One of the first truly Austin-unique restaurants we ate at here (which means NOT the Outback were we ate the first night, too move-weary to sort out anything except a familiar chain name!) was Threadgills.
The story has it that this is the place where rock icon Janis Joplin was discovered, and where stars of country, rock and bluegrass continue to flock when they’re in town.
I have no idea if any of that is true. but I do know that this unassuming eatery on Lamar (and its slightly fancier version near The Long Center downtown) is one of the best all-around, anytime places to eat in Austin.
Threadgills is not fancy or pretentious. It’s not dressed up or tiny portions of perfectly cooked but unrecognizable food. It’s good home cooking, in generous platefuls. It’s a Sunday brunch that fits into a family budget. It’s good old-fashioned food with choices for everyone, from meat-eaters to vegans, and tots to grandparents. And best of all, it’s all topped off with the kind of bluegrass, gospel and country music I used to only hear at festivals and special events. But these people are there every week, playing while I eat!
Now how cool is that! Dang! Just seriously, dang!
The downtown location has patio dining and a seated outdoor music venue. The Lamar location is strictly indoors. Both are affordable and yummy.