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SoCo suggestion for 5 women

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My wife, her mother (85) and daughter (19) are coming up from SA next Wed to meet a friend of ours from MT and her daugher who is attending a dance camp there.
They are staying at a Holiday Inn in the SoCo area and are looking for dinner and lunch suggestions.
Budget not a problem, but something casual would probably be best.
Any suggestions for locally owned places with upscale food?
No Tex/Mex or BBQ please.

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  1. I count four recs that meet your criteria in this thread:
    http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/6684...
    Pulled up via search for "South Congress."

    1. Enoteca Vespaio on SoCo might be a nice option. Italian food.

      Moonshine Patio Bar and Grill is also pretty casual, and they also have a nice weekend brunch. Comfort Food

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      Vespaio
      1610 S Congress Ave, Austin, TX 78704

      Enoteca
      1610 S Congress Ave, Austin, TX 78704

      1. Go to South Congress Cafe. It's casual, on the heart of the south congress shopping strip, usually not too hard to get a table, and good American/Southwestern food.

        1. Thanks, sounds like South Congress Cafe and Enoteca Vespaio are the best bets.

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          Vespaio
          1610 S Congress Ave, Austin, TX 78704

          Enoteca
          1610 S Congress Ave, Austin, TX 78704

          4 Replies
          1. re: saeyedoc

            I'd add Perla's to the list as well. It's a seafood place, but very good. You can check out the menu on their website. It is on the trendy side but still casual imho.

            http://perlasaustin.com/

            1. re: ssouth

              Looks good, is that the place Bourdain went to on No Reservations?

                1. re: brentwood

                  Perla's is so much better than Vespaio it's really not fair to compare them.

                  Vespaio had their moment in the sun but it's Perla's time now. Go for the oyster bar, scallop posole, fried oyster po boys, grits...everything I've had at Perla's has been dynamite.

                  I thought they might lose their touch when the chef got canned but the ship is still sailing right.

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                  Vespaio
                  1610 S Congress Ave, Austin, TX 78704

          2. Thanks for the suggestions. They went to Enoteca Vespaio for lunch, South Congress Cafe for dinner. 2/2 on the suggestions.

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            Vespaio
            1610 S Congress Ave, Austin, TX 78704

            Enoteca
            1610 S Congress Ave, Austin, TX 78704