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Barley Swine: Brick and Mortar Restaurant From The Man Behind Odd Duck

http://beeradvocate.com/forum/read/29...

Bryce Gilmore's been cooking and running the best restaurant in Austin for over a year now. Odd Duck.

And he's done it out of trailer on South Lamar across from Alamo Drafthouse.

Now he's going the brick and mortar route, taking over the old Pie Slice building [ 2024 S. Lamar
Austin, TX 78704 ] to convert it into a gastro-pub.

An Autumn opening is projected which typically means late Winter early Spring in the restaurant business.

Odd Duck will remain open.

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  1. I kind of like the trailer-to-brick and mortar route. The restaurateurs get to test their product w/o the capital investment. If it works, then they open a real restaurant.

    Unfortunately, I've never been to Odd Duck. Now, I just had kid #2, which will further hamper my outings. Although, I will need to get the older one out of the house to give mama a break. Odd Duck, here we come! Fortunately, the daughter will eat anything almost. She drank the Nuoc Mam right out of the bowl at Sunflower. Odd Duck would be the perfect place for us to try. I'll review your reviews.....

    2 Replies
    1. re: rudeboy

      Please do...I think Odd Duck is king of the trailers, and the bricks and mortar is great news. Hopefully Austin City Council takes note of his success.

      1. re: rudeboy

        I've never been either but everybody seems to just love this place. I will have to remember to stop by when I'm in the area (which is not very often).

      2. Fantastic news! I've not been disappointed yet with anything at Odd Duck. I'm very curious to see what he'll roll out in the new joint.

        1. As a huge fan of Odd Duck, I'm completely thrilled to see that Bryce is opening a trad restaurant. He does things in that trailer that seem almost pathetically easy but that I couldn't pull off to save my life. Grilled romaine salad is one.

          1. I only just caught this opener from scrumptious's original post:

            > Bryce Gilmore's been cooking and running the best restaurant
            > in Austin for over a year now. Odd Duck.

            Whoa.

            As a 'hound who really enjoy's scrumptiouschef's posts (and respects his food POV), I'm a little scared now: Odd Duck is the best restaurant in Austin. Better than all the taco carts and trailers. Better than the highfalutin Uchi / Perla / Parkside / Wink / Jeffrey's. Better than the Gallow's pole. Better than even Scrumptious's own restaurant. (Which I still have never figured out -- what is it? I want to go!)

            Color me sold. I've never seen such a straightforward and clear praise from the chef. I'll hit Odd Duck and report back asap.

            4 Replies
            1. re: tom in austin

              Tom, don't think for a second this slipped thru the cracks up here in Boston either.

              As the chef himself might say: "has anybody ever seen scrumptiouschef and Bryce in the same room together ?"

              ;)

              1. re: Nab

                Hey Nab,
                When you coming to Austin?

                Better get here before Bryce hands the reigns of Odd Duck over and gets Barley Swine up and running

                1. re: scrumptiouschef

                  The irony of eating at Perla's coming from Boston last time I was in town was not lost on me. Neither was the daisy-fresh deliciousness of their bouillabaisse - professional procurers like this would have me slurping fresh oysters in North Dakota fercripesakes.

                  But next time I come back to town (hopefully this fall), I want to hit the streets again, some of the old favourites on the eastside, and then get a taste of the new, like Odd Duck and so forth. I barely recognized the town on my last visit, and I'd only been gone a year.

              2. Anybody have an update on this? I' can't wait to see this place up and running

                2 Replies
                1. re: puddles

                  Answered my own question, but wanted to share with you fine folks: they'll be here in time for Christmas I'm told.

                  Obviously I'm looking fwd to it

                  1. re: puddles

                    Thanks for sharing. I'm really looking forward to it.

                2. This is FABULOUS news!

                  1. had odd duck for the first time tonight. my god, can't believe that food came from a trailer it was amazing. can't wait for barley swine to open, I'm sure it will be amazing as well.

                    1. FYI, grand opening was last night.

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: Madcap

                        Did you get over there? What's the word? How was it?

                        1. re: puddles

                          Still haven't been. Some friends said the food is very good but the portions are tiny. That's the extent of my knowledge.

                      2. Went recently with a couple of friends and had, essentially, the entire menu. Everything was at least good, with some hitting the delicious mark. Favorites were the duck sausage with foie, the sweetbreads with bacon and brussels sprouts, and the ricotta dumplings with broccoli.

                        Communal tables, interesting beer list (heavy on the hops and strong ABVs), succinct wine list, friendly people everywhere, small space, open kitchen. Came to somewhere around fifty and change with tip and two (smallish) beers per person, which seems totally fine. The list did lack dessert wines, and I wasn't a huge fan of the dessert, so next time I'll probably hop over to Olivia for some tawny port and a cheese plate after.

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                        Barley Swine
                        2024 S. Lamar, Austin, TX

                        18 Replies
                        1. re: bubbleboy79

                          Hopefully he can enlist the aid of the dessert chef at Jack Allen's [his dad's joint] whoever that person is is one seriously talented pastry chef.

                          1. re: bubbleboy79

                            went a couple nights ago. agreed, everything was at least good - and the sweetbreads and the roasted brussels sprouts were favorites. not a fan of communal tables and the place is very loud (due to its small size and proximity of patrons) - made for a difficult evening with a quiet-talking date.

                            nevertheless, we had a great time and the food was excellent. everything is served small-plates style, so be prepared for little food and a high bill. in addition to the above, we had the spiced carrots (excellent) and the grilled steak (quite good, as well) and 4 glasses of wine (a malbec, at $8.50, being the cheapest glass by a long shot). our bill came to $89.

                            i think it is a bit overpriced, but would definitely go back - maybe with a big group, though.

                            1. re: exit53

                              i hate communal tables, ugh.

                              actually, i wonder if anyone particularly likes them, or if people just tend to tolerate them in general.

                              1. re: dinaofdoom

                                i can't stand them either. especially in a 'nicer' restaurant like this, i was fairly surprised. i guess i can understand the pairing of small plates with communal tables, to correlate the 'sharing' vibe. also perhaps they were building on the picnic bench style of odd duck. who knows. but i'm with you, not a fan. i was trying to have a nice date, but the people sharing our table was a group of 5 that were pretty drunk and pretty loud. pretty annoying.

                                1. re: dinaofdoom

                                  I hate them too! It's my only complaint at Fabi & Rosi. I specifically ask for a table in the outer ring, but when it's just two of us...

                                  1. re: amysuehere

                                    Can anyone comment on what sort of wait to expect? I am going Sat Night.

                                    1. re: NWLarry

                                      We waited about 20 mins at 8:30 on a Friday.

                                      1. re: NWLarry

                                        We went when they opened on MLK Day, no wait (obviously). We went the Wednesday before at about 7:15 and there was an hour and a half wait. Maybe it's calmed down since they've been open a while? Even still, there are very few tables, so I would expect at least 45 minutes on a Saturday night.

                                        1. re: NWLarry

                                          We went last Saturday and had to wait about 45 minutes. No worries though. They write down your cell # and call you when your table is ready, so you can walk next door to Opa and have a glass of wine.

                                          1. re: jwynne2000

                                            We went Sat. night.

                                            I hate to post something negative, because the food really is great (well more on that later) but we had a 2 hour wait. If the goal of the communal tables and the small plates menu is to induce table turnover, the bottles of wine and ale directly counter that. Having said that, I did like the communal tables-we compared notes with the couple also seated at our table, and overall things felt very cozy. Oh, and the Cure was playing, so as the target market for that playlist, I was happy.

                                            My only complaint on the food was that it didn't feel like much of a departure from Odd Duck; not that it's supposed to be, but with a fully-equipped kitchen to play with, I thought there would be greater variation. The highlights of the meal (the quail and rabbit) were dishes I had enjoyed previously. Other dishes: fantastic potato fritters, a surprising grilled broccoli salad...actually the only complaint food-wise would be the fried brussel sprouts, which I just thought were kind of burnt to a crisp.

                                            I'll be back, but most likely during the week.

                                  2. re: bubbleboy79

                                    BYOB? If so, then maybe. Otherwise - communal tables? - no thanks.

                                    I imagine the crowd to be mostly twenty/early thirty-somethings?

                                    1. re: conquer

                                      no, it's not BYOB. they have a nice bar with a good wine list. correct about the crowd, at least when i was there. yet i fit the demographic as well...

                                      1. re: exit53

                                        Do you know if they allow BYO with a corkage fee?

                                        1. re: Steven Dilley

                                          i do not know for certain, but considering they sell their own bottles and glasses, i highly doubt it.

                                          1. re: exit53

                                            The majority of nicer restaurants around town (Olivia, Uchi, Aquarelle, Wink, Chez Nous, Asti, etc., etc.) that sell beer and wine (but no liquor) allow BYO for a corkage, but in this case, I believe you're right.

                                            I'd love it if they'd offer a cask beer or two. (For all I know, they do... hope to visit soon.)

                                            1. re: Steven Dilley

                                              oh, i didn't know that - that's cool that those others do allow that. however, i'm also unsure if barleyswine only sells beer and wine. they have a large bar, but we only ordered wine. i didn't think to look for a cocktail menu.

                                                1. re: conquer

                                                  A buddy and I were at the Horseshoe on Saturday and decided to stop by and have a beer at Barleyswine since they have a good selection. We made it clear as soon as we walked in that we only wanted to have a drink and would be leaving. The waitress was visibly upset that we weren't ordering food and when I gave her a $20 for our $11 tab she didn't bring back any change. I had to ask for change and she blamed it on the bartender...maybe it was her fault but I doubt it. The manager did come over and compliment us on our beer choices so that made me feel a little bit better about things.

                                  3. I went last night with 3 friends. We got 4 spots at the bar at 8:30 (on a frosty Wednesday night). We ordered nearly every item on the menu, shared everything, and were blissed out! The bartender, runners, and manager were friendly, knowledgeable, professional yet laid-back.

                                    Each of us had different favorites, but mine was the grilled scallops with duck sausage and coriander cauliflower. My friends asked for spoons to scrape up the sauce after we'd devoured the victuals. Loved the fried brussels sprouts. The beet salad had equally as much endive and fennel, with crumbles of blue cheese--delicious. The beets were delicate babies--I believe he said poached in an orange vinegar or something. I also loved the pork belly and its celery root puree. Each dish was small but thoughtfully garnished with purees, sauces, greens that contributed so much. And they're bold with the salt--but it's good salt and perhaps meant to go great with quaffing beer.

                                    This is the kind of food I'm happy to pay a bit more for. It's beautifully presented, I can watch them cook it, and it's really nothing I'm inclined to cook at home.

                                    I had the Malbec--as another poster mentioned, it's by far the least expensive red glass at 8.50. Next time I'll drink beer. Oh, our bill was $170 for 4, with 3 of us drinking.

                                    -----
                                    Barley Swine
                                    2024 S. Lamar, Austin, TX