Back from a wonderful weekend in Austin, and given the excellent advice from Chowhounds, though I'd report back on some of our restaurant selections.
Hit up a variety of places for breakfast tacos but will briefly mention that all parties enjoyed Juan in a Million, FWIW.
Was looking forward to El Naranjo for dinner before a night on Rainey Street. The food was excellent, if a tad overpriced; the service left much to be desired. (Used to work in the industry, so wracked my brain to see if our small party of three performed any of the obnoxious restaurant sins. Other than a fairly easy substitution early on, thought we were pretty well-behaved.) Nopales stood out, as did the to-die-for gazpacho (simple but packed full of flavor.) Shrimp came out undercooked, but the Cochinitas were excellent.
Second Bar + Kitchen was the vibe we were looking for after stuffing ourselves with Tex-Mex Friday morning. Was nervous about having to wait for a reservation, but they seated us quickly. Great lighter fare; cucumber gazpacho another standout. Ubiquitous pork belly was fine, if nothing special. Bitter + butter lettuce salad was a surprising favorite (doesn't sound like much on the menu, but tasty.) Heard the pappardelle was also good, though didn't try it myself.
Uchiko capped off our weekend, and boy, what a finale. I'm sure I sound like a total fangirl by raving, but we loved it. I'd debated between Uchi and Uchiko, but glad we went with 'Ko (and for a second, thought about the new Qui restaurant, but passed and glad we did.) Still dreaming about the hama chili, and ordered a second serving of brussels sprouts after the firt (of course.) Missed the presentation of the jar jar duck, which went over like a lead balloon at the table. Personally, I thought it tasted good, if not foodgasmly. Sushi all excellent, and we licked the bowl clean of congee. Tempura onion rings came out later, so we were stuffed, but dining companions wished they'd left room. Sampled a couple desserts - fried milk was most memorable.
All in all, an excellent weekend.
Still on the list for next time: Franklin's (was with too many vegetarians to make it worthwhile!) and East Side Kings/Qui... plus many more, I'm sure.
Thanks again for all the advice!