Friday Favorites: JW Walthall

by Leigh on October 26, 2012

This week, chef, writer, and all-around Austin expert JW Walthall plans out the ultimate Austin weekend for us.

JW came to Austin 14 years ago for school and couldn’t leave, first working in politics and policy research and then, in best job transition ever, leaving to become a pastry chef. After working at acclaimed Austin restaurants Asti, Uchi, and Jeffrey’s, he founded 512Foodie and worked as editor for Eater Austin.

Today you can find JW working as a chef for private parties and continuing to do freelance food writing, photography, and event planning. Below is his incredible itinerary for the most jam-packed three-day weekend EVER in ATX. Thanks for sharing, JW!


Start the late morning with a stop by Vintage Heart Coffee on East 7th Street, but get
the coffee to go, as next you’ll be standing in line at Franklin Barbecue. After the best
barbecue of your life that slid down your throat, head towards campus and shop around
the iconic Toy Joy, followed next by a break on the patio at Spider House. Walk up the
block to Hopfields for a pint, too.

With the evening approaching, now drive up to North Loop for some of the best pre-
dinner cocktails in town at Tigress Pub, and then fill your stomach at neighborhood
eatery Foreign and Domestic. Finish your night with music by Donn and the Station
Masters at Donn’s Depot just west of downtown, and be sure to venture into the
women’s restroom, as it’s the best in town.

Photo: Donn and the Station Masters (credit: CultureMap)


Try your best to get out of bed early and beat the crowds for the best picks at the
Saturday Farmers’ Market downtown. Afterwards head to Clarksville and climb
around the Hope Outdoor Gallery Project (a.k.a. Castle Hill Graffiti), making sure to
take some great shots for your Instagram feed. Walk up to West Lynn, and get ready for
a darn good greasy cheeseburger at Nau’s Enfield Drug. Pick up a newspaper or bring a
magazine as you get a cappuccino at Caffe Medici and relax in the West Austin Park,
hopefully giving your dogs a chance to play well with others in the adjoining dog park off
W. 9th St. If you’re in the mood to spend a few hours shopping, make a tip down the hill
to BookPeople and Waterloo Records.

Finish the afternoon on South Lamar with ice cream at Lick and a movie at the Alamo
. For dinner head downtown to share some plates with friends at Swift’s
, then ending the night downstairs with live jazz at The Elephant Room.

Photo: Nau’s Enfield Drug (credit: JW Walthall)


Sundays begin with brunch, so sleep in a bit and head downtown for recuperation at La
. Feeling full? So walk off some of the food-baby and avoid a coma while you
people watch over coffee at Jo’s Downtown.

In the late afternoon drive up Burnet Road and be ready to partake in an Austin tradition
– Chicken Shit Bingo at Ginny’s Little Longhorn. Be sure and bring cash if you plan
on betting or having a beer. For dinner explore the east side, which will most likely
include a visit to Liberty for the Thai-inspired food at East Side King in the back. You
can rest and relax at Rio Rita, or walk a bit further and get a cocktail and entertainment
at East Side Showroom. If you have time, make an easy trip up a few blocks and get a
strong drink at Longbranch Inn to end the night.

That’s a lot of exploring for three days, so get some rest. Maybe call in sick on Monday
for a break from your vacation.

Photo: Ginny’s Little Longhorn (Credit: Jim Merithew/

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