I was in Houston last weekend for a wedding, and having heard so much about Austin recently, we knew we wanted to head down there at least for a day and see what this city had to offer. I have to say, I loved it! And as all foodies do, we had to ensure there was good food- so I took to the internet to find a “trendy,” “fun,” and “good food” restaurant. After reviewing a few different websites, I found Second Bar + Kitchen on Eater 39, and I always find the best restaurants through them! I have to admit I have found some of my favorite spots in the A through them. Be sure to check it out!
Second Bar + Kitchen surpassed my expectations in every way. They had friendly service and AMAZING food! Not to mention, the atmosphere was perfect for what we happen. They had patio seating which we welcomed in the warm Austin weather, and their drink menu seemed promising too. Here is my experience:
The drink menu had about 10 cocktails that all seemed fun and interesting, but I would not call them hand crafted. I say that because I didn’t find any drink to have bitters, egg whites, or lots of garnishes which I generally see at most restaurants that advertise their mixology skills. But fret not, there were still delicious drink options to be had. I ordered the Green River, which had vodka, basil, grapefruit, green chartreuse, and lime. While it was refreshing and light, I can’t say it was anything to write home about.
Enough about drinks now, on to the food! Now THIS was a complete home run for me. The food ended up literally being so good that I have to say its one of the best restaurants I have been to for lunch in a while. I did have a few misses, but the hits more than made up for them. We love to order a lot of small bites to try out a variety of items, so we gave the baked brie, smoked salmon rillettes, and house charcuterie block a try. For our mains, we got the seared faroe island salmon and shared all of this food.
The biggest hit was the salmon. I have never had pork belly fried rice before, and this complimented the flavor and texture of the salmon so well, that I was greedily digging into this dish during the whole lunch! Next, the baked brie was absolutely stellar. I’m a huge cheese fan, and usually when I get a charcuterie board, I like to have some cheese to go along with it. This dish had some sweet flavors mixed in and then baked, and it was amazing! Next up, the salmon rillettes was delicious as well, but was a bit of a curveball. We did not know it would come in a spreadable consistency, and I’ve never really had fish like that before. However, the capers, onions and bread made it a delicious eat.
Now the fail- I love good charcuterie (as you all know by now), but this board really missed the mark. It was full of spreadable pate style meats, and didn’t have any real sausage or iberico meats. They did have a duck ham, but that was a complete miss for me. Overall, based by the charcuterie they served, I would say this is not the place for a truly good board for all of you charcuterie lovers.
Know before you go: request a patio seat if the weather is good. Its beautiful, and makes you feel like you are in a nicer version of NYC.
Have you been to Second Bar + Kitchen? What was your favorite item on their menu?
200 Congress Avenue
Austin, Texas 78701