Since it jumped onto the Austin scene last year, Porter Ale House and Gastropub has been lauded for everything from pierogies and sliders to cocktails and craft beer selection. But in its new television adventure, it's all about the burgers.
The South Austin joint is the final Austin restaurant to compete in Bravo's new reality series, Best New Restaurant. Porter Ale House takes on Miami's Tongue and Cheek in the ultimate "Battle of the Burger" on the next episode, airing Wednesday, February 18.
The pub offers several burger options (including brunch and lamb versions), but its famous Porter Burger takes center stage on the show. The burger, which features ground short rib, brie and pancetta, is no stranger to national attention. Eater National named it one of the hottest burgers in the U.S. last year, and Zagat deemed it one of the most "splurge-worthy" burgers in the country.
Owner Joe Bixel says Porter's unique take on classic dishes gives the pub an edge over the competition. He and co-owners Neil Joiner and Trevor Lane describe Porter Ale House as "English working class," but even in a relaxed environment, they take pride in serving food that's elevated to true pub-cuisine status.
"To be considered a gastropub, in our experience, is not just about having a beer menu and quesadillas," Bixel explains.
The burger buzz and Porter's unique concept were the catalyst to applying for the show, Bixel says. Admittedly, the three owners are very competitive, but no matter how the competition turns out, they already feel like they've won.
"We felt like we had a great concept," says Bixel. "We felt like it was one-of-a-kind in Austin."
Best New Restaurant airs Wednesday, February 18 at 9 pm on Bravo.