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doorbell

Where to eat in Austin TX?

34 posts in this topic

Doorbell,

Austin's a big city - care to give us some guidelines that might help us help you?

Thanks,

Zachary

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If you're going to be there March 9th - 18th, SXSW is on and the entire town is going to be a zoo. All the good restaurants and food trucks will have either been previously booked out or at least an hour wait the entire day but there's a ton of free food everywhere from various corporate sponsors.


PS: I am a guy.

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If you're going to be there March 9th - 18th, SXSW is on and the entire town is going to be a zoo. All the good restaurants and food trucks will have either been previously booked out or at least an hour wait the entire day but there's a ton of free food everywhere from various corporate sponsors.

Actually if you get out of walking distance of downtown you're pretty safe even then. Last year during SXSW I was working at Jeffrey's in Clarksville (west of DT) and we never really got crazy. A lot of the hipster joints in DT and south of the river will be insane but if you head north it shouldn't be too bad.


Andy Arrington

Journeyman Drinksmith

Twitter--@LoneStarBarman

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For BBQ try Franklin's on E 11th. It has been favorably compared to the "big three" in Lockhart.

Or just drive over to Lockhart, I guess?


This is my skillet. There are many like it, but this one is mine. My skillet is my best friend. It is my life. I must master it, as I must master my life. Without me my skillet is useless. Without my skillet, I am useless. I must season my skillet well. I will. Before God I swear this creed. My skillet and myself are the makers of my meal. We are the masters of our kitchen. So be it, until there are no ingredients, but dinner. Amen.

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If anyone wants to go to Franklin, you should get there by 9:30 or 10 AM at the latest. My last visit, we were there at 10 (an hour before they open), and there were 15 people ahead of us in line. By 11, the line was around 100-150. But if you go, get the brisket. It's atypical, but stunning.

Thanks,

Zachary

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I'm going to be in Austin the last weekend in April for a family wedding. The Austin Food and Wine Festival will be going on, but schedule and budget will not allow me to partake. I think I will have Saturday & Sunday breakfast and/or lunch to fill. We are staying in the Radisson, which is downtown, and will be without a car. Everyone is pretty adventurous and I would love to try some great Texas BBQ. Would love to go to Lockhart, but without a car and with limited time I don't think it is going to happen.

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I'm going to be in Austin the last weekend in April for a family wedding. The Austin Food and Wine Festival will be going on, but schedule and budget will not allow me to partake. I think I will have Saturday & Sunday breakfast and/or lunch to fill. We are staying in the Radisson, which is downtown, and will be without a car. Everyone is pretty adventurous and I would love to try some great Texas BBQ. Would love to go to Lockhart, but without a car and with limited time I don't think it is going to happen.

Unfortunately if you don't have transportation and are limited to downtown, superlative BBQ is not really in the cards. But the other options are legion, you definitely won't go hungry.

For something fun and low-key, check out Frank on 4th street. Artisan hot dogs and one of the city's best coffee programs. Bar Congress for Cocktails. La Condesa for good Mexican (NOT Tex-Mex, like actual Mexican food). If you're stuck in downtown on a weekend though, there are going to be crowds everywhere in the evening so be prepared.

If you're willing to take along walk or short cab ride, you're on South Congress and a lot of other fun options.


Andy Arrington

Journeyman Drinksmith

Twitter--@LoneStarBarman

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For barbecue, Iron Works is less than a half mile from the Radisson, and is pretty good.

Franklin is a pretty good walk (1.3 miles by Google), but the barbecue is amazing. It's uphill going there from the Radisson, so it will help you work up an appetite. The remarks above about the wait on weekends are correct.

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For BBQ try Franklin's on E 11th. It has been favorably compared to the "big three" in Lockhart.

Or just drive over to Lockhart, I guess?

Franklin is better than all the places in Lockhart. Or Luling. Or Taylor. Or really, anywhere else in Texas. It's freaking fantastic. Seriously. You don't have to leave Austin and drive way down 183 to get superlative BBQ when visiting Austin anymore. And heed the suggestions about getting here early. If you aren't waiting on line, you aren't getting any. And even if you are, you still might not get any.


Jeff Meeker, aka "jsmeeker"
jmeeker@eGullet.org

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Woah now... let's not be hasty. While I'd certainly agree that Franklin has great brisket, their ribs and sausage were solidly good. I think that the ribs are better at Louie Meuller in Taylor, or Kreuz (love the cured aspect, almost bacony), or Smitty's. I think Black's has the best sausage (of the big 5), followed closely by Smitty's and Louie Meuller. But yeah, get a cab if you have to, and wait in line, but go to Franklin for the brisket!

Thanks,

Zachary

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The tipsy texan sandwich is where it is at when it comes to franklins IMHO!

I moved to austin a few months ago and have had some fantastic meals, Im loving it here! Also since the OP was not specific in what they wanted, I feel we should mention the obligatory uchi/uchiko and congress when it comes of places to eat in austin. Between franklins and those places I think that covers the most popular dining destinations Ive discovered here.


Edited by Twyst (log)

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John Mueller's truck on S. 1st offers superlative real Texas barbecue - brisket, sausages, prime rib - it's all wonderful.

I have not yet been to Franklin's. But have been to most of the well known out of town spots - Lockhart, Taylor, Llano, Elgin, Luling etc.

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I used to write for Fearless Critic Austin and can vouch for the reviews there. In addition to barbecue I think Nubian Queen Lola's is a must.

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Woah now... let's not be hasty. While I'd certainly agree that Franklin has great brisket, their ribs and sausage were solidly good. I think that the ribs are better at Louie Meuller in Taylor, or Kreuz (love the cured aspect, almost bacony), or Smitty's. I think Black's has the best sausage (of the big 5), followed closely by Smitty's and Louie Meuller. But yeah, get a cab if you have to, and wait in line, but go to Franklin for the brisket!

jsmeeker isn't being too hasty... last year I went with him and some others to quite the assortment of central TX bbq joints (Kreuz, City Market, City Meat Market, Snows, Franklin's...). We had unanimous acclaim in our group for Franklin.

And yes, we showed up two hours early (due to a miscommunication about opening time), and while that guaranteed us the front of the line, by 1 hour out there was a small crowd, and by 30 minutes out a large one.

Next time I go, I might still show up at T-2, since we also got to talk to Franklin as he was finishing up the smoking... That was worth it.

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It sounds like Franklin is my best option - now I need to convince everyone else to get up Saturday morning and wait in line for an hour or so...

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I'm sure you'll love it. Enjoy Austin, it's a nice town all around.


This is my skillet. There are many like it, but this one is mine. My skillet is my best friend. It is my life. I must master it, as I must master my life. Without me my skillet is useless. Without my skillet, I am useless. I must season my skillet well. I will. Before God I swear this creed. My skillet and myself are the makers of my meal. We are the masters of our kitchen. So be it, until there are no ingredients, but dinner. Amen.

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This turned into a BBQ thread, which I get, but I'm wondering if anybody has any suggestions for a nice dinner. I plan on eating Franklins one day and Mueller the next so maybe a meat heavy dinner might be a bit much. Is there anybody doing something emphasizing local ingredients (that's not BBQ :)). I'm not interested in sushi or Asian food in general for this trip. I see WInk, Congress and the Driskoll grill get decent reviews on yelp and might fit the bill. Anything else you could suggest?

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I live in Austin, and while I love BBQ, Austin has really gotten swept up in the recent farm-to-table trend (which is awesome). Here are some of my favorites:

1.) Uchiko / Uchi; By far the most popular / trendy restaurants in Austin, likely due to the fact that the Chef of Uchiko (Paul Qui) was on Top Chef. With that said, these places are awesome and their menus have significant overlap. Think modernist Japanese tapas, with a lot of high-end flair. The desserts here are insane. Make reservations a week in advance, and be prepared to spend at least $60 per person if you want some alcohol.

2.) The Barley Swine. My personal favorite. Once again, a farm-to-table establishment with seasonal menus featuring 12 - 15 or so small plates, and a great draft beer selection. This place serves up their trendy foods like pork belly and foi gras with some exciting modern flair (foams, gels, etc.), all at a reasonable price ($8-$14 per plate is standard). It's worth mentioning that this place only offers bar or communal seating.

3.) The Carillion. Located within the University of Texas campus, this place serves farm-to-table food very interesting flavor combinations. Fairly expensive, but a three-course mix-and-match tasting menu can be had for $65 each. My personal favorite in Austin as far as food goes, but the atmosphere is a little too fancy-pants for me...

As you mentioned, the Driskill Grill is also an excellent choice, and I've never been to Wink but have heard only positive things about it. Congress is also supposed to be amazing, but I can't justify their pricing (they only offer multi-course pre-fixe menus starting at $75 ea).


Edited by Baselerd (log)

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Ms. Alex loves Wink.


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Have been back to J Mueller's a few times recently and if anything it's getting better.

Was not impressed with Uchi. Even if some of the dishes were good, the service, volume level and general attitude were unbearable. I do not want to get yelled at or oversold when ordering Japanese food.

However I did recently go to a sushi place up on Loop 1 that was excellent, even for this New Yorker. It might have been Musashino - not quite sure.

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Im on the flight home from Austin and ended up eating at Franklins, jMueller, backspace and moonshine. The last two were because my friend arranged it and the other because she worked there.

Franklins - Arrived at around 11:30 and waited about an hour. When I left the line was probably only 15 minutes long and they still had meat. it was a wednesday. The brisket is seriously delicious and tender and tasty. It was worth waiting in line for. The pork ribs were also really good though a little too "fall off the bone" for me. Compared to the BBQ I'm used to where there's really a lot in the rub and sauce, the seasoning here accentuates the meat and doesn't play cloy with sweets. The sausage, well, I didn't actually like it. Sadly. Right now I have 2 pounds of brisket and ribs in my backpack along with sauce. I guess TSA thought the sauce was a toiletry :)

JMueller - After the meat fest the day before I cut back on my order and just got the beef short ribs. This was the best food of my trip. The rub seems to be mostly black pepper with some brown sugar and really. Short ribs?! Amazing. I'm going to try and replicate when I get home. Why isn't anybody else smoking short ribs?!

backspace - cool little italian pizza joint. Nothing particularly awesome but the restaurant week deal was pretty good. $54 for lamb and pork meatballs, a good pizza, awesome cheesecake in a mason jar and a bottle (yes, a bottle) of red. We had a good time.

moonshine - across from the convention center selling comfort food. yes, your meal comes with steamed broccoli and roasted carrots but the green chili cheese grits were outstanding and so was the pecan-crusted catfish with homemade hot sauce. I dug it

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Any new-hot or classic-getting-better-all-the-time recos for this 2013 SXSW season?


"Gourmandise is not unbecoming to women: it suits the delicacy of their organs and recompenses them for some pleasures they cannot enjoy, and for some evils to which they are doomed." Jean Anthelme Brillat-Savarin

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Any new-hot or classic-getting-better-all-the-time recos for this 2013 SXSW season?

2nd Bar & Kitchen continues to make great food, Swift's Attic is awesome; both are all about small plates/sharing and local-seasonal stuff. I had a lovely meal recently at Clark's, a new seafood joint from the folks who also own Perla's, in fact I thought it was better than Perla's. I really like La Condesa as well, especially their small plates. Barley Swine is great as well, but its small and you will wait to get in there, especially with SxSW in town. And while I think the food is great I do think his prices are a bit steep (well, for Austin).

Carillon for getting on a fancy feast because wowie can Josh Watkins cook. Really great stuff. Trace has done some switching up of staff, and I haven't been since all that happened but I really liked my meal there. Parkside on 6th is great, also small plates & sharing oriented. Backspace is also Shawn's joint and it's gotten some good accolades as of late.

The Rainey district will be crawling with peeps but if you want some real interior mexican you might want to hit up El Naranjo.


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