Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Tarred & Feathered at Moonshine's Brunch In Austin

The delay in posting Breakfast In Austin's review is sort of like the Moonshine experience on Sunday morning. Imagine arriving to a traffic jam of cars awaiting valet parking and a sea of patrons hoping for their black square buzzers to vibrate and flash with affirmation. After scurrying out of G-Man's SUV, I ran inside to visit the hostess desk and was told we'd have a 1 hour and 15 minute wait. Wait for over an hour? Sure! Why the hell not.

The characters looked interesting enough. The post UCLA/UT crowd was sprawled out on the patio suffering from hangover or loss and couples & families cluttered the sidewalks. All looked conversational and content. The contentment, I'm guessing, coming from a mandatory trip to the bartender who guaranteed the heaviest pours all around. It took about a second to grab my buzzer and place my order with the bartender. Our 1 hour plus delay became a relaxed and leisurely 45 minutes because of the generous amounts of people watching AND potent vodka in our Ann's Bloody Mary's. Folks! Please don't hesitate to order a double. So far, not the #1 Bloody Mary in town, but hands down - the best pour.

Seriously. The moment you enter Moonshine to feast, you're taken back to a simpler & historical time. Prohibition? Well...obviously not. Moonshine's home was built and owned by a German family in the late 1800's and served as a grocery and dry goods store. Later the 1-story addition was used as a saloon. Jump ahead 100 years to current day September 2010 and imagine innovate American comfort food in a relaxed and cool atmosphere. Moonshine, by nearly all accounts, has become an Austin staple. Voted #1 in several Austin Chronicle categories (including Best Sunday Brunch), most Austin-ites know the Green Chile Macaroni & Cheese or the Broiled Rainbow Trout with Cornbread Stuffing & Chile Sage Butter. Just ask them. Moonshine has such a great reputation that folks don't mind waiting in a line for lunch, dinner or Sunday brunch.

Warm and fuzzy at the 45 minute mark, our buzzer lit up like a Christmas tree and G-Man and I were immediately seated by a window in an intimate corner. Erin, from Michigan, introduced herself as our server and gave us the quick rundown on Moonshine's buffet styled food placement. Surprisingly, most servers don't introduce themselves by name anymore. Erin did and she was absolutely lovely and attentive. Here's a photo of Erin.

It was an undertaking, but I made it a personal mission to sample most items from the Brunch Menu. Here are some snapshots, a list of what I tasted and my impressions noted accordingly:

Ann's Bloody Mary with vodka, tomato
juice, chipotle & garlic (WOW - an impressive vodka pour!)
Egg in a Biscuit (The BEST!)
Sliver of a Veggie Omelette (perfect & flavorful)
Green Egg Scramble with Basil Pesto, Parmesan Cheese & Tomatoes (really green & has St. Patrick's Day written all over it)
King Ranch Casserole (good)
Grilled Jalapeno Breakfast Sausages (spicy little numbers - yum!)
Roasted Red Potatoes (more spice please)
Green Chile Cheese Grits w/hatch green chiles & cheddar cheese (slightly runny in consistency but flavorful)
Cornflake Fried Chicken Tenders (not a fan of the fry, but a nice alternative to a chicken tender)
Buttermilk Biscuits with Chipotle Cream & Gravy (delicious)
Turkey Croissant (flavorful but bordering on soggy from sitting)
Miniature bagel with salmon spread (perfect spread)
Seasonal Fresh Fruit with poppy seed yogurt (fresh and satisfying)
White Chocolate Bread Pudding (holy cow! a wonderful surprise)
Plate full of baked goods; cinnamon pinwheel, apple turnover, cappuccino bundt cake, (#1 in deliciousness was the cappuccino bundt cake - all others were dry but tasty)

I highly recommend a little Moonshine! Sunday Brunch is served from 10:00 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. and costs $15.95 per plate. Should you prefer quick seating, it's best to arrive early or after 1 p.m. In the event you want the entire dog and pony show (including drinks on the patio & bonding with the crowd) arrive somewhere in the middle. Moonshine does not take reservations for Sunday Brunch.

It's all about the feast, not the famine!

To learn more about Moonshine Restaurant Patio Bar & Grill, banquet options & other menus, visit
To view their Brunch Menu:

Pros: Fresh & flavorful food, great selection, ambiance, service, a place you can relax & never feel rushed, heavy on the pour bloody mary
Cons: If you're expecting to be seated quickly - you'll be stuck with a wait
Suggestions: Spice up your red potatoes and thicken your green chile grits

Moonshine Restaurant Patio Bar & Grill ~ 303 Red River Street, Austin, TX 78701 ~ 512.236.9599

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