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Dec 15, 2006 01:03 PM

Review: Becks on Souh Congress (AUS)

We went last night, enticed by a two-fer coupon in our Entertainment Passbook. We arrived around 8:00 and the restaurant was empty, just one couple in a booth. I thought this not-a-good-sign. There was a man playing a guitar on a small sage at the front of the room. I thought the noise to loud and the room too small for an enjoyable dinner, and suggested going across to Soco Cafe (a favorite). Domestic Partner notice a sign for a back patio, and we went to check it out.

There we found a 4-piece jazz ensemble playing to several tables of people. No one was eating, but DP has an adventurous soul, and the music was very good, so we sat and ordered.

I had the corn-chip crusted catfish in chipotle cream sauce, with scalloped potatoes and a small salad. It was terrific. My only complaint was that they didn't serve me bread to wipe my plate clean with. I'm not a big fan of catfish. I like Eastside's version, and this was even better. Very nicely prepared potatoes and salad, too.

DP, the vegetarian, had spinach philo medallions. Four huge pieces drizzled in cream sauce and accompanied with asparagus. He declared them "big lumps of cream cheese", but made short work of two of them and brought two home for his lunch. Becks has several vegetarian options, so I will probably be able to convince him to return so I can have my new favorite catfish.

Overall it was a delightful evening: good food and good music under the stars and trees on a balmy winter night. One can continue this quintessential Austin experience at the Continental Club, which is right next door serving more cold drinks and great live music.

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  1. I had a very similar experience a couple of months ago. The place was empty but we ordered anyway and the food was quite nice (not exceptional, but competent.) We wrapped up the night with some excellent funk-soul music down the street at the Continental Club.

    1. The girlfriend and I went to Beck's on a whim last night. I'm sad to report that our experience did not fare as well as the above two posters. It was actually just downright terrible.

      I had the corn-chip crusted catfish with "the best mac and cheese" (ha) and collard greens. The catfish was passable... the crust on the outside was nice and the fish didn't offend... nothing spectacular though. The collard greens were bland as could be. Why would they not cook them with any pork? And the mac and cheese actually made me a little sick. Overcooked ziti with melted shredded cheese coagulated on top. Flavorless pile of yuck.

      The girlfriend had the spinach and mushroom stuffed phyllo medallions. It had a distantly decent flavor, but was drowning in the cream sauce. She could only eat half of it.

      Our service was spotty too. They only had two servers working the whole place, so after the food arrived, we never saw our waitress until it was time for the check. God forbid if we had wanted another glass of wine.

      The cherry on top was the two tables around us.... I overheard one guy returning his steak because they had cooked it way too rare. Another guy told the waitress that his dish tasted like it had been in the freezer all day.

      Maybe just an off-day in the kitchen? I don't know.... I'll never go back to find out.

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