The last chapter of my bachelor party trip to Austin, Texas. Up till now, we’ve stuffed our face with BBQ and hit up Torchy’s not once, not twice, but three times as a group (I only went twice actually). I figured a good dinner to cap off the trip would be to go to a steakhouse, although suprisingly there weren’t any definite standouts on Yelp.
Perry’s was one of the higher rated steakhouses, so that’s where we headed (didn’t realize it was a chain when I went). A group of 9, and a rowdy bunch at that, they thankfully sat us at the quieter upstairs room, and by the time we were done with the apps, we had the whole upstairs to ourselves….
We started with a seafood tower, something I don’t get a chance to order very often. Nothing here stood out too much, just some pretty standard solid chilled seafood. Some jumbo shrimp cocktail, halved lobster tails, lump crab meat (one of the highlights) and some mild East Coast oysters.
While the seafood tower was across the board solid, the appetizer plate, while more unique, was a little more hit or miss. The fried asparagus, topped with the jumbo lump crabmeat was a nice mixup and a combination that worked very well. The Polish sausage (in the back, not well lit) was fantastic, had a smokiness to it with just a hint of spice, and not too oily. The calamari in the middle, mixed with banana peppers, didn’t really work too well. The calamari ended up being a bit too soggy, and the peppers dominated the middle.
The casear salad here was average. Very dressy, and the shaved parm was pretty subtle. Fresh anchovies topped the dish but were a bit vinegary.
The steak here was a solid, above-average broiled steak. They’re broiled and topped with their signature herb butter – it’s a bit heavy on the garlic and a bit dense in the center of the cut. I ordered it medium rare and it came out medium rare, maybe a shade towards medium, but no complaining here. It was well cooked, but missing a bit of char.
In the end, there’s not much that impressed me about Perry’s – it’s a solid steakhouse, but I guess my expectations were a bit higher for a Texas steakhouse. Had a great time, though, and it gets kudos for the the service and putting up with our group….
So while most of the crew ended up heading to the airport on Sunday morning, a few of us had afternoon flights or flights the next day – my stomach was still reeling from a weekend of drinking and gut-bombs, but my buddy McC wanted one more taste of Texas BBQ before he left. Locally, we ended up having two solid options – La BBQ and John Mueller – we went with John Mueller and weren’t disappointed at all. (And reading into the backstory of the two joints was quite interested)
While not quite Franklin’s, the brisket at J. Mueller’s was tender, smoky, and way better than anything I’m getting in Chicago. A nice bark, and some great flavor.
The pork ribs were solid, but the weak link of the three meats we got – just a bit overcooked, the bark is the highlight here – nice and peppery, the meat itself fell off the bone but was just a bit tough.
I believe John Mueller is known for his beef ribs, so we couldn’t turn this one down. The crust had a nice sweet pepper flavor with just a bit of spice to it. The ribs were kicked perfectly, a nice, crisp bark, meaty, but fall of the bone.
While not quite at Franklin’s level, John Mueller’s was close, and without the absurd wait (went on a Sunday morning at around 10am, ended up waiting all of 10 or 15 minutes). If I’m headed down to Austin again, J. Mueller will almost assuredly be on the list of spots to return to..and there will be a next time.