Here’s a really easy way to get a free Shake Shack burger

Are you set on paying for your lunch today? Then we’ve got just the free burger for you.

Shake Shack is now open on South Lamar Boulevard. Contributed by Knox Photographics
Shake Shack is now open on South Lamar Boulevard. Contributed by Knox Photographics

Shake Shack has a new promotion that makes getting a free burger almost as easy as eating it. The restaurant is celebrating the launch of its new mobile-ordering app by gifting everyone who downloads it a free burger. You can get yours by downloading the app, creating an account and using promo code “shackappy” at checkout.

The app is intended to make getting Shake Shack when you want it that much easier. Users can order ahead of time and specify the time they’ll be ready to pick up. The app is not currently available for Android phones. So if that’s your situation, borrow a friend’s iPhone and get what’s yours.

READ: Austin’s best fried chicken sandwiches

Don’t forget that fries (even the not-free kind) go great with hamburgers.

Netflix chose Inauguration Day to drop the new ‘House of Cards’ trailer

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Kevin Spacey in season 4 of “House of Cards.” (David Giesbrecht/Netflix/TNS)

In a clever bit of marketing, streaming giant Netflix tweeted the trailer for the fifth season of its flagship political drama “House of Cards” during the inauguration of President Donald Trump.

The ominous trailer features an upside-down flag flying on the White House lawn over a cloudy backdrop, all while a group of children are reciting the Pledge of Allegiance.

According to the United States Flag Code, “the flag should never be displayed with the union down, except as a signal of dire distress in instances of extreme danger to life or property.”

More: Read our live election coverage here

Running up to the inauguration, online rumors swirled that Netlfix would release the fifth season of the political plottings of Frank Underwood and his wife Claire on Inauguration Day.

Instead, the trailer said the fifth season will be released on May 30.

Many Twitter users and TV critics were quick to pick up on the timing of the trailer.

Not much is known about the upcoming season of “House of Cards,” except that Kevin Spacey and Robin Wright will be reprising their roles as Frank and Claire Underwood, and that “Moonlight” actor Mahershala Ali will not be returning.

Willie Nelson to star in a live movie with Woody Harrelson

Willie Nelson’s going to have a busy first few months of 2017.

In addition to “God’s Problem Child,” the new album he’s got coming in April, Nelson will be starring in a live movie with fellow Texans Woody Harrelson and Owen Wilson.

Willie Nelson performs at Farm Aid 30 at FirstMerit Bank Pavilion at Northerly Island on Saturday, Sept. 19, 2015, in Chicago. (Photo by Rob Grabowski/Invision/AP)
Willie Nelson performs at Farm Aid 30 at FirstMerit Bank Pavilion at Northerly Island on Saturday, Sept. 19, 2015, in Chicago. (Photo by Rob Grabowski/Invision/AP)

“Lost in London” will be filmed live in London tonight at 8 p.m. CST and will be broadcast simultaneously through Fathom Events in certain theaters throughout America and the United Kingdom. The film, written and directed by Harrelson, is a re-telling of a wild night Harrelson had in London back in 2002. After going out one night, Harrelson accidentally broke an ashtray in a cab, escaped that cab and got in another one, and then finally got arrested.

“I got in another taxi, and [the first cab driver] follows that taxi, which is moving at two miles an hour. Then the cops come around the corner and I did a real brainy move: ‘Let me out of here!’ I start running around Sloane Square and this cop’s following me,” Harrelson told the Telegraph in 2002. “I’m not excusing my behavior. I was a freaking idiot. It took a long time to settle down. In the cell, I had a lot of adrenaline. I did some yoga and was thinking, here I am, I’m 40 years old, this kind of madness I want out of my life.”

Now with the hindsight to focus on the humor of the event, Harrelson turned it into a movie, and brought his friends along. Those friends include Owen Wilson and Willie Nelson.

Nelson will play himself in the film and act as the voice of reason for Harrelson during his wild night in London. He wasn’t with Harrelson when the events in the film happened, but he said he jumped at the chance to be involved when Harrelson asked.

“I think my job is just to help him out and morally console him and tell him what a prick he is,” Nelson told Rolling Stone Country. “Woody, Owen and I are all Texas boys. We’ve been friends for a long time; we hang out together in Maui a lot. We play dominos, poker, chess, you name it…The movie sounded exciting.”

The country singer has racked up a bevy of film credits during his multi-hyphenated career, including “Honeyscuckle Rose,” “Songwriter,” “Stagecoach,” “Wag the Dog” and “The Big Bounce.” (Oh, and there’s also that “Dukes of Hazzard” remake, but we won’t go there.)

“Lost in London” will be broadcast live tonight at the Metroplitan Stadium 14 and the Cinemark at Southpark Meadows. Buy tickets here.

 

BuzzFeed article deems Whataburger better than In-N-Out and Shake Shack

Any self-respecting Texan knows Whataburger is amazing. But it’s taken a while for the rest of the country to recognize just how good Texans have it when it comes to Whataburger and its many delicacies.

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Courtesy of Whataburger.

Not anymore.

A recent post from Buzzfeed has nothing but great things to say about Whataburger, deeming it better than California burger joint In-N-Out and New York City standard Shake Shack.

MORE: Central Texas H-E-B store getting Whataburger drive-through

“It’s time for everyone to accept that Whataburger is not only better than In-N-Out and Shake Shack, but it’s also the best burger joint in existence,” the post begins.

Among the spots where Whataburger outshines its competitors, according to the article:

  • More burger options (Seriously though, you can make  36,864 burger combinations)
  • Shorter food delivery times (“They’ll give you a handy number and bring your food to you like you are the goddamn queen of England”)
  • The Whatachick’n Strips meal is “mouthwatering”
  • FANCY KETCHUP
  • The Honey Butter Chicken Biscuit
  • They’re open 24 hours

A poll at the end of the post asking users to comment on their favorite of the three burger chains had Whataburger firmly in first place:

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Whataburger fans came out in full force in the Facebook comments:



One commenter even related her first experience with Whataburger:

Other commenters stuck up for In-N-Out, Shake Shack, and other regional favorites.




What do you think? Is Whataburger better than every other burger restaurant?

5 weird things you should put on popcorn

Cheesy popcorn from the store can never be as hot and fresh tasting as when you make it at home with cheese powder. (Michael Tercha/Chicago Tribune/TNS)
Cheesy popcorn from the store can never be as hot and fresh tasting as when you make it at home with cheese powder. (Michael Tercha/Chicago Tribune/TNS)
  1. Pickle juice. Selena Gomez reportedly calls this (with a little added Tabasco) “Texas-style” popcorn.
  2. Crumbled up Hot Cheetos. This is 2017. The kids who went through middle school with red fingertips are grown up, and Hot Cheetos are now considered a spice. Also try: sprinkled on mac and cheese.
  3. Ramen seasoning packet. Because most of what’s in a ramen seasoning packet is salt, this is just another way of salting your popcorn. But fun flavors like lime chili shrimp can make for interesting toppers. Instant mac and cheese powder packets are also worth a shot.
  4. Shaved coconut. Take it to another level by popping your popcorn in coconut oil. Mmm, tropical.
  5. Cinnamon sugar. Maybe not the weirdest flavor combination, but chances are cinnamon sugar isn’t what you grab after popping some corn. But now it will be.

If you’re looking for something to watch while snacking on your popcorn this National Popcorn Day (and aren’t comfortable bringing a jar of pickle juice with you to the movies), watch this video of popcorn being popped in slow, beautiful motion:

RECIPE: Buffalo ranch popcorn

Iconic Texas A&M hangout Dixie Chicken shows off history on new website

The new Dixie Chicken website.
The new Dixie Chicken website: http://www.dixiechicken.com

In Austin, if you ask a dozen Longhorns to name the main hangout for college students to grab a few drinks and maybe meet some friends or someone new, you’re likely to get at least half a dozen different answers.

In College Station, there’s no such confusion. The Dixie Chicken is king of all it surveys in the Northgate district across the street from Texas A&M University. The Chicken was created in 1974 and immediately described as “a relic of yesteryear” in a listing in that year’s College Station visitor’s guide.

In the 40-plus years since, the music played there has switched labels from “progressive country” to “classic country” — but not much else has changed.

Recognizing  the inherent value of its history, the Dixie Chicken has emphasized that in its new website. The site features a “Stories” section that shares tales submitted by loyal customers, enthusiastic customers and customers so dedicated that they might not have finished their studies on time. Or at all.

Bill Morgan (right) smiles in disbelief as son Willie Morgan (center) explains the rules of Domino's game 42. Both Chris Cailey (left), and Willie are current students at Texas A&M and frequent the Dixie Chicken which holds tournaments on Monday and Tuesday for the game 42. John C. Livas/American-Statesman.
Bill Morgan (right) smiles in disbelief as son Willie Morgan (center) explains the rules of 42. a dominoes game. Both Chris Cailey (left), and Willie are current students at Texas A&M and frequent the Dixie Chicken. 2007 photo by John C. Livas/American-Statesman.

Among the story snapshots featured:

  • A class of ’75 Aggie, who admitted to fishing for enough change (35 cents!) in a campus fountain to buy a beer.
  • A surprise wedding in 1993, complete with the wedding march on the stereo system and champagne for everyone who happened to be in the bar.
  • Expert trolling of the Alabama fans checking out the local nightlife before their game in College Station in 2013.

Related: Ten great Aggie things for Texas A&M’s 140th birthday

A look back in photos: The ‘Greatest Show on Earth’ visits Austin

Elephants from Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus cross Congress Avenue at Fifth Street on their way to the Erwin Center in June 1996. Photo by Larry Kolvoord
Elephants from Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus cross Congress Avenue at Fifth Street on their way to the Erwin Center in June 1996. Photo by Larry Kolvoord

This week, Feld Entertainment announced that the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey circus will shut down after more than 130 years on the road.

Feld, which has owned the circus since it bought it from the Ringling family in 1967, cited high operating costs and declining ticket sales in announcing the closure.

Austin was one of the more than 100 cities the famed circus visited annually, most recently performing shows at the Erwin Center at the end of summer.

While many see the end of the circus as a victory for animal rights, it is an end of an era as well — an era that many children and adults will miss. Here’s a look back at some photos highlights from the Ringling Bros. circus’ visits to Austin …

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Joe F. Whitlow waits as the Ringling Bros. circus train arrives in Austin in July 1980.

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By 1986, neither the train nor the scenery had changed much. Horses are unloaded from the train in mid-August. Photo by Ralph Barrera.

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Lonna Paska practices from a trapeze hung from a football goalpost near the where the circus is set up in this Nov. 1979 photo. Her parents work with the elephants in the circus. Photo by Ed Malcik.

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If you’re a parent, at some point you’re going to invest some effort and money into something for your child that doesn’t work out. This is Holly Hendrix at the circus in September 1976 with her sleeping daughter Erica. Photo by Ed Malcik.

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Young Amy Chamrad is much more excited about the circus in July 1980, watching from the front row. Photo by Zach Ryall

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Elephants cross Lamar Boulevard along the railroad tracks just south of 5th Street in June 1997. They left their rail cars at the AmTrak depot for a long walk to the Erwin Center. Photo by David Kennedy

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The Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus elephants make their way east on Red River Street to the Erwin Center in June 2006. Photo by Ralph Barrera.

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Elephant handler, Hicham Basllam watches as an elephant waves a Longhorn flag during the Ele-Punt Kickoff Brunch outside the Erwin Center in August 2009.  In an effort to show support for the upcoming Longhorn football season the Asian elephants feasted on their own type of pre-game brunch then one of the elephants kicked a large football to a waiting Bevo mascot. Photo by Deborah Cannon.

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Members of the Texas Cheer Squad have their photo taken with a Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey elephant in August 2009. Photo by Deborah Cannon.

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Human cannonballs Tina Miser and her husband Brian Miser get in the cannon at the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Circus at the Erwin Center in August 2010. Photo by Jay Janner.

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Highwire performer Jonathan Lopez performs while carrying Taylor Kimball, 7, of Lakeway, during the pre-show at the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus at the Erwin Center in August 2010. Photo by Jay Janner.

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Ringmaster Alex Ramon performs a magic trick for Jenna White, 6, of Leander, during the pre-show at the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus at the Erwin Center in August 2010. Photo by Jay Janner.

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Jocelyn Eddie Constant Jr., 2, wears a clown nose at the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus at the Erwin Center in August 2015. Photo by Jay Janner.

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Kelly Ann, a 19-year-old Asian elephant, walks away after a news conference at the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus at the Erwin Center in August 2015. Photo by Jay Janner.

Austin’s cutest couple contest 2017: Is it you?

Pam and Chris LeBlanc smooch at the Puppy Love mural outside Mud Puppies on East Riverside Drive.
Pam and Chris LeBlanc smooch at the Puppy Love mural outside Mud Puppies on East Riverside Drive.

You guys are cute.  But are you the cutest? We see your matching shirts. We see your mutual love and respect. But seriously, are you the cutest?

A fun, romantic Austin publication is seeking the cutest couple the city has to offer. That publication is us, and we hope it’s you. If you think your love is a little more than Instagram-worthy, send us a picture and accompanying story by Jan. 31 (link to enter below). After that public voting will be open from Feb. 1-10 and used to determine which couple takes the cute cake.

The adorable winning pair will receive a $100 gift card and the unshakable expectation that they remain forever cute. Good luck to you and yours.

ENTER: Austin360’s Cutest Couples Contest

Hear Kacey Musgraves sing a song about moonshine from ‘Live By Night’

Texas country star and ACL queen Kacey Musgraves teamed up with Irish folk singer Foy Vance for an original song that will be featured on the soundtrack to Ben Affleck’s Prohibition-era gangster film “Live By Night,” in theaters today.

Kacey Musgraves performs on the opening weekend of the 2016 Austin City Limits Festival at Zilker Park Oct. 2. 10/02/16 Tom McCarthy Jr. for AMERICAN-STATESMAN
Kacey Musgraves performs on the opening weekend of the 2016 Austin City Limits Festival at Zilker Park Oct. 2. 10/02/16 Tom McCarthy Jr. for AMERICAN-STATESMAN

The song’s subject? Whiskey, of course.

More: Affleck wears too many hats in ‘Live By Night’

“Moonshine” mostly showcases Vance’s vocals until the chorus, when Musgraves starts harmonizing. The folksy ode to the illicit drink pushes the two voices to the forefront, backed by a foot-stomping beat and some guitar and fiddle. It sounds exactly what you would think a song about moonshine would sound like, sans banjo.

“I got a really fun, Southern vibe from it, and i thought that it would be kind of a fun challenge for me to figure out how to mix in my own flavor and my own bits of harmony within the song,” Musgraves said in a behind-the-scenes video about the making of the song.

More: A beginner’s guide to Willie Nelson and Kacey Musgraves’ friendship

“Moonshine” is the only original, non-score song to be featured on the original soundtrack album, and Vance has already started playing the song on late-night shows.

Listen to the song below.

This day in Texas history: Hard living kills an English noble in a cowboy town

The town of Big Spring as it appeared in 2005, 120 years after the death of one of its most unusual residents. Photo by Joshua Scheide, Odessa American
The town of Big Spring as it appeared in 2005, 120 years after the death of one of its most unusual residents. Photo by Joshua Scheide, Odessa American

If you looked around Big Spring, Texas, in 1885, you probably would expect to see cowboys, strong and serious. Maybe a preacher, sober and stoic. Perhaps a few farmers. A saloon owner. A banker.

What you wouldn’t expect to see was English nobleman Joseph Heneage Finch, seventh Earl of Aylesford, three sheets to the wind, two weeks into his last party.

But there he was. And then he was dead.

Before he died on this day in 1885, Finch had lived a lifetime’s worth. In England, after marrying and having a couple of daughters, Finch entertained the prince of Wales at his estate outside London.

Finch became fast friends with the future Edward VII, accompanying him on a tour of India, before returning home in 1876 to an unfaithful wife, a scandalous divorce and, ultimately, exile from English high society.

After laying low for awhile, he emerged, of all places, in the West Texas town of Big Spring, where he bought a 2,500-acre ranch and populated it with neglected cattle and empty whiskey bottles.

If you’re thinking an English nobleman and West Texans weren’t likely to hit it right off in the late 1800s (or now, for that matter), you are right. But Finch spoke a universal language …

“Though initially unable to gain the acceptance of the local cowboy-cattleman fraternity,” the Handbook of Texas Online says, “the earl won them over in time by his generosity with his liquor, by his being introduced formally at roundup by a prominent cattleman, and by his pleasant personality. He spent his waking hours partying, drinking, and hunting.”

The website texasescapes.com says that Finch, nicknamed “The Judge,” was quick to buy a drink (or ALL the drinks), set up a butcher shop (where else would his personal butcher work?) and bought a hotel as a home.

Finch was only 36 when he died, but his liver was counting the miles — or perhaps the gallons. The doctor that prepared his remains for shipment back to England, according to texasescapes.com, said his liver was as hard as a rock.