Jacoby's Restaurant & Mercantile - Austin, TX
My weekend in Austin continued into the work week since I was there for a work trip. I'm lucky to have co-workers that travel with me from time to time that also enjoy going on foodie adventures. For our last night in Austin we wanted to try something new.
Jacoby's is a family operated restaurant. Before the restaurant ever came to be the Jacoby family was operating the Jacoby Feed and Seed out of Melvin, TX (about 2.5 hrs northwest from Austin) and has been around since 1981. Over the years the original feed and seed has grown to include the Jacoby Brand Beef, which you can get your very own taste of at the restaurant. That of course is exactly what I did.
And I LOVED it! I ordered the Chicken Fried Steak and it is now the "best I've ever had". The beef was tender and full of flavor thanks to their aging process. The coating was light and crunchy without overpowering the beef. There's nothing better than a perfectly balanced chicken fried steak with the right amount of coating-to-meat ratio. It was served with a side of mashed potatoes with black pepper gravy and both were thick, creamy and delightful. To be honest, I could have eaten more gravy, but I found some restraint.
You can order Family Style sides, which we did. We shared the Creamed Corn and the Hand Battered Okra. The steak does come with an arugula salad, but I've decided (and don't judge me for it) that I'm not a fan of arugula so I tend to shy away for it. However, I was more than happy with the sides we shared.
The creamed corn was sweet and refreshing. The scallions added some freshness while the fried red onion added a little bit of crunch. I will admit I'm usually not a fan of okra because you have to cook it right. I'm glad I was open to trying it. It was served with a side of buttermilk ranch that was rich in flavor, yet light at the same time. It was the perfect dip for the lightly breaded and perfectly cooked okra.
I openly admit that I am a lightweight when it comes to drinking. When I say it's a rare occasion when I drink, I mean rare. I would say this was probably my first drink this year, and it's August. But this was the perfect first drink for me. It's called the Secret Beach and it's made with Cucumber-infused Tito's Vodka, grapefruit, lemon and hibiscus. I asked for it made "light" on the alcohol and the bartender made it perfectly. It was sweet and fruity, just how I like it.
The other half of the restaurant is this very cute mercantile shop that sells a few unique items. One of my friends bought soap that smelled heavenly. They had some other vintage finds, like old matchbox style cars and field note books. It changes often as I was told it gets stocked with items that are found here and there. It's definitely worth a trip after dinner, especially since they had these little strawberry cream cupcakes. I wanted more than one, but, again, restraint.
You have to put Jacoby's on your bucket list, whether you're just traveling through or are a permanent Austinite. The entire dinner was delicious. The service was prompt and attentive - we had a random breeze knock some leaves into our drinks and she offered to get us new ones. You will be glad you went, especially if you get the chicken fried steak.