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Eating and Thinking at SXSW

by Meghann on March 11, 2012

South By Southwest: Day 2 is in the bag!

Rachel and I definitely learned a few things on our second day out (all of which I plan to write about in a final SXSW recap post) – a big improvement from yesterday, but still a whirlwind of a day.

We planned to start our day with some Branding and Marketing panel sessions, but quickly learned that if you want to get to a session (especially one called ‘Hacking YouTube’), then you need to get there 30+ minutes early – not 2 minutes before the start time. Fail.


The rooms were at capacity and the only thing we could do was wait in line to gain entry.

Good thing I brought snacks.


When we realized the line for the YouTube session was never going to happen, we switched to a data driven session line that was a bit shorter.  As people started filtering out, we were eventually allowed in.


The session was a little over my head and basically spoke on how companies take our data and use it as guides for marketing, branding, and other unique and interesting ways (all online based). There were a lot of formulas, data configurations, and references to how other major companies have been successful – and not so successful – with the ever revolving game of predicting what customers will move to next.

I really lucked out after the data driven session because the next one I wanted to see (Rebranding Lego) was next.


This one was interesting, but not what I was expecting. The session was basically a look back on how Lego avoided bankruptcy in 1998 and 2004 with some innovation. I was expecting it would be more focused on things that Lego has done in the social network space today. However, I always love a good company history lesson.


After our sessions, Rachel, Eric, and I headed to Wholly Cow Burgers for lunch.


It was the sign that brought us in – I’m a sucker for cute signs on restaurants.


It’s a conter service restaurant where you order your burger at the counter, then they bring it to you.


The wait to get the food was a little longer than we expected – I mean, they were packed – but the wait was worth it.


The sweet potato fries were hand cut and freshly fried with salt – amazing.


And the burger came fully loaded with everything (minus the mayo). The meat was extra flavorful and I enjoyed how thin the bun was so I could tasted bites of everything and not just bread.


We wandered the streets a bit after lunch and spotted the famous Hey Cupcake! food truck on the corner.


Obviously we had to stop.


We sat down on the floor of the hotel at our next panel session and had at least half a dozen girls ask us if the cupcakes were Hey Cupcake! or asked where the Hey Cupcake! truck was parked today. People were pretty envious of our find. 😉


Look at those beauties!


I ordered the seasonal lemon and – OMG! – this cupcake definitely exceeded expectations. The icing was thick and rich, but not terribly over powering – it complemented the delicious tart and moist cake perfectly.


After our cupcakes, we headed to our last panel about women in social media (with Lisa Ling!).


The session was very much ‘girl power!’ but I appreciated that. Sometimes you just need to get a group of women together to realize you’re all going through the same thing (especially in social media). It was very reassuring to hear that all of these very successful women have the same struggles I do and how they’ve learned to rise above them. I’m probably going to write a post oh what this session made me think about in the very near future.

Party time!


We headed to a Chevy Sponsored tweet-up party after our last session where there were fancy cocktails and free food.

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I didn’t do a great job capturing it, but a lot of things went into making this old fashion with a twist (dried ice? foam? hickory smoke?) Too bad it was cooler to watch him make it than it was to drink it.


I’m just not a liquor girl and this was straight-up liquor!


The Shiner Bock was much better.


The party had a band


and free food


But I wasn’t terribly hungry and just grabbed a nibble.


We ended up hitting up the Foodspotting food truck bazaar for dinner later in the evening.


I was waiting in line for food when I was handed this.


Basically, if you download the PayDragon App, you could scan the QR code of what you wanted off of the menu, pay with it on your phone, and pick it up right from the window (no need to wait in line!) .


It was super easy to use and saved me from waiting in line in the rain.


Less than 5 minutes later… my food was ready!


The food truck was an Asian-Mexican fusion. The Szechuan Veggie Tacos were spicy and slightly sour. They were good, but not the best of the three (!) tacos I’ve had in the last three days. Last night’s were better. 😉

The tacos came with a side of fries, which were pretty delicious, but I already had my fry fill at lunch.


We did a little more exploring and party hopping before calling it a night.

I had a pear. It was exactly what I was craving and then some.


What a long day – I am exhausted!

Time to crawl into bed and get some sleep.

Good Night!

1 Coco March 11, 2012 at 8:28 am

I can’t believe you can order your food with your phone! Oh technology, your so amazing!
Coco recently posted..Week 10 Complete!

2 Lindsay @ Running the Windy City March 11, 2012 at 8:28 am

Looks like you’re finding some good food, always a plus at conferences 🙂

I’ve never had a lemon cupcake but it looks really good!
Lindsay @ Running the Windy City recently posted..A to Z Survey

3 Joss March 11, 2012 at 9:41 am

The lemon cupcakes looks delish 🙂 Looove icing!
Joss recently posted..Treats From the Market

4 Gina @ Running to the Kitchen March 11, 2012 at 10:08 am

I got a carrot cake Hey Cupcake! last January when I was in Austin and I still dream about that thing. So good! Even beat Crumbs in NYC!
Gina @ Running to the Kitchen recently posted..Orange infused overnight steel cut oats

5 Carissa March 11, 2012 at 10:46 am

My mouth is literally watering at that lemon cupcake! Holy cow!
Carissa recently posted..Popcorn Problems

6 Megan @ Megan's Munchies March 11, 2012 at 11:18 am

Yum! I will take an order of sweet potato fries and a cupcake!! They look delicious!
Megan @ Megan’s Munchies recently posted..Chocolate Overload Cheesecake Bars

7 Anne March 11, 2012 at 11:32 am

I loVe Hey cupcake! Soo delicious, I get it every time I’m in town.
Anne recently posted..non negotiables

8 Cait March 11, 2012 at 12:10 pm

I am totally envious of how you can stay so tiny, yet eat burgers, fries, and cupcakes..

9 ash bear March 11, 2012 at 12:28 pm

Wow, South by Southwest definitely looks a bit overwhelming. That’s a shame that you didn’t know these tips ahead of time. It’s great that you and Rachel were able to hang together. What have the rest of your group been up to on the trip? The food looks great but that rain has to go!
ash bear recently posted..Soul Cycle Happy Hour

10 Jessica @ The Process of Healing March 11, 2012 at 1:06 pm

Food trucks sound SO cool! And that cupcake looks SO good!
Jessica @ The Process of Healing recently posted..Funny Video Friday

11 Sara@RunningInPinkProject March 11, 2012 at 1:38 pm

Ive been on a lemon kick lately after having the most amazing lemon marscapone and raspberry cake on my Birthday. Good choice!
Sara@RunningInPinkProject recently posted..A Spoon Me-Sprouts- and Sushi Saturday

12 Angela @ Happy Fit Mama March 11, 2012 at 2:20 pm

Read your whole post but can’t stop thinking about the lemon cupcake. I’m really not a lemon fan but that looked to die for!
Angela @ Happy Fit Mama recently posted..Get Your Green On!

13 Leah @ Chocolate and Wild Air March 11, 2012 at 3:00 pm

So jealous of your SXSW adventures. And those cupcakes look killer! Austin was the site of my first foodtruck visit, and there was no going back
Leah @ Chocolate and Wild Air recently posted..Selection Sunday!

14 Katie @ Talk Less, Say More March 11, 2012 at 4:27 pm

Those cupcakes look delicious!!!
Katie @ Talk Less, Say More recently posted..The End of the Stay-cation

15 Katie @ Peace Love & Oats March 11, 2012 at 4:48 pm

Um those cupcakes look insane. And that QR code thing is awesome! I keep seeing more and more interesting ways that those are used! Glad you’re enjoying SXSW!

16 JessicaE March 11, 2012 at 4:59 pm

You would hate my drink: Icy cold vodka with freshly squeezed lime 🙂 I’m pregnant so I can’t enjoy one for awhile, but its so refreshing. <3

17 Annette @ EnjoyYourHealthyLife March 11, 2012 at 8:25 pm

WOW-ordered your food by phone?! That’s crazy cool.

And that lemon cupcake looks TO DIE for! YUMM
Annette @ EnjoyYourHealthyLife recently posted..Gluteal Muscles

18 Melissa March 12, 2012 at 4:05 pm

It’s unfortunate you aren’t taking the time to learn from the sessions. You have been presented with an incredible opportunity so I am a bit confused as to why you sound disappointed/ungrateful. Surely you knew what this was about before you agreed to go?

19 Meghann March 12, 2012 at 5:02 pm

Hi Melissa, I did take the time to learn from the sessions, but you have to believe me when I say how overwhelming SXSW is and all it has to offer. There are roughly 20 sessions going on at the same time and all of the sessions are spread out across downtown Austin. It’s very hard to decide which ones to go to and then, once you do decide, many of them fill to capacity 30 minutes before they begin. I went to what sessions I could, but admittedly, the ones I went to didn’t exactly fit what I was looking for. I spoke to several people at the conference that were having the same issues. If I did return to SXSW, I would have a better grasp on what to expect and get more out of the whole experience.

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