There are two kinds of weird: the kind Austin's very into preserving, and the kind that involves people who don't like tequila. Or maybe those people aren't weird, they're just terrible. In any event, raise a glass to the good kind of weirdness at these five agave hotspots.
Austin's now the capital of tequila
400 Rabbits Bar
Tequila Bona Fides: Why choose one of their 27+ tequilas when you can get a menage a trois-quila via flights served with seasonal sangrita at the ready.
Quick Bite: Chili Lime and Cerveza nuts are just $3.
Sully's Side Bar
Tequila Bona Fides: Wet (whet?) your whistle with a blended Spicy Mango Side Shot, then get familiar with 26+ teq selections (including several on tap).
Quick Bite: Smokin' Jalapenos, stuffed with pollo tinga and wrapped in applewood smoked bacon.
TNT Tacos and Tequila
Tequila Bona Fides: Over 110 premiums, 13 ultra-premiums, and 11 extra-ultra-premium tequilas. They've got tequila on tap too, which makes any hard liquor premium.
Quick Bite: $2.50 farm-fresh breakfast tacos at any hour.
Tequila Bona Fides: It's a battle of the machines when they bust out their smoking gun to make mesquite-smoked tequila shots, and a Japanese shaved-ice machine to create a margarita sno-cone.
Quick Bite: Go healthy with sauteed kale and sweet potato, or don't, with chocolate sauced churros.
Tequila Bona Fides: 24 brands, and the best way to take 'em's in a Banderita ("little flag") -- a tequila, fresh lime juice and house sangrita shooter.
Quick Bite: The open-faced bolillo topped with refrieds, roasted poblano and melted jack.
Named after an Aztec legend in which the god of agave birthed hundreds of hares who suckled her 400 tequila-filled teats (Spring Break, woo!), 400's a lounge with a candelabra chandelier, cushy black leather booths, and a green velvet ceiling, attached to the new Slaughter Ln Drafthouse, which is not to be confused with the Warrant or Winger Ln Drafthouse.
Opening tomorrow adjacent to Sullivan's Steakhouse, this blonde wood, marble bar'd tacos y tequila endeavor explores recipes the Sullivan's exec chef learned from his grandmother growing up in Juarez, in the days before it became a juar zone.
From a group that's been helming SW'ern joints for 20+ years, this pine-floored firewatering hole serves a short list of grilled-to-order tortilla fillers and a long list of tequilas, either along an open kitchen counter, in booths, or at community tables and a concrete bar top lorded over by a rebar liquor cage, giving a worms-eye view of Anejo the Giant vs. the Ultimate Wabo-rior.
You'll try El Monumento for the experience - a dining pavilion, an open kitchen, an interior courtyard, and a terrace overlooking the Blue Hole lagoon are enough to draw anyone looking for a lunch spot with a view - but you'll come back for the home-style Mexican fare and delicious cocktails.
The owners of Takoba know what they're doing with Mexican food -- they grew up in a rural area in central Mexico before relocating to Austin. They're dedicated to fresh, local ingredients and the menu reflects this philosophy, offering a great selection of standard favorites like quesadillas and more authentic, lesser-known dishes like a traditional Mexican pork stew. Best of all may be the outdoor patio-cum-sandbox that's filled with multicolored lounge chairs.