Appetizers for dinner...
So i have a friend coming to town for the first time and we have one night for dinner. Instead of doing a dinner, i was thinking that we should do a progressive appetizer and drink thing so she can see a little more of what Austin has to offer. We are starting at around 6:00 or 6:30 and need to be at Fonda's bar to meet some folks for a final drink between 9:30 and 10. I would assume we can hit 2 or 3 places at most without feel rushed (and dealing with traffic).
So it's to you chowhounds...where would you go to have a drink and appetizer that shows off Austin and it's character? What would you order? She lives in the SF bay area so Chinese and Japanese are probably less appealing than SW cuisine.
As a caveat, she is going to be up by the Arboretum for the pick up so NW is better than downtown (and south) in this case.
One thing that my friends and I like to do is Eddie V's and ZTejas for HH. Some good appetizers are half priced with drink specials, as well. We usually start at Eddie Vs with oysters and crab cakes. Then walk on over to ZTejas for the shrimp and avocado bites and the pot stickers. Then, you could head Downtown to the Roaring Fork for some amazing complimentary beef jerky and some green chili pork. Then head on over to FSM.
In the Arboretum area, I also understand that Manuels on Jolleyville has a very good Happy Hour.
Manuels in the Arboretum area does 1/2 price appetizers ...my friend and I did 2 house margarita's and shared 3 appetizers for dinner last night and the bill was right around $20.00. We really enjoyed the appetizers too !!
Eddie V's is a great choice for 1/2 priced appetizers and is in her area.
Haven't been to the Domain yet, but have heard that Kona Grill has cheap ones and there are several places close together so you could snack hop
Would absolutely second Manuel's Great Hills on the patio. Get the hongos guisados and the chiviche, both half price. The chicken mole is good, but I think it has too much plain shredded chicken to the mole/cheese ratio. Great corn tortillas.
Then to Eddie V's for (again) half-price appetizers. SO and I usually split the arugula/goat cheese/wild mushroom salad and he either gets the seared ahi tuna or the tempora shrimp and I either get the lobster bisque or the broiled oysters (with a side of hollindaise).
Both of these are VERY afffordable and outstanding at full price.