I'm fairly new to Austin, having moved here from the Bay Area. I've read a fair amount of the Chow boards, both here and in the Bay Area.
My difficulty is this: I have a friend visiting from the Bay Area this Wednesday, a real foodie (a former waitress at Chez Panisse), and I want to impress her with a 'distinctively' Austin dinner, something that she can't find in Bay Area. She eats seafood, but no other animals. A full bar would be nice.
So, since BBQ is out, I'm thinking something Tex-Mex--or maybe just Mex--with a good vegetable and seafood selection?
I've read many posts here concerning similar visitors to Austin, and I apologize for bringing up such a familiar theme again, but I wasn't able to come away with any sort of confident opinion from what I read. The discussion about the visiting New York Times food writer came closest.
My own current best thinking is below. I would welcome any thought/comments.
I was originally thinking Fonda San Miguel, but given the cost, the reviews (for dinner at least, as opposed to for brunch) just aren't that positive. La Condesa seems even more expensive at first glance, but if it's really amazing, that would be OK. Las Palomas seems like a decent a possibility. Maybe Azul or Sazon? Perla's looks good--I know it's not Mex--and I'm sure my friend would like it, but there are restaurants like that in the Bay Area. And lastly, Curra's Grill is currently near the top of my list, despite the mixed reviews here, just because it's comparatively inexpensive (and I get 10% off with my Go-Card, I think)--and we could walk there from my house--a plus, given the likelihood of Margaritas
Are there other better Tex-Mex or Mex places, with good seafood and veggies, that I've missed? Dives are possibly OK, too.
Thank you in advance, hounds! I promise to report back!
614 E Oltorf St, Austin, TX
4211 S Lamar Blvd Ste A2, Austin, TX 78704
Las Palomas Restaurant & Bar
3201 Bee Caves Rd Ste 122, Austin, TX 78746
Fonda San Miguel Restaurant
2330 W North Loop Blvd, Austin, TX 78756
1816 S Lamar Blvd, Austin, TX 78704
400-A W 2nd St, Austin, TX 78701
Perla's Seafood and Oyster Bar
1400 S Congress, Austin, TX 78704