Jump to content
  • Welcome to the eG Forums, a service of the eGullet Society for Culinary Arts & Letters. The Society is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of the culinary arts. These advertising-free forums are provided free of charge through donations from Society members. Anyone may read the forums, but to post you must create a free account.

Visiting Austin for 3 days


chefvinod
 Share

Recommended Posts

what are you in the mood for? i'd say bbq and mexican is the way to go

BBQ:

Ironworks is my favorite bbq in town

if you have time drive out to Salt Lick in Dripping Springs, about 30 minutes from Austin

Mexican:

<a href="http://fondasanmiguel.com/">Fonda San Miguel</a> - they have an excellent sunday brunch but it's $$$

Curra's - best pork tamales ever, avocado margaritas (but too sweet for me)

Tacqueria Arandas #3 on Burnet

Italian:

La Traviata

Vespaio

French:

Chez Nous - best price fixe menu in Austin

Aquarelle (spendy and not consistent, so take your chances)

Japanese/Sushi:

Musashino - best sushi in town

Mikado - sushi not quite as good as musashino, but rolls are excellent! and cheaper.

Uchi - sushi is disappointing, only order entrees

Chinese:

Pao's Mandarin House out in Lakeway

Edited by yimay (log)
Link to comment
Share on other sites

what are you in the mood for? i'd say bbq and mexican is the way to go

BBQ:

Ironworks is my favorite bbq in town

if you have time drive out to Salt Lick in Dripping Springs, about 30 minutes from Austin

Mexican:

<a href="http://fondasanmiguel.com/">Fonda San Miguel</a> - they have an excellent sunday brunch but it's $$$

Curra's - best pork tamales ever, avocado margaritas (but too sweet for me)

Tacqueria Arandas #3 on Burnet

Italian:

La Traviata

Vespaio

French:

Chez Nous - best price fixe menu in Austin

Aquarelle (spendy and not consistent, so take your chances)

Japanese/Sushi:

Musashino - best sushi in town

Mikado - sushi not quite as good as musashino, but rolls are excellent! and cheaper.

Uchi - sushi is disappointing, only order entrees

Chinese:

Pao's Mandarin House out in Lakeway

Other:

Z Tejas - tex-mex/american

<a href="http://www.cafejosie.com/">Cafe Josie</a> - american tropics?

Sam Paio's - south american

Wink - never been but i heard they have chocolate soup!

Edited by yimay (log)
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'd try Zoot. I've had much better experiences there than at Wink. My last two visits over the past month have been excellent. Great service and food if you order right.

I personally love Uchi, and yes - their entrees are fabulous but also think that the raw fish offerings are worth a visit on their own.

If you're looking for something you can't get in DC, I might avoid La Traviata and Vespaio. They're pretty run of the mill Italian. If you're in the mood, definitely try Vespaio over La Trav.

For Barbecue, if you have a car and are heading to Salt Lick, why not drive an extra 20 minutes or so and go to Lockhart or Luling? Luling's about an hour outside of Austin, but City Market there could change your life.

Maybe the best deal in town is the Don Juan at Juan in a Million. It's a breakfast taco of ridiculous proportions and will set you back a mere $2.75. It is fabulous if you like your potatoes, eggs, cheese and tortillas to taste like bacon.

From the links posted nest to your signature, maybe you'd like to check out some local Indian food? It's not the greatest, but Clay Pit bills itself as contemporary Indian cuisine. It's in a great space and some of their dishes are quite yummy.

Enjoy your trip and please report back. You can always check out Citysearch or statesman.com (local newspaper) for ideas. I wouldn't put too much stock in Dale Rice's reviews, but you'll get a general sense of what's out there.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

For Barbecue, if you have a car and are heading to Salt Lick, why not drive an extra 20 minutes or so and go to Lockhart or Luling?  Luling's about an hour outside of Austin, but City Market there could change your life.

I'd be willing to bet that the vast majority of Austinites would agree with this. Lockhart ("The World Capital of BBQ") is only about 20 miles or so south, and from the airport, it's a straight shot on good 4-lane highway. It won't take you more than 20-25 minutes to get there; maybe 15 from the airport. Smitty's, Black's, Kreuz....the big three. And, as munchcake says, Luling's just a short distance beyond. Yes, BBQ in one of these temples CAN 'change your life.' It's really a must-do.

Especially coming from a large metropolitan area such as DC, my suggestion is that you try things that are uniquely 'Austin.' We do have good restaurants....Italian, Continental, Asian, etc., and if you were coming from some small podunk town somewhere, they'd be good bets for you and you'd enjoy them. But coming from 'back east,' we don't have anything that will impress you unless you seek out the things you DON'T have in DC.

Definitely, get to Lockhart (Smitty's for sure, Black's, Kreuz in that order) and/or Luling (City Market) for BBQ. This is a 'don't miss'! ALL the other local BBQ pales in comparison. I'd advise that with only three days, you don't waste your time going elsewhere. It'd be a damn shame to come to Austin from so far away and settle for second-rate BBQ and miss the best that the region has to offer.

And Fonda San Miquel. It's considered to be one of the best 'interior Mexico' restaurants in the country. Whether or not that's true is, of course, open to debate, but it is uniquely Austin, and is definitely something you cannot get at home. Their Sunday Brunch is legendary.

And do breakfast tacos and/or migas at some of our many fine TexMex joints, which you can read about on other Austin threads (and there are several). Austin is a great food town. But focus on the 'Austin' stuff.

Edited by Jaymes (log)

I don't understand why rappers have to hunch over while they stomp around the stage hollering.  It hurts my back to watch them. On the other hand, I've been thinking that perhaps I should start a rap group here at the Old Folks' Home.  Most of us already walk like that.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Don't expect world class cuisine in Austin. It just isn't here. The Italian, chinese, sushi, French, all are ok by NY/LA/Chi standards, but not great. Austin is more the ambiance and experience.

To me, Austin is: Threadgills (north on Lamar only, downtown avoid), El Arroyo for cheap good TexMex food and margaritas in funky atmosphere and usually a funny slogan on the sign out front that changes daily or Guero's, also good tex mex. Shady Grove on Bartons Springs Rd downtown if the weather is good to sit outside for lunch. For a burger lunch, you can't do any better than Dirty Martin's right by UT campus on Guadalupe, is stepping back in time to 1940.

Wink is good for the experimentation they do, but it isn't always a hit, is best to order a bunch of smaller plates of apps and share buffet style. I've yet to be impressed by Zoot, but, I keep hearing other people love it. I love Aquarelle, never had a bad dish there, and while not cheap by AUSTIN standards, the Prix Fixe gastronomique menu is a good value at $60. If you don't like the dish you are served, ask to see Robert, the owner/chef and I'll bet anything he'll fix it, Rob and Teresa in the kitchen there are wonderful folks who really CARE about their food.

I have to concur with the above statements about BBQ being worth the drive out of town if you have a car and the time.

Cheers,

Rob

"When I lived in Paris, and champagne was relatively cheap, I always enjoyed a half-bottle in the middle of the morning and another half-bottle at six or so in the evening. It did me a tremendous amount of good." - Gerald Hamilton.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Vespaio is excellent and holds up to any restaurant in the state, and if set down in New Orleans might still be regarded as one of the best restaurants there.

Las Manitas on Congress for Mexican/Salvadorean breakfast/lunch.

Guero's for Mexican lunch or dinner.

Ranch 616 for casual but upscale southwestern cuisine.

And get some barbecue somewhere. Can't argue with the Lockhart suggestion but if you stay in-town go for County Line.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

To me, Austin is: Threadgills (north on Lamar only, downtown avoid), El Arroyo for cheap good TexMex food and margaritas in funky atmosphere and usually a funny slogan on the sign out front that changes daily or Guero's, also good tex mex.  Shady Grove on Bartons Springs Rd downtown if the weather is good to sit outside for lunch.  For a burger lunch, you can't do any better than Dirty Martin's right by UT campus on Guadalupe, is stepping back in time to 1940.

I'd second all of this. :rolleyes:

And add Schotz Garten, another legendary Austin spot.

Edited by Jaymes (log)

I don't understand why rappers have to hunch over while they stomp around the stage hollering.  It hurts my back to watch them. On the other hand, I've been thinking that perhaps I should start a rap group here at the Old Folks' Home.  Most of us already walk like that.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Vespaio is excellent and holds up to any restaurant in the state, and if set down in New Orleans might still be regarded as one of the best restaurants there. 

Las Manitas on Congress for Mexican/Salvadorean breakfast/lunch.

Guero's for Mexican lunch or dinner.

Ranch 616 for casual but upscale southwestern cuisine.

And get some barbecue somewhere.  Can't argue with the Lockhart suggestion but if you stay in-town go for County Line.

ooh yes! i love Ranch 616!

i'd have to disagree about County Line for bbq in town tough. Ironworks is so damn good. oh i love Rudy's too.

I agree, with everyone else's sentiments about driving out of town a bit for bbq. There is better bbq than Salt Lick, as mentioned, but I've been to so many I can't ever remember which town and what the names are.

I also have to say, Vespaio can probably hold its own on either coast, and La Traviata has a few dishes (not all of them) that can knock some italian socks off.

And I forgot, you need some Yellow Food (aka: Chicken fried something). I'd skip Threadgill's in town and drive out 290 to the 290 Cafe in Manor (about 20 minutes east on 290). best chicken fried steak/chicken and steak 'n eggs breakfasts in a 100 mile radius.

But yes, as i originally said, bbq and mexican (not tex-mex) is the way to go.

Edited by yimay (log)
Link to comment
Share on other sites

i work at uchi so am a bit biased, but think you should definitly try us.  we offer raw fish dishes that you cant get most any other place.

hey! maybe you can tell us what happened to the sushi? the quality suddenly took a southward turn. last time i went (about 5 months ago) it was BAD. another friend confirmed a few weeks after. the quality is so much worse than when you first opened. seriously. you should tell someone!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...