two foodie girls eating their way through austin...
we are planning a foodcentric trip to austin in late april. please let us know if we're off the mark, and help us making some decisions. we want Only in Austin food, and anything that is very unique.... also, i'm very fond of game meats & offal.
Gordoughs, (fried chicken & bacon donuts)
Lucy's Fried Chicken, (fried deviled eggs and fried chicken)
Franklin's, (brisket! and ribs)
Franks Restaurant, (jackalope sausage)
East Side Kings,
Chuys, Torchy's, &/or El Taco Rico, cannot decide.. where is the best tex mex???
Casino El Camino (fries & armadillo burger)
Big Top Candy Shop ( wasabi vanilla shake)
Amy's Ice Cream ( beer flavored ice cream)
Jack in the Box (Bacon Shake),
Mrs Ps Electric Cock (for the name)
...is summermoon wood fired coffee really that great?
You're far enough out that you should be able to get a reservation at Uchi or Uchiko. Also, IMO, it's not really the sushi at those places that is most compelling; it's the other stuff.
For the love of food, please don't go to Jack in the Box. And I agree with twyst; Chuy's is totally skippable. Ditto Lucy's. I've been twice and had both the items you mention, and they aren't very good. If you want some food by James Holmes, go to Olivia, instead.
Given that you like offal, definitely Barley Swine and Foreign & Domestic. Go right when Barley Swine opens or you'll be waiting forEVER.
Thought I agree with everything else Optimista has noted, I have to disagree with one point: Lucy's over the Olivia every time. I find Lucy's to be consistent, well-priced, well-executed, and with a great laid-back vibe (although the fried deviled eggs are pretty meh, the chicken is damn fine).... Olivia though, in my opinion is pretentious, over-priced, and poorly/inconsistently executed. Your mileage may vary. They are totally different restaurants, and it may just be I prefer the lowbrow to the highbrow.
Uchi/Uchiko and Barley Swine are musts if you're looking for the best foodie foods Austin has to offer. Also, foreign and Domestic or Contigo might be good, unique places that are a bit more upscale than some of these other choices. Look into them.
For Tex-Mex go to Polvo's or Curra's (Avocado Margartias, delicious).
Edit: Just saw the last sentence that you're into game and offal. Definitely add foreign and domestic to the list.
Another offal altenative would be the myriad of Carnicerias (Mexican meat markets) , taco stands, and Asia Cafe which is a fantastic Sichuan restaurant that has an extensive selection of offal based dishes.
Try to get at least one good barbacoa taco for breakfast when you are here. Personally, I go to El Tacorrido because it is close to my house, and they have good barbacoa, menudo, and buche (pig stomach.) Taqueria Arandas (There are a few of them all over town) still serve cesos tacos (brain) as well as menudo, lengua and barbacoa if I recall correctly.
Also, I'll second the avocado margaritas. They are tasty, and Curra's is great food and a great vibe.
Also, instead of Jack in The Box's Bacon Shake, enjoy a movie at the Alamo Drafthouse and try a strawberry and balsalmic vinegar milk shake, or a Midnight Espresso, or 512 Pecan Porter milkshake instead. Hopdoddy's also has a yummy salted caramel milk shake and a pretzel and nutella milkshake. But if you are already going to Big Top Candy Shoppe, you probably have the shakes covered.
I don't think they put enough Balsalmic to curdle the the ice cream. Balsalmic vinegar is not as acidic as other vinegars. There is definitely enough to taste it though, and I think it is a pretty good shake. A drizzle of reduced balsalmic vinegar over vanilla ice cream is a wonderful thing if you haven't tried it.
The Sunday brunch buffet at Fonda San Miguel is always a wonderful experience and if you get there at 11 am there's rarely much of a wait but it will fill up fast.
Jack in the Box is GROSS. Our local TV anchors tried a bacon shake and sort of tried to hide their frowns - and that restaurant notoriously food poisons folks.
Huge thumbs up for Uchiko or UCHI too, you'll regret not going there. Also rec Foreign and Domestic especially their beef tongue . . it's unreal.
The best game in town for me is out a ways in Lakeway 20 min. west of city center - the elk backstrap at Hudson's On the Bend, it's 42 bucks, comes coated in a blend of cascabel pepper and espresso, smoked, grilled to a med rare. It just melts in the mouth. Usually paired with some sweet potato puree and topped with a bit of gulf crab. Pricey. Yummy. They also have a GREAT scotch selection.
I for one was going to recommend Chuy's, but only for their Chile Releno. Get the ground beef version, it's the best. Also get the creamy cilantro sauce, not the red sauce.
Stay the hell out of Jack in the Box for the foodie experience. Really?
The rest, I've never heard of, I haven't been to Austin in four-five years. But if I were doing a foodie trip, I'd check out all of the new gourmet lunch trucks that have been featured on No Reservations.
There was also a neat little nook located on North Lamar. They serve the best Vietnamese sandwiches. Their Pho is great too, assuming they are still there.
Really, I found the Tex-Mex places in Austin dreadful, but check out the smaller taco trucks, especially if you can find a little Latin American truck or nook that sells Pollo Al Carbon (grilled chicken quarters).
Oh yeah, Amy's Ice Cream is a bit pricey, but the flavors will CHANGE YOUR LIFE. The acrobatics that the servers perform aren't that bad either.