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Specific what to eat downtown questions

t
tex_in_yyc Oct 7, 2013 08:00 PM

I know that there's lots of threads on where to eat in the downtown area, but I'm looking for some very particular Texas staples.

I lived in Dallas for about 8 years and haven't been back to Texas in a dozen, so I've got some pretty serious cravings going on... what I can get in Canada is just not right.... I'm going to be in Austin for a week near the convention center, no car planned.

So where can I get a decent:

1) Chicken Fried Steak - Yep, good ole CFS... something that doesn't really make it far out of Texas before the quality disappears...

2) Chile Rellano - I can find the odd one around here that might almost be meh in Texas....

3) Chicken/Sour Cream Enchiladas - Hey... don't judge me...judge my wife on that one.

4) Decent BBQ sandwich - Brisket done right...maybe some jalapenos, onions, pickles stuffed in it.

5) Beer - Not looking for Miller Light... prefer a good dark beer. Shiner Bock works, but if anyone in micro-brewing up something dark and interesting that would be cool as well.

6) Music Bar- Austin rules with live bands and bars.... which bars typically have the better bands (rock preferred...)?

Thanks for any and all help

  1. rudeboy Oct 7, 2013 10:46 PM

    1) Hoover's used to be good for CFS - haven't been in a while. Short cab ride from downtown.

    2) I like the chicken and cheese "chile relleno original" at Polvo's on South First street. Somewhat short cab ride.

    3) Do you mean with tomatillo (green) sauce and sour cream?

    4) You didn't say anything about transportation, but I'm sure if you just want a brisket sandwich, Iron Works would do.

    5) There's no limit to the types of beer in Austin. You could walk in anywhere. You could also take the train from downtown to Crestview Station and eat/drink at Black Star Co-op. Maybe a 15 min ride for a dollar I think. Stiles Switch BBQ is a small hike north from there.

    6) Continental Club on S. Congress. There are many places to go - I used to just walk around until I heard something that I liked.

    1 Reply
    1. re: rudeboy
      amysuehere Oct 8, 2013 10:09 AM

      Second on Polvo's for the Chile Relleno and Enchiladas.

      Styles for the bbq and beer.

      Green Mesquite makes a pretty mean Chicken Fried Steak and CF Chicken. I love the pulled pork sammich and chopped beef sammich (slaw and okra!). Wings are crave-worthy. Great back yard and schooners of Shiner.

    2. TroyTempest Oct 8, 2013 10:16 AM

      5) On east 6th Violet Crown social Club has a good Beer selection. the other direction downtown, is Gingerman (you'll have to google it, i can't remember the address) which has about 100 beers on Tap and usually a couple in the cask.
      It's not downtown, but a new venture by award winning brewers can be found at austin beer garden brewery
      http://theabgb.com
      6.) Also, maybe Antone's. They moved to E. Riverside, which logistically might be a problem.
      Pick up an Austin Chronicle for Live music listings. or check out their website

      1 Reply
      1. re: TroyTempest
        amysuehere Oct 8, 2013 10:20 AM

        Oh, yes! Absolutely Gingerman! I dare say the new place is cooler than the first.

      2. popvulture Oct 8, 2013 09:53 PM

        I'll throw in Hill's Cafe for CFS. I suggest the yellow gravy option (they offer white and brown as well). It's a total heart attack on a plate, and I mean that as a compliment (I mean, we are talking CFS after all). Bonus: their sides have gotten a LOT better. I recently heard that they're under new ownership, so maybe that's the reason.

        I've always liked El Chile's relleno: non-fried, filled with achiote pork. While the restaurant's general reputation was slipping, the relleno was my go-to and I never had a bad one. I haven't been back in quite a while though, would love to hear if anyone's had one recently.

        Both would be short cab rides from downtown. I'll also second Polvos... probably my favorite Mexican place in town in terms of good, solid food combined with great neighborhood vibe.

        1. j
          jwynne2000 Oct 8, 2013 10:56 PM

          Since you're staying near the Convention Center, Rainey Street is very close and I'd say is a must-see part of town if you haven't been here before. I'll go out of order here, and ensure you don't have to drive or cab to any of these....

          5) Austin's locally made brews are plentiful and excellent. You'd be doing yourself a disservice if you didn't check some out. Best beer bars you can walk to:

          - Easy Tiger
          - Chicago House
          - Bangers (on Rainey Street)

          Ginger Man is okay, but they are very slow to rotate their selections. They've had 3 or 4 Spatens on tap since 1994 (stretching the point to make the point).

          6) They focus more on dub and reggae, but an hour or two at Flamingo Cantina is a great Austin music experience (and not one you'll read about in the brochures). For more rock and metal, go with Red River Street north of 6th Street (Mohawk, Beer Land, Club DeVille, Stubbs...maybe 2 or 3 others)

          4) Iron Works should be able to put together a decent BBQ sandwich for you. You may also run across a BBQ trailer in your downtown wanderings too. They pop up here and there at different times. Just follow the smell of burning oak.

          2) & 3) Maybe to nudge you toward some Mexican food that you and your wife might not have tried before, give El Naranjo a look. A pricier ordeal, but the food is excellent and the rellenos are top notch and inventive, from what I remember. Again, walking distance for you, on Rainey Street

          1) I can't help you much with CFS. All over town, I find so many much bad or mediocre CFS that I've stopped trying. Not worth the artery real estate. Walk to Bangers instead and try one of their 9 or 10 great house-made sausages.

          1. j
            jwynne2000 Oct 8, 2013 11:15 PM

            <<smacks forehead>>

            I can't believe I left Craft Pride off the list for #5. 50 or so taps, every one of them from Texas breweries. I hope you're thirsty. :)

            1. l
              lixlix Oct 9, 2013 08:44 AM

              1. Consider Moonshine for CFS
              2. I haven't had the Relleno here but other dishes were very good so I would consider El Naranjo

              I would also consider El Alma for Rellenos. I remember a Relleno with duck that was tasty. There's also a pretty good quail with mole sauce.

              These are more upscale Mexican restaurants but the food is good.

              3. can't advise on as I don't know what to look for in a good one.

              4. If you can get to LA BBQ or John Muellers or Stiles Switch or brave the line at Franklins, do so. None of these are downtown.

              1. m
                missmitzi Oct 9, 2013 11:29 AM

                I have opinions on only 2 of these:

                #2 - I may get some hate for this but I love the Chile Relleno at Hula Hut. I don't like a greasy relleno or a yellow cheese filled one. I'm actually not a huge relleno fan though, so take this with a grain of salt.
                #3 - sour cream chicken enchiladas. This is a plate that seems to be a Dallas area food (I'm from that area and it's hard to find a good one here). That said Gloria's (they have a downtown location) makes excellent sour cream chicken enchiladas in the Dallas style. The sour cream sauce actually has a flavor and there is the right amount of cheese melted on top. They also have tasty drinks.

                I know I just recommended two chains but dang I love those plates at both of them. I hope y'all enjoy your trip.

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