LaCondesa – Austin, Texas

This past weekend I was in the mood for brunch…on Saturday.  I had heard that Lambert’s BBQ did a fine Saturday brunch, so the bf and I weaved our way through the Austin Farmer’s Market to Lambert’s Downtown Fancy BBQ.  Seems they decided to change things up a bit and offer brunch on Sunday only.  It’s a good thing.

After reading about Lambert’s phenom 26 year old chef, Larry McGuire, we decided to try his latest venture across the street, LaCondesa.  First of all, the decor took me to some fancy mediterranean far off island of Greece.  It was beautiful and soothing and amazing.  The table at the front of the restaurant boasted an assortment of homemade breads and sweet rolls, accompanied by bowls of butter, mexican crema, and an orange and vanilla infused marmalade.  All delicious.  Apparently they like to infuse things.

For brunch I had a BLT, as did my bf.  They came stacked on grilled sourdough and accompanied by a spring salad mix.  Good, but the main highlight of this trip was the drinks.  After all, you can’t do brunch and not imbibe.  Normally, except for that one bottomless mimosa adventure, I would limit myself to a drink.  This time, I had two.  And if you keep reading, you will understand why…

I had:

ALMA BLANCA habanero-infused chinaco blanco
ginger essence, aloe vera-lemongrass syrup, pineapple juice,
fresh corn, hoja de hierba santa, hibiscus-rose-infused salt rim

EL CUBICO whole leaf tobacco-infused sauza hornitos
reposado, navan vanilla liqueur, lemon, grilled pineapple juice,
mezcal essence, volcanic-saffron-infused salt rim

For real, in the latter concoction, they grilled my pineapple juice before putting it in my drink.  Fucking genius!  The Alma Blanca was exactly what I look for in a bloody mary, but it was a little sweet…with a major kick from the habanero infused chinaco blanco (tequila).  And while the other, a tobacco infused tequila, may sound a little odd, it was delicious, exotic, and quit powerful as well.  A divine creation.  And no, it did not taste like  a parliament light.

I suggest a visit to Lambert’s, LaCondesa, and two of McGuire’s upcoming ventures…Perla (opens in April) and the bar above LaCondesa, Malverde.

Good job, lads.

Eat, drink, and be merrier.

GBJ

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