A band’s gotta eat: 15 restaurants for ACL acts
The Austin City Limits Festival starts Friday. For two weekends, 140 bands will have to figure out where to eat in Austin. I can help 15 of them decide right now. ►More: The illustrated ACL menu
By Mike Sutter | Fed Man Walking | 10.02.14
1. Eminem :: Via 313. Marshall Mathers could add another “M” to the mix for “Michigan,” or more specifically, “Motor City,” where he’s from. The native Detroiter in my house said Via 313’s square pizza with the crisp, air-puffed crust and pepperoni over and under the cheese took her straight back to Buscemi’s in the old neighborhood. You down with 3-1-3? Yeah, you know me.
2. Tune-Yards :: Lucy’s Fried Chicken. The “Water Fountain” song by this 30-something New Englander sounds like a Southern romp, with handclaps, woo-haws, a blood-soaked dollar — and a menu: “The two-pound chicken tastes better with friends.” Sounds like a job for a bucket of Lucy’s chicken with the crusty exterior and soft-hearted interior. Woo-haw.
3. Fitz & the Tantrums :: Whisler’s. Because if I hear that whistle-whistle intro to “The Walker” one more time, I’m gonna need a drink. And Whisler’s is a solid cocktail bar with the same vintage vibe as F-and-the-T.
4. St. Vincent :: East Side Show Room. Reanimated ’80s synth-pop mannequin meets the silent-movie robot from “Metropolis”? She’d be right at home in this steampunk wonderland of pre-Prohibition cocktails and updated bistro standards.
5. Skrillex :: Searsucker. Because they both got started in California, they’re both mindbendingly loud and I can’t decide whether I like either one.
6. Lorde :: Justine’s Brasserie. We’ll forever be Royales (Roy-ales). With cheese (with cheese, with cheese). Let me live that fantasy.
7. Beck :: The Hightower. Güero’s would be too easy. Instead, follow me: Beck says “soy un perdedor” something like a dozen times in “Loser,” and that’s either a slacker’s anthem or a cry for lost soy, which leads me straight to smoked tofu at the Hightower. Colorful, quirky, also made by a guy in a cool hat (Chad Dolezal).
8. Outkast :: Sandy’s. Because what’s cooler than being cool? Going to the frozen custard stand where Gov. Perry went to celebrate being booked on abuse of power charges. See also: Ice cold.
9. Temples :: Biscuits + Groovy. With its jangly Rickenbacker intro and joy-shout backing vocals, Temples’ “Shelter Song” might have come from the neverending Summer of Love that was great ’60s pop. With biscuits, eggs, jam and gravy — and vegan options for all of it — Biscuits + Groovy could’ve catered that gig.
10. The Replacements :: John Mueller Meat Co. Tortured geniuses with spotty reputations. We talking about alt-rock or barbecue here? Doesn’t matter, because guessing which version of Mueller and the Mats will show up is half the fun. Right?
11. Black Pistol Fire :: Haymaker. Split between Toronto and Austin, this garage-rock duo could find dual citizenship in Haymaker’s version of craft-beer meets blue collar and its rendition of poutine: a pile of fries with brown gravy and cheese curds.
12. Childish Gambino :: Qui / East Side King. Donald Glover lives two lives: one as the actor and comedian from the TV show “Community,” the other as rapid-fire rhymer Childish Gambino. Paul Qui is like that, too: the “Top Chef” personality with a progressive restaurant called Qui, and the Filipino kid from Houston with a string of street-food joints called East Side King.
13. Iggy Azalea :: Veracruz All Natural. Hit the Veracruz trailer at Radio Coffee and Beer for migas tacos, because you don’t have to be fancy to be on everybody’s playlist. “Can’t you taste this gold?” Yes, Gold Top Cider. (Or something from Mellizzoz Tacos, just so we can hear Iggy say I-Z-Z-O.)
14. Poliça :: Uchi. Sushi’s the natural choice, because singer Channy Leaneagh always sounds like she’s underwater, and because I’d take any excuse to sit across the table from Channy Leaneagh. Even underwater.
15. Pearl Jam :: Jeffrey’s. They’re both still alive after decades in the business, and Pearl Jam can afford a place where a steak costs $85. Plus, a guy who put out a ukulele record might be OK with a staff dressed like bellboys and ice cream men.
(Restaurant and bar photos by Mike Sutter © Fed Man Walking. Artist photos used by permission of aclfestival.com or downloaded from official artist Media portals: Eminem: Shady Records; TuneYards: aclfestival.com; Fitz & the Tantrums: Joseph Coltice; St. Vincent: Renata Raksha; Skrillex: Jason Nocito; Lorde: Charles Howells; Beck: Peter Hapak; Outkast: outkast.com; Temples: aclfestival.com; Black Pistol Fire: aclfestival.com; Childish Gambino: aclfestival.com; Iggy Azalea: aclfestival.com; Polica: Cameron Wittig; Pearl Jam: Danny Clinch.)
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