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May 3, 2014 10:44 PM

Local Bottled Water Question...Austin

I've spent a few days looking through the postings on this board and have found a few restaurants to try (or avoid) during the four days I'll be in Austin, attending a business conference (May 4-7). Unfortunately, my list has to remain short because virtually my entire days (and evenings) will be taken up with conference activities...leaving not a whole lot of time for me to be on my own. This is the first time I've been to Austin and look forward to trying some of the food (such as the recently mentioned barbacoa). The only organized meal will be a BBQ Dinner at Stubbs (not a place I would have chosen after what I've read here).

I'm staying at the Four Seasons, Austin, at 98 San Jacinto Boulevard and I'm sure this would also limit any real food exploration since I won't have a car...but I'll be doing the best I can, under the circumstances.

Along with my food exploring, I'm trying to buy bottled water for my daughter's collection. The bottles need to be plastic (for safety) and sized around 16.9 fluid ounces, or so. She has 389 different water bottles in her collection and, with most of the national labels already accounted for, I'm trying to find regional and/or private labeled bottles.

Since stopping at every eatery or business I pass and asking if they sell their own "brand" of bottled water is an impossibility, I'm hoping you can help. If you can think of a restaurant/business that has it's own privately labeled water (or carries an unusual brand) and is in the same general area as the Four Seasons, I'd appreciate knowing about it. Also, I'm quite willing to take a taxi, if the trip is a fairly short one.

As you can guess from the paragraphs above, the water doesn't necessarily have to have a restaurant's name on it. Regional waters sold in retail stores and also non-restaurant, private labeled water bottles are also fair game. Even if I have to buy a six-pack or a case at a grocery, drug or liquor store and keep one bottle for my daughter and give away the rest to whoever is leaving the store and wants it for free, that's OK.

Any help you can provide in finding bottled water for the collection would be GREATLY appreciated! I'll be checking back here often to see if there are any suggestions



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  1. We have a couple of companies hat bottle rainwater:

    Since you are at the Four Seasons, you could hike over to the "Flagship" whole foods at 5th and Lamar in about 15 minutes. They will carry some of these.


    Often when I have gone on business trips, I just extend the stay so I can visit the city that I'm travelling to Is that possible


    Stubbs - if you are gong there, then all of us need to let you know what are the best things to order. I haven't been in a long time, so I do not have specific recommendations. Others on the Austin board might be able to help.

    2 Replies
    1. re: rudeboy

      Among many misses, I think Stubbs does a really nice job with smoked chicken. Always very moist and smokey. But I also prefer dark meat, so that obviously helps. Their serrano spinach is a standout as well.

      Not to provide a DUH, but I assume Ozarka water is already in the collection?

      1. re: rudeboy


        Thanks for the reply!

        Got off the plane a few hours ago, checked into the hotel and ran out to the Whole Foods. Based on your lead, my daughter's collection now is at 393 bottles! Whole Foods had Pure Rain, Agana, Peace and Cielo...none of which were on her checklist. I still need to try and find the others you mentioned (all I could see at the airport were the same old, same old).

        Would love to stay in your city another day or two but must be back in the office Thursday morning (sigh).

        As far as Stubbs is concerned, I don't know if the dinner will be sit-down formal or buffet style. So, the ordering of food might not be in my hands and I'll be eating food cooked in bulk and left to sit around in heated trays (sigh, number two).


        Thanks for mentioning the chicken. Hope I get a chance to try it (although I happen to be a white meat person). The serrano spinach sounds like a must have and I'll make it a point to get some.

        About the Ozarka...yep, already on the list. Although it's not marketed in Chicago, either she or I must have come across it elsewhere...possibly through a lead like the one you gave. Thanks.

        1. re: Rene


          Thanks for the link. What a terrific looking bottle!

          I hope I can find it somewhere. I checked out their web site and it doesn't look like anything has been updated since 2011. Hope that doesn't mean it was discontinued.

          Have you happened to have seen it still being sold recently?

          1. re: ChiKen

            ChiKen - glad it worked out at Whole Foods. It feels good to actually provide useful information.

            Also, I have never seen the University of Texas water. I'm a UT grad, so I think I would have noticed. Funny though, GSD&M is right across the street from Whole Foods!

            1. re: ChiKen

              I sent an email to them on your behalf and will let you know if they respond. I've only seen it on the news and online...

              1. re: Rene

                I am not sure about downtown area but the Walgreens here in NW/Anderson Mill sell them.

          2. Bartons Springs Water? but they may have only been during the pecan street festivel

            1. A bit off the wall but I've got a six pack of canned water by Anheuser Busch given out by the City of Houston following Hurricane Ike in 2008.

              1. After working from 7AM to 6PM at the conference (the association that I work for is putting the event on, here in Austin) and then working/attending a cocktail reception at the Bullock Museum until 8:30...well, I'm pretty exhausted and hope you don't mind if I make my responses in one posting, rather than reply to each person's individual message.

                You commented: "GSD&M is right across the street from Whole Foods". I'd probably think this was interesting, too...if I knew what GSD&M was!

                Your recommendation was right on target. The BBQ Dinner at Stubbs was on Sunday night. As I feared, it was buffet-style. But the stand-out item was the smoked chicken, even though it was all dark meat (not usually my fav)...smokey, moist and sweet with no sauce needed.

                Wish I could have said the same for the brisket. IMO it was too lean and the smoke flavor reminded me of artificial smoke. It probably wasn't but it tasted that way. Needed liberal application of sauce to make it worth eating. The sliced turkey was...OK. Didn't get around to the pork ribs. They had little meat on them and (since it was a "working dinner" for me) decided they weren't worth having sauce slathered all over my face (not what you would call a "business professional" look). The side dishes included the usual suspects such as mac and cheese (couldn't try it as lactose is a no-no for me). But I was very disappointed that the serrano spinach was not made available.

                Rene and Carmelapple79-
                My thanks to one of you for taking the time to send an e-mail and to the other for the location lead. However, after a few phone calls, I found that the H2Orange, in the Tower shaped bottle, is available at the UT Coop on Guadalupe. By hook or by crook, I'll make it over there before I end up at the airport on Wednesday!

                I think you're right about it being for the street fest. Google was of no help in finding Bartons Springs Water.

                James Cristinian-
                Although outside the parameters of Allie's (my daughter) collection, it certainly sounds like a unique item. Makes me think of a product called Boxed Water...which is, of course, water in a box!

                To wrap this up, here's what was added today from several stops (including Central Market) after the Bullock Museum event this evening:
                Biliner Mineral Water, Brazos Valley Spring Water, Texas Music Water and private label bottles from Amy's Ice Cream and Torchy's Tacos. I ate a couple of tacos at Torchy's. Made me think of the line from The Godfather that goes "Leave the gun. Take the cannoli." In my case, it should have been "Take the bottle. Leave the tacos." Although Chicago is a heck of a lot farther from Mexico than Austin is, I've eaten at a lot of Chicago taquerias where the food was more authentic than what Torchy's was dishing out.

                1 Reply
                1. re: ChiKen

                  ChiKen - we appreciate your detailed feedback, that helps us, too. I can't believe that you added so many new items to your daughters collection. GSD&M's is a marketing company, and a couple of guys there were spearheading and funding the UT Tower water (according to the article).

                  Stubb's and Torchy's aren't really representative of BBQ and Tacos in Austin. But I've been to Chicago to eat, and y'all have some damn fine hispanic food. Torchy's is regularly derided on this board. I wish I owned a couple of their stores, though!