Yesterday was my first day back from my vacation to Austin, Texas. Since I stayed at a hotel, I ate out at a couple of different Austin restaurants during my visit. Surprisingly, there wasn’t a single bad restaurant that I ate at. I had no complaints, at least nothing that would prevent me from coming back. Each one of the restaurants was great in its own way, and I am going to review each one.
First of all, my favorite out of them was definitely Cypress Grill. Not because it’s better than the other restaurants, but instead because Cajun is one of my favorite styles of food. Don’t fret if Southern isn’t your thing, because Cypress Grill serves seafood as well as other things. Is it ironic that this restaurant is located in southwest Austin?
My favorite dish out of the two that I ordered was definitely the eggs benedict. Since I was new to the restaurant, I kinda had to ask the waitress what most customers order. I like Southern food, but I wasn’t sure which exact dishes Cypress Grill specialized in. I also ordered the pork chop, because the way she described it sounded amazing.
My already high expectations were met when I ate the pork chop later in my hotel room. There isn’t a doubt in my mind that I will be visiting Cypress Grill again, but next time I’m sure that I will bring some friends. That way I can steal a couple bites off their plates if something looks really good.
Judging from the descriptions and pictures on the menu, I might be eating a lot of their food. Another thing this Austin restaurant does right is the ambience. As soon as you walk through the front door, you will be greeted by great music and friendly. I really love how the music is kept to a tolerable volume, so you can still hear it while talking to whoever you’re eating with.
I have been to some restaurants in other states where the music was so loud that I couldn’t even order, because my waiter couldn’t hear me! That was unacceptable. Personally, I think the most important aspect of a restaurant is how clean the interior is. I refuse to eat food if there’s anything on my plate that should not be there, and that’s how it should be.
While noticing how clean everything was, I was suddenly curious if the kitchen was clean as well. It’s not paranoia, just curiosity. There isn’t really a way to check without getting in the way of the chefs, so I decided not to bother the manager about it. One thing that the owner of the restaurant should keep in mind is that since a lot of Southern food is deep fried, there’s a high likelihood that Cypress Grill’s exhaust hood is pretty dirty.
I used to have a friend in Austin that worked as a restaurant hood cleaner, so maybe I’ll have to slip his number to the management next time I visit. Last time we talked about his work, he was telling me about all the additional services they offer. Like rooftop grease containment, for example.
I really don’t know a whole lot about the industry. Their website has an about page, so I’m sure there is not shortage of information in case I was really curious. This article may just seem like a puff piece to some, but there are a lot of people who agree with me. Cypress Grill has lots of positive online reviews that show how much everyone liked their food.
Next up, there’s Franklin Barbecue. If Cypress Grill wasn’t on this list, then Franklin Barbecue would absolutely be at the top. Not just because I love barbecued food, but because this was the best barbecued food I had in Austin. It’s safe to assume that I ate a lot of BBQ throughout my visit. This time around, you’ll be eating in Central East Austin.
Austin isn’t known for its scenery, but this area is one of the more attractive parts of town. Again, the food and service were amazing here. There was just so much food on the menu that I knew I would enjoy, so I looked to my waiter again for recommendations.
He gave me a few suggestions, and I was kind of surprised at how well he knew the menu. He even had a few favorites of her own, which I thought was interesting. It’s not every day that you visit a restaurant where the staff loves the food as much as everyone else. I decided on the brisket, which was killer.
Brisket by itself doesn’t sound like it would be enough to fill you up, but the portions at Franklin Barbecue are great for the price they offer. I didn’t spend over $15 for my meal, which was much appreciated on a travel budget. Honestly, I wish I could have left great reviews online for each tender slice of meat that I ate.
The last restaurant that I loved in Austin was Salty Sow. Initially apprehensive because I’m on a diet, my fears were washed away when I realized the title wasn’t literal. Even if it was, there aren’t many things that could keep me from eating at this great Austin restaurant.
My weight probably disagrees with me, but the duck fat fries were amazing. I ordered those and the slow cooked beef shoulder, and I was set. Here’s another restaurant that should keep their kitchen’s exhaust hood in mind, with that much frying going on.
This list definitely isn’t for vegans. If you asked what my favorite part of Salty Sow is, I think it would have to be that variation offered on the menu. You can order beef shoulder, fried catfish, and even tacos. Good thing there’s three meals in a day.
Make sure to be in Cherrywood in Austin, otherwise you might have to battle me for a seat. As many good reviews as Salty Sow is getting, I’m starting to think that it’s not my secret little hidden Austin gem anymore.