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May 3, 2009 08:58 PM

Where else should I go?

I am from out of town and have been doing lots of eating this week in Austin.

I have tried Rudy's, Ironworks, Roy's, Jezebel, Kerby Lane, McCormick & Schmick (?), Smitty's, Blacks and Wink. And of course, Whole Foods & Central Market.

I have 2 more nights to go. What would Austin foodies recommend?

Uchi? Fonda San Miguel (?), Kenichi, Louie 106, Gumbo? Any other must-eats downtown that I should try?

I love all kinds of food and my goal is to simply try all of Austin's best - all within a reasonable budget in the downtowna area. Any cajun recommendations are welcomed. thanks.

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  1. I think I would take Kenichi and Louie's 106 off your list. Both are fine but not exceptional.

    I'll leave it to folks with more experience to comment on Uchi and Fonda but I would not miss Gumbo's for several reasons. First off, it's a lovely place. I feel good being there.

    The food has been excellent on my visits. The crab cake was a good appetizer but I thought the Oysters Rockefeller was exceptional on my last visit. I wish I could say what put it over the top.

    The Steak George was one of the best steaks I've had in Austin, thoroughly tender, flavorful and cooked to a perfect medium rare. The sauces with seafood, the gumbo, etoufee and Mahi Mahi have left me quite happy as well.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Rene

      Gumbo's downtown is great, make sure to have a drink in the Brown Bar next door. I wouldn't miss UCHI and try the pork belly (bacon steakie). You've hit most of the great ones already!

    2. For Cajun, it's definitely Gumbo's. Agree with Rene. I'd also hit some dives as well. Torchy's Tacos, Coco's Cafe on the drag, the tamales and tacos pastor at Curra's on Oltorf, Dirty Martin's for a dive experience or even better Casino El Camino for an awesome burger.

      1. Try Eddie V's Edgewater Grill. Downtown location has great jazz band in bar. If you want an amazing experience and don't mind forking out a little more, Hudson's on The Bend out on the lake is an incredible experience. If you really want great bbq and have time for a drive through the hills to Driftwood, pick up a six-pack of Shiner Bock and try the Salt Lick. Mandola Winery in driftwood is also outstanding.

        14 Replies
        1. re: troyg

          I think Gumbo's sucks. You'd be better off at the Boiling Pot on 6th for cajun. Downtown - I would go to LaCondesa - better interior Mexican than Fonda San Miguel - if not as pretty a space and Parkside has good food and great cocktails. Uchi is my favorite restaurant in Austin, but it is a short cab-ride from downtown. For reasonable price - I think the prix fixe at Chez Nous is still the best bang for your food buck downtown.

          1. re: hungryinaustin

            Dear OP,
            In the interests of clarity, I am not actually suggesting you go to The Boiling Pot - does it still exist? Cajun food downtown is not great in my opinion. If Gumbos was in New Orleans, I would be surprised if it stayed open more than a week. For Cajun, you'd be better off in the East Side hole in wall kind of places like Lola's Nubian Kitchen or Gene's - also short cab-rides from downtown, though their hours might be irregular, so check before you go.

            1. re: hungryinaustin

              Evangeline's is good, though also not downtown.

              1. re: hlk

                Sorry hlk,
                IMHO Evangeline's is barely passable Cajun food. Not worth the drive from downtown. I don't have time for a full review. I went once maybe 6 months ago. Nothing was terrible, but nothing really stood out. Had a shrimp PoBoy and gumbo. As i recall both seemed to lack spiciness, flavor, whatever you want to call it.
                The place does have kind of a cool vibe to it, though.

              2. re: hungryinaustin

                In your experience, what sucks about Gumbo's? How many opportunities have you had to dine there? I am not interested in being argumentative, I just would like to know. I've had some very good experiences there over many years.

                1. re: Rene


                  I don't mind argumentativeness ( Food is a passionate thing). I have eaten at Gumbos twice and after the second time decided not to go back. The first time, I had bland and soggy crabcakes and an entirely unmemorable crawfish etouffee - stingy on the crawfish. The second time, I had a very watery gumbo, which appeared to have cream in it - a no- no in a gumbo for me. I agree that it is an attractive dining room. I generally like cajun food with much more heat than what I have eaten at Gumbos. The food struck me as a rather country club, genteel version of cajun cooking - or maybe I just caught them on bad nights??

                  1. re: hungryinaustin

                    Next time my picks are:

                    Joe's Crab Shack
                    Fonda San Miguel

                    1. re: caitlink

                      Joe's Crab Shack? I would only go to Joe's if there were no other options. It is not terrible, but passable at best.

                      1. re: caitlink

                        Replace Joe's Crab Shack with Quality Seafood or even Evangeline Cafe and your list is good. JCS will only leave you with an impression of food in Austin that make you want to scrub the memory from your brain.

                        1. re: agoodbite

                          what should I get at Quality Seafood?

                          1. re: caitlink

                            Always a good idea to go with the special of the day. Crawfish of course, but I'm from Baton Rouge so I get them every chance I get.

                        2. re: caitlink

                          Recommending a national chain (Joe's) when there is so much awesome independent food available is just wrong....

                          1. re: Chicago Wine Geek

                            she was the OP though...just stating her choices, not recommending...

                2. Try Fabi and Rosi. Report back!

                  Fabi and Rosi
                  509 Hearn St, Austin, TX