3508 S Lamar Blvd
Austin, TX 78704
Rating: 8/10 for the burger, 6/10 for the bloody mary
Not to be confused with the gun range of the same name (and that actually happened to someone I know), Red’s Porch is a fab South Austin eatery tucked away unassumingly behind a couple of bank buildings on S. Lamar. The unusual off-the-drag location reveals itself once you climb up the stairs to Red’s huge first floor outdoor dining deck which boasts sweeping views of the Barton Creek Greenbelt.
Red’s famously describes themselves as half Cajun, half Tex Mex and half Southern, which means they are punching right in my comfort zone. And not just because I’m terrible at maths. The menu will have you both salivating and struggling to make a final decision because the options are so plentiful and enticing. This can lead to dangerous appetizer over-ordering, which is even more perilous because their main portions are huge.
But if there’s one ingredient I will never say no to, it’s an olive. And if you tell me you’re going to stuff that olive with blue cheese and then deep fry it, I might want to have your children. Or at least order the dish.
Rest assured, it was a symphony of salty, crispy goodness. Everything I had hoped, and a little more. However, I was also wise enough to know that waiting for them to cool would be a very smart choice. Others in the dining party weren’t as patient, and you can bet that molten blue cheese filling burnt their mouths. Pfft, newbies.
The beverage of choice was of course a Bloody Mary. Served in a patterned Mason jar with a salted rim, the Mary had a decent garnish selection- the ubiquitous southern pickled green bean, mammoth stuffed olives and a lime wedge. Let’s not underestimate the importance of citrus in a Mary – the acidic punch helps balance the richness of the spices.
Whilst one of the prettier Bloody Mary’s I’ve been presented with, the Red’s Porch Mary is entirely too peppery. Not too spicy, too peppery. I’ve been back and had it since, and the problem remains the same. The black pepper flecks are so powerful, I can only get about halfway down the glass before it becomes too overwhelming. This is turn doesn’t make it an ideal choice to be paired with hot, salty, fried foods. So my rule of thumb at Red’s Porch now is “beer goes with everything”.
On to bigger and better things, like the burgers. Believe that this is one delicious and attractive burger, as evidenced by it making the grade as the official header pic for this blog. The half pound burgers at Red’s are cooked to medium (as they should be) and come with your choice of whole wheat, sourdough or jalapeno bun.
I ordered the Manimal burger which is topped with grilled onions, cheddar and swiss cheese. I asked them to leave out the 1000 Island Dressing, because it ain’t my bag. Im sure you’ll agree that the intermingling cheese duo looks sexy as hell melting atop that patty… The lettuce was a little much – I still prefer mine shredded and a little wilted, keeping its rightful place as just another ingredient, rather than a spring loaded hazard trying to separate the bun from the rest of the burger.
But I digress. Everyone who ordered a burger agreed that they were satisfying, perfectly cooked and quite delicious. As was the generous portion of hand cut fries. Next time, I’m going to sample the delights of the ‘smokey goat’, with fried onions, goats cheese and house smoked bacon. A casual restaurant who smokes their own bacon, friends, displays exceptional attention to food detail.
Honorable mentions go to the cheese biscuits with bacon gravy, mac and cheese sides and the amazing nachos which appear to have been taken off the menu. Snooze and lose, people.
In my neighbourhood + great views + several things on the menu I really want to try = regular BurgerMary hangout.