Whiskey Takes the Cake
Whiskey-loving Texas restaurant chain pours into booming Austin suburb
Whiskey and cake are two nearly universally loved things, and one “farm-to-kitchen” restaurant in Texas is bringing them together. Whiskey Cake Kitchen & Bar will open a new location in Round Rock on September 13 at 2600 N Interstate 35. It’s the first location in the Austin area.
And to answer the obvious question, yes, there is a whiskey cake here. The restaurant describes it as “a sticky toffee cake with bourbon anglaise, spiced pecans and housemade vanilla whipped cream.” The rest of the menu is American, highlighting local ingredients from Texas, and cooked by the live-fire method — less technically, barbecue — over mesquite.
“Having the chance to expand to this area is an exciting milestone for everyone at Whiskey Cake. We’re incredibly humbled by the opportunity to get to know the locals and work directly with the businesses, farmers and ranchers to be an extension of the beautiful community of Round Rock, Texas,” said Whiskey Cake president and COO Ray Risley in a press release.
The entire nine-location chain is relatively local, with only two locations outside of Texas, one each in Oklahoma and Florida. The menus feature both seasonal changes and regional specialties (sometimes far from their hyperlocal origin, like the shrimp and grits in Oklahoma City). The local goat cheese fondue is a popular choice, and a menu item that simply says “local artisan goods” promises “stuff from our neighborhood and stuff we made in house.”
Whiskey cake isn’t the only kind on the menu; the carrot cake pancake stack addresses those morning cravings along with lavender-cream cheese icing. Chicken and waffles are elevated, too, with malted waffles and local eggs. Brunch creativity reaches its peak with a “French toast switch up,” allowing the chef to change the specifics at will.
The whiskey list is shockingly long, even for a place named for it. Organizing a 250-bottle “library,” it’s split into nine categories sorting by provenance and distilling process. There are 21 choices under “Texas” alone. Staff will help guests choose from the dizzying array. On the long-but-not-that-long drink list, there are tequilas, gins, wines, and non-alcoholic fresh-squeezed juices, among other treats.
The inclusive drink list matches the food, which takes plenty of opportunities to play with gluten-free and vegetarian recipes. The decor, too, aims to be responsible and boasts as many reclaimed and sustainable materials as possible. The chain even sets up tiny retail markets at each restaurant with local items. The Round Rock Whiskey Cake commits half of opening day’s proceeds to The Dog Alliance in Cedar Park, which trains dogs for families, first responders, veterans, and more.
The Round Rock Whiskey Cake will open September 13 on weekdays from 11 am to 10 pm, and closes at 11 pm on Fridays. Weekends from 10 am to 11 pm on Saturdays and 10 pm on Sundays. Reservations will be available soon at whiskeycake.com.