The only thing better than brunch in Austin would be a literal tour taking us to some of the restaurants responsible for bringing us this most important meal of the week.
That’s about to be possible thanks to Twisted Texas Tours, a local tour outfit that launched earlier this year and will introduce a new Brunch Bus tour on Jan. 13. Twisted Texas already has a tour that helps both locals and tourists alike explore a couple local breweries — but the brunch tour is likely to attract a whole new crowd of foodies.
The Brunch Bus will stop at Torchy’s Tacos for breakfast tacos, Batch Craft Beer + Kolaches for Czech-style pastries and Gourdough’s Public House for chicken and waffles. An alcoholic beverage at each of the stops is included in the cost of the $70 ticket.
And in keeping with the Twisted Texas credo, the bus transporting brunch-goers will be outfitted with a live local band.
Twisted Texas Tours is the public touring arm of the private explorations company Access ATX, founded by Meagan Fritts, who has made a living in travel and tourism and wanted to bring her skills in the industry to the city where she lived but never seemed to spend enough time in. Although the idea of a tour suggests it’s for tourists only, she wants locals to learn something new about their town with Twisted Texas.
"Locals never want to take a tour of their town, but once they get on board, they’re so surprised at the things they see that they pass all the time," she said.
Those places don’t just include the destinations on a Twisted Texas tour. The colorfully painted bus features a knowledgeable tour guide who shares — in between songs from the live band, of course — fun facts about Austin and some of the buildings and attractions you see on the way to the various stops. Fritts developed the two tours based on what she’s heard from people wanting to explore Austin.
"What inspired me to do something new is that so many people, when they would call me about doing a tour, they said they wanted to see the weird stuff," she said. "We’re not weird on command, so my thought was, ‘How can we take that weird that everyone wants to see and bring it to them?’ That was my idea, to take all of the quirky, weird and fun parts of Austin and bottle that into these tours."
Austin’s profound and enduring love of brunch is certainly quirky, and local breweries are a fun part of the city. The Live Music & Brewery Tour, one of two tours that launched Twisted Texas in the fall this year, takes participants to Austin Beerworks in North Austin and to Friends & Allies Brewing in East Austin before dropping them off at the starting point of Waller Creek Pub House downtown.
The cost of that tour covers a flight of brews at Austin Beerworks and either a pint or a flight at Friends & Allies. And if you want a pre-tour or post-tour pint at Waller Creek Pub, you are encouraged to do that, too. BYOB on the bus is also an option, though not necessary given how much booze you’re getting on the tour.
Different bands play from tour to tour aboard the bus, which is retrofitted to accommodate up to three people and their microphones and instruments. It was important to Fritts, she said, to highlight some of Austin’s smaller outfits, like Americana group Law by the Gun, especially following reports "about how Austin’s live music scene is declining and bands don’t make enough income to stay afloat."
"I’d like to have these tours run seven days a week to support our musicians," she said.
Tours are just on Saturdays for now. Twisted Texas is taking reservations for both the Brunch Bus and the $55 Live Music & Brewery Tour on the tour organization’s website, at twistedtexastour.com.
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