After-school Special

5 Austin restaurants serving up after-school snacks for adults

5 Austin restaurants serving up after-school snacks for adults

Struggle Snacks at Holy Roller
The struggle snacks are real at Holy Roller. Photo courtesy of Holy Roller

Between trying to pass algebra and working up the courage to ask your crush to see NSYNC, being a kid in the '90s wasn’t easy. By the time you got home from school, you needed some comfort food — fast. Now that you are an adult, the struggle is even more real, so why not treat yourself to the same foods you enjoyed when you still collected cassingles? Thanks to some Austin restaurants, your favorite latchkey kid classics have been reimagined for your post-Lisa Frank years.

Holy Roller
When you were coming down from a Crystal Pepsi high in the '90s, nothing quite comforted like a tray of Bagel Bites. Now that your hangovers are more likely to be caused by one too many gin and tonics, you need a snack that reflects your new maturity. Enter Holy Roller’s bite-sized Struggle Snacks, which have all the fun of Bagel Bites but with more sophisticated flavors. The variety served rotates daily, but expect everything from pepperoni and tomato jam to anchovies and arugula.

Kemuri Tatsu-Ya
After basketball practice, your freezer’s stash of Hot Pockets were the only thing that gave you enough energy to make it through Saved by the Bell. Luckily, you scarfed your food down so quickly that you never noticed that none of the flavors actually tasted all that good. Now that you are adulting, it’s time to up your game with abura-age (thin deep fried tofu) packed with Gouda and smoked brisket and wrapped with a blanket of pan-fried Cheddar. Think of it as the Lisa Turtle to your Screech.

Living Room at the W
Heading over to the W’s Living Room bar between 5-8 pm for the Cue the '90s Friday happy hour. The party is packed with revelers eager to take advantage of the drink specials, but we like the nostalgic food menu. Their version of Lunchables’ essential after-school snack appeals to more grown-up palates by using Niman Ranch meat.

Green Light Social
If you believe the commercials, Capri Sun has the ability to change you into humanoid silver liquid goo somewhere between Terminator 2’s T-1000 and the weird aquatic forms in TLC’s "Waterfalls" video. And that was before you even put a drop of alcohol in it. We find that the spiked versions popular at West Sixth’s Green Light Social make sinking in our seats just a little easier.

EastSide Tavern
Fun fact: Tater tots were created by Ore-Ida as a way to use the leftover potatoes from french fry production. So eating them is really a way to be environmentally responsible. We like to make a day of it by volunteering at one of our favorite ecology-minded nonprofits and celebrating our good deeds with EastSide Tavern's crazy decadent brisket and Cheddar tots. They’re perfect for bribing your kid to come along, too.