Second Bar + Kitchen
200 Congress Avenue
Austin, TX 78701
I’m a story teller. I firmly believe that he/she who dies with the most stories wins. I’ve amassed quite a few, many of which have been told on this blog. The more I tell a story, the better I get at remembering the details and adding color or pithy nuances that add to the vibe and enjoyment of it’s re-telling. Some people say there’s no need to repeat yourself and when it comes to writing a Burger blog, believe me, there’s a lot of repeating. Mostly because if I love a Burger, I’ll want to eat it again and also, how many different ways can you describe a food item as “deliciously cooked to a perfectly juicy medium-rare?” That being the case, allow me to repeat myself:
“I absolutely love going to SXSW because of all the great food in Austin. With so much to do, sitting down for a proper meal hardly ever happens and when it does, it’s usually due to a meeting or a party. You end up eating a lot of street food, quick bites, buffets and limited offering menus and while it’s all usually pretty good, that regular old restaurant experience is pretty limited. Thankfully my good friend Julie from 365+ Media took me to meet her boyfriend, Chef Ethan Holmes of Second Bar + Kitchen, because it resulted in one of the best sit down meals I have ever had in during SXSW.”
Change that last sentence to “I have ever had PERIOD,” and that’s about as accurately as I can describe the food at Second Bar + Kitchen. Their Congress Burger is among the BEST I’ve ever had and currently ranked in my “BEST OUTSIDE NYC” list. You can read the full review by clicking here. While recently in Austin, TX for SXSW some of my best foodie buds and I (Julie & Heather from SMSC Media Group, Rachel the Fabulous Foodie & my new friend Megan) linked up to gorge ourself on a meal of EPIC proportions at Second Bar + Kitchen. Put on your hunger seat belt and enjoy the gluttonous food porn.
Buffalo Fried Pickles – Gorgonzola & Bull’s Hot Sauce
House Charcuterie Block – Old World Preparations & Appropriate Condiments
Veal Meatballs “Arrabiata” – Fennel & Grana Padano
Pepperoni Soup – San Marzano Tomatoes, Mozzarella & Garlic Croutons
Grilled Flank Steak – Warm Potato Salad, Fresno Chiles & Chimichuri
Grilled Berkshire Pork Chop – Escarole, Creamy Polenta & Green Chile Citrus Glaze
Braised Beef Short Rib – Black Truffle Grits, Cippolini Onions & Brandy Balsamic Glaze
Brussels Sprouts – Smoked Bacon, Mint & Feta
Hell yeah! That’s A LOT of Food. A LOT of awesome, amazing, expertly made, hand-crafted, tasty, delicious, wonderful, oh happy times, Food.
When you go to Second Bar + Kitchen (notice I didn’t give you a choice or use the word “if,”) be sure to do four things:
- Bring lots of friends so you can share a lot of plates
- Make sure Ethan is working
- Order one of their specialty made Cocktails or amazing selection of Craft Beers, especially if they’re pouring ANYTHING from the Jester King Brewery
- ORDER THE CONGRESS BURGER!!!!
The patty is made from house ground Brisket and Chuck and topped with Shallot Confit, Gruyere, Greens & Horseradish Pickles. While I would consider using the word “Confit” in this situation a bit of an artistic liberty, much like me, you won’t care once you take a bite. The sweetness of the Shallots reduced into a savory sandwich such as this is pure taste bud bliss. The flavors only get more complex by adding the slightly salty aged qualities of a hard Cheese like Gruyere and the juicy fresh mix of locally sourced Beef. The patty could’ve been served on it’s own and still be awesome but it’s sandwich counter parts make this one of the best Burgers I have ever had!
No one and I mean NO ONE does it like Chef Ethan and all the crew at Second Bar + Kitchen.
THE BURGER COUNTQUEST
Mar 13, 2012 – 7:15 pm
The Rev Meter for Social Community
“The Rev Meter” is a social community meter for assessing how optimized a bar or restaurant is with social networking. By taking what I consider to be the 10 most important social networks and creating a point system, I can accurately asses how well your business is using social networking as a tool. My goal here is to educate and assist great business to better effectively use these tools.
Second Bar + Kitchen scores a 6 on The Rev Meter.
4 points or less You’ve missed the 5 basics and are less than optimized
5 points You’ve covered the basics, which is better than most but far from optimized.
6 to 9 points You’re doing better than most and on your way to becoming a well respected social community whiz.
10 points Congrats on a perfect score!