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Apr 20, 2014 02:42 PM

Three meals in two weeks at Blackbird and Henry on Guadalupe

Two lunches and an Easter brunch have left me smiling each time. First, I got the fish n chips and subbed a side salad of baby greens dressed with a nice mustard vinaigrette for the fries. My buddy got the same with fries. First, the fish was a fresh gulf redfish, well fried with a nice crispy beer batter that kept the meat hot without being noticeably oily. The fries are triple cooked and could possibly be the best and certainly the crispiest fries in Austin - they come with a garlicky aioli and a house made ketchup redolent with allspice. Next time our great waiter (service here has been A++) Derek recommended I try the chicken schnitzel. Very good, light breading, light for a fried dish, and a nice picatta-esque lemon / caper sauce. Today, Easter brunch was a very tasty duck hash, 63 degree eggs (very interesting indeed and great), root veggies (parsnips, carrots), and a zippy / tangy hollandaise. My wife got the chicken veloute over biscuits. It was like a really fantastic and homey chicken and milk / butter gravy over fluffy biscuits. perfect. My duck hash was great - but I liked hers even more. We also snagged 4 cadillac oysters (maine) and were both in agreement - their house made cocktail sauce is the best we've ever had. Three for three, nothing but net !!! Today Brittany helped us out and kept us stocked perfectly without being overbearing. She also let us sample the waldorf salad with roasted chicken. next time for sure. This is a Great new addition to the northern drag food scene near UT. The folks in Marble Falls can't be happy this chef moved his digs to Austin. half off oysters sunday evenings after 5, puts them at around $ 1.67 a piece. so far just upper east coast varieties. PBR on the menu is cutely "Market Price". Smart interior too.

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  1. Glad you posted on this place. We went a few weekends ago and loved it too. Standouts for us were the fish & chips--smelt for us and I remember no condiments were served with it. Chips were by far the best fries I've had-- completely besting my former faves at Parkside. I had buttermilk brined rotisserie chicken and it was superb. I thought it was slightly pricey for the atmosphere but well worth it. The chef has a British background and the menu reflects that.

    5 Replies
    1. re: Carter B.

      Agreed Carter B, if I could eat a sub 10 dollar lunch I'd go there twice a week. At 16-18 with a tip and a tea, it's more like twice a month. Haven't seen the smelt but will be on the lookout.

      1. re: Carter B.

        the fries at hopfields have been my favorite in town. i'll have to have them back to back and make a decision.

        1. re: ieathereforeiam

          cool, haven't had them there. easy to do a fries comparison as these places are a block apart

          1. re: Carter B.

            the food isn't that far apart either in terms of style.

            1. re: ieathereforeiam

              I too like hopfields fries. these for me with the aioli top theirs, but they're both so good it's splitting hairs.

              when anyone goes, just ask for a sample of the cocktail sauce they serve with the oysters - it's spiked with a nice dose of both capsaicin AND horseradish heat. Dip a fry in that. After our filling brunch we ended up needing to eat the saltines on the oyster tray just to have something to finish up all that sauce with. so good. a real sleeper standout item.

      2. Was curious about this place after some good notices here and in the chronicle. I was very disappointed with a recent brunch and thought the food quality was sub par. I had a perfectly ordinary egg sandwich. The bread was good but nothing else was remarkable. As constructed the sandwich was a bit dry. The potatoes with the sandwich were horribly undercooked. I left most of mine uneaten. Looking around so did many other diners. The portions are small enough this should be a big signal to the back I the house. Sadly it wasn't. The duck hash was a hit with my dining partner but it was all eggs and duck meat, no veggies to be had despite the description. Our waitress was the only high point.We let her know about the problems with our respective dishes. She seemed apologetic but offered no corrections. That's fine with me I won't return and will recommend others do the same.

        2 Replies
        1. re: Rptrane

          Interesting timing, rptrane, as I was just coming here to say we had brunch here today and it was underwhelming. The potatoes for us were cooked but boring. I had the egg masala and it was different but not distinctive. My companion had the salmon and eggs and liked it but not much was said about it. We had the seasonal fruit crumble and that was good. Overall, I felt brunch did not hold up to dinner. I'd recommend trying dinner sometime and getting the fries/chips

          1. re: Carter B.

            I hear you but If they can't do potatoes right in daylight I'm not going back at night.