NOTE: as of August 2016, Liberty Kitchen is (temporarily?) closed.
One thing I will always welcome in Austin: more seafood restaurants! Similar to how the Austin Italian scene, I feel like seafood is having a moment and I don’t hate it. I really took fresh fish and shellfish for granted when I lived in Seattle.
(Speaking of Seattle: I’m going back for a quick trip later this week, for the first time this year! I’m visiting friends/fam and most importantly, watching my wonderful friends Matt & Dustin get married on the beach. And obviously I plan on eating as much fresh seafood and spicy Asian food as possible. I can’t freakin’ wait.)
Let’s bring it back to my most exciting new place to get seafood here in Austin. Liberty Kitchen is a Houston favorite which recently opened its first Austin location downtown on West 5th. Known for their huge menu, huge portions, and huge array of fresh seafood, it was a must-try for me as soon as I heard it was opening here.
I first visited Liberty Kitchen for a Sunday Funday brunch with my pack of mimosa-swilling girlfriends, where I enjoyed the ridiculous salad (let’s be real, pile of meat & cheese) seen here. And yes, it was just as overwhelming and amazing as it appears.
(Get the full rundown on my piece for Endless Simmer here!)
Last week I returned for happy hour with Lisa, LK’s delightful Marketing Director. Over a few refreshing glasses of rosé, we savored a table full of creative, delicious happy hour bites. I guess not exactly bites, more like giant mouthfuls. As I mentioned, they’re not messing around on portions.
Liberty Kitchen is especially renowned for their decadent deviled eggs and oysters, two things I LOVE. But you know what’s the best of both worlds? A deviled egg topped with an oyster. Oh yes. They have that for you. As well as deviled eggs topped with fried chicken, hot smoked salmon (smoked in house!), and crab with pimiento cheese.
If you’re an oyster purist, Liberty Kitchen can take care of you, too. For my plain (okay… plainer) oyster selections, I sampled the roasted gulf oysters: one with pork belly, bacon jam, and hard cider and one with salt & pepper and drawn butter. Despite its rampant popularity, I’m not huge into pork belly, but I was super into both of these oysters.
We also shared the fresh, light tuna poke (you can peek at that in the photo up top!) and a slab of their irresistible salted caramel cake with a side of soft-serve custard. No photo of that because the custard was melting and we had to save it! By eating it.
One underappreciated thing about Liberty Kitchen: it has an awesome happy hour! Nobody in Austin seems to realize it yet and I’m loath to share it because I like having my secret squirrel happy hours, but here you go:
Monday-Friday 3-6pm: 50 cents off oysters, half off burger, half off queso, half off wings. (I’ve had the wings and they’re GOOD.) Plus $5 wells, drafts, and half off select bottles of wine.
Saturday-Sunday 3-6pm: 50 cents off oysters, half off queso, half off wings, half off select bottles of wine.
I guess this is why they talk about liberty for all in the pledge of allegiance.