As much as we love a good square meal around here, and as much of a reputation as Austin is garnering as an up-and-coming foodie paradise with all its Tex-Mex, barbecue and farm-to-table inventiveness, Italian fare just isn’t something we’re known for. Although we’ve already shared one of the city’s best kept secrets in the realm of pizza (The Backspace at 5th and San Jacinto), we’ve since uncovered another respectable trattoria: Asti at Duval Street and 43rd. Its simple, straightforward menu of antipasti, pizza and pasta doesn’t disappoint. Try the daily risotto with a glass of Chianti; it’s a dinner fit for The Godfather indeed. That’s Italian!
Asti Trattoria, 408 East 43rd Street
Mon-Thurs 11a-10p, Fri 11a-11p, Sat 5-11p (happy hour M-F, 4-6p)
Amid all the talk on the Food Channel and in Bon Apetit about Austin’s legendary BBQ joints that seem to have popped up overnight, there still lies an age-old icon of Lone Star hospitality that’s been cooking its meats over a flame and serving them up on a paper plate for half a century. The Salt Lick first fired up its pit in 1967 and, these days, serves an average of 2,000 people on a weekend night. The usual hour-long wait on more popular evenings is tempered by twinkling tree lights, live music and comfortable picnic table seating. The Salt Lick’s laid-back BYOB atmosphere makes it a great spot for a laid-back evening al fresco deep in the heart of Texas — where, of course, the stars at night are big and bright, just like the song says.
Open seven days a week, 11 am – 10 pm
18300 FM 1826, Driftwood, Texas (20 minutes south of Austin)
Here in Austin, we take food pretty seriously. That’s why it’s literally a feeding frenzy every time Austin Restaurant Week rolls around. The twice-a-year citywide event is back again with a vengeance, teasing our palates for two extended weekends in a row. Stretching from September 23-26 and September 30-October 3, opportunities abound to try prix fixe menus at Austin’s finest restaurants at a reduced price, which in turn benefits local charities. Lunches generally run $11-16 while dinners range from $26-$36. Doing good while doing well? We’d love another helping of that.
Austin Restaurant Week, Sept 23-26 and Sept 30-Oct 3
Full listing of restaurants and reservation info here
Proceeds benefit local charities like Meals on Wheels and more.
It seems The Domain is on a mission to reinvent itself from an open-air shopping center into a full-fledged entertainment complex. After opening a host of iPic theaters and throwing several large concerts on its campus, it recently became neighbors with a go-kart track and introduced a sports bar in the Aloft hotel, and now, we can add HD golfing to the list of things to do within the upscale retail district. The Range Golf Center and Sports Bar, located across from the Fiat dealership, is essentially a sports bar on steroids, with two golf simulators, a private sound system, lounge seating, multiple televisions, a projection screen and a private room for special events. Whether you’re looking for a swanky spot to watch the big game or just want to practice your swing away from the blazing sun, The Range is on par to deliver whatever you need — no mulligans necessary.
10910 Domain Drive (across from Fiat)
Mon-Thu: 11 am-midnight / Fri: 11 am-2 am
Sat: 10 am-2 am / Sun: 10 am-midnight
See The Range website for more details
We’re no strangers to food trailers around here, but until recently, we’ve had to venture south to get to some of the best ones. Now, however, North Austin has its very own food trailer yard, very aptly named… North Austin Trailer Yard, or NATY for short. Featuring the beef, chicken and pork sandwich specialties of Snarky’s MooBawkOink (again with the literal titles), the yard also boasts a mobile version of the nearby Genuine Joe coffee house (with its original location just a stone’s throw away, about a mile west on Anderson Lane), as well as a Greek food trailer, a hot dog vendor and a traditional Ramen truck. NATY also offers free wi-fi and shaded outdoor seating for those who need to stay connected while they nosh al fresco. Individual trailer hours vary.
1012 West Anderson Lane, near Lamar Blvd.
Visit the Facebook page for individual trailer hours & news