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Jul 6, 2007 02:06 PM

Dinner suggestions for solo traveler?

I'll be in Austin on business Monday and Tuesday night. I'm staying near MoPac and Research Blvd.

I'd like to enjoy some local good eats for dinner - no chains!
I eat everything - no hold barred.

I am a solo woman, so nothing too seedy.

Price range is flexible.

Thanks for your ideas.

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  1. Chez Zee is at MoPac and 2222, close by for you. It's local and very nice. Upscale homestyle, you can get a nice entree salad or a piece of salmon or a cfs or a burger. Awesome deserts. Z Tejas Arboretum is nearby. Nice southwestern/homestyle. With two Austin outlets and now a couple more around the country I guess it's a chain though now. The ancho fudge pie will make you forgive them though. Eddie V's is next door, but that's a chain, albeit a small and very good one. Hoover's north outlet is really easy to go to from NW, really good homestyle. Lots of posts here lately for ultra casual Asia cafe up at 183/McNeil, not too far. And Din Ho is at Ohlen and 183. Tam Deli is at Lamar and 183, they stay open til 830 I think. Good Vietnamese. If you get tired go to Pollo Regio on the SW corner of Ohlen and 183 and get half of one of their fantastic roasted chickens for 6.50 and take it back to your hotel. Or better yet remember that after rush hour you're only 15 minutes from ANYTHING, pretty much Round Rock to Brodie Lane so don't worry too much about area.

    1 Reply
    1. re: BTAustin

      wow - what a wonderful set of suggestions. I'll definitely try some ancho fudge pie, and probably some of the other ideas, too. Thanks.

    2. Tuesday night: Castle Hill, 5th St. one block west of Lamar on Baylor, is a definite MUST. You will not get a better meal anywhere in your life. Stay away from the fish dish (it's not their fault, we're too far inland), I highly recommend the beef. Get the cheese torta for your appetizer and trust your waiter to choose your wine. They change their main menu every two weeks so things are always changing. The neighborhood is delightful as well. You'll be close to Whole Foods and Book People (delightful for post-meal wanderings).

      Enjoy your stay!

      1 Reply
      1. re: Triana

        Yeah Triana. Love your enthusiasm. And your suggestion. Castle Hill might be King of the Hill in Austin restaurants on a good food per dollar scale, a pretty good scale if you ask me.

      2. I agree with the other suggestions with the exception of Hoovers. I think their food is okay, but not great, and don't care for the excessive (to me) sweetness of the vegetable dishes. I'd add Pok-e-Jo's barbeque at Great Hills Trail & 183 to the list. They have excellent service, a comfortable setting for a lone diner, and very good chicken, sausage and pork ribs along with a nice variety of side dishes. I'm not a bbq snob, so I don't subscribe to the notion that you have to go out of town to find good Q. There's also a Texadelphia in that shopping center. Twin Lion chinese restaurant is nearby at Braker and 183. A great dish there is the hot & spicy black bean tofu with vegetables.

        1. You might also try Manuel's on Jollyville. They have a great happy hour...but only 4-6. I love the seafood chile relleno (lots of cheese, and big chunks of scallop, crab and shrimp in a grilled (?) not fried relleno) and their "fancier" margaritas, like the Pomegranate are quite good. I know this place gets pretty consistent good reviews on this board, especially for the Arboretum area's choices (which is chain central).

          1. Most, if not all of the places named are franchise type places. For something unique well within your geographical range is the Culinary Institutes restuarant called Ventana. You best get a reservation but you get cuisine prepared by the students and supervised, of course, by the chef instructors. Interesting food at very reasonable prices with reasonably price wine by the glass. It is on Burnet Rd.,north of 183, just a short drive from you. Someone mentioned Din Ho, which is also easy access to you, but in the same strip center is a Vietnamese place called Sunshine or something like that. It is right next door to the Target. I like it very much. I think both of these places are someplace a single woman would feel comfortable eating alone. You are also very close to the new and supposedly exclusive Domain shopping center which has Jaspers, Kona Grill and other places. You can do a search on this message board for comments on the whole Domain thing.If I were a single man I would take you to dinner someplace myself.(You would think me presumptious that you are a single woman, but actually I would take you anyway just to make sure you had a good visit here.) Also, right in your immediate area is North by Northwest with has some good sandwiches, food mediocre and they brew their own beer. Next to them is a Mexican place to be avoided. Bon Appetit, Joe

            4 Replies
            1. re: singlemalt

              I think the Vietnamese place to which singlemalt wished to refer you is Sunflower, 8557 Research Blvd. In my opinion, it's a great rec. for food in the area, but, being a single woman myself I don't know if I would send her to dine alone in that neighborhood, esp. if she hasn't been to Austin before. Great food, but not in an aesthetically pleasing part of town and not conducive to pedestrian traffic...Musashino (as recommended below) is an excellent suggestion, although if you have access to a car or don't mind taking a taxi, it is worth the trip into town to try Uchi (pricey) or some of the other (less pricey) mid-town recs. If you go to Uchi it's a short trip to Alamo South for a post-dinner film and a Shiner. Don't forget to bring a good book or paper, and have an excellent trip.

              1. re: femmenikita

                I sorta' understand what you are saying. My son lives in "that neighborhood" because it was the only place he could afford a house so close in. I would not hesitate to send a solo women there because there is a huge Target right next door and a lot of people coming and going, especially Asian families. It is easily accessible from the183 access road and to go back to her residence she would get right back on the access road so no driving through "that neighborhood". BTW, my wife has shopped at that Target for years and nothing bad has ever happened. What you have in "that neighborhood" is lots of Mexicans , mostly immigrants and some Asians. I do condede that the crime rating their is high although my son has never had any problems. I was also thinking that Sunflower is a family sort of place, rather small where a solo female might feel comfortable eating alone. In short, the area is just too busy with people coming and going that at reasonable hours there is no danger. BTW, Din Ho is in the same shopping center and Sunflower and so is a pho restuarant.

                1. re: singlemalt

                  Hey singlemalt, i didn't mean to imply that the area was too dangerous or anything. I will often hit up that Target or Coco's etc. when I'm all by myself; I'm a petite gal and have always felt comfortable on my own to enjoy the awesome asian food etc. in that area. To clarify, i just meant that it's not as aesthetically pleasing ('s all perspective of course) for an out-of-towner, when she could dine near rows of antique shops etc. on South Congress or near the crazy vintage store shops on So. Lamar. etc. Of course that stuff is tertiary and we should keep it all about the CHOW, plus the point is probably moot now, since I think she's already traveled. You're right, though, the neighborhood is close to the OP's hotel, so maybe convenience and delicious Sunflower and Din Ho should reign for her best dining options.

              2. re: singlemalt

                Since when was Castle Hill a franchise?