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Heading to Barton Creek Resort in February and Looking for Local Favorites...

f
fourunder Jan 24, 2009 02:40 PM

I'll be heading into Austin at the end of February for a golf trip and we will be staying at Barton Creek Resorts. Our group consists of three who eat everything and one who only eats fish and seafoods. I'm looking for recommendations for local favorites, both lunches and dinners...fancy or not,....not necessarily *The Best*, but just very good and not the typical large chain type restaurants, e.g. Ruth's Chris or similar....something that represents the heart of Austin or Texas style of fare. Any information and suggestions on any of the restaurants at Barton Creek Resort proper and the following:

Steakhouse
Barbeque
Seafood/Fish
Southwestern or Mexican.
Local Breakfasts

We will be in town for four days.....special attention to the Best Barbeque and The Downtown area is most appreciated...but we will have a car, so if there is a great place in the suburbs, please do tell.

Thanks in advance.

  1. f
    fourunder Feb 22, 2009 06:36 PM

    Arrived too late into town last night to enjoy anything but at the Resort Hotel Restaurant. A very limited menu to salad and sandwiiches. Two had salads, The non-meat man had Fish Taco......all very nice. I had a Bacon Bleu Cheese Burger with Fries......very good....or I was just very hungry.

    Tonight after golf we could not go to Opes's......as there was nothing for my friend to enjoy......so we ended up at The BackStage Steakhouse. Two Fshes and Two Cowby RibEyes......all very good For appetizers, A Crawfish Corncake, Shrimp Cerviche and i had the Fried Oysters. Again all very good and one in the plus column for a recommendation.

    For anyone who cares....We played The Palmer Lakeside Course back tees @ around 6600 yards....I started with six straight bogeys and ended with a 76.....not bad for an old guy.

    8 Replies
    1. re: fourunder
      n
      nosh Feb 23, 2009 01:32 AM

      A 76 from the back tees would have competed with Mickelson on the tour at Riviera today, and he ended up winning! Congrats. That is a fantastic round for anyone. Anything is going to taste good after that!

      1. re: fourunder
        marfaboy Feb 23, 2009 05:28 AM

        Five over par - not bad for your first time to play that course. And, how about that weather? I played yesterday too, and can attest that we had near-perfect golf conditions, and today (Monday), after a cold start this morning, should be a carbon copy.

        So, what's for dinner tonight?

        1. re: fourunder
          m
          missmitzi Feb 23, 2009 07:21 AM

          The bread pudding with white chocolate at Barton Creek was always amazing when I have stayed there. My company would send us to BC for training and all I would hear about before I went was the bread pudding. And it lived up to the hype! I haven't been in about 3 years, so that is something to consider.

          1. re: missmitzi
            f
            fourunder Feb 23, 2009 02:25 PM

            Just got back to the Spa towers. Played the Crenshaw course.....hit 14 greens and shot 81.....the greens are as silly as they say. How do you say.....three putt much fourunder?

            I am sad to inform all of you who have been kind enough to educate me and provide suggestions and recommendations. Two in this group have absolutely zero interest in food or dining in Austin. My non-meat eating friend is doing the best to accomodate my desires.....but we are both in a tough position. Tonight we are going downtown for CHEAP EATS. I have suggested Casino el Camino, Polvo's or maybe Threadgills. These guys have no desire for Barbeque....so maybe I'll do take-out from Sam's on the way home. We will probably hit County Line for BBQ in the next couple of days as one evenings choice. These guys just want to eat at the resort and do not want to leave the hotel. It's killing me.

            1. re: fourunder
              n
              nosh Feb 23, 2009 02:57 PM

              fourunder, If your pals just want to stick around the resort, then that leaves the rental car for you. Don't miss Uchi -- even if just for an hour at opening for a couple of happy hour specials. And you can definitely hit Sam's for takeout to bring back -- it will hold well to eat in the rooms later. And since you are playing well, instead of two-buck Nassaus, the stakes should be that the winner gets to choose dinner with no complaints or protests.

              1. re: nosh
                f
                fourunder Feb 24, 2009 04:07 AM

                Nosh and marfaboy,

                Ended up at Chuy's on Barton Springs Road.......afterwards, went to Sam's amd got take out of brisket, ribs and sausage.

                At Chuy's I had the Elvis Memorial, The others had two shrimp taco's and a steak fajita. The starter guacamole was excellent as were the fresh made chips. I also had a nice refresing margherita and a texas martini. Both hit the spot after a long frustrating day on the greens. All the food was excellent as everyone had mentioned, at both Chuy's and Sam's....but at Sam's, while I was inside waiting for the food, the guys were approached not once, but three times by unsurly's for money....and twice by the same person who said she had kds to feed and the first 5 bucks wasn't enough. Needless to say I heard it the whole way back to the resort.

                Your idea for Uchi has already been considered, but we will probably play 27 today and tomorrow, so the possibility of the Happy Hour seems unlikely. I may have to do an other after dinner stop by myself like you suggest......but I do not want to be rude to the others.

                More reports later....I need to jump into the steamc& jacuzzi as My body is beat up.

              2. re: fourunder
                marfaboy Feb 24, 2009 06:03 PM

                Well, Mr. Fourunder, that's the Crenshaw course, all right - easy to hit the greens in regulation, but putting is another story entirely. And, regarding your experience at Sam's, that's somewhat of typical. I'm glad you enjoyed the BBQ, but for me, ambience counts for a lot, and that place has zero in that department.

                You're likely getting burned out on golf and food at this juncture, but I would, once again, recommend Uchi as a dining venue at which to wrap up your Austin trip. My wife and I had dinner there the other night, and Tyson Cole, the chef came out to chat with us. Then, he sent out three menu items to us with his compliments. It was all fantastic!

                Have you played Fazio Canyons yet? That's my Barton Creek favorite!

                If we don't chat again, I sincerely hope that you've enjoyed your stay in Austin.....

                1. re: marfaboy
                  f
                  fourunder Feb 25, 2009 02:51 AM

                  marfaboy,

                  I'm playing the Canyons totday. yesterday was at the Fazio Foothills. I hit it solid, but thr putter was again a little suspect and I shot 78.......doubled the 5th and tripled the 8th.....put in the crapper on the second shot both times and over the green on 5 and the fourth shot was over the green on 8.

                  I tried to go to Uchi last night @ 9:00, but they could not accommodate me, so i went to the County Line and it was very good barbeque like you originally mentioned. I even took a take out smapler back to the room and i am having the special guest relations heat it up as we speak.

                  I also tried to get into the Draughthouse last night, but it was too crowded and I did not want to wait on line to get in.

          2. f
            fourunder Feb 17, 2009 06:34 PM

            I know I said I was not looking for Chains, but I just received this in an e-mail newsletter from Roy's and there's one in Austin. The winter Price Fixe is $35. I've been to Roy's from Tampa to Rancho Mirage and never had a bad meal....

            Winter Prix Fixe Menu - $35 per person
            Available Winter of 2009

            APPETIZER (choice of one)

            Pulehu Style "Kalbi" Sirloin
            Kimchee and Edamame Fried Rice

            Seafood Chowder
            Shell and Fin Fish

            Crispy Chicken Katsu Salad
            Creamy Asian Ranch Dressing

            ENTRÉE (choice of one)

            Blackened Shrimp
            Creamy Polenta, Garlic Spinach, Lemon, Herb Caper Sauce

            Flat-Top Grilled Salmon Steak
            Wasabi, Shiitake Pan Sauce

            Tender Braised Pork Pot Roast
            Pork Jus and Creamed Corn Sauce

            "Hawaii Kai" Style Beef Short Ribs
            Served with a Natural Braising Sauce

            DESSERT (choice of one)

            Roy's Melting Hot Chocolate Soufflé
            Warm Banana Créme Brulée Tart

            I'll post the consensus of my group in a couple of days for everyone to say yay or nay.

            Thanks for all the participation to date. It has been appreciated.

            14 Replies
            1. re: fourunder
              n
              nosh Feb 18, 2009 03:59 PM

              I am a big fan of Roy's and they are on my rotation when I visit SW Florida each winter. Top notch food, service and experience for a chain. The $35 three-course special is a great value -- I love their shortribs, they do a great job with salmon, and a spicy shrimp dish I ordered once was really spicy. And if one person gets the special, that gives you that wonderful molten chocolate cake to share. That said, Austin is so rich in dining experiences that spending a dinner on a place you can experience all over the country just doesn't strike me as the best use of your visit. I'll bet, fourunder, that after one dinner at Uchi you'd rather hit them up again, even just a night or two later, for an amazing and unique experience rather than enjoying the very good, tasty food at Roy's.

              1. re: fourunder
                marfaboy Feb 19, 2009 01:08 PM

                Fourunder, I never learned where you are from, but can say that if the current weather in Austin holds through your visit here, you can expect some spectacular golf conditions. Like you, I've dined at Roy's in several locations (Austin, Vegas, Kaua'i, Oahu, Mau'i and The Big Island), and been impressed each time. BUT....like some other posters have mentioned, if I had the opportunity to have only one dinner in Austin, there is no question that would be at Uchi. Truly a world-class restaurant.....

                I had to bail from this thread when the Subjective Barbeque Wars began (I knew those were coming), but I hope that you have an excellent time, both golf-wise and food-wise, in our fine little city.

                1. re: marfaboy
                  f
                  fourunder Feb 19, 2009 08:31 PM

                  nosh and marfaboy,

                  With regards to Roy's, I really do not expect to go there, but I know my three friends have not ever been there. However, it would satisfy our dietary needs and tastes as a group. I posted the e-mail newsletter really for anyone who was following this thread for some ideas....not so much as to seek an approval. Myself, I do not find some Chain Restaurants as offensive as others on this site. I am glad to see I am in the same present company of yourselves in this regard. I do usually go to independents most of the time, but sometimes you go to these big chains just because you can count on what you will receive. I will tell you I was presently surprised recently at PF Changs......not for their food, which I rarely eat, but their drinks at the bar. One of my drinks of choice is Crown Royal on the rocks....At PFC's, they serve the drink filled in a 12 ounce old fashioned glass, filled with ice, but liquor filled right to the rim....for only $10. It's easily four drinks in one, and at the Houston's on the other side of the mall, they would serve half the same volume of liquor for $13.00......go figure. Same mall, same square footage, but different price structures

                  Maraboy, I live in Northern New Jersey near the George Washington Bridge opposite Manhattan. Its still in the 20's overnight and in the low to mid 30's during the day. How cold it feels depends on the wind. For the next couple of days we are expecting high winds and low wind chill factors. I am leaving for Austin on Saturday afternoon and staying through Wednesday. I am looking forward to the warmer weather.....and the *Q*. If it were up to me, I would eat strictly Barbeque for the entire trip.....Thank god Sam's is open late.....and it's a preety sure bet we will go to Uchi's.

                  1. re: fourunder
                    f
                    fourunder Feb 20, 2009 06:01 AM

                    Good Morning to everyone who has participated in this discussion to date. Your time and efforts has been greatly appreciated. I am especially thankful to those who have posted multiple times and with follow-ups to my queries. Your attention to details have definitely gone a long way in educating me about Austin Food and Nightlife. We will be leaving for Austin tomorrow, so our first meal will be a Saturday evening dinner. Our first round of golf will be Sunday morning around 9:00 AM. In fact, all our rounds start around that time. Whether we play more than 18 or 27 holes per day will dictate our food adventures. It's a tough decision deciding between golf or food.....especially the BBQ options and the Uchi Happy Hour you have all mentioned.

                    Personally, if I could, I would eat at a Barbeque spot for every meal while in Austin, but sadly that will not be. What you can bet on for sure is we will hit Uchi at some time and I (myself) will probably hit Sam's......on more than one occasion given the convenience of the late hours. I would like to go to House Park, but their limited hours may not be best for our golf plans. There is an outside chance we will get to the Big Three Legends in Lockhart if we opt not to play more than 18 holes on any given day.....maybe when we go to the Palmer course, but given the close proximity to Opie's and their free dessert.....we will have to see which wins out.....that decision will not be up to me.

                    While the consensus list has more places on it than time available to see them all, these are the place we will most likely consider.

                    Seafood:

                    Eddie V's
                    Uchi

                    Barbeque:

                    Opie's
                    Sam's
                    House Park
                    The Lockhart Big Three
                    The Salt Lick (Sorry)

                    Tex/Mex:

                    Fonda San Miguel
                    Z'Teja's
                    Polvo
                    Maria's Taco Express
                    Juan in a Million

                    Others:

                    Louis 106
                    Moonshine
                    Vespaio/Enoteca
                    Broken Spoke

                    Breakfast:

                    The Golf Package provides Free Breakfast Daily, but I will try to make the Don Juan Taco or something at Maria's if the breakfast at Barton Creek is less than stellar...but I doubt that will be the case.

                    Burger:

                    Casino el Camino

                    Steak/Chicken Fried Steak:

                    The Backstage
                    Threadgills or The Broken Spoke
                    Z'Tejas for the Rib Eye

                    Drinking/Beer Nightlife:

                    The Draught House
                    Threadgills
                    Poodie's Hilltop

                    Binge Eating:

                    Sam's

                    I'll check back later this evening to see if anyone has some late or final comments. Again, I appreciate everyone's time, consideration and efforts to make my, and my friends stay in Austin all it can be outside of Golf.

                    Fourunder

                    1. re: fourunder
                      Bat Guano Feb 20, 2009 06:35 AM

                      I don't recall if anybody's mentioned the Ginger Man on this thread yet, but that's the best beer bar in town. If you're a beerhound, I'd be willing to bet you'd find something in their tap selection that'll make you glad you went. Not sure why you put Threadgill's in the Drinking/Beer category, because it's really a restaurant; sure, they serve beer, but it's not a night spot.

                      And, personally, I wouldn't make that much of a special effort for the Don Juan; it's basically a very large potato, egg, bacon and cheese taco, and they have a decent salsa to flavor it up with. The Austin-y ambiance of the place is great, and it's cool to be greeted at the door by Juan, who will probably shake your hand, and the food's good, but nothing to write home about.

                      1. re: Bat Guano
                        f
                        fourunder Feb 20, 2009 07:12 AM

                        Bat,

                        with reference to Threadgills. their website mentions music....is that not the case?

                        With reference to Juan in a Million, it's like you say, it's potatoes, eggs, cheese and meat in a tortilla......also, even though it's so cheap and rational minds normally think it's hard to pay for something when you are already able to eat all the free breakfast at the resort included.....I am still intrigued by local business and what make them so appealing to the local community, similar to the longevity I mentioned of House Park BBQ. I go to these places not for the food as much as I want to see the process and operation in motion for any future endeavor I may be considering.

                        1. re: fourunder
                          Bat Guano Feb 20, 2009 07:36 AM

                          Yeah, I guess Threadgill's has music. There are very few places in Austin that don't have live music (only a slight exaggeration - but I've seen bands play in laundromats and brightly-fluorescent-lit sub shops, among other places...). But it's still a restaurant, rather than a bar; the focus is on the food, not the music, is all I'm saying. Depending on where you sit, you may not be able to see/hear the band very well, and you may not be encouraged to sit around with a few beers after you finish eating, while listening to music, as you might do at a bar where the focus is on the music - and of course there are plenty of places like that.

                          About Juan's, your reasons for going there are entirely valid, and if that's what you're looking for then it's a great place to go and I'm sure you'll enjoy it. I have gone there almost weekly for several years for some of the same reasons, so have at it! And if one person in your party orders the Don Juan there WILL be enough to share, and others can order something different, if you want.

                      2. re: fourunder
                        l
                        ljero Feb 20, 2009 06:35 AM

                        I hate to admit it, but I do see the appeal of The Salt Lick. although the cue is not near as good as Lockhart, it is still pretty good, and it is a great destination...you can take some beers and sit outside there...it is just a cool spot for destintation cue....

                        1. re: ljero
                          f
                          fourunder Feb 20, 2009 07:06 AM

                          ljero,

                          Precisely the point. I cannot tell you how many places I have seen on television or read about in some media outlet review that praised how great the foods were and could not be missed......I can tell you in my travels over the years.....in actuality, for food, these places were often disappointments. One place in particular that stands out is the hot dogs at Pink's in Los Angeles where I stood on line for One hour and 45 minutes before I reached the counter to order. There used to be a show on the Food Network with Mark Silverstein and Jill Cordes where they did the best of someplace or somewhere and featured the the top five of each. I enjoyed the show, but the places I went to, which were many, were quite a letdown for the food....but I found the places and experiences very much more amazing in itself and the characters that frequented the locations. People watching out trumpeted the food for sure

                    2. re: marfaboy
                      f
                      fourunder Feb 20, 2009 06:16 AM

                      I had to bail from this thread when the Subjective Barbeque Wars began...
                      ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

                      Isn't it amazing how passionate people feel when it comes to likes and dislikes?

                      1. re: fourunder
                        b
                        bigfoodie4life Feb 20, 2009 12:59 PM

                        hey fourunder,

                        I hope you do get to enjoy your stay in Austin. So far the weather has been very good so perfect golfing weather. I'm glad you're considering Uchi, because I've always enjoyed my time there. Although a bit pricey, I think it's worth the money and it is so much more enjoyable when you go to a place and "splurg" and not worry about the price. Also, the service is perfect. The waiters know everything about the menu and are very knowledgeable. They also are easy to talk to, we talked to our waitress and she said the staff gets to sample all the foods on the special menu before dinner starts so they can make suggestions to customers when the order. Sometimes the chef, Tyson Cole, will come out and greet guests and talk to them just to make them feel welcome.

                        As for BBQ, my family really enjoys the Salt Lick. I know some might not like it, but I've always enjoyed it and the driftwood location (the original location) is the best because the atmosphere is laid back and just a regular BBQ joint. They've tried to go fancy in the past at another location, but it just wasn't the same and ended up failing. The original is the best location and the aroma of the place screams BBQ with their open pit.

                        I just recently went to Z'Tejas for my birthday and I still enjoy the food. For some reason I really love their cornbread, which is complimentary to the meal. Most dishes are appropriately priced and enough to fill you up, not just gigantic plates where it's more quantity than quality.

                        I like Maria's al pastor tacos, the others are ok, but the breakfast tacos and migas are also very good.

                        For late night, I go to Magnolia Cafe with a bunch of my friends. It's just a great place for after a night of drinking and stuff. They're known for their pancakes.

                        I've heard that North by Northwest has good food and it's also a brewery, just in case you were looking for a place for the guys to eat and drink.

                        I hope you enjoy your time in Austin!

                        1. re: fourunder
                          marfaboy Feb 20, 2009 01:27 PM

                          ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

                          Isn't it amazing how passionate people feel when it comes to likes and dislikes?

                          It is, my friend - when you originally posted, I had a mental image of your possible preferences, because, like you, I take several golf trips a year to really, really nice places. I recommended County Line as a BBQ option because 1) it's close to the resort, 2) it offers pretty good food in a nice atmosphere, and 3) it has a great patio with 20-mile sunset views of our beautiful Hill Country. For someone who is likely going to spend a somewhat princely sum of money to stay and play golf at one of the premier resorts in this country, I couldn't really see your group driving into economically-distressed Deep East Austin to eat BBQ on a card table in front of a shack - maybe I'm wrong, but if so, I apologize, and certainly intend no slur against Sam's.

                          Another thing to consider is driving around Austin after enjoying a few frosted adult beverages - the police force in this City loves to pull over confused motorists, particularly in the East Austin/6th Street/IH-35 areas. Consider this as visitors to our city who are unfamilar with the roadways. If it were me on a similar trip, I would either take a taxi or not venture too far from where we were staying, hence the County Line recommendation, because I enjoy imbibing on golf trips to nice resorts.

                          But again - have a great trip. The conditions for Saturday are a bit iffy (a cold front rolls in mid-day), but from Sunday on through mid-week you should enjoy some classic Austin Chamber of Commerce weather. And, I apologize to any fellow Chowhounders that I may have offended......

                          1. re: marfaboy
                            s
                            scrumptiouschef Feb 20, 2009 04:34 PM

                            If you do decide to venture into "economically distressed East Austin"where 60,000 dollar bungalows now sell in the 250,000 dollar range be aware that you will have barbecue at Sams that will make County line seem like little more than a bad memory.

                            Rest yourself in a leather-ette booth at Sams and let Ronny and Wanda[the owners] take care of you as though you are a favored cousin[inspite of the fact you've never met].

                            It really depends on whether you're a chowhound or a chowpup.Sam's sits inside a weathered bungalow in a rough neighborhood[depending on where you're from-having eaten my way across the "bad"sections of New Orleans,Atlanta and Birmingham-East Austin is as tony as Westlake]and has excellent smoked chicken,good ribs,Elgin Sausage and brisket that ranges from average to great.

                            It's not a big spot with the Pendleton Mills crowd but you will be treated well and you will eat like a king.After feasting on barbecue I recommend strolling up to Galloways Soul Food Haven for a slice of the best sweet potato pie you're likely to ever put in your mouth.

                            Fore.

                            1. re: marfaboy
                              f
                              fourunder Feb 21, 2009 04:25 AM

                              marfaboy,

                              Usually, I make my golf trips with another group of guys who are doctors and I tag along with them while they are doing the Continuing Education Credits for their certification. They usually go to two cities a year.....one is always Palm Springs in during the week of the Hope. I have been doing this for over 20 years with them Some other places we have been to include Kiawah Island, Chicago, Scottsdale, Jacksonville, Tampa and Las Vegas. Three of the doctors also belong to The TPC, so have played many of their courses around the States. When we make our annual trip to Palm Springs, we usually make a stop at either San Diego, Los Angeles or San Franciso area courses. The first Roy's I went to was at Spanish Bay and have been a fan since. With these guys it's always the high end steakhouses and wine. This group is much more relaxed and entertainment is not as important......but gambling is.

                              With regards to Sam's.....I do not mind taking chances for great barbecue....and I do not know when I will ever get the opportunity to be in Texas again. Hopefully Barton Creek will wow me to the extent it makes my golf rotation. Thanks for all your help and wisdom.

                              Now if I can only find a group that wants to go to Bandon Dunes.......

                      2. t
                        Tex19 Feb 13, 2009 07:01 PM

                        Steaks - I'm not much of a beef eater so steaks I can't comment on.

                        BBQ - ok I read all the criticism on Salt Lick. I love the atmosphere there and I actually love the BYOB. I'm not fond of their sausage at all. Even though I'm not a beef eater...their brisket is extremely good. Their Pork Ribs are to DIE FOR!!!! Their Sauce is scrumptious. Cole slaw is ok. Best bargain is to do the Family Style order with lots of people...after the first plates are gone...just order the meat you want.
                        Billys Brew and BBQ is nice. Ive had their pulled pork and its Extremely good. Their Cole Slaw is Excellent!! I like their sauce. Having their own brewery is a nice asset. They have veggie plate and I think they also have fish tacos
                        County Line - thumbs DOWN. do NOT like their sausage
                        If you want good sausage go to Elgin...either Meyers or Southside are great.
                        Stubbs and Ironworks down town are great as well.
                        Seafood/Fish - I grew up near the coast so I'm picky about seafood so I dont eat it here. I buy it and make it myself. however, Evangeline Cafe on Brody is a cajun restaurant that is absolutely delicious and they have seafood. Im picky about cajun as I make it myself and this is hands down the best in town.

                        Southwestern/Mexican - Polvos on 1st st has awesome authentic menu(little austin secret) Curra's on Oltorf is another authentic choice. El Arroyo on 5th is great. Guerro's on Congress is over rated but nice so instead go to this one down the street: El Sol Y La Luna. Enchiladas Y Mas on Anderson(north austin)

                        Breakfast - Austin Java, Marias Tacos, Magnolia Cafe has absolutely awesome pancakes and migas.

                        Threadgills is a restaurant on N Lamar or on Barton Springs that has homestyle cooking and is awesome!

                        2 Replies
                        1. re: Tex19
                          f
                          fourunder Feb 19, 2009 07:40 PM

                          Tex19,

                          Thanks for the suggestions.....Threadgills seems interesting and may quench my desire for Chicken Fried Steak, but it may disappoint (marfaboy) in the process. With both Seafood and the Vegetable offerings, my buddy would be sure to find something to satisfy his belly. Threadgills would be a choice for atmosphere and food for four *City Slickers* from Joisey. Polvo's got it's second vote, so it may make the list. Billy's Brew sounds interesting, but with so many places and so lttle time.....

                          1. re: fourunder
                            l
                            ljero Feb 20, 2009 05:41 AM

                            We also went to Polvos last night. I must admit--we went directly from the airport at 4:30pm and it looked dirty, was smoky and empty but, we went back on thursday night around 8pm and it looked a bit different when full with people...really a happening place. We enjoyed the frozen margs they are known for (even though we typically order the on the rocks style), the fish fajitas (as they are servd over veggies and in this sweet sauce, as is the fish), the chile en nogada, cerveza fajitas. It was fun. If you aren't tired after dinner, you can head down the street to Freddie's to play washers outside and have a beer...

                            vivo's was definitely prettier and more upscale in ambience but the food was not as good.

                        2. n
                          nosh Feb 12, 2009 01:58 PM

                          I just saw a segment on Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives profiling Green Mesquite, a BBQ place that is quite geographically convenient. Of course the videos and interviews were glowing and fawning. So I did a simple search on this board, and while there are critics, the general comments about the place are quite positive. One posted about the strong smell of smoke when you entered, a good sign, and at least a couple of people made special mention of the catfish there. Must admit I don't ever remember being there, and nobody is comparing Green Mesquite's brisket to Lockhart or Sam's. But if you can find a rerun or see the segment on the website, it could surely make you enthusiastic and hungry to try it out.

                          3 Replies
                          1. re: nosh
                            j
                            joeaustin Feb 13, 2009 06:12 PM

                            Green Mesquite is not a good place. Despite fine location, very few people actually eat there. Don't be fooled by the TV show. I'd be mortified if someone got their impression of Texas barbeque from them. Driving to Lockhart is fun, but the food at Smitty's is disappointing. I haven't tried the other two. Salt Lick has unmatched ambience, good meat, especially ribs, but the sides and sauce are really awful. It's not worth it on weekends, because of the crowds. The best BB-cue I've found is two blocks from my house at Don's, at the Y in Oak Hill. I don't know where the golf club is, so can't address that. If you want to experience a true Austin tradition (since the 1870's? 1890? Not sure), why not Scholz Biergarten? I love it. It's completely unpretentious, has a great vibe, a georgeous antique bar, decent schitzles, and evokes the German, central European roots of this part of Texas. It's smack between the state Capitol and the University. The parking garages they've put around it are awful, but nothing is perfect.

                            1. re: joeaustin
                              f
                              fourunder Feb 18, 2009 03:00 PM

                              joeaustin and nosh,

                              Although i have tried, I have not been able to see the DDD episode of the Green Mesquite as of date....however I was able to see the episode of Casino el Camino and unless I am told otherwise, it will be the choice for a burger if my non meat eating friend can be accommodated somehow. I recall mention of the place on other threads being mostly positive.

                              joeaustin, thanks for introducing a German option into the mix.

                              1. re: fourunder
                                n
                                NirvRush Feb 18, 2009 03:55 PM

                                your veggie friend has two yummy options at CEC:

                                The Politically Correct
                                Union-picked romaine lettuce, vine-ripened tomato, cucumber, sprouts, jalapeño jack cheese, roasted Serrano chiles, avocado and cilantro mayo
                                The Blackjack
                                Grilled eggplant, roasted tomato, provolone cheese, romaine, olive tapenade and shallot mayo

                          2. f
                            fourunder Feb 11, 2009 02:56 PM

                            .....I'll post the consensus opinions of the others after they have given me their opinions. Meanwhile, I found this......Comments appreciated

                            http://www.amazingribs.com/blog/2008-...

                            Salt Lick seems interesting?

                            4 Replies
                            1. re: fourunder
                              a
                              austinfood Feb 12, 2009 07:10 AM

                              Wow, does that blog suck. The writer clearly has no understanding of what constitutes good barbecue, and by including Stubb's, demonstrates a lack of a decent palate for food in general. The blogger's attempt to poke fun at the Texas "accent" falls very short of illustrating an exposure to true Texans and fails completely at being humorous.

                              As to the notion that The Salt Lick receives more negative reviews on this and other boards than it may deserve, I'd make two observations. First, this is Chowhound. It's about the food, not the atmosphere or BYOB policy or the cool looking "finishing pit." Second, the negative responses to positive comments about The Salt Lick are in proportion to the idiotic positive reviews about the place, which usually center on the atmosphere, not the food.
                              Now, my review of the food at The Salt Lick is that the cole slaw is really good. If you want to drive out to Driftwood for some cole slaw, that's your business. You can find me at House Park, or Sam's eating some barbecue.

                              1. re: austinfood
                                Bat Guano Feb 12, 2009 07:22 AM

                                Yeah, I agree. The writer is just annoying, and either doesn't want to give any place a bad review or just has no clue.

                                Salt Lick was good 20 years ago, when I moved to Austin. Or maybe I just thought it was. But the last time I was there the brisket was dry and not improved by the weird sweet yellow barbecue sauce that is their claim to fame, and everything else was just so-so.

                                Fourunder, if you can't make it to Lockhart then Sam's is your best option, based on hours of operation and quality of the 'cue. House Park is great too, but their hours are more limited.

                                1. re: austinfood
                                  m
                                  mkwng Feb 12, 2009 12:33 PM

                                  Actually, lately Chowhound has been about being right, not about food. With that I'll bow out. Fourunder, I hope you have a great visit.

                                  1. re: austinfood
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                                    fourunder Feb 18, 2009 02:52 PM

                                    To all, with regard to the Salt Lick....I am pretty sure I saw a Bobby Flay piece where he featured the restaurant. I recall I thought it seemed like an interesting place at the time and someplace I would like to go to not so much for great que...but just research and knowledge and to see what the operation is like. I will admit, it would be very hard to ever apply the concept for me personally and professionally....but just taking in the aroma of burning meat is never a bad thing for me.

                                2. s
                                  stephanieh Feb 3, 2009 03:06 PM

                                  For a really good local breakfast, I'd recommend getting the Don Juan taco at Juan in a Million. It's the fullest I've ever been on $3.60, and every bite was delicious. It was featured on the Travel Channel's Man v. Food, where he tried to eat seven of them (and failed). My husband (a big guy) was stuffed after just one. It's seasoned potatoes, egg, bacon and cheese, served on one tortilla, but they will ask when you order how many extra tortillas you want. I got three extra and made four nicely stuffed breakfast tacos out of it. I rarely tell someone what dish to order, but it's the Don Juan they're famous for. I watched plates coming out of the kitchen, and everyone in the whole place had ordered a Don Juan (and I watched many plates go unfinished too... as people patted their bellies and threw in the towel). And, in spite of their "fame", I didn't get any sort of touristy vibe from it at all.

                                  4 Replies
                                  1. re: stephanieh
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                                    fourunder Feb 11, 2009 03:10 PM

                                    stephanieh,

                                    If I can sneak out before the others....I may have to try this breakfast just to see what it looks like....... Afterall, how much free bacon can you eat? The others probably will not be interested since our breakfasts are already included, but if possible, I'm going to try and give this one a shot. How close is this to the resort?

                                    1. re: fourunder
                                      s
                                      stephanieh Feb 11, 2009 04:34 PM

                                      Sorry... you're in the tonier part of town. This is east of I-35 and a nowhere near your resort. It's just a little local place. Maybe you'll have to plan another trip to Austin for eatin'.

                                      I can't let you go to Salt Lick. You'll leave thinking we know nothing about BBQ here in Texas. Please. Don't go. It will be a huge disappointment. I don't know why they're so famous, but folks on this board have said they were good back in the day and are now resting on their laurels.

                                      1. re: stephanieh
                                        m
                                        mkwng Feb 11, 2009 06:25 PM

                                        I'll defend the Salt Lick. It's not the best BBQ in town, not close to what it was, and if you're driving all that way I'd probably hit Lockhart instead. But the Salt Lick has some things to recommend it. It's open at dinner. It's a nice piece of land. It's fun to sit outside with a cooler and your friends. The sauce is tasty and the family-style ordering is a hoot with a big group.

                                        It's become very commercial - there's one in the airport if you really need a fix - but I don't think it deserves such scorn.

                                        1. re: mkwng
                                          n
                                          nosh Feb 11, 2009 07:31 PM

                                          I agree with you, mk. Salt Lick has its strengths -- it is a very nice place to hang with friends, have a beer or three, and their bbq isn't bad. I've been there a few times, and the beef ribs are usually pretty strong, as is the chicken -- these just aren't my favorite items for bbq, especially in Texas. The food doesn't compare to that I've had in Lockhart or at Sam's, but Salt Lick is much more convenient than the former and a much nicer place to eat in than the latter.

                                  2. n
                                    nosh Feb 1, 2009 04:01 AM

                                    fourunder -- I recognize your moniker from other posts on Chowhound and I am rooting for great weather and low scores for your trip to Austin. It is a great city, and you should have fun. Lemme give you my two cents worth from several trips into town -- my bro and his family lives there, and he is a food lover.

                                    Don't miss Uchi. It is a wonderful and unique dining experience. Dp try to go early -- their happy hour food specials will help fill out the meal and keep costs out of the stratosphere. I'm not a sushi lover, but I found delicious things among the tempura and other items. Not only was I impressed with the cooking and the menu, but the service was friendly, efficient, and topnotch.

                                    BBQ: The best BBQ in Austin proper is definitely at Sam's, to the eastside of downtown. Open very late, a definite dive, basically a shack on a corner with a couple of card tables and a window to order through. You will want to take out, but their brisket is excellent, they do fine ribs, and they also serve mutton, a specialty. Not a place to sit back and have a beer and enjoy the atmosphere, but their food beats the heck out of Rudy's or County Line or Iron Works or any of the local competition.

                                    Now, be aware that the airport in Austin is south of the city. And another halfhour south on 183, in Lockhart, are the big three BBQ legends -- Black's, Smitty's, and Kreiz's. If you have a rain day, or if you can arrange an extra couple hours before or after the airport, heading down to Lockhart and sampling these places back-to-back can be a fantastic experience. (See my report from late December -- http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/582257

                                    )

                                    Personally, I would cross both Donovan's and Fleming's off your list -- they are national chains and while competent, there is nothing special or Austiny about either. And while I've been to Z'Tejas and enjoyed the attractive servers, the food and setting remind me of being in a shopping center.

                                    14 Replies
                                    1. re: nosh
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                                      fourunder Feb 3, 2009 02:01 PM

                                      nosh,

                                      thanks for the kind thoughts and informative words. I am looking forward to the trip, believe it or not for the Barbecue first and the golf second.....let me ask of you a question. We are arriving into the airport on a Saturday evening @ roughly 7:30 PM. Does it make practical sense to hit one of the three BBQ Legends first before heading to the resort? And of the three legends, which do you recommend as the better of the three(for Brisket first)...with a slight consideration to my non-meat eating friend if there is something he could have at any of the three places. In the past, I have seen Kreiz's featured on many BBQ specials, I am not familiar with Black's or Smitty's. I would definitely love to sample all three...however, I know the others would not go for it.....I guess I'll have to find new friends.

                                      Uchi looks like it is going to be on the short list. Seems everyone is in agreement with the recommendation....as for a steak, the suggestion of The Backstage seems like the place for me if it can fit in the plans after golf. Do you have any idea how close it is to the resort or to The Palmer Course? These old guys I will be with will either want to shower first...or be too tired to travel too far once they have gotten comfortable. If the Backstage is close to the Palmer Course....it may have competition with Opie's.

                                      last question.....I have noticed there is a Warehouse district for food and nightlife. any thoughts on where would be a nice suggestion there?

                                      Thanks in advance.

                                      1. re: fourunder
                                        m
                                        mkwng Feb 4, 2009 10:24 AM

                                        I think Black's and Kreuz are open until 8 at the latest, but even if you make it in time, by that time of night they might be out of meat (or what's left might be subpar). Also, veggie options are close to nil. There's a recent thread on this here. I also wonder if that might cause problems at Opie's.

                                        With the Palmer course in Spicewood, Backstage is probably close.

                                        1. re: mkwng
                                          f
                                          fourunder Feb 11, 2009 03:00 PM

                                          mk & nosh.

                                          This is disappointing and very bad news.......also, researching Opie's.....they do not seem to have anything my one non meat eating bud can eat .........except desert.

                                        2. re: fourunder
                                          n
                                          nosh Feb 4, 2009 02:54 PM

                                          fourunder, another poster (mkwng -- can I buy a vowel?) beat me to the reply, and I agree -- the big three BBQ places in Lockhart do most of their business at lunch, and we were informed that things are timed to be best about then. My brother and I did our sampling between about 3 and 4:30 on a drizzly Thursday afternoon, and while the fatty brisket and the ribs were great the prime rib that is featured at a couple of places was far too done for our preference by then. Note that Sam's, which is east of downtown, is open VERY late, so that might be a possibility to drive by and take out on your way north to Barton Springs. If you read my review, on the day we sampled Lockhart my bro and I agreed that Black's was the winner with Kreiz's slightly behind and Smitty's way in the rear, which surprised me a bit because Kreiz's seemed the slight winner in more of the reviews I read beforehand. Of course, as soon as I posted a bunch of 'hounds wrote to tell me that we missed the REAL great Q just a small town or two over! (City Market in Luling) So keep this in mind for a rain day or perhaps on the way back to the airport.

                                          In my limited experience, the major nightlife center for bars and live music in Austin is on and around 6th Street downtown. I'm not sure whether this corresponds to the warehouse district or not. There are many recurrent threads on this board posted by visitors that are staying at one of the hotels downtown and asking for local places within walking distance or accessible by public transit or short cab rides. The place that still intrigues me but I've yet to visit is Casino El Camino, a punkish bar open 365 nights a year and featuring big burgers and other bar food with some highly spiced accoutrements and condiments -- yes, I saw it on Diners, Drive-Ins & Dives and feedback on this board about it is decidedly split.

                                          1. re: fourunder
                                            Bat Guano Feb 5, 2009 07:59 AM

                                            In the Warehouse district (NOT the same as the 6th St. district - 6th st. is mainly a college shot-bar scene at night) there's the Gingerman for beer - a fantastic selection, including many beers on tap that are hard to find elsewhere. 219 West across the street has pretty good bar food, and there's Malaga down the street for tapas. Fado, an Irish pub, pours a good Guinness or Murphy's stout and has pretty decent fish and chips.

                                            1. re: Bat Guano
                                              r
                                              RoundSparrow Feb 11, 2009 02:22 PM

                                              If you really want a unique beer place with bargain prices and true Austin locals... go to the DraughtHouse http://www.draughthouse.com/ -- it is in the middle of residential and medical businesses, not a area full of bars. The only thing to complain about this place is that it is sometimes too popular!

                                              1. re: RoundSparrow
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                                                fourunder Feb 11, 2009 03:04 PM

                                                RoundSparrow & Bat,

                                                Thanks for this recommendations for bars.......Cheap Pizza and Cold Beer...what's not to like. What tap beers would you recommend? I see some have some considerably more alcohol by volume.....

                                                BTW, it's going to hard to find better pizza than where I live....and by cheap, I really mean inexpensive....the picture of the pizza actually looks very inviting. Is the menu really that limited? TIA

                                                1. re: fourunder
                                                  m
                                                  mkwng Feb 11, 2009 06:18 PM

                                                  I love the Draught Horse for beer, but I'd skip the pizza. It's a pub with an oven, and the food is mostly good for soaking up beer. If you're not a beer drinker, you can tell the bartender what you like and get a suggestion.

                                            2. re: fourunder
                                              l
                                              ljero Feb 11, 2009 12:43 PM

                                              I do not live in Austin, but visit barton Crek a week each year, and am also traveling in Feburary of this year. Our favorite is Uchi--we never miss it. We also never miss a trip to Lockhart for 'cue, on way back from the airport. Other favorites include having a drink at sunset at the Oasis. another good d/t restaurant and fun for a group is Lambert's--"fancy cue". I second the backstage recommendation. We always so Mexican, as well. you shoud not miss Maria's taco Xpress on sunday for the gospel brunch--truly unique Austin...or a walk on South Congress Ave, grabiing a coffee at Joe's or brunch at South Congress Cafe. It is always fun, and fast, to grab trailer food from either Torchy's tacos or flip happy crepe. If you want drinks one night and are downtown, venture to 4th Street, which is a bit older than 6th St...we liked Club De Ville for good drinks. and when my husband is hungry and needs a quick bite, he grabs Rudy's for BBQ, as it is jsut down from the resort. Enjoy!

                                              1. re: ljero
                                                l
                                                ljero Feb 12, 2009 07:49 AM

                                                And don't forget a Mexican martini!

                                                1. re: ljero
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                                                  fourunder Feb 18, 2009 02:32 PM

                                                  Ijero,

                                                  Thanks for your input. Your suggestions are something I would love to follow. i just hope I can work them into and around our golf plans.

                                                  1. re: fourunder
                                                    l
                                                    ljero Feb 19, 2009 07:17 PM

                                                    Forunder, we are here now, and went to Opie's and found it really underwhelming. I would not try to rush out there for dinner.

                                                    Uchi is a must!

                                                    1. re: ljero
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                                                      fourunder Feb 20, 2009 05:16 AM

                                                      ljero,

                                                      Thanks for the report....I guess I will have to try and convince the other three it's Lockhart or City Market.....but given the proximity to the Palmer course and the free dessert, we'll have to see how tired we are after golf.

                                                      1. re: fourunder
                                                        l
                                                        ljero Feb 20, 2009 05:37 AM

                                                        the brisket was as bad as people say it is--we asked for the point cut (fatty side), and it was still dry. the pork chops they run out of early. we went on a wed at 12:20 (they open at 11am) and we took the last one. it was $24, but it was big It was moist, too, but jsut did not have much flavor. Lockhart or city market is the way to go....especially if you prefer beef/brisket....

                                          2. everydayfoodie Jan 26, 2009 08:21 AM

                                            For a steakhouse I'd recommend driving a little further out of town to Backstage Steakhouse. It's a relaxed atmsophere with good services and the food is fantastic. It's a little-known gem because it's on the edges of Austin instead of downtown, but it's a different experience from a traditional chain steakhouse.

                                            4 Replies
                                            1. re: everydayfoodie
                                              f
                                              fourunder Jan 26, 2009 09:44 AM

                                              everyday,

                                              Thanks for the recommendation. Backstage popped up on one search I did, but the comments were from 2007. The review I read did mention they have good quality steaks. Does this place offer entertainment during dinner hours or does it move to the bar later in the evening. Personally, I would prefer a more quiet dinner experience....and entertainment afterwards .

                                              Do you know of any open pit type restaurants that would grill fish and steaks over wood coals?

                                              1. re: fourunder
                                                everydayfoodie Jan 26, 2009 10:51 AM

                                                The steak quality at Backstage is amazing. I haven't thought to ask if they wet or dry age. They often have entertainment on their back patio but never inside. Inside is always very quiet and laid back with the lake/hill country crowd.

                                                1. re: fourunder
                                                  n
                                                  nypb Jan 26, 2009 06:57 PM

                                                  I don't think they have entertainment but I will second Backstage. Great, great steaks everytime. The past few times we've gone I've gotten almost the same thing; 6 or 10oz filet, medium, fried onions and whatever mashed potatoes they're serving that day. Chocolate malt cake for dessert. I also enjoy the cornmeal and green chile crusted tenderloin. My wife doesn't eat red meat and always enjoys the seafood dishes as well.

                                                  If you want to see some music or have a beer after dinner you can go to Poodie's Hilltop, a great bar/honky tonk that I think Willie owns a stake in? It's a mile or 2 past Backstage. Someone say steak?

                                                  1. re: nypb
                                                    b
                                                    bigfoodie4life Jan 26, 2009 10:56 PM

                                                    Taco Xpress is open until 9 pm on most days except Sunday and Monday, so an afternoon snack isn't out of the question.

                                                    For Uchi, I would suggest going slightly early for happy hour and to grab a table if you don't have reservations. They have a permanent menu and a daily menu that changes, and the daily menu normally has entrees that aren't all fish. Last time I was there, this guy ordered off the daily menu and got this huge delicious hunk of steak. It is a bit pricey but the feel of the restaurant doesn't make you feel like you have to dress up at all. The waiters and waitresses are extremely knowledgeable of the menu items and are extremely helpful if you have specific problems.

                                              2. marfaboy Jan 25, 2009 01:21 PM

                                                This will be a fantastic trip for you - Barton Creek offers some of the best golf anywhere in the country, in my opinion. Here are my suggestions:

                                                Steakhouse - either Sullivan's of Fleming's. Both are downtown, and have excellent wine lists and incredible beef. Expensive, but you won't be disappointed.

                                                Barbeque - you'll probably get other recommendations, but I would suggest County Line. There are two in Austin, but one on Bee Cave Road, very near the resort. Excellent BBQ, and good Hill Country views from their patio.

                                                Seafood/Fish - Eddie V's, downtown location.

                                                Southwestern/Mexican - Matt's El Rancho for Tex-Mex. For Southwestern, I'd say Z'Tejas or Fonda San Miguel for interior-type Mexican food. Fonda is a wonderful dining experience.

                                                Local breakfasts - Barton Creek resort offers as fine a breakfast/buffet as you can find elsewhere in Austin.

                                                Enjoy the Foothills and Fazio Canyons courses, too......

                                                22 Replies
                                                1. re: marfaboy
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                                                  fourunder Jan 25, 2009 04:51 PM

                                                  marfaboy,

                                                  Thanks for the information. In searching, the following places have popped up, but most of the comments were from 2007, and I was obviously looking for more recent opinions. Thanks for Eddie V's as it is often mentioned.

                                                  Any opinions on the following?: Yea or Nay?

                                                  Finn & Porter
                                                  Chez Nous
                                                  Moonshine
                                                  Roaring Fork...same as Scottsdale?
                                                  Cantina Loraedo
                                                  Louie's 106
                                                  Truluck

                                                  Also, I forgot to ask.....Looking for one very important suggestion....Chicken Fried Steak.

                                                  BTW, we are on the Breakfast plan at the resort, but I like to go out and see the little guys...moms and pops too.......and playing all four courses including Cliffside and Lakeside. it will be my first Crenshaw course, but have played many from Fazio and Palmer designs across the country.

                                                  1. re: fourunder
                                                    b
                                                    bigfoodie4life Jan 25, 2009 07:48 PM

                                                    If you want Chicken Fried Steak, I saw that the Broken Spoke was featured on the Food Network for their chicken fried steak. It's also a place where people go country dancing like two-step.

                                                    Finn and Porter - I didn't hear that many good things about this place
                                                    Chez Nous - Their french food is very good and reasonably priced. It is a cheaper alternative to Aquarelle and they have good food
                                                    Moonshine - It's not that bad. It's sort of an upscale American comfort food. Their sunday brunch isn't that bad either. I heard Andy Roddick really likes one of their appetizers here.
                                                    Truluck - very expensive but I also heard it's very romantic.
                                                    I second Z'Tejas for Southwestern, even if it's sort of a chain.
                                                    For mom and pop places, I like taco xpress for their al pastor tacos and their migas tacos for breakfast. I also enjoy Flip Happy Crepes, although the wait can be long depending on the time you go. (cash only)

                                                    If you like sushi/raw seafood, I strongly recommend Uchi. Their fish always taste fresh and their food taste delicious. Good for the adventurous types. Plus if you go before 6:30, they have happy hour and some menu items are discounted.

                                                    1. re: bigfoodie4life
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                                                      fourunder Jan 26, 2009 08:54 AM

                                                      Big,

                                                      Thanks for the Chicken Fried Steak recommendation at Broken Spoke. Chez Nous, Moonshine and Z'Tejas pop up in searches, so these will be on the short list. I will be on the Breakfast Buffet plan with out golf package, but if I venture off the property, i will hit Taco Express. Is it also an option for a late afternoon snack after the round of golf?

                                                      With regards to Finn & Poerer, one in the group only eats fish and seafoods, and i noticed on their website they offer Shushi. I thought we could satisfy everyone for one eveniong...but i guess we'll pass. thanks for Uchi as an alternative.

                                                      1. re: fourunder
                                                        dinaofdoom Jan 26, 2009 03:29 PM

                                                        before i moved here, a friend took me to z'tejas so i could "get a taste of austin".
                                                        although it started in austin, it's now a chain serving 5 states with multiple locations.
                                                        i found that disappointing, because i don't like to eat in chain restaurants.
                                                        although it's good food (and the arboretum location has a gorgeous patio), that is definitely something to consider if you are trying to eat locally and focus on mom and pops, etc.

                                                        just my two cents.

                                                        1. re: dinaofdoom
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                                                          fourunder Jan 26, 2009 03:58 PM

                                                          dinaofdoom,

                                                          thanks for bringing out those facts to light....any favorites for something similar to Z'Teja's?

                                                    2. re: fourunder
                                                      marfaboy Jan 26, 2009 06:52 AM

                                                      Finn & Porter - never been there. They have been closed for some time for renovations, but may have reopened recently. I really haven't heard much good buzz about this place, though.

                                                      Chez Nous - French, downtown, dark. I much prefer Aquarelle if you're in the mood for French cuisine.

                                                      Moonshine - it's okay. This restaurant has a lot of fans, but personally I've never been impressed by it.

                                                      Roaring Fork - yes, the same restaurant as Scottsdale....it's a small chain. I've been to the Austin location twice, and again, not on my regular restaurant rotation list.

                                                      Cantina Laredo - never been there.

                                                      Louie's 106 - Very good.

                                                      Truluck's - hate it; horribly overrated.

                                                      Chicken-fried steak? I can't think of a place in Austin that I would really recommend. My wife makes the best I've ever tasted. You may see some suggestions for CFS at Threadgill's, but just ignore them.

                                                      The two Fazio's at Barton Creek are great, great golf courses. The Crenshaw course is fairly easy, until you reach the greens, which are huge and undulating (think Kapalua). The Palmer course, Lakeside, is just amazingly fun.

                                                      Is ths a guy golf trip? In my case, that would determine whether to recommend some dining venues.....

                                                      Hope this helps.

                                                      1. re: marfaboy
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                                                        fourunder Jan 26, 2009 08:46 AM

                                                        marfaboy,

                                                        Thanks for the follow up...and yes this is a guy's golf trip. Everyone obviously likes good food, but the in general, this will be laid back and not seriously into fine dining....more rustic may be better in the sense....no one wants to sit for three hours to eat a steak, if you know what I mean. My serious interest is at least one day for serious barbeque...the rest I am along for the ride. Like you mentioned earlier, the breakfast buffet at the resort is probably very good....and I am happy with that....but I have an adventurous side that likes to find the small places that serve good food for locals....not really for tourists so to speak. My history in working in restaurants for three decades always keeps me on the search for successful places who happen to serve great food as well. My inquiring mind wants to know.

                                                        1. re: fourunder
                                                          r
                                                          Rene Jan 26, 2009 08:51 AM

                                                          Hudson's on the Bend! Definitely unique and adventurous... but pricey.

                                                          http://www.hudsonsonthebend.com/main.php

                                                          1. re: Rene
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                                                            fourunder Jan 26, 2009 09:34 AM

                                                            Rene,

                                                            This spot popped up in one of my searches.....I actually love game meats, so this would be a great place for me....unfortunately the others do not.

                                                            Also, this place seems a little too romantic for four guys with fat bellies, but I thank you. The only time I am looking for any of the others hands near mine is when they are paying me off for my bets won earlier(wishful thinking of course).

                                                      2. re: fourunder
                                                        s
                                                        SLadd Feb 2, 2009 12:07 PM

                                                        Vespaio-great dishes, on S. Congress and is packed always..good for guys. In fact, one of my husband's favorites. They will satisfy all tastes.
                                                        Ches Nous
                                                        Louie's 108
                                                        Eddie V's
                                                        County Line-UGH..I really can't even image but it is always packed. Personally I think by people who are not from Austin, but we all have different tastes.
                                                        Truluck's is OK-they are from Florida and do have their own crab fisheries in Naples.
                                                        Hyde Park
                                                        And the restaurant at Barton Creek is very good.

                                                        1. re: SLadd
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                                                          fourunder Feb 3, 2009 01:43 PM

                                                          SL,

                                                          Thanks for confirming the possibility of Louies 106 and Eddie V and the Barton Creek Resort restaurant. In researching restaurants...Vespaio & Enoteca both came up often and I checked their website. It seems like they have an interesting menu, however....living in the Tristate region of NY, NJ and CT, we have no shortage of Italian restaurants and it's pretty hard to find the places we are accustomed to in our travels across the nation. It's the reason why I try to sample the local and regional flavors a destination has to offer...although I inquired about Chez Nous,,,,I believe it will end in the same fate of being overlooked due to the same circumstances.

                                                      3. re: marfaboy
                                                        a
                                                        austinfood Jan 26, 2009 07:13 AM

                                                        I find the beef at both Sullivan's and Fleming's to be mediocre. At Sullivan's, it's not even prime and it's wet aged at both places. I think the best steak in town is the dry aged, prime steak served as a special at Eddie V's. It's from Allen Brothers and it's excellent.

                                                        County Line. Ugh. It's closer to Disneyland than a barbecue joint, except for the potato salad, which is really good. Better you go to House Park Barbecue, just east of Lamar on 12th. Open only for lunch weekdays. Try the fatty brisket and the sausage.

                                                        Skip Matt's, which saw better days 25 years ago when it was on First Street. Instead, try Polvo's for Tex-Mex Breakfast, Lunch or Dinner. It's excellent. I do like Z-Tejas, especially the Chicken Fried Ribeye, and I'd definately recommend Fonda San Miguel.

                                                        1. re: austinfood
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                                                          fourunder Jan 26, 2009 09:07 AM

                                                          austinfood,

                                                          Another one in the plus column for both Eddie V's and Z'Teja's ........and....Dueling barbecue now..... I love trying all the different barbeque available throughout the States. This will be my first time for Texas style, so I am particularly interested in Beef Brisket.....and fatty is more up my alley with the deckle portion.

                                                          Besides Eddie V's for steak....are there any places with long independent history you can recommend?.....Someplace that cooks over an open pit and very relaxed atmosphere? Don't need the wine really.....just cold beer.

                                                          1. re: austinfood
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                                                            fourunder Jan 26, 2009 12:18 PM

                                                            austinfood,

                                                            After doing a little search on Google, House Park sounds like precisely the type of place I would normally seek out if I were on my own. I am fascinated by food places like this that can endure for so long...in this case six decades....truly amazing. Naturally, you read some great reviews and also some poor ones, but the longevity of House Park seems to favor the believers.....I am only sorry for the limited hours....as I probably will not be able to get there since I will be on the course most likely.

                                                            1. re: fourunder
                                                              m
                                                              mkwng Jan 26, 2009 04:08 PM

                                                              Opie's BBQ in Spicewood is about 20 minutes west of Barton Creek, down Hwy 71. They cook cowboy-style, directly over mesquite coals instead of indirect smoke. You pick the meat straight off the pit ("Gimme that chop there") and they wrap it and weigh it for you. There are hot & cold sides and free pinto beans. It made the Texas Monthly 50 Best list and I think it's worth a lunch stop.

                                                              1. re: mkwng
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                                                                fourunder Jan 26, 2009 06:43 PM

                                                                mkwng,

                                                                I understand one of the golf courses is further away from the main clubhouse. Any chance Opie's is close to this course......I believe it may be one of the Fazio courses... if so, would it be less than the 20 minutes you mention. Since Opie's closes early, I would have to sneak out between rounds or the second nine....

                                                                1. re: fourunder
                                                                  marfaboy Jan 26, 2009 07:02 PM

                                                                  The Palmer course, Lakeside, is almost 20 miles from the resort, and in the direction of Opie's in Spicewood.

                                                                  1. re: marfaboy
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                                                                    fourunder Jan 26, 2009 08:00 PM

                                                                    marfaboy,

                                                                    Your wealth of knowledge is appreciated.....so Opie's is past the Palmer Lakeside Course, i.e., further away...or will be pass it en route? Also, are you going to give it a thumbs up?

                                                                    I'll have to strongly consider Opie's in the interest of time management

                                                                    1. re: fourunder
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                                                                      mkwng Jan 29, 2009 02:11 PM

                                                                      I don't golf, and am only going off the maps here. But it looks like Opie's is right near the Lakeside course, maybe 5-10 minutes further out? I am sure somebody in the clubhouse can give you specific directions.

                                                                      Something else to think about if you go there. Most people think of beef when they think of TX BBQ, but Opie's has some really great pork - loin, ribs, and chops the size of a lunchbox.

                                                                      There's an EPIC thread on CFS here - http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/93088 - and I'll vote for Hoover's as my favorite in town now that Tony's Southern Comfort is gone. The CFS at Freddie's is OK, but that's definitely more of an atmosphere place (real nice patio).

                                                                      1. re: mkwng
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                                                                        fourunder Jan 31, 2009 06:09 AM

                                                                        mkwng,

                                                                        Thanks for the read on CFS...very interesting.

                                                                        Pork or Beef.....no need to decide between the two for me...I will order everything to sample wherever I end up. I may not be a world class eater anymore....but I am a world class orderer.

                                                              2. re: fourunder
                                                                Bat Guano Jan 30, 2009 07:29 AM

                                                                In that case you gotta check out Sam's Barbecue, on E. 12th st. I don't know how long it's been around, but it looks like forever. Excellent barbecue, and they're open late (until after the bars close, anyway, which is a very good time to go....)

                                                                1. re: Bat Guano
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                                                                  fourunder Jan 31, 2009 06:05 AM

                                                                  Bat,

                                                                  Thanks for the information on late hours.....it's now on the short list.

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