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Mar 7, 2008 05:30 AM

Where to Eat (Citywide) SXSW

Unlike most attendees, I'll travel far and wide for good eats. I've got the car, I'm good to go. Thanks in advance.

Any thoughts on these?

El Arroyo
Maria's Taco Xpress
Enchiladas Y Mas
Kerbey Lane Cafe

Chuy's Restaurant
Hula Hut

Bone Daddy's
Huts Hamburgers

Austin Land & Cattle

Rudy's Country Store & Bar-B-Que
County Line on the Hill
Richard Jones Bar-B-Que & Restaurant

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  1. You can probably find a lot of info on nearly all of these places with a quick search. The only one I've been to recently was Hut's, and I posted on that thread that I was utterly disappointed. Not a good burger by any measure.

    1. My takes on those categories...

      Breakfast: EyM has good chori-migas. The rest blow. My favorite brunch in town is Eastside Cafe. Fonda San Miguel has an amazing brunch buffet. Lots of Mexican restaurants have great breakfasts.

      Mexican: Yikes! No! I recommend El Meson, Rosita's Al Pastor, Curra's, Tamale House, EyM, Habanero. Search is your friend.

      Burgers: The burger at Sullivan's downtown (you can eat at the bar) is really damn good, per a burger-loving friend of mine. Personally, I can vouch for Casino and Jackalope as pretty decent. (Casino has declined badly in quality, and you'll probably wait 1.5 hours during SXSW) For cheap and fast, P Terry's is similar to In N Out, if you've had that before. Wink Wine Bar has tasty miniburgers w/ brie. Poodie's in Spicewood.

      Steak: AL&C isn't bad. I like Sullivan's for steak, and Backstage Steakhouse (in Spicewood, again). Also like getting a steak at Mars, Chez Nous, Enoteca, Vespaio, and I'd wager Jezebel will do a great job with that but I haven't had a steak. (I had elk, though, and it ruled.)

      Ruby's (not Rudy's) on the drag, Sam's (mutton!), House Park, Ben's Longbranch (RIP), Iron Works (beef ribs, sausage). Out of town: Cooper's, Opie's, Kreuz, Smitty's.

      1. Biscuit, you've got a comprehensive list of what tends to be mediocre and popular in Austin. If you ate at these places, you would walk away unimpressed by what Austin has to offer. Listen to Tom ...he offers better leads. To his suggestions, I would add:

        Breakfast: on weekends, breakfast crepe from Flip Happy; Habenero Cafe; Migas tacos from El Chilito

        Mexican (your above mentioned places make me sad!): Habenero Cafe, Angie's (but only for the carnitas tacos), just about any taco trailer off East Riverside

        Burgers: I am all about Top Notch. It is of the thin, grriddled patty variety so only go there is that type of burger is to your liking.

        Other: If you are not from a place with amazing grocery stores, it is worth a visit to the flagship Whole Foods on 6th street. A good place to stock up on supplies to have in the hotel room or for a picnic.

        Southern Food: I know you didn't ask for feedback on this type of food, but I suggest you consider a meal at Tony's Southern Comfort ,Gene's Po Boys, or Nubian Queen Lola's.

        1 Reply
        1. re: Honey Bee

          I second Flip Happy. Just such an "Old Austin" vibe really great savory crepes and very affordable

        2. Now I do not agree with Chuy's deserving a "YIKES" from anyone. No it's not snobbishly accurate tex-mex, but it's damn good food and deserves a better light. Their refried beans and the salsa are some of my favorite in town.

          I also suggest Habanero on Oltorf... delicious for a more authentic tex-mex experience.

          2 Replies
          1. re: Johnny Thunders

            I see your point about Chuy's and, when I lived in New England, Chuy's would have been a welcome addition to the area! I have been known to eat a chile relleno there and be quite happy about it.

            However, if someone is visiting from out of town and wants to try Mexican food, I feel that Chuy's is a very poor choice as it is not a good characterization of authentic Tex-Mex. No barbacoa, migas, machacado, carnitas, etc.. Hence, it would make me sad if a visting hound wanted to try Tex-Mex and went to Chuy's thinking it is representative of what is available in Austin. I don't think Chuy's is much better than what one can find at restaurants in some other parts of the country.

            I appreciate your opinion that we should not be snobbish about places--especially because of their popularity or lack there of. I just think one could do WAY better than Chuy's if their time in Austin is limited.

            BTW- I worked for Comida Deluxe years ago and they were a great employer. And, for a small regional chain, I felt they put a lot of care into developing their menu and products to meet requests of their target audience. Any one of us may not be in that target audience, but they have obviously found a successful formula.

            1. re: Honey Bee

              Actually, the only people I bring to Chuy's ARE out-of-towners (or families with little kids). My SIL and BIL love it because they live in Colorado now.

          2. Breakfast:
            El Arroyo - NO
            Maria's Taco Xpress - YES
            Enchiladas Y Mas - NO
            Kerbey Lane Cafe - YES - gingerbread pancakes!!!

            Chuy's Restaurant - Good Tex Mex - ChuyChanga with Delux Tomatillo Sauce
            Hula Hut - Owned by the same people as Chuy's - simliar food - Tubular Tacos or Fish tacos

            Players - NO
            Dan's - YES
            Bone Daddy's - NO
            Huts Hamburgers - YES! Sink Burger all the way! And get the onion rings.
            And actually - Texadelphia has a very good burger! Check them out!

            Austin Land & Cattle - YES
            Hoffbrauer on 6th - mmmmm. Butter.

            Rudy's Country Store & Bar-B-Que - Good, but you should check out Ruby's on the Drag (Guadalupe)
            County Line on the Hill - YES
            Richard Jones Bar-B-Que & Restaurant - YES
            Salt Lick - YES, if you have time to go to the original outside of town.

            Other spots you my want to try - Z-Tejas for tex mex with a twist, Magnolia Cafe for tree-huggin' good food, Mangia Pizza for the Stuffed Spinach and Mushroom 'za, Stubb's BBQ for a little music with your Que, El Azteca for a little taste of the East Side, Taqueria Arranda's on East 7th for breakfast tacos, Vivo on Manor for a killer margarita and out of sight salsa

            Happy Eating!