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Good places to try south of the river?

catarata Mar 1, 2007 12:56 PM

South Austin is kind of a disappointment in the food department. I feel like it *should* have great food, but where the heck is it? I've had good meals at Vespaio/Enoteca, Polvo's, Evita's Botanitas, and...well.. I think that might be it, with the exception of some yummy little mexican places.

Other than Mexican food (since MPH has written so much on the topic) -- what is worth driving over the Lamar bridge for?

  1. tom in austin Mar 1, 2007 01:17 PM

    Good food South of the river, not including Mexican, not including Vespaio/Enoteca.

    Uchi is south of the river and may be the best restaurant in Austin.

    Madam Mam's Westgate is really good. Maybe doesn't count because it has a northern location on the drag. Same with Curra's Oltorf, I suppose -- darn, that already doesn't count because it is Mexican.

    For fast food, P. Terry's rivals In N Out; I love the place.

    While generally panned here on Chowhound, I enjoy Home Slice.

    1. catarata Mar 1, 2007 04:15 PM

      ...and there's a Curra's north of the river, too!

      I'll have to give P Terry's a try, I *love* In-N-Out Burger. And I can't believe I forgot Uchi -- it will definitely be on my list of places to go in the near future. Thanks! Anyone got any others?

      1. j
        johnm Mar 2, 2007 06:33 AM

        The original Habana on Congress about halfway between Oltorf and Ben White is a good bet. So is Madame Mam's Westgate, as already noted, and the Evangeline, way south on Brodie Lane, for Cajun. The Satellite Cafe at the Oak Hill Y is a good little place for lunch (sandwiches, wraps, soups, salads etc.) or dinner (pastas, chicken, some meat).

        1. f
          foodiegal71 Mar 8, 2007 04:52 PM

          I really like Buenos Aires on South First, just south of Oltorf. It's not fancy, but the food has been consitently great and honest every time I've been there, and the servers are always fun as well. I've tried the empanadas, a red pepper soup that was incredible, roast chicken and salads and they've all been great.

          1 Reply
          1. re: foodiegal71
            tom in austin Mar 8, 2007 07:01 PM

            Ooh, good call! Should have recommended that.

          2. s
            sarahloo Mar 8, 2007 05:25 PM

            i've always found casa de luz (1701 Toomey Rd Austin, Texas 78704 512/476-2535) to be a nice break from the ordinary. The food is better some evenings than others but it's consistently a pleasant, low-key dining experience.

            1. Twill Mar 9, 2007 05:36 AM

              I'll double up on Uchi, bet a Sazon, and raise you a Polvo's.

              Anyone want to comment on Java Noodles (Sunday buffet), Marco Polo or Flip Happy?

              3 Replies
              1. re: Twill
                a
                avi Mar 9, 2007 06:17 AM

                Flip Happy seems to have disappeared from its location in the parking lot. Has it moved or just died?

                1. re: avi
                  g
                  Greg Spence Mar 9, 2007 08:09 AM

                  Friends spotted their trailer by P. Terry's on Lamar last week.

                  1. re: avi
                    Twill Mar 10, 2007 08:38 AM

                    Flip Happy has moved to Jessie St., about two blocks west of Lamar around Barton Springs (at Toomey?). The website (http://www.fliphappycrepes.com/) has a map.

                    The trailer at P. Terry's is a sno-cone stand.

                2. catarata Mar 9, 2007 08:37 AM

                  Thanks for the recommendations, guys. I went to Buenos Aires for the first time in quite a while, and enjoyed it. I don't know if it's just me, but I think their "Italian" food (I had the gnocchi special, and it was delicious) is better than their "Argentine" food (e.g., the steak milanesa, the empanadas, which I find kind of bland.)

                  Our server was really friendly and helpful. He gave great recommendations on food/desserts. Buenos Aires now has a liquor license but will let you bring your own bottle for a very reasonable corkage fee.

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: catarata
                    Tigole Bitties Mar 9, 2007 10:51 PM

                    I've had their empanadas (beef and chicken) for lunch. Very tasty, but a tad pricey. I'll have to give swing by for dinner one of these days.

                    1. re: catarata
                      r
                      reina_de_fideo May 7, 2007 01:53 PM

                      i have been frequenting torchy's tacos lately on s. 1st and gibson. it's not 'authentic' but it is pretty tasty. also, the taco truck next to home depot on oltorf and lamar is wonderful.

                    2. p
                      panthacat Mar 12, 2008 04:52 AM

                      Lulu B's (Vietnamese) is a nice new addition to the South Austin offerings. A few other non-Tex Mex options: Pheonicia (Greek), Austin PIzza Garden (Pizza), First China (Chinese), Rockin' Tomato (Pizza), Giovanni's (Pizza and Pasta), Artz (BBQ), Central Market South Cafe (variety).

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