Saturday, August 22, 2015

Reed's List of Austin Favorites

This list is a work in progress. We're always adding to it!

STAY

DO

EATS

  • Salty Sow | East Manor Road (Gastropub)
    We love going for happy hour, when many of their drinks and appetizers are $5. Thomas usually gets an order of the duck fat fries + honey rosemary dipped fried chicken. I'll usually get an order of fries myself + the pork 'carnitas' taco with parmesan queso. I also love the truffled deviled eggs and the crispy brussels sprouts. For dessert, you HAVE to get the bananas foster beignets! We usually try to call ahead or make reservations on the OpenTable app. 
  • Winflo Osteria | West Sixth Street (Italian)
    This restaurant is located in 1922 craftsman style home, and there's also outdoor seating under an old oak tree. We usually have a glass of wine each, and then split a pasta and a pizza. Our picks are the prosciutto pizza and the cavatelli con salsicca pasta (gorgonzola cheese, sausage, caramelized onions and mushrooms). Winflo has complimentary valet parking. 
  • NoRTH | The Domain (Italian)
    We'll usually start by splitting their Tuscan kale salad and munching on their famous "zucca chips" (thinly sliced zucchini that's flash fried. CAUTION: addicting). We've tried/love the bacon + egg pizza and "the pig" pizza. After the salad and zucchini chips, we're usually full after splitting a pizza. 
  • Walton's Fancy & Staple | West Sixth Street (Bakery, Delicatessen, Breakfast)
    This place is owned by Sandra Bullock (who has a home in Austin too) and couldn't be more adorable. Open for breakfast and lunch, Walton's menu has SO MANY things on it that I'd recommend. The scratch biscuits and gravy are awesome, as is the steel cut oatmeal and challah french toast. My go-to for lunch is the "turkey sweet" sandwich: turkey, applewood smoked bacon, white cheddar, caramelized onion-apple chutney and maple aioli on a croissant. 
  • Bacon | 10th Street (Breakfast, Homestyle Cooking) 
    Three words: chicken and waffles. Whether you've never tried it before, or you're on the hunt to find the best take on the recipe, add Bacon to your list. You can get them to add bacon to the malted vanilla waffle batter too (duh!). If you're not up for C&W, they've got biscuits and bacon gravy, french toast, and more, plus burgers, sandwiches and salads for lunch. 
  • 24 Diner | North Lamar (Breakfast, Comfort Food)
    As the name suggests, 24 Diner is always open. Some say that 24 Diner has the best chicken & waffles, but I still like Bacon's better. I've only eaten breakfast here and have several recommendations: the 24 Hash, oatmeal with apricot-peach chutney, and the fried chicken biscuit. 
  • Home Slice Pizza | South Congress Avenue (Pizza)
    We can't get enough of this place. There's usually a long wait, so if you're in a hurry, try going during a non-peak time, or order by the slice from their to-go window. We don't mind the wait, because they have a back patio where you can order beer and their famous garlic knots to enjoy. I love their pear gorgonzola salad, and then we'll build our own pizza to share. 
  • Second Bar + Kitchen | Congress Avenue (New American)
    This is a fun dinner date place when you're looking for something a little less casual. Our picks include the black truffle pommes frites, the chicken breast with roasted corn panzanella, and the braised beef short rib. 
  • Frank | Colorado Street (American)
    "Hot dogs and cold beer" is their motto. They have different varieties of waffle fries, and our favorite is the Canadian poutine fries (brown gravy + cheese curds). Their mac & cheese and corn cup are both great appetizers too. The hot dog and sausage options are endless. You can even add a "flapjacket" to any dog: instead of a bun, the dog is cooked in corn meal batter to make it a corndog. 
  • La Condesa | Guadalupe (Modern Mexican)
    La Condesa serves a modern take on interior Mexican food (vs. Tex-Mex). We love their "elotes" (Mexican street corn) and their salsas + guacamoles. My favorite entree is the quinoa stuffed chile relleno. Thomas can't remember what he ordered, but he remembers it being good. One word of advice: they do serve brunch, but we wouldn't recommend it. Stick to dinner and you'll love this place. 
  • Kerbey Lane | Multiple Locations (Breakfast)
    An Austin original, Kebery Lane has several locations throughout the city. You really can't go wrong with anything on the menu. Their pancakes are the best, and in addition to the usual buttermilk, gingerbread, apple whole wheat, and blueberry, they have a rotating seasonal flavor. I've seen oatmeal raisin, s'mores, lemon poppyseed, and pumpkin. When I'm not feeling pancakes, I love the eggs francisco: an English muffin with scrambled eggs, bacon, avocado and their famous Kerbey queso. 
  • Maiko | West Sixth Street (Japanese, Sushi)
    Maiko is right across the street from where I used to work, so it quickly became one of my favorite sushi places. Their miso soup is great, and they've got a great bento box deal for lunch. 
  • Moonshine | (American Comfort Food)
    Another restaurant with amazing chicken & waffles! Where some restaurants bring you bread or chips & salsa, Moonshine brings you a bucket of savory seasoned popcorn. Moonshine isn't a place where I order the same thing each time – I always try to get something new. They have an awesome brunch buffet too! If you're in town for an event at the Austin Convention Center, Moonshine is located right behind it. 
  • Chuy's | Multiple Locations (Tex-Mex)
    Another Austin original! Chuy's has now expanded to many cities across the U.S., so I realize you may have one in your hometown. But if you've never been, it's a must. Everything on the menu is amazing. If you go during happy hour and sit in the bar, there's all-you-can-eat free queso, along with their chips & salsa. 
  • Trudy's | Multiple Locations (Tex-Mex)
    Chuy's will always be my go-to Tex-Mex restaurant, but Trudy's is a close second. Great happy hour, and I always get their stuffed avocado. 
  • Hula Hut | Lake Austin Blvd. (Polynesian twist on Tex-Mex)
    Hula Hut is right on the water, so it's a fun atmosphere for lunch or dinner. Chips & salsa/queso, stuffed avocado, "pipeline" enchiladas... everything is good. 
  • Jasper's | The Domain (Gourmet "backyard cuisine") 
    This is a new one on the Reed's list, as we tried it to celebrate our anniversary. It's a little pricier, so save it for a special occasion, or go with the intent on splitting an entree. We recommend the rotisserie prime rib, hands down. I got the pork tenderloin, which was also cooked to perfection, but the corn it's served over is quite spicy, fair warning. 
  • Kona Grill | The Domain (American-Asian Fusion, Sushi)
    This is a great happy hour spot and they also have a "reverse" or late night happy hour from 9-11. We've been for both happy hour and lunch/dinner. For dinner, we recommend their pineapple fried rice and the macadamia nut chicken with mashed potatoes. For lunch or happy hour, order from the sushi menu, or get the avocado egg rolls or macadamia nut chicken tacos. 
  • Jack Allen's Kitchen | Two Locations (Farm-to-Table)
    Everything on their menu is made from locally sourced ingredients. We've ordered so many things on the menu and recommend them all. If you're in town on a Sunday, their brunch buffet should not be missed. 
  • Hopdoddy | Multiple Locations (Burgers)
    Hopdoddy serves what I think of as "fancy" burgers. I love the "primetime" burger with brie, truffle aioli, arugula, caramelized onions, and steak sauce. Thomas gets the "goodnight" Tillamook cheddar cheese and hickory BBQ sauce. There's more than 13 burgers on the menu, plus amazing fries, milkshakes, and a full line-up of craft beers. This restaurants is super popular, so be prepared to wait, or go during a non-peak time. We went once at 3:30 or 4 and still waited in line for 20-30 minutes before ordering. But it's so worth it!
  • Phil's Icehouse | Multiple Locations (Burgers)
    This is probably our other favorite burger spot besides Hopdoddy. 10+ burger varieties on the menu, fries and sweet potato fries, milkshakes. YUM. My favorite is the 78704 (Monterrey jack cheese + avocado) and Thomas gets the 78750 (fried onion ring + bacon), both named after Austin-area zip codes. Wherever there's a Phil's, an Amy's Ice Cream is always right next door (see my SWEETS category below). 
  • Torchy's Tacos | Multiple Locations (Tacos)
    Torchy's has also expanded outside of Austin, but as an Austin-original, I have to recommend it. Our favorites are the "democrat" (shredded barbacoa beef), the fried avocado, and the "trailer park" (fried chicken, and Thomas orders it "trashy" with means it has queso on it too).  
  • Franklin BBQ | East 11th Street (BBQ)
  • The Salt Lick | Driftwood, TX (BBQ)

SWEETS


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