The Meat Sweats

The sixth day straight (out of ten) of working, walking, networking, schmoozing, live-blogging SXSW and shooting bands can sometimes lead to impaired judgment and poor decisions. Mental exhaustion will do that to a person. Which is what led me to think that ordering – and then consuming – 17 ounces of T-bone at Hoffbrau Steaks would be a good idea. I’ll just let the pictures below speak for themselves.

Parnters in crime: Brigitte, Hala, Dave, Marc and Adam.
World famous for one thing, and one thing only: steaks.
There's no menu at Hoffbrau. You eat what they have. Including this very garlicky salad.
Adam decided to be a rebel and ordered extra onion rings with his meal.
Hoffbrau is more than a bit lost in time, in a comfortable and comforting way.
Hala was ready for her steak.
My rare T-bone (yes, it's sitting in a pool of butter) before...
A brief interlude of steak fries, each one the size of an ear of corn.
...and my steak after. The gristle was happily consumed by Adam, as we all watched in horror.
Shiner Bock beer, salad, steak fries and T-bone grand total: $22, including tip. Not bad.

While the steak was tasty (after I sopped up all the grease with some spare bread and disposed of it), I still prefer my steaks cooked on a real grill – not a griddle – and definitely much smaller. I had a vicious meat headache within minutes of finishing it, and sweated it out walking the umpteen blocks back uphill to our hotel afterwards. The good news is that after all that protein, I had enough energy to finish off the day without consuming any caffeine or any of the terrifying energy drinks that every SXSW party seemed to have on hand like party favors. (Oh, wait – those were party favors. Ick.)

Still, the next time I’m suffering from sleep deprivation and a fuzzy head, I’m letting someone else choose both the restaurant and my food. A responsible someone else. Who’ll choose a salad and some fruit. Anyone?

13 thoughts on “The Meat Sweats”

  1. I can’t recall the Hoffbrau ever getting a full review like this – perhaps the attention will help this flash-in-the-pan restaurant survive for a few more months.

    Seriously, I really enjoyed this article. It’s been way too long since I’ve been to the Hoffbrau, and I’m glad to see that it’s the same as it always was. My dad showed me this place when I went to UT in the 80’s – he’d been a patron there during the 40’s.

    What a wonderful landmark restaurant. Thanks for this article.

  2. My grandfather, proud German and lover of all things diner-ish that he was, used to go to Hoffbrau every time he was in Austin. It’s been years since I’ve been there, but I remember it fondly with my grandparents.

  3. Yikes – why’d you go to the Hoffbrau? I feel so embarrassed. It’s easily Austin’s worst steak, albeit a charming time warp. I hope you took advantage of our many more impressive food carts, at least!

  4. You are making me miss the Hofbrau that “was” on Shepherd, before Fertitta converted it to an ewwwww, Saltgrass. They still serve a version of the original salad and potatoes. However, it’s so not the same.

    Props to Adam! If no one is looking at me cock-eyed at the time of consumption, I’m all over it, that’s the best part.

  5. I freaking hate Tilman Fertitta. The Foodie Anti Christ. He ruins everything he touches. I miss the old Hoffbrau, too 😦

  6. And by the way, when I first glanced at that top picture, I thought it was the cast from “The Office.” I mean, look at it!

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