- fabulousdrinksaustin Jun 23, 2009 06:20 PM
Anyone been? Bill bar manager and cocktail mixer extraordinaire along with the Tipsy Texas are making bar magic happen or so I've heard. Looks very bistro-like inside with a menu to match looking forward to trying.
I can't wait to go. Anyone want to babysit 3 very well behaved boys?
The zinc bar sounds way cool. There's a couple of teasers on youtube.
TERRIBLE service, mediocre food. I've tried Annie's for both lunch and dinner and haven't had a good experience. I'd normally detail the short-comings (other than don't order the burger or turkey sandwich) but I'll digress since they are only open two-weeks. They have a lot of work to do. That being said the space is fantastic.
Finally went last night for happy hour. Had the Texas style poutine- the fries were very good but otherwise uninspiring and I felt less inclined to eat anything else, BUT THE COCKTAILS!! I feel like crap this morning because my friend and I, between the 2 of us, were itching to try every one on the list. Unbelievably delicious drinks. All juices freshly squeezed and double strained, and masterfully mixed. The Pimms cup was perfect. The Diablo was the most interesting and tastiest tequila cocktail I have had in a long while - a borderline blasphemous statement to make in a city of some very good margaritas. The Daquari was heaven - light, refreshing and not too sweet. These might be the best cocktails in Austin and are without a doubt the best $5 cocktails I have ever imbibed anywhere. The speciality cocktails were a little pricier, but the two I sampled were fantastic - "the monkey gland" - gin, absinthe, orange juice and house-made grenadine, and a drink - whose name escapes me right now- (wonder why?) a muddled cucumber, ginger bit of boozy deliciousness. Fino, La Condesa and The Good Knight have all raised the bar ( so to speak) for Austin cocktails, but I think Annie's must be the premiere place in town for serious cocktails. But stop at 2, though that will be hard, they are so GOOD.
I'm really itching to try out some of the dinner options, but I had the caprese sandwich for lunch and it was top-notch. Great foccacia bread, ripe tomatoes, generous mozzarella and basil. A couple twists of cracked pepper and sea salt and that thing was good to go.
My wife and I went to Annie's for dinner this Saturday night for her birthday and it was a mixed bag to say the least - a rather frustrating experience given the high quality of the food and the low quality of service.
After eventually flagging someone down at reception, we found that Annie's had either lost (or just not written down my reservation. Fortunately there were still several tables open; but they seated us in a table that clearly should have been an aisle because the staff and other customers repeatedly bumped our table trying to get around. I ordered one of their "signature cocktails" off the drink menu and the waiter just looked at me like I was crazy for a minute before telling us that we were ordering from an outdated menu, like it was our fault. Then our drink order took a half hour, during which time our waiter didn't even take our meal order. We just sat, and waited, and contemplated leaving. We both, individually, had to ask for water, then we had to ask to order, and my wife had to ask if they had any specials. I don't have exhaustive demands for service at a restaurant, I don't demand white glove concierge treatment. But none of the objectives of a table-service restaurant were met. Any Chili's offers better treatment than we received.
Which is sad, because the food was very, very good. She had grilled salmon - a good cut of fish, tender and juicy and lightly salted. I had the chicken schnitzel, which was hot and hearty but not greasy and had a delicious lemon caper sauce. Realizing we were not having a good experience, our waiter provided us a gratis dessert, a really delicious chocolate and carmel tart with light sea salt.
It's entirely plausible that the restaurant was understaffed all around (bar, kitchen, waitstaff) that particular night; other people I know have had really good experiences there. And the food itself was very good. But the experience put a bad note on an important night.
You know, I generally don't post negative reviews without having a really awful experience, but I met a friend at Annie's last week and had quite a similar opinion of the place. The food was really great. The service was laughably awful... and it was definitely not a busy night or a staffing issue.
The place was less than half full, we sat at the bar with two working bartenders and a total of 5 customers, and are both considerably low maintenance. My friend asked for a glass of wine, the bartender came back minutes later and asked if she needed another drink. When asked what 'veggies' were on the roasted veggie pizza, the bartender was unsure and said something along the lines of "squash... maybe, and some others." We ordered a pizza (mediocre) and calamari (perfectly done with delicious friend jalapeños), and the bartender asked us to move our drinks so he could put down napkins, and then exasperatedly said "A little help!?" when he couldn't get them straight. The food was brought by the (I assume) manager, who said he'd be right back with some silverware... then we watched him wander back to the deli area and chat up the woman rolling silverware...where he stayed. We had to head over to the dining area to seal sets off a pre-set table, since he never came back. We asked to split the check, and even it was done incorrectly. I was disappointed, my friend livid. I don't see a reason to visit Annie's again, no matter how tasty the snacks.
My turn to chime in. My bf and I went to AA's about 2 weeks ago, for lunch on a Saturday. He ordered a sandwich and I had the Chinese Chicken Salad. The food was good. The service was lacking.
Our waitress was very ditzy. She took forever to take our order and she had to return to the table twice to verify what we ordered. I appreciated her effort to get the order correct but each visit was at least 15 minutes prior to the next one. It took a long time to get our food.
They were fairly crowded but we were seated near the door at a regular table, not a booth or one of those tall cafe tables. It was FREEZING in there. Every time someone opened the door a new blast of cold air came in. I ate in my parka.
I had no idea the bar was supposed to be good. It's a pretty place. They've done a great job restoring it and I'm sure that wasn't an easy task considering it's an historic building.
I remember the old AA's had a chickpea/feta salad that was really good. I really wanted to order that but I guess they either don't make it anymore or they were out of it. The waitress was someone clueless about what I was talking about.
Fix the service and it's golden.