BARTLETT’S

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If you’ve been following our blog you know that I recently convinced the Carnivore to go to an all-veg establishment.  While this is typically not his cup of tea, he was game.  So now it was time to return the favor.  While Bartlett’s does cater to the carnivorous, omnivorous, gluten-free and even vegetarian crowd, their vegan choices are limited.  But I am nothing if not accommodating and willing to try anywhere if for no other reason than to enjoy my dining partner’s company!

So after a less crazy work week but still a journey home, we decided to head to Bartlett’s.  One positive for me is that it is very close to my home!  Also I really appreciate a place that still takes reservations online and therefore we walked in without wait.  We sat down and were immediately greeted by our waiter.  You may notice we always try to get our servers’ names so we can acknowledge them but I am sorry to say that if we did this time, I have forgotten it.  Hopefully Larry will remember.  He was very attentive and after we ordered drinks, I let him know a vegan was in the house.  He blanched a bit but after considering for a moment, coached by my questions, he perked up.  He did a quick check on the ingredients with his chef and came back with the news – I could order the (made in house from what I understand) veggie burger sans cheese and bun.  Unfortunately both the regular and gluten free buns had eggs.  I also had a choice of several sides and I chose the wilted spinach which he assured me was only cooked in oil.

When the meal arrived I tasted the burger right away.  It was very unique (something I appreciate in veggie burgers in general) in that it had a sweet soy glaze on top.  The “meat” was a mixture of rice, quinoa and mushrooms but the soy really made it interesting.  I also enjoyed the spinach that was cooked perfectly with ribbons of crunchy cabbage to add bite.

Overall this experience was not bad; however when I compare it to the other places we frequent I had to give it two rutabagas.  While the food tasted good, my choices were so limited and I didn’t even get a bun for my burger.  I did really appreciate the server checking everything for me and coming back to make sure all was well.  I know my partner enjoyed his meal and I definitely enjoyed his company.  To reiterate our goals, I want to inform people of their choices here and I also hope that Bartlett’s considers adding to their repertoire as I believe by making the tiniest of tweaks, I could easily up their score to three.

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As a man matures, it becomes necessary to learn answers to certain questions.  For instance, what is the appropriate cocktail to consume after a round of golf, while enjoying a quality cigar with your buddies?  Or what is the best Pandora channel to have playing softly in the background while entertaining the fairer sex?   On Friday evening, I learned the answer to another such question – where can you find the best prime rib sandwich in Austin Texas?  The answer, my meat loving carnivorous friends, is at Bartlett’s Restaurant on Anderson Lane.

The Famous French Dip Sandwich, as it is appropriately named, is perfectly seasoned, thinly sliced prime rib piled high atop a French baguette roll, and accompanied by a generous helping of savory au jus and shoestring fries.  The French bread becomes the ideal medium to deliver au jus soaked prime rib, so tender and thin that it virtually melts in your mouth.  I choose to dunk in the au jus first, then in a side of creamy horseradish sauce for an extra tangy kick.  The $22 price tag, while relatively expensive for a sandwich, is worth every penny.  I can’t think of a more fitting remark than to simply state that it is undoubtedly the best prime rib sandwich in the capital city!

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Now then, it is time to discuss the ability for vegans and carnivores to dine in harmony.  Unfortunately, I think this dining experience missed the mark in this regard.  The options were few, and apparently nearly every tasty morsel at Bartlett’s is awash with animal products.  Our server, Nick, provided efficient and courteous service.   To Nick’s credit, he was quick to answer the vegan’s questions about food preparation practices, etc.  Unfortunately, the simple answer was the only option for Kellie was a vegetarian patty with no bun and a side of spinach.  I think it is fair to say that the vegan was moderately disappointed but, since we write our respective viewpoints without input from the other, I will defer to her for her opinion.   I will temper my comments with the fact that I do realize Bartlett’s primary fare is of the carnivorous sort.  I merely think that a stronger consideration of the plant lovers among us could be well received in the off chance that a vegan is among the patrons at any given table.  I will temper my comments further by reiterating that my sandwich was the best damn thing I have eaten in a while!

Three cow faces are awarded to Bartlett’s!

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