Good places to try south of the river?
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?
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.
...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?
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).
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.
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.