels and is surrounded by the town hall and City Museum of Brussels. The presence of the three buildings has made the central square one of the most important tourist locations in Brussels and is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site. After the rebuilding of the central square post, (after French bombardment and later by revolutionaries), it remained a primary market area of Brussels. The architectural style is a mix of various influences like Gothic, Renaissance and Art Deco.

2. Visit Manneken Pis

Rue de l'Étuve - Stoofstraat, Bruxelles - Brussel, België
Rue de l’Étuve – Stoofstraat, Bruxelles – Brussel, België

Photo by Francisco Antunes, CC BY 2.0

This is one place you cannot miss on your trip to Brussels. Manneken Pis, as the name suggests, is a bronze statue of a small boy urinating in the fountain and serves as the city’s landmark. The statue was installed around the early 17th century and was designed by Hiëronymus Duquesnoy the Elder. The statue is located by the corner of Rue de l’Etuve and Rue des Grands Carmes and is 61 cm tall. The original statue installed in 1619 was stolen several times and now lies in a restored state in Maison du Roi at the Grand Palace. The current statue was placed here in 1965 and has several legends related to its installation in the first place. The statue is dressed in various costumes on a weekly basis as a part of a Tradition and is one of the most visited monuments in Brussels.

3. Visit Hotel de Ville

Belgium3

Photo by Marco Chiesa, CC BY 2.0

Known more famously as the Brussels Town Hall, Hotel de Ville is located in the Grand Palace and is one of the most iconic medieval age monuments Brussels. The monument is built in an intimidating Gothic style with a central bell tower which stands 96 meters high. The town hall and its collection were completely destroyed during the bombardment of the city and were rebuilt during the 17th century with a restoration of its Gothic style architecture.

4. Visit Belgian Comic Strip Center

Belgium4

Photo by Thomas Quine, CC BY 2.0

If you were or are a fan of Tintin and his adventures, then you’d certainly love to visit the place where the legend took birth. The Belgian Comic Strip Center is home to a huge number of comic strips in various languages like English, French and Dutch including comics from several genres. The museum was opened in 1989 with its famous collection of the ‘The Adventures of Tintin’ and its renowned creator Hergé. The museum also features life sized models of sets and characters from Tintin along with a souvenir shop, research library and a restaurant.

5. Eat a Scrumptious Belgian Waffle

Belgium5

Photo by Ralph Daily, CC BY 2.0

Compared to the American waffle, the Belgian Waffle is identified by its larger size and larger grid pattern. Don’t forget to try some of the best waffles on the planet on your trip to Brussels1 The city is famous for its own variant of the waffle known as a Brussels waffle. It is prepared with eggs, flour and ale yeast which makes the batter lighter. The waffles are usually served with whipped cream, fruits and chocolate spread and dusted with sugar.

6. Visit the Basilica of Sacred Heart

Belgium6

Photo by Niels Mickers, CC BY 3.0 NL

A Roman Catholic Basilica and the parish church of Brussels, the church is dedicated to the Sacred Heart and is inspired by the Roman Catholic Basilica located in Paris, France. The Basilica is located atop the Koekelberg Hill in the Parc Elisabeth. The building was planned to be made in an imposing Neo-Gothic style but was later made in an Art Deco style due to the lack of finances. This made the Basilica as one of the Largest Art Deco buildings in the world which stands 89 meters high and 164 meters long.

7. Antique Shopping in Brussels

Belgium7

Photo by Piano Piano!, CC BY 2.0

If you like to buy antique furniture, jewellery or other articles, Brussels is famous for its elaborate antique galleries and flea markets. Chairs, lamps, antique building materials, guns, tools, armors, furniture, mirrors and cast iron doors and windows, you name it and you can find it in the amazing antique markets in Brussels. The cobbled streets are also home to many cafes with warm and friendly staff along with antique galleries and flea markets that feature some of the most astonishing articles of antique value.

8. Refresh Your Senses at Cantillon Brewery

Belgium8

Photo by Todd Nienkerk, CC BY-SA 2.0

If you want a great place to relax and cool your heels off while sipping on to the best traditional lambic style beer, then Cantillion Brewery is your pick. The brewery was established in the 1900 by Paul Cantillion who came from a family of brewers. Since its change of ingredients to organic in 1999, Cantillion brewery has become one of the finest breweries across Europe. The beers are made with malted and un-malted barley and are aged in Chestnut and Oak barrels. There is also a wide variety of fruit flavored beers that are brewed here. Do not forget to visit the famous Gueuze Museum located in the brewery.

9. View All of Europe at Mini Europe

Belgium9

Photo by Eugene Regis, CC BY 2.0

Located in Bruparck, Mini Europe features miniature reproductions of all the major monuments of the European Union miniaturized at the scale of 1:25. The park features 80 cities of Europe with around 350 iconic monuments with live action models such as trains, volcanoes, airbuses, cable car,s etc. Built in an area of 24,000 sq meters the park was inaugurated in 1989 by Prince Philip of Belgium.

10. Visit Café Belga

Belgium10

Photo by Simon Blackley, CC BY-ND 2.0

With much Brussels providing a rich insight in the history of Belgium, you might also get back to the present and enjoy the nightlife of Brussels. The best place to experience the urban culture of Belgium is Café Belga. It is one of the most visited bars in Brussels and also has one of the biggest terraces in Brussels located beside the majestic Ixelles Lake. The bar is famous for its bustling nightlife with DJ parties and in house concerts. The bar also has a dedicated Jazz concert every Sunday. The café is located in an art deco styled building which was built during the 1930s and was once the headquarters of a radio station. Its peculiar shape also led it to be nicknamed as “the boat”.

With over a thousand years of history and culture, Brussels is one of the most visited tourist location in Europe. Being the capital of the ‘Cockpit of Europe’, Brussels is a highly urbanized city with a rich culture and the above places are just a handful of the total attractions housed in Brussels.

 

Author Bio:

Rohit Agarwal is an architect by profession and likes to travel places famous for their historical architecture. He is also the content contributor for Transindiatravels.com which is the best place for knowing about the various tourist places in India.

The Amsterdam Series (Part 1) – Beer

Amsterdam is known as a town that likes to have a good time – drink being one of the ways to help in having a good time. With bars open virtually all day, some only open from 2am – 6am, getting a drink is not a problem.

As a beer guy, I’m a fan of Heineken. Although I may be one of the world’s most disloyal beer drinkers (if it’s in a bottle and cold, I’ll try it), I have been drinking Heineken since my late teens (that’s a few years ago). The Heineken Experience (don’t call it the Heineken Museum) makes a worthwhile visit if you are visiting Amsterdam. http://www.heinekenexperience.com/AgeCheck. You walk through the former brewery location and wind your way through an interesting interactive tour. The history of Heineken, the family, the beer and the making of beer. Of course, the best part is drinking the beer – the 2 Heinekens at the end of the tour.

Heineken casts a large shadow in Holland and Amsterdam in particular. Heineken is everywhere, followed by Amstel. In the interest of variety, I stumbled upon a small brewery called “Brouwerij De Prael”. The brewery occupies a building that dates back to 1300. Prael makes you think you are back in the day between the wood interior and the historic brewing methods. Absolutely delicious and authentic. They have 4 different beers to choose from- Johnny (5.7%), Heintje (5.4%), Mary (9.7%) and Willeke (7.5%). They all have a kick for sure but without the harsh strong beer taste. You can take a tour and taste all 4 beers for 10 Euro. Or just sit down and pick one and have a great Dutch meal. Great atmosphere and beer made with traditional methods. Well worth the visit. http://deprael.nl/