While Philip Speer’s highly anticipated new downtown Austin restaurant, the modern Mexican spot Comedor with chef Gabe Erales, isn’t open to the public yet, the 501 Colorado Street place has been testing out its service and food through what appears to be invite-only reservations, as seen through the barrage of social media posts recently.
Based on the #content coming out of these previews (which is subject to change), here are 7 things to know about Comedor:
1) Comedor’s menu is split into five sections: para la mesa (“for the table” in Spanish, aka sharables), crudo, al lado (“next to,” aka sides), fuerte (“strong,” aka entrees), and postre (desserts). People have already been raving about the bone marrow tacos, served with smoked butter, a gremolata made with Hoja santa and pecans, and a side of tortillas.
2) The presumably large quesadilla machete is sold at market price.
3) There are plenty of moles throughout the entree section, from the mole verde served alongside fish, mole rojo with breaded quail, and tomahawk rib-eye with black garlic mole.
4) There’s a chicken liver mousse served with churros, which is similar to what Erales made at the Austin chapter of pig-centric cooking competition Cochon last month (which he won).
5) Desserts are where Speer takes the stage, putting him back in his element. Of particular note is the guava sorbet paired with chamomile crema mezcal foam and flying ants.
6) Yes, there are drinks. Partnering in Comedor is next-door cocktail bar Garage and its owner William Ball. So it makes sense that the Garage team is overseeing the cocktail menu. That spans classic drinks with some Mexican spins, like the Old Fashioned with mole, houst margaritas, and more, alongside wines and beers.
7) The steel-and-glass restaurant building is very striking, from the black exterior, glass bricks, to the tucked-away courtyard with seating, greenery, and a fountain. Inside, the high glass walls of the building let in lots of natural light. Behind the design of the building is architect Tom Kundig of Olson Kundig and Drophouse Design.
Speer has not confirmed an opening date for Comodor, but things look pretty darn close. The Colorado address used to be home to Speer and co-partner/Garage owner William Ball’s charitable coffee trailer My Name Is Joe Coffee Co., which focused on giving back to those recovering from addiction.