Annie’s Cafe and Bar’s Happy Hour
I’ve been eyeing this place for quite some time. However, when I do pass it, it is to go next door to Kyotos, a sushi joint. After having an interview with the Aha Moments Campaign, sponsored by the Mutual of Omaha, Bernard and me walked around downtown and came to a stop at Annie’s. The first thing that draws me to this place is the outside seating. It is an odd spot since it is in the middle of downtown Austin on one of the busiest streets. But because it is so unexpected is what makes it special. Not to mention free entertainment. We were right between the ending of the lunch menu and the beginning of happy hour. Happy hour? Hello!
They have a very extensive drink menu but their small plates are nothing of the ordinary.
Me: “I can’t decide what I want…”
Bernard: “Let’s get everything!”
And so we did, almost.
Good quality fries, I’m guessing they blanched and fried them twice. They were drizzled with truffle oil and the shredded parmesan cheese, which was superb to any that I’ve ever had.
Fried calamari. Tender and light.
Not bad but we only had a slice because we were so stuffed. I’ve actually had better margherita pizzas and I would personally have liked the basil to be chopped up instead of whole.
I was intrigued to get this dish because saffron is expensive and I’ve never had it before. The flavor of the broth was complex with a rustic undertone and a hint of white wine. Bernard said it reminded him of curry. The mussels were plump and the shells worked as spoons to scoop up that bit of broth.
The sauce was very good, I suspect they boil shrimp heads to get that dept of intensity into the sauce. Nice big shrimp with two slices of grilled baguette.
Ambience: 8; The inside of the restaurant is hip and modern and if you choose to dine outside, the downtown traffic isn’t that bad.
Food: 7; clean flavors with intensity.
Service: 7.5; the waiter was incredibly patient, knowledgeable of the menu and nice.
Price: 7.5; reasonable for happy hour but their regular menu is more on the pricier side.
Overall: 7.5. The restaurant was very clean and the service was great. On weekends they open til midnight. Many places skimp on their happy hour food but Annie’s does it right.
Annie’s Cafe & Bar
Austin, TX 78701