Graffiti Park and scenic view of downtown Austin (Credit: Caitlin Martin)
Graffiti Park and scenic view of downtown Austin (Credit: Caitlin Martin)

TownePlace Suites—Marriott’s all-suite line of properties with hot breakfast, kitchens and free Wi-Fi—is highlighting all-American barbecue during May’s National Barbecue Month in Austin. And not just any barbecue…some cool and inventive barbecue creations!

And that’s not all: Throughout the summer, TownePlace guests are invited to nab special barbecue grilling recipes and cook their meals on Weber gas grills at the TownePlace Suites in Austin North/Tech Ridge and at more than 100 TownePlace Suites throughout the U.S. and Canada.

I recently stayed at TownePlace Suites Austin North/Tech Ridge to celebrate TownePlace Suites’ 300th property opening and taste, with Weber’s help, some incredible barbecue on and around the property. Using a Weber grill, two Austin chefs went head to head in a local grill-off: Sonya Cote of Eden East against Evan LeRoy of LeRoy & Lewis.

The grill-off

Sonya Cote of Eden East (Credit: Caitlin Martin)
Sonya Cote of Eden East (Credit: Caitlin Martin)

As the crowd looked on, Chefs Cote and LeRoy each had 15 minutes to cook a ribeye steak and a chicken dish. The winner ended up being Sonya Cote’s ribeye. And we all continued the night by chowing down on LeRoy & Lewis’ barbecue and mac and cheese. The restaurant is an absolute must-do when visiting Austin.

LeRoy & Lewis’ barbecue (Credit: Caitlin Martin)
LeRoy & Lewis’ barbecue (Credit: Caitlin Martin)

The Weber grills for guests

The Weber gas grills that will be available to guests this summer were also super nice, unlike the dirty outdoor grill you might imagine. You can tell the hotel staff cleans and takes great care of them.

Weber grill at TownePlace Suites (Credit: Caitlin Martin)
Weber grill at TownePlace Suites (Credit: Caitlin Martin)

TownePlace Suites guests can cook on the grills outside near the pool or in their full in-suite kitchens. The grills even come with all the tools and seasonings they’ll need to grill. You just have to bring the meat (or veggies!).

Spices (Credit: Caitlin Martin)
Spices (Credit: Caitlin Martin)

Crystal Porter, General Manager of TownePlace Suites Austin North/Tech Ridge, told me that the grills have been a nice surprise for her guests and they are used often. There’s a grocery store right down the street in Austin where everyone buys local meats and side dishes. Porter told us she often finds guests meeting each other at grills in the evenings, and that they can be a great way to socialize with other guests. 

Exploring Austin: Barbecue & more

While grills and full kitchens may keep guests in for the night, guests ready to explore the local area can use TownePlace Suites Austin North/Tech Ridge’s big map in the lobby. It features lots of local places where you can eat and explore.

There are so many cool things to do in downtown Austin. From the property, my group got to the city in about 20 minutes (give or take with traffic) by ride share.

Tip: There’s no Uber or Lyft in Austin but similar ride shares that worked just fine included Ride Austin and Fasten.

Franklin Barbecue (Credit: Caitlin Martin)
Franklin Barbecue (Credit: Caitlin Martin)

As for tasty barbecue places in Austin, check out Terry Black’s, La Barbecue and Franklin Barbecue. Be prepared for very long lines for a lunch seating but the reward is simply heavenly barbecue. In talking to the locals, I found that most have the lines— and the secrets to beating them—down to a science. Regardless of how you do it, this barbecue is worth whatever wait you incur.

Mural outside of Jo's (Credit: Caitlin Martin)
Mural outside of Jo’s (Credit: Caitlin Martin)

Austin is also known for its street art and murals displayed all around town. For two very iconic murals, head to Jo’s for a cup of Joe (and to see the love note mural on the side of the building written originally for the majority owner of the coffee house) in South Congress and to the Austin postcard mural on the Roadhouse Relics building in South Austin on First Street.

If you’re into scenic views and cool graffiti art (that you can spraypaint yourself on the walls), check out Hope Outdoor Gallery, also known as Graffiti Park at Castle Hills. It’s a multi-level tier display of murals, graffiti, wall art, and street art. After a steep five-minute incline, you get a stunning view of cool art and the backdrop of the entire city of Austin.

Fun boutiques on South Congress (Credit: Caitlin Martin)
Fun boutiques on South Congress (Credit: Caitlin Martin)

Don’t leave Austin without exploring the many bars and restaurants on 6th Street for some great live music. If you want something less touristy, head to East 6th (as the locals call it) to somewhere like White Horse for fun crowds and honky-tonk country music.

South Congress, meanwhile, is unique, with its funky boutiques like ByGeorge, Uncommon Objects and The Impeccable Pig. Austin Boots is cool to walk around to see a crazy-large selection of every type of cowboy boot.

Barbecue recipes

More tasty barbecue ideas for the grill like crab and jalapeno-stuffed avocados and grilled sangria (yes, you read that right, grilled sangria…it was amazing) are available to download at TownePlace Suites guests will also find these recipes in their rooms at each property across the country.

TownePlace Suites room (Credit: Caitlin Martin)
TownePlace Suites room (Credit: Caitlin Martin)

It’s great that Marriott’s extended-stay hotel brand offers these Weber nice gas grills on site, as many guests stay for an extended period and want that feeling of home. Regardless of whether the hotel guest travels a lot or a little, who doesn’t love the idea of being outside, grilling with a beverage in hand after a long day? Seems like a nice slice of home to me.

TownePlace Suites Austin North/Tech Ridge
TownePlace Suites Austin North/Tech Ridge (Credit: Caitlin Martin)

For more on TownePlace Suites Austin North/Tech Ridge (12427 Tech Ridge Blvd, Austin, TX 78753; 512-339-4200), visit the hotel’s website.



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