Kat Goduco Photography

Everything That Went Down At Hotel Thrillist Austin

Everything is bigger and better in Texas. The city has incredible food, a bustling party scene, and a tightknit community. So close in fact, that when so many Houstonians were displaced after Hurricane Harvey, Austin took them in.

We wanted to celebrate that spirit and the local community by throwing Hotel Thrillist 2017 at the W Hotel in Austin. Not only did we have the time of our lives, but we even got to accept donations and donate a portion of ticket sales to the Wine & Food Foundation of Texas and the American Red Cross. To relive the two-day event, let’s take a look back at all the good times we had, the tasty things we ate and drank, and, of course, the photos that captured it all.

We served up some of Austin’s best

Austin is known for its world class barbecue and mouthwatering tacos, so we kicked off the weekend with a sampling from 10 of the city’s eateries. (Because the best way to get to know a town is to try all its food.) Then, our friends at Chobani teamed up with a local chef to create two never-before-tasted yogurt dishes to round out the feast.  

Kat Goduco Photography

Spicy, Sweet & Smoky Sandos

Black’s BBQ
Homemade jalapeño cheddar brisket sausage, served on a donut bun with caramelized maple syrup and a side of brisket (you know, for good measure)
Kat Goduco Photography

Pickled Shrimp

Shrimp with local sweet melon salad, cucumbers, shaved red onions, mint, and cilantro
Kat Goduco Photography

Crispy Duck Leg

Moonshine Patio Bar & Grill
Rich, crispy duck nestled alongside champagne slaw and compressed watermelon
Kat Goduco Photography

Chorizo “Warrior” Tacos

Cool Beans
Chorizo and potato tacos, served up with Mexican pickled red onion and a zing of fresh cilantro
Kat Goduco Photography

Forbidden Spare Ribs

The Peached Tortilla
Chinese-style spare ribs doused in sticky, sweet, salty, and savory flavor -- a combo they’re calling their “forbidden sauce”
Kat Goduco Photography

The Ultimate Charcuterie

Easy Tiger
House-cured pastrami and summer sausage served with house-baked rye bread, Chex mix & mustard
Kat Goduco Photography

Smokey Deviled Eggs

Cane Rosso
Smoked egg cups, bacon marmalade, smoked pecans, pimento cheese, and pickled peppers
Kat Goduco Photography

Butternut Squash & Sage Rigatoni

Trace Restaurant
Comfort pasta with brown butter, preserved lemon, citrus, and maple
Kat Goduco Photography

Margarita Ice Cream

Lick Honest Ice Creams
A creamy take on the classic tequila staple topped with citrus liqueur whipped cream
Kat Goduco Photography

A Classic Pie Hybrid

Tiny Pies
Pecan pie and chocolate brownies meet in this dessert mashup that these guys are calling the “Texas Two Step”
Kat Goduco Photography

Fried Chicken & Waffles

Chicken tenders marinated in Chobani Greek Yogurt, served with waffles and bourbon spiced maple syrup
Kat Goduco Photography

Breakfast Tacos

Beer braised pot roast marinated in Chobani Greek Yogurt topped with a special Chobani Guacamole, scrambled eggs, and roma tomatoes
Kat Goduco Photography

And you best believe there were cocktails

You can’t forget the drinks, of course. Our friends at Don Q Rum made some specialty cocktails -- and even bananas foster -- for the occasion. Now, just in case you want to recreate them at home (which, well you probably do), we’ve got the recipes for you below.

Kat Goduco Photography

Don Q Spiced Daiquiri

Don Q spiced rum, lime juice, vanilla simple syrup, and drops of Angostura bitters
Kat Goduco Photography

Don Q Gran Añejo Old Fashioned

Don Q Gran Añejo rum, sugar cube, dashes of Angostura bitters, orange peel, and maraschino cherry
Kat Goduco Photography

Bananas À La Don Q

Don Q Rum
Sliced bananas sauteed in butter, cinnamon, and nutmeg, then flambéed with Don Q Gold rum and served warm over vanilla ice cream
Charles Bronson

You can’t have a party without a photo booth

If you’re going to throw a party as epic as Hotel Thrillist, then you’re going to need some photo evidence of what went down. But because this is Hotel Thrillist, we couldn’t just have some run-of-the mill photo booth. To help us out, Lyft provided a VW photo booth bus that was decked out with props for our guests. Not only that, but they also set up a pink carpet into the W Hotel, in true VIP style.

Kat Goduco Photography

We started Saturday with a boost 

We planned a long, fun-filled day for everyone on Saturday, so it was important to start off strong. To help wake you up, Cafe Bustelo provided some delicious coffee: hot espressos made to order and their Bustelo Cool iced coffee drinks. After that, it was time for yoga with Chobani. And seriously, if we could do yoga like this every morning, getting up early would never be a problem. The DJ was spinning awesome music, the sun was shining, and Chobani was mixing smoothies for after the workout. Talk about a boost.

Kat Goduco Photography

And hey, if Hotel Thrillist sparked the yogi in you, we’ve compiled a few simple poses you can do at home when you have a big day ahead. Just 10 minutes in the morning is all it takes.

1. Cat-Cow Pose. Cat-Cow Pose is perfect for the morning, since it stretches your back after a long night’s sleep, and opens up your spine. First, get down on all fours. Inhale as you lift your chin up to the ceiling and drop your back. As you exhale, look down at your belly button and arch your back like a cat. Repeat the movement for a minute or two until you feel fully open.

2. Tree Pose. This standing pose helps you gain balance and strengthen your legs, but it also takes concentration -- so it helps wake up your mind in the morning. Simply stand straight up with your hands tight in prayer position at your chest. Bring the sole of your left foot up to your right inner thigh and balance here for a minute while inhaling and exhaling slowly. When complete, switch sides and repeat.

3. Downward Dog. Start on your hands and knees before slowly pressing back, lifting your knees off the floor, straightening your arms and lifting your tailbone. Your heels should be on the floor. This pose stretches the hamstrings and opens up the back of the body. After 30 seconds in downward dog, you’ll be ready to take on anything the day throws at you.

Kat Goduco Photography

And then things got really Texas

To live up to Austin’s reputation as a food/drink/music mecca, we knew we had to go all out. So, we took the party to Rainey Street -- a historical district in the city where iconic Austin bungalows now host some of the best bars in ATX.

We started the day at Lucille’s, where we dished out Frito pie (but sans the dish, of course.) Not familiar? It’s a southwest staple where Fritos are topped with chili and cheese, and served right in the bag. The perfect bar crawl snack, if you ask us. Then, we had an entire marching band (!) take everyone to Clive, where Stubb’s served up classic Austin barbecue, slathered in their famous sauce.

Kat Goduco Photography

Because we had to outdo ourselves, we then taught everyone the classic Texas art of country line dancing (giant foam 10-gallon hats included) and stepped and shuffled our way up Rainey Street to our final spot, Lustre Pearl. Oh, and to honor a true Austin classic, we also had Deep Eddy (a beloved local craft distiller) pouring tastings of their vodka flavors all day -- sweet tea with a kick, anyone?

Kat Goduco Photography

The music was on point

It’s not a party without some great music -- especially not in Austin. We closed out Friday at Summit Rooftop Lounge with DJ Helena Legend, and the LA-based performer seriously kicked up the energy. 

There was plenty of entertainment all day on Rainey Street, too. We had Jake Thompson at Lucille's; Candler Wilkinson IV at Clive, & Sour Bridges at Lustre Pearl. That evening we welcomed St. Lucia to Buford’s Beer Garden and jammed to hits from his newest album “Matter.” Both evenings had drinks provided by Bud Light and Deep Eddy Vodka, and we partied and danced real hard. 

And then we took it down a notch (literally)

To close out a party in a city that prides itself on being quirky, we knew we couldn’t end the weekend with just a run of the mill dance party. Instead, we hosted a complete silent disco in our suite at the W Hotel -- where everyone donned headphones and danced until the wee hours of the morning, all the while overlooking the city’s downtown -- without making a sound.

To inspire even more envy, we rounded up some of our favorite pics from the weekend below, too:

Kat Goduco Photography
Kat Goduco Photography
Kat Goduco Photography
Kat Goduco Photography
Kat Goduco Photography
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