Red Bud Grill
I had lunch today at the Red Bud Grill. It's at the corner of Bee Caves and Walsh Tarlton, and I've never really given it a lot of attention as I've driven by. In a search, I've only seen it mentioned in passing here on Chowhound.
Inside, the place is done up in wood, with booths, tables, and a big open bar area. Prominent signs advertize happy hour specials from 12 to 7. There is a lot of decoration related to the local Westlake High School, and the music seems to be the intersection of easy listening and classic rock played at almost unobtrusive volumes. Each table is well equipped with condiments: 3 different Tabasco sauces (regular, green, and chipotle) and squeeze bottles of ketchup, yellow mustard, and (I think) mayo.
At lunch, service was efficient and friendly, with iced tea refills circulating faster than I could make noticeable headway. As an appetizer I tried the fried pickle slices. I've never had them before, so I can't really do a comparative assessment. The batter was heavier than a tempura, but it was light enough that the cucumber skin was visible through it. There was some chile flavor in it, strong enough to linger for a few minutes on the tongue. The pickles were served with a garlic-buttermilk dressing, which was good for cooling them when they first arrived, but I preferred their flavor without the sauce.
I ordered the Tuesday special, a spinach salad, and I added grilled chicken. Everything seemed fresh, but the tomatoes were disappointingly flavorless. The inclusion of pecans, goat cheese, and julienne sweet red pepper made a pretty tasty combination, and about half the honey-lime-vinaigrette that they provided on the side was enough for me to dress it with. The grilled chicken was surprisingly moist, and seemed to have been marinated in something that included ground black pepper.
There's a lot of variety on the menu, with a wide range of burger toppings, salads, and other entrees. There's a chance that something there is really great, but even with what I've experienced so far, the care with which salad ingredients were cut and the pickles were fried (even at lunch) suggests to me that the kitchen is at least competent and worth another visit. On a practical note, they appear to have free wi-fi, so I wonder if one could while away an afternoon working on a computer accompanied with the aforementioned happy-hour specials.
I'm glad I posted even though I did not emerge from my first visit with a strong recommendation. Who knew that so many useful opinions were there just waiting to come out?
I still might try the place again, but it is not a good sign that so many 'hounds have dined there without finding a real gem. Has anyone tried the CFS or other entrees?
We went there last week. It was on Monday night which we found out is 1/2 price hamburger night.
The fries were, eh... undercooked in my opinion. I like my fries crispy and they were limp.
I tried the basic hamburger because I felt if they couldn't do a basic burger correctly, no amount of cheese, onion, bacon, etc would save it and I probably should just start off simply. My husband tried the a burger with hickory sauce and cheese.
Our consensus was it was a pretty good meal for 2 people at $13, but the burgers weren't all that great. It was a good $4.50 burger, but again, that was half off the normal price. The burger was okay, but nothing stood out as exceptional. My husband felt the same way about his more dressed up burger too.
However, the half price burgers probably also explained why the place was packed with the over 65 crowd that night. I normally don't really pay attention, but when you see a 20 top with the mean age at 70, I suspect it had alot to do with the special.
Our consensus is we may go again on a Monday for a cheap meal, but I doubt I'll go there and pay full price.
I'm with you, shan. I went with some friends for a weekday lunch, and my salad, the same one Knoblauch describes above, was decent, but we were pretty shocked by the prices. I'm inclined to try it again, though, on a Monday - or for other specials. I do love a good fried pickle.
I tried it once for takeout while the wife was out of town. The burger was ok if a bit standard. Service at the bar was good.
If it was so great I probably would have posted about it. I may or may not return. It wasn't bad but not exactly a destination either like much of the chow in Westlake.