It appears the ubiquitous ballpark weenie has been usurped by a more highbrow frank. Yes, gourmet sausages are oh-so-hot right now. And why shouldn’t they be? Who can complain about the growth of a cuisine that celebrates meat and bread? Huzzah!
Banger’s opened on the Austin food scene with a…great marketing plan. In addition to a solid menu and beer selection, they launched with a very interesting freebie offer – a free tattoo. Yup, if you were enamoured with the Banger’s logo (which is actually a very cool looking combo cowboy boot/beer stein), they had a deal with a local tattoo parlor to ink it onto your skin for free. And yes, you’d be surprised how many people actually cashed in on the deal.
Being in Austin, there is of course a huge outdoor area and people are encouraged to bring their pooches. At the time I was there, Banger’s were even offering weekly puppy training classes – way to be a social hub! Inside, they’ve embraced the feel of a German beer hall, and one wonders why they didn’t choose to use “haus” in their title. It’s all dark wood, communal tables, and a HUGE bar with over 100 beers on tap.
Beer aside, architecturally speaking the tap wall is just gorgeous. The subway tiles, the gleaming taps, the uniform labels, heck even the bearded, waistcoated hipster bartender adds to the charm!
Banger’s also lay claim to the largest selection of artisan sausage in Austin, and it’s true you can find kooky combinations such as Tequila Chicken Habanero, Antelope & Venison Merguez and Duck, Bacon & Fig alongside wiener classics like Bratwurst, Boudin and Hot Italian. And yes, for all you Captain Lettuce fans out there, they also have plenty of veggie options.
But perhaps the best part about Banger’s is their crazy good Executive Lunch deal. Head there any weekday between 11-3, and here’s what you get:
Pick your Traditional sausage + Topping + Bun + choice of side + PINT of any local Texas beer = $8.
Totally not a typo. Eight bucks. For a full meal and a huge quality brew. You cannot compare an offer like this to a greasy burger value meal, because the food at bangers is really of great quality, and that’s what makes this deal even more extraordinary.
I chose a boerewors sausage, on a pretzel role, with American mustard, ketchup and onions, and potato salad for the side. Of course, everything came immaculately presented on 1/4 baking sheets, mason jars and metal dawg holders. Yeah I know the presentation doesn’t affect the taste of the food, but I kinda geek out when the extra attention to detail is so adorbs!
And you know what? It was a great dog. A crisp snap to the sausage with wonderful coriander seed taste that is a hallmark of South African boerewors. The pretzel bun was ok, but I have had better, there was a super baking powdery acidic taste to it. The potatoes were tender and vinegary, and rounded out the meal nicely.
And as for the brew, I chose my go-to local favorite, Austin BeerWorks Peacemaker Extra Pale Ale.
Summer chose the pumpernickel bun, which was fluffy and incredibly soft, and for sure what I’ll order next time. She also selected the cream corn, served with a crown of fried onion strings. I had a bad case of side envy!
Though it’ll take you several dozen meals to eat your way through bun and sausage combos, fear not as there are other menu options and it’s worth heading the Banger’s for their non-phallic snacks. Beer drinkers will surely appreciate the bar snacks of chili cheese fries, pickles and poutine. POUTINE!
Basically, if you can bear the parking clusterf*&k that is Rainey St, or better yet take a cab, park your butt on a Banger’s bench for a spell.