Producing high-quality, specialized work is paramount to Jason Brooks, Tony Hundahl, and Hector Fong—the three diverse artists who make up Rock of Ages in South Austin. Opened in October of 2005, Rock of Ages is a pure custom shop specializing in traditional American and Japanese tattooing. Hailing from an artistic family (his father was a professional illustrator), Brooks began making his bones some 15 years ago, working the street shops of South Florida. Now he is sought out for his specialty, traditional Japanese designs and imagery. Entering its third year of existence, the shop’s drive for creative excellence is emphatically summed up by Hundahl: “We’re constantly pushing ourselves and each other to do the best tattoos we possibly can.”
DRINK: Horseshoe Lounge, 2034 S. Lamar Blvd., 512-442-9111. With its colorfully lighted disco-era ceiling, U-shaped bar, and glass-encased Lone Star fl ag, the Horseshoe serves a mix of rowdy rednecks, grizzled old men, and young adventurers looking for a few cold beers, George Jones on the jukebox, and memorable (if a bit hazy) nights.
EAT: Maria’s Taco Xpress, 2529 S. Lamar Blvd., 512-444-0261. This fantastic Tex-Mex joint’s patio overfl ows with rustic charm and folk art, not to mention huge tacos that range from vegan to al pastor. Highlights include the breakfast taco and the handmade sauces—just be wary, as the liquid heat can pack a punch!
SHOP: Lowbrow Emporium, 2708 S. Lamar Blvd., Suite 1C, 512-462-3739. A cascading indoor fountain sets the tone for this odd mix of toys, skateboards, longboards, underground art, and various bric-a-brac, knickknacks, kitsch, and tchotchkes.