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I volunteered as a summer camp counselor at Camp Grady Spruce this year, and I have nothing but great things to say about it. The kids, the counselors, the instructors, and our other camp staff all had a fantastic time and left with huge smiles on their faces. We can't wait to go back again next summer.
The YMCA staff has the entire camp operating like a well-oiled machine. I would say they have all their ducks in a row, but that would be too literal, since there really were ducks waiting outside the dining hall every morning, hoping for the kids to throw them some food. From the kitchen staff, to the lifeguards, to the activity instructors, everyone was on the ball and did their best to make sure the campers ate well, stayed safe, and had fun.
The camp facilities were great too. This is the first camp I've been to where the cabins have air conditioning, and now I wonder how any camp in Texas gets by without it. It's SO NICE to be able to go inside and cool down after a long hike or horseback ride. And sleeping without A/C is no fun at all. Speaking of which, the bunks were actually really comfortable too. The cabins also have indoor bathrooms and showers, as opposed to other camps that have separated showers/bathrooms that are shared by multiple cabins. Again, this is a really nice luxury. The dining hall here is enormous, and all the tables quickly and easily fold up and out of the way to make room for indoor activities. Our campers had crafts and games in there every day, and we held our camp dance there as well.
Looking forward to many more summers at Camp Grady Spruce!
Hooty Hoops brought their hoops and expertise to our Yelp Elite party a few nights ago. After a few libations, several of us were sufficiently emboldened to give the hoops a spin (pun intended). Needless to say, hilarity ensued.
Some of us got the hang of it right off the bat. Others needed some pointers. But everyone learned a trick a two from Jennifer. She was enthusiastic, fun, and genuinely excited about getting us all to shake our hips and have a good time. It was a blast, and I highly recommend Hooty Hoops for your next party.
I'm really trying to cut this place some slack, since they're not even technically open yet. Today was the Austin Livestrong Marathon, so Hickory Street decided to do a "soft launch" and open for a buffet brunch. It was equal parts publicity and a trial-run for the kitchen staff and waitstaff before the official grand opening next week. I asked the manager if this Sunday brunch would be a regular thing once the restaurant opens, and he said they aren't currently planning on it, but maybe if it proves popular. Also, the items on today's menu may or may not appear on the final menu once the restaurant launches. So, having said that, this review is solely of today's possibly-one-time-only brunch buffet, and may not represent the restaurant's normal menu at all. I'll come back once they've officially launched and update my review accordingly.
Alright... now that the disclaimer is out of the way, let's talk about the brunch. It was decent, but not terribly impressive, and definitely not worth the $14 price (or $17.50 for non-marathoners). After all, Iron Cactus is just a few blocks away, and their $14 Sunday brunch buffet is three or four times larger, with much more variety. I realize Hickory Street is bound to be a bit more pricey because they're using all farm-to-market ingredients, with a focus on organic, local, and a variety of vegan/vegetarian-friendly dishes. But I'll take the variety of Iron Cactus' buffet any day. By contrast, the buffet offered at Hickory Street was mostly bread items (muffins, biscuits, pastries), just three meat items, and some fruit, eggs, and grits. And of those, only a few stood out as really good. The rest were just okay.
So, let me focus on the best items. My favorite was the yogurt parfait. It started out as a pretty standard parfait, with a top layer of strawberries and yogurt sprinkled with a little granola, but underneath that it surprised me with a sweet and delicious mixture of what I'm pretty sure was pecans, granola, and honey. Whatever it was, it was fantastic, and the other people at my table agreed. I really hope this makes it onto the final menu.
The second-most-popular item on the buffet - according to our table anyway - was the pork sausage patties. They were seasoned perfectly and were so juicy and flavorful that I kept going back for more. Another meat item on the buffet was coffee-rubbed chopped brisket, which had an incredible flavor and would have been even more popular than the sausage patties, except that the meat was too fatty and left many of us spitting out unchewable chunks. Bummer.
Finally, there was the fruit salad. It was so good that all of us were certain there was some sort of syrup or infusion of something that was making it taste so sweet (in a good way, not a too-sweet way). I asked the manager, and he initially said he thought there was an all-natural fruit juice syrup on it, but he later checked with the chef and found that there was nothing added to it. It was just REALLY good fruit. Maybe there's something to this farm-to-market stuff after all!
So, yes, it was a rather small and limited buffet. And yes, most of the items on it were just okay. But there were a few pleasant surprises that definitely make me want to give Hickory Street another try in a few weeks. I really hope they end up blowing my socks off, because I'd love to have another excellent restaurant to patronize in downtown Austin. Especially this one, since the manager and staff here were all so very friendly, and the location certainly has loads of potential, given their beautiful outdoor patio with views of Congress Ave. and the Capitol.
Yelp has the right address for this store, but the wrong GPS coordinates, so it's a pain to check in. Not sure how to fix that though.
Rooms to Go is pretty much what you expect from a nationwide furniture chain. It's not the most original or highest quality stuff you'll find, but the prices are great, and the designs are nice. What makes Rooms to Go a bit different is that they've designed entire rooms - including furniture, lighting, accessories, art, rugs, etc. - which takes the guesswork out of trying to buy everything individually and hoping it will all look good together. That's a nice touch, but having said that, I've never bought more than a couple pieces at a time from them.
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"I have many leather-bound books and my apartment smells of rich mahogany."
Austin, TX, Vereinigte StaatenYelper seit
September 2010Dinge, die ich mag
I love... carpet, I love... desk, I love lamp.Hier bin ich häufig anzutreffen
Austin, TXMein Blog oder meine Website Wenn ich nicht gerade yelpe, dann ...
I'm probably riding my bikeWas ich zuletzt gelesen habe
The Hitchhiker's Guide to the GalaxyMein Lieblingsfilm
Anchorman: The Legend of Ron BurgandyMeine Henkersmahlzeit
Meatloaf a la modeErzähl's nicht weiter, aber...
your fly is downIch schwärme gerade für