Austin for a Group - Dinner and Brunch Suggestions
Yes, this is probably what you think it is. I'm sorry! NYC Hound headed to Austin for a weekend with a bachelorette group. This is not so much a Dirty 6th crowd as a classy wine bar or hipster dive sort of crowd, if that makes sense. That being said, we are looking to do quintessentially Austin things and, well, it's a bachelorette. It's several in the group's first trip to Texas!
Here are some of the restaurants I have come across. I would love to do an Uchi (love love love the Houston location) but we are also trying to keep costs reasonable.
Staying in Clarksville but definitely willing to cab and travel.
Max's Wine Dive
Iron Works, Salt Lick or Stubbs (though Stubb's concerts that weekend aren't very appealing to me)
Tacos and Tequila
Green Pastures (brunch?)
East Side Cafe (ditto?)
What are y'all's thoughts? Where am I missing? We will likely go out in SoCo, Rainey Street or East End one night and maybe stay closer to home the other night. Would love any guidance!
For dinner, I would much prefer to eat at Uchiko (make reservation in advance or show up 15 min. before opening), Uchi (same deal), Barley Swine (show early, no rez's), and can't imagine Qui is anything less than stellar but probably only Barley Swine will potentially meet your "reasonable cost" criterion. Other honorable mentions that aren't too pricey are Wink, Parkside, and Lenoir. Any of those trump dinner options on Rainey by a good bit.
Oh, and BTW, for a very classy but still chilled out (it's austin, nothing is too snooty here) experience, get happy hour Bat-tini's (half off cocktails) just before dusk and peer out the back little patios at the Four Season's lounge downtown and watch the largest urban bat colony in the USA (perhaps world) take flight for their daily mosquito dinner from under the south congress bridge. Their Lobby Lounge and Trio Happy hours are really good deals in swankville. You can also easily walk from there to east 6th street / east side locations. http://austin.fourseasons.com/2011/07...
The brunch buffet at green pastures is second only to Trio's brunch but is about 11 bucks a head less, last I checked. their shrimp cocktail and bourbon bread pudding are worth the price alone. the house, grounds, and peacocks are great for dressed up photos.
On Rainey I like Bangers and the stray wild turkey that lives in the area.
If you're going to do BBQ skip your mentions and head to La BBQ or John Mueller's by 11 am if you care to only wait 10 minutes instead of 3 hr for Franklin's fare. Both are stellar. Don't skip the beef ribs at either joint.
My experience at Taverna for brunch sucked (food, not service) and has kept me away.
Max's wine dive is a decent brunch and a better burger (beef rib in the mix).
La Condesa has slipped in my opinion. Lovely place though.
East Side Cafe is a solid option anytime.
On the east side, if you're out and about partying the Violet Crown's happy hour and Detroit Style Pizza trailer Via 313 in the same lot are fantastic. They'll bring your food inside while you drink "iron whips" - trust me on trying one of those and ask for an added shot of vanilla vodka for an adult dreamcicle experience. Once there, you'll pretty much be in walking distance from solid east side bars (shangri-la) hosting plenty of heavy black-rimmed, decoration-only eye glasses, bright framed sunglasses, and beards. What more could one want?
for brunch I agree that green pastures is very nice. beautiful setting and the all you can drink alcoholic ice cream is really tasty. its actually my favorite buffet style brunch, but I can't eat enough for it to be a good value.
uchiko would probably be able to accomodate a larger party easier then uchi.
I might also consider the carillon on UT campus. solid food and the prices are reasonable for what you get.