Philly Phoodies - 1st time in TX
We will be in Austin (Crowne Plaza) from Th-Sun this weekend for a wedding. This will be our 1st time in Austin and TX for that matter. We will not have a car (not sure how that will factor in to your recommendations...).
We enjoy good, quality, fresh food and don't care about the "fancy" factor. Love a good bloody mary, bbq, and fish (not necessarily all at the same place).
Please share your picks for any of the following categories:
- Nice Dinner
Thanks in advance!
Given that you'll be walking in the July heat (welcome to Austin!), your choices are going to be somewhat limited. Not sure about all of your categories, but for nice dinner, I would suggest you check out Parkside, Trio, or the Driskill Grill.
For casual, you're probably best off crossing to the east side of I-35. The Good Knight is on E. 6th, as is East Side Kings (a trailer - trailers are all the rage here right now).
Lots of folks on the board are fans of the Tex-Mex at Angie's on E. 7th.
As for drinks; you'll be on 6th, where booze flows quite freely. Wander up and down W. 6th until you find something that suits you. The scene goes everywhere from punk rock to dive-y to downtown professionals having a happy hour.
I would steer you away from downtown barbecue, as it tends to not be representative of the best that Central Texas can offer you.
Hope you have fun!
The Crowne Plaza is at I-35 and 290, not downtown. It's not a pedestrian friendly area, so count on using taxis or shuttles to get around. You're actually about 5-15 minutes by car from the area gilintx describes, depending on traffic, and maybe 20 or so from Red's Porch.
Places within a quick cab ride that I'd recommend include House Pizzeria on Airport (serving smallish neapolitan pizzas with inventive toppings); Foreign & Domestic on N. Loop (open kitchen, small menu with emphasis on seasonal ingredients); Quality Seafood (a market low on ambiance but a decent introduction to fried Gulf seafood); Amaya's Taco Village (Tex-Mex in a strip mall, they fry the taco shells to order - someone just posted a thread on Tres Amigos, in the same general area, check that out too); and Shanghai (dim sum).
Nearby bars are The Nomad and Carousel Lounge.
Welcome to Austin, and have fun!
Quality Seafood Wholesale
5621 Airport Blvd, Austin, TX
7535 E Highway 290, Austin, TX 78723
Amaya's Taco Village
5405 N Interstate 35, Austin, TX 78723
Shanghai Chinese Restaurant
6718 Middle Fiskville Rd, Austin, TX 78752
For some reason, I had it in my head that the Crowne Plaza was the place at the corner of I-35 and 6th.
I would second the rec for Amaya's, and I would also include Captain Benny's just south of 290. It's nothing fancy, but it's never disappointed us.
It's not really walking distance, but I though I would mention Costa del Sol on 290 just east of Cameron. Chronicle called their pupusas some of the best in town, and I don't think I would disagree. It's supposed to be a Salvadoran joint, but they throw in a fair amount of Tex-Mex. The place looks like a dump, but the food is solid.
Sorry for the geography error!
Just wanted to report back on our trip. We did not have a car but did have some access to the hotel shuttle, which helped. Due to transportation issues, we were not able to make it to Red's Porch.
Casual Dinner - Paradise Cafe on 6th: It was fine -- we had a very large group (20+ ppl) and they were quite accommodating. Meatloaf, mashed potatoes, broccoli for $8.50. "Mystery Beer" for $2. Prices were right for casual bar food.
BBQ Lunch - Iron Works BBQ: Btw the 4 of us, we got brisket, pork ribs and sausage. Brisket was tender but lacked flavor. Ribs: I prefer fall off the bone style and was a bit disappointed in the tenderness/flavor. Sausage was great -- unlike any sausage I'd ever had before.
Dinner - Botticelli's: We were again here with a large group. Excellent outdoor bartender. Margaritas were delish and he made an excellent Manhattan. Folks in our group raved about the butternut squash raviolis. We had the salmon and were disappointed with the sides/lackthereof.
Breakfast - Perla's: our bartender from Botticelli's recommended this place for bfast and good bloody mary's. It was amazing. My husband used the phrase "explosive flavors" to describe his eggs benedict/crab. I had the lobster omlette which was delish. We ordered a basket of their fresh pastries and they were amazing (fresh donuts!). The bloody mary was so good (pickled green bean, 3 olives and lime garnish) that I ordered 2. Several at our table ordered the baked grapefruit. I'd never seen that on a menu before and love the idea. They raved about it. The atmosphere was super cool and the staff was very attentive. Another plus: excellent, strong coffee. Quite simply, we loved this place.
We met up with friends at Polvos one night for drinks and they thoroughly enjoyed their meal there (killer guacamole).
All in all, we were quite happy with our dining experiences. If we had a car, I think we would have made the drive to Snow's for BBQ as well as Red's Porch.
Thank you, Austin foodies, for your helpful recommendations. We'll be happy to help any of you out should you visit Philly any time soon.