Tag Archives: Downtown Austin

POLYGLOT AUSTIN: OUR MULTILINGUAL, MULTICULTURAL CITY!

Ben tornato to our #Polyglot Austin series, where we celebrate the city’s cultural diversity, while taking an interactive approach to language learning!

Meet some of our favorite Italian Austinites and practice your Italian at the same time! Watch and listen to our interviews in Italian with Bernardo Nolfo, the managing partner of Numero28 Austin, and challenge yourself with answers in Italian to the questions below #LanguageChallenge #MissonAccomplished!

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Come si dice in Italian “a not to be missed Italian hotspot”? Your first language mission, should you choose to accept it: translate this (a not to be missed Italian hotspot) in a comment below for a chance to win a glass of wine at Numero28!

Not just known for delicious food, but for the warm and welcoming Italian atmosphere, this Italian bistro remains a top favorite for our teachers and students to visit and to practice Italian, describing it as mini vacation to Italy.

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Delicious southern Italian food in the heart of downtown Austin. Fresh pastas, oven-fired pizzas, Italian wines, gelato and the list goes on – Andiamo!

Before we get started on the language fun, go ahead and grab your favorite vino, the great fluency builder! To get the most out of this language learning tool, uses the following steps as a guide:

  1. Read the following short dialogues in Italian (transcription) as a preview to the video
  2. Hit play and stop to review as need be…
  3. REPEAT! Repetition: a key to language learning!

Beginner Level Dialogue and Video

Q: Ciao! Come ti chiami! / A: Mi chiamo Bernardo.

Q: Di dove dei? / A: Sono nato in Sicilia.

Q: Che lavoro fai? / A: Lavoro nei ristoranti.

For FULL transcript, CLICK HERE & look in video description.

#LanguageChallenge – Answer in Italian below! 

  1. Che lavoro fa il proprietario?

Intermediate Level Dialogue and Video

Q: Come mai hai scelto Numero 28 come nome per il tuo ristorante? / A: E’ una risposta abbastanza facile da darti perche’ il mio socio ha questo nome a New York e allora siamo venuti qui e abbiamo deciso di dare lo stesso nome.

Q: Su cosa basi la scelta del menu’? / A: Il menu’ e’ molto … e’ stato fatto in maniera per essere piu’ stile del sud Italia e anche con influenza siciliana.

For FULL transcript, CLICK HERE & look in video description.

#LanguageChallenge – Answer in Italian below!

  1. Perché Bernardo, il proprietario, ha scelto di chiamare il suo ristorante Numero 28?
  2. Qual è la notizia che Bernardo condivide?

**Buon lavoro! Stay tuned – the most Italian responses wins a glass of wine**

Buona Notizia for Numero28!

Managing partner Bernardo says it’s very important that he creates a neighborhood feeling. Keep an eye out for their new Italian bakery, cafe and cocktail bar called Numero28 Alimentari opening soon to 2nd and San Antonio street! Alimentari—which means “food” in Italian—will serve traditional Italian pastries and cakes, chocolates and small bites. Check them out on Yelp and like them on Facebook.

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In the heart of the city, enjoy a scenic view on their beautiful patio with a glass of wine!

Thank you for playing along. Tell us what restaurants, topics, or #Polyglot people around Austin you would like us to feature in our upcoming blogs. We LOVE your input! More about us:

The Freestyle Lifestyle

Our one-of-a-kind approach to second language acquisition uses technology and an interactive model in a way that brings the most recent, relevant, high-usage vocabulary and everyday expressions to our students in an entertaining and effective way. Join us as we continue to revolutionize language learning: Try a free evening class or our popular Saturday ‘Cafe’ (11am-12:30pm) at 801 Rio Grande!

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Join us on January 5th for our Spring Open House to meet our teachers and find your ‘fit’ – RSVP Here!

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Our pick of the best authentic Latin American and Spanish food trucks in ATX

With Otoño weather finally here, we thought we’d help warm you up with some caliente Latin American and Spanish cuisine. What better way to enjoy this weather than with some of the best auténtico dishes from Austin’s intuitive food truck scene.

Miguel’s. The Cubano, Tapas Bravas, Art of Tacos

Recently the rest of the U.S. has jumped on Austin’s food truck bandwagon with mobile food trucks rolling out from every other state. Long gone are the assumptions that food trucks only offer questionable hotdogs and peanuts, today’s food truck’s are fresh, funky, and everything that makes Austin, Austin. Here’s our pick of the best authentic Latin American and Spanish food trucks.

For those who want to a taste of Spain we recommend Tapas Bravas located on the chida y divertida Rainey Street.

Tapas Bravas- 75 Rainey St Austin TX 78701. Photos from Tapas Bravas Facebook.

As the name indicates this food truck offers Spanish style tapas, which are warm/cold appetizer sized dishes. The estupendo thing about tapas is that it invites people to share food AND a conversation. Our top picks:

1. Croquetas- Deep fried chicken & serrano ham croquettes

2. Pimientos piquillos rellenos de queso de cabra y piñones- Goat cheese stuffed piquillo peppers with pine nuts and honey.

3. Catimpalitos a la sidra- pan fried mini churizos in cider glaze

4. Sangrias on Wine Down Wednesday! Not to be missed, it’s BYO-Wine and for $7 you’ll get a start up kit to make your own Sangria pitchers! Ok, technically not food but the fruit must count… right?

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For those who want to experience Cuba and feel the revolution! Vamos to Miguel’s. The Cubano for some of the most auténtico, sabroso y creativo Cuban food Austin has to offer.

Miguel’s. The Cubano.-611 Trinity ST Austin, TX 78701. Photos from Miguel’s. The Cubano. Facebook

Our top picks:

1. The famoso El Don sandwich- Slow-Roasted Eden Farms pulled pork, caramelized Onions, cilantro and mojo served up on fresh milled bread and lathered in smoked chili aioli

2. De La Noche sandwich- Local Berkshire Ham, slow-roasted Eden Farms pulled pork, baby swiss cheese and pickles served up on authentic homemade Cuban sweet bread and pressed to perfection.

3. Yuca Fries with Mojo and Meat- Yuca fries served with choice of sherry-pimiento-garlic chicken, braised brisket, or slow-roast pulled pork

4. Maduros- Caramelized plantains served with a crema for dipping

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Last but not least, the taco. While Austin may be chock full of taco trailers that bring you everything from authentic to creative fusion, a simple taco is sometimes the best. And if you haven’t already filled up on Tapas Bravas (or had a couple drinks afterwards roaming Rainey St.) check out The Art of Tacos.

Art of Tacos- 75 Rainey St Austin, TX 78701. Photos from Art of Tacos Facebook

Simple, fresh and delicioso. Our top picks:

1. Ground beef and potatoes taco

2. Fajita chicken quesadilla

3. Al pastor taco

Buen apetito!

We’re so lucky to live in a city with such varied culture and language. Don’t forget to check out our Facebook!

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This is What Austin Sounds Like to Me, Part II or “Un gaou à Austin”

It is now spring, getting on towards the end of it anyway, and this is one of my favorite times of the year in Austin.  I can drive with the windows down, music semi-blasting (I’m not young anymore, I’ve got to take care of these aural devices.) The sun is starting to set later and later, which brings le coucher de soleil closer to the moments when I meet friends for drinks or dinner, or, on rare occasions, begin a night of bacchanalian revelry with those friends that are better labeled bad influences.

Magic System is from Côte d'Ivoire (Ivory Coast) and their music is called Zouglou.

There was a stint when I lived in NW Austin, around the Four Points area.  Sometimes too far from my preferred haunts in and near downtown, Magic System made that journey much more tolerable.

“La musique est pour nous un facteur de rapprochement du peuple…”
[Music is, for us, a way to bring people together…]

 Take the drive on 2222 from 620 into town.  Do it as the sun sets, or just as the lights of night start to outshine said gaseous giant as it heads to bed.  Lower your windows, and crank up a little “On va samizé.”

Let the opening notes blow past your ears and the wind blow through your smartly coiffed hair as you descend Tumbleweed hill, foot covering the brake pedal so as not to achieve enough velocity to attempt low-earth orbit or earn some sort of traffic citation.  Cross under 360, pass County Line BBQ and the music, already getting you in the mood to dance, rhythms you in and out of every turn and switch-back on the descent to Mopac.  Go ahead, play it twice, get yourself to Loop 1 to head south for downtown.

Now, having followed Mopac south, take the exit to go au centre-ville, and after you curve to the left, do a little down-and-up shift in the road, then back to the right (just like you’re dancing, man), level out onto 5th and keep Magic System as your copilot.  Switch to their song “Premier Gaou.” Nothing beats it as you patrol the streets, hunting for errant parking spots that are, if you’re lucky, only a few blocks from your destination.  The music keeps your hips primed for dipping in any concert venue, and calms the savageness of parking rage as you hunt.  Long after you’ve paralleled your way between an obnoxiously stationed Hummer and the Car2Go Smart that it dwarfs, despite their separation, you’ll be singing to yourself as you walk downtown

“On dit premier gaou n’est pas gaou, oh…/ C’est deuxième gaou qui est niata, oh…”
[Fool me once, shame on you / Fool me twice, shame on me…]

 

Now that you know the route, give your Sunday drive a Zouglou kick!


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