Hubbers and I keeping with our objective to try someplace new at least once a month, hit Lambert's this weekend while it was raining. Started off right by getting a space directly in front (parking could easily be a pain there).
Space is very "new Austin" and is a gutted warehouse with very minimalist décor, very long and slender with a long row of very closely placed parallel tables along one wall (wouldn’t want to sit there). Again, lucked out and got the last booth.
“Upscale BBQ” showed in the draft beer selection and hubbers and I both ordered Chimay ($6 pint). While we waited a bread plate was served with rather bland little corn muffins, some okay wheat bread and some better than average white bread, all thick sliced and homemade.
Hubbers ordered the Maple/Coriander Ribs with collard greens and potato salad while I ordered the Chopped Beef (asked them to sub the hoagie roll for the Texas toast, which didn’t happen but was probably a good thing cuz I didn’t end up needing the bread anyway) with mac & cheese. Both ran about $8.
Firstly, the mac & cheese was da bomb! Both of us agreed we’d be back for it if nothing else. It’s how I remember Luby’s being when I was a kid but it obviously wasn’t (does that make sense). It was served al dente with lots and lots of cheesy goodness, heaps of flavor and a crusty crunchy cheesy shell…yum.
Hubbers collards were chock-full of pork fat (which rules by the way) and while the ribs were fall-apart moist and seasoned well, I wasn’t keen on the coriander overpowering the flavor of the ribs. Potato salad was pretty standard, white version with scallions and skin-on potatoes.
My chopped beef was better than most, being more cubed than chopped and had a flavorful, slightly spicy sauce (not the sweet sauce served in bottles on the table – speaking of which the homemade mustard on the tables is quite yummy on the bread). It did, however have more than a few bites of solid fat, which isn’t appealing to me.
Service was very friendly without being intrusive and prompt with what looked to be a pool system of everyone helping everyone.
Two more comments about this place; first, they had sal picon on the menu and I’ve never seen that served anywhere but El Paso so I must go back and see if it’s authentic. Second, the peach cobbler served to the table across from us looked absolutely AMAZING. No, really. This thing received “oohh’s and ahh’s” as it passed through the restaurant.
So, all in all it was a pleasant meal that, while more expensive than most bbq joints, was worth the money and worth another trip back.
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