In reviewing Irene’s—ELM Restaurant Group’s most recent addition—Chronicle’s Brandon Watson considered Austin’s unpredictable restaurant landscape. With the recent closures around town, the restaurant group’s decision to forgo experimentation for the familiar may be its best bet. In the case of Irene’s, giving the people what they want includes a dose of nostalgia from its Instagram-friendly decor to executive chef Andrew Curren’s specials:
I meant to try as many as possible, but somehow landed twice on Tuesday for King Ranch during my review visits. It's everything you want from the Texas classic, if less salty than the cream of mushroom soup versions most of us are used to. No matter, there are shakers at the table for saltaholics (of which I am one). Irene's takes its lack of pretentiousness seriously. On a non-review visit, I did try the pot pie (served with a beautiful local salad). I didn't take any notes on the filling, but some things attach to your memory without any prompting, and the extraordinarily buttery crust is as memorable as any I've ever had.
He’s also a fan of the plated desserts like the strawberry cake, banana pudding, and a grasshopper bar.
THE BLOGS — Fed Man Walking visited Eureka for the Fresno Fig Burger, A Taste of Koko called Prohibition Creamery an ideal date night spot, Dine With Shayda swooned over Street, Sushi in the ATX checked out Poke Poke, the returning Austin Pizza Adventuring shared some misses at Toss Pizzeria & Pub, The 360 Kitchen stopped by Boiler Nine Bar + Grill, and South Austin Foodie enjoyed a dinner tasting at PhoNatic.