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Headed to Austin and the Hill Country this weekend

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My brother and I are headed to Austin for a long weekend. On Thursday nite, we need a casual place where drinking is as important as eating, but without any attitude. Weather permitting, I'm gonna wear torn up cargo shorts, a t-shirt and Reef sandals. A large patio would be nice, as would fantastic people watching.

We'd prefer something "Texas". BBQ, Burgers, Tex-Mex, Mex-Mex, Local Gastropub, etc. Not looking for "Fusion" or Sushi or any of that other stuff. Not cause we don't like it, but because we want to celebrate our Texasness.

We'll be staying downtown next to the Capitol on 11th, but I guess we can do the taxi thing.

On Friday and Saturday, we're headed west to Fredericksburg and the surrounding Hill Country area for all day gluttony.

Here's what's important on Friday and Saturday - game, bbq, chili and Shiner during the day and wine and some nicer Hill Country dining come evening time. Any recs?

We also need recommendations on cheap places to stay in the Hill Country that are close to the aforementioned wine and food.

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  1. The Hill Country Food and Wine Festival is this weekend in Austin. You may want to check out some of the events while in town.

    1. Not the best bbq but saltlick sure has most beat when it comes to atmosphere and hang out effect? Its out west of Austin but it would be fun.
      A breakfast taco at Marias is really pretty cool. The migas taco with chorizo is really quite good. Its a popular joint and the original was torn down but the nice patio is actually a little better IMO.
      For nicer austiney I would rec castle hill.

      1. The Hill Top Cafe on the Mason HIghway (Hwy) 87 maybe 10 miles west of Fredericksburg (at the Doss turnoff) fits both your lunch and dinner needs. Menu is classy Greek/Cajun/Texan, good wines, cool roadhouse ambiance. Real good food.

        1. Some favorite places near Fredricksburg are August E's, about 5 miles east of town, has great food, neat atmosphere and a large patio for outdoor dining and the Hill Top Cafe which is 10 miles north of town--unusual, funky atmosphere and great music. Of those two, I'd choose August E's definitely for evening and Hill Top for daytime. Check out the websites: http://august-es.com/ and http://www.hilltopcafe.com/

          1. I think Chuys in Austin is always a fun time with great Mexican food. Chuy's Restaurant
            1728 Barton Springs Rd Austin, TX 78704 (512) 474-4452 Good patio too.........

            1. You might try the rooftop patio of the Iron Cactus on 6th St. The food is not spectacular but quite edible, they are serious about their drinks, you can people watch down onto 6th St, and they don't have a dress code. They have misters, too, if it's humid out.

              1. Casual and patios are easy to find in Austin.... head to 5th and 6th street and I am sure you will find what you are in the mood for.

                1. I know you said you are headed to the Hill Country, but, I gotta say, if you are that close, don't mess around, GO TO LOCKHART and hit Kreutz' Market for one of the top five BBQ spots in the state. That is where I would go if I were in that area. IMHO, it beats Salt Lick all to pieces. I don't know of a joint within 200 miles of there that I would get as excited to go eat BBQ at. Heck, I'm tempted to leave Dallas right now and head that direction !!

                  Remember, BBQ joints are almost never open on Sundays.

                  If not, maybe go to Iron Works BBQ on 1st Street in Austin. They have solid fare and are close to where you are staying there in town. Still I don't think Salt Lick is worth the effort.