This week the Austin Chronicle ventures to the new Midnight Cowboy “boozy playground” from Alamo Drafthouse’s Bill Norris and esteemed Austin bartender Brian Dressel. Claudia Alarcón liked the two-hour-only reservations and ban on cell phones at the speakeasy, in an awesome mixed metaphor telling grumblers to “grow a sense of humor.”
The drink menu sounds scrumptious, with cocktails prepared tableside when possible: The Pisco Sourgrass is prepared with house-made sorrel-honey syrup, and the South of Bangkok mixes gin with coconut, fresh lime, Thai lime leaf bitters, and Thai basil. If you’re a “cocktail connoisseur seeking a quiet environment to enjoy extraordinary libations in an atmosphere devoid of loud frat types, hipsters on cell phones, and obnoxious music,” this is your place.
Then Kate Thornberry trades one kind of nostalgia for another, letting go of the old dingy Kerbey Lane Cafe on South Lamar to embrace the new location that seats 240, with its “mid-century, fun diner look, crossed with perhaps a touch of mid-century elementary school.” The food is “reliable,” though there are exciting treasures to be found: for example, the medium glass of orange juice, which is “by restaurant standards, enormous – a full 12 ounces (!)”