Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Highfalutin Finger Lickin'

Texans take their barbecue seriously. On my trips to Austin over the years, I've eaten barbecue indoors, outdoors, from old gas stations turned restaurants, food served on paper, plastic and most recently china. I've always heard about the upscale BBQ joint Lambert's, downtown on 2nd Street, and finally experienced it for myself. The historic brick building is an oasis of heart and soul in the middle of newer, contemporary construction.

The fusion of old and new continues inside with exposed brink, dark hardwood floors, retro lighting and green leather banquette booths. Lamberts has a stellar line-up of musicians playing every night in the upstairs bar, where we happened to be seated. The bar menu had an impressive selection of  scotch, whiskey and tequila. The eclectic wine list had selections from Germany and France to Napa and New Mexico. Being a fan of locally distilled Tito's Vodka, I opted for the Sanchez: Tito's, olive juice, Pickled Jalepeno and Caperberry. A dirty martini with just the right kick. Yes you can call it a "Dirty Sanchez".

My favorite appetizers included the spicy deviled eggs and the fried green tomato, topped with delicious jumbo lump crab salad. The food is a bit pricey for a BBQ joint but if you get there for happy hour, the appetizers are half off.

The sides are creative and served family-style. I could've eaten the brussel sprouts cooked in bacon and brown butter all night. The jalapeno and garlic roasted broccoli was a close second. The mac and 3 cheese not far behind, you get the idea.

One of the favorite entrees at our table was the Housemade Jalepeno Hot Links with hot pink pickled cabbage and mustard. The juicy pulled pork was another big hit. Lamberts also has savory brisket, tender short ribs, steak and a few seafood selections.

Lambert's is loud, it is expensive, it is a great experience. I've heard tales of a fabulous Sunday brunch...next visit.

Lambert's Downtown Barbeque on Urbanspoon

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