In Austin One Night Only..
- iparonich Feb 22, 2008 06:31 PM
I am passing through Texas and will be staying the night in Austin and leaving the next morning. I am a big foodie and will only be able to eat at one place while I am here. Am looking for the absolute best of something (BBQ or Mex) something that represents Austin and I could not eat anywhere else. On somewhat of a budget. Any help is appreciated. Thank you!!
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In the a.m. grab at taco at Maria's Taco Express, pop into Whole Foods for the experience and have a meal and a hand shaken margarita at guerros, just my opinion.
re: Junior Warden
You're asking what a breakfast taco is? It's a soft flour (usually) tortilla with breakfast fillings, which usually means eggs and whatever else you want - bacon, sausage, cheese, potatoes, chorizo (Mexican-style sausage), refried beans, or pretty much anything else you can think of. Or if you don't like eggs you can get bean and cheese, or other combinations. Top it all off with some hot sauce, and you're good to go. Yeah, if you're from Canada you've probably never heard of such a thing, I know I hadn't when I came from near there (upstate NY) but you gotta have some while you're here. This is just an overview; I'm sure other hounds can add more detail.
I think the beef ribs at Iron Works are the best BBQ in the city limits. And I do a lot of BBQ. The beef rib plate will fill you up - 3 extra large ribs and sides. The ribs are cut so that every other rib is bare and thrown away, so each rib has the meat of two ribs, excep for the one end piece (in an order of 3).
A bit on the upscale side, but my personal favorite is the BBQ at Lambert's. It's uniquely Austin and the best BBQ in the world, IMO (of course, I'm not a huge BBQ lover). On the more reasonably priced side, the pulled pork sandwich at the flagship Whole Foods is also darn tasty.
Other terrific places that are either Mexican or have an Austin-y slant: Fonda San Miguel (interior Mexican; kind of spendy); Ranch 616 (funky and fun); Roaring Fork (in the Stephen F. Austin hotel).
I would say you really should have a martini at the bar in the Driskill Hotel. More than a drink (however, the best martini ever - potato vodka), more of an experience.
I think you have to do BBQ...You can find mex or Tex/mex that is equal (or better) than Austin in a number of cities around the country. But the BBQ here is lightyears better than anywhere else. Even the worst BBQ in Austin is better than the best option in many cities.
Ironworks for beef ribs is a solid choice. I don't like beef ribs generally, but these I'd go out of my way for. If you prefer brisket, my favorite is Rudy's (get the moist - you only live once). Artz Rib House serves some decent pork BBQ.
Another option< if you are downtown and walkimg, would be Casino el Camino for their famous burger. Sizeable, juicy and cooked perfectly - add jalapenos to remind yourself that you;re in Texas - add music and beer and you'll have anice evening.
My opinion is that Guerro's is a tourist trap and Lambert's BBQ is subpar for the city (still damn good by national standards). I second the rec. for grabbing some breakfast tacos in the AM. Maria's is famous, but I haven't sampled. Juan in a Million gets some raves here as well. Truth be told, you'll do well to find a taco truck or cart between downtown and the airport along Riverside Dr. This is the heart of taco country in Austin!
Hope this helps...let us know what you try and what you think!