Where we ate: Central Standard, Austin TX
Meal type: Dinner
Party size: 2
You know what I like to do sometimes? Whether due to exhaustion from hustling all week or a need to chill before an upcoming hectic schedule, I sometimes like to do nothing special while watching other people do special stuff.
Central Standard is located on a popular strip in Austin (South Congress) where there is plenty of activity. Furthermore, it’s connected to a very hip hotel, South Congress Hotel. From the restaurant patio, you can sit and watch for hours as well dress people exit the hotel on a mission to have themselves a good time.
On this night, I let the two glasses of Tempranillo warm me up while trying to guess what all the excited couples and groups were about to embark on. Disco for them, primal dining for me. Let’s do this.
Central Standard is hard to describe but easy to enjoy. You can’t shove it into a box like the leftovers we took home.
They have a number of raw bar plates to start the meal off with and a main dish menu that includes red meat, white meat, fish and even a loaded burger.
With a bulk of the food coming from the woods or the ocean, it’s super easy to eat primal/paleo here.
Here’s what we started with:
Wagyu Steak Tartare: egg yolk, crispy shallot, grain mustard, French pickles, grilled bread. Some people prefer a cherry on top, I prefer a bright golden egg.
Shaved Ham: la querica speck americano, peach marmalade, grated parmesan, grilled miche. Again, toss the toast to the side and eat the ham slowly. Savor the taste, it’s worth every bite.
Mussels Toast: escabeche-style mussels, tarragon aioli, grilled miche. Skip the toast and you’re free to dig in. Mussels are always lighter fare but as you can see from the photo below, the mussels are toppled with other items that take the delicious treat just a step further.
Other starters fit for the paleo/primal crowd:
- East Coast Oysters
- Gulf Coast Shrimp Cocktail
- Gulf Oyster Soup
Now on to the main dishes.
Belle went with the classy (fish) and I went with the basic (cheeseburger).
Texas Redfish: braised artichokes, lemon, fresh basil.
There is a purple tint on the Salmon not from the chef but from the neighboring boutique shop with a very cool looking neon sign.
Belle said it looked like a soup or a stew but was still very light and fresh.
Now, offering a burger with cheese, bacon, avocado, or any other version of “the works” is my achilles heel. Central Standard serves one up with a couple of the items plus some mushroom butter. To be honest, I’ve never heard of mushroom butter but I like butter so…
Obviously, set the bun to the side. I usually leave the bottom bun then “accidentally” take a bite or two as I cut through with a knife and fork.
I swapped in a paleo/primal side dish for the french fries:
Ash Roasted Vegetables
Other primal/paleo main dishes:
- Roasted Half Chicken romesco toast, lemon, fines herbs jus
- Berkshire Pork Chop hot pepper paste, leeks charred on the plancha, fennel pollen
- Grilled Swordfish skewered with braised fennel and grilled over hot embers, yukon gold potatoes, marjoram, grapefruit
- NY Strip Steak coffee & cocoa rub, charred baby carrots, avocado, feta, cilantro, charmoula
- 9oz Prime Rib charred summer pole beans, au jus, horseradish sauce
Let’s not leave out our drinks for the night: Tempranillo (me) andBrut Rosé (Belle).
And for those of you who have read enough of these, you know what comes next. Dessert.
Ice Cream by the Scoop: Blueberry Mint Tea Sorbet & Pecan Brown Butter