Ways & Means Oyster House, the popular Southern California seafood restaurant, is opening its first Texas location in downtown Austin. It’ll be found on 319 Congress Avenue, which was recently the home to Annie’s Cafe, which closed last month, starting in November 2018.
The menu is handily split in half: oysters, and not oysters. There are freshly shucked raw oysters and grilled ones featuring various dressings: the Burlesque Shooter comes topped with sparkling wine, pineapple, and jalapeno syrup; the Peplos with jumbo lump crab and feta cheese.
The bivalves will be sourced from Humboldt Bay, California, among other locations. Expect Austin-specific dishes, which could mean that Gulf seafood would be used since it would make sense.
The rest of the seafood dishes include king crab legs, lobster rolls, poke, fish tacos, and more. Brunch will feature jumbo lump crab huevos rancheros, chocolate chip pancakes, and eggs Benedict with lobster or crab cakes. For non-seafood options, there are vegetables, salads, and mac and cheese gratin, plus ice creams for dessert.
There will be a full bar as well as wines and beers (including Santa Monica Brewing Co.). The lineup will include Ways’ own bottles produced with TateDog Wines in Livermore, California and its own 24-year-aged rum with Papa’s Pilar Rum. Beers will include Santa Monica Brewing Co.
There is a charitable component to Ways, where it will partner with local charities and first responders. The Austin ones have yet to be determined. Sales from dishes that use Julen’s Ausome Sauce will benefit autism charities.
Ways & means originally opened in Orange, California by Parnell and Jennifer Delcham and Dena Mathe in 2013, and it rebranded and moved to Huntington Beach in 2015. That was followed by one in Portland. It’s also opening forthcoming restaurants in Del Mar and La Jolla in California.
For downtown seafood, Garbo’s is still working on opening a regular food truck next-door to Chi’lantro’s space on 823 Congress Avenue.