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May 7, 2007 02:26 PM

2 Days in Austin

we have this sat night, sunday and monday day in Austin.

looking for local food in old funky places
so we'd like off the wall breakfast places, BBQ, etc.
nothing corporate or chain like in any way please!
prefer low cost to anything fancy

we get too much fancy where we live and not enough funky

[i have a car and a map so PLEASE include an address or cross street please.]

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  1. Here's a few on the east side that are worth a mention (not necessarily old, but good food, nonetheless):

    Ben's Longbranch BBQ ( - Great ribs and pork loin; they serve mutton, as well.
    Tony's Southern Comfort ( - Chicken fried bliss.
    Eastside Cafe ( - Make a reservation for weekend brunch and give the Salmon Benedict a try; may as well have some mimosas while you're there.
    El Chile ( - Red mole enchiladas and micheladas can't be beat.

    7 Replies
    1. re: Twill

      I just went to Tony's Southern Comfort and I gotta say it was pretty bad. Canned greens, 1/16" thick chicken fried steak... Nothing special at all. For my $$$$, Hoover's and Ben's Longbranch are where it's at for good soul food type offerings. Eastside Cafe is good but I think a bit overrated.

      1. re: SlapYoMamma

        Thanks for the feedback, but that is so disappointing to hear! I have had mixed experiences at Hoover's and have not yet tried Ben's. It is on my list.
        I like the food at East Side, but sometimes I feel like I am eating at my Great Aunt Pearl's house. I think the atmosphere can feel too stuffy for some occasions.

        1. re: Honey Bee

          SlapYoMamma's experience at Tony's is unusual (I think) for most Chowhound readers. When I've gone, the CFS and fried chicken have been excellent. The CFS meat has been a little stringy, but that goes with the territory -- you're not ordering beef tenderloin, after all.

          1. re: tom in austin

            You think the fried chicken at Tony's is good? My dining companion had it. A fried, boneless, skinless breast of chicken can only be so go unless it's pounded out and battered (CFC-style). I'd have taken pop-eyes over Tony's fried chicken anyday... I'll say one nice thing about tony's- the red velvet cake was good as was the sweet tea.

            1. re: SlapYoMamma

              I believe tom in austin already said he thought it was good. I think it's good, too. No offense, but asking for a fried, boneless, skinless chicken-breast is a rookie mistake. Tony's doesn't do CFC (in my opinion, not everything should be battered and slathered with cream gravy), but they do delicious fried-chicken drumettes and chicken wings. Maybe next time you can try an entire order yourself, then post back based on your one personal experience.

              Of course, if you prefer the chain Popeye's, then you have a different fried-chicken ideal than me and tom in austin (if I can make that assumption on his behalf). Good for you—you can find “great” chicken anywhere. I know I can’t.

              What I love about this board is that it allows for the passionate but civilized exchange of different opinions on all kinds of chow. Then, other people can make their own decisions based on the history and recommendations of chowhounds who share their tastes. The end result is more deliciousness for us all.


              1. re: MPH

                SlapYoMamma, I'm a fried chicken fiend, and other than various block parties and barbecues, the best fried chicken I've had in Austin is at Tony's. I'm not saying their fried chicken is the best I've ever had. But it is extremely good -- great, even! -- and thanks to this discussion I'm craving it now.

                I'd go on in great detail, as well as discussing their CFS, but (a) I've already described it elsewhere on the Chowhound Austin board, and (b) it would make me far too hungry.

        2. re: SlapYoMamma

          If you want good greens, go to Nubian Queen Lola's on Rosewood. Those WILL make you slap yo mamma. Last time I was there, she was server, host and cook, so you'll have a wait, but it'll be worth it. And Gene's is just around the corner, so there's no shortage of good comfort food in the area.

      2. A few of the non-fancy local favorites on this board include:

        For BBQ, drive the short distcance to Lockhart for a real treat
        Smitty's Market
        208 South Commerce
        Lockhart, Texas 78644

        Angie's for a great Tex-Mex food breakfast or lunch (East 7th and I-35 on the east side). Order the carnitas or machacado.

        El Chile for Interior Mexican Food (Manor East of I-35).

        Casino El Camino on 6th street (west of I-35) for a crazy big and tasty burger. Open late night.

        Tony's Southern Comfort (1201 East 6th street) for comfort food


        1. Curra's Grill on Oltolf, couple blocks east of S. Congress. Mexican, great lunch, breakfasts, best coffee (ask for Quahacan (sp?))

          1. a few cheap funky Austiny Breakfast places
            The Omelettery - good, cheap, but not worth waiting an hour for on weekends. 51st and Burnet.
            Maria's Taco Xpress - New location, but really funky, good breakfast tacos. Open lunch and dinner, too. I'm sure there are plenty of reviews on this board. South Lamar, don't know cross street.
            Las Manitas Avenue Cafe - Not as cheap as Maria's, but still pretty cheap, and a larger breakfast menu. An Austin institution. They won't be in their current location for long. 3rd or 4th and Congress. Migas, bkfst tacos, menudo, etc.
            If I was an out of towner, I'd go here.
            Magnolia Cafe - Great pancakes, omelettes, etc. - Lake Austin Blvd

            1. Hi docb,

              I'm afraid that local places that are well-known for being “fun and funky” often have the worst food. I’d include Magnolia Cafe in that category. Las Manitas and Maria’s Taco Xpress are tourist-friendly spots with an “Austin vibe” and some good dishes. In my opinion, however, you can do better by getting off the beaten track.

              Here are some links that might help you in your search for the best local chow:






              If these posts don’t include an address or directions, you can just Google them for more info.

              Enjoy your trip!