Known for being stuck between a rock and a weird place (Round Rock and Austin), Pflugerville may seem like just another suburb. But hidden among the urban sprawl is a small town full of budding entrepreneurs working to make this pfunnily named community a deluxe daytripper destination.
Brotherton’s Black Iron Barbecue
The only thing that’s traditional about this barbecue joint is the wood they use to smoke their meats (post oak). Everything else is way outside the fire box. Skip the three-meat plate and order one of its Texas-inspired sandwiches, such as the Reuben with smoked brisket pastrami and housemade sauerkraut, or the Vietnamese brisket bahn mi with housemade kimchi.
15608 Spring Hill Lane, Suite 105. 512-547-4766; blackironeats.com
Central Texas BMX
This public bicycle motocross track is a collaboration with Travis County Parks to provide a place for newcomers and pros alike to push their biking limits with races and private lessons multiple times a week. I was nervous the first time I dropped down the 5-meter Olympic-style starting hill, but after a few laps, I was flying over obstacles and living out my childhood dream.
5001 Killingsworth Lane. 512-348-8269; centraltexasbmx.com
Spirit of Texas Distillery
The spirit of Texas is hard to describe, unless it’s poured into a glass. Started by a couple of homebrewers with homemade stills, this distillery makes use of something Texas has plenty of—heat—to create top-shelf spirits that go down as smooth as Southern molasses. Visitors can get a tour and sample handcrafted cocktails. I highly suggest The Daytripper, made with single-malt whiskey, lemonade, and Texas blackberry juice. Of course, I might be a little biased.
1715 Dalshank St. 512-989-9292; spiritoftx.com
Taste of Ethiopia
Texas is known for its diverse food, but Ethiopian cuisine doesn’t often make the list. Savory dishes ranging from chicken to lamb are served family-style on a huge platter and are traditionally eaten with only your hands and injera, a tortilla-like sour flatbread. The collage of colors and textures may look overwhelming, but trust me, your taste buds will thank you.
1100 Grand Avenue Parkway. 512-251-4053; tasteofethiopiaaustin.com
Heritage House Museum
If you’re wondering how a town gets a name like Pflugerville, this museum can help. Named for German farmer Henry Pfluger, Pflugerville’s farming roots run deep. Located in the home of Gottlieb Bohls—one of this town’s founding fathers—this museum is filled with personal items and photos donated by local families. My favorite is a WWI helmet marked with a bullet hole through the middle. Luckily, this local boy survived to tell the tale.
901 Old Austin Hutto Road. 512-990-6377; pflugervilletx.gov/heritagehouse
Whether you follow my footsteps or forge your own path, I hope to see you on the road.