Bachelor party in Austin
Looking to go to Austin for a bachelor party. The weekend coincides with a Longhorns game. We are about 15 people. Any recommendations for places to eat? We lean towards better food/nicer establishments without the need for white table cloths or dinner jackets if that helps at all. We are also a HUGE fan of BBQ and would entertain all options there.
Please let me know if anyone has any recommendations and if they think that the crowd from the football game might make this difficult.
No better place to eat BBQ in the world, IMHO, if you're willing to travel a bit. Many threads herein on that topic. The only world class BBQ joint that is actually in Austin is Franklin's on East 11th. The line out front is nearly as legendary as the BBQ. My personal choice -- and BBQ is a very personal matter -- would be to load up in three cars and head out to Taylor Texas and have an EARLY lunch at Louie Mueller's BBQ. It's closer to town than some of the other legendary joints, and it's frankly my favorite. The brisket is very good to great, depending on the day (and only if you get the fatty end). But, ORDER THE DAMNED SAUSAGE!!!! It just beats me why people don't eat house made sausage at a BBQ joint in the German part of Texas. And you have to get there early to make sure that they still have sausage. And not that anybody should go to a BBQ joint for atmosphere, but Mueller's has atmosphere is spades. Nobody in the party will ever forget their trip to Mueller's -- I promise. It's looks just like a Hollywood art director's idea of what a central Texas BBQ joint should look like, down to the dusty parking lot and the creaky old fans. But it's entirely authentic. Nothing artificial or contrived about it at all.
Not sure about the crowd from the game. Call and ask them. Also ask in a very general way about what time they run out of sausage on an average Saturday. They're very cautious about saying when they run out of things as they hate to disappoint. But if you tell them you understand there are no guarantees, etc., and are nice, you might get an answer.
Any BBQ joints downtown that you could recommend? Also, any with atmosphere? Dont care about the look of the joint, but a place that we could a) walk to instead of trying to get 4 cabs and, b) sit down as a group and order from a waitress instead of standing online to order? I feel like with 15 people waiting in line for 2 hours could prove cumbersome.
Thanks for all the suggestions.
The only BBQ you'll find downtown besides Lambert's is Iron Works or Stubbs. If you're looking for "fancy BBQ", Lambert's is your best bet as Optimista suggested. The BBQ ain't great but it's passable and the sides (esp the green chile and cheese grits) and other menu items are pretty good. I've never heard anything good about the BBQ at Stubbs, but both it and Lambert's have full bars. Stubbs is less fancy than Franklin's. I haven't been to Iron Works since the 80's so I don't know how it is these days, but I'd bet that it's still better than Lambert's or Stubbs. Downside is that IW is counter service and only sells beer and wine.
I still urge you to consider leaving the downtown area if you want a better BBQ experience. Stiles Switch is not difficult to get to from downtown via Capital Metrorail (late afternoon and night only on Saturdays) if you want to get there cheaply. Taxis are your other option. The brisket at SS might not be as transcendent as it is at Snow's in Lexington is (haven't been to Franklin's so I can't compare there), but it's still a far piece better than what you'll find downtown. SS is counter service, but if you call ahead, they might be able to set some other arrangements for you. They also only serve beer and wine though that shouldn't be a problem if you wander across the street to The Yellow Rose, which is the best of the local second tier titty bars. Stiles Switch and The Yellow Rose make for a pretty fine bachelor party lineup if you ask me.
re: Carter B.
Really appreciate all the guidance. Any non BBQ restaurants you could recommend downtown that would also be food for our second night in town? Again, we like good food but are not looking to be steered tot he fanciest (or the least fancy) place in town. A fun place for a group with good food, basically.
Parkside is great, but for a bachelor party I think the atmosphere at La Condesa might be more fun (also excellent tequila). It's Mexican food done upscale and in and interesting way, like most upscale restaurants here it's not stuffy or "fancy". I can't think of a single restaurant in Austin that would require a dinner jacket, and if they do, you should leave immedietly and not waste your money.
I haven't been to Ten Oak yet, but it seems to have a sort of fancy sports bar vibe (paring good bourbon with french fries, stuff like that). It would probably be an awesome bachelor party spot. I'm not a fan of the food at Moonshine, but lots of people are; it does have a cool atmosphere with good party/large group spaces (old historic ranch house right in the middle of downtown).
Also, when you're inevitably stumbling down 6th street at some point, try and get yourselves to Easy Tiger for sausages and bread made in house (excellent beer selection too). So much better than the terrible pizza carts...