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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.

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

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

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              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.

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                  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...)