Did you hear? Jumbo pretzels are the new birthday cake. That’s right, readers! Today is TheRebeccammendations’ THIRD Birthday!! My VERY first post included a photo of a recipe (Hamantashen, triangular cookies traditionally eaten on the Jewish holiday of Purim) and the details of the recipe and I decided the theme would be entertaining since I like to host in my home and for visitors in Austin. In fact, it was through this very first post that I met my long-distance blog penpal (we frequently comment on eachothers’ blogs, but have never met in person), Charles of Judicial Peach in St. Louis. It was through Charles that I met my friend Eric Silverstein before he opened his food truck, The Peached Tortilla, to provide feedback and ideas on the concept. He’s since (on his own accord), won the 2011 Food Truck of the Year Award by Eater Austin.
We celebrated TheRebeccammendations’ first birthday with my favorite birthday party ever at The Belmont featuring so many incredible local businesses, a beyond delicious and adorable cake by Coco Paloma Desserts, and three very talented musical acts: Courrier (who is in now in the running to perform at the Billboard music awards, go vote!), the ever-so-talented Matt McCloskey who has since produced a vinyl record that caused quite the debate in the comments section of my blog, and Jordan Whitmore who is about to release an album!
It was around the time of TheRebeccammendations’ second birthday that I had realized that blogging had helped me discover my passion for small and local businesses and that all of the previous blog posts I had written were filled with stories of how business owners or artists started out and came to do what they love for a living. A few months later in June 2011, I launched a community-focused small business marketing consultancy, LocalizeAustin. It was also in that second year of blogging that I joined the Austin Food Blogger Alliance founding board that I still serve on today, and a group that just produced its second official City Guide to food just in time for hungry SXSW crowds and Austin visitors.
Now, I’m three years into blogging (although the last year has featured fewer posts due to time constraints associated with launching LocalizeAustin), and almost 9 months into LocalizeAustin, but every time I post a new story about something fun to do in this town, I remember why I started and where it’s led me and I feel at home. So, I’ll keep writing, keep connecting with those who give Austin character through the businesses they start, the music they play, and the art they create. I’ll continue to help them tell their stories and attract new eyes and new believers. Thank you for all of your support up to this point – let’s keep the blog rolling!
***This post is the first of a series I’ll be writing on Austin newbie spots. The picture above is of a giant pretzel and “beer cheese’ offered at Easy Tiger, what I termed Austin’s newest “beerkery” (beer spot + bakery) since the likelihood that their menu caters to the St. Patty’s Day crowd today is high! If you haven’t stopped by there yet, do it. I ‘Rebeccammend’ the Ommegang Rare Vos beer (from NY), but it is not bitter, it’s refreshing and light and tasty alongside the jumbo pretzel. Oh, and their veggie sausage is pretty delicious too! They even have house-made Chex Mix, and, their Morning Tiger looks delicious but I have not yet tasted it: Multigrain Raisin Walnut Roll, Non-fat Greek Yogurt, Rolled Oats with Honey, Agave Syrup or Homemade Preserves.
Watch for the next feature in my newbie mini-series!