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FF 2011 Austin Recommendations

FF 2011 Austin Recommendations

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Published by timandkarrieleague
We compile a list of things to do, see, eat and buy for our out of town visitors to Fantastic Fest. Attached is the 2011 Edition.
We compile a list of things to do, see, eat and buy for our out of town visitors to Fantastic Fest. Attached is the 2011 Edition.

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Published by: timandkarrieleague on Apr 30, 2011
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04/30/2011

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A veritable tidal wave of visitors will be descending on Austin this next weekendfor SXSW. Many sites are compiling their lists of the best panels, bands, events,parties and films of the festival. We feel that other outlets have that wellcovered. Instead, we put together our local's guide to Austin, Badass Digest'stake on where you should eat, drink, shop, play and then eat some more inAustin.
Breakfast Tacos
 
Breakfast tacos are a Texas institution, and one of the best breakfast options youcan choose: fast, filling, cheap and delicious. Some of the best breakfast tacoscan be found at:
 
Maria’s Taco Express(2529 S. Lamar Blvd, 512-444-0261). We are crazy for breakfast tacos in Austin and Maria’s is the best. After the addiction sets in, youcan pick up her Argentinian-influenced Loco Maria Chimichuri sauce to takehome with you.
 
Curra’s Grill offers an Interior Mexican take on their cuisine (614 E Oltorf St,Austin - 512-444-0012)
 
El Chilito(2225 Manor Rd, 512-382-3797) It’s trendy, not terribly authentic, butwe can't deny that like their tacos!
 
Michocana Meat Market(1917 E 7th St #1, Phone: 512-473-8487) This is ahomegrown grocery/butcher shop with a great restaurant counter in the back.
 
Polvo's(2004 South 1st Street, 512-441-5446) A south Austin dive with strongmargaritas and great fajitas also does a nice breakfast taco with a great self-serve salsa bar.
 
Taco Deli(multiple locations, 512-419-1900) You wouldn't know it by the name,but Taco Deli serves some of the tasties tacos in town.
 
Tamale House(5003 Airport Blvd Austin, TX 78751-2708 Phone: 512-453-9842)is another great, simple, tasty low price breakfast institution.
 Torchy's Tacos(multiple locations) not super-authentic, but they offer greatfresh ingredients, gigantic tacos and unique flavors.
Cruise east of I-35 to explore for taco trucks and authentic Mexicanrestaurants. SXSW's Jarod Neece authors the definitive guide to taco cultureatTacoJournalism
 
Breakfast
 
If you’re looking for a more traditional breakfast, try these places.Bouldin Creek Coffee House and Café(1900 S 1st St. 512-416-1601) is a SouthAustin institution in spite of it’s shiny new location and has lots of vegetarian andvegan options.
 
The Counter Cafe(626 N Lamar Blvd 512-708-8800) A small revamped diner has eco-friendly though not meatless cuisine (great quail and eggs).
 
Sugar Mamas(1905 South 1st Street, 512-448-3727) They open a bit late for breakfast, but we would be remiss in not recommending Sugar Mamas, our favorite sweets and incredibly rich cupcakes.
 
For an upscale and expensive breakfast experience, try any of the fancy hotels
 
downtown:The Driskill,The Four Seasons,The W,The Austonian
 
Lunch
 
Whole Foods Flagship(525 N Lamar Blvd, 512-476-1206). Whole Foods startedin Austin in 1980. Today, their flagship stands as perhaps the ultimatesupermarket in the world. Not just a spot for groceries, Whole Foods features adozen restaurants scattered throughout the store, and enormous specialtygourmet sections. Surprisingly, Whole Foods features some of the best in-townbarbeque as well (though nothing comes CLOSE to Franklin's - see below).
 
Quality Seafood Market(5621 Airport Blvd, 512-454-5827). Years ago, QualitySeafood was nothing more than a fine seafood shop, selling fish to restaurantsand the public over their retail counter. Then the owner had the epiphany to builda bar in the center of the shop and start selling delectable fried and grilledseafood as finger food. Now it is one of our favorite hangout in Austin. The rawoysters are terrific, as are the catfish beignets.
 
El Meson(2038 S. Lamar Blvd 512-442-4441) The selection of Mexicanrestaurants just near the theater alone is so vast as to make your head spin. Thebest is probably El Meson, about 3/4 of a mile South of the Alamo Drafthouse onLamar.
 
ElPolloFeliz(6615 Berkman Drive, 512-933-9557, multiple locations, used to be calledPolloRegio). They start smoking the chickens at about 7 AM, and by 11,those in the know are lined up for what I consider to be one of the best birds thathas ever passed my lips. There used to be only two things on the menu (it hassince expanded a bit but I never venture from the chicken): half chicken ($6) or whole chicken ($11). It comes with a stack of fresh corn tortillas, a roasted onion,rice, and the tastiest, creamy green tomatillo salsa on the planet. There areseveral stands now in Austin, but my favorite location is the trailer at 6615Berkman Drive.
 
Burgers
 
Our recommendations for the best burger joints in town are:
 
Casino El Camino(517 E 6th St., 512-469-9330) Award winning gigantic thick juicy burgers. Be warned, for sheer size, these take about a half hour to cook, if there are no other orders in.
 
Justine’s(4710 E 5th St.), an East Side French bistro (also recommended in thedining section) has a fabulous burger.
 
Hopdoddy’s(1400 South Congress Ave 512 243 7505) This place is new anddelivers some incredibly tasty burger options.
 
Your Mom’s Burger Bar (1701 E Cesar Chavez, 512 474-6667) is recommendedby everyone in town, though I haven’t yet been.
 
Nau's Pharmacy(1115 W Lynn, 512-476-3663) This is a historical, hidden,traditional soda fountain lunch counter, with some of the best prices in the wholecity.
 
 
Barbeque
 
Some people have STRONG opinions about Texas barbecue. I am noexception. The best of the best barbeque joints close down shortly after lunch,so dinner recommendations for this traditional Texas fare are rare like fine primerib. Texas Monthly produces the definitive Texas Barbecue Guide if you want tospend some time and explore the entire state looking for the unofficial Texasstate food (the official food is actually chili).
 
Smitty's Market (208 South Commerce Street, Lockhart, 512.398.9344) Theundisputed king of the daytime BBQ run is Smitty’s in Lockhart, about 30 minutessouth of town on 183 south. This is the oldest barbecue joint in Texas and theinspiration for Hill Country Barbecue in Manhattan. They don't offer sauce, sodon't embarrass yourself and ask. Their mantra is barbecue sauce was inventedto mask inferior meat. Request juicy porkchops, fatty brisket, sausage and rareprime rib and you will leave satisfied.Louie Mueller’sin Taylor, Texas (206 W Second St, 76574, 512-352-6206) , stillin the family and truly authentic.
 
City Marketin Luling (633 Davis St, 77027, 830-875-9019).Franklin Barbecue(3421 N I-35, 512-653-1187) For in-town barbeque, the handsdown best is newcomer Franklin's Barbecue,which rivals (and dare I say beats)any of the out-of-town options, and without the drive. They are just opened their brick-and-mortar store on the first Saturday of SXSW, so expect await. Franklin's has sent shock waves through the barbecue community andeveryone is itching for a taste.
 
Other in-town BBQ we can somewhat recommend, but it is all a notch down fromthe kings above:House Park(900 W. 12th, 472-9621). Uncle Billy’s Barbecue(530 Barton Springs, 512-476-0100) has decent ‘cue and is very closeto the theater. It’s now a hangout spot for the Alamo South Lamar Staff. Theyalso brew their own beers, which I can vouch for.
 
Vic's(3502 Burleson Rd at E Ben White 512-445-4250) has some of the bestsausage in Austin. The ribs, brisket and chicken there are all delicious too.Another BBQ spot that is getting good raves isMann's Smokehouse Bar-B-Que(8624 Research Blvd, 512-459-5077), and we already mentioned thesurprisingly tasty barbecue insideWhole Foods, and the BBQ chainRudy'sis actually surprisingly tasty and consistent. That's it. We can at this timerecommend no other spot. Deviate from this list and you take your barbecuefuture in your own hands.
 
Trailer Food
 
Trailer options have exploded over the last couple of years. Excellent food of alltypes come out of these unassuming little metal boxes, many of which have top-notch chefs moonlighting from the best restaurants in Austin at the helm. Checkout all the trailer options onlineatwww.foodtrailersaustin.comor www.austinfoodcarts.com
 
Some of our favorites are:
 
The Odd Duck Farm to Trailer (1219 S. Lamar across from Alamo South Lamar)daily changing fresh, epicurean menu. These folks also run the new south Austin

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