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Haddington's - Any Comments?

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Anyone tried it out yet?

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  1. Going for brunch today . . .

    1 Reply
    1. re: bubbleboy79

      Not a whole lot to report. Brunch was good, and half off. The interior is beautiful in that comfortable, gentrified pub way. The favorite of the table was the toast with various pots (truffle, garlic, etc.). Also, the Moscow Mule, which was like waking up to delicious ginger limeade. My bangers and hash was well-cooked and seasoned, but I always seem to forget that I dislike hash. The bangers were great though, and I'd enjoy them with some mashed potatoes and gravy. I'll go back and try the lamb omelette.

    2. We also went to brunch this weekend. Atmosphere was a little loud (they should turn the music down a bit) but otherwise pleasing. There are three rooms for dining and each has a different feel.

      Food was pretty good. The root salad was a little small but had some nice beets and radishes. The truffled egg pot was a bargain at $3. It about 1/2 Cup of some sort of custardy, eggy, tuffly goodness. They offer three other pate-style of choices for $3. Definitely a bargain for charcuterie lovers.

      The only other main dish we had was the bangers and hash. The bangers were quite good with a spice that I couldn't quite place. Unlike bubbleboy79, I like hash but this one left something to be desired. The menu used the word fennel but I couldn't taste any (though with the cedar by palate is a bit off). I also like more hash more finely chopped.

      Overall, this is welcome addition to a food barren spot of 6th St. I look forward to a return visit for dinner.

      1 Reply
      1. re: Carter B.

        The NYT has a nice article on hash ( http://www.nytimes.com/2011/01/05/din... ) this week. I could get behind Declan Cass's.

      2. Went tonight for dinner with 3 friends:

        The good: superb scotch eggs, sardines with shaved fennel were plump and delicious, the toast points with the truffle egg custard probably the best thing I sampled, duck liver pate also very good, even if the aspic was overwhelmingly sweet, the lamb pie was hearty and tasty though it could have done with a slightly thicker crust.

        The bad - the mushroom pasta dish - overcooked pasta and even though I like things salty - this was on the mouth puckering side of salty- also out of the rabbit rillette and two different menus were delivered to our table, creating a little confusion.

        The ugly - the bones of the place are good and it is not remotely recognizable from Thai Tara. Nice high ceilings, great oak floors and very comfortable booths, but otherwise not one of Michael Hsu's successes. Looks a lot like a high end TGIF, with hideous stained glass fixtures and grotesque Michaelseque floral arrangements.

        I'll be back - there are many things on the menu, particularly the pork shoulder and the British meat balls that I would like to eat. The fish and chips also looked terrific.

        1. An enjoyable dinner last night. Love the look and feel of the place. Was packed around 9pm. A couple of well-made cocktails. Unfortunately, they were out of their cask ale but expect it to return later this week. A glass of '08 Mugneret Bourgogne rouge worked well. Overall was pleased with the food. Rabbit terrine was nice, though slightly under seasoned and served a bit cooler than I'd like. Scotch eggs were well prepared and tasty. A polenta, mushroom, egg dish contained truffle oil, which I don't think was listed on the menu. Had I known, I would have avoided it. Trout salad was a piece of under-seasoned trout with a nice potato salad and some very, very good and perfectly dressed arugula. (I wouldn't have minded some crispy skin on the trout.) A double-cut, bone-in pork chop was perfectly cooked to med rare, but the brine left it both a bit too salty and sweet. A reasonably priced menu with some interesting selections. I'll return soon.

          Special mention to the duck fat Sazerac. I was concerned the fat might be too overwhelming, but it's very much a balanced cocktail. Delicious.

          1 Reply
          1. re: Steven Dilley

            Went for lunch and had the trout; date had a burger with blue cheese, and we split the foie sausage and the (insert adjective here-- vanilla, something like that) pudding with fruit. The foie sausage was great (with a pear compote on a forgettable bun if memory serves), the burger cooked to a perfect medium rare, the trout not bad, and the pudding more like a flan.

            But I really wanted fish and chips, had heard they were on the dinner menu, and expected that they might be on the lunch menu, so my view is perhaps a bit skewed by this fairly minor (but at the time not so minor) setback.

            I'd agree that the arugula was well-dressed, and the trout under-seasoned, but I really didn't care for the potato salad, mostly because the potato pieces were essentially brunoised, and sometimes a fork isn't so great for things of that size.

            What I really liked was the service, the totally reasonable for downtown price point, and the pacing of lunch service (never rushed, but in and out in an hour).

            I'm sure that I'll go back, order the foie sausage, and skip the trout.

          2. Went last weekend for saturday brunch and enjoyed it enough to return the next day for the same. First day I had the poached eggs over nicely sauteed buttery and woody herbed button mushrooms laid atop a none too large pile of polenta (truffled I think?) and a side of their house made sausage (link) and a side of fruit (nice straw-, ras-, blue-berries). Lady had the grilled cheese and tomato soup combo. She remarked that it was the best cheddar cheese sandwich she had ever eaten, and I agreed it was pretty fantastic. We both left happy. Next day she had the fried egg sandwich, just too cumbersome to pick up, so she was less pleased, I had the pork cutlet (deep fried) over polenta, and while it was tasty, I preferred the poached eggs with mushrooms. I will crave that with a sausage link from now on. I back the previous comments on the service, real good. price point for downtown is good too.

            1. A second dinner was roughly on par with the first. Well cooked but under-seasoned fish and chips. (The potatoes were actually perfect, fish could have used more salt.) The grind on the burger was a bit rough and it was overcooked but still wasn't bad. Pork rillettes could have used more seasoning but had good texture. A couple of other dishes and a good dessert. Sazerac was not quite as on as the first visit but still good. Didn't have room for sardines, but I plan to try those soon.

              1 Reply
              1. re: Steven Dilley

                Hmmm, three of us went for lunch the other day, specifically for the fish and chips. Fish itself was pretty good, but a little heavy on the batter; and 3 oz of fish wasn't quite enough to satisfy. And there were no chips; but two things probably best described as deep fried potato pancakes. Didn't like them at all. We checked the menu and, sure enough, the dish was listed as "fish and frips" or something weird like that. So there was some warning that we weren't going to get fish and chips. So basically we paid $15 each for lunch for 3 oz of somewhat heavily battered fish.

              2. Went the other night for dinner with a group of 6. The pasta dish was way underseasoned - tasted like noodles in chicken broth. The root vegetable salad was a mess of charred vegetables and was not well liked. No one was crazy about their meal. Everything was bland and boring. I wouldn't go back...

                1. Went to a tasting (scotch) there tonight and they went all out... Great pairings and samples... Great stuff for the gourmand and cocktail 'hound' . Had the popcorn sweetbreads and fish and chips... Yes, lots of fries, but it was done well and not heavy. Amazing pairings: British meatball with a spicy scotch... Brought out the pepper in the meatball. grain whisky with a dessert shortbread cookie,mascarpone and candied blood orange peel - the fruit and sweet withe the whiskey was great.....

                  1. Some great wines BTG at the moment, including '08 Ente Bourgogne Rouge, which I've never seen in Texas, and a nice red from Domaine de la Pepiere. Also, cask beer. Also, a 36-day, dry-aged strip steak has been added to the menu, though they were out on my recent visit.

                    1. bill norris from haddington's is the new beverage director for all the alamo locations, plus highball.

                      interesting.
                      more information is here, if you are so inclined to read:
                      http://austinist.com/2011/07/22/bill_...

                      3 Replies
                      1. re: dinaofdoom

                        I just wish Alamo could bring in someone to elevate the quality of their food as well!

                        1. re: MattC02

                          ditto!

                          some of us have posted about being contacted by alamo management regarding our grumblings in another CH thread.
                          seems like they are aware changes need to be made.

                          1. re: dinaofdoom

                            Need I remind of the ruffle on axing the pesto pizza AGAIN?

                      2. I really liked Haddington's, although I'm not sure it was really worth the price. The food was good, though, the cocktails great, and the only real gripe I have was that my server was pretty much the creepiest dude I've ever encountered at a restaurant, or at least in my recent memory...

                        6 Replies
                        1. re: popvulture

                          Oh, and VERY top notch design/feel of the place.

                          1. re: popvulture

                            well, hopefully they do not make the alamo prices higher than they already are!
                            sounds like they want to do a big push from the "draft" aspect, too.

                            1. re: dinaofdoom

                              As in move away from beer? I think reducing the number of taps or beer options than what they already have and going to a heavier cocktail service is a bad idea.

                              Pouring a pint and making a quality cocktail are two different things. The cocktail takes more time and care. The sheer volume of of the drafthouse will force cocktail offerings to be modified or mass produced or something along those lines.

                              Bill Norris going to the drafthouse is odd, but maybe he has designs on not only stepping up liquor service but overall beverage quality levels. Also going by their blog posts about the badass beer taps and bottles they routinely have, beer dinners, etc, I don't think they are going to downplay the presence of good quality craft beer.

                              1. re: bbq1995

                                it was definitely a thought.
                                the downtown location is doing a lot more with cocktails and liquor.

                                and to stay on topic, i wonder who has moved into the role at haddington's.

                                1. re: dinaofdoom

                                  Brandon has moved into the lead barman position. He is well versed in cocktail design and execution. I have never been disappointed while drinking with him behind the bar.

                                  As for the Alamo discussion, only the downtown Ritz location offers liquor, while the others only offer beer and wine. The beer and wine selection vary from location to location, perhaps to keep up with the different geographic demands here in Austin (more local draft options on South Lamar, fewer at Lake Creek).

                                  1. re: karma belle

                                    Brandon led me through a couple of cocktail history lessons last time I was in... it was a great time... http://www.emmynate.com/2011/07/haddi...