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Feb 29, 2012 02:13 PM

Suggestions for brfst lunch and dinner for a weekend in April

Coming down to Austin the weekend of 4/28 staying downtown off of 6th. Based on the boards i have requested a reservation at Congress for saturday but i am looking at other recommendations for the following.

Saturday lunch (thinking lamberts)

Sunday breakfast, lunch and dinner (thinking parkside or wink)

Monday breakfast and lunch (thinking Ranch 616)

Ideally the places would be downtown or a short cab from there.

For breakfast we would prefer what is good locally opposed to any particular cusine. As for lunch and dinner...I would love recommendations for places with great local chefs .. (btw saw the recommendation for #1 but i cant find it ... is that the correct name?) And if possible 1 good BBQ place.

Also any great places for Jazz, Blues, Zydeco or spanish music in that area?

and last but not least -- any great wine bars / cocktail lounges for afternoon drinks? (wink sounds good @ 5pm)

thanks a ton!

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  1. Franklin and JMueller are the best in-town barbecue choices, and they're both a quick trip from downtown. They're very favorably compared with the best Texas has to offer (the legendary joints in Lockhart, Luling, Taylor, etc.).

    Franklin has long lines and sells out early.

    JMueller is a trailer with picnic table seating. Shorter lines, also routinely runs out by early to mid afternoon.

    2 Replies
    1. re: ampeg66

      would they be better than Lamberts? i have heard of both on the boards here just figured they were out of downtown...

      1. re: earl

        You're in luck: Franklin is right downtown, just east of I-35 on 11th. JMueller is maybe a 5 minute cab ride south of the river on South 1st.

        There's nothing wrong with Lambert's, though some might say the barbecue items aren't as strong as some of the other things on the menu.

        But the other two are at the top of their game, and I wouldn't miss the opportunity to try at least one of them. Franklin is a national phenom for good reason, and Mueller's beef rib alone marks him as a top-flight pitmaster (not to mention his lineage as part of the Louie Mueller dynasty in Taylor).

        There's a website with "shaggy" in the name...if you googled that + Franklin, you might find some good local insights about both joints.

    2. I think your picks so far are good ones. I'd add La Condesa to your list. TRACE in the W hotel also has a nice brunch, as does South Congress Cafe.

      Not sure what you mean by the #1 comment - is that supposed to be the name of a restaurant? Where did you see the recommendation?

      3 Replies
      1. re: Optimista

        +1, if you're able to get a table. Paul is gaining publicity on Top Chef and is in the final three.

        unless he was recommending Uchiko.

        1. re: earl

          Yes, he meant Uchiko. The executive chef at Uchiko, Paul Qui, just won Top Chef.

          Paul is also co-owner of a series of food trailers on the east side of town, East Side Kings. At least one of them is open for lunch (I forget which - check their website) - might be worth a trip over that way. It's not far from downtown. Bourdain thought they were worth visiting.

        2. re: Optimista

          la condesa was also recommended in three perfect days the united airlines magazine ...i may do that

        3. Perla's on South Congress is great for brunch or dinner.

          Parkside is my favorite place for snacks and cocktails downtown. They have the most amazing happy hour.

          For jazz go to the Elephant Room close to 3rd and Congress.

          7 Replies
          1. re: rhettoric

            Blue Star Cafeteria or 24 diner for breakfast

            Driscoll for lunch

            Dinner Ze Tejas or Judge's Hill if you wanna blow some coin.

            1. re: Rptrane

              Z Tejas is a chain and please do not devote one of your six Austin meals to this when we have so many great local restaurants.

              Wink isn't open Sundays. Great choice any other night. You may be thinking of Uchi as it often is considered #1 restaurant in Austin.

              You might consider a quintessential Austin Tex-Mex breakfast. Search our board for migas or breakfast tacos and pick your pleasure.

              1. re: boshtx

                i may just grab migas all morning there is also a cool coffee cart i saw on the boards as well...Patika Coffee that sounds cool too

                1. re: boshtx

                  yea i saw wink -- they have a wine bar too i hear -- moving my dinner reservations back to 8pm now so i can try these places before dinner lol

              2. re: rhettoric

                cool cool maybe ill spend a whole afternoon at parkside lol ... cocktails then dinner...perla..ill look em up

                1. re: rhettoric

                  cool cool maybe ill spend a whole afternoon at parkside lol ... cocktails then dinner...perla..ill look em up

                  elephants check...

                  1. re: earl

                    I'd also give a second vote to La Condesa, it might be a better, more unique choice than Perlas.

                    Personally, I avoid Z Tejas and anything at the Driscoll.

                    And as others have commented, Uchi and Uchiko really are the best in town.

                    Another good, recently opened downtown spot is Easy Tiger on 6th. Beer garden (with an impressive draft selection and full bar) and great sausage/sandwiches/meat and cheese plates.

                2. thanks for all the great ideas...i wish i could stay there a week to try everything but here is the plan as of today lol.

                  lunch at Lamberts, la Condesa and Ranch 616 (may swap one of the great bbq recs for this last one)

                  Dinner at Congress and parkside

                  thanks for the music venue recommendations -- any other great ideas surely welcome as i still have a month to go lol...

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: earl

                    Thanks for reporting back. Let us know how it goes!

                    1. re: Optimista

                      So I just came back from my Austin trip. Again I want to thank the community for recommending so many places! Below is a quick review


                      For the first two courses we had a nice Argyle Rose Sparkling wine

                      Started with caviar service: I really liked the Ossetra and the carrot mouse that came with it. My only thought is that I thought the sweetness may have conflicted with the caviar a bit. The crackers were pretty useless that came with the dish but tasty nonetheless.

                      I think I prefer a more traditional service but it was a good starter.

                      We had Hamachi with strawberries, burratta salad and beef tartare for our first course. The combination of Hamachi and strawberries was really different, in a good way. While I liked the beef tartare, the Kimchi tended to overwhelm…but it was still a good dish

                      Second course was Potato Gnocchi, White lobster bisque and Chicken Carbonara. While the Gnocchi was very well done, I would try something more adventurous next time. The Carbonara was great, sort of a deconstructed dish…egg was so perfect…the lobster bisque was so good….lots of swooning from the two ladies with me at the table.

                      For the reminder we had a bottle of K vintners (Washington) Syrah Morrison Road.

                      Third course we had veal tenderloin and two orders of the rib eye loin. Nice portion size while I am not a fan of veal generally it was very good, the rib eye, with the date steak sauce (!) was unbelievably good and paired perfectly with the big spicy Syrah.

                      Before desert we did a La Tur Cheese course…nice…all soft cheeses , the graham crackers went really well with the more sour notes of the cheese.

                      Dessert included a strawberry dish with a sunflower financier, Caramel pudding and something else … desserts were good…but not mind blowing.

                      I thought congress was probably the best dinner we had. I liked the people watching (I was with two pretty women so I’m sure there were some comments on our table as well) but there is an interesting crowd there. Great table service, great waiters and pacing was pretty much spot on.

                      Our other dinner was at Parkside. While I am not the biggest fan of the crowd on 6th the location is great if you are staying at the Omni where we stayed.

                      We started with cocktails, and ordered fried oysters and steak tartare both of which were excellent…I’d say I preferred the tartare here over congress. Salads included the butter lettuce and beet salads, both nice…My beet salad was a nice blend of yellow and red and a nice goat cheese on top – yea it’s a standard paring but it was simply well done.

                      We then ordered a Ridge 3 vines zin and dug into our entrees; the dewberry chicken and two steaks, an order of fries and an order of green beans. On the steaks I really liked the blue cheese foam it adds a nice flavor w/o the heaviness of crumbled cheese. The roasted chicken was great as well.

                      For dessert we ordered four, the donuts, (Yum!), the smores, (Yum! But I would like a bit less chocolate), Roasted Banana mouse (OMG what was that freeze dried thing that tasted like peanut butter!) and finally the passion fruit tart (was going to drop this one but we added it to the order and we were glad we did)

                      The crowd is an interesting mix for sure…some dressed up like me some like hipsters and others….well…never mind…good service even if a bit distant. A great recommendation either way.

                      We had lunches at Lamberts BBQ, La Condesa and Ranch 616, all excellent. I think we ordered all the sides and all BBQ meat options at Lamberts, while I liked the BBQ I think I could use a bit more smoke and spice. At Condesa we ordered chips / salsa / Guac and those off the menu roasted ears of corn...tasty...for lunch we had steak and eggs, tacos and Huevos Condesa all excellent.

                      The cocktails at both Lamberts and Condesa were top notch I especially liked the mint juleps at Lamberts and the smoked Mescal drink at Condesa. My only nick on Condesa is that service was a bit spotty with longish waits between courses and cocktails.

                      I really liked that neighborhood off 2nd, next time I think we’ll stay at the W since it seemed we spent a ton of time there. Cru was a nice find for a wine bar as well.

                      Finally we tried Elephants for jazz Saturday and Sunday…Saturday was standing room only so we went back Sunday when it was less crowded, I think what you need to do on a busy day is to do an early dinner and head over to get a table. Patika was a great stop for a morning espresso and unfortunately we missed the bats lol.

                      Thanks for the recommendations guys

                      1. re: earl

                        Wow, thanks for the incredibly thorough report! Glad you had a nice trip from an eating perspective. Hope we get a chance to welcome you back to ATX again soon.

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