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Statesman Critic Enjoys Tillie’s Blend of Local Flavors With Asian Influences

Bar Peached and Darcy’s Donkey get mixed reviews from Austin Monthly and the Chronicle

Thai roasted chicken from Tillie’s
Thai roasted chicken from Tillie’s
Tillie’s [Official]

Statesman critic Matthew Odam made the drive out to visit Tillie’s in Dripping Springs, and despite some stumbles, he ultimately deems it a “standout.” As expected from a restaurant by antiques dealer Whit Hanks, Odam notes the space exudes an “eclectic, no-expense-spared elegance.”

On a first visit, Odam raved about the food from executive chef Brandon Martin, an alum from Odd Duck and Barley Swine, calling out the carnitas tostadas, a dish of beets and Brussels sprouts, and a well-crafted drink, as well as his entrees:

The Thai roasted chicken, amplified by curry vinaigrette and sweetly salved with butternut squash puree and the sweet crunch of sticky rice ($27), probably best encapsulates the restaurant’s approach of blending flavors from near and far

However, on a second visit, he described a “lean shoe leather cut of coffee-rubbed wild boar” and frantic service. Things improved again during lunch, with Odam naming the cheeseburger with pimento cheese and smoked onion jam a favorite, and then brunch, where he favored French toast and a green curry bowl.

Austin Monthly critic Jolène Bouchon reviewed Bar Peached and found, like her experiences with the other restaurants in the group, found highs and lows. She found the space “cozy and cute,” although she notes it is small and waits can rise to two hours for dinner.

Bouchon enjoyed the “perfectly crisp” kale tempura, the Korean chicken wings, and panko fish and advises ordering anything with the cilantro chimichurri. Another high note:

We also quite enjoyed the Malaysian Fried Rice, a mix of chicken, shrimp, and eggs lifted by a clean-tasting citrus-based flavoring paste. Fried rice that tastes refreshing rather than heavy is something I can get behind.

However, Bouchon was unimpressed with the mapo bolognese, which she described as “gummy wheat chow fun noodles swimming in oil,” and declared the brisket and bahn mi tacos “just ok.” Things came back around for the bingsu dessert, which she called “fun and indulgent, without being overly rich.” She noted that the restaurant has a knack for making ingredients approachable, and gives points for creating a welcoming space.

Chronicle critic Melanie Haupt reviewed Irish pub Darcy’s Donkey, and described it as “fine.” The restaurant’s appetizers started the meal on a sour note, with fries where “the bacon tasted defrosted and the fries wanted salt” and a quail dish she called “bland, but inoffensive.”

The entrees were more successful, with “nigh perfect” fish and chips and a variety of savory pies:

The filling was very tasty, with tender cubes of butternut squash and generous chunks of chicken, peas, and carrots in a curry sauce with nicely developed flavors (instead of a clanging, one-note curry powder profile). However, the pastry itself was quite dark, and as a result didn’t offer the satisfying buttery flakiness of a well-executed savory pie. If I had been working expo that night, I would not have sold that pie.

For brunch, Haupt had the Paddy’s Sammy which she called “a great big oaf of a sandwich” that was full of calories in a good way; and the chocolate stout cake French toast, which she found mildly disappointing. Overall, she understood the appeal and appreciated the welcoming atmosphere, but doubted she would keep it in her dining rotation.

Darcy's Donkey

1608 Barton Springs Road, , TX 78704 (512) 330-4256 Visit Website

Tillie's

3509 Creek Road, , TX 78620 (512) 894-2633 Visit Website

Bar Peached

1315 West 6th Street, , TX 78703 (512) 992-0666 Visit Website

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