He named his cooks “The Thrill Grill Kitchen Crew.” He has an entrée called “Filet Mignon the Way I Like it” and another “Sometime Pot Pie.” His lasagna is made with wild boar sausage and he features an antelope burger.
The space that used to be McQuade’s is a deceptively large place, with three separate dining areas and a dominant bar up front. Comfortable booths are the place to be in the room on the left. TV screens are everywhere and a tight blues band started to jam around ten on a Saturday night.
There’s a flight of four craft beers ($8) that our helpful waitress suggests sampling from light to dark. There’s also a long menu of hard to find bourbons and cordials.
Burger Shots ($10) made with buffalo meat, make sliders look like quarter-pounders. Impossibly small but improbably juicy considering their size, do them like shots. Dip ‘em into the chipotle mayo and pop ‘em into your mouth. A Caesar Salad ($8) has enough for four but Kokonut Kalamari ($10) had almost no coconut taste. Duck Spring Rolls ($10) were a bit too narrow to hold enough of the tasty meat.
When our waitress informed us the pot pie of the evening was rabbit we got into a discussion about ducks and rabbits and which are cuter. Our waitress admitted “I don’t really feel bad about the rabbits because they have so many babies, its okay to kill them off,” effectively ending all discussion on that subject. I ordered the Rabbit Pot Pie ($19). Tasted like chicken. And the pie was perfect, a blend of crisp flaky crust and flavorful filling. The Cumin Crusted Pork Chop Jambalaya ($19) was moist and tender with the jambalaya scattered around the chops. Another good choice is the Green Tea Poached Scottish Salmon ($25) done up with Asian flair.
The hi-jinks continue on the brunch menu. Besides duck, turkey and goose eggs, pteradactyl eggs are offered at market price. Baumel has a hash sampler called “The Amsterdam,” featuring salmon, duck with sweet potato and corn beef hash. Only the salmon is smoked.
His pastry chef—Bak Lava and The Fab Filo Five—pushes hardcore chocolate desserts including a Chocolate Jalapeno Chipwich ($6) loaded with spicy ice cream, that you dip into hot fudge and a sundae called The Dirty Ashtray ($9). It’s a dark chocolate construction built or should I say melted to look like a black plastic generic one with two cookie “cigarettes” in it. It’s tough to deal with but fun nonetheless.
The Stone Turtle
4160 Austin Blvd.