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Weekday Lunch Spots Near the Domain?

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So, my workplace just switched offices, and--though our old lunch haunts are still mostly within reach--it seems like a fine time to examine our new options. Looking for suggestions for places that are reasonable priced and reasonably paced (no hour-and-a-half waits, please!), within a quick drive of the Domain, and can comfortably seat a small group of hungry co-workers; otherwise open to whatever brilliant ideas Chowhounds have in mind. Vegetarian-friendly options are always appreciated.

Favorites at the old office included Sunflower (Vietnamese), El Chile (Mexican), Torchy's (tacos), Madam Mam's (Thai), Mooyah / Geaux Burger (burgers), Pars Deli (Mediterranean)... we never did find a strong Chinese candidate (Tien Hong was fine before it closed).

(And of course, if there's a previously existing thread I should be looking at, please point me to it. I searched the boards, but didn't come up with anything quite on target.)

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  1. I work in the area and we enjoy Gloria's at the Domain, Free Bird's, Mama Roux's is really close but you better get there at 11:15 or there will be a wait, and Maudie's on North Lamar - I like the orange cheese, what can I say. Keiffer's Cafe has good lunch specials. It is more of a grab and go place to me though.

    The Asian Center on North Lamar has many options. Search the board for suggestions there.

    1. Din Ho is always a favorite for us. We also frequent Cover 3 a lot.

      I also like going to Korea House for the bi-bim-bap.

      North in the domain has a killer seafood enchilada for about $10.

      I love-love Mikado's sushi, but it's not cheap.

      I want to love Korea Garden's sushi train, but about 3/4 of the time I go, the sushi's been riding around too long and gets mushy. blech. I do go and ask them to make it fresh (pick something that's not riding around) and can get two rolls to go for $5.

      1. For sushi, there's Maki in the Arbor Walk (roll your own sushi) and Tomo at Parmer and Silver Creek Dr (west of MoPac) for a full service restaurant. Tomo is better suited for smaller groups though.

        Burger joints, there are lots of options (Mighty Fine, TerraBurger, 5 Guys, Riata, Moonie's) but I think Elevation Burger is the best of the bunch and is in the Arboretum.

        For Greek, there is Tino's Cafe in the Arbor Walk.

        If you even want to consider TacoDeli at Gracy Farms, get there around 11 with your group or else the place will be a madhouse.

        3 Replies
        1. re: verily

          maki is interesting because it's DIY sushi, and they have a buy-X-get-one-free card, which is nice. (i think it's 9?)

          tino's cafe is a crapload of food for not too much money, with lots of veg options.
          i have only been to the 183 & anderson mill location, but i hear it's all the same.
          i like it.

          as for taco deli, i lovelovelove the dona (insert squiggle over the N here) sauce but yes, it gets totally zoo-y after the 11.30 mark.
          pay attention to the daily specials because sometimes they are indeed special.

          if you want to zip up mopac, thai cuisine (parmer and a little past amhearst) has an affordable lunch deal where you can choose from various lunch-sized entrees and there is a big-ass free appetizer bar.
          i have been many times and it usually includes 2 soups, 1-2 spring roll/egg roll variations, some assorted appetizer type things, and a small selection of salad bar offerings.
          it's not the best thai in the whole wide world, but it's fast, tasty and a good value.

          1. re: dinaofdoom

            I agree with the Thai Cuisine recommendation. They are fast, and the free app/salad bar is nice. The food is not the best thai, but decent, and it is a good value. the app bar usually has a dessert choice too. The tapioca pudding dessert is particularly yum. For a lunch time choice it's a good one.

            One caveat is the parking is kinda tight. they are right next to the tomodachi sushi and JJ's BBQ.

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            Thai Cuisine
            4101 W Parmer Ln Ste F, Austin, TX 78727

            1. re: addicted2rice

              i always find myself asking "can i get extra veggies? i'll pay extra..." because they are so light-handed with them.
              maybe it's that they think americans want more meat.
              i have no idea.
              but, yeah, i beg for more kale and/or whatever veg is features in the dish.

              also? i usually make 2 trips to the food bar. especially for the soup. mmmmm.

        2. I really like Ryu of Japan (discussed here: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/673484)

          1. If you are near the domain, just hit up the Chinatown Village on Lamar. its just down the street from you. You could explore the Asian offerings there for months without duplicating or having a bad meal.

            1. I work in the area as well. And go to most of those places mentioned. I've been wanting to try the Bleu River Grille (Culinary academy cafeteria?), but never can make it. FYI they are closed on mondays.

              The new sushi place next too freebird's is pretty good and they have an interesting ordering schema. You can piece together your own bento box. Quality is decent, but not special. If you like indian I like the buffet at Bombay Bistro. And if you've got an expense account there's always Houstons for lunch.

              I highly recommend you avoid Detour bar though. It's a new bar pretending to be a dive bar. Doesn't have the history/cache/patron loyalty to accomplish it. Drinks are bad and not worth the money. And their seating is terrible. a few small tables and some bench seating that is too deep. I felt like a 12 year old with my feed dangling over the side. =P

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              Bleu River Grille
              11400 Burnet Rd, Austin, TX 78758

              Bombay Bistro
              10710 Research Blvd Ste 126, Austin, TX 78759