A hole in the wall has only a tenuous hold on its status. This is usually good for the business but harder for us existing customers to swallow.
Friends, I am sad to say that day has come for the Whip In. When did the moment occur? When it was featured in the Chronicle? When Gastronomica profiled its blend of convenience store, craft beers and Indian snacks as a classic example of “Austin-Americana”?
No one can pinpoint the exact moment when Whip In crossed the threshold of popularity. For me, the moment of transformation came when I entered last week and found shelves that used to hold groceries cleared away to make room for more tables. It was a Thursday at 6:30 pm and the place was packed. The clientele was young and friendly, the beer list as diverse as ever and a band that seemed to have lost its way from the nearby high school was enthusiastically playing in the corner.
The Whip-In is still a great place to catch up with a friend over a Texan amber and a plate of naan goat sliders. It still sits defiant on the side of I-35, a lone refuge from the big box stores and fast food chains that line the frontage road. But it is no longer a hole in the wall.
I went with a fellow writer and food enthusiast, a native Austinite who wears his homegrown status as a badge of honor. He shook his head mournfully and complained about everyone discovering his find. But his smile came back when he tasted the Obsidian Stout.
So, go to the Whip In. You don’t want to be the last one in Austin to enjoy it.
The Whip In is open every day 10 am – midnight. Located at 1950 I-35 South, between the Riverside Drive and Oltorf Street exits. 512.442.5337 http://www.whipin.com