18 Feb Austin Eats // Gourmands Neighborhood Pub
About Austin Eats: This week I am featuring some of my favorite spots to eat in Austin as part of the Austin Food Blogger’s Alliance 2014 City Guide. Check out any of my featured spots or hop on over to the City Guide (coming Feb 27!) to find something that suits your craving!
Tucked away on the East Side, Gourmands offers up cold beer and some of the city’s best [fat] sandwiches in a laid back atmosphere. At this family-owned, neighborhood establishment, hipsters and foodies alike enjoy rotating brews and from-scratch casual fare on the dog-friendly patio or inside the character-rich bar where bits and pieces of the building’s Tejano nightclub past can be found.
I most recently visited Gourmands on one of the first warm afternoons of Austin’s winter. While we typically have pretty mild winters, this year has been particularly harsh for us sun-loving Texans (ice 3x!), and Goumands was the perfect spot to welcome the sunshine while stuffing my face with sandwiches and beer. With an outdoor patio that rests under the shade of large trees and features rows of long wooden picnic tables, it’s a great location for both large groups and/or making some friends should you be feeling social. On this particular visit, we even ran into our friend, James and spent a few hours sharing our sandwiches and catching up on his busy, rockstar lifestyle.
Inside of Gourmands you can find pool tables and unique photographs decorating the walls of the character-rich building. The service is friendly and attentive, and the waitstaff is more than happy to help you pick out a brew from their draft beer selection.
Like much of the East Side, Gourmands is part of a movement that is gentrifying the previously largely Hispanic portion of Austin. Once an area that was avoided by most, the East Side has become a hot spot for locally-sourced eateries and trendy bars and pubs alike, where those searching for a more authentic dining experience can find great food in spots offering an eclectic atmosphere. Gourmands fits right into this category while maintaining a uniquely neighborhood pub feel, making it an ideal spot for a leisurely weekend lunch.
But the most important reason to go to Gourmands is for the sandwiches. Take away the cold beer and the humble surroundings and you’d still find this placed packed with hungry locals on the weekends. They take their sandwiches seriously, and it’s reflected in the quality of the food whether your more of a vegetarian, Cleopatra* kind of girl like me, or a meat-loving, The Orgy** kind of guy like my Steve. Every sandwich is made with meat that is sliced in house and served with homemade picked vegetables and freshly fried potato chips. And for those of you looking for something a little more comforting, they offer broccoli beer cheese soups served in a bread bowl – a rare find in Austin, Texas.
* Havarti, marinated artichokes, black olives, poblanos, cucumber, sprouts, avocado, roasted garlic mayo. (Nix the mayo, sub hummus & add cherry peppers.)
**Warm peppered pastrami, Swiss, coleslaw, Russian dressing. Served on marble rye. (Order it hot!)
If you’re looking for a quiet(ish) spot to avoid the crowds during SXSW, Gourmands is proclaiming itself a “SXSW Safe Zone”. While I don’t expect them to remain a secret from the throngs of SXSW visitors for long, they are touting themselves as a place to avoid the crowds (and more importantly the noise) and eat some damn good sandwiches sans the inflated SXSW prices.
Check them out! I promise you won’t regret it.
What to Order: The Cleopatra, The Orgy (the house favorite), Second Deadly Sin (a customer favorite) w/an ice cold beer from the rotating draft
Address: 2316 Webberville Rd Austin, TX 78702
Phone number: (512) 610-2031
Hours of Operation: 11am – 2am, Mon – Sun
Takes reservations: No
Alcohol: Full Bar