Foodie Celebrating. Need help!
Hi there. Celebrating in Austin and in need of some help. Total foodie here from NYC. Have eaten at lots of "great restaurants" but truly am looking for something fun, memorable, and delicious. Not expecting or wanting a 3 star Michelin meal.
I think I have eaten at all of the "places to eat" in Austin (examples being like: Uchiko, BarleySwine, Foreign&Domestic) but I haven't been to a couple of the left overs that I usually overlook. Now I think I should try one of them. Or something else you would recommend!
I haven't been to Fonda San Miguel, La Condesa, or Second which I have always heard mixed reviews on.
Also, first time posting on here even though I read Chow religiously. Can't wait to see what you guys think!
Second is great especially if you can go during HH where the prices are more affordable. My favorite is the bacon and eggs which has a magically poached egg and a large portion of pork belly. Pork fat rules you know!
I just enjoyed a fantastic Austin Restaurant Week Meal at Haddington's, so I'm a bit biased in my suggestion. They have a really comfortable atmosphere and friendly vibe, and the food is excellent. Great cocktails too.
One of the things that I love most about Austin dining (as a former New Yorker) are all the great patios around town. I love eating outdoors. Olive and June would be a great pick for outdoor ambiance, and the pappardelle with shortribs is crazy good. I also ate really well at Trace (at the W hotel). They have a really pretty upscale sidewalk patio.
Of the three you mention, La Condesa is my favorite by a long shot. Fonda is wonderful, but if you're going for something exciting/interesting/out of the box, it's not really that...and I've found it to be a little inconsistent, of late. I've been to Second three times, and have yet to find anything that really excited me. La Condesa did take me a couple visits to find my sweet spot, but now it's one of my favorite places in town. Their small plates are pricey, but special (the ceviches, the flatbread with the huitlacoche, the guac with the chipotle, etc.). Also, La Condesa's cocktails are far better than either of the other two (although if you like more old school cocktails, Second's are more in that vein...I just don't like to taste my booze quite that much).
And I'll echo @frankcross' Carillon suggestion. It's also less "out of the box" than La Condesa, but I've been many, many times, and never tasted anything there that I didn't think was excellent. The atmosphere is a little staid, but the food never disappoints.
I second Optimista's opinion. The brussel sprouts I hear are to die for (dinner only) and I've yet to try them, but that chipotle quac and the tortas ahogada at lunch I seem to get every time. The tequila list is great too. I love that place.
Fonda at dinner to me is nowhere near the experience that sunday brunch is. The dinner plates can be hit and miss. But I've always enjoyed my brunches there.