Hi, I'm from the SF Bay Area and will be visiting Austin next month for a business trip with a few other coworkers from California, and several from Toronto for a team event (we also have a team based in Austin).
We will probably have two group dinners that the company will pay for, and many of us that are from out of town are very interested in BBQ (ribs, brisket) and Mexican/Tex-Mex and would appreciate some recommendations. We have pretty good Mexican food in California, but I'm wondering if there are places in Austin where I can get Mexican food that is unique to the area (whether it's due to a Texas spin on the cuisine, or regional Mexican food that is hard to find in California). For these dinners, the budget will probably be fairly modest ($20-40/pp w/o drinks). Would like suggestions on places suitable for a large party, preferably somewhere "nice" but still casual (I like hole-in-the-walls, but food stands and tiny places probably won't work for us since we'll have around 12-15 people and will need the place to accept credit cards).
We get one night off to have dinner on our own, and I'm thinking about splurging for Uchiko (I'm a big fan of Paul Qui on Top Chef). I also figure that it might be good to eat some lighter fare after the BBQ/Mex. Any thoughts for or against?
I would also like to check out the food trailer scene...is this best to check out for lunch? We are having all-day meetings but I may take a day off after just to sightsee since this is my first time visiting Austin.
Thanks for all the help and recommendations!