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Is Uchi a must for West Coasters who already eat their weight in seafood?

Advise me please dear Austin 'hounders:

6 of us will be visiting Austin for the first time at the end of May. I'll be in town for 4 nights (wed-sun), the rest for 3 nights (thurs-sun). We're all West Coast ladies in our early 30's, and are visiting for the first time.

I've been tasked with organizing the dinner destinations and have been given the following instructions: excellent food, quintessentially Austin, fun atmosphere, no jacket/tie required.

So far, I've decided on the following:

Thurs: something casual as the others will be tired from traveling. Likely tex-mex/interior mexican or bbq, not sure where yet but there are hundreds of posts on these topics. That said, is Fonda really romantic? I've read a few comments that it's romantic, and I'd hate to drag a group of ladies there if we'll be the only group in a room full of doe-eyed couples.

Friday: Max's Wine Dive

Saturday: Uchi

Vespaio was also in the running for either Friday or Saturday, but I think the group would prefer Max's.

Bbq is going to have to happen in there somewhere, as will a few taco stands, but I'm afraid there are only so many meals we can handle! So, dear friends, I am looking to you for guidance: is Uchi really a must do for West Coasters? Is it quintessentially Austin or should we use that night for either bbq or mexican (two types of cuisine that we are sadly lacking where we're from).

I read in one of the threads that there was some nasty back and forth between some recent visitors from Seattle who had dined at Uchi. I regard these comments warily, and I think they've since been removed as I can't find anything but outstanding reviews about this resto.

If you do suggest we dine at Uchi, what can we expect dinner to run per person? I've seen the menu, but don't know the portions and they suggest eating "family style" so I have no concept of how much we'll be ordering.

Thanks, as always, for the wonderful advice!

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  1. Uchi should still be on your list! I just moved back to Austin after four years of sushi heaven in the Bay Area, and I still think Uchi is amazing, both in quality of sushi and experimentation with the menu. It's just not like any other sushi restaurant. But it is a little pricier than your average nice sushi joint - plates aren't huge, but they're very rich, so a little goes a long way.

    1 Reply
    1. re: 2kindsofcheese

      Wonderful, thank you. I called Uchi and they're maxed out for their reservations on both Fri and Sat. I suspected as such. Any ideas what time we should be showing up to be seated around 8 or so? There are 6 of us.

    2. Uchi is a must for everybody/anybody! Yes.

      1. I don't know. Uchi is pretty good, but I'd suggest doing more Mexican/Tex-Mex/and BBQ while you are here vs places like Max's & Uchi. While good, Max's and Uchi are similar in style to many restaurants on the West Coast so I'd suggest concentrating more on places that are harder to duplicate out there.

        1 Reply
        1. re: Mike B

          Do you mean places like Fonda and Salt Lick etc? I hate narrowing down the names because I realize that the topic (bbq especially) is as firecely debated as religion... Tex-mex though seems to be a little less fierce - I keep hearing Fonda over and over again. thoughts?

        2. Fonda San Miguel would be just fine for a group of gals! It's interior-mex rather than tex-mex, so you can eat there as well as a tex-mex place!

          As far as quantity at Uchi, I'm usually there as one of a group of four persons, and it seems like generally each dish or roll provides two bites/portions for each of the four of us. We usually order about five dishes, I think, for the four of us. You may have a two hour wait.

          1. fonda is a pretty cool environment and not overwhelmed by couples. Inre Uchi- Think Nobu, maybe better.

            2 Replies
              1. re: ieathereforeiam

                I never considered Fonda to be a romantic place.-lots of kids there on weekends but I never really cared for it as much as others on this board