New San Antonio H-E-B adding a drive-thru barbecue restaurant

 

It’s no secret Texans love their barbecue. It’s also a verifiable truth that H-E-B is one of the mot beloved grocery stores in the state, and maybe even America. Put the two together, and you’ve got a winning formula.

RICARDO B. BRAZZIELL/AMERICAN-STATESMAN

That’s right, Texas. H-E-B is about to introduce drive-thru barbecue stands to certain stores starting in August, the San Antonio Express-News reports.  Customers will be able to enjoy meals from True Texas BBQ, the grocery chain’s barbecue brand. The restaurant will also serve breakfast tacos, because of course it will.

More: Torchy’s Tacos lands on ‘11 absolute best taco shops’ online list

“Even if families don’t need to necessarily do a full shop, the True Texas BBQ will be a spot where families can go and dine together and enjoy what is arguably some of the best barbecue in Texas,” H-E-B spokesperson Dya Campos told the Express-News Wednesday.

Sadly for Austinites, it looks like we’re still stuck waiting in line at Franklin. So far, the only store to feature the True Texas BBQ restaurant will be in San Antonio, as part of a new 118,000-square-foot H-E-B in the southwest corner of Loop 1604 and Bulverde Road.

This in’t the first time H-E-B has partnered with restaurants to enhance the grocery shopping experience. Hutto recently opened a 24-hour Whataburger drive-thru at one of its new H-E-B locations. And let’s not forget you can also get that fancy Whataburger ketchup and Taco Cabana sauce at H-E-B.

Related: Texas teen brags about stealing doughnuts from H-E-B

Bet you can guess Texas’ most embarrassing online search habit

 

Last week, Republicans in Congress passed the repeal of an Internet privacy rule implemented by the FCC last year. The rule would have prohibited Internet service providers from selling the browsing history of their customers.

FILE — Computers at the 53rd Street branch of the New York Public Library system, in New York, June 14, 2016. The House voted on Tuesday March 28, 2017, largely along party lines, to dismantle rules created by the FCC requiring broadband providers get permission before collecting data on a user?s online activity. (Santiago Mejia/The New York Times)

The repeal doesn’t necessarily mean your browsing history is for sale, but if it is, and you’re a Texan, you’re in trouble. Or rather, you might be in trouble if you’re embarrassed about searching for pornography.

More: Almost every U.S. representative from Central Texas voted for repeal of Internet privacy rule

The folks over at High Speed Internet have compiled a list of each state’s “online guilty pleasure,” and Texas residents apparently like searching for “XXX Content,” as the list calls it. Texans aren’t alone; porn was also the top guilty pleasure for Illinois, Kansas, Louisiana and New Mexico.

Other big “guilty pleasures”: Alaska really loves Googling celebrity news, Florida is big into “sugar daddy” sites, Utah can’t get enough fitness models, Colorado likes “fail videos,” and Mississippi residents love themselves some “Watch Me (Whip/Nae Nae).”

View the full map here.

Related:

Guess what word Texans can’t spell

Texas’ favorite reality show isn’t surprising

Texans’ Google searches since the election heavy on secession and SCOTUS

 

‘Veronica Mars’ started as a YA novel set at Austin-area Westlake High School

 

A long time ago, “Veronica Mars” used to be set in Austin. But we haven’t thought about that lately at all. Until now.

Kristen Bell plays the title character in “Veronica Mars.” The film version of the ’90s television series opened in March, 2014. CREDIT: ROBERT VOETS

Fans of the the CW’s criminally short-lived teen detective series “Veronica Mars” are well aware that the show took place in the radically divided Neptune, Calif., a town where all that separated the elite socialites from the seedy criminals was a murky gray line of questionable morality.

But, as Entertainment Weekly has revealed, the show wasn’t always set in California. In fact, “Veronica Mars” wasn’t even originally imagined as a TV show. At first, it was going to be a Young Adult novel set right here in Austin at Westlake High School, and the titular character later became Veronica’s dad, Keith.

First things first: If you haven’t already seen “Veronica Mars,” you’re missing out. The plot centered around Veronica Mars (Kristen Bell), a high school student who moonlighted as a private eye for her father Keith. Keith was a former sheriff who opened up his own detective agency when he failed to get re-elected after he accused a Neptune socialite of murdering his own daughter (and Veronica’s best friend).

Related: This year’s ATX Television Festival is scheduled for June. Here’s what’s scheduled so far.

“Veronica Mars” was full of noir, camp, crime, quippy teens and lots of high school mysteries to solve. It also went to some pretty dark places in its examinations of class, race, wealth, sex and morality. The show was cancelled after three seasons, but a crowd-funded film was released in 2014 after a fourth season pilot was ordered by a network but never aired. Since the film’s release, series creator Rob Thomas has partnered with Austin author Jennifer Graham to write two books continuing the story of the plucky sleuth.

Rob Thomas on the red carpet for the movie Veronica Mars in Austin, Texas on March 7, 2014. (Thao Nguyen/FOR AMERICAN-STATESMAN)

Anyway, Thomas originally intended for the story to be told as a young adult novel. He started a draft, “Untitled Teen Detective,” in 1996. That draft was shared with Entertainment Weekly this week for its “Hollywood’s Greatest Untold Stories” issue.

From the archives: Fresh from filming ‘Veronica Mars,’ Rob Thomas returns triumphant

Thomas set “Untitled Teen Detective” in Austin. His story revolved around Keith Mars, teenage detective. Keith became a detective after his father quit a promising career with the Austin Police Department to open up a private investigation agency. Like in the TV show, there is no mother figure in the picture. Also like in the show, the titular young detective starts out by catching the parents of his wealthy Westlake High School classmates in after-hours trysts at seedy motels.

via GIPHY

Another Texas twist: Keith pines for a popular girl who’s said to be dating a University of Texas football player.

But perhaps the biggest Austin element to the “Veronica Mars”-that-almost-was is a still-unsolved mystery that’s only hinted at. In the original draft, Keith discovers that the reason his dad left the police force is because he knowingly sent the wrong men to Death Row for involvement in Austin’s “Chocolate Shop Murders case,” a name which bears a striking resemblance to the real-life, still-unsolved Austin yogurt shop murders from 1991.

Years later, when Thomas took ideas from the draft into a spec script he sold to UPN (now The CW), Keith Mars became the disgraced law enforcement father figure, the main character became Veronica, and the main plot centered on a different kid of murder.

All of the Texas setting came natural to Thomas. He grew up in Texas, graduating from San Marcos High school in 1983. His father was a vice-principal at Westlake until the early 1990s, and Thomas attended Texas Christian University on a football scholarship before transferring to UT and graduating in 1987. Thomas was working as a high school teacher at John H. Reagan High School in Austin when he wrote the first draft of “Untitled Teen Detective,” and many characters in “Veronica Mars” were named for Austinites he met or musicians he played with. The music of several Austin bands also played in the show.

From the archives: ‘Veronica Mars’ film has many Austin music moments

Alas, the Texas version of “Veronica Mars” is not the version that made it to the small screen. Maybe someday, if Netflix reboots the series (one can only hope) a mystery might take Veronica all the way to Austin.

What people are saying about the Austin cop caught speeding on MoPac

 

An assistant Austin police chief was recently caught on a dashboard camera video in February after he got pulled over for driving 92 mph on MoPac Boulevard (Loop 1) and drove off with a warning.

Assistant Chief Chris McIlvain was in an unmarked patrol car on his way to Waco to see a Baylor basketball game when he got pulled over for speeding.

More: Clocked at 92 mph on MoPac, Austin assistant police chief gets warning

After a short discussion about his speeding, McIlvain apologized for his speed, and the officer who pulled him over said “Take care, buddy.”

When news broke of the traffic stop, Austin interim police chief Brian Manley called a press conference to say that he ordered McIlvain be issued a $195 ticket.

“I expect officers of this department to comply with the law, whether it be criminal or traffic laws, just like we expect the citizens to,” Manley said Tuesday.

Readers, however, were quick to sound off on the video on social media.

Some admired that anyone could get up to 92 mph on MoPac, regardless of who it was…

While many people were angry at a perceived level of favoritism within the police department…

While some people weren’t that shocked by the incident…

While @EvilMoPacATX just tweeted what we were all thinking.

https://twitter.com/EvilMopacATX/status/846846043455209472

What about you? What do you think? Let us know in the comments.

Richard Linklater on that time he got fired from an Austin hotel, and other words of wisdom about money

 

“Every single commodity you produce is a piece of your own death!” — Hitchhiker, “Slacker”

“Didja ever look at a dollar bill, man? There’s some spooky s*** goin’ on there.” — Slater, “Dazed and Confused”

The films of acclaimed director and Austin resident Richard Linklater don’t explicitly deal with money, but the characters in Linklater’s films often ruminate on philosophic ideas about money, capitalism, life, love, time and everything in between.

Austin Film Society Founder and Artistic Director Richard Linklater poses on the red carpet for the Texas Film Awards at Austin Studios where he later presented Shirley MacLaine with the lifetime achievement award. (Suzanne Cordeiro/American-Statesman)

Those philosophic ideas about money (such as the quotes above) stem from Linklater’sown experiences. Linklater shared those experiences in a 2016 guest blog post for WealthSimple, an investment website. In the year-old essay, Linklater writes about his relationship with money, and why he was glad he got fired from a job at La Mansion in Austin (now the Doubletree Hotel off I-35 North).

More: Richard Linklater adaptation of ‘Where’d You Go, Bernadette’ starring Cate Blanchett to start filming July 2017

The story goes like this:

When he was 27 years old, Linklater was working as a night bellhop at La Mansion. One night, he went to go pick up a customer at the airport and bragged about how his hotel job basically allowed him to read and write and he guessed that during a regular 8-hour shift, he only did about an hour to 90 minutes of actual work.

via GIPHY

Turns out, the guest Linklater picked up was the assistant regional manager for the hotel chain, and Linklater found a pink slip at the desk when he showed up to work 10 days later.

Related: Shirley MacLaine walks the Texas Film Awards red carpet with Richard Linklater

But, he said that experience allowed him to travel to New York and hone his screenwriting skills for a summer. Then, his filmmaking career started to take off.

“That Doubletree Hotel isn’t far from my daughter’s school, and we drive past it all the time. I’ve pointed it out to her: ‘See that place? That’s the last real job your dad ever had, the last honest buck I ever made!'” Linklater wrote in the blog post.

Linklater also dropped some pearls of wisdom about money, including these quotes that wouldn’t sound out of place in one of his films:

  • “The best advice I ever got about money was from a doctor I met a long time ago. He had plenty of money, and he told me, ‘Invest in yourself.'”
  • “Ultimately, for me, money is a bad motivator. I’m so blessed because I’ve never really done stuff for money. I just try to make the films I want to make and tell the stories I care most about. Once you really don’t give a f*** about money, it comes scratching at your door.”
  • “When you grow up pretty poor, you see money as the thing that will solve all of your problems.”
  • “Once you have a reasonable level of comfort—you’ve got a roof over your head, you can pay your bills, your utilities aren’t being shut off, you can fix your car—having more money doesn’t really increase your happiness.”

Read Linklater’s full blog post here.

Even the Austin Police are feeling the Garth Brooks SXSW spirit

 

Sing us a song, Mr. Policeman.

The City of Austin is prepared for any events that might happen during Saturday night’s free Garth Brooks show (happening right now), but it looks like one Austin police officer got in the performing spirit early Saturday.

More: Garth Brooks performs surprise St. Patrick’s Day SXSW show for lucky crowd at Broken Spoke

In a tweet posted by the Austin Police Department a little after 3 p.m., an Austin police officer appears to be playing a tune at a piano downtown.

We don’t know what song he played, but we’re betting it was a good one based on the expression of the man peering behind the palm tree in the background.

More SXSW Content: Check out our Unofficial party guide

Ruth Negga of ‘Loving’ shows you how to make a proper Irish coffee

 

If you saw last year’s “Loving,” Austin director Jeff Nichols’ film about the landmark 1967 Loving v. Virginia Supreme Court case that decriminalized interracial marriage in America, you know Ruth Negga can act.

031416 SXSW film

But despite her great accent and acting performance in that film, Negga isn’t American; she’s Ethiopian and Irish. And today, in honor of St. Patrick’s Day, she’s teaching everyone how to make a proper Irish coffee.

Read our review: In ‘Loving,’ love wins

In a video for Vanity Fair, a pink-dress-clad Negga demonstrates the proper technique for creating the cocktail.

“I have never done this before, and never in a pink dress, so we’ll see how this goes,” Negga says as she starts to pour some coffee.

More: Where to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day in Austin

Negga’s recipe involves about a third glass of coffee, half a glass of whiskey (“the most important ingredient”), a heaping of sugar and a little bit of cream.

Watch the full video below.

 

Is this Garth Brooks SXSW tweet shameless? Let’s let the friends in low places decide

 

By now, the news is out— Garth Brooks is indeed playing a free show Saturday night at Auditorium Shores for South By Southwest. He announced the free show at an 11 a.m. press conference Friday at the Austin Convention Center, where he previewed a snippet of his new single “Ask Me How I Know.”

Garth Brooks discusses his upcoming show at Auditorium Shores during a press conference at SXSW on Friday, March 17, 2017. DEBORAH CANNON / AMERICAN-STATESMAN

Tickets for the show were available at noon Friday but sold out within minutes.

Got $1,000? That’s what Garth Brooks tickets are going for on Craigslist

Brooks’ streaming partner, Amazon Music (he famously refused to put any of his music on any streaming service until October 2016) tweeted out that the show was sold out a mere five minutes after they went on sale.

Brooks’ team retweeted the Amazon Music tweet with what could be interpreted as a bit of hubris.

What does this mean? Are we to understand the implication of that tweet is that Garth Brooks LITERALLY the epitome of SXSW? Does his ego need to be fenced in? Is this just a shameless attempt to rope the wind of social media?

Maybe, but it also looks like the @SXSW part of that tweet was meant to literally mean “Garth Brooks is at the SXSW Conference” and not meant to equivocate Garth Brooks with the event.

At any rate, tomorrow will come, and it will bring a free Garth Brooks show.

More: Tickets sold out for free Garth Brooks show Saturday at Auditorium Shores

Austin’s White Denim partners with Spotify to create song that only plays when it’s raining

 

Spotify announced a new feature Monday that’s sure to excite that niche group of people who love rainy weather and geotargeting.

The rain did not keep people away from S. Congress Avenue on Saturday, January 31st, 2015. People wait in line underneath umbrellas for food at a local restaurant. Photo by Laura Skelding

The streaming giant has partnered with The North Face and Austin band White Denim to create a song that you can only hear when it’s raining outside, Pitchfork reports.

The gist is Spotify will use the location services on your phone to push the song into areas and markets where there’s discernible rainfall at any given time. (But only in the U.S.)

Review: White Denim taping of ‘Austin City Limits’

A snippet of the song, called “No Nee Ta Slode Aln,” can be heard in a commercial for The North Face Apex Flex GTX Jacket.

Guess you’re out of luck if you’re a White Denim fan who lives in Arizona or the California desert. But the rest of us can sit back, relax, and know that Spotify is bringing us one step closer to Skynet.

If you like the song and want to hear more from White Denim, they’re playing at South By Southwest on Thursday and Friday. 

[H/T Pitchfork]

SXSW-goers find Austin’s lack of Uber, Lyft disturbing

 

South By Southwest is in full swing, which means crowds. Crowds everywhere, full of people with panels and parties to attend.

Many of those people forgot (or didn’t know) that Uber and Lyft no longer operate within the Austin city limits. And when it rains all weekend, as it did last weekend, people got upset at the gouged prices and long wait times for Austin alternatives Fasten and RideAustin.

Fasten is the latest mobile ride-hailing app to jump into the Austin market. Credit: Fasten

More: What we learned about Austin’s ride-hailing options by testing six of Austin’s ride-hailing apps

Making matters worse, both Fasten and RideAustin went down on Saturday night’s rainstorms, creating issues for people who needed rides, and needed them ASAP.

Local ride-hailing service RideAustin posted on Facebook early Sunday morning that its database locked up throughout most of the evening Saturday, and Kirill Evdakov, CEO of Fasten, confirmed that service also had problems, beginning a little after 8 p.m. Saturday. He called SXSW, rainy weather, and glitches with other services simultaneously “a perfect storm” that led to Fasten receiving about 12 times as many ride requests as normal.

More: Two Austin ride-hailing services report problems in first days of SXSW

During the outage, many people complained on Twitter about the resulting price surges…

https://twitter.com/HeyHeyESJ/status/840948977986093056

While some people who just got into town were aghast that Austin does not have Uber or Lyft anymore…

https://twitter.com/Jason/status/841031230997032961

https://twitter.com/tjparker/status/840551537235644417

One person was angry at Uber and Lyft for leaving Austin after the May election that included Proposition 1…

While another was worried about how RideAustin’s app could legally exist because it looks so close to Uber’s…

While many people thought the whole idea of complaining about transportation during a huge conference event was preposterous…

https://twitter.com/sssssparkers/status/841083082170068994

https://twitter.com/samfbiddle/status/841047517567569920

And others simply found (gasp!) other means of transportation for the weekend.

 

Anyhow, the whole event got its own Twitter moment Sunday night:

However, many people who arrived in town Thursday night for SXSW Interactive were well aware of the ridesharing situation in Austin. The following is from breaking news reporter Katie Hall, who went out to Austin-Bergstrom International Airport Thursday night to interview conference-goers.

Britt Deyan, of San Francisco, landed in Austin on Thursday night for SXSW Interactive. Deyan said that SXSW had been good about sharing the fact that Uber and Lyft no longer gave rides in Austin.

“Every communication I was sent about SXSW told me Uber wasn’t here,” Deyan said as she climbed into a taxi.

Alisa Hetrick and Sami Huerta, both of Minneapolis, also grabbed a taxi after landing at the Austin-Bergstrom International Airport. Hetrick and Huerta said they had been told by friends in Austin, who invited them to SXSW, that Uber and Lyft didn’t operate in Austin.

A group of six Mashable employees huddled together outside the airport after landing in Austin, discussing the ride-hailing app RideAustin. Their company had called a car ahead of time to pick them up, they said. A few of the people in the group said they were well aware of the fact that Uber and Lyft left Austin because their website had written about it. One of them, however, was not.

“I didn’t know until just now,” she said, after asking the reporter for ride-hailing app suggestions. “After the tragedy that happened a couple years ago at SXSW, I think they’re asking for another tragedy.” She declined to give her name.

What about you? Have you been having a tough time getting around at SXSW? Let us know in the comments.

Statesman reporters Katie Hall and Elizabeth Findell contributed to this report.