Just returned from a weekend getaway in Austin. Despite the dreary weather, we had a weekend of great eating.
We started our weekend with Lunch at Lamberts on our way in from the airport. Great service. Split a tasty brisket and jalapeño hotlink sandwich with collard greens on the side. This hit the spot. Our shared app of chicken fried oysters were somewhat of a disappointment
Dinner was the tasting menu at Barley Swine. We discovered this place a few months earlier and our return visit did not disappoint. The service is warm and friendly. The menu is super creative and you can really appreciate the kitchen's dedication to their craft from your seat overlooking the kitchen.
We wanted barbecue the next day for lunch, but didn't want to deal with lines nor the rain, so tried Stiles Switch as we were nearby. My husband liked it better than I did, The staff was very friendly and helpful re: what to order. We shared the beef bone which was really good, although a bit fattier than I would have preferred and some very good pork ribs. The spicy coleslaw was good as was the corn pudding. Overall, the food was fine, but we've had better barbecue on prior trips to Austen.
Dinner was at Trace at the W. I really liked the menu and food here, whereas my husband liked it less than I did. Our dinner here got off to a poor start in that we were ignored for what seemed like a really long time. However, once we flagged over the manager to discipuss this lack of service, things immeasurably improved....the manager immediately apologized and offerered to comp us two drinks and an order of fried oysters that was delivered rather quickly. At that point our waitress finally surfaced and service got back on track. My husband had a scallop app that he enjoyed and the hangar steak as his main, which he liked but was not impressed by. I had the sweet potato pasta with the short rib ragout which was so very flavorful although rich. It was just what the doctor ordered for a cold, wet night. Our desserts were spectacular, mine the Texas sweet corn and his the sweet potato crunch.
Brunch the next day at Second bar and kitchen. Our server was competent but not particularly friendly. The food was fine but not as interesting and as good as we remembered it from our last visit to town.
Our last dinner was at Emmer and Rye. Great craft cocktails and wonderful service. Very creative dishes (small sharing plates) and an interesting menu concept that includes ordering off the menu as well as from roving carts of freshly prepared items from fresh, seasonal ingredients.
Overall, some very good eating this trip. The Austin culinary scene is amazing and worthy of a weekend getaway.