More people may be moving to South Austin, but so far the city's restaurant boom has largely passed it by. A new all-day cafe is doing its part to correct that problem by spreading chef-driven cuisine beyond the city core.
Hideaway Kitchen + Bar, serving locally sourced Texas comfort food, officially opened June 4 at 4323 S. I-35, according to a press release. The space, which is located next door to the recently renovated Ramada, was formerly occupied by Saigon Kitchen and Thai Curry.
The concept was formed under the creative guidance of a pair of familiar hospitality names: Charlie Skipsey (former general manager and food and beverage director for The Driskill and The Carillon) and Rob Snow (the chef behind Greenhouse Craft Foods and the much-missed Scarlet Rabbit). Bryan Beneke, formerly of Sawyer & Co. and South Congress Cafe, helms the kitchen as executive chef.
Although the menu takes inspiration from the South and Texas, it mixes plenty of lighter fresh dishes with heartier fare. For breakfast, açai bowls and simple egg white frittatas are offered alongside more filling dishes like skillet vegetable hash with locally sourced vegetables and herbed red potatoes and peach pie pancakes made with macerated fruit, vanilla cream, and streusel.
For lunch, the restaurant switches over to an easy menu of salads like a quinoa and baby arugula bowl and sandwiches including a short rib patty melt, a fried turkey avocado BLT, and an Angus burger with bacon jam on a house made bun.
Dinner keeps to the Southern spirit with mains like skillet short ribs with tobacco onions and chicken and waffles, but the kitchen also introduces some international flavors. Flat iron steak is served with chimichurri, a quinoa bowl is swimming in yellow curry, and grilled salmon is given a honey chipotle glaze.
The bar program, created by well-known sommelier Nathan Prater, features an assortment of affordable, mostly European bottles with a few greats from Texas thrown in, three draft wines, local beer, and diverse selection of craft cocktails.
Many of the original cocktails were inspired by Texas, such as Me & Bobby McGee, a French 75 variation made with lime and locally made Old Highborn gin; Pancho & Lefty, a tequila cocktail with a chile-honey simple syrup and olive brine; and Barbara Jordan with Old Grand-Dad Bourbon, Aperol, and red vermouth.
Using warm woods and red accents, the space defies expectations of hotel restaurants. Jay Mazur of Travis Associates, the force behind the Ramada rework, collaborated with Cal Otero of Houston’s Māk Studio and Georgetown’s MODE Design Company to create a contemporary dining room featuring an oversized pivoting front door and a custom community table made of monkey pod tree wood.
Hideaway is currently open daily from 6:30 am-10 pm. In the coming weeks, they will be adding a program of live entertainment ranging from open mic showcases to trivia nights.