So, I'm moving to Austin...
Orlando Hound is moving to Austin. My office is in the Northwest; Boyer Blvd. I expect to be living in this area for at least six months before we settle permanently somewhere in the North. I have been reading all Austin posts for the last month or so and I am impressed with what appears to be a vibrant dining scene in Austin and environs.
Rec's please for:
- Tex Mex/Mex
- Local, down home, fare. Never having lived in Texas, in my mind, this would be an important step in acclimating to our new environment.
- Although not a big BBQ fan, what/where should we sample to better understand and learn to enjoy the BBQ experience?
- What else?
Many thanks to all for your help and rec's.
Welcome to Austin, qbdave. I had to look up where Boyer was, but turns out you're not too far from where I work.
Two good burgers in the general area - Ross' Old Austin Cafe on North Lamar (and probably a really good source of down home food, but I always get their burger). And Cafe Canela on Burnet. Both are griddled on a flat top. If you're looking for a more gourmet burger, you might try Roaring Fork on Braker. I haven't had it, but have been meaning to.
Good tacos nearby can be found from the taco truck La Fogata parked in the parking lot of a car wash (8513 Burnet) or in the back of the convenience store La Potosina at the corner of Braker and Lamar.
For Italian, you're going to be tempted to try Andiamo, since it's so close. Don't. It's really bad, especially the lunch menu. Austin doesn't have strong Italian choices, especially in this part of town. The chain, Maggiano's (in the Domain), is far better than most of our locally owned choices, I'm sorry to say.
Ross' Old Austin Cafe
11800 N Lamar Blvd, Austin, TX 78753
If I were you, the first place I'd try is Sunflower just off of Ohlen and 183. I've tried Vietnamese around the city and state and its my humble opinion that Sunflower is the best, by a large margin. I can't get enough of about 10 different dishes, for example they make an amazing crepe (at least that's what they call it), they make amazing spring rolls, they make delectible basil chicken, and basil shrimp. They make a dynamite fried shrimp on garlic noodles that trancend the noodle experience. My mouth is watering so much I that my keyboard is getting wet! Sunflower is simple yet complex and simply delicious. (by the way it is a dumpy little place in a shopping center with oodles of good oriental food, not the least of which is an oriental BBQ place that is heavenly but the name escapes me.)
IMHO one great thing about being a foodie in Austin is that we have a lot of the diverse choices of a larger metropolitan area, but even the farthest place is gonna only be like 25 mins max as long as it is not rush hour. Couldn't say that for Dallas or Houston, for sure. I gave you recs very near to you (5 mins) but you will have a smorgasbord of choice when it comes to dining out no matter which way you go in Austin.
Welcome. I live northwest as well. I can tell you for starters that there's not really a decent cheap steak in the area. Tough, I know, but true.
Man, you're really far north.
For Tex Mex, I would send you to Amaya's Taco Village (on I-35) or El Caribe (on N. Lamar). You might also check out El Faro on Wells Branch (they are friends of mine, but check the Yelp reviews for confirmation).
For Asian, the Chinatown center far north on Lamar is great, as is T&S Seafood (N. Lamar just north of Rutland) but you should also consider the mall on Research, which has Din Ho (Chinese), Pho Van (Vietnamese) and Sunflower (Vietnamese).
For burgers, I would send you to Dan's hamburgers on N. Lamar, just south of Koenig. Basically a greasy spoon, but damn good when you're in the mood.
Down home fare: try Southern Hospitality in the office park at Lamar and Research. It's tiny and not very nice looking, but the folks are nice and the food is good. This is breakfast and lunch only.
BBQ is still largely a road trip food in Austin (Franklin's is planning a brick & mortar, but it's not here yet). Search the board for Lockhart, (about 40 minutes away) and you'll find lots of discussions on which joint you should pick.
8557 Research Blvd, Austin, TX 78758
Amaya's Taco Village
5405 N Interstate 35, Austin, TX 78723
Boyer Blvd is a good home base for many delicious lunch hours. You could probably eat somewhere different each working day of the month and be nearby to the office.
You are right off of Kramer which will lead you straight to the Chinatown Center. In the Chinatown Center you will find good Cantonese, Vietnamese, Chinese-Vietnamese, Korean, and others. On either side of Chinatown Center you will head up or down North Lamar and find multitudes of Mexican delis and small food establishments for inexpensive (and not always high quality but great sauces and yummy enough--- fine for lunch) tacos, sopes, gorditas, tortas, quesadillas, etc. I am addicted to El Pollo Rico in that area. You have Taquería Arandinas there at Rutland and North Lamar, too, which is in the same shopping center as Vietnamese Le Soleil.
You will find Tacodeli near to you in the other direction on Burnet as well, which has more expensive tacos and has more of a hipster and multiethnic clientele. It is very popular with the lunch break crowd.
Boyer is also near to a favorite pho place of mine, Pho Hoang on Rutland and Burnet. In the same center as Pho Hoang, you will find the wonderful Italian resto Andiamo, although for me that type of resto is more for a special dinner than a lunch hour. Also on Rutland and Golden Meadow is Rita's for Tex-Mex. Not fabulous but quite fine for a lunch and has good tacos.
Madras Pavillion is near to you on Burnet for South Indian food they have a lunch buffet that includes S. Indian items like idli, sambhar, etc plus a fresh dosa included. Quite good stuff.
I am in the Boyer area and mostly eat Asian and Mexican food all of the time so don't know much about burgers, steak, Italian, or BBQ. I do like Phil's Icehouse for Burgers but it is a bit far down on Burnet for you.
Good luck with your relocation.
12001 N Mo Pac Expy, Austin, TX 78758
399 W Louis Henna Blvd Ste C, Austin, TX 78728
Le Soleil Restaurant
9616 N Lamar Blvd Ste 156, Austin, TX 78753