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Austin for 3 days: Check my homework, please!


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Restaurants & Bars Austin

Austin for 3 days: Check my homework, please!

pane | | Mar 20, 2009 02:43 PM

I’m in Austin for the first time, visiting from San Francisco (luckily right after the rest of my countrymen depart SXSW). I’m a longtime Chowhound and have done my homework reading the boards, so can you check my picks and let me know where I’m off?

Our dining experience break down to a few dinners, breakfasts and lunches on either side of a trip to Hill Country (which I guess isn’t covered on this board, so I’ll search the main Texas board). We’re staying at Hotel San Jose and have a car.

Coming from Northern CA, I love the seasonal, local thing, but quirky, interesting and passionate trumps sustainable sometimes, especially when it comes to mom-and-pop dives where they're not serving grass-fed beef.

Money’s not an issue, but we can both be as impressed by a warp-space-and-time taco out of a truck as by a white tablecloth place. I am a sucker for warm, friendly service, like Nopa in San Francisco and Monell's in Nashville.

So here are my picks--can you tell me what I've missed?

-Vino Vino

Probably one long, lazy lunch and one taco truck/counter/dive-y lunch would be best. Ideas?

My friend doesn’t like bread-y textures, so we’d need a place with highlights that aren’t just pancakes and waffles.

-Habanero Café
-Kerby Lane

***Really good coffee***
Not that this necessarily means anything to you, but I love Blue Bottle in San Francisco.

-A thread from 2006 didn’t promising (and recommended not-great SF export Peet’s). Uh…Progress?

***Best cocktails at a place where no one’s wearing a cocktail dress***
Comparison, if you recognize it: Alembic in San Francisco. Super well made cocktails, friendly but low-key bartenders, neighborhood place.

-Fino, Mulberry or Parkside?

From what I’ve read, it sounds like we can find better BBQ outside of Austin than in. A friend specifically recommended Black’s in Lockhart. Yes/no?

In the meantime, in between time

-Casey’s snowballs looks intriguing—I hope they’re open

Thanks for any advice you can offer. I promise to report back, with pictures!