Burgers at Lebowski’s Grill, Austin, Texas

Photo info: FUJIFILM X-E4, 27mm, f/4, 1/35 sec, ISO3200
“Infusion with Bacon Burger” Austin, 2022

I’ve decided to check out some of Austin’s best burgers and the first one on my list was from Lebowski’s Grill at Highland Lanes bowling alley. Mariko and I shared the Infusion with Bacon, and a Buffalo Dude (substituting crispy chicken instead of beef).

The burger was large and messy, with plenty of dripping from the grilled onions, peppers, and jalapeno ranch. It was delicious! The bun wasn’t anything special, and the beef pattie looked like it came pre-made from the factory, but the taste was good, and went well with the toppings.

The Buffalo Dude was even bigger than the burger, with a hefty piece of chicken dominating the sandwich. If you like buffalo sauce, you’ll love this sandwich. We felt that it was a litte too much, though. The chicken was pretty good… not dry, and flavorful.

Photo info: FUJIFILM X-E4, 27mm, f/4, 1/50 sec, ISO3200
“Buffalo Dude with Chicken” Austin, 2022

The fries were good. Nothing special, but they didn’t detract from the burger & fries experience.

I’d give the burgers here a 6 out of 10. Pretty good, but perhaps not enough for a special trip. It would definitely level up a night of bowling, though!

Tasting Wine in the Texas Hill Country

Photo info: FUJIFILM X-E4, 27mm, f/6.4, 1/1250 sec, ISO320
“Sparkling Wine” Fredericksburg, 2022

こんにちは. How’s it going?

Today we went to the Texas Hill Country near Fredericksburg to taste some wine at a few of the numerous wineries. It’s about an hour and a half drive from us, and I was the designated driver, which is fine because I love to drive. The weather was hot, but pleasant because of a breeze so sitting outside on the patios at the wineries was just about perfect! It was fun to take my mom and sister-in-law out to the Hill Country. A very nice day.


Texas Sunset Snapshot at the HEB

Photo info: motorola moto g(6), 3.95mm, f/1.8, 1/620 sec, ISO100
“Texas Sunset” Cedar Park, 2020

Today’s photo is a snapshot of a very common sight (at least for me). It’s a sunset from the HEB parking lot. I guess it’s just timing and the really cool clouds we have in Texas, but I get a ton of these shots. I’m very happy about this. 😀

Speaking of HEB (technically H-E-B), I think its near legendary status in the Twitterverse is rightly earned. When I first moved to Texas 20 years ago, I would have said… nah. But now when I travel back to Los Angeles and visit a Ralphs or Vons… wow, those supermarkets just cannot compare to HEB. Not only are HEBs bright, clean, usually with wide aisles, and renovated regularly, but their own brands of food are awesome, especially the Mi Comida line. My HEB has so many Mexican cheeses that are unfamiliar to me, but are all great. And the HEB “Creamy Creations” ice creams are generally awesome.

They also have a reputation of being a good employer, and their community outreach programs are also well-regarded, like their relief efforts after Hurricane Harvey and during the COVID-19 pandemic. Because of these factors, I’ve definitely joined the legions of HEB fans!

San Jacinto Museum of History and Battleship Texas

"Monument Sun" La Porte, 2018
Photo info: SONY NEX-6, 16mm, f/11, 1/100 sec, ISO100
“Monument Sun” La Porte, 2018


Today Koa and I were down in Baytown where he was attending a band camp. So after dropping him off in the morning, I had the day to explore the area. I decided to check out the San Jacinto Museum of History which seemed to be the biggest place of interest and very highly rated on TripAdvisor and Google.

When you drive up to the museum, the first thing you’ll notice (from quite a distance) is the monument with star on top. It’s an impressive 570 feet tall and was completed in 1939. It commemorates the Battle of San Jacinto, which was the decisive battle for Texas independence and happened on this location. Housed inside the monument is the museum itself, with an impressive display collection and theater where you can view a short movie that describes the battle. While it’s free to view the permanent museum display, there’s a charge to watch the movie, but it is worth it because the movie describes in detail the events leading up to the battle, and you can learn a lot about the main figures in Texas history, such as Sam Houston, Stephen Austin, and General Santa Anna.

There’s also a separate charge to go up to the observation level at the top of the monument where you can see views of the shipping lane, and the city of Houston in the distance. There’s not too much more than that though, so if you want to save a few dollars, you can skip this part.

Outside of the monument is the reflecting pool which is near the area where the Texas soldiers were camped. On the other side of the monument is where the Mexican army was camped. This kind of blew my mind because they were camped so close together before the battle, which the Texans won decisively in a rout. I’d estimate that you could walk from one camp to the other in just a few minutes, although I guess at the time there were more trees covering the area.

"Monument" La Porte, 2018
Photo info: FUJIFILM X100T, 23mm, f/5, 1/900 sec, ISO200
“Monument” La Porte, 2018
"Reflecting Pool" La Porte, 2018
Photo info: SONY NEX-6, 16mm, f/9, 1/400 sec, ISO100
“Reflecting Pool” La Porte, 2018
"Museum" La Porte, 2018
Photo info: FUJIFILM X100T, 23mm, f/5, 1/40 sec, ISO3200
“Museum” La Porte, 2018

After visiting the museum, I drove over to the Battleship Texas Historic Site to see the World War I era ship. It was smaller than I thought it would be and very industrial-looking. But I guess the sole purpose of the warship was to sink other ships so it’s basically a metal platform for huge guns. Interestingly, the USS Texas fought both in both World Wars.

"Battleship Texas" La Porte, 2018
Photo info: motorola moto g(6), 3.9500000476837mm, f/0, 1/inf sec, ISO0
“Battleship Texas” La Porte, 2018

And that was the highlight of my day in La Porte, Texas. It was actually pretty cool to learn more about Texas History. I grew up in California, and we didn’t have much state history in our curriculum so it was surprising to me that my kids were being taught so much Texas history here. But honestly, the Lone Star State has a ton of history and I can now understand where “Texas pride” comes from.

I hope you had a nice Saturday!


Wildflower Hunting

"Prickly Poppies" Willow City, 2018
Photo info: SONY SLT-A77V, 10mm, f/9.5, 1/1500 sec, ISO320
“Prickly Poppies” Willow City, 2018

こんばんは。Today my wife and I took a drive out to the hill country to take photos of the Texas wildflowers. There were lots by the sides of the highways, but we didn’t find the perfect meadow with a big variety of flowers. Still, it was a fun outing and we happened to snap a few photos. I made for a nice Easter Sunday. 😄

Below is a photo of the famous Bluebonnet. I am actually not so fond of bluebonnets, though. I prefer the other wildflowers that appear at the same time. I think it’s because I feel that bluebonnets look so alien when I see them close up. From a distance, the blue/purple color from a patch of bluebonnets is really beautiful though!

"Bluebonnets" Burnet, 2018
Photo info: SONY SLT-A77V, 10mm, f/9.5, 1/250 sec, ISO320
“Bluebonnets” Burnet, 2018

I hope you had a nice Sunday!