Mark Strüb has happily called Austin home for 10 whole years. While that doesn’t make him a native, he feels it gives him sufficient rights to the popular Austinite catch-phrase “I remember when…” In addition to talking about the unpaved used car lot that gave way to Whole Foods' World Headquarters, he enjoys Alamo Drafthouse, dining outdoors, shopping and traveling. But nothing brings Mark greater joy than spending quality time with his 5 year old son, Jack, at their home in Hyde Park. Mark has a B.S. in Radio-TV-Film from UT and makes his living helping people buy and sell homes.


May 31, 2010

MEMORIAL :: My überBrother, Morgan

Morgan Strüb was a catalyst for uniting people in ways that produce interactions greater than the sum of their parts. Morgan was an early pioneer in the concept of Web 2.0 and social media. Via the internet he gathered families from across the globe to celebrate their common bonds. He connected travelers to share inspiration and resources. Out of Morgan’s passion for getting off the beaten path to connect with people in unique and unconventional ways, DIGIHITCH.com was born. The premier hitchhiking site on the web (top search result after wikipedia), it has received millions of hits from its more than 18000 registered members, plus countless other visitors who appreciate it as a hub for hitchhikers and a portal for adventurers of all kinds.

Beyond digihitch.com, Morgan served many others from all walks of life as an effective and prolific webmaster. It could never be told how many lasting friendships have begun on his pages, or how many lives have been improved as a result of his creations.

Morgan Strub was a beloved husband, brother, son, uncle, nephew, cousin and friend who died on March 28, 2010 at his home in Phoenix, Arizona. He had learned only 9 months earlier that his increasingly dibilitating pain was being caused by the rare form of cancer that would ultimately end his life, Nueroblastoma. His strength and spirit has profoundly inspired all who have encountered Morgan on the road and web or were personally there to support him in his fight (notes and eulogies). He leaves a legacy of writings and internet creations that will shape the online and travel communities for generations to come.

To learn about his life and work, you are encouraged to visit to following sites:





May 29, 2010


I'm watching the latest updates on the oil disaster (redundant, I know). The COO at BP is on CNN giving his upbeat spin on the state of affairs. F BP. Does anyone care what they have to say right now? Show me, don't tell me. You have ZERO credibility.

I like the impact that the internet has had on business. There is a high level of accountability and transparency that comes from everyday people being empowered to fact check things for themselves, communicate with others via blogs, review sites, social networking, etc. I mean, who wants to base a major life decision about whether to use a company or not on blah blah blah marketing produced by the company themselves? We're smarter than that now. Right?

As a business owner, there is nothing I value more than the endorsements of my clients. These are people that have actually done the homework, selected us and then had a first hand experience that they can speak about with credibility. What a concept!

If you have worked with strüb residential at any point, PLEASE tell about it. Add a review to our growing portfolio on our page, YELP, Facebook, LinkedIn, Google Local or any of your preferred fact checking sites.

If you have not yet worked with us, we think you should. But don't take our word for it! Check out what others have to say about us. We'd love to hear how we can help.

May 27, 2010


I saw this movie last night at Alamo.

It was pointed out to me by a complete stranger that I was the only male in the mostly full auditorium. Ha! I like babies, so what? Watch the trailer and then read on.

So. A couple of things didn't work for me about this experience. For one, the movie was boring. The trailer is great. The movie would be great in the background at a baby shower or the like, but it doesn't play well as a feature. The American baby was actually the most boring. Go figure. I still like babies, however. So don't get me wrong...

The other thing that didn't work for me was the poor service at Alamo on South Lamar that seems to be shaping up into my normal experience at that location. I'm not sure if I'm cursed or they just don't have the same quality control as my favored location- The Village on Anderson Lane. Again, don't get me wrong. I LOVE ALAMO DRAFTHOUSE. But I arrived hungry and ordered quickly. But then I got skipped over completely when everyone else in the theater (all women as previously mentioned) got their food. When my waiter finally came back by to ask "You guys doin' alright?" I was pretty grumpy. Food eventually came about an hour into the movie. My last two go rounds weren't exactly the same, but they're running 0/3 on overall satisfaction at that location.

But I'm still a fan. Next time I'll bring a pocket full of tots or something...

P.S. I want to hold your baby. I will never ask, but if you offer I will eagerly accept.

May 23, 2010

Who Knows Julio's?

Category: Mexican

4230 Duval St
Austin, TX 78751
Hyde Park
(512) 452-1040

I love Julios. It helps that I love Hyde Park. Julios and Hyde Park go together. Period.

This is the kind of place that I can stumble into on weekend morning for a little hair of the dog or just as naturally meet a business associate on a weekday morning for a productive meeting over coffee and a yummy breakfast taco.

I have never loved that they are a cash-only establishment. I'm the type that RARELY (almost never) carries cash on me. Therefore, I have to make a special stop at the ATM before heading over. But that doesn't stop me. I would go there even more often if they accepted plastic payments, but I frequent
Julios for many reasons anyway including, but not limited to:
  • I LOVE Mexican food. I could eat it 3 times per day; sometimes I do.
  • Brunch is my favorite meal. Brunch here is great, and served late.
  • Migas
  • Chicken Nachos
  • Stella
  • Patio
  • Transcendent atmosphere [no regard for socioeconomic status]
I love living in Hyde Park for many reasons, but a huge part of it is all of the restaurants within walking distance of my house. Of all of those eateries-
Julios is the one I value most.

May 21, 2010

I Don't Like Mother's


I don't like Mother's. There. I said it.

I want to like it. And so I've gone there many times. There are many reasons to go. For example, it's a staple of my neighborhood since 1980. And I want to support a vegetarian menu even though I am not one. But I really don't think I'll go back.

The first time I ever went, several years ago, I was excited. It seemed cool. Funky. Hyde Park. It went sort of downhill from there.

The luke warm greeting was about as sincere as the one you'll hear at a record store. Then I got the menu. "Ok. I guess I can work with this..." I thought. I tried some peasant's meal combo of beans and rice and something or other. I mean, yeah, you can expect an offering like that to be somewhat bland, but this was no different than something I would quickly heat up in my own kitchen at home alone in a pinch. Not something anyone should pay asking price for.

I didn't go back for a while after that. But then someone I met was raving about their nachos. They would drive in from the burbs just to have them. Ok. Let's try the nachos. Not only was I less than impressed- again, something similar to my own microwave cuisine- they served them to me kind of drowning in milk. I assume that was going to be sour cream when it was designed, but I got milk. Now I love milk, but on cereal. Not Tex-Mex.

I'll skip past a few other visits to close with my last and final experience.

My son Jack and I were running around the hood looking at some houses for sale with an out of towner client/friend. We got hungry so I naturally thought of Julio's. Doh. No cash on me. (This happens a lot, and I hate ATM fees.) I pop my head into Hyde Park Bar and Grill. I have a hard time waiting for tables. So... Mother's was, well, there.

We get the customary hipster welcome, etc. We sit. We wait. We eventually get some attention and ask for coffee and waters. I felt like my please was required more than courteous. As if my server felt like she was going to be doing me a favor today versus doing her job that the restaurant and I pay her for. We tango danced our way through that whole process for a while until all 5 drinks finally hit the table.

Now comes the fun. My guest ordered. She didn't really get the help or recommendation of any sort that she was looking for, but she made it through. Then came my turn. I have the pleasure of ordering twice since Jack is with me.

For him, we're thinking pancake. Or pancakes, depending on the size. So I ask. "How big is one pancake?" She looks at me, surprised. "Regular pancake size." She literally said that. And with a tone. This was a new chapter in the hipster handbook I had not seen before.

"Really? Regular size?" I clarified. "Well, Kerby Lane's are like this," I mimed a dinner plate. "IHOP's are like this." I pulled my hands closer together. "Which one is regular?"

"IHOP?" She asked. Apparently never heard of it. She probably doesn't have a TV and would never eat where they serve bacon. Fair enough. I get it. We press on.

The next thing she says still has me bewildered to this day, and I often replay this moment in my head when thinking about the difference between how Givers and Takers view the world. "They're like the ones I make at home." She really said that. I promise.

So, skipping past the obvious point that I had never been to her house at breakfast time or any other time in my life, I say, "I'm just trying to gauge the amount of food I need to order for him. Do you think one pancake would be enough?" I motion to Jack. This really was never intended to be an argument of any sort. Just a really simple clarification.

"Yeah. One should be enough." She replies.

I'm not trying to sound like I have a chip on my shoulder or expect to be treated as per the B.S. line, "The customer is always right." I just expect to have a pleasant experience overall wherever I go. Why else would I go there or, moreover, return there? I think we're all the same in that way.

So, in 3 main areas of classification- Food, Service, Atmosphere. Mother's gets an average of 2 stars. Don't you wish you had just skipped down to this last part?

May 18, 2010

John Hindman Gives a Hoot

Category: Contractors

3707 Red River Rd
Austin, TX 78751
Hyde Park, University of Texas
(512) 751-4075
Red River Restorations has my enthusiastic support! Owner John Hindman is a RARE mix of craftsman/artist and reliable/personable businessman.

I own a 1928 home in Hyde Park that I have been renovating since 7/05. As you can imagine, my experiences with contractors runs the gamut of excrutiating to exhilerating. RRR definitely falls into the latter category.

I originally met John when we were neighbors on E 38th St. I was renting, and he was renovating his own home across the street. His attention to detail on that project really caught my attention. He also conveyed a genuine interest in historic homes by divulging to me some interesting facts about the house that I occupied. I thought that was really fascinating and indicative of his passion for ALL homes- not just his own or the ones that he is hired to care about.

As a fellow homeowner, I appreciate
Red River Restoration's value, reliability and quality. As a fellow business owner, I relate to John's approach. He has a passion and genuinely cares for the customer's entire experience.

Keep up the good work! 5 stars

May 13, 2010

I Like 'em EZ

Categories: Pizza, Sandwiches

3918 N Lamar Blvd
Austin, TX 78756
(512) 302-1800

I like this place. It's not even the 50's style whatever that makes it appealing. What brings Jack and me back is the food (free for him on Wed nights) and the really "normal" atmosphere. You know how some places in Austin are so "Austin" that it just makes you want to laugh? Well, this isn't one of them. The clientele is from all walks of life in regular clothes enjoying fresh-cooked food from the brick oven. It's just a good place to eat.

The shakes and malts are really good. Too good. The pizzas are usually great, but I have had a couple that didn't get the crust quite right. The burgers are good, and a really generous portion in the kid's meal (FREE on Wednesday).

May 10, 2010

Get In Where You Fit In

As a REALTOR, I'm in the business of helping people make good decisions. One of the most important decisions you can possibly make in a home purchase is all about LOCATION.

I often tell my clients (or anyone that will listen), you can change EVERYTHING about a home except its location. It's really important to me to help people get that part right.

A lot goes into that part of the decision. But it mostly boils down to lifestyle. What do you value? What do you like to do? Where do you hang out? How important are schools to you right now or in the next few years? The list goes on...

I think I'm pretty good at listening to people and gathering the right kind of info about them to help guide them to the right hood. But don't take my word for it. Check out my facebook quiz designed to help people know where to begin when searching all of Austin's available homes for sale. I'd love to hear your feedback. Did the shoe fit?

May 9, 2010

Happy Mudder's Day

Nobody can make the word MOTHER sound quite like Joe Pesci can. You think he kisses his mom with that mouth?

May 5, 2010

NeWorlDeli | Hyde Park | Austin, TX

New World Deli

Categories: Delis, Sandwiches

4101 Guadalupe St
Ste 100

Austin, TX 78751
Neighborhood: Hyde Park
(512) 451-7170

I don't make it over to Greg's place nearly enough. I've resolved to change that. Not only is it walkable from my home and office- it's really good! My small complaint has only to do with the room for improvement in the overall decor. I think a little renovation could go a really long way toward capturing an additional set of loyal customers.

I favor the meatloaf sandwhich and the turkey/swiss sloppy joe. But I've never had anything I didn't like.

It seems like once Greg learns your name, he'll never forget it. And who doesn't love feeling like more than a credit card number? Remember that the next time you're tempted to darken the door of a nearby franchise or big box. I will.

May 3, 2010

Open Letter to My Clients

I feel truly honored to have been selected for a role in your life. The trust you placed in me and my company to represent you is very serious to us. The process can be rigorous, but I know you will agree that very few things can compare to the reward of realizing such a momentous goal.

Additionally, the effect of your selection of STRÜB RESIDENTIAL to work with you in this endeavor extends further in support of our ongoing programs for local nonprofits like the Austin Children’s Shelter, Mobile Film School, KUT and other local organizations that share our beliefs and passions.

I'd love to receive feedback about your experience working with myself and STRÜB RESIDENTIAL. Please find a few moments to help us spread the word by submitting a review at YELP.com (search “strub residential”) or via strubresidential.com/contact. You may also follow us on Facebook.com/strubresidential and Twitter.com/strub! But above all of that, there is no greater endorsement I can receive than a referral from you. Repeat and referral business is the foundation of our success. 75% or more of our business is generated in this fashion. This is something we are very proud of.

The mission of STRÜB RESIDENTIAL is to be your real estate resource for life. Our relationship by no means ends with the closing of your purchase. If you have any future questions or concerns, from property value questions to help searching for resources for a repair or upgrade, please remember I am here to help.