I really enjoyed this year's Austin Restaurant Week. Unfortunately, it had to end on a so-so note. I checked out my very first Garrido's Sunday brunch and thought that the food didn't come close to the awesome ARW kick-off party.
First, when we were seated, the ARW brunch menu was no where to be found. When I asked for it, the wait staff did not know about whether they were even serving an ARW brunch though it was clearly listed on the website. Our kind waiter went on a search for the ARW brunch menu but could only find their ARW lunch menu. He offered to look the menu up on the ARW website, but luckily, I did my homework and memorized what everyone wanted to order.
Free Chips and Salsa
The most prominent difference between the ARW brunch at Garrido's from the meals I have had at other restaurants participating in ARW is that the portions of each course is cut down. I ordered the queso because I enjoyed it tremendously at the kick-off party, but the queso came in a condiment cup that was smaller than the one containing the complimentary salsa! Seriously? The pork quesadilla was underwhelming. The filling was a bit too mushy and bland. In contrast, the mushroom quesadilla was quite tasty.
Pork Quesadilla with mango pico and tomatillo-habanero salsa
Mushroom Quesadilla with ancho crema and cilantro
Tiny cup of queso
The main course was a big improvement from the generally lackluster appetizers. The snapper blt was light and fresh. The bacon helped make this dish. The lamb sausage omelette was a bit heavy on the cheese, but pretty good. The lamb sausage tasted almost like chorizo. The smoked salmon was pretty standard.
Snapper BLT Tacos with habanero aioli and pico de gallo
Lamb Sausage and Cheese Omelette with asadero cheese, caramelized onions
Smoked Salmon with cilantro cream cheese, capers, and cucumbers and toast
Well, the meal got progressively better with dessert marking the high point. The creme brulee would have benefitted from more mango flavor, perhaps if the creme brulee was infused with mango rather than using just diced mango as an accoutrement. The Patron Cafe XO was powerful in the chocolate tres leches, which my mom enjoyed. My favorite dish of the meal was the zucchini bread pudding. Zucchini doesn't really have a strong smell or taste, but somehow, you can really pick out the fragrance of the zucchini in this dish!
Creme Brulee with habanero mango honey
Pastel de Calabaza (Zucchini Bread Pudding) with lemon crema
Patrón Café XO Chocolate Tres Leches with chocolate whipped cream