Austin Evolution

Photo: Carabao Express serves up Filipino barbecue and artesano Colombiano © CARABAO EXPRESS

By - February 1, 2019

ONE OF AMERICA’S FASTEST-GROWING and most popular large cities, Austin not only is expanding outward to meet demand but also is revitalizing as the far end of Sixth Street undergoes transformation. Long a downtown mainstay, Sixth stretches west from the business district and upscale venues on through honky-tonk party central. Once a rundown, low-rent district across the freeway, East Sixth emerges as a new destination with brand-new high-rise apartments soaring over trendy clubs and bars.

Cross Route 35 and see the restoration of the Legation, where the French resided during their stage of “six flags over Texas.” Near the park-like Texas State Cemetery, George Washington Carver Museum salutes the historic importance of the local black community.

But it is on East Sixth itself, all along the street, where people come to dine, shop and sip. Within a few blocks Birds Barbershop offers buzz and razor cuts until 9 p.m. Waterman Supply stocks skateboards, backpacks and Lone Star caps. Powder Vintage sells blue jeans and candles. And 7–10 p.m., Practice Yoga offers donationbased classes.

No type of global cuisine is overlooked. Murasaki rolls and otoro tuna star on the sushi menu at Fukumoto. Choose from cilantro pesto, soppressata, kalamata olives, basic marinara and other options at build-your-own Spartan Pizza. Inside vividly painted Buenos Aires Café, order up pastel de papas — Argentine-style shepherd’s pie chock-full of beef, raisins, olives and onions. Fare at Ah Sing Den ranges from dim sum to chicken and waffles, washed down with kimchi Bloody Marys.

In a courtyard of picnic tables and hammocks bordered by food trucks, Carabao Express serves up Filipino barbecue and artesano Colombiano. Enjoy Brazilian street food at Boteco and tacos at Pueblo Viejo. And Popola’s draws queues for its beef fajita, special hot dog and South American-style fast foods. Chi’lantro’s menu takes on Korean fusion. For dessert at Gelateria Gemelli, sample plum sorbetto or salted caramel ice cream teamed with a cup of Viet coffee.

Take your pick of bars and pubs: Shangri-La serves drinks beside its billiard table; the Hen House is geared to women empowerment; Attabar sets alight a flaming Welcome to the Jungle banana rum cocktail to sip while playing Scrabble at outdoor tables. Raise a glass to revived East Sixth, where everything old is new again.