Restaurant Wednesday: Hickory Street
You may remember Hickory Street from its days long ago as the go-to salad bar on Congress, but with owner Brendan Puthoff and Chef Camden Stuerzenberger (former Executive Chef of Bess Bistro) now at the helm, Hickory Street is back on the map as a culinary hotspot.
Part garden, patio, restaurant and music venue, Hickory Street serves up unfussy yet carefully crafted comfort food. The menu is dotted with culinary buzzwords—short rib, duck confit, local, organic—but is approachable and moderately priced, with the entrées ranging from around $8-$15. Made with largely local and organic ingredients, some of which Chef Stuerzenberger sources from the bountiful garden in front, Hickory Street’s classic fare is simply irresistible.
As an unapologetic fan of duck confit, I recommend starting with the duck tacos, stuffed with moist duck and topped with tangy tomatillo salsa and airy, house-made crème fraîche. A major plus is the ready availability of gluten-free options, and many dishes can be made gluten-free upon request. Fried chicken fans won’t want to miss the tender fried chicken, which the chef brines and sous-vides prior to frying in a perfectly crispy breading. My favorite of the evening, though, would have to be the short rib mac and cheese, a bowl full of fusili pasta, coated with smoked cheddar and topped with the most decadent, red wine braised short rib and green onions. It’s the stuff of dreams. Of course, those of us with a sweet tooth won’t want to miss the deconstructed s’mores, featuring homemade graham crackers, marshmallows and chocolate ice cream.
Carrot and quinoa salad
But whether you’re in the mood for a burger or fish, a pork chop or salad, Hickory Street’s unpretentious yet delicious menu has something for every craving. Be sure to stop by on Thursdays for half-price bottles of wine, and check out the Hickory Street website for more information about live music performances throughout the week. Hickory Street lives up to its slogan—an Austin institution reborn.
800 Congress Ave.
(512) 477 8968