|The temperatures have hit the low-90s in Central Texas, which means we'll probably have 100+ degrees soon enough. Last summer, we passed the century mark every day for something like three months in a row. Nighttime temps rarely dipped below 75 until we were deep into October. It's enough to give a guy the blues.
Nuno's is a haven on a hot Austin day. PHOTO: ANTHONY HEAD
That's why I head to Nuno's on Austin's famed Sixth Street. There are a couple "blues bars" in the Capital City, but none make me feel quite as bluesy as Nuno's. Even before I get inside I feel better because Tank (the regular doorman) always asks for my ID, even though I look to be about 70. He's funny, he's kind, and since he weighs about 300 pounds, he's large and in-charge. If there is a cover charge, it's usually a measly three bucks.
The décor is sparse and space is too; but there is usually a solid set of music being played-whether it's Texas blues (think the late, great Stevie Ray Vaughan), Mississippi blues (Pinetop Perkins) or Chicago blues (Daddy Ivan). I love that—unlike the typical Sixth Street crowd—people here are more laid back. Oh, and then there's the blonde bartender, who clearly got the angel's share of looks from the beauty barrel. As the band begins to play, she pours me a long, long shot of Jack Daniels. Outside, the pavement is steamy. Inside, it begins to heat up as well.
Anthony Head is Texas Editor for THE TASTING PANEL. Read more on his website: www.TheArmchairOenophile.com.