Chronicle reviewer Melanie Haupt has been waiting for a neighborhood restaurant for Windsor Park, but hasn’t found it in Hank’s. Though she praised the decor with a “Western minimalist ethos,” she found the culinary offerings “uninspired” and the service lacking.
From the smaller plates section, Haupt enjoyed the crispy rice, though she thought the dish could use some greens for a variation in texture. For entrees, she found the standout to be the “juicy, flavorful” fried chicken, though found the presentation of three pieces with no side to be an odd portion size (she suggested two pieces with a side or a shareable whole bird). A lunch visit yielded sandwiches that left both parties disappointed with lack of fillings.
Haupt did tout the desserts as the shining star of the menu:
The crème brûlée was perfect, and garnished with delicate slices of pear and edible flowers. The Chantilly cake was pretty as a picture and studded with fresh berries and pomegranate seeds; it had a tender crumb and a sweet buttercream that bordered on cloying, but split four ways was manageable.
Haupt’s major gripe with Hank’s, though, turned out to be the service. While the staff was friendly, she noted an obvious lack of attention to detail, such as not receiving new silverware for dessert and a cheese plate delivered with no explanation.
Overall, Haupt wished the restaurant “had spent a fraction of the energy and expense training its management and service staff as it did on making sure its interior was Instagram-worthy.”
Austin Monthly’s Jolène Bouchon visited east side Mexican restaurant Suerte, and was not as enamored as other reviewers. While Bouchon appreciated the restaurant’s farm-to-table approach, she also noted that these days, it seems to be the norm anyway.
Bouchon appreciated Suerte’s decor that “recalls high desert plains with a cool coastal feel.” However, she had mixed results on service once, observing that dishes were delivered with no explanation or context on her first visit.
Suerte’s menu did contain several standouts for Bouchon, particularly the goat barbacoa with “meat so tender, it falls off the bone at the mere suggestion of a fork.” She also praised the tostadas topped with snapper ceviche and the suadero tacos:
Supple chunks of confit brisket sit in little white corn tortillas, but it’s the pleasantly funky black magic oil — a mix of fermented black beans, chiles, fried garlic, and a spicy-tart sauce made from leftover chile parts and cilantro stems — that pushes it over the edge.
However, Bouchon disliked the mushroom frito (“an indistinct mass that tasted more of a seasoned fry than of mushroom”) and the the “bland” duck egg flan. She also found the cocktails to be a mixed bag, dismissing the “root beer-like” Don Dario. Despite these qualms, she thought the restaurant worth a return visit.
ON THE BLOGS: ATX Eats and Treats called the new breakfast menu at Uncle Billy’s Brew & Que “bangin.” This Doesn’t Suck visited The Brewer’s Table for happy hour, and said it maintained its status as one of Austin’s best new restaurants.