Photo courtesy of Engel & Volkers

For some, a dream home is all about the backyard. More than two-thirds of homeowners, 69 percent in fact, use their outdoor spaces for relaxing, according to the 2017 Houzz Landscape Trends Survey. Pools, patios, decks, and boat docks — if it's awesome and outdoors, it's a keeper. Take a tour of some of the best backyards on the market right now with Engel & Volkers, and see all the ways you could be enjoying Austin's beauty on your very own property.

Photo courtesy of Engel & Volkers
For some, a dream home is all about the backyard. More than two-thirds of homeowners, 69 percent in fact, use their outdoor spaces for relaxing, according to the 2017 Houzz Landscape Trends Survey [http://austin.culturemap.com/news/home-design/04-10-17-houzz-survey-landscaping-front-yard-curb-appeal-trends/]. Pools, patios, decks, and boat docks — if it's awesome and outdoors, it's a keeper. Take a tour of some of the best backyards on the market right now with Engel & Volkers [http://austin.evusa.com/], and see all the ways you could be enjoying Austin's beauty on your very own property. --- 19815 Angel Bay Dr. Spicewood, TX 78669 A wooden deck spans the entire main level, offering multiple entertainment areas. You'll also find a hot tub, drawbridge, an upper-level stone patio with a circa-1932 telescope that allows for long-distance panoramic Lake Travis and Hill Country views, and an observatory lookout point on the third level. This property [http://www.angelbaywaterfront.com/] is listed by Kathryn Scarborough with Engel & Volkers.
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10 Austin spots tackle Super Bowl plans with takeout and watch parties

New ways to wing it

It seems fair to say Austinites know they can drop by H-E-B for most of their game day needs. But we’re not talking needs, we’re talking excess. Whether you’re a die-hard fan or a host who wants to offer something truly memorable — or just absolutely clueless on this whole football thing but looking forward to Rihanna and the food — CultureMap is setting you up for a touchdown.

On February 12 at 5:30 pm, the Kansas City Chiefs will face off against the Philadelphia Eagles, and there are basically two places to be: at home, or out with everyone else. If the former is more your style, make sure you order well in advance. If the latter, keep in mind that many of these events operate on a first-come-first-serve basis. Either way, time to tackle these game day plans.

Take-home snacks

Little Ola’s Giant Biscuit Bowl
One of the most extravagant and Southern offerings comes from Little Ola’s, one of Austin’s favorite biscuit makers. The Giant Biscuit Bowl ($140 feeds six) is, as described, a giant biscuit carved into a vessel for vegan queso. This main dip is accompanied by a seven-layer dip, deviled ham dip, and chicken salad. Just add chips for the classiest dip buffet on either side of the Colorado River. Order on Tock for pickup at Little Ola’s or Olamaie.

Loro’s Big Game Party Pack
Barbecue is a game-day staple, and Loro offers an Asian twist in its Big Game Party Pack. It comes with all the classics, but more interesting: wonton chips and dip, smoked baby back Duroc ribs (sourced from a specific breed of pig), whole smoked “sake can chicken,” Thai-style sausages, and oak grilled zucchini to balance out all the meat. Preorders available until February 10 via toasttab.com.

Oseyo's Korean fried chicken buckets
Oseyo is kicking the chicken wing tradition up a notch with Korean fried chicken buckets ($50). Those include twice-fried chicken, waffle fries, a pint of Korean potato salad, a pint of sesame cole slaw, half a pint of house pickles, and four chocolate-black sesame brownies (add more of these à la carte for celebration or stress snacking). Drink add-ons include a six-pack of Terra Beer (Korean Lager), a 32-ounce "Kimchilada mix" (Makes about 8-10 drinks), and non-alcoholic St. Elmo Hop Water. Preorder on Tock.

Goodstock by Nolan Ryan's specials and discounts
If a downtown restaurant is too fancy but preparing everything at home is not enough, Goodstock by Nolan Ryan is ready to meet in the middle. The Round Rock butcher shop's game day specials include bacon wrapped jalapeño poppers and beef kabobs, plus discounts on popular party items from now through Valentine's Day. House-made burger patties, Butcher’s Blend sausage, wings, steaks and more are 20 percent off. Head to the store to see what's on sale — the discount only works in person, anyway.

Watch parties

The Driskill Bar
Whether a visit to the Driskill is your way of keeping up with college football traditions, or you want the non-football fans in your group to have a special experience beyond the TV screen, the historic bar is offering deals. Domestic beer buckets will be available for $20 per five beers. The hotel’s location on 6th Street will make it just as fun as any sports bar, with the added benefit of a much nicer atmosphere.

Punch Bowl Social
For parties who’d like something else to keep busy with during game delays, Punch Bowl Social is hosting one of the most energetic watch parties in the city. The pregame starts at 4 pm with arcade games, bowling, cocktails and bar snacks. It’ll probably be crowded; consider signing up as VIPs for a projector screening, buffet, and lounge. A local DJ will close out the post-game party. Tickets ($70 with two drink tickets) for The Domain and downtown locations available on Eventbrite.

Fierce Whiskers Distillery
Whiskey distillery Fierce Whiskers is always ready with a party for big days in Austin; for Super Bowl Sunday, it’s staying ready for big crowds with pre-batched cocktails and rivalry-stoking theme-themed punch bowl drinks. Otoshi, the onsite food truck, will serve creative wings and burgers while game watchers play bingo and trivia for prizes. Dogs are welcome, and the free watch party does not require an RSVP.

Meanwhile Brewing Co.
Just down the road, the distillery’s neighbor Meanwhile Brewing Co. is breaking out the big screen outside, kicking off the party early (12 pm) for an all-day party. The super-popular group of food trucks — including an exciting new addition specializing in fried chicken sandwiches — will be churning out their own specials from the sidelines. Pueblo Viejo offers a tostada plate, and Bésame is putting together a sundae special, with more to come. RSVP on Eventbrite.

Armadillo Den
Another opportunity to watch on an outdoor projection screen is at Armadillo Den, made even greater with a gigantic crawfish boil. Let’z Geaux Boil, a weekend popup in the Armadillo space, is hosting a feast of up to 500 pounds of crawfish, plus specials on beer and seltzers. Fans who arrive via rideshare get 10 percent off for showing a receipt. The big screen is visible from downstairs tables as well as the second-floor space, but there are smaller TVs around the venue to spread out the crowd.

The Lucky Rabbit
If you're feeling superstitious about your favorite team, the Lucky Rabbit could be a good place to settle in for the game. There are 10 TVs in total, with sound on, plus a comfortable rustic atmosphere that's perfect for what could be a long game. There will be specials all day including $1 off all drinks and some wings (including habanero sweet chili, buffalo, ranch rub or BBQ), and $3 off all appetizers. The cozy space with heaters and fire pits is weather-protected, and welcomes the whole family, including dogs.

Swanky South Congress vinyl bar spins open to the Austin public

Spin me right round

Austin's hottest club no longer requires a membership to gain entry. Spinning onto the scene last summer, Dante's HiFi is an intimate vinyl listening bar previously open only to members of Soho House Austin. Now, the rest of Austin is invited, too.

Located on the ground floor of the South Congress hotspot, Dante's HiFi will open to all Austinites and the public this Friday, February 10. The project is an import from Soho House's Miami counterpart, where the Dante's HiFi team in turn drew inspiration from the 1950s Japanese culture of the "listening bar."

Since taking over Soho House Austin's pre-screening room last year, Dante HiFi’s Resident Music Director Rich Medina has been "collaborating with Soho House, importing his extensive personal collection of vinyl records, expert music curation, and education along with his ability behind the decks, played on a state-of-the-art custom sound system from Soundlux Audio in Miami," according to a release.

Austinites can come enjoy specialty cocktail menus inspired by the listening bar’s highly curated music programming, including Soho House’s favorite Picantes or Dante’s Japanese HighBalls. The vinyl bar will be open Wednesday to Saturday from 6 pm to 1 am, with reservations ($25-30 per person) available for seatings from 7 pm to 9pm and 9 pm to 11pm. Reservations are recommended, but walk-ins are also available on a first-come, first-served basis, and Soho House members are offered priority on the waitlist.

Upcoming events include:

  • Friday, February 10: 90’s Hip Hop Night with Breakbeat Lou
  • Saturday, February 11: NYC's finest, DJ Stretch Armstong
  • Tuesday, February 14: Lovers Lounge - Vinyl For VDay with JT Donaldson
  • Wednesday, February 15: Industry Night - Vino & Vinyl with JT Donaldson
  • Thursday, February 16: Passport Audio - Jamaica with Ras Jamin & Crew
  • Friday, February 17: 2000’s Hip Hop & RnB Night with DJ 5-D
  • Saturday, February 18: Cumbia and Latin Night with El Dusty
  • Wednesday, February 22: Passport Audio - France with Mike Garrido + JT Donaldson
  • Thursday, February 23: Purple Party - Prince Tribute with JT Donaldson
  • Friday, February 24: Dante’s Dance Party with Osunlade + JT Donaldson
  • Saturday, February 25: Retro 80’s Party with DJ Danbone

11 historic homes to explore on Preservation Austin’s 30th anniversary tour

Preserving Austin

If you’ve ever wanted a look inside some of Austin’s historic homes, now’s your chance. Preservation Austin just announced dates and tickets for their 30th Anniversary Homes Tour from April 22-23.

Now in its 70th year of operation, Preservation Austin is a nonprofit that seeks to honor the diverse culture and rich architectural history of the neighborhoods that have made Austin what it is today. The Homes Tour is one of their premier events, and the nonprofit is marking this milestone year with a special VIP Preview Party on April 18.

The party will provide an exclusive look at one of the “most charming featured homes” included in the tour while offering “new ways to engage with architectural enthusiasts and taste-makers,” according to a press release.

Past tours have explored neighborhoods such as Bouldin Creek and Castle Hill, as well as East Austin’s Rogers-Washington-Holy Cross Historic District. This year’s tour will showcase six homes in Central and East Austin on the first day, and five homes in West and South Austin on the second day.

Highlights of the tour include a 120-year-old converted train depot and an East 7th Street home designed and constructed by Genero P. Briones as a testament to Mexican-American heritage and innovation, now widely known as the Casa de Sueños.

Another featured home is a former boarding house that was once occupied by Herman Sweatt, the civil rights pioneer who challenged the Jim Crow ideology of “separate, but equal” in 1950 in order to attend the University of Texas School of Law. Other homes on the tour have been featured on Dwell and The New York Times.

Homes on the tour will be open from 10 am to 5 pm each day from April 22-23. Tickets and sponsorship opportunities for Preservation Austin’s 30th Anniversary Home Tour can be found at preservationaustin.org.