Austin >Food & Dining > Lambert's Downtown Barbeque
401 W Second St, Austin, TX | Directions 7870130.265296 -97.747719
Monday - Friday, 11am-2pm, : Nightly, 5:30pm-11pm, Bar: Nightly, 5pm-Late, : Saturday & Sunday, 11am-3pm, : Monday-Friday, 5-7pm Upstairs
Mother's Day Brunch – Excellent food, great service, terrific selection of food. Love the anything you want anytime menu items. Went to Mother's Day brunch with Mother-in-Law, bro-in-law, and wife. Great time, but a little pricey for what they offered. For the price they charged, I could go to Green Pastures, get more options for eats, and mimosas and milk punch are included.
Delicious food, fantastic atmosphere – As a native Austinite, I've had my fair share of local bbq but Lambert's is undoubtedly the best experience I've had. I had their mustard and brown sugar ranch ribeye which was cooked perfectly and nicely complimented by the broccoli and beans recommended by the waitress. The service was excellent and the staff was friendly, making dining there an awesome experience.
WILD BOAR RIBS ... MORE, MORE, MORE! – Just can't get enough of those thing, juicy, sticky, succulent. Just the best bar food. Can't just have them as appetizer as you will keep ordering more. Wish they had a dinner size of it. The specials are good too, but the Ribeye could be better. Also you WILL smell like mesquite when you walk out of there!!
HORRIBLE experience – First of all, yes, we did not have reservations, but it was Tuesday night and there were 2 people total. The wait was over an hour and that was awesome considering there is absolutely NO WAITING AREA. We had to literally stand in front of the crowded host stand for an hour while we watched dirty tables sit for way too long. By the way, the hostess was extremely unpleasant and ignored my boyfriend when he first asked her a question. The open kitchen would have been cool if the line cooks weren't so repulsive. I saw a lady preparing food literally stuff her face with meat--I'm talking fingers inside the mouth and no gloves. She didn't wash her hands after. I saw another cook rub his hands through his hair and play with his beard MULTIPLE times. Yep, no gloves or hint of hand washing to come. We finally got sat and had some ridiculous looking hipster as our waitress. In her defense though, she was really nice.
All of that wouldn't have ticked me off if the food had been delicious. We ordered the deviled eggs and I'm not exaggerating-- I have french's mustard and garlic powder in my kitchen and I could have made WAY better. They were horrible! Then we ordered the $15 brisket to split between us and wow, that was a mistake considering it came with FOUR TINY PIECES of mediocre meat. It was fatty and seriously was just not good. We also ordered the macaroni which from afar looked promising, however it is SO THICK that you literally cannot swallow it. It was horrible. The whole experience was really disappointing. The "fanciness" doesn't equate to the horrible service and food. I would rather eat at the run down hole in the wall next to my house than ever go to this place again.
Fantastic – I would love to comment on the bbq, if I could ever bring myself to order anything but Lambert's drool-inducing Fried Green Tomato Salad. I ordered it on my first trip during lunch with a friend, and actually took my husband back two days later for dinner to order the same thing. Lightly-fried green tomatoes topped with crab, over salad greens and a delicate green goddess dressing, this may very well be the reason God created tomatoes. I tasted my husbands brisket, though we actually found it to be good but not awe-inspiring (harder to take given both the higher price and the availability of top-notch brisket in the area). Their roasted vegetables are, however, in the realm of, "can these really be vegetables" decadent and rich through lovely roasting and caramelization. Another outstanding feature is their fried pies. The pie is cooked so well that you would never believe that it is actually fried (as any chef will tell you an item fried correctly, at the right temp, absorbs very little grease). We enjoyed the apple that night, with I believe a ginger ice cream and caramel drizzle. Refreshing but decadent at the same time. We were lucky enough to try brunch on Saturday (I think they've discontinued this one). I ordered their take on Eggs Benedict, and my long search in Austin for remotely decent EB is over! The problem with Eggs Benedict is balance -- you have to make sure nothing, the sauce, the meat, etc, overwhelms any other part of the dish. This was perfect, every ingredient able to stand both alone and with the others. Finally, I have to give major kudos to Lamberts for their drinks. They are quite steep, but top notch. They do not skimp in both measure and quantity of good liquor, and the mixing ingredients are fresh-made and natural, not bottled and unnaturally-hued mixes. Overall, Lamberts reminds me of the best parts of Austin: original, little kitchzy and unexpected, down-to-earth meets top-notch all the way.
Great food, great service but too pricey for BBQ – Went to Lamberts for the first time Saturday. We called for reservations and they said they only had real early or real late, so at 6:30 we were one table of about 4. Anyway, our waitress was very friendly. She checked back often and made sure we were taken care of. The appetizer (wild Boar Ribs) were AWESOME! So were our entrees. Some of the best brisket I have ever had. Very well prepared. Since it wasn't that busy, we also got our food very quickly as well.
I expect a meal to be a little pricey when it is ala carte, but I think the sides were a little over priced. The drinks were overpriced as well. $6 for a pint of Amstel Lite?!? This is not New York people. The drinks and sides were the most overpriced things of our meal and neither had the prices listed on the menu! I wouldn't mind paying $6 for a draft beer if I at least knew the price upfront. Also, if you want to charge that kind of money then at least have a dress code. My girlfriend and I were dressed up for our night out but we were surrounded by people in shorts and flip flops. I know it's "Austin" but if I want to go to a nice place for a night out and pay those prices I don't want to feel like I'm in an icehouse. I know they are trying for an "upscale BBQ" thing, but make up your mind. If you want it casual, then lower the prices. If you want upscale then make it that way.
Overall, I can't complain about the food or service. As I said, I thought they were both excellent. I do think they need to put all prices on the menu. I had a little "sticker shock" when I received my tab. Also, if they really want to be upscale then at least don't allow shorts and flip flops.
Disappointing BBQ/Steaks – This place could really do better---great atmoshere, location, and service.....but sorry to report, well below average food. We were a party of 4. 3 of us tried the ribeye....fyi--the bone in @ $40 was barely warm and very greasy, and not seasoned very well---not fresh and juicy. The $30 non-bone in was seasoned much better and was tastier. My wife tried the brisket for $12---not bad, but you will still be hungry after this serving. Mac n cheese was very good.....the main courses just weren't good enough to warrant the prices. We don't mind $30-40 steaks, but Lambert's steaks are not good enough to command $40....I can think of about 12 other steak houses in the area that serve better steaks....and same for BBQ. To summarize: great place to have a beer and a snack.....then my suggestion would be to walk to dinner at the other establishments in the area. The main entrees here were forgettable. Sorry
terrible customer service – I went to Lamberts to hear a band play upstairs. My friend and i were sitting at a table and for the entire 2 hours that I was there, no wait staff came over to take my order! In fact, they served the tables on either side of us, but totally ignored us! I was parched by the time I left, but then again, I had money to buy the band's CD. I was not impressed.
Best BBQ of our Trip – This restaurant rocks. They perfectly take traditional bbq and add a New York style twist. From a delicious jicama coleslaw to a creamy three cheese mac n cheese with a crisp layer of cheddar on top the sides were amazing. Creamy black beans topped with cojita cheese were also delicious. Our appetizer of crispy wild boar ribs in a tangy hot sauce with maytag bleu cheese dressing was a perfect alternative to chicken wings. Lunch plates are the way to go here. Being our first visit it allowed us to try almost all the meats they offer. The brisket was the most tender and flavorful of all the meat we sampled on our trip. St louis style rib with a coriander and brown sugar glaze was simply heavenly. Pulled pork was most and flavorful. And chicken was very moist and delicious. This restaurant brings the classic texas bbq restaurant to the next level with great imaginative spins on meat and sides, very good service and nice decor.
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