For my 60th birthday, my wife is giving me something Ive always wanted---a trip to Austin. We are looking primarily for great local food: Mexican (I still remember a homemade tamale and some bar-b-qued goat I had in South Texas when I was about eight years old); BBQ (I still remember a brisket sandwich I had in Houston while on a business trip there 20 years ago; and maybe some CFS. At the same time, we would not be adverse to something upscale and creative, as long as it reflected local produce.
To give you an idea of what we like, if we were headed to New Orleans, we would be looking at Uglesuch, happy hour for raw oysters at Mike Andersons, Dragos for chargrilled oysters, turtle soup and poor boys at several places, perhaps a special meal at Commanders because its been a long time, and a Hurricane at Pats because we had one (several, actually) on our honeymoon 37+ years ago).
We are also interested in bars with good food, and/or live music, and/or interesting beers on tap.
We are tentatively planning on being there for four nights in early April. I am currently reviewing posts for Austin, as well as local newspaper reviews. I do have some preliminary questions as follows:
1.Where should we stay? We typically stay in Courtyards or Hamptons or Comforts, saving our funds for food and drink. We prefer to stay relatively close to interesting restaurants/cafes/pubs. Is this do-able in Austin?
2. We prefer to avoid overly crowded conditions (we never go to New Orleans at festival time). Any problems in the first two weeks of April?
3. We will be driving from Western KY, through Texarkana then Dallas to Austin. Any must try food stops along the way?
4. We will leave Austin for Lafayette, LA via SR 71 to !-10. Same question as # 3.
5. After Lafayette, we will take Hwy 61 from Baton Rouge to Memphis. While my primary concern in this post is Austin, I would welcome any pearls of wisdom re Hwy 61.
As noted, I am currently reviewing posts for Austin. However, I would certainly appreciate any comments or recommendations at this stage.
Thanks very much in anticipation of recommendations. I have been watching Austin City Limits for many years in many cities, and it looks like we are finally going to the general area.