The search for Flip-Happy Crepes

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Flag of United States  , Texas
Sunday, March 27, 2011

There we were, fresh from seeing the Texas State Capitol (bigger and taller than the White House), Texans want you to know.   We had already made the long walk down famous Congress Street and it's historic old buildings, turned left on 6th st. And strolled the several blocks past the old turn-of-the-century bars with new weird names like Coyote Ugly Saloon, The Dog and Duck Pub, and The Lazy Lizard.  We toured the splendid Driskill Hotel, where a young LBJ came across Lady Bird and fell in love with her at first sight.  She was just out of college.  He was working for a Congressman.   He introduced himself and told her he intended to marry her.  She was shocked and amused by his boldness.  Undaunted,  he pursued and then proposed to her two weeks later over dinner in the hotel's lavish banquet room.  Exiting the hotel we were all wilting in the 90 degree heat, and we were hungry.  There were eating establishments all around us.  But Ilana, our tour guide for the day, suggested we all go cross town to this great little trailer restaurant she had read about called Flip-Happy Crepes.  It was part of the new trailer restaurant craze sweeping the city and they were known for making inexpensive, mouth-watering crepes of all kinds.   Martina did the math on her Blackberry and told us that it was 1.7 miles away.  Not far, Ilana thought to herself, for such a treat.  She led the way and we followed.  We had no water, she had no hat.  Martina gave her some sun screen and she put a little on her forehead and handed the tube back.  The buildings will shade us, she thought to herself, and besides, it's not that far.
     We turned West and walked through the entire downtown to Lady Bird Johnson Lake.  We turned North and walked another several blocks to the Congress Bridge.  Turning West again, we crossed the quarter mile long bridge.  Ilana stopped twice on the bridge to ask passers-by if they knew the location of Flip-Happy.  No and no.  We of little faith started to crack just a little.  Another half mile beyond the bridge, another inquiry of a bystander.  "oh yeah," he said, I do know that trailer.  It's West another few blocks and then North for a distance.  There's a fast food hamburger stand on the corner and the trailer is just behind it.  It's a bit of a ways.  Y'All have a nice day."
     My eyes looked askance, I admit it, weakling that I am.  We journeyed on, West, then North, block after block, seeking the legendary crepe trailer like Jason seeking the Golden Fleece.  Ilana was on a quest.  We did not mutiny.  Martina and Gary actually stayed in a remarkably good humor.  Ilana's face, throat and neck were red with sunburn.   And then there it was, the burger joint, the street behind it that we were looking for.  We walked up the street, we looked for a trailer.  Nowhere did we see one until the very end of the street.  Gary spotted it through the trees, a small rag-taggle trailer with the words Flip-Happy Crepes on one end, and in the window a small  black sign that said..........CLOSED.
     Ilana sat down at one of the tables, stunned, disappointed, sorry.  She then marched on over to the burger joint on the corner and ordered us fries and tall natural lemonades.  Tour guides know what to do in all situations.  Refreshed, we all walked back uptown, over another bridge, then just a few more blocks to the Whole Foods store, where we found a table in the shade and finally, after having seen most of the town on foot, had lunch. 
     It is worth saying here that Ilana rarely misses locating the best reasonably priced places to eat and has found us many wonderful meals everywhere we have visited.  She found us another trailer restaurant just a couple of days later called G'rajmahal, which served us up some of the best Indian food we have ever tasted.  We love Austin.  It is a wonderful town full of gracious, friendly, hospitable people, (when they're not behind the wheels of their cars). beautiful leafy, green parks are everywhere, covered in soft grass, shaded with stately live oaks, bordered by rivers and lakes with walking and biking trails and young people paddling by in rented canoes and rowboats,.  There are flowery gardens free to the public, and a fence-less, leash-free, grassy doggie park wider and longer than three football fields strung together.  Dogs are also allowed into many of the inviting patio restaurants throughout the town.  Austin has a vibrancy to it, an intellectual, artistic and physical aliveness.  It's people, and this is a young crowd swelled by a 50,000 kid student body from the University of Texas, are happy, bustling, and active.  The Downtown is a fine mix of historic old brick buildings and towering skyscrapers like the glass topped Frost building.  There are over 200 places to listen to live music; new and old country of course, but also rock and jazz and more.  We dined one night on the shore of Lake Austin after swimming Chance off the boat docks nearby.  The Hula Hut restaurant, with it's huge outside patio over the lake, and the one next to it were jammed with young people out on a Friday night enjoying the good food and the live band.  We ordered takeout from one of the restaurants and took it next door to the outside patio of the Motzart Cafe, which had plenty of empty tables and a wonderful Jazz trio playing real good for free.  Add into the mix the modern history and art museums, regular and presidential libraries, handsome event centers, the State Capitol and grounds, more book stores and coffee shops than you could count, warm days and balmy nights where the kids swarm the downtown nightclubs on weekends until 3:00 a.m., yet where you can stroll the river-walks in the evenings and enjoy the sparkling city lights across the water with no one else around, and you kind of get the picture.  We could easily spend an entire month here seeing and enjoying the town.  But we still have a lot of ground to cover and it's time to move on. 
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Larry Slonim on

Nothing like a town of bustling, flip-happy people to perk up your spirits!! Sounds and looks like a great place to stop on by to soak up the ambience. Enjoyed your write-up! With all that water around, was there any fishing squeezed in anywhere? Did you manage to do any biking? Sounds like a biking kind of place, especially downtown. Anyhow, keep those stories & pics coming!!

Suzanne Skrivanich on

I love it. Sounds like you're having a great time wandering through Texas.

Martina on

Great blog of our fun filled days and loved the pictures. We had a great time camping with you and as all things it went by too fast!! Wylie has been exhausted and I am sure Chancey misses him. Will be posting my pics to facebook in the next day or two and will email Ilana a few and then you can view the rest on my facebook page. Hope you enjoy Louisiana!

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