Coming to Austin, looking for advice- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Coming to Austin, looking for advice

    My wife and I will be coming to Austin for a few days over the weekend of May 10. The purpose of the trip is to see Wilco play at Stubbs, but we'll be spending two extra nights there.

    I still haven't settled on a hotel, so I'm reaching out to the MTBR bros and bras for some solid recomendations on...

    - hotels. I'd like to keep it around $150/night, if possible.

    - restaurants. I want barbecue, three meals a day, if possible.

    - pubs and bars. I'm a beer nerd, and will want to get my drink on. What do I need to taste besides Shiner Bock?

    Also, we're hoping to not rent a car. Is this feasible? Austin looks small, and we're willing to take a cab to/from the airport and around town as needed.

    Thanks!
    Johnny Ryall rode MTB

  2. #2
    Lucky...
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    Stay downtown- for a good Austin vibe, try the Driskill. http://www.driskillhotel.com/ You will need to check for a deal to make your rate, but a really cool old hotel.

    BBQ- man, you got some great choices. Iron Works downtown (lunch only) is an outstanding choice. Salt Lick is always great. For really classic Hill Country BBQ- hit Smitty's in Lockhart (going there for lunch on my way tot he beach tomorrow- can't wait)

    A couple good brew pubs downtown (within walking distance of teh Drskill), but I am never down there, so someone else will have to chime in.

  3. #3
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    Yeah, if you do not want to rent a car, then staying downtown would be great. There is a Marriot right on the river, don't know the price, but I am sure you can find something for that price. The Salt Lick is pretty far outside of Austin. You can pretty much through a rock and hit a BBQ place, but finding good ones is another story. As far as fast and cheap BBQ nothing beats Pokey Joe's (IMO).

  4. #4
    Chilling out
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    Well, Stubb's does BBQ.

    The Driskill has a haunted room, I think. Maybe you can ask for it?

    I don't drink beer, but I hear good things from friends who do about Opal Divine's Freehouse on 6th (like 5-6 blocks west of Congress Ave on the north side of 6th. They also have lots of tasty Scotch there if you are so inclined.

  5. #5
    tcufrog02
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    What about Rudy's? I love it.

  6. #6
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    BBQ: you have county line on 2222, stubbs, iron works and salt lick if you want a drive

    Beer: the draught house at 42nd and medical. ~100 beers on tap, you can bring your lawn chairs and sit out in the parking lot.

    Nobody here even mentioned riding. Bring your bike and we can give you a tour. I think I leave the country that sunday but maybe a saturday ride. I have an extra hard tail if you are flying.

    The link in my sig should give you all the info on where to ride.
    Austin Mountain Biking and worldwide travel pictures:

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  7. #7
    Lucky...
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    Quote Originally Posted by tcufrog02
    What about Rudy's? I love it.
    Good BBQ (I love it as well), just not uniquely Austin.

  8. #8
    gimme friction
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    Hey, thanks a lot, guys!

    Yeah, the Driskill was high on the list, but way too pricey. I'm looking for deals, but not coming up with much.

    A friend (former Aggie) suggested renting a car, but I'm still on the fence about that. I'd like to simplify this trip as much as possible.

    Thanks for the suggestions on barbecue! Well definitely be hitting Stubbs while we're there for the show...I've read great things about Iron Works and Salt Lick, as well.

    Regarding beer, I'm pretty excited about the tap list at Gingerman, but I'll check out Draught House we well.

    austin_bike, thanks so much for the invitation on a ride...I'd love to swing it, but that decision would not play well with the wife.

    Thanks, all...MTBR never lets me down. If you're ever in Nor Cal, I'd be glad to return the favor.
    Johnny Ryall rode MTB

  9. #9
    tcufrog02
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr Bacon Jr
    Good BBQ (I love it as well), just not uniquely Austin.
    He did not specify uniquely Austin so I was just putting it out there.

  10. #10
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    If you're going to Stubb's and want to experience something *REALLY* nice... make reservations for their Gospel Brunch on Sundays. You'd be hard pressed to find a better brunch buffet (they have their bbq there too).

    If you're willing to drive (about 1.5-2 hours), make the trip out to Llano for Coopers bbq. I've eaten at just about every bbq joint in the surrounding areas and Coopers is bar none the best I've had. Just make sure to save room for the cobbler.

    While not bbq, Hills Cafe and Hoovers are both worth a shot if you're in the mood for some good homestyle grub.

  11. #11
    Builder of Trails
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    For a another BBQ option, check out the Green Mesquite on Barton Springs Road. Southern style cooking there, too, with fried okra. Oh, and I second The Iron Works, The County Line, Rudy's, etc. Also, there's Ben's Long Branch on E. 11th.

    For a hotel, try the Extended Stay America at 600 Guadalupe St, Austin, TX
    (512) 457-9994 - Rated 3.6 out of 5.0.

    In the downtown Warehouse District, the Ginger Man is a great place for beer on tap. Check out the back patio. Also, around the 6th Street District, check out Lovejoy's.

    If you're in the north side of town, NXNW (North by Northwest) is a stylish brew pub/restaurant with great food.

    D

  12. #12
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    I really didnt like Stubbs or Green Mesquite. Now Iron Works, I still need to try.

  13. #13
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    Green Mesquite has a BBQ wing appetizer that is great, but you really need to go to hoovers up on manor to get their BBQ HOT wings. Get yerself an extra lemonade.
    Austin Mountain Biking and worldwide travel pictures:

    http://www.austinbike.com

  14. #14
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    But for the really REALLY good wings try Casino El Camino near 6th and Red River... don't expect fast service and don't look in the kitchen but damn are the wings tasty and hot. Their Buffalo (hot sauce) Burger is pretty good too..

  15. #15
    Builder of Trails
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    Quote Originally Posted by lost27
    But for the really REALLY good wings try Casino El Camino near 6th and Red River... don't expect fast service and don't look in the kitchen but damn are the wings tasty and hot. Their Buffalo (hot sauce) Burger is pretty good too..
    I second Casino El Camino. GREAT wings!

    D

  16. #16
    govt kontrakt projkt mgr
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    as others said pokey joes, rudys and green mesquite all good. it's been a looong time since i've been to pokey joes--a visit will have to be in order soon.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by lost27
    But for the really REALLY good wings try Casino El Camino near 6th and Red River... don't expect fast service and don't look in the kitchen but damn are the wings tasty and hot. Their Buffalo (hot sauce) Burger is pretty good too..
    Another vote for Casino El Camino. Great burgers there also.

  18. #18
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    Casino el camino has the buffalo burger, blue cheese with hot wing sauce.

    Excellent!
    Austin Mountain Biking and worldwide travel pictures:

    http://www.austinbike.com

  19. #19
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    Ruby's! I have been cooking professionally for 12 years and they have by far and away the BEST Smoked Brisket I have ever tasted (and as an added bonus it is all Natural Coleman Beef). WAY better than the Salt Lick which I found to be fattier and had excessive amounts of gummy collagen. However, I loved the property of the Salt Lick; beautiful scenery. I would also recommend staying down town as well. I would check out an expedia.com or some search engine like that to find affordable/cool lodging. I totally agree with the Driskell. Very cool hotel. Also, I hope that you guys can make some time to do some riding... The www.bicyclesportshop.com is a really cool shop and right around the corner from some local trails. They rent some really great bikes as well.

    www.rubysbbq.com

    Take Care and enjoy the trip. Austin is my favorite city EVER!

    PF

  20. #20
    gimme friction
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    Egg-selent!!! Thanks all!

    My colleague was extolling the virtues of bbq brisket tacos at Rudy's. She said it was a favorite late-night stop during an evening out. I loves me some brisket.

    We're working on getting lodging downtown...surprisingly, the Extended Stay America rates highly on lots of sites. Go figure.

    No riding on this trip, unfortunately, but we've reversed course and decided to rent a car to do some out-of-town exploring one afternoon.

    Keep the suggestions coming, folks!!
    Johnny Ryall rode MTB

  21. #21
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    ruby's and rudy's are 2 different places.
    Austin Mountain Biking and worldwide travel pictures:

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  22. #22
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    yep.

    Quote Originally Posted by austin_bike
    ruby's and rudy's are 2 different places.

    Both are delicious but I am partial to the all Natural Beef @ RUBY'S.

    They also have some kick-ass Sausage and their Collard Greens are SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO Good!

    Laters, PF

  23. #23
    Builder of Trails
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    Quote Originally Posted by Quercus agrifolia
    No riding on this trip, unfortunately, but we've reversed course and decided to rent a car to do some out-of-town exploring one afternoon.

    Keep the suggestions coming, folks!!
    For a day trip, head west of Austin toward Fredericksburg and Enchanted Rock.


    The pictures don't do it justice.





    D

  24. #24
    gimme friction
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    Yep, my mistake...Ruby's and Rudy's ARE two different places.

    I've been informed it is Ruby's I'm looking for...
    Johnny Ryall rode MTB

  25. #25

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    Quote Originally Posted by dburatti

    In the downtown Warehouse District, the Ginger Man is a great place for beer on tap. Check out the back patio. Also, around the 6th Street District, check out Lovejoy's
    Another vote for Ginger Man. I do believe it is the best place in town for a beer nerd. I have to go there everytime i am in town. They have like 80 something taps of beers from all over. Very cool.

  26. #26
    I Crash Often
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    I like Saltlick

  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by Quercus agrifolia
    Yep, my mistake...Ruby's and Rudy's ARE two different places.

    I've been informed it is Ruby's I'm looking for...

    Yes. ruby's. NOT "rudy's". The former trumps the latter by an order of magnitude.
    Ruby's is a real "hole in the wall" and face it, health code standards and good BBQ are
    mutually exclusive.

    As far as not riding, isn't there some way we can get you on a bike to experience some of
    the most challenging trails Austin has to offer. We could take up a collection and pay your
    wife to hit a spa or something.

    My wife and I have ridden some great trails in Northern CA. Beautiful stuff. But not nearly the
    beating you can get here.

    Here's a sample of what you're missing:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R4YtwZdxEb8

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IgY1Y9soCVg

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2l7I4r2IS4Q
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  28. #28
    Mtc
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    Quote Originally Posted by PanFry
    Ruby's! I have been cooking professionally for 12 years and they have by far and away the BEST Smoked Brisket I have ever tasted (and as an added bonus it is all Natural Coleman Beef). WAY better than the Salt Lick which I found to be fattier and had excessive amounts of gummy collagen. However, I loved the property of the Salt Lick; beautiful scenery. PF
    You can request what cut of brisket you get at the Salt Lick, that way you don't get the good part...I mean the part you don't like
    I eat Rudys when I don't want to travel far, but it seems to sanatized and generic to me.

  29. #29
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    Update on our trip

    We finally made a hotel reservation, at the Hampton Inn, south of downtown about two blocks northeast of the Congress Street bridge. The location looks pretty good, and hopefully we can walk to/from Stubbs on Sunday night. Any words of wisdom about walking around out there at night?

    Also, I reserved a rental car, but I think I've decided to drop it. So we'll be walking, taking the bus, or taking cabs. What's the 'Dillo like?

    Not getting a car, I'm a bit bummed that we won't catch some of the great BBQ that requires a drive, but I think the trip will be much more relaxing without worrying about a car.

    Evil Patrick, thanks for the input...YouTube is blocked here at work, but I'll check those out tonight. I'd love to ride, and I'm working on it...

    Cheers,

    Q.
    Johnny Ryall rode MTB

  30. #30
    Mtc
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    You ought to rent a couple of townies and a lock from Bicycle Sport Shop. Transportasion around town and a bike. BSS is not far from you hotel. Oh yeah and you can get to BBQ!

  31. #31
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    No Worries.

    Quote Originally Posted by Quercus agrifolia
    We finally made a hotel reservation, at the Hampton Inn, south of downtown about two blocks northeast of the Congress Street bridge. The location looks pretty good, and hopefully we can walk to/from Stubbs on Sunday night. Any words of wisdom about walking around out there at night?

    Also, I reserved a rental car, but I think I've decided to drop it. So we'll be walking, taking the bus, or taking cabs. What's the 'Dillo like?

    Not getting a car, I'm a bit bummed that we won't catch some of the great BBQ that requires a drive, but I think the trip will be much more relaxing without worrying about a car.

    Evil Patrick, thanks for the input...YouTube is blocked here at work, but I'll check those out tonight. I'd love to ride, and I'm working on it...

    Cheers,

    Q.
    Trust me when I tell you that Ruby's is all the BBQ one needs. I could eat there multiple times a week EVERY WEEK. Granted I would have to scale back the portions tremendously to maintain my race weight. Please have a wonderful time and please for the love of sweet GOD above... Drink at least 2 FAT TIRES for me on the 10th. I turn 30 and live east of the Mississippi. Such a burn. I love Austin with all of my heart and I hope you and the misses have a wonderful time. Please rent some bikes. It will be soooo much more fun if you can skirt around town and not have to "cab it". The Bicycle Sport Shop is really great. You should also poke your head into Mellow Johnny's (Lance Armstrong's new shop) if they are opened yet.

    Take Care and Safe Travels,

    PF

  32. #32
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    It looks like I will not be in germany that weekend, so if you want to ride, I can pick you up at the hotel and I have a bike for you to ride. Just bring shoes and pedals (if you don't use time or spd.)

    Your wife could use a little "alone time"
    Austin Mountain Biking and worldwide travel pictures:

    http://www.austinbike.com

  33. #33
    gimme friction
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    Quote Originally Posted by austin_bike
    It looks like I will not be in germany that weekend, so if you want to ride, I can pick you up at the hotel and I have a bike for you to ride. Just bring shoes and pedals (if you don't use time or spd.)

    Your wife could use a little "alone time"

    Dang, now that's a sweet offer! I'll test the waters, and get back to you.

    PS, I'm 5' 8", typically ride medium, 17"-18" frames...
    Johnny Ryall rode MTB

  34. #34
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    I am 5' 11" and my hardtail is on the smallish size for me...
    Austin Mountain Biking and worldwide travel pictures:

    http://www.austinbike.com

  35. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by PanFry
    I turn 30 and live east of the Mississippi.

    PF
    Thought you would be enjoying some the the PNW finest micro brews by now.... what happened to Bend?

  36. #36
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    Learn Spanish.
    ... And I Am You,
    And What I See Is Me!

  37. #37
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    well...

    Quote Originally Posted by Fat Bob
    Thought you would be enjoying some the the PNW finest micro brews by now.... what happened to Bend?

    Sometimes life just throws you some curve balls. I ended up staying for the love of my life (surprisingly not a 29er MTB!). She is pretty set on staying in the South (Georgia). For the most part I am happy. I do have some what if questions though... I am in great need of adventure/challenge in life. Great memory. I think I will eventually end up in the Saluda/Asheville area of NC. We shall see...

    Take Care,

    PF

  38. #38
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    What's the deal with the quality of those youtube vids?


  39. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mrwhlr
    What's the deal with the quality of those youtube vids?


    You can't use "quality" and "YouTube" in the same sentence...

    DOORKNOB!

    It's "kwality".
    -- Evil Patrick

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    The trail...shall set you free.

  40. #40
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    Si!

    Quote Originally Posted by Wildeyes
    Learn Spanish.

    Eat some Tex-Mex too while you're at it!

    I loves me some Tex-Mex...

    PF

  41. #41
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    You gunna hav fuuuuuun!

    Your hotel's in a great spot.....Could throw a rock at the Iron Works....great ribs. Love the Salt Lick too...just ate there today, but it's a haul from downtown ( a very beautiful haul on a killer road that used to be a sweeeet road ride...kinda risky most days now). Cooper's in Llano is a religious experience too....best smoked pork chop...wow...that's a whole new world O 'que... and another lovely drive...but you've already decided against that...
    and while you're in Austin you really shouldn't miss Mexican food downtown at Las Manitas (mere seconds on foot from your hotel), South 1st at Polvo's (Enchiladas de la Casa Baby!!), Loco Maria's on S. Lamar, or so many others....

    Skip the Shiner Bock....it's turned to shiiiite. My favorite local brew is Real Ale's (just down the road in Blanco, TX) Full Moon Pale Rye Ale.

    You REALLY should go to the Sport Shop and rent bikes! or is the wifey like mine and not into it....mine refuses to do "any vacations I have to train for!"... It's the best way to get around town, and hopefully it won't be quite so hot yet. (please please please!)

    Anyway...have a blast! Welcome to our fair city!

  42. #42
    gimme friction
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    You guys rawk!

    Thanks for all the great comments to this thread. We'll be there Saturday afternoon, and we're both excited about our first kid-free vacation since...well, ever!

    Austin_bike, it looks like I'm not going to get to ride. But thanks for the offer! If you ever want to ride in my neck o' the woods, just send up a flare. I mean it!

    My priorities for this trip are:

    - food, both bbq and TexMex...so far I've got Iron Works, Ruby's, and Stubb's for gettin' my meat on...and Las Manitas for TexMex. What am I missing?

    - music...we're seeing Wilco at Stubb's Sunday night, but would love to check out a club show or two...any recommendations there, especially for country or bluegrass?

    - drinkin'...I'm already salivating over the tap and bottle list at Gingerman. I've got my first six beers picked out. Draught House also gets a nod, but looks to be too far away unless we take a cab.

    - relaxin'...I'm stoked we'll be right along Town Lake, which looks to have some good walking and bike path action. I doubt we'll rent bikes, but we like to get out. And of course, the bats.

    Any other tourist or leiseure-type activities I'm missing here?

    Cheers,

    Q.
    Johnny Ryall rode MTB

  43. #43
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    Ruby's bar-b-que tacos are simply the best in my book...there is a mex place off 5th I used to go to with pretty good margs...cant recall nameand one catty-corner to ruby on guadalupe that wasnt bad either .(though they serve crackers and not chips)...hell, it all may be gone now. Too bad the Bad Livers were around...I used to love seeing those guys.

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