100 Austin Burgers: Parlor & Yard
Parlor & Yard
Hours: Noon-midnight Sun-Mon; noon-2am Tue-Sat
By Mike Sutter | © Fed Man Walking | 09.15.16
There it is. “Don’t Stop Believin.’ " Right the very minute I sit down at Parlor & Yard. As if to confirm this building isn’t a broad-shouldered tavern like Haddingtons or a breezy French bistro like Arro anymore. This is another West Sixth frat clubhouse with a backwards baseball hat. This latest venture from Rainey Street pioneer Bridget Dunlap (Lustre Pearl, Container Bar, whatever Mettle is this week) was scrabbled together on top of the painted-over bones of Arro, which closed abruptly in February after a big renovation. The result is like the rec room of a foreclosed house in a nice suburb, with foosball on the sun porch and sports on the TVs. In the spirit of Rainey Street, the cocktail menu’s a basic splash-drink setup, but they pour seven decent draft beers and a cider, and the menu steps up the bar-snacks game with a BLT salad, beer mac-n-cheese, a Cubano sandwich and a double cheeseburger with sweet potato fries. Plus all the Journey you’ll ever need.
► P&Y Burger: Double meat’s a beautiful thing on a bar burger. Except when it isn’t, and the tight T-shirt of melty cheddar isn’t a good look on these flabby dad-bod patties, milky gray through the middle like they should have playing ball instead of watching it on TV at a bar. But I’ll dispense with the anthropomorphism to compliment the buttery buns, leaf lettuce, slabs of dill pickle and reinforcing brace of sriracha ranch. ($9)
► On the side: As hard as it is to get handcut fries right, it’s a full degree harder to pull off sweet potato fries. But Parlor & Yard does a nice job with skin-on sweet potatoes cut in long wedges and dusted with red spice and salt. While not crispy in the shoestring sense, they hold their form like spears of firm baked potato, served with a side of spicy mayo. They’re $5.50 for a side-size serving, but they’re more interesting than the idea of $4 waffle fries.
► Wash it down: Shiner could be a mascot beer for Bridget Dunlap’s collection of bars. It builds from the blockbuster Bock of Lustre Pearl, then loses a little something with each variation. Clive Bar is Bohemian Black Lager, Container Bar is Shiner White Wing. and Parlor & Yard is the Ruby Redbird of the empire, one that can’t decide whether it’s blue collar or bougie at $5 a can.
MORE BURGERS ON FED MAN WALKING
(Photos by Mike Sutter © Fed Man Walking)