My wife and I will be heading in and staying for a couple nights as we make our way back from visiting family in LA & TX to Los Angeles, and as it's been ages since I've been to Austin I'd greatly appreciate some input. We will be there for 2, maybe 3 nights, and we will have a car and are perfectly willing to drive.
We're looking for places that are quintessentially Austin, and/or that really serve as good representatives of the Austin culinary scene. We're a bit spoiled by the riches of various regional cuisines found in Los Angeles -- I say that only to mean we aren't starved for great Mexican or many of the regional SE Asian or even Sushi/Japanese. We also just spent a few days before Christmas in Santa Fe, and had some fantastic New Mexican there (something I prefer to Tex-Mex). BUT ... if a place is truly stellar, by all means throw it out for consideration.
Here're some of the spots I've found so far, though again I am certainly not wed to anything (at least as of yet).
Barley Swine - looks pretty rad, I must say.
Uchi/Uchiko - seems to be a "must"; is one more preferable to the other?
Congress - seems like a good high-end spot, though I must admit over the past year I've become a bit tired of overly precious cuisine. Is that a concern here?
Parkside - menu looks good, if a bit like it could be anywhere (from Seattle to NYC). That's not a criticism, mind you.
Foreign & Domestic - Looks really good
Franklin BBQ - Ok, here's my dilemma with this. A decent-sized part of my family is from the Luling/Lockhart area, so while I didn't grow up there I've eaten at the temples of BBQ more than a few times. For the record, my overall favorite is City Market, though I have NOT tried Snow's (other than mail order). We will be stopping in at one or more of these on our drive over from NoLA, so is Franklin's great enough to warrant trying too?
We're also looking for great coffee (espresso), and I have a voracious sweet-tooth (how are Cinnamon's Cinnamon Rolls?). No need for breakfast ideas as we will most likely eat early lunches and late(r) dinners.
If you have any question, please do ask away. And thanks in advance for the help!