Craft Beer, Fine Wine, Artisan Spirits, and Mouthgasmic Food.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Max's Wine Dive, Oh Yes! Give me more!


I recently visited Max's Wine Dive Austin at their preview event for food bloggers and their Mother's Day Brunch. Below is my review, and needless to say....it was fabulous. Below that is also my review of Walton's, where Max's get their bread. See review links for more pictures.

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Max's Wine Dive
American Comfort food with a twist and a good swig of booze. That's the essence of Max's Wine Dive. Max's specializes in upscale comfort food paired with wines. It goes without saying that wines flowed from the heavens, I mean the wine guys. Let's just say that my wine glasses were never empty. Yes, that's plural.

Fried chicken with a spicy kick (marinated in jalapeno and buttermilk), buffalo sliders, and the rib basket (Asian twist) where some of the delights that we sampled on Thursday night. The fried chicken was crispy on the outside and tender on the inside. Served with a chipotle honey, it was a perfect combo of spicy and sweet. My other favorite was the buffalo sliders. The meat was juicy and meaty, but not at all gamey. The buns (made by Walton's Fancy and Staple) were buttery and slightly sweet. The rib basket was extremely flavorful and tender with a slightly spicy housin sauce.

I do have to say that the bread served (brioche and the slider buns) were some of the best I've ever had. The breads weren't new, exotic, or full of spices and herbs. They were old fashioned good breads that smelled like what your grandmother would make at home. These breads were simple, fluffy, and had wonderful texture. As a person who generally passes on the bread, I helped myself to 4 slices of the brioche. These were worth the carbs.

Thursday's preview was tasty. I left feeling like an overstuffed Thanksgiving turkey that needed to rest. However, the Mother's Day brunch just blew me out of the water, or mimosas shall I say. I attended brunch with the boyfriend and another foodie couple. In addition to enjoying the bottomless mimosas, we were also treated to the wing cakes, Frito pie omelet, chicken fried steak and eggs, MAX eggs, toast, and french toast. Everything wasn't just done well, it was done perfectly. The pancakes were light and fluffy, and the chicken wings were crispy and juicy. Also, a warning to those who can't stand flavor: watch out for the home fries. If you like spicy and you like flavor, you'll love the homefries. If you are a little chicken and can't take the heat, you better stick with the grits. The MAX eggs was the perfect combo of prosciutto, eggs, and black truffle cream served on Texas toast. I know what you're thinking. This is breakfast, traditional breakfast. Breakfast fare isn't usually the type of food to sweep you off your feet.

I challenge you to the French toast. Made with bread from Walton's Fancy and Staple, dipped into cream, vanilla, and eggs, this French toast will make you say "DAAAAMN!" Chef Steve needs to change the name of it on the menu to DAMN good French ttoast. I've already gone over the bread. It's simple bread. Simple, slightly sweet, light, and soft. Combine that with French toast goodness and a strawberry compote, and you have the best french toast ever. The strawberry compote had a different flavor that I couldn't put my finger on, so I asked Chef Steve. Pink peppercorns. Pink Peppercorns in the strawberry compote gave it a peppery, herby, fragrant, earthy, kind of flavor. I can't quite describe it accurately in words so you'll just have to try it.

In addition to the great food at reasonable prices, you ought to check out the hours. Sunday bunch - 11 am - 3 pm. Monday through Wednesday 4pm - Midnight with happy hours 4-7 pm and 10-midnight. Thursday through Saturday - 4 pm to 2 am with Happy hours 4-7 pm and Midnight - 2 am. Hey Austin, add this place to your late night eats list. Open until 2 am, yo! Heck yes!

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Walton's Fancy and Staple

Walton's has not officially opened, but I got to sample some of the baked goods via Max's Wine Dive. All the breads at Max's Wine Dive are actually make at Walton's, fresh daily. Through a complicated pattern of events, the baker (Gesine Bullock-Prado, Sandra Bullock's sister) came from Vermont and had previously worked with Chef Steve (also previously in Vermont) at Max's Wine Dive. I hope I got the details of that correct, as there were many details. Anyways.....

I felt compelled to review the bread because the bread is just that awesome. The bread served with the cheese plate ranks as one of the top 5 breads I have ever had. Fluffy, soft, slightly buttery, this was heaven. I had 4 pieces of bread, and I'm still yearning for more. This bread isn't full of spices, herbs, or some other exotic flavorings. It was plain old good bread. Simple and delicious. The buns for the buffalo sliders were also made by Walton's. The buns were just slightly sweet, perfectly browned on top, and soft on the inside. These two bread products were out of this world. I can't wait for Walton's to open on the 15th so I can try their croissants. If eating buttery goodness is wrong, then I don't want to be right.

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