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Foiled by Fonda San Miguel again.

t
texaspeppers May 27, 2012 10:38 AM

It's a long history guys, but I'm an ex-pat Texan Fort Worth) living in Montreal and for two years have been trying to get to Fonda San Miguel. I will be in Austin the 30th of June for a show and was sure this was finally IT!!! Unfortunately, show is a present for father's 77th birthday and starts at 7pm. I now see Fonda opens at 5:30. No way I can get late 70's parents in and out and arthritic mom in her seat for the show by 7PM...

I am the foodie of the family. Canadian husband is well raised and loves all things BBQ or spicy. Texas mother highly suspicious of uncooked seafood (sushi). Have been considering Uchiko anyway because their food looks so incredible, but also looking at Codesa and a few others. The show is on Bee Caves Road. Any suggestions or comments???

  1. p
    pwang May 27, 2012 06:49 PM

    My last two experiences at Fonda were less than stellar. Kind of embarrassment when I took a friend there from San Francisco. I fondly remember the sunday brunches there but haven't been to a brunch in a long time.

    La Condesa is great. Also try Barley Swine. If you want BBQ, then do Rudy's or Lamberts. I'd avoid Salt Lick and County Line. (All these locations are downtown/SoCo and north of town; I don't have much knowledge of places far south of the river...)

    1. amykragan May 27, 2012 08:21 PM

      The Grove Wine Bar is not far from One World Theater where you must be going and they have great food and cool decks (also indoor ac areas) and good food. Pizzas too if want something the group can share.

      2 Replies
      1. re: amykragan
        e
        elpaninaro May 31, 2012 05:33 PM

        Agreed- I live out this way and if you want to eat very close to the theater then Grove is the best option. I would say overall the place is "pretty good". Salads are boring, as are the sandwiches. But they have some good pastas and meat dishes. Not a lot of spice here- intended to be more of a casual "please all" place in my view. But for the immediate area- as good as it gets. Nice pizzas. Check the menu online first before you decide- it is somewhat limited, with few choices beyond basic pizza/salad/pasta dishes.

        Alan below suggested Gumbo's. I have not been, but now that I look at the menu I plan to try it soon. A bit far out drive-wise for some, but it is all high speed low traffic coming back in town from there when it is not AM rush hour, plus I see they are open all day- so you could do an early dinner at a leisurely pace and have plenty of time to get to the show. If the food is half as good as the menu and pictures indicate, I get the feeling this will best address your needs based on your request and followup posts.

        County Line on Bee Cave is disgusting these days- sorry but that's the truth. They have gone to the dark side- velveeta cheese in the baked potatoes and greyish looking iridescent beef the last time I was there (last time in both senses- this place was great when I was in college). And there is nothing in the HEB complex worthy of a nice dinner out. Hangtown Grill has some great menu items- killer onion rings for a start, but that does not seem the sort of cuisine you are aiming for this trip.

        If you are craving sushi, on Bee Cave and Walsh Tarlton is Tokyo Sushi. For "Americanized" sushi, this is the best place in town I have found. But best to call them and ask them to fax or email you a menu first- I am not sure what their cooked fish options are like. And if you do go there, be sure to ask what toppings are on rolls you order- otherwise they put various tasty (but for me- unwanted) mayos etc. on many of the rolls.

        1. re: elpaninaro
          a
          addlepated May 31, 2012 09:49 PM

          Elpaninaro - if you live around here, give Izumi a try. They're right by Hangtown. We really like their sushi.

      2. dinaofdoom May 27, 2012 08:26 PM

        fsm isn't that great any more; i don't think you're missing out.
        austin's dining scene has really upped its game in the 7 years since i moved here.

        uchiko is the best of what you mentioned.
        la condesa may be a little too contemporary for your mother, based on your description.

        does barley swine still have the communal seating?
        may be too uncomfortable for the arthritic older parents.

        4 Replies
        1. re: dinaofdoom
          t
          texaspeppers May 28, 2012 04:25 AM

          does uchiko have cooked fish dishes as well that would be interesting for the parents dinaofdoom? My mom is suspcious of all that is uncooked that comes from the sea... Me, I looooove sushi! Their pdf menu doesn't seem to be working for me.

          1. re: texaspeppers
            c
            chrisdds98 May 28, 2012 07:17 AM

            they do have cooked pork and chicken dishes. can't think of any cooked fish dishes off the top of my head...

            1. re: chrisdds98
              tom in austin May 28, 2012 11:13 AM

              Uchi has a cooked escolar dish that is out of this world, as well as the hamachi nabe bowl that (while overpriced) is absolutely craveworthy.

            2. re: texaspeppers
              i
              ieattoo Jun 2, 2012 11:51 AM

              they do have generally at least 3-4 cooked fish dishes on the menu at all times between the regular menu and specials. plus chicken, pork and beef.

          2. Alan Sudo May 28, 2012 10:51 AM

            One suggestion for a wonderful meal near the venue (One World Theater?) would be just down Bee Caves Road at Gumbo's.

            Fine dining worthy of the celebration. Lot's of (cooked) seafood choices for Mom, many with flavors bold enough to satisfy Hubby. Parking near the restaurant to ease any worry of getting parents in and out (although I assume you would be using valets if you dine downtown anyway).

            It's not the most innovative option in Austin, but it's a solid choice given the details of your particular group.

            5 Replies
            1. re: Alan Sudo
              t
              topeater May 28, 2012 12:11 PM

              You are right...you would have difficulty having dinner at FSM at 5:30 & getting to your show at 7pm. I love FSM & the service is almost always first rate. Uchiko has cooked dishes including fish plus they take reservations. Uchi does not take res, but you should have no problem if you get there early close to opening. They usually have less cooked dishes than Uchiko. I would not recommend Barley Swine because of the sitting arrangement. Another place you might consider on South Lamar is Olivia. They take reservations & are not too far from One World. Don't give up on FSM!

              1. re: topeater
                popvulture May 28, 2012 01:25 PM

                Uchi does take reservations. Just go to their website.

              2. re: Alan Sudo
                t
                texaspeppers Jun 3, 2012 10:16 AM

                Could you adventure an opinion on the Oasis and the Eastside Cafe??

                1. re: texaspeppers
                  s
                  ssouth Jun 3, 2012 11:35 AM

                  imho, i would only take my parents to the Oasis if I didn't want to see them again....

                  1. re: ssouth
                    d
                    danny_w Jun 3, 2012 01:06 PM

                    ...or if they enjoy beautiful views. Admittedly the food is nothing to brag about (especially for the prices) but the views can't be beat! I am going there for a friend's 50th wedding anniversary next Sunday.

              3. h
                HookEm May 29, 2012 03:36 PM

                FSM has a wonderful Sunday brunch, so you can go there the day after your show for a fantastic meal! I like it better than their dinner menu. I hope it works with your schedule. Many consider it overpriced, but I don't mind it as a splurge once in a while.

                1. t
                  texaspeppers May 31, 2012 08:32 PM

                  You guys are great to help out so much. Gumbo's seems very possible and I had not seen anything about it before, but if Uchiko has some cooked dishes it might be hard to pass up. I also looked at the Austin Chronicle article and wanted your opinions on two more places. They suggest the Oasis as the best place to bring parents and The Eastside café could fit as well. Opinions??

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: texaspeppers
                    r
                    Rptrane Jun 3, 2012 07:58 PM

                    Chuy's is on the water and the food is actually decent, not great, but decent.

                    1. re: texaspeppers
                      t
                      topeater Jun 4, 2012 06:34 AM

                      Eastside Cafe is an option. The food is fresh and generally good. Not exciting like Uchiko!

                      1. re: texaspeppers
                        j
                        jjs21582 Jun 22, 2012 02:12 PM

                        Eastside Cafe would be great for your parents. Very Austin-y. One of our go-to restaurants for good, consistent meals. The fish is always great. As mentioned below, not one of the newer, innovative places in town, but good food. They have a huge garden on-site and it's fun to wander around and see what shows up on the menu.

                      2. tim irvine Jun 4, 2012 05:16 PM

                        If you are willing to drive a bit, there are obviously lots of possibilities. If you want, however, to eat on the way out Bee Cave, I love Las Palomas, actually preferring it to Fonda for many things, and also like Bombay Grill.

                        2 Replies
                        1. re: tim irvine
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                          elpaninaro Jun 4, 2012 05:32 PM

                          Isn't Las Palomas the place in the same shopping center as Michael's and the post office? If so, I agree- nice place. My only beef was the store bought tortillas- but then again, it was the really great food otherwise that made that one point stick out. Definitely a good choice- and a nice atmosphere as well.

                          1. re: elpaninaro
                            tim irvine Jun 10, 2012 07:12 AM

                            I agree on the tortillas.

                        2. j
                          JackWood Jun 23, 2012 12:40 PM

                          I would eat close to the One World Theater. Buenos Aires Cafe at the Hill Country Galleria or Ronnies Real Food Bistro on Commons Ford road. Check Ronnies website and make a reservation. You can also bring your own drinks without a corkage fee. Austin traffic is terrible so pick a spot near the venue. Tony C's at the Galleria offers Italian and good pizza. The Grove is also close but their food seems to be hit or miss.

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