Hyde Park Bar and Grill is one of those places that I find uniquely Austin. They try to please the everyone from the meat and potatoes cowboys to the hippy dippy Birkenstock crowd and all stops in between. While their reputation seems to be solidly staked on their fries I've found many dishes to be more than pleasing. And a few that were completely disappointing. Let's start with the good stuff.
If you've never had a knife and fork hamburger then you really should try The Horseshoe. It's a 1/2 pound patty of ground sirloin cooked to order resting on a slice of Texas toast and a ladle of cheese sauce. Then they pile an order of their fries completely over the burger like a freshly fried tent. But they're only getting started. Add another ladle of cheese sauce on top of the fries and throw on some diced tomatoes and scallions. "Oh.... My.... Goodness....", as Steph would say as they served it up. This is one big plate of heaven.
They also have a good "Reuben" style sandwich. It's not traditional but it is very tasty. They use Pastrami as the meat which has a wonderful flavor and add a good portion of sauerkraut with all of its tangy goodness. It comes on rye bread and the whole thing is toasted in a little butter. There isn't a dressing on it so order what you like but the last time I asked they didn't have Russian dressing. I used their Hyde Park sauce instead. It's what they serve with the fries. I was having an if in Rome moment.
If you're looking for a standard meat and potatoes fare look no further than the chicken fried steak or chicken breast. Both of these fine Southern delicacies are fried up in the deep frier fresh and tender then plated with their famous french fries and one more side. I always get collard greens with bacon bits. I love greens and they're extra health too. Perhaps that's Popeye the Sailor Man talking.
Now for the vegetarians in the crowd. Hyde Park used to make a hummus burger in house that I had more than once but sadly I didn't see it on the menu the last time I went. They added a Fried Eggplant sandwich though but I haven't tried that yet. They also have several other no meat sandwiches like the Gardenburger which you can get anywhere and the Pimento Cheese and Cucumber sandwich. For a meal they offer a Vegetable Stir Fry that I've heard is good but I can't say I've tried that and spinach or eggplant pastas. OK, so I'm not doing a good job selling them on the vegetarian side. Sorry, it's not my thing. But I've noticed they are trying so if you're cutting back on the meat you might want to try a dish. I do the no-meat thing at least once a week myself. They say it helps the environment and does wonders for overall health. I don't know about all of that I just like vegetables.
Hyde Park also has a good selection of wines to go with your meal and a small but interesting dessert menu. They are good for both lunch and dinner and their prices fair for the quality and service. The service, now that I've mentioned it, has always been excellent. I can't think of a time when the staff was rude, or slacking, or frazzled. Always great and always pro. You have to love that in a restaurant.
Well I guess I won't get to Hyde Park's few short comings today. Let's just say they are few and far between. They have two locations, one is in the Hyde Park area and the other is down south. I haven't noticed a difference in their menus but the south location is a little bigger and has easy parking. The Hyde Park location is more trendy but parking can sometimes be challenging. I'll say they are equal in taste and service.
So until tomorrow Bon Appetite.
If you want to see pics and get a different perspective on Hyde Park Grill just visit Steph's blog: Hyde Park Grill South