We almost got an Elijah Wood vs. Daniel Radcliffe fight at Fantastic Fest

It would have been a battle for the ages.

Middle-earth vs. Hogwarts. Hobbit vs. wizard. Sword vs. wand. Frodo Baggins vs. Harry Potter.

elijah

Austin’s own Elijah Wood almost entered into Fantastic Fest fisticuffs with Daniel Radcliffe at this year’s event, Wood said on his “Conan” appearance last Wednesday.

Read more: Elijah Wood loves Via 313 Pizza

It all started when Conan O’Brien brought up the Internet fascination with comparing Wood to Radcliffe.

O’Brien showed the above GIF, and Wood said he was surprised at the longevity of the joke, which started when he was portraying Frodo Baggins in the “Lord of the Rigs” films at the same time as Radcliffe was playing Harry Potter, and the two would often get mistaken for one another.

“After a while, you think, it hits the Internet and becomes a thing and people talk about it for a while, and you think, ‘OK, we get it,’ and the joke is over and it would die, but [the joke] has long legs…and it just keeps going,” he said.

Wood said the joke got so popular that it almost became the subject of a Fantastic Debate at Austin’s Fantastic Fest, where he and Radcliffe would have faced off in the boxing ring in full costume.

“For the longest time, they wanted to get him to do the fight, and it almost happened this year, but it got squashed at the last minute because I was like, ‘I don’t want to fight this guy,'” Wood explained. “I don’t want the culmination of the fact that we look alike to be us together in a boxing ring.”

O’Brien suggested that in the future, the two might duke it out through a Pay-Per-View match.

“People would go crazy!” O’Brien said.

Watch the full clip below, and keep your hopes up that “Elijah Wood vs. Daniel Radcliffe” will be a thing at next year’s Fantastic Fest.

Texas restaurant changes name to Trump Cafe

It was bound to happen eventually.

There are countless buildings and businesses named after Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, from towers and hotels to golf clubs and casinos. But a Texas couple has taken it a step further, renaming their restaurant in Bellville after Trump with just eight days left until the general election.

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump acknowledges the crowd for singing "Happy Birthday" as he speaks during a campaign rally at the Greensboro Coliseum in Greensboro, N.C., Tuesday, June 14, 2016. (AP Photo/Chuck Burton)
Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump acknowledges the crowd for singing “Happy Birthday” as he speaks during a campaign rally at the Greensboro Coliseum in Greensboro, N.C., Tuesday, June 14, 2016. (AP Photo/Chuck Burton)

According to the Houston Chronicle, Sue and Eddie Hawa changed the name of Bellville Cafe to Trump Cafe on Thursday to show their support for the candidate.

“He loves America and we hope he will be president,” Sue Hawa told the Chronicle.

Related: Trick or treat? If you’re going to early vote in the presidential election, Halloween is the day to do it.

The cafe has gotten a mixed reaction from local patrons. Once Facebook user wrote, “I haven’t eaten here before, but I will now!” Another wrote, “Have eaten here several times and always promoted it to send business to keep it open. BUT, those days are over !! I guess no one ever told the owner you don’t mix a service oriented business with religion or politics ’cause you are bound to offend someone. And in a small town like Bellville where this business has not had much success he would want to have as many people eat there as possible. I think he has no idea how many he has offended by naming a restaurant after a psychotic sexual predator.”

According to Eater Houston, the new Trump Cafe will offer a different menu than Bellville Cafe, which served traditional French food. Eater reported Trump Cafe will serve “American, Trump-themed” food.

Elections 2016: Voter guide & results

Although Trump leads Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton in Texas by at least three points in a University of Texas/Texas Tribune poll and a Crosswind/Austin American-Statesman poll puts Trump ahead of Clinton by seven points, FiveThirtyEight says Clinton has a 76.1 percent chance of winning the presidency next week.

If Trump loses the election, the owners of Trump Cafe said their restaurant will still keep its new name.

Watch: H-E-B releases 2016 commercials starring San Antonio Spurs

Kawhi Leonard, Tony Parker and Danny Green star in a newly-released commercial for H-E-B. (Screenshot via YouTube)
Kawhi Leonard, Tony Parker and Danny Green star in a newly-released commercial for H-E-B. (Screenshot via YouTube)

Name a more iconic duo than H-E-B and the San Antonio Spurs. I’ll wait.

The Texas grocery store chain rolled out its annual dose of commercials featuring players during the team’s game against the Sacramento Kings (which they won).

It’s pretty clear to see the common theme of the ads. With a depth chart of players from Argentina, Spain, France, Latvia and Australia, the Spurs brought their international appeal to the small screen.

In the “Farmers Market” spot, new guy on the team Pau Gasol hawks Taylor golden pears from Spain, while Kawhi Leonard explains what the California plumcot is. Point guard Tony Parker even speaks French while describing strawberry shortcake, a staple at the Poteet Strawberry Festival.

Aussie Patty Mills makes an appearance in the “Origami” clip, in which Parker walks in on the team surrounded by folded paper art. The ad promotes H-E-B’s line of stir-fry kits, but it’s Mills crocodile (not a alligator) that steals the show. Steve Irwin would be proud.

The title of the third ad, “Fluent” speaks for itself. Danny Green and Mills walk up to Manu Ginobili and Gasol grilling an obnoxious amount of meat. When asked what they’re cooking, the grillmasters respond in Spanish, explaining that they’ve got fajitas (among other things) and it’s all delicious. Mills reminds the pair that they don’t speak Spanish, but after he and Green try some fresh-off-the-grill meat, we get to hear what an Australian speaking Spanish sounds like. Green also does his best to describe the rich flavor of the meat in Spanish.

According to a Facebook comment by H-E-B on its official page, more commercials are dropping on Saturday, when the Spurs play their first home court regular season game of the NBA season. Until then, check out the teasers for the remaining commercials, including the highly-anticipated appearance of recently-retired Tim Duncan alongside other Spurs alumni.

This girl dressed up as Austin’s most famous lawyer for Halloween

If you’ve lived in Austin for longer than like, five minutes, you know who David Komie is.

Ken Herman / AMERICAN-STATESMAN. Austin attorney David Komie's billboard posted in Austin.
Ken Herman / AMERICAN-STATESMAN. Austin attorney David Komie’s billboard posted in Austin.

He’s “The attorney that rocks.” He’s the guy who had really epically bad television commercials in which he famously said, “I may not look like a lawyer, but it helps me sneak up on them.”

Enjoy:

Anyway, now that you’ve re-familiarized yourself with David Komie, behold the most epic Halloween costume that any Austinite has ever created:

A Reddit user posted this photo of a woman dressed as Komie, and it quickly shot to the top of the r/Austin subreddit. The woman, Leann, later said in the comments, “The idea came to me forever ago so I’ve been anxiously counting down the weeks to Halloween for some time.”

Well, Halloween hasn’t even officially happened yet, and this girl already won.

Today is Texas Chicken Fried Steak Day, because why not

Today may be National Pumpkin Day, but for Texans, Oct. 26 is much more important.

According to Texas House Resolution 1419, as of 2011, Oct. 26 is Texas Chicken Fried Steak Day.

Chicken-fried steak at Hoover's Cooking on Manor Road in Austin. With sides of candied yams and stewed okra and tomatoes. (Mike Sutter/American-Statesman.)
Chicken-fried steak at Hoover’s Cooking on Manor Road in Austin. With sides of candied yams and stewed okra and tomatoes. (Mike Sutter/American-Statesman.)

That’s right. We made it a legislative matter. And, to borrow a bit from Aziz Ansari, that doesn’t mean we Texans think that low of our legislative process; that just means we think that highly of chicken fried steak.

Check out the language used in H.R. 1419 to describe this wonderful slice of culinary heaven:

“Whereas, Texans are renowned for their love of chicken fried steak, that exceptional dish that elevates the hearty flavor of beef to new heights by coating it in batter and breading and frying
it until the ingredients are melded in a blissful union…and Whereas, this signature dish occupies a special place in the culinary culture of the Lone Star State, and Texas Chicken Fried Steak Day provides a welcome opportunity to pay homage to that shared legacy; now, therefore, be it resolved, that the House of Representatives of the 82nd Texas Legislature hereby recognize October 26, 2011, as Texas Chicken Fried Steak Day.”

With that in mind, it is our right, nay, our duty, as patriotic Texans to hunt down the best Texas chicken fried steak we can find today, and feast.

To help you out, here’s a brief list of some good spots in Austin for chicken fried steak.

Threadgill’s

The bar area at the Threadgill's restaurant location on Riverside Drive in Austin. ( Dina Guidubaldi for the American-Statesman.)
The bar area at the Threadgill’s restaurant location on Riverside Drive in Austin. ( Dina Guidubaldi for the American-Statesman.)

Because it’s a tradition.

Hoover’s

Chicken-fried steak at Hoover's Cooking on Manor Road in Austin. With sides of candied yams and stewed okra and tomatoes. (Mike Sutter/American-Statesman.)
Chicken-fried steak at Hoover’s Cooking on Manor Road in Austin. With sides of candied yams and stewed okra and tomatoes. (Mike Sutter/American-Statesman.)

You get more if you order the Hoover Size.

Hill’s Cafe

5/26/11 Mike Sutter/American-Statesman. For an Austin360 cover story on chicken-fried steak. 0609xlcover. Hill's Cafe on South Congress Avenue in Austin.
Hill’s Cafe on South Congress Avenue in Austin. (Mike Sutter/American-Statesman.)

You can choose either yellow cheesy gravy or white gravy, and it’s considered some of the best chicken fried steak in town.

Luby’s

 Ralph Barrera/AMERICAN-STATESMAN; Carol Johnston is the only child of Luby's co-founder Charles and Gertrude Johnston and recently made a trip to Austin to promote her new book on the history of the cafeteria. Johnston makes her dinner choices with co-author Carol Dawson right behind her at the Luby's on Steck Ave. recently before a book signing. (Crider story)
Carol Johnston, only child of Luby’s co-founder Charles and Gertrude Johnston, makes her dinner choices at the Luby’s on Steck Ave. (Ralph Barrera/AMERICAN-STATESMAN.)

Don’t laugh. You know you want to go back to those moments you had as a kid filling your cafeteria tray on Sunday post-church lunch stops with your parents.

Broken Spoke

The Broken Spoke on Wednesday October 22, 2014. JAY JANNER / AMERICAN-STATESMAN
The Broken Spoke on Wednesday October 22, 2014. (JAY JANNER / AMERICAN-STATESMAN)

Chicken fried steak as famous as the music venue next to it.

Now, go forth and enjoy some chicken fried steak. Any questions?

 

Gordon Ramsay cut in line at Franklin Barbecue, gave away his leftovers

OK, guys, prepare yourselves for this.

HELL'S KITCHEN: Chef Gordon Ramsay returns on the Season 11 premiere of HELL'S KITCHEN airing Tuesday, March 12 (8:00-9:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX. 2013 Fox Broadcasting Co. Cr: Patrick Wymore/FOX
HELL’S KITCHEN: Chef Gordon Ramsay returns on the Season 11 premiere of HELL’S KITCHEN airing Tuesday, March 12 (8:00-9:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX. 2013 Fox Broadcasting Co. Cr: Patrick Wymore/FOX

Here’s the thing: Gordon Ramsay came to Austin this weekend, and of course, he visited Franklin Barbecue. According to his Instagram, he ordered a giant tray of meat, bread, coleslaw, potato salad and allllll the trimmings.

So, we need to talk about this. Ramsay visited Jimmy Kimmel Live on Tuesday night and talked about the trip to Franklin (Kimmel’s no stranger to Austin and its barbecue-related charms), but his visit wasn’t without drama: He skipped the line. He SKIPPED. THE. LINE.

Just seconds into the conversation, Kimmel asks Ramsay, “Did you wait in the line? Because the line goes around the corner. And they say they never let anyone cut the line.”

And that’s when Ramsay gets visibly uncomfortable.

Austin360 Eats: Best barbecue restaurants in Austin

“Chefs have a bit of a bond,” Ramsay says, “So we sort of look after each other. So to answer that question, no, I didn’t.”

Guess it pays to be buddies with Aaron Franklin himself. Before Ramsay, as far as we know, President Barack Obama was the only person to have the pleasure of skipping the famously long line at Franklin (sorry, Kanye).

This is sure to get Austinites a little salty, but the good news is that Ramsay called the food “delicious” and “brilliant.” He didn’t eat at all on his 16-hour flight to Austin from Dubai just so he could prepare his stomach for the epic meal ahead of him.

But even going 16 hours without eating wasn’t enough for Ramsay to scarf down a barbecue meal for two, since he told Kimmel it was the first time he’s ever taken home leftovers from a restaurant — and he gave them to his driver, apparently a local who had never eaten Franklin because he couldn’t take time off to wait in the line. Good Guy Gordon.

Skip the line: Franklin Barbecue opens trailer for pre-orders, adds pick-up times

 

Paste Magazine dubs Tacodeli, Juan in A Million, Veracruz ‘must-try’ breakfast taco joints

Another day, another Austin to-do list. This time it’s from Paste Magazine, and it’s a list of the seven breakfast taco joints in Austin you simply must try, according to writer Ashley Blom.

We love tacos in Austin (duh). We eat them at every meal, shoot them out of cannons and even get in epic feuds with neighboring cities about who makes a better taco. But what’s the best taco in Austin? That’s a topic of much contention.

9/20/10 Mike Sutter/American-Statesman. A breakfast taco called the Vaquero (eggs, Monterey Jack cheese, corn, roasted red and poblano peppers) on a whole weat flour from Tacodeli on Spyglass Drive. For 30 Tacos, 30 Days cover story for Austin360 tab. 1014xlcover.
9/20/10 Mike Sutter/American-Statesman. A breakfast taco called the Vaquero (eggs, Monterey Jack cheese, corn, roasted red and poblano peppers) on a whole weat flour from Tacodeli on Spyglass Drive.

According to Paste, the must-try breakfast tacos in Austin are as follows:

  1. Tacodeli (which they misspell as Taco Deli — strike one)
  2. Juan in a Million
  3. Veracruz All-Natural (another misspelling, but OK)
  4. Torchy’s
  5. Taco Flats
  6. Valentina’s
  7. Tamale House East

Tacodeli, Torchy’s, Juan in a Million and Veracruz All-Natural have topped many a list of must-eat tacos in Austin — last year, Foursquare users ranked Tacodeli and Torchy’s as the No. 1 and No. 2 spots in town, with Juan in a Million sliding in at No. 49. Also last year, the Food Network ranked Veracruz’s tacos as one of the top five tacos in the entire United States.

RELATED: Three Austin taco joints make list of ‘greatest’ in U.S.

But this barely scrapes the surface of the tacos that will delight your taste buds in Austin. For example, there’s El Naranjo, which came in as No. 18 on our food critic Matthew Odam’s list of the top 25 restaurants in Austin this year. And back in April, we published this list of 11 truly excellent taco joints around town, and not a single one of Paste’s top-seven makes Odam’s list.

I’m not telling you who to believe here. I’m an equal-opportunity taco enthusiast. My advice? Work your way through Paste’s list, through Odam’s list(s), through whatever taco list your little heart desires, because let’s be real — any taco is better than no taco at all.

But for my own selfish purposes, I’d like to know: What’s your favorite taco joint in Austin? Any and all recommendations are welcome here. Feel free to tweet ’em at me @psencikk or hit up my email: kpsencik@statesman.com.

2016 Dining Guide: Top 25 Restaurants in Austin

Take a taco tour around Austin

Popular Austin restaurant to be featured on ‘Shark Tank’

One of Austin’s most beloved food truck-turned-restaurants is getting the “Shark Tank” treatment in a few weeks.

Worker Jesse Frausto prepares food for the Chi'Lantro food trailer as they ready for business Friday afternoon March 13, 2015. SXSW 2015 is in full swing and a big part of the nearly two-week festival on interactive, film and music are the many temporary permitted events around downtown. One such permitted area is the popular South Bites Trailer Park located on 604 Driskill Street south of Cesar Chavez and the convention center. The park features a bar and a variety of food options. RALPH BARRERA/ AMERICAN-STATESMAN
Worker Jesse Frausto prepares food for the Chi’Lantro food trailer as they ready for business Friday afternoon March 13, 2015. SXSW 2015 is in full swing and a big part of the nearly two-week festival on interactive, film and music are the many temporary permitted events around downtown. One such permitted area is the popular South Bites Trailer Park located on 604 Driskill Street south of Cesar Chavez and the convention center. The park features a bar and a variety of food options.
RALPH BARRERA/ AMERICAN-STATESMAN

It’s unclear exactly what the upcoming episode featuring Chi’Lantro BBQ will entail for the local business, but the show features a panel of potential investors who hear offers from entrepreneurs seeking investment for their business. If any of the sharks bite (perhaps Chi’Lantro’s Texas roots will catch Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban’s eye?), it could be huge for this beloved Austin staple.

Chi’Lantro BBQ, which originated as a Korean BBQ food truck in 2010 and now boasts three brick-and-mortar restaurants in addition to their downtown trailer, is slated to open a fifth location in the South Shore District in November. The restaurant gained its popularity based around its homemade kimchi, namely its kimchi fries, which feature caramelized kimchi, cheese, onions, cilantro, sesame seeds, sriracha, “magic sauce” and either spicy pork, spicy chicken, soy-glazed chicken, tofu or ribeye beef.

The episode airs Friday, Nov. 11 at 8 p.m. on ABC.

This Texas snake looks like it’s wearing sunglasses and a mustache

A few weeks ago, we brought you the most Texas photo ever: Matthew McConaughey wearing a Longhorns shirt backstage at a Willie Nelson concert with an armadillo in his lap. We see that photo and raise you this photo of a chill-as-hell Texas snake with a mustache and sunglasses.

Texas Parks and Wildlife tweeted this photo of a Western rat snake with "sunglasses" and a "mustache" on Oct. 19, 2016.

Last week, the official Twitter account for Texas State Parks shared photos of a Western rat snake, also known as a Texas rat snake, giving the camera his best blue steel.

Don’t worry, these snakes are nonvenomous, so photographer Karlie Gray wasn’t in danger of getting bit when she snapped these pics. What she was in danger of, however, was looking too deeply into the eyes of the chillest snake to ever roam these Texas lands and therefore becoming too chill herself.

Some Internet genius combined Childish Gambino and ‘Stranger Things’

Multi-hyphenate Donald Glover seems to be everywhere these days. The former stand-up comic, “30 Rock” scribe and “Community” actor is now on TV in his new FX show “Atlanta,” which he created, wrote, produces, directs and stars in. He was recently cast as a young Lando Calrissian in an upcoming standalone Han Solo “Star Wars” film. He’s also going to be in the new “Spider Man” movie.

FILE - In this Sept. 16, 2016 file photo, Donald Glover attends the Variety Magazine and Women in Film 2016 Television Nominees Celebration in West Hollywood, Calif. Disney announced Friday, Oct. 21, that Glover will play Lando Calrissian in the upcoming Han Solo “Star Wars” film. (Photo by Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP, File)
FILE – In this Sept. 16, 2016 file photo, Donald Glover attends the Variety Magazine and Women in Film 2016 Television Nominees Celebration in West Hollywood, Calif. Disney announced Friday, Oct. 21, that Glover will play Lando Calrissian in the upcoming Han Solo “Star Wars” film. (Photo by Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP, File)

But it’s his rap alter ego, Childish Gambino, who’s getting some Halloween attention.

You may have heard of a little Netflix show called “Stranger Things.” You may have also heard the theme song for that show, which was composed by Austin’s own S U R V I V E and features a ton of throwback synthesizers and spooky sounds.

Read more: Netflix made Halloween-ready, ‘Stranger Things’-inspired recipe videos

But did you know that the theme song is also the perfect beat for a Childish Gambino tune?

One SoundCloud user thought that was a great combination, and decided to mash up Gambino’s “Bonfire” with the “Stranger things” theme song.

The result is “stranger bonfires.” The caustic punchlines landing over eerie synths might be too NSFW for the “Stranger Things” gang, but it will sound right at home on your Halloween playlist.

Will Byers (Noah Schnapp) listens to brother Jonathan's (Charlie Heaton) records. (Photo from Netflix.)
Will Byers (Noah Schnapp) listens to brother Jonathan’s (Charlie Heaton) records. (Photo from Netflix.)

This isn’t the first time someone has thought to combine the “Stranger Things” intro with other music. Last month alone, Wiz Khalifa recorded a rap over the track, and Seattle band Prom Queen wed the song with the “Twin Peaks” theme for all kinds of spooky synths.

And now that we’re on the subject of “Twin Peaks,” Glover has jokingly called “Atlanta” “‘Twin Peaks’ with rappers,” so maybe everything’s related in the Upside Down.

via GIPHY

Check out the song below (NSFW lyrics, obviously).

https://soundcloud.com/kmlkmljkl/stranger-bonfires