It’s time again for Austin Restaurant Week! 😛 Restaurants from all around Austin will be presenting their special menus for the benefit of the Sustainable Food Center of Austin. The event will be going on from September 19-22 and September 26-29. These days will be Sunday through Wednesday of the next two weeks starting tomorrow!
This event is really exciting for you foodies because this is a great time to go around trying restaurants you normally would not eat at, especially you college students. Special menus will be served during this time that range from $10-15 lunches to $25-35 dinners. The lunches usually include an entrée and either a dessert or an appetizer. The dinners have three or more courses, which usually consist of appetizer, entrée and dessert. Some of these restaurants will have extra pairings like wine pairings with the Restaurant Week menu for an additional price. What makes this so special is that you, the diner, can get a deal of trying a range of foods at a restaurant for a reasonable price that benefits the Sustainable Food Center as well. You get your cake and can eat it too!
If the Austin Restaurant Week is anything like the other Restaurant Weeks across the nation, dinners tend to be a better deal than lunches because of bigger portions, more exclusive ingredients, and generally just more bang for your buck. However, the lunch deal fits in just right at the expensive end of a college student’s budget so that may be the way for you to go. Either way, this is a great time to take a date somewhere nice or just enjoy some good food before the drudgery of all-night coffee study sessions and frozen food meals sets in.
The website for Austin Restaurant Week is an attractive one with pictures of fancy foods to be eaten and a simple menu for you to follow at the top. There is even a special category for lunch specials! The menus of participating restaurants are listed on the home page and range from well-known places by campus like Cuatro’s and Judges’ Hill Restaurant to places farther from campus like Green Pastures and Uchiko. Some restaurants have made available reservations with OpenTable. The menus are available as PDFs and have even provided a link to Yelp to help diners decide which restaurants they wish to dedicate their time to. With so many choices, it is nice to have extra opinions to know where to go. There are also small symbols by the names of the restaurants to let you know about things like gluten-free and wine pairings available.
Extra tips for Restaurant Week include planning your trip. Look ahead at the menus and see what looks good. I know, I know, this may seem obvious but it is surprising how many people go and realize that what they are getting is not something as stimulating or even cheaper than the regular menus. Next, do make reservations. Even though it is not required, Restaurant Weeks get very busy and it will just make the restaurant’s and your life easier. Then, be nice. I know these restaurants are a step up in food service, but Restaurant Week is busy and full of new customers that can overwhelm the servers. Finally, have fun! This is a chance for you to try out places you have never been to or try out ones that you have always meant to go to. Get out there and eat some good food!
Rating: 😛 😛 😛 😛 :P, definitely something everyone should try to expand their food horizons and, more importantly, help out a great Austin organization that is helping to make a difference. If you have the time and money, I would encourage you to go out and Keep Austin Foodie!
P.S. Thank you N. for the link and inspiration!