Thursday, February 26, 2009

Restaurant Week and SXSW Dining Deals

Austin Restaurant Week

Everyone likes a good deal don't they? I know I do, especially when it benefits a food related charity, something near and dear to my heart. So I always look forward to all of the 30 or so restaurant week's Austin offers. It seems like just last week (in October) we had the same restaurant week, but , hey, who am I to turn down a good deal on a decent meal? Especially when it helps to refill the Capital Area Foodbanks coffers.

This restaurant week's participants are all offering $25-$35 meals. You just have to call and book a reservation and say you want the Restaurant Week menu. Its a good chance to try that restaurant you've been wanting to go to but were too economically challenged to spend money on. Something new this year is the "Nightcap." Each evening from March 1-11, a different bar downtown will donate a percentage of the evenings profits to the food bank.

Here are some of the participating Restaurants. See the website for the full list (it's really long) and the list of "Nightcaps"

Austin Land & Cattle
Green Pastures (at $25 is a steal)
Melting Pot (the cheese, veggies in broth, and chocolate fondue combo for $25, also a steal)
Paggi House

SXSW Yelp Deals

So I continue to have a love hate relationship with YELP. They're users provide such excellent reviews, that I find myself checking their ratings before I go to most new places. However, I had a falling out with YELP about a year ago, when I tried to post edited (and shortened) versions of our reviews on their site. I figured it would be a win win for everyone. We provide (free) quality reviews and in return we get a free plug. Well apparently YELP didn't see it that way and sent me a nasty little e-mail about how they weren't interested in my reviews. Then to add insult to injury, the turned off my yelp account. Well see if I ever review for them again! How nice would it be if enterprises like YELP of Citysearch partnered with local bloggers to provide content to their service?

Anyway, during the week of SXSW, YELP has partnered with local restaurants to provide half price specials at the following tasty eateries:

Paggi House
Buenos Aires Cafe
Cuba Libre
Andiamo Ristorante
Taste Select Wines
La Cocina de Consuelo
Sao Paulo's Restaurante
Paciugo Gelato
South Congress Cafe