Finding the right mechanic is a little like finding the right physician, and I mean that beyond the obvious similarities regarding health and whatnot: there's a trust factor involved, and when you find one that does a terrific job you tend to appreciate them, if only because there are so many who comparatively don't measure up. It can be an expensive vetting process. I've now had work done on two cars for a variety of issues and Sam's has been super efficient, reasonable, affordable, and timely. We'll be back.
Pros: Fair and responsive and competent, the holy troika of good mechanics.
Cons: It's not a huge shop, so I could see them getting overrun - but that hasn't been my experience to date.
Imagine for a moment that you're a beer. Now, I get that beers are by definition inanimate (and in certain quarters, fleeting), but stands to reason that if you were, in fact, a beer, you'd want lots of friends around. And you'd want beers of great variety, from all over the world, with stories to tell. And if so, you'd really be happy if you ended up at Mandeville Beer Garden. Because there's always beer. And there are always grand tales to tell.
Pros: Nice variety of taps, perfect for those who want to experiment or find something they were destined to love. Like a beer.
Cons: With this many taps, temptation can be a thing. Pick your battles.
Cosmic's a laid back coffee and craft beer valhalla tucked away off of Congress: featuring an expansive outdoor seating area, myriad food trucks for a quick bite, and a dee and varied coffee menu, there's a lot going on here, but it's presented in an easily digested format.
Pros: Efficient staff, casual ambiance
Cons: Parking can be a challenge at peak times. Be aware.
Let's start with the obvious: this hotel is massive, and has quickly been established as one of the anchor lodging destinations in downtown, no doubt partly because of its proximity to the Convention Center, partly because of its proximity to Congress, and partly because it's a well appointed and smartly considered place to attend a conference, dine or crash. Beyond the multiple restaurants inside, easily walkable to several other noteworthy culinary adventures.
Pros: JW Mariott is clearly an upscale flagship line for the Mariott folks, and it shows. They don't skimp on anything, and pretty much emerged immediately from build out ready to redefine downtown stays.
Cons: They can fit lots of human beings in here and often do - be prepared for crowds.
This is a town that loves tacos. I'm pretty sure that if you stuck a good portion of us we might well bleed salsa, and Torchy's has been slinging tacos to the masses for awhile now. Part of the reason they've been so popular is well, tacos, come on -- but another part of their popularity is the bridging of the gap between clever innovation and the traditionalist expectation. There are all sorts of cleverly named tacos happening here, and there's always something new and a bit adventurous to try. Let 'em cram yours full of something delicious, and chomp away.
Pros: Wide variety of tacos available, including some innovative ones. Bring your appetite.
Cons: They're popular and staked out around breakfast and lunch. Plan accordingly.
The common refrain you'll hear around Austin is that P Terry's is to Austin what In N Out is to California, and that's somewhat true: a locally grown restaurant with a fond nod toward mid century bell-hop architecture, fresh, responsibly sourced ingredients and efficient service make P Terry's easy to root for. And order from.
Pros: The burgers are obviously what they cut their teeth on, and they're terrific. But don't sleep on the shakes. They're awesome, and you don't want to spill it.
Cons: Most P Terry's locations (frankly all of them that I've hit) are popular, so hitting them at peak times can mean some wait.