Late night dining?
So I'm flying into Austin tonight, and, assuming my flight doesn't get canceled, I'm going to be getting in a little before midnight and I'm gonna be hungry. Can any of you recommend some good places to go for some late-night dining? (I'm not picky about cuisines -- as long as it's tasty, I'll eat it.)
What happened to Kerby Lane Cafe? Twenty plus years ago when I was in law school, and the original location was the only one, it was a decent place to get a late night bite to eat. I went recently and the staff was down right surly the food was fair at best. The place was a shadow of it's former self.
There's a good post on egullet which gives some late night dining options, and has more in the comments:
I hope Kent doesn't mind if I pull an excerpt out of his egullet post.
Closes at: 11 pm
Friday-Saturday only. Asti. Italian fine dining, Hyde Park area. Absolute best desserts in town. Don't feel guilty about asking for the dessert menu as soon as you sit down, I do that regularly.
Hyde Park Bar & Grill. Centrally located in Hyde Park, excellent fries, large portions, good value. Cheapest restaurant in which you will find waiters in uniforms. La Dolce Vita is right next door.
La Dolce Vita. Bar, gelato, espresso. Dimly lit, very small (inside seats 12 max).
T&S Seafood. Excellent traditional Cantonese Chinese food. Like the Chronicle says, Salt & Pepper (fried and mixed with salt and a chile oil) anything is good.
Wednesday-Sunday only. Marco Polo. South Austin, pretty good traditional Chinese food, not as good as T&S.
Star Seeds. Campus area, greasy spoon diner.
Magnolia. Two locations in South Austin, eclectic diner with breakfast foods, Tex-mex, pasta.
Kat'z Deli. New York deli chain, not too shabby.
Kerbey Lane. Where UT students without cars or good taste go to eat. Avoid.
In this chowhound's opinion, the restaurants you list don't serve delicious chow, with the exception of T&S Seafood. T&S is located far from the airport, for those unfamiliar with Austin. [Note: I'm concentrating on the places that serve more than gelato and coffee.]
I assume that chowhounds are posting on this board for advice on the best chow, period. In other words, we’re talking amongst similarly obsessed food-lovers who hate to eat bad chow.
Comprehensive lists of all places that are open late serve a purpose, too. They can be found in a variety of other websites, newspaper articles, and guidebooks.
I respectfully offer that you're perhaps too hard on Hyde Park; I also offer that, in the search for delicious chow, there is possibly a multidimensional index of Total Value that includes (first and foremost) food quality, but is also influenced by the lesser factors of price, convenience provided by flexible hours of operation, superior service, etc.
Back to Hyde Park: some of their heartier dishes serve as amazing comfort food. Their fried egg sandwich, for example, is a greasy, delicious treat. Unmentioned on the menu is the substitution of ham for deli-sliced turkey; my favorite way to order this treat is with said substitution, plus crispy slices of bacon.
Their fries, too, are good! In fact, they're an Austin "Must-have" dish, right after the Bob Armstrong Dip at Matt's El Rancho. (Note: this does not serve as an endorsement for most of Matt's fare.)
Anyhow, this is a minor nitpick. I definitely agree with MPH that most of the places mentioned by mooncoursing are of middling (or worse) quality.
re: tom in austin
I liked Hyde Park on a visit to Austin a few years ago (May 2000). When I moved to Austin and re-tried it, however, the same dishes I'd enjoyed before (CFS, eggplant parmesan, desserts) had gone way downhill.
I'm the first to admit that I expect a lot of even "comfort food," and I hate wasting my time on restaurants that, to me, are at best okay or so-so. I’m eternally optimistic that there must be better options out there, waiting to be discovered.
My lack of enthusiasm for Hyde Park may be partly explained by the fact that I don't like battered fries in general. Hence, Hyde Park's "signature" version of them do nothing for me. I haven't eaten breakfast there, though. It sounds like they may have some good greasy-diner options at that hour.
Thanks for sharing your perspective.
Thanks for the travel-related advice, all. It looks like my flight has been canceled, so I'll be arriving sometime next week, once the roads are drivable again.
Anyway, I'll be taking a similar late-arrival flight, so I'm still open to suggestions. I'll let you know what I end up trying.
re: tom in austin
Some Tex-Mex and Mexican options on East Riverside are open late during the week, though I'm not sure what their hours will be tonight. East Riverside is airport-convenient as well.
For example, on a typical weekday you could swing by Janitzio (open until 1 A.M.) or Taquería Arandinas (open until 3 A.M.). If you just wanted to pick up food to go, you could hit the Al Pastor taco stand (open until 3:30 A.M.). Do a quick search of the Austin board to find recommended dishes at each place.
I have to second jwynne's advice about staying off the roads tonight. The whole town shuts down during a Snow and Terrifying Ice Disaster (STID). Despite dealing with winter weather on the East Coast for many years, I don't drive here once the Freak-Out Prior to a STID (or FOPSTID) has begun.
I hope you’ll report back on any good chow that you enjoy while in town.
Have a safe trip,