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Hot restaurants that are not too expensive

The hubs and I have a very rare weekend of babysitters both Friday and Saturday night. Friday night we have reservations at Uchico, which I'm thoroughly excited about. We want to try something new on Saturday night but would like a more casual place. I don't want to have two super fancy dinners on back to back nights. Any suggestions on places to go? Anything in East Austin? That's an area we haven't been to much. Thanks in advance!

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  1. Bufalina on Cesar Chavez.

      1. Not exactly new but Ze Tejas or Jack Allen's Kitchen are good options. Barley Swine isn't cheap but isn't crazy, it's tapas though.
        Could always do a trailer. If you like Pizza Via 313 is some of the best I've ever had.
        Also you could do Garbo's for dinner. It's BYOB but if you like lobster you'd likely like it.

        1. Kin & Comfort is way north (not east), but very reasonable (and in a food court, so about as un-fancy as it gets). I also love the Bufalina and Garbo's recommendations. Also, Salty Sow is east and is another casual spot with tasty food.

          6 Replies
          1. re: Optimista

            great minds think alike: i was gonna post the same thing about K&C! you could then head over to the lakeline alamo drafthouse for a movie and drinks (they have a nice pub inside)...

            1. re: dinaofdoom

              Yes! Or over to Snow Monster for some amazing snow ice (that's what we did last time we went to K&C).

              1. re: Optimista

                is noble pig doing dinner yet? that would be fun, too.

            2. re: Optimista

              Joining in on the Kin & Comfort bandwagon. Don't miss the shrimp and grits or the corn fritters.

              1. re: foodiegal71

                As I said previously I like the mac and cheese.

            3. On the East Side I'm a huge fan of Licha's Cantina. Its a interior mexican restaurant.

              Go for the escargot (yes, escargot in a Mexican restaurant), beef tongue, al pastor, octopus, duck.

              1. we keep trying over and again to go to Odd Duck and not like something and keep failing miserably. half or less of Barley Swine, casual, shorts and tee shirts are fine, sitting at the bar is great.

                On the current dinner menu I can easily recommend the (1) zucchini pancake - tastes like it came right out of the garden that hour. (2) soft boiled egg and fried rice and mushroom. (3) any dish with the house made tater tots. (4) any of their salads. (5) the pretzels are good but the horseradish sauce accompaniment is outstanding. (6) fantastic drinks. We typically get two or three of the small dishes (5-9 bucks) and split a bigger dish (10 - 15 bucks). Too bad the smoked redfish salad isn't offered at dinner, it's spectacular.

                12 Replies
                1. re: slowcoooked

                  Had the soft boiled duck egg w/fried rice & mushroom at lunch on Wednesday and it was to die for. That dish is special.

                  1. re: Optimista

                    Thanks for all the great suggestions. It sounds like Odd Duck would be a great choice. Has anyone gone without reservations? There are none available Sat. night. How long is the wait typically? We'd probably get there around 7.

                    And I really need to get myself to K&C too. I'm embarrassed that I haven't been there yet and it's only about 10 minutes from where I work!

                    1. re: Sweet_Cheeks

                      Sweetcheeks we did dinner once with reservations and now probably 7 lunches / 2 sunday brunches without. so I am not sure the wait w/o a rez at dinner time. but I would imagine you can roll to the bar pretty quickly anytime. I have never seen the "reserved" signs at the bar area.

                    2. re: Optimista

                      "Had the soft boiled duck egg w/fried rice & mushroom "

                      Ohhhhh this is one my favourites in the whole world...and when you dip one of the parker house rolls into the gooooeynesss ....

                      1. re: girloftheworld

                        Yeah, it was a real surprise. What a perfect egg, too!

                        Do you and the folks ever eat in :-) ???

                        1. re: slowcoooked

                          Wellllll of course..how do you think I practice cooking! but we just moved :( major down size- and I lost my beautiful center island kitchen! ( I know first world problems) ----up side I am not stuck on rr anymore

                          1. re: girloftheworld

                            sounds like a great trade off - you cook for them a bunch and they pick up the tab out a bunch ..perhaps. I'd take that one any day. so did y'all move more into austin?

                            1. re: slowcoooked

                              yep we are now north Austin- Nobel Pig/ Stuffed area

                              1. re: girloftheworld

                                not overly far from garbo's blueberry pie and awesomely seared new england scallops either! she gets them from a fisherman right there. nice U10's just done in the middle. of course I bet I'm preaching to the choir here.

                                1. re: slowcoooked

                                  I have been to Garbo's Truck for lobster rolls..it was parked with La BBQ and Fishy Bizzness.. It was also there the night we then night we did Food Truck Face Off taping.. but not to a brick and morter

                                  1. re: slowcoooked

                                    the brick & mortar menu is drool-inducing. and they have non seafood stuff so i can bring my pickier friends.

                                    the dessert menu is short but they put a lot of thought into it, with lots of fresh flavors that will compliment the rest of the menu.

                                    1. re: dinaofdoom

                                      I actually had a burger and it was fine, not great but pretty good.

                    3. odd duck

                      fishy bizness seafood co food truck

                      swifts attic

                      you can take your VIA313 pizza into the Violet Crown and have cheap drinks

                      Yellow Jacket Social Club