I've read enough Michael Pollan to understand the benefits of vegetarianism. And if you ask me now, my belief is that red meat should be treated as an indulgence and not an every-meal staple, kind of like a hot fudge sundae. But at the end of the day, I just appreciate a good steak far too much to ever quit cold turkey.
For Han's birthday, we went to Austin Land & Cattle, located on Lamar. I think what I like best about this restaurant is what I like best about Texas: it's unabashed and upfront. Don't get me wrong, the interior is very nice, decorated with white tablecloths and antique ranch-style decor, but when you walk in, it's not like you'll ever confuse this place with Fleming's.
The service was had the same charm. Sure our waiter was dressed in slacks and a tie, but he also talked like he worked at Chili's. I loved it.
And when I say that the restaurant is upfront, it's never more apparent that in the food. You definitely get the steaks that you pay for. Nothing fancy, no crazy Asian-fusion marinades or New American-style side dishes. Just delicious high-quality beef cooked to perfection.
Now, I don't consider myself to be a steakhouse snob or anything, but I do believe that when eating steak, the only two cuts worth your time are the ribeye and the filet (that is, unless, you're going the porterhouse or chateau briand route). So Han and I got exactly that.
The bone-in ribeye (also known as The Cowboy) looked more to me like The Tennis Raquet (pictured above). Perfectly marblized, each bite begins to melt like butter the second you put it in your mouth.
Han's filet mignon was also pretty sizeable and was also perfectly tender and chewy.
What was most interesting about Austin Land & Cattle was the selection of sauces you could get with your steak. Upon recommendation we decided on getting the Roasted Garlic Sauce and the Gorgonzola Butter, which tasted a lot like blue cheese. I usually prefer not to put anything on my steaks, but the sauces were pretty good and probably worth the extra $3 per sauce.
The side dishes were pretty much as you would expect. I definitely reccommend the garlic mashed potatoes. We also had the Oysters Tex-afeller for appetizer. They were just like Oysters Rockafeller but with a pretty big jalapeno kick.
The only downside to the meal was the creme brulee we had for dessert. Of course any creme brulee is good creme brulee, but this particular one sort of tasted like it came from a buffet line. It did come free, though, with our meal. Our waiter said his present to Han was both the dessert and saving our ears by NOT singing "Happy Birthday" to her.
Austin Land & Cattle Company
1205 N. Lamar