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Anyone tried Hank's Garage?

I saw the post on Eater about a new Belgian beer bar downtown named Hank's Garage. A quick check of the menu and I see 'duck fat frites' and Poutine. I'm very intrigued but with a new little one in the house, my opportunities for eating out these days are very rare. I was wondering if any hounds had tried it yet and if it's worth getting a sitter.

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  1. I did a quick stop by last week around happy hour time and the place was empty. That being said, they have a nice beer selection. I was having thouths about having a St. Bernardus Abt12 on tap but it was $15 which was quite steep...unitl i saw the pour, which was close to a full pint. Nice. I did have the duck fat fries, which were excellent. They give you the choice of a couple dipping sauses which i liked, i had the Dijonaise and the smoked paprika. Both were good, but i am kind of a potato purist so ate most of the fry's without. Since that was my only food/drink i can't speak for the rest of the menu. Worth a sitter? Depends on your love of all things fries but i like the atmosphere and those i know who have eaten there enjoyed it http://hanksgarageatx.com/

    1. i stopped by the day after it opened...

      was hoping for some moules frites, but they were out of mussels by the end of the night... :(

      was hoping for a HUGE belgian beer selection, but it was alright... i guess as large as we can expect here...

      had the chicken tikka masala fries... think the fries themselves could be better, was expecting the fries i've had in belgium; high expectations i guess... the masala was on the sweet side for my taste buds, so didn't care for it... not much chicken, though i didn't mind that at all...

      the waiter recommended the beef carbonnade, though i wasn't in the mood for something that heavy... they've got lots of different sauces to eat your fries with, but again, i think the fries need to be better for this concept to work...

      had the cheese plate, which was EXCELLENT... they rotate the cheese selections, but i had a valdeon (spanish blue cheese), a semi firm spanish cheese and a soft french cheese. the waiter couldn't pronounce the last two, so i don't know what they were... but they were all great.

      the beer i had was good, and i'd prolly go back to check out the mussels...

      1. Ooh, this is good news. I've been seeing too many things about poutine on TV lately, and they've been making me miss Pommes Frites in NY. Also I heard that this place is right next to Skinny's, which is a great little bar/music venue. My band played there and the owner/staff were some of the nicest people I've encountered in town. Show em some support!

        1. Had a delicious lobster roll at Hank's Garage. Also, beer that the beer-meister helped me pick out - a Sahti Ale, that I actually liked. I told the beer meister that my favorite beer is Sam Adams Lite, and I don't like the really dark beers. Good service throughout meal (iced tea refills happened.)

          2 Replies
          1. re: sweet100s

            I was really curious about the lobster club. Could you describe it? Was wondering if it was worth it b/c it was only $12

            1. re: NirvRush

              I remember that...
              - there was a good amount of lobster for the cost
              - the mayo mixture holding it all together was not overly complicated
              - the brioche roll was delicious

          2. Went yesterday for sunday brunch but ordered off the regular menu. About 6 other tables were occupied around noon, and two guys were working the open cooking area. We wanted the lobster club, but they were "out" of lobster (Bourdain rec = don't order seafood on sunday anyway). Disappointed nonetheless. So I had the fish and chips and she had the burger with cheddar. The fish (cod) was a little tough akin to a very recent harsh thaw prior to cooking, just okay. The batter was okay. The frites cooked in duckfat were delicious (a buck 50 extra). The burger was excellent, with a good crust and you can tell they house grind the meat. really good bun as well. Oh, the sauces for the frites were good too (dill creme, dijonnaise, garlic aioli). The waitress says their chicken tikka masala frites are her favorite, we didn't try that. We'd go back for the duck fat, the burger, hopefully the lobster club, and the frites / sauces. Oh, their citrus vodka cocktail is a refreshing winner. can't recall its name.

            3 Replies
            1. re: slowcoooked

              Has anyone been recently? I'm particularly interested in the lobster club. As great as the one at Perla's is, I can't do $28 for a sandwich on a regular basis. Is it worth the trip from Cedar Park?

              1. re: Rene

                The lobster is tough, rubbery, and scant.

                Hank's has problems; it also has great promise. I hope they figure it out.

                1. re: tom in austin

                  I went last week and got the poutine; it was was good but really a little underwhelming. Every time I've had poutine (granted I haven't been to Canada), it's been in a cup. Hank's was more of just a pile in a wax paper lined basket like you'd normally get chicken strips in or what have you. My big gripe about this is that the cup keeps the fries and gravy hot. Sure, the bottom may get soggy, but that'll happen regardless, and there's not much worse than cold, soggy fries.

                  The staff, though, were awesome. Super, super nice people. I hope they get some good business down there and figure it out.

            2. I stopped by for the promising in house made ice cream that they had a sign out front for in the sweltering 108 heat. No one was there except for a few at the bar which I guess would be normal because it was 4pm. I had cardamom ice cream and the bf had blueberry. It was tasty, but weird cream bits were left un-churned leaving a really waxy film in my mouth. Had the snake bite for a beer, it was alright. I would probably go back to check out the menu for lunch.

              1. I found the duck fat fries and the Belgium style beef stew really good. The Lobster club was disappointing though.

                I hope they are able to survive.

                1. they have a groupon today that expires march 21:

                  For $22, you get a meal for two (up to a $44 value). Each meal includes:
                  One appetizer, fries, or poutine (up to a $10 value)
                  Two entrees (up to a $17 value each)

                  For $43, you get a meal for four people (up to an $88 value). Each meal includes:
                  Two appetizers, fries, or poutine (up to a $10 value each)
                  Four entrees (up to a $17 value each)

                  1. I went by Hank's at lunchtime today. The place was shuttered and there was a plain paper sign in the window stating that they were closed indefinitely.

                    4 Replies
                    1. re: ccaustin

                      Sad to hear. It's on their twitter too so this is no mistake. The food was pretty good, steak frites and fish and chips. Shame they obviously put a lot of work into the place. If he didn't loose his shirt I think he should relocate somewhere outside of downtown. I'm way more hesitant to go down there to eat on the weekend with the increased price in parking. No free spaces mean all the paid places went up in price too.

                      1. re: Rptrane

                        I never used my $22 Groupon for this place - does anyone know Groupon's policy for a situation like this?

                        1. re: nw_austin_gourmand

                          they will usually refund you via credit in those kinds of situations.

                      2. re: ccaustin

                        We stopped in for lunch on the 23rd. It was my second visit and my wife's first. I had the chicken tikka masala poutine and wife had the moules frites. Both were frankly pretty awful -- her mussels tasted old and I got nothing resembling Indian flavors on my fries. Hopefully this was just a result of their last day being open.

                        Having traveled in Belgium this past summer, I really love this pub/restaurant concept in Austin. But if they reopen (and I hope they do), they need to shape up the execution of their food and really work on their beer selection. That always puzzled me about that place -- they offered 6 or 7 pretty easy-to-find Belgians, along with a whole smattering of random other beers. Coors Original on tap? Why do we need this here? Knock our socks off with 30-40 hard to find funky Belgian beers, serve it in its proper glassware, and have someone knowledgeable serving it to us.