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More old austin restaurants


Not going back as far, but in the late 70s, early 80s you could find:

The Red Keg out 183 (almost to TI)
People's restaurant (on Anderson in the Village)
Hambergers by Gourmet (downstairs from the video game place on the drag)
Hilberts on Lamar (recently moved)
Mike and Charlie's (ok, really a bar, now a parking lot)
Chez Fred (couple of locations out north)
San Francisco Steakhouse (recently died, but lived for a very long time)
Nighthawk south I35
Tumbleweed Steakhouse/BBQ (on top of Tumbleweed hill on 2222)
Haufbrau Steak house (across from Katz's Deli)
La Tapatia Mexican food on 2nd
Jorge's Uptown Margarita Bar and Grill on Lavaca
Hut's of course (still going strong)

Hippie Food


In early 1970, I went into the Maverick Steakhouse on South Congress, in Downtown Austin. After waiting about 15 minutes with no service, the manager came to our table and asked us to leave. He kindly explained, "Sorry, we don't serve Hippie food here."

The good old days!

Top Notch Burgers

Restaurants | People

Last week we lost yet another one of those things that you just rely on being there: James Stanish passed on. If your had ever eaten there, "Mr. Top Notch" surely either took your order and/or cooked your meal. Everyone seems to mention the Dazed and Confused connection with Top Notch as if that is the defining attribute. It's not. Top Notch has always been a place where you walked in and felt like family. We don't know yet whether they will re-open and try to keep going without James. I hope so but in either case we will have lost a part of our Austin family.

Update: the family has decided to re-open the restaurant and keep going. Give them your support.

Les Amis

Bars | Restaurants | UT

As Joni Mitchell said "you don't know what you've got 'til it's gone", and so I feel about Les Amis. I never really hung out there beyond the occasional lunch or afternoon beer. The crowd there was always a little too artsey, too east-coast bohemian, and the menu was expensive! Looking back though, "Les" was a cultural nugget for old Austin and especially for campus culture. It was there during the riots, during the fawning disco days, during the punk scene, and it had a place and purpose in each of those.

The film "Viva Les Amis" should be required viewing for anyone on this site. Good history and snapshots from our time gone by. Here's one for you... look familiar?

Green Pastures


I recently had the occasion to have dinner at Green Pastures with a fairly large group. It really brought back memories of this Grande Dame of Austin dining. The house and grounds were excellently maintained, the food was outstanding. It was a bit jarring to have a reflection of our modern times juxtaposed with the older standards: our waiter's tatoos clashed with the floral wallpaper.

However, I'm always happy to see a non-changing constant in our little town of rapid change. Green Pastures with its peacocks, its dark oak antique furniture, its grounds now in the epicenter of So. Austin gentrification does remain steady and as elegant as always.

Catfish Parlor & Coors beer


Trying to remember where the Catfish Parlor was heading out by Lake Travis. Remember heading out there back in 1976/7 and thinking it took hours to get there. Also - trying to recall the name of the little store (again somewhere out by Lake Travis) that was the first in the area to sell Coors beer. Hey, when you're 21 ya did stupid things like drive 45 minutes for a 6-pak!

Virginia's Cafe


I used to love to go to Virginia's Cafe down on S. 1st about half way btwn Barton Springs and Ben White. Around about 74-75 used to eat some of the best chicken fried steak, pork chops etc. with the usual vegetables; Virginia, whom was very old, would cook it, serve it and run the cash register. You could get along just fine as long as you didn't try to strike up a conversation with her. She was damned busy and did not mind telling you so. So just eat your damned food or talk to someone else.

Salvation Sandwiches

Restaurants | Hipsters | UT

When I first moved to Austin, one of my best friends was a vegetarian. Since I was new in town, I followed him around for awhile. That meant eating vegetarian meals, something very new to the Texas carnivore. There were a couple of places that I recall but mostly it was the "avocado and sprouts on whole wheat" that we would get at Salvation Sandwiches. That was the complete experience: the hippie food, the hippie food vendors, the hippie mentality. All in all, a very proper lesson in the culture of my new home.

Uncle Nick's Pizza


One of the best pizzas (and environments) that I’ve ever had. We had moved out to Fritz Hughes Park (below the low water crossing at the dam) for a little over a year and a half. Nick’s was on 2222 shortly before you got to 4 points on the right. Small, non-descript location. He was from somewhere up north and made the best thin crust pizza that I’ve ever had to this day. It was like going in to see a friend at that place. He greeted everyone like an old friend and really wanted to know how you were doing.
Being around 14 years old at the time, these are some of the memories that shaped my individuality. This was around 1979.

Mike's Pub

Bars | Restaurants

Some things, thankfully, never change. Mike's Pub has resisted change for about 40 years. Way back when downtown was strictly for day-time inhabitants (well before 6th Street as we know it), Mike's was in that building that looks like a parking garage, up those stairs that seem to lead to nowhere good and serving up cold beer and burgers. None of that has changed. In fact, Mike's still seems like it's known to a small group of Austin cognoscenti... just like in the old days.

You can go in for a beer that's served in the same fishbowl glass as Jake's. You can review the strata of calendars, funny beer company swag, the old-school bar equipment, etc., that only come with years of accumulation in an Austin bar.

Most importantly, you can squint your eyes and see the way things used to be.