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Our Love Letter to Austin’s Late-Night Drive-Thrus

LateNightEats- TRIBEZA Magazine

Feature Article: Austin Nightlife


Late-Night Eats

Feature Article: Austin Nightlife


Late-Night Eats

By MP Mueller and Brittani Sonnenberg
Photographs by Steve Visneau

We’ve noticed lines of cars snaking in and around fast-food restaurants late at night. Where were these people coming from? Where were they headed? What were their nocturnal forays about? With photographer Steven Visneau, Match Point Productions’ Willie Rockefeller and Derek Gildersleeve and actor and honorary Tribezan Bill Wise, we ventured out on a Saturday night. We got friendly with folks in the drive-thru lines at South First Street’s El Tacorrido, P. Terry’s on North Lamar and Mrs. Johnson’s Bakery on Airport Boulevard. Fueled by espresso horchatas, we visited until the early morning hours. We ran into everyone at the drive-thru: a besuited wedding guest, a toddler fast asleep in thebackseat and an über-personable Italian-Puerto Rican restaurant manager with a thick Long Island accent. At a time of increasing tension and social division in American cities, it’s good to know that a shared hunger for comfort food at 3 a.m. still brings us together at the drive-thru — even if we’re sitting in separate cars. Click here to see the Late-Night Eats video with veteran Austin actor and honorary Tribezan, Bill Wise.

LateNightEats- TRIBEZA Magazine

EL TACORRIDO: South First Street

10:04 p.m.

Alejandro and Conrad
It had been a day of watching Wimbledon and swinging a racket for these friends, followed by Al Pastor-marinated pineapple pork tacos. Set. Match.
LateNightEats- TRIBEZA Magazine

10:22 p.m.

Alex and Arianna
The brother and sister ended their day with drive-thru deliciousness. Tennis fans, too, they eschewed straw-berries and cream to celebrate Serena’s 2016 Wimble-don trophy. Horchatas and soft tacos for the win, baby.
LateNightEats- TRIBEZA Magazine

10:43 p.m.

Manon and Joelene
College students and friends, Manon and Joelene had chilled at Cenote earlier before a nightcap of quesadillas and their favorite drinks. The El Equinox is a sweet rice water, cinnamon and vanilla beverage with a kick of espresso.
LateNightEats- TRIBEZA Magazine


LateNightEats- TRIBEZA Magazine

11:57 p.m.

The Singing Hollingsworths
Dad, Emma and Audrey (backseat) had just returned from Shrek at the Zilker Hillside Theater. Fueled by the evening, doubles with cheese, and shakes, they serenaded us with song.
LateNightEats- TRIBEZA Magazine

12:16 a.m.

Mike and Grace
They met while floating on the river. Apparently when inner tubes touch, sparks can fly — they’re getting married in September. Their evening was spent at Backbeat on South Lamar, where it was a Sir Mix-a-lot night of 80s and 90s rap.At P. Terry’s, baby’s got bacon cheeseburgers.
LateNightEats- TRIBEZA Magazine

12:34 a.m.

Recent UT grad Danny pumped iron earlier in the day. After P. Terry’s, he was headed home to do some coding. A double with cheese, all the way, no tomatoes was his program.
LateNightEats- TRIBEZA Magazine

12:48 a.m.

Maclean hit the drive-thru for his plus-one beverage on the way home from a college friend’s wedding at Westwood Country Club.
LateNightEats- TRIBEZA Magazine

MRS. JOHNSON’S BAKERY: Airport Boulevard

LateNightEats- TRIBEZA Magazine

1:36 a.m.

Shannon and Shay
Shannon was visiting from New Mexico, prompting a tour-of-Austin night: batviewing at the Congress Avenue Bridge, then on to East Austin for dinner at Blue Dahlia and drinks at Whisler’s. Go-to donuts? Froot Loops-topped and coconut-glazed.
LateNightEats- TRIBEZA Magazine

1:51 a.m.

Roxanne, Karisa and Sofia
Mom Roxanne and daughter Karisa picked up a dozen glazed while four-year-old Sofia dozed in the back seat. They’d been at a birthday party and the night was continuing with some movie watching and maybe a little Pokemon Go. Will their “donuts as incense strategy” lure a wild one? Stay tuned.
LateNightEats- TRIBEZA Magazine

2:03 a.m.

Mrs. Johnson’s is his late-night dalliance. Connor said he’s a mixed box kind of guy; a lot like life.
LateNightEats- TRIBEZA Magazine

Read more from the Nightlife Issue | August 2016

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