Saturday, October 5, 2013

Lambert's Downtown Barbeque

Located in the carefully restored Historic Schneider Brothers Building in Downtown Austin, Lambert's serves up inventive BBQ, modern Texas cooking, and carefully prepared cocktails. They strive to provide a comfortable, casual, and original dining experience with true Texas charm.  Live music is performed most nights upstairs.  Reservations are recommended and you may get a prime booth to view the entertainment.

For our last dinner in Austin, we went to Lambert's in an attempt to get Keith some ribs. (The last barbeque joint we visited sold out of ribs.)  We were seated upstairs in a quaint booth by the bright flashing window lights.  The servers told us we could turn off the light at any time if we got too annoyed, but we left it on as it added to the festive ambience of the live music playing on the stage across from us.

I was still pretty full from our beer infused lunch earlier, but had no problem sharing two appetizers with Keith.  The Broiled Gulf Oysters were huge and stuffed with BBQ butter, creamed poblanos, and lump crab, topped with toasted bread crumbs, and served with lemon wedges and buttered saltines.  The oysters had a nice Tex-Mex twist with the poblano chiles and we easily slurped those down.  Next, we shared a salad presentation of Fried Green Tomatoes with jumbo lump crab salad, spicy greens, and Green Goddess Dressing.  I loved the addition of jumbo lump crab meat.  It gave a refreshing layer to the classic Southern fried dish.

Continuing with the jumbo trend, I ordered the Jumbo Gulf Shrimp & Grits.  The shrimp were very large and spicy, but cooked perfectly.  The grits were creamy and cheesy studded with a bit of house-cured Canadian bacon, yet I did not care for the seared chicory salad on the side.  The was way too bitter and vinegary for my liking.  I shared a couple of my shrimp with Keith since they were so big.

For his main dish, Keith ordered the Country Style Pork Ribs.  Finally, he got his hands on some real Texas ribs.  They were tender and tasty with a fennel and coriander rub and maple glaze.  They didn't need any extra sauce, but he tried the various housemade barbeque sauces that came with - one was a traditional vinegar base and the other was a mustard base.  He also liked the roasted slaw made with fennel and green apple.  It had a crisp bite that contrasted the spicy barbeque.

I really wanted to order dessert but was too full to indulge.  As we were wrapping up, the main headliner was about ready to come on stage so they cleared out the upper floor bar area for reentry with a ticket.  It was unclear whether we could stay for the show, since we were paying diners, or if we had to hurry up and leave.  We didn't want to chance it, so we paid our check and left.  Nevertheless, the atmosphere at Lambert's was festive and the food was comforting.

Total Rating: 4.18
Food: 4, Price: 4, Service: 4.5, Ambience: 5, Accessibility: 4.5

What I ate:
Broiled Gulf Oysters
BBQ Butter, Creamed Poblanos, Lump Crab, Toasted Bread Crumbs, Buttered Saltines

Fried Green Tomatoes
Jumbo Lump Crab Salad, Spicy Greens, Green Goddess Dressing

Jumbo Gulf Shrimp & Grits
House Cured Canadian Bacon Seared Chicory, Lemon Zest, Chili Flake

Plus Keith ate:
Country Style Pork Ribs
Fennel & Coriander Rub, Maple Glaze Apple & Roasted Fennel Slaw

Lambert's Downtown Barbeque on Urbanspoon

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