Sunday breakfast on Mother's Day, but not a MD Brunch?
Hi all: coming into town next week for a meeting....just realized that one of my few mornings free is Sunday, which of course is Mother's day. I am a mother, but looking for something far removed from a brunch or set menu, and I will be by myself that morning. Outstanding Mexican breakfast (huevos rancheros?) would be ideal, but open to all suggestions. Staying at the Hyatt Regency, but willing to travel. I see El Alma is close by, but we may end up there at dinner one night, and it strikes me as the type of place that might get a Mother's Day crowd...Your ideas?
As for the rest of my time, will be fairly occupied with meetings during the day. For five nights of dinners, I have reservations at Barley Swine and Uchi (question about this: the menu at Uchiko appeals to me more, but reservations weren't available, and it is further from the Hyatt. Should I try and switch this one out or should I stay with Uchi?). Probably going to El Alma with a group one night, and probably staying in the Hyatt with another group another night. Thoughts for seafood or steak with one or two friends my last night? Am I missing anything obvious? I am not necessarily a huge fan of TexMex (traditional Mexican I do like.) but I do like bbq. I keep reading about standing in line at Franklin, but given my work schedule and general dislike of waiting, that won't be happening.
Appreciate any suggestions, particularly for my Sunday breakfast, and I will report back!
well, I have lots to report on, but not breakfast: there was a slight mix-up on my hotel reservation, and as an apology the Hyatt comp'd my breakfast Sunday am: so I ended up at a Mother's Day brunch after all. (and all the other breakfasts were provided as part of my meetings). It was fine for what it was, but nothing special either (other than two really good salsas). Service, as it was everywhere in Austin, was friendly (with the exception of the hostess, who could not crack a smile to save her life) and efficient. However, the rest of the food I had at the Hyatt (at conference lunches and an an evening reception) was above average for conference/convention fare...
And I really must say, overall I was very impressed with all of my meals in Austin. I had some delicious meals, lovely service. What a great eating town!
Will try and add on to this thread with quick reports on the places I tried, which included dinners at El Alma, La Condesa, Uchiko, Barley Swine, and Second Street Bar and Kitchen. Uchiko was probably my favorite (and definitely my most expensive) meal, but there really wasn't a clunker in the bunch. More on each soon.
First night: Uchiko: first of all, it is a bit further than I thought based on the responses above...and getting a taxi 'home' afterwards was a real challenge (took at least 25 minutes and at one point the hostess came out to check and confessed that taxis don't like heading to the neighborhood late at night.) However, the meal was worth it!
Was seated at the sushi bar. Great service. Dishes I tried included maguro sashimi and goat cheese, pork tataki, iwashi (sardine), razor clam, and the brussel sprouts (which had to be among the best I've ever eaten, and I love brussel sprouts),. and more. All was excellent to outstanding. The only dish that I didn't love was the fried milk for dessert, even though the sushi chef and the regular seated next to me insisted it was a must order...admittedly I was very full by the time I got it, so that could have been a factor.
An impressive start to the week....
Night number two (ok, I am busy, so reports are slow): Second Bar and Kitchen. This was a group dinner, not chosen by me. I was apprehensive when I saw we were seated at a large indoor table with stool and no backs, in the bar, but it turned out to be quiet enough for conversation and reasonably comfortable.
I started with Gin and Jam: basically a very dry martini with a spoonful of lemon 'jam' that was more like a lemon sorbet with little or no sugar. Excellent. The group shared a variety of appetizers including chicken fried olives (how can you go wrong?), fries, a cheese board, shishito peppers (my personal favorite) and the avocado fundido (which was the overall group favorite and quite good). The group wasn't really into sharing for 'mains' so I had the garlic and chive gnocchi and the veal meatballs (two small plates). I loved the gnocchi, thought the meatballs were only ok; they were one dimensional, a bit too salty, and something one could get anywhere, including out of my own freezer.
One of my dining companions raved about the brussel sprouts and offered me a taste: they were good, but paled in comparison to the version I'd had at Uchiko the night before. His 'bacon and eggs' (pork belly, poached egg, frissee) looked wonderful, and he didn't offer me any tastes before it disappeared in a hurry.
Several of us enjoyed the rice pudding for dessert.
Service was very good; they handled the group well. I wasn't paying, so not sure of the final bill. This wouldn't be my first choice of all of the places I tried in Austin, but I'd definitely go back, especially for cocktails and small bites. It worked surprisingly well for a group, particularly a group of mixed adventurous and non-adventurous eaters: the not-as-adventurous types seemed quite happy with the burger (which was HUGE) and salads.
For breakfast, maybe Sazon on South Lamar or Habanero Cafe on Oltorf might work.
I think you would be happy with Uchi. Distance wise, neither one is a very far drive. You might call Uchiko to see if there are any reservations that have opened up.
Finding good BBQ at dinner time will be a little tough. I think Stiles Switch would be your best option.
Austin is not generally known for seafood but Perlas on South Congress is decent. It's great for people watching and you can stroll down by all the shops near by before or after dinner.
For other dinner ideas, check out the top 55 list below.
Thanks for the suggestions and thoughts. As it turns out, I was able to get a reservation at Uchiko and decided to go for it: i really like the menu.
Your comment about seafood is interesting: obviously, we get lots of great seafood in California (and in my former home town of San Francisco), but in my current (small) town, seafood is hard to come by. But I assumed Austin did a good job with it, because, if Open Table is any judge, you have lots of seafood places...I'd go for steak the last night, but not sure my friends will want that...will check out the top 55 list, thanks!