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What's The Point Of Austin Restaurant Week?

Swift's Attic hosted the ARW launch party.
Swift's Attic hosted the ARW launch party.
Photo: Patrick Michels/EATX

In this week's Open Thread, Eater Austin wants to hear how local diners feel about Austin Restaurant Week, the eight-day prix-fixe ode to local culinary artistry that benefits Meals On Wheels And More. You know the drill: eat two- or three-course meals at local spots for special prices, and part of the proceeds go to charity. This fall's restaurant week starts September 23rd.

But commenters on the ARW 2012 announcement post jumped in to wonder: are those prix-fixe meals really worth it, either for diners or restaurants?

Writes commenter Mike:

Is the point to get to try new-to-you places that are a little out of your price range? That's how I always perceive restaurant weeks in Austin and other cities, as an opportunity to try somewhere new without breaking the bank.
Chef Mat Clouser, at the helm of none other than ARW 2012 kick-off party-hosting Swift's Attic, logged on to reply, in part:
Restaurant to restaurant the philosophy varies, and sometimes the thinking is the crowds who show for these kind of events, groupon in particular, tend not to come back unless there is a discount, regardless of their experience. The result can often be exactly what you are describing.
Readers, what do you see the as the role of Austin Restaurant Week? How do you dine—that is, do you use it to try new places, or get deals at familiar but pricey spots? Or are you just happy to eat good food for a good cause?

Leave your thoughts in the comments or send them to the tipline.

· Austin Restaurant Week [Official]
· All Austin Restaurant Week Coverage on Eater Austin [-EATX-]
· Austin Restaurant Week Announces Fall 2012 Locales [-EATX-]