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Feb 5, 2007 04:11 PM

Out of time for research - best places to eat

will be arriving tomorrow night and didn't get around to start reading these posts until tonight and I still have to pack. Will be in town by myself for the next three nights. Love good food. Staying out by Round Rock but not opposed to driving if it's worth it. I love an adventure especially when it comes to food.

Not giong to be specific as in I want the best bbq or the best Mexican. Looking for the best of Austin - locally owned, local chefs, unusual and great foods.

I also know that Whole Foods is a great place for someone like me who loves food but are there any other markets I should visit? My days are packed and I doubt that I'll leave our campuses for lunch so it's whatever I can manage when I arrive around 3pm tomorrow, before 8 on Wednesday, Wednesday night, Thursday morning real early, Thursday night, Friday morning and on the way to the airport on Friday around noon.

I really want to have a couple of fun experiences outside of work while I am there.


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  1. for grocery, check out Central Market (38th & Lamar) as well as the mega WFM at 5th & Lamar.

    i no longer live in Austin, but just posted a trip report from a recent visit that you might find helpful. it's called "Trip Report: former Austinite, now NYC report (LONG)" i think it's pretty comprehensive and culled from a lot of wisdom and research for Austin before i came.

    1. I just posted this on another discussion, but whatever; I don't mind repeating myself. Especially on a subject so dear to my heart. Taylor is a very short drive east from Round Rock, and Louis Mueller has amazing brisket. They close at 8PM, so you should be able to head there for dinner, I think - I've always gone for lunch, so I'm not really sure. Or you could certainly head there at 3pm, or pick up an early lunch on Friday (they open at 9AM). If you're serious about BBQ, an alternative option for these bookend spots is to head to Lockhart (I think Smitty's is best, but opinions vary).

      If you manage to get to either Louis Mueller or Smitty's, you will not regret it. It doesn't get more Texan than those places, nor does it get much tastier. The brisket at Louis Mueller's is probably the best I've had, and everything at Smitty's from the pork chop to the prime rib is Platonic, revelatory stuff.

      As for markets, I think it's fun to shop at Central Market (HEB's upscale extension, Whole Foods' Texas Competition), but really I'll defer to other voices on this and other issues. I have opinions on various other topics, but only my opinions on BBQ are backed up by extensive research. For instance, I think that the beef Chile Rellenos with red and green sauce at Matt's El Rancho are a timeless classic, but it's apparently a hanging crime to say so on this board. And, while people who pan Matt's as unacceptable just don't like Tex-mex, I will certainly allow for the possibility that there are better (perhaps even much better) choices to be made.