Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Auden's Kitchen

Bruce Auden is the chef at Biga on the Banks, a highly respected and well-known Riverwalk restaurant. He recently branched out into the Stone Oak area, which is a good thing for me, because I never go to the Riverwalk.

Auden's Kitchen opened on Wednesday last week. I want you to take a second and go look at that menu on their site. Go on. I'll wait.

Isn't it fantastic? Comfort food done awesome, I say. But I was most impressed with the prices. The prices! Not an entree over $20! Where can you get short ribs for $15?

On Saturday, we had to try it out. We trekked on out to Stone Oak with Sam and Kate. Inside the restaurant, it's a mix of fine dining with burger joint. The waitstaff wears T-shirts, but they change out your silverware for every course. There are paper table cloths, but lots of wine on the walls. It's not a bad thing to have a mix of styles, I just thought it was interesting.

You wouldn't really have known it was their first week. There were a fair number of people there, in everything from little black dresses to trucker caps. The waitstaff was waiting, the chefs cheffing, the patrons eating.

On to the food!

We started with an order of Scotch eggs and the duck confit pizza. I didn't know what Scotch eggs were, but Kate informed me they are hard-boiled eggs wrapped in sausage, deep fried. These eggs were served with jalapeno aioli. They were divine and exactly what you'd think deep fried sausage and eggs would taste like.

The pizza had a smoked gouda and sweet notes from green grapes. Also delicious and creamy.

I ordered the cheeseburger, because I'd been craving one. It was messy, gooey, crusty, sloppy. Delicious, in other words. It came with crispy shallots on it, which somehow tasted like bacon, which made it 17 times better to me. John got the pasta with lamb, which he said was good, but needed a stronger sauce on it. Kate got the fried chicken, which was better after it had been chilled in the fridge. Sam got the turkey burger, which comes with a yogurt dill sauce. He ate almost all of it.The wine list! I forgot the wine list! I so appreciate that Auden's Kitchen's wine list is organized by price. So there's a page for white wines at $25 a bottle, a page for red wines at $40 a bottle, etc. I know that there are great wines at all prices and you shouldn't judge a wine by its price, etc etc etc, but when I'm going out to eat and being overcharged for wine anyway, I tend to get the cheapest bottle. I found this wine list practical in organization.

For the last course, we all split an order of toffee pudding. We were all pretty full at that point, but the toffee pudding is pretty small, so we weren't bursting.

So: 2 appetizers, 4 entrees, 1 dessert and 1 bottle of wine = $100. I told you it's a great place.

Also, we saw Andrew Weissman, of Il Sogno, on our way out! He came in with his family, holding a basket of greens. Maybe a housewarming gift? I have no idea. But Andrew Weissman!

If you live in SA, go there now! My only con is that it's too far away for me to go for lunch!


Michelle said...

I have been following Audens Kitchen on twitter for sometime now, and being that it is out is Stone Oak and I live in the NW I wasn't sure I was ever really going to trek out there. But your delicious description is just the ticket to get me on over to Stone Oak to try this wonderful restaurant! Thanks!

ohmypuddin said...

I hope you do go! It's such a great place, and so inexpensive for the quality. They open for lunch starting on Sunday - maybe a Valentine's lunch? Let me know if you like it!

Kate said...

Lauren. Nice review. I agree on all counts. Good food, nice atmosphere. I will also add that the dedicated bar space looked cozy. If only the location was down the street from me, rather than up north, so I could order some well priced wine and duck pizza, then walk home safely after dinner. :)

p.s. Lauren's iphone photos don't do the food justice. It was lovely on the plate. And the atmosphere was nice.

Calily said...

I stumbled upon your blog via Yelp, ah... the power of our online profiles!

I'm enjoying the food write-ups and congrats on the new doggie! We have two dogs too but I enjoy going to the dog park so that isn't a problem. :-)

It's nice to see more SA food blogs; I check Houston food blogs EVERY day! Just mildly obsessed. I told my station I would manage a food blog on our site (since it's basically non-existent) but they're not willing to adjust the site yet. LAME.

Anywho - keep up the good work!


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