Things to do in Austin for foreigners short on time

An older post from my newsletter, but probably still helpful.

Breakfast tacos at tamalehouse

I navigate life, mostly, though food, rather, eating. Thus, my suggestions for things to do in Austin are primarily about things to eat. Also, I have a nine year old and have lived in Amsterdam for a year. So, my knowledge of “the hot spots” is about a decade out of date. Some of the places I recommend below may even be closed!

Nonetheless, here’s what I would do, and try to do, when I go back:

  • Eat breakfast tacos in the morning – the breakfast taco is a tortilla with scrambled eggs, cheese, and other things, usually bacon. If you’re vegan, get potatoes and beans, maybe gucamole. I would start with the basic, which is both the benchmark and the standard: eggs, cheese, bacon. Breakfast tacos must be served in a flour tortilla, white flour preferably. Breakfast tacos on corn tortillas are a fraud and should be stomped on. As a bonus round, try a migas breakfast taco. In fact, I would suggest pairing a standard breakfast taco with a migas one: eat the standard first, and then the migas one. If you’ve never had a migas breakfast taco, you want to prime your mouth with the standard, a sort of palet cleansing. Order these at aa Taco Deli, a Torchy’s, or any restaurant with a Spanish word and a number in it’s name, e.g., “Arranda’s #4.” If you can go a little out of the way, got to Tamale House or Mi Madre’s. I would recommend ordering extra salsa to put on the tacos (see below).
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🗂 Link: Uitsmijter

In the south of Holland, where I grew up, uitsmijters would be served as the last “one for the road before we get thrown out” meal after a night of partying. Groups of friends would usually end up at someone’s house late at night (or early in the morning) after the bars closed to wrap up the night with a warm, comforting meal in their stomach before going to bed. Many a parent has woken up to the smell of ham and eggs in the middle of the night, only to find a kitchen full of youngsters eating breakfast. That was often the point where the “throwing out” happened

Source: Uitsmijter

Link: Steel cut oats

The calories are basically the same as those in instant. The biggest difference is that when you choose instant over the whole grain form, you’re likely to be hungry again in the next 45 minutes, whereas the lesser processed grain will take your body longer to digest, and do a much better job at holding off any growling of the belly.
Original source: Steel cut oats

Link: Potato Chips Market Share, Size, Growth and Analysis 2018-2023

“In the past 7 years, the market for good ol’ fried tater chips has grown at a snackable rate of 4%, pushing the global market for potato chips to.”
Original source: Potato Chips Market Share, Size, Growth and Analysis 2018-2023

Link: Walmart’s Blockchain Program May Transform the Way We Use Data

Verifying claims (like organic) and tracking in the supply gain, but not explanation of how or how you trust the people who made the claims.
Original source: Walmart’s Blockchain Program May Transform the Way We Use Data

Link: Domino’s CEO’s parting shot – we’re going to be 100% digital

‘If you figure today we are north of 60% on our digital orders and about 10% of our orders are walk-in orders -people just walking into the store and somebody takes the order there – and those can be handled with kiosks, so that’s how those are going to be digital. But you’re looking at, today, 25% or maybe slightly more that are still old-fashioned phone orders. And think maybe three minutes average on the phone for somebody to take a phone order.’
Original source: Domino’s CEO’s parting shot – we’re going to be 100% digital

Link: Eden: The Tech That’s Bringing Fresher Groceries to You

Wal-mart using ML and analytics to keep food fresher:

“For example, take everybody’s favorite, the banana. This tasty fruit is consistently among the best-selling grocery items in Walmart’s U.S. stores. Bananas travel from seven countries in Latin America to over 4,000 stores in the U.S. On such a long road, what happens to those bananas if temperatures in the container trucks exceed acceptable ranges? In the future, Eden will be able to recalculate the freshness factor and re-route the shipment immediately. The bananas end up in a closer store to optimize freshness, consumers take home a delicious bunch, and everyone is happy.

Eden also helps eliminate food waste. Our goal is to eliminate $2 billion in waste over the next five years. Already, Eden is being used in 43 distribution centers and has prevented $86 million in waste from happening.

What was once a manual inspection process is now more efficient and thorough than ever.”
Original source: Eden: The Tech That’s Bringing Fresher Groceries to You

Link: Eden: The Tech That’s Bringing Fresher Groceries to You

Wal-mart using ML and analytics to keep food fresher:

“For example, take everybody’s favorite, the banana. This tasty fruit is consistently among the best-selling grocery items in Walmart’s U.S. stores. Bananas travel from seven countries in Latin America to over 4,000 stores in the U.S. On such a long road, what happens to those bananas if temperatures in the container trucks exceed acceptable ranges? In the future, Eden will be able to recalculate the freshness factor and re-route the shipment immediately. The bananas end up in a closer store to optimize freshness, consumers take home a delicious bunch, and everyone is happy.

Eden also helps eliminate food waste. Our goal is to eliminate $2 billion in waste over the next five years. Already, Eden is being used in 43 distribution centers and has prevented $86 million in waste from happening.

What was once a manual inspection process is now more efficient and thorough than ever.”
Original source: Eden: The Tech That’s Bringing Fresher Groceries to You

Link: My advice for a Paris visit

“If you want to spend forty euros for a very good but not revelatory lunch, find a “cool” area with lots of restaurants and poke your head in at their opening, at 12:30, to ask for a table. By 12:45 it is too late and you are screwed and back to your favorite cheese shop. By the way, I don’t think Paris is the best city in which to spend $200 on a meal.”

Exiled to your favorite cheese shop. Tragic!
Original source: My advice for a Paris visit

The internet of food nutrition labels

“So anyone who is producing food that ends up in our grocery stores, we’re working with them to get the data from their labels and the packaging information to come right into the database for us,” Pamela Stark Reed, deputy administrator for Nutrition, Food Safety and Quality, said on Information Management month.

The database has actually existed for over a century, Reed said. But before starting the initiative, it only had about 8,000 entries. Since opening it up to manufacturer submission, ARS has received 80,000 new items, a 1000 percent increase.
And on future plans:

The goal for the database is to eventually expand to 1,000,000 items. Reed said ARS anticipates getting store brand and international food items into the database soon. Some items from chain restaurants may follow.

Because of this, the agency is looking into cloud services to increase its storage capacity.

Just imagine, globally, how many data sets like that there are. Throw in the workflow to injest and cleanup the data, and change it, plus APIs to access it, and you have an almost endless amount of projects for software eating.

http://federalnewsradio.com/information-management-month/2016/11/usda-turns-nutritional-data-open-data/

Gulf oysters

“The whole time I was watching that stupid spill cam with dispersant being injected into the spill, I thought oysters, oysters, oysters,” New Orleans chef Frank Brigsten told local news outlet the Times-Picayune last year.

There’s plenty of people who turn up their nose at gulf oysters. But, growing up on those big, ugly, juicy things, they’re the ones I love best over fancy named, effete tiny ones from other places. Recently, it has been harder to find them. Too bad.

See original story.