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Satisfying 15 for dinner on Friday with a budget

So, due to a snafu, I'm responsible for finding a place to take 15 people, many out of town guests, for dinner on a Friday night. We need to keep a somewhat tight budget (say 30+ per person including alcohol) and have a bunch of vegetarians or non-red meat people - enough that I don't want to force them down the rice and beans path. I'm trying to find someplace classy and localish but also midrange and willing to take a large party at 6:30 on a Friday. Any suggestions?

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  1. Food part is ok, but with alcohol that might make it tough if you want classy. You may have to settle for something a little more funky like Red's Porch or a burger joins. Or a chain?

    1. Hmm, North by Northwest? They don't ordinarily take reservations (and I'd imagine they'd be busy at 6:30 on a Friday night) but they might be willing to do something for that big a party. Lots of entrees around $10 or $15.

      1. Zax Pints and Plates might work.

        1. idk about reservations, but Eastside cafe would fit.

          1 Reply
          1. re: NirvRush

            Second the Eastside Cafe suggestion. Great food, great for veggies, totally within your price point. They do take reservations, so call now for Friday night table.

          2. I have talked toEast Side - Curras and Buenos Aires Cafe - but everyone wants us to call before to see how busy they are and they'll set up a table then. Other suggestions? Otherwise, keep your fingers crossed for us.

            Buenos Aires Cafe
            2414 S 1st St, Austin, TX 78704

            1. Clay Pit? They have a banquet room, veggie options.

              Clay Pit
              1601 Guadalupe St, Austin, TX 78701

              1. What about Chinese? Two large tables can probably accommodate 15 and, with the lazy susan, it's fun to share each entree. I live in the North and would suggest Asia Cafe but they do not serve cocktails and are not what I would call classy. pf changs is more upscale and has a full bar but may be more difficult to get a seating, will be more expensive and the food is not as adventuresome as Asia Cafe.

                1. After additional thought I have a few more suggestions. Each restaurant can accommodate a crowd.

                  Carmelo's Italian Restaurant: Classy in downtown Austin. Good food but may be difficult to meet $30/person with drinks.

                  Freda's Seafood: North Austin. Good compromise except vegetarians may be limited to a plain pasta dish (you should verify).

                  Buca di Peppo: Serviceable family style Italian in North Austin. Large portions so ten entrees should feed 15 people leaving money for drinks. Good odds of accepting 15 on a Friday evening but would personally be last resort.

                  Rudy's Barbeque: Cold Shiner and pretty good barbeque. 15 absolutely no problem. Tell the veggies to take one for the team.

                  Carmelo's Italian Restaurant
                  504 E 5th St, Austin, TX 78701

                  1. Moonshine maybe. 30 PPA might be a squeeze, but the restaurant excels at hosting large parties.

                    1. Wow - Eastside can do it! Thanks for all the help. (Clay Pit is an excellent suggestion - it is just where we are going for the second day of the conference...)