burnet go to

It always felt a little illicit to visit The Growler Room in Suite 2 at 6800 Burnet. You entered a darkish, windowless, small room from the rear and ponied up to a mini-bar tended to by a suspicious-looking white dude with dreads. So it was a quite a surprise to walk into Burnet Go To at the same location and be greeted with a bright, spacious, and cheery business. The owners have completely reworked the space from the rooter to the tooter to create a pleasant spot with oodles of natural light that is part coffee shop, part soccer bar, and part snack bar but all neighborhood hang out.

For the morning shift, the Go To offers up a full range of espresso drinks, cold brews, and teas (including a chai latte). Our guilty fave is the Horchata and Espresso ($4.5 for 16 oz) conjured with the gritty-goodness of housemade horchata. Because the Go To doesn’t have a full kitchen, the menu is limited, but what is offered up is solid. Mornings will greet you with breakfast tacos from Cheeko’s, pastries from Quackenbush, and, when the little oven is working, warm breakfast sandwiches. The seats are comfortable and the wifi strong for those that have work to do or need to access their socials.

For the evening shift, a rotation of beers flow from the wall, frosé from a machine, and canned specialties from the fridges. The Go To also serves a couple reds, a couple whites, and an Italian bubbly. On the food side, they offer boats of different snacks (bugles, muchos, peanut butter pretzels, parmesan goldfish, or smoked almonds), flavored popcorn, and a couple cheese plates. On a recent visit, we tried the Pimento Cheese Plate (Tillamook cheddar, candied jalapenos, and 512 pecans served with redneck crackers and jalapeño chardonnay jelly; $8) and were impressed with the quality and quantity. The Bride, half a pint in, exclaimed after it arrived, “It doesn’t matter if it’s good or not because they give you enough f$#?!*g crackers!”” And those Redneck Crackers, saltines painted with cayenne, were absolute firecrackers.

The Go To is big on English and local soccer and often hosts the Fighting Leslies Drinking Club to watch Austin FC games. We happenstanced into one of those viewings, and it was a hoot with Spanglish singing and all the associated hooting and hollering. Apparently not common at other bars, the Go To plays the games with sound, so footheads take note. Speaking of sound, each of the three owners have a line of vinyl that they spin from when tending bar (and when there’s a critical number of patrons in the room). Based on our visits and the posters on the walls, they have good taste in tunes. And if you want the party to continue after you leave (or simply enjoy one of the brews), you can take a growler with you.

The Austin Chronicle gave the Burnet Go To early accolades as the Best New Beer Bar of 2022, noting that they are a rare beast these days: a new bar not associated with a brewery. Given that the Go To is walking distance to (and stumbling distance back) to our house and it’s such a fun and friendly place, we hope to become regulars. And that suspicious-looking white dude with dreads? He now tends bar at the Go To (and is actually quite the sweetheart).

Burnet Go To, 6800 Burnet Road, Suite 2; (512)394-5556

I wrote this review for the Allandale Neighbor.

September 2022 update: The Go To has updated its menu with meat pies and other items!

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