Because I write this blog, friends tend to defer to me on restaurants. However, my choices almost always lean to where I haven’t been before. “What do you recommend?” they ask after opening the menu. “I have no idea,” I respond, “I haven’t been here before.” Thus was the case with Revelry and the Boulevard when I choose it for a laid-back business lunch.
Revelry good mooded me from the start since they adorned the walls bordering their parking lot with street art (I love street art and have even traveled to Detroit to see it [and, of course, partake of the original parbaked Detroit-style pizza at Buddy’s]). Revelry completely transformed the old auto repair shop but has retained the desirable parts of the shop’s original grittiness. A long bar that sports 20 drafts and a menu of mixology carries the drinkiness from the original 21+ only Revelry on the east side, but Rev Boulevard focuses more on food and family at this neighborhood eatery. There’s indoor space but also ample outdoor dog-friendly seating in the front and rear and plenty of TVs for sport-gawking. Dogs are embraced here with The Pups of Revelry on Instagram and a Tito’s-infused Pups of Revelry cocktail on tap (vodka-peach puree and lemonade-coconut La Croix) benefiting the Friends of Austin Animal Center.
The culinary director Dominique Labeaud has curated a Creole-infused menu with Boudin Balls (with Dijon mayo and house-made pickles; $12), a Crawfish Fries poutine (with crawfish and Hatch chile etouffee and green onions; $11 [plus $2 with the recommended fried egg]), and the Andouille Po’ Boy (with grilled andouille sausage, smoked sofrito, dressed lettuce and tomato, and creole mustard all on French bread; $11). But there are also New American dishes with Cuban, Vietnamese, Japanese, South American, Italian, and German bar food.
The French-Creole influence results in vibrant food where even the shishito peppers (battered and fried with Parmesan and sweet corn aioli; $9) and the salads (~$10 without added protein) have been chef’d into guilty pleasures. Hell, they even fry the cheesecake! Nevertheless, the dishes I’ve ordered (the peppers, a salad, Crawfish Fries, a blackened fish sandwich, and a shrimp and grits dinner special) have all been tongue dancers. My compatriots, including The Bride, have also been happy with their orders.
While I was taking a photo of the bar on the way out one visit (for this review but also for personal design reasons), a fellow who turned out to be the owner (Jonathan Lochrie) approached to chat. Turns out he’s originally from New Mexico (which means the crawfish and green chile poutine is a clever culinary symbol of his relationship with the chef).
Although Revelry on the Boulevard presents elevated pub food, it’s not gaining much interest from the town’s eaterati, perhaps because of its sports bar lean or its North Austin location. Nonetheless, if you’re seeking heavy and easy in a laid back environment, it’s an excellent place to grab a beer and enjoy a menu of enticing food.
I wrote this review for the Allandale Neighbor.
web&where: interwebs; 5215 north lamar boulevard; (512) 861-5685
what’s the deal? elevated pub chow with a New American bent; table service
overall: *** (food***; drink***; atmosphere***; service***; instagrammability***)
– meh [think twice]
* OK [it’ll get the job done]
** good [solid neighborhood joint]
*** damn good [we’ll definitely be back]
**** yippity-yikes that was amazeballs [fantastic; one of the best]
***** holy sh!t [transcendental; best of the best]