Sunday, July 22, 2012

East Side Queens, Sue This! and LMurder-ith Rollin With The Homies

If Lynn Meredith and I joined the Hell Marys roller derby team, we might take up monikers like “Sue This!” and “LMurder-ith” to join team members Barbara Ambush, Lucille Brawl, Olivia Shootin’ John and The Killa Sal Monella.  Lynn had said that she wanted to go to a Texas Rollergirls game some day. Last night that day arrived, and so did we.

The first thing I noticed when we walked into the Austin Convention Center was that it was way too quiet. No chants of “Texas, Texas, Kill, Kill, Kill!” No loud horns or slap sticks creating the usual Texas Rollergirl bouts’ cacophony. What was going on? Well after a few inquires, we found out that this weekend wasn’t a regular season game, but rather a tournament including teams from Austin (Texecutioners), New York (Gotham City Rollers), San Francisco (Bay Area Roller Girls), and Chicago (Windy City Rollers). The teams skating the first bout when we arrived at 6:30 were Chicago and New York, so not a lot of home-team fans there to make a ruckus.

My rare trips to watch the Texas Rollergirls usually consists of watching people and being clueless about what is going on. Well, that changed last night when Lynn sat down, opened up her tournament program and set out to educate us both on what the heck was going on on the track. Between Lynn’s  research, and with a little help from the gal sitting in front of us, I learned more about roller derby last night than I’d gleaned from several other trips to bouts. Gotham City pretty much blew the Windy City Rollers off the track in the first round, but when the Texecutioners and the Bay Area Rollers bout began, it was much more competitive and fun. Lynn and I yelled and clapped for the Texas team, and yelled over the din at each other about this and that and everything else.

Lynn kept checking her phone as her daughter is expecting to deliver Lynn’s first grandbaby any day. I kept checking my phone worried about my “home alone” husband, who although mostly recovered at this point, had suffered two strokes in May. Suddenly I realized it was two hours past my bedtime, 9:30 pm, and we hadn’t even started the second half of our adventure – a trip to the Liberty Bar in East Austin. Click On Read More Below...

So off we went, me trying to remember how to drive after dark, and Lynn, a seasoned downtown gal, guiding me courageously. Soon enough we found the perfect parking spot and charged through the entrance of what looked like a serious dive in a sketchy area. Of course once we breeched the door of the Liberty Bar it was obvious that we were perfectly safe, albeit looking a little like lost tourists. We did not, however, allow that to impede our progress even a tad. We went straight out the back door where legions of thirty-somethings were lined up like inmates in a prison cafeteria. Tucked in the back of the otherwise nondescript “beer garten” was East Side Kings, The Food Network’s 2012 Top Chef Paul Qui’s food trailer! Although Paul wasn’t there, you could tell by the food coming out of the trailer that he was “there.”

Being Jack Sprat’s wife, I immediately zeroed in on the pork belly buns on the menu, but Lynn said, “You go ahead. I’m not eating meat.” Well, that led to a lengthy conversation about health and eating and how we felt and yada yada - all interesting and fun. Meanwhile we’d fetched ourselves drinks from the bar and settled in to wait for our deep fried roasted beets with kewpie mayo, schichimi tougarashi and green onion, our fried brussels sprouts salad with sweet and spicy sauce, fresh shredded cabbage, alfalfa sprouts, fresh basil, cilantro, mint, onion, and jalapeño, and our steamed jasmine rice with ginger, garlic oil, fresh basil, cilantro, mint, onion, and jalapeño. Now if that doesn’t make your mouth water, you’d better check your pulse.

It was all yum yum yummy, and we left feeling very hip and adventuresome! Fun times in the city with very smart gal-friend Lynn Meredith!

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