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Please help me tighten up my eatin' itinerary!

Hello there!

I will be in Austin for the first time on a solo trip in September before taking the train out to West TX, and want to make the most of my 3 nights, 2.5 days! I'm staying in East TX near Rosewood Park and will have a bike and two eager legs at my disposal.

SUNDAY Night - I roll in around 9, so I'm planning to stay relatively close... Pizza at Via 313, a drink at ShangriLa and a visit to the ESK on site.

MONDAY - bike to Juan in a Million for bfast tacos - is there a better option within walking/biking distance I'm overlooking? I wish I could go to El Meson but I really don't think a nearly 40 minutes' ride on the bike each way is worth it.

...catching a bus downtown...

Lunch at TX Chili Parlor. I've seen opinions divided on the threads, but I kind of have my heart set on it (I'm a Death Proof apologist)

...walking down S. Congress...

This is where I need the most assistance - I don't even know where to start with the seeming abundance of food trailers in this area. Any pointers? If there is an exceptional Mexican trailer, that would be ideal, since my itinerary is light on the Mexican.....

TUESDAY - In search of the best coffee spot in East Austin. Suggestions?

Bus up to Stiles Switch for lunch, walk to Black Star Co-Op for brews.

That evening, a bike down to the East Side Food Park for Yoko Ono Miyaki....any other items I should be sampling there?

Concluding the days's eating/drinking with a nice sit at Banger's Sausage House. If there is a better craft beer bar closer to my location, I'm all ears.

WEDNESDAY, the day of BBQ reckoning....

Grab beers, book and bike and head to Franklin for brisket, possibly pulled pork (is an 8:30 arrival necessary for head of the line status on a Wednesday...?)

Once I wipe my saucy hands clean, bike to Micklewaiths for sausage. Then to John Muellers for a beef rib. After digesting a while, hit up Sams BBQ for mutton.

Do those sound like suitable choices for each establishment? Should I nix anything? Add anything? My stomach will know no bounds on Wednesday.

Before taking the train out in the evening, a quick jump over to Whole Foods... what are the best Texan craft beers I should be considering for the train ride?

Lastly, if there is any superlative hole-in-the-wall Mexican joint that you think I could wedge in anywhere, that would be appreciated.

THANK YOU. While I wish I wasn't stuffing my face alone, I'm nonetheless tremendously excited to be eating around your town.

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  1. Overall very solid. Me and some others agree that La Fruta Feliz on the north east-ish corner of Manor and Airport makes the best goat barbacoa and pastor tacos in town on house made corn tortillas (ask for the smooth and spicy avocado salsa). It's a bit of a trek on a bike from you, but not too hilly. If you can stomach some of those meat tacos for breakfast - I'd do that over Juan in a Million every time.

    As for east side coffee - my favorite is the iced coffee at progress on fifth - cold brewed and ask for a dash of real mexican vanilla (not the squirt top sweet bull shit).

    I really like Banger's. The ginger man is fun, but I'd compare their tap list and see which engages you the best.

    Franklin's on a wednesday that early? you should be at the front. Although it's admittedly been a good while since I've braved the wait. Just too much other great 'cue in town to justify that. But in your situation - it's a must if you can.

    One of my favorite Texas microbrews is Ugly Pug Black Lager by Rahr and Sons out of Houston. You may have to go to Specs on Airport (another good bike ride) to find it. Call first.

    2 Replies
    1. re: slowcoooked

      Thanks for the notes! La Fruta Feliz has now officially replaced Juan - I've never had goat barbacoa, so I'm sold.

      1. re: MinouLQ

        You'll be thrilled you did. It's called chivo there. with cilantro, onions, and the green avocado salsa it's heavenly. definitely on their corn tortillas. be forewarned, about one in five of those tacos have a bone bit or two. So just chew with care and enjoy. The carnitas and pastor are also usually perfect.

    2. I really enjoyed the pork ribs at franklin. even a little more then his fatty brisket.

      1 Reply
      1. Just a few notes:

        On Monday: You might want to look at South First in addition to South Congress for food trailers. I thought most of the South Congress ones have moved away due to construction. I haven't been by recently but you may want to check. Since your already down south, I'd check out how to get over to Barley Swine on south Lamar. It's pricey but to me is putting out some of the best food in the city.

        On Tuesday: Cuvee has a coffee shop in the same building with Salt and Time on 7th that is pretty close to your location. As far as getting to Stiles Switch and Blackstar, make sure you check out the Capital Metro Light Rail routes. You should be able to hop on with your bike pretty close to your location and hop off right next to Blackstar. Finally, check out Craft Pride on Rainey street for the nightly beer drinking in addition to Bangers.

        3 Replies
        1. re: ssouth

          Whoa, cold brew coffee on nitro? I have never heard of such sorcery. Awesome, I'll definitely add Cuvee to the list. Depending on how much money I can hoard between now and September, I'd love to fit in an upscale dinner @ Barley Swine (or Uchi...or Uchiko) while in town....perhaps it'll work out. If it doesn't I think I can console myself with the rest of my selections.

          Thanks for the continued suggestions and tips everyone!

          1. re: MinouLQ

            Sake social hour (happy hour) at Uchi is pretty amazing and won't break the bank. Get there 15 minutes before they open and request seating at the sushi bar.

            1. re: SlickTheCat

              Great idea. The social hour menu looks amazing - thanks a bunch!

        2. On S. Congress, there is a small food trailer park on the right side (can't recall the cross street) as you are walking south with Navajo Taco or something like that, and a few others and one i really like "Hey you gonna eat or what?"
          See my review here:
          http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/903157
          FYI, for whatever reason there are a lot of reviews of this trailer on Yelp, and few on CH.

          1 Reply
          1. re: TroyTempest

            haha, jesus, if I were to show my husband, professed Monte Cristo lover 4 life, one of those pictures on Yelp he'd rend his clothing and tear out his hair even more than he already is. Thanks, I'll add that trailer to the list.

          2. Just thought I'd file a quick trip report and thank everyone for their excellent suggestions - my eyes were bigger than my stomach in planning this trip but I had some absolutely amazing food and drink.

            Via 313's Detroiter is among the best pizzas I've had. Grabbed it outside of Violet Crown and thoroughly enjoyed my experience at the bar, too. Had Home Slice too, and I know they're different beasts, but I'd stick with Via any time.

            Those who rec'ed La Fruta, I thank you. I had both Juan in a Million and Fruta breakfast tacos and there's no comparison - Juan's, giant and trashy hangover fare, Fruta's as delicate and complex as tacos can be, by comparison. I missed the goat - next time I come back, it's a must. Terrific recommendation.

            Franklin's brisket was worth the wait, totally. I didn't think it was going to be, but there you go. I get the hype. I liked the heavy peppered bark on John Mueller's beef rib and brisket well enough but Franklin is king as far as I am concerned. Stiles Switch jalapeno sausage was excellent, as was the sides selection. Wish I would've gotten more BBQ in me but everyone has a breaking point.

            LOVED Banger's, and even more so, Craft Pride. I appreciate an establishment with that kind of dedication to their local beers. Black Star, I could take or leave. Nice selection of guest beers but I wasn't too thrilled with their house beers. I'll stick to the places on Rainey St. when I return.

            Made time for Uchi's Sake Social Hour, and a big thank you to the person who directed me to it - some of the most memorable mouthfuls of the trip.

            Texas Chili Parlor....was fine. I was happy to get my Death Proof fix but I'll keep my tomato based bean-flecked chili.

            To the poster who mentioned "Hey...You Gonna Eat or What?" great call! I liked the battered, fried Monte Cristo lots but I don't know if I'd ever do it again. I already shaved a year or two off my life with this first one.

            I'm sure there's more but above is what stands out the most in my memory. Thanks again, all. I'll be back in the spring for more culinary exploration!

            1 Reply
            1. re: MinouLQ

              Thanks for great trip report. Glad you liked "Hey...You gonna Eat or What?". I still haven't had the Monte Cristo. Now that you've reminded me, I need to get down there again.

            2. So glad you had a great time MinouLQ and thanks for the report. Odd, someone else came thru town and dissed Fruta hard. Must've been an odd day, b/c I've never had anything less than superb tacos there. You did it right, for sure. Next time, the chivo indeed. and some new places are looking strong, e.g. mettle.