Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Dinner at Lamberts

I’ve been waiting to eat at Lamberts for three years. And it was well worth the wait, though the meal got off to a rocky start with the appetizer. Before I even walked in the door I’d decided that I was going to start with the Crispy Wild Boar Ribs served with Honey & Sambal* Glaze & Daikon Slaw.

Dissecting a menu before you walk in the door is a fatal flaw because you have a lot more time to raise expectations. And for some reason, I expected these to be amazing. But they were so teeny tiny I could barely taste the meat, which meant I could also barely taste the sauce. And I hate when I can’t try a new sauce. So I grabbed a corn muffin and dipped it in. AMAZING! If only the ribs had been a little meatier…

Moving on to the main course. I had the Beef Brisket. My cousin had the Jalapeno Hot Links and we shared the Brussels Sprouts, Fried Okra, and the Green Chili Cheese Grits. My brisket was perfect – perfect as a conduit for the three unbelievable sauces brought to the table. The sauces were so delicious. One sweet, one mustard, one spicy – and when mixed together it created a tangy sauce with a kick. I tried to buy them to bring home but because they are made without preservatives (that’s usually a good thing!) I couldn’t swing it. It may be reason enough to move to Austin.

Lamberts is a BBQ spot. But the selection on the sides’ menu probably draws in almost as many herbivores as carnivores. As an omnivore, I wanted to try it all. You must get the grits. I’m writing a grits cookbook. I know grits. But never have I ever tasted grits quite like these. They were more chili than cheese and sweet with a hint of spice. Next week while on vacation I’m going to try to recreate this recipe. I’ll let you know how it turns out!

Day one in Austin was a success. I can’t wait to see how tonight’s dinner at La Condesa compares.

*For those who don’t know what Sambal is because I didn’t and had to turn to the Google. Here you go: A Sambal is a chili based sauce which is normally used as a condiment. Sambals are popular in Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, the southern Philippines and Sri Lanka, as well as in the Netherlands and in Suriname through Indonesian influence. It is typically made from a variety of peppers, although chili peppers are the most common. It is sometimes a substitute for fresh chilis. It can be extremely spicy for the uninitiated. Some ready-made sambals are available at exotic food markets or gourmet departments in supermarkets in many countries. (courtesy of Wikipedia)

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