EAT: J. LEONARDI'S BBQ
There are a heck ton of BBQ joints in Austin, but when it comes to ribs, J. Leonardi’s is the jam. Everything else they serve up is on point, but when you’ve got the man who does it all (and knows what he’s doing) right there in the smoker and serving from the trailer, then you know you’ve got it right. Not to mention it’s less than a block from the HELM Flagship Store in Austin...
SHOP: MODERN ANTHOLOGY
It’s not every day you come upon a store that hosts it all (habitat, clothing, and grooming), but Modern Anthology does just that - and they do it well. Really well. Nestled on Smith Street in Brooklyn, you’ll be sure to find a warm welcome and a considerable place to hang your hat, figuratively and literally. From a few of our faves like Raen sunglasses, Raleigh Denim, and Stephen Ken furnishings, all the way over to everything Aesop and Baxter’s, M.A. is pretty much a one-stop-shop in terms of home and body. So go to Modern Anthology and get your lifestyle on.
Jesse Ainslie, formerly of the beloved Phosphorescent, recently released this guitar driven solo album that we’re totally backing’. Robust vocals, steady melodies and thoughtful, poetic lyrics hold these songs together with gentle fluidity. If you’re a fan of Ryan Adams (particularly the “Heartbreaker” era), then your fondness of this record should come quite easily. With songs about nighttime, girls, Texas, the darkness, the foreboding future and the distant yet relevant past - there’s an enduring theme of the time of life found between acceptance and growth. Include this video for the song, “Back to Texas,” and you might find yourself ringing a reminiscence of Tom Petty, Nick Cave, Warren Zevon and possibly a little Dire Straits.
STAY: CONTIGO RANCH
Ever find yourself wanting to get away and stay on a true ranch, but with ease and in simple, tasteful style? Well here it is - The Contigo Ranch in Fredericksburg, and yes, there is direct relation to Contigo restaurant in Austin. If you’ve been to the restaurant in Austin, pretty much drop that in the Texas Hill Country, adding those stunning views with private bungalows and amenities that will keep you content for days. Thanks to their cabins and cottages, it’s not hard to call it “Contemporary Country,” but there’s a lot more than that. Adjacent to wine country, the magnificent Enchanted Rock state park, and the historical downtown Fredericksburg, we think that once you’ve perused the website, you’re gonna be ready to clear some dates on your calendar.
APPRECIATE: RAUSER DESIGN
Driving on the East Side in Austin, you’ve most likely seen the Springdale Farmhouse - a stunning refurbished home blossoming in white amongst the lush fields of colorful vegetables and greens. This project was done by artist and architect Eric Rauser. Eric and his wife, Rebekah, are authentic and innovative, creating and designing everything from fashion, furniture, motorbikes and of course, homes. You can see their projects on their site and in person throughout the city. We appreciate and salute smaller design houses like Rauser and respect their hard work and dedication to their craft.
ADMIRE: EDWOOD STUDIO
Edwood Studio is known for its custom furniture and architectural millwork in residential and commercial projects. They opened their doors in 2010 as a passionate hobby, but quickly turned into a full time design/build workshop. Growing up in New York City, the owner Michael has always been in tune with fine art, design and architecture. He studied fine arts and sculpture throughout high school and realized his passion for wood working after building an adirondack chair the summer of 2009. Heading out west to Austin, TX earlier that year, he had gained access to several local wood studios. Naturally, artistic traits and passion followed hand in hand. Humbled by this opportunity and the community that continues to grow in Austin's maker movement, Michael feels immense pride for the namesake of Edwood, named for his late father Edward. You can see some of their splendid work here and most likely realize you’ve seen it in person at one of your favorite joints.
APPLAUD: HELM IN BEST OF AUSTIN