One night in Austin (tonight!) Where to hide from sxsw for quiet dinner and drinks?
My husband and I will be in Austin tonight as we're attending a tech conference tomorrow. Yeah, who plans a tech conference in the middle of sxsw, right? Anyway, we'll be driving from DFW and staying near Lake Austin (no rooms downtown for people on an average budget.) We both went to UT and lived in Austin in the 80's so we know our way around, sort of. Looking for somewhere to eat and have drinks (not necessarily in the same place) that won't be overly hammered with sxsw revelers. Nothing fancy, just tasty and relaxed. Any type of food will do. Suggestions for breakfast would be welcome too.
Thanks for the suggestions, unfortunately I didn't see them until after we'd eaten. We also slept in a bit and just put up with the coffee and breakfast they served at the conference.
However, if anybody's interested, we did manage to find some tasty options that weren't overly crowded.
We started at Oasis for drinks. We know better than to order the food, but it's nice enough to sip an adult beverage and watch the sun go down over the lake.
After that we made our way into civilization and went to Three Little Pigs. We ordered one pork belly slider and the special which was fried pork jowls with grits and black eyed peas. We both got one bite of the slider and then a gust of wind blew the whole thing right off my lap and onto the ground. Damn shame, but I can tell you the bite I had was super tasty. Not too much of the sweet sauce. A great bite of food. The jowls were really good, though a little under seasoned I thought. The grits and peas were the best part though.
Since nature blew away half our dinner, we decided to walk the half block to Hillside Farmacy for additional calories. The outdoor seating was full but we were seated right away indoors. It was almost 10pm by that point and the kitchen was about to close, which we were told by the host and our server in a manner that suggested we'd better damn well hurry up and decide what we wanted. I had read something positive about the mac and cheese so we got an order of that and the charcuterie plate. The mac and cheese was really pretty remarkable. Doesn't look like much, but it was creamy and just cheesy enough. The charcuterie plate had pickled khol rabi, duck confit, salami, some kind of mint pesto, some pickled beets and pork rillete. It came with a dozen or so slices of bread from little loaves. My favorite thing on there may have been the pesto, followed closely by the pork. Hubby liked the confit a lot but to me it just tasted like chicken fat - missing that rich duck thing somehow. And it needed salt. The beets tasted like dirt, as has every beet I've ever eaten, so it's not their fault, I am just going to give up on beets. Hubby said they were very good.
Aside from the pressure to hurry up and order, service was really pretty good. I'd read that service was an issue there, so that was a nice surprise. Of course, once the kitchen is closed, there's not much for the server to do except bring you more cold beer and eventually the check, which she did in a timely fashion.