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Downtown eating: not expensive, Mexican or chain?

  • m
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My family is divided into northies and southies (part of town, that is). Whenever we want to go out to dinner together, we try to meet somewhere in the middle downtown. We seem to always wind up going to Z Tejas, for some reason. It's consistently good and a good location/easy parking. Can you recommend somewhere in the immediate downtown area you like that's not Mexican, expensive or a chain (we love Mexican, but for this particular meal, my elderly grandma will be joining)? Maybe something in the $11-20 entree range, but no more. I find Moonshine rather meh... that's the suggestion currently on the table.

Thanks in advance...

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  1. la traviata on congress if you're up for italian. seems to be one of the more popular and positively reviewed trattorias on the austin boards.

    1. You might try Zax Pints and Plates. It is nicer than it sounds by name, and they have entrees that range from fairly inexpensive to moderate. There's some other posts on this board. The parking lot for the restaurant is small, but there's unlimited parking right across the street.

      1. Take grandma to Aster's Ethiopian!

        1. Chez Nous has delicious-yet-humble french food, and meets your price requirements. And just over on the east side of I-35, Tony's Southern Comfort has down-home cooking that Moonshine can only dream of.

          But for really grandma-accessible food that is right in the middle for your northie-southies, go to Eastside Cafe. Before her passing, Lady Bird Johnson made it a frequent dining stop. And that is just starters for the over-sixty set that have camped this excellent establishment.

          Many Chowhound Austin reviews exist. Hope you can meet in the middle with the fam and have a great time.

          1. Another vote for Zax. I have not had a bad meal there. The service can be slow on busy nights, but the food and beverage are great for the price. They have a remarkably reasonably wine list.

            1 Reply
            1. re: ftf

              Maybe my only reservation about Zax is that they occasionally have a band playing and it can be a little loud inside. I've had a couple of really good burgers there, but you might want to check ahead to see if they have live music the night you're going.