Austin, TX

Perry’s Steakhouse & Grille, Austin, TX

They say everything is bigger in Texas. That boast certainly applied to the pork chops at Perry’s Steakhouse in downtown Austin:  32 ounces of perfection, butchered on site and carved right at the table. It is just what you would expect from a restaurant that began life as a butcher shop and has retained its respect for all things meat.

The atmosphere at Perry’s is very sophisticated, while at the same time comfortable. The building is a former bank – one of the dining rooms is located inside an abandoned vault. It all seems cozy in spite of the fact that one wall features floor-to-ceiling windows that provide a view of the busy street scene outside.

A special mention goes out to the restaurant’s Bar 79, a very nicely appointed and comfortable spot to enjoy an adult libation while waiting for a table or to meet with a client after closing another successful deal. All in all, Perry’s is my new favorite dining spot deep in the heart of Texas.

114 West 7th Street
Austin, TX
512-474-6300
http://www.perryssteakhouse.com

Ranch 616, Austin, TX

Perhaps the funkiest restaurant in a city known for offbeat dining establishments, Ranch 616 calls itself a “South Texas style icehouse.” The eclectic décor is part roadhouse, part bunkhouse, and part shrine. It somehow works.

Ranch 616’s claim to fame is an unusual combination of seafood and authentic Mexican fare. You haven’t lived until you’ve dined on fried oysters followed up with pork empeñadas. Portions are Texas-sized, and there is a nice selection of wines and cocktails to keep things interesting.

616 Nueces Street
Austin, TX
(512) 479-7616
http://theranch616.com