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Yankee(s) in Austin and We Need Your Advice

Ok so I'm the Yankee, and my beloved is from Texas originally. But it has been a LONG time since he's been home, hence our need of your help.

We'll be in town for three days only and I want to get in as much eating and drinking as we can in the short time so I'd love advice on the classics we shouldn't miss and some basics that out-of-towners just don't know about. And as far as our budget, I'd say its moderate with the ability to go big if a place or two are worth it.

Classics:
-Best Chorizo Tacos (I know we'll hit Marias Taco Xpress but are there better places or different variations that we should try?)
-Weekday breakfast (I remember Kirby Lane Pancakes for some reason. Can't recall if they are any good or not...)
-Mexican corn
-Best Milkshake/frozen treat
-Good and/or cheap micheladas + beer or an otherwise great drinks scene

Basics:
-A Healthy Smoothie ( Jamba Juice does not count)
-Strong Delicious make your mind-spin espresso
-A Really Great Hangover Curing Burger
-Darn yummy baked goods for breakfast etc.

I know those are a lot of things to request info on but I'd love to hear if you have suggestions for only even one of the above.

Thanks a zillion!
We're so excited to be heading down.

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Taco Xpress
2529 S Lamar Blvd, Austin, TX 78704

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  1. Best Chorizo Tacos (I know we'll hit Marias Taco Xpress but are there better places or different variations that we should try?)

    Mi Ranchito on William Cannon is putting out chorizo that Maria probably falls asleep dreaming about at night.

    -Weekday breakfast (I remember Kirby Lane Pancakes for some reason. Can't recall if they are any good or not...)

    Homemade sausage, slow grits and fried eggs will start your day right at Galloway's Soul Food haven on E.12th. Light years ahead of Kerbey and the proprietors are some of the nicest folks you could ever hope to meet.

    -Mexican corn

    Parking lot of Fiesta Mart-Parking lot of HEB on Riverside drive.Two places you'll find carts doing Mexican corn slathered in mayo,cotija,lime juice and salt

    -Best Milkshake/frozen treat

    How about a blizzard at Dairy Queen? Can't get more Texas than that.

    -Good and/or cheap micheladas + beer or an otherwise great drinks scene

    Strong cocktails, amazing jukebox and prime people watching at Lovejoys on Neches. Prefer upscale? Annies on Congress has a cool zinc bar and good cocktails.

    Basics:
    -A Healthy Smoothie ( Jamba Juice does not count)

    Smoothies piss me off for some reason. I'm sure they're fine but...

    -Strong Delicious make your mind-spin espresso

    Best espresso in town at this moment is Once Over Coffee Bar on S. 1st st. It's the mad scientist style currently in favor on the west coast.

    -A Really Great Hangover Curing Burger

    Mike's Pub on 7th st. 1 block east of Congress has been curing what ails you for about 50 years now. Bring your own mayo though as they're under the mistaken impression that Miracle Whip is an edible foodstuff.

    -Darn yummy baked goods for breakfast etc.

    Sugar Mama on s.1st st. is my favorite bake shop in town but she's lazy [doesn't open til 11am] so she can't provide you a breakfast treat.

    Welcome to Austin. The eating's gotten real good hereabouts in the last few years.

    -----
    Taco Xpress
    2529 S Lamar Blvd, Austin, TX 78704

    Jamba Juice
    600 Congress Ave Ste G280, Austin, TX 78701

    Mike's Pub
    108 E 7th St, Austin, TX 78701

    4 Replies
    1. re: scrumptiouschef

      Scrumptiouschef,
      Your suggestions are just terrific and thorough. Thank you heaps!

      Now two more queries for y'all:

      What to order at La Condesa (we're definitely going there one night, we have a friend who works there)

      Did La Regiomontana ever open back up? I've read a lot on this board about it closing, it reopening and how out of this world it once was...

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      La Condesa
      400-A W 2nd St, Austin, TX 78701

      1. re: scrumptiouschef

        Mi Ranchito on William Cannon is putting out chorizo that Maria probably falls asleep dreaming about at night.

        google doesn't know about this place... do you have a website or address for them?

        1. re: chrisdds98

          They are inside a convenience store at 5200 E. William Cannon Dr. No website.

          1. re: chrisdds98

            Old post:

            Mi Ranchito 5200 E.William Cannon Open Daily 7am-11pm

            I just finished a Chorizo and Egg breakfast taco so delicious I feel like riding straight over to El Meson and dropkicking the owner or cook or both into the middle of next week.

            El Ranchito is located inside a quick mart off William Cannon on the southeast side of town.It's a humble brightly lighted cafe with 3 small tables tucked into the corner of the building.Walking in the good smells of frying bacon and onion hit hard.

            I begin to get excited when I see the small salsa bar,6 or so Lexan pans filled with Salsas[both green]Sliced Radishes,Sliced Limes,Pico de Gallo,Sliced White Onions and Home Charred Jalapenos.

            It's breakfast time so I go for two breakfast tacos:one Bacon Egg and Cheese and one Chorizo and Egg.I ask if the tortillas are homemade and get the response I always dread "no".I ask for corn and after a couple minutes here comes the chow.The tortillas are doubled up and lightly oiled and griddled.They are so delicious I go back to the counter and ask the counter man again if they're homemade,he smiles"they are a specialty of the house".I accept the response and get back to attacking these beauties.The Chorizo is insane.Easily the best I've had in Austin.It's not mixed with the eggs but served as a mini omelette on the tortillas with the Chorizo as the stuffing.It's ground fairly fine with larger chunks mixed in...coloration is brick red instead of orange,it's not fatty but intensely flavored of Hog.I'm near delirious at this point but I soldier on tacking hard into the Bacon,Egg and Cheese.Once again the eggs are cooked separate with the Meat and Cheese serving as garnish.The bacon is slab cut,crispy and delicious.These folks have their meat/game face on big time.I slather each taco with the two green salsas.One is a loose,hot tomatillo base and it's very good.The other is of the pureed poblano style..hot and delicious but not terribly complex.

            After the feast I sit agog for a few minutes collecting myself.Finally,slowly arising I step into the clear,warm Winter light of the out of doors and make my way to mi moto.It's terribly late in the year[final day]to make this sort of discovery.It's important.Delicious.Affirming in the way of discovering a favorite new author.I can't wait to get back to Mi Ranchito and try more of this family's take on Mexican home cooking."Pura Tradicion"

            Permalink | Report | Reply

            scrumptiouschef Dec 31, 2007 12:35PM

            The salsa bar has grown in the 3 years since this post. It's now over a dozen lexans of pure, homemade deliciousness. The mind numbing habanero curtido is one of my favorite cold preparations in Austin.

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            El Meson
            5808 Burleson Rd, Austin, TX 78744

        2. If you hit the Alamo Drafthouse for a show (which you should!), get a milkshake there. They're big and tasty and made with things like Amy's Mexican vanilla ice cream, espresso, peanut butter, and Guinness.

          I also recommend a trailer meal of Odd Duck followed by Gourdough's (they're right next to each other).

          1 Reply
          1. re: hlk

            I looked into Odd Duck and it sounds heavenly. I think they're serving rabbit belly tonight? Seeing as we arrive tomorrow and leave wednesday (and I believe they're closed Sun/Mon) we have just a small window in which to eat there.
            Fingers are crossed particularly because I like the BYOB, eat outside vibe. I also really love an effing good doughnut, which appears to be just a waddle away.

            I'm getting pretty bummed out that we don't have more time.
            My Love, being committed to chowing on as much chorizo as possible, may not like my many non-mexican agendas.

            There's just SOOOO much to eat it seems!
            Wish us luck.

          2. Oh P.S. Is there anything worth eating/drinking/seeing/buying and bringing home on the drive between Austin and Houston??

            5 Replies
            1. re: plumtart

              There's a place to stop for good kolaches between Austin and Houston, but I can't think of the name and didn't find it in the "kolache" thread on the Texas board. I'm hoping someone can chime in and remind me.

              1. re: stephanieh

                Weikel's, just west of La Grange on Highway 71, has been a go-to place for awhile (though people dispute these things). There are probably a couple of places in Schulenberg as well, but I've never gotten kolaches there. Go old school and get a poppyseed kolache.

                1. re: stephanieh

                  There's Hruska's in Ellinger, on 71 between La Grange and Columbus.

                  http://hruskas-bakery.com/

                  1. re: stephanieh

                    I second Hruskas. Make sure you get the pan sausage kolaches. They are light years beyond the link ones when it comes to flavor.

                    1. re: uarent

                      Interesting...their online menu notes that the links are from a longtime supplier, while the patty sausage is made in-house. I suppose I'll have to do a taste test now... :-)