Today, I went to lunch at Merkaba Lounge & Grill. Actually, I’ve eaten there a few times and if you’ve come to either of my parties as of late, so have you. 🙂 It’s a new place in North Austin and it is excellent. (I’m not just saying that because a friend owns it, either.)
For lunch, I had their Grilled Chicken Sandwich – a marinated grilled chicken breast with lettuce & tomato on a toasted kaiser roll. I didn’t get any cheese on it but you can add cheddar or pepper jack for just a few cents more. The chicken was tender and flavorfull and their kaiser roll was mildly sweet but didn’t overwhelm the flavor of the marinade on the chicken. With the sandwiches, you can get either homemade potato chips or the sweet potato fries. I went with the sweet potato fries and they were amazing. I’m not a big fan of mixing sweet and savory flavors but this wasn’t quite that. The naturally sweetness of the sweet potato really blended well with the seasoned salt they sprinkled (not doused) on there. There was a light breading on the fries that also only accentuated the flavor of the sweet potato. Their lunch prices range from $3.00 (soups) to $9.00 (Bourbon Street Steak Sandwich).
If you’re just up for appetizers, they have “Tapas of the World” there. You can get one item for $4.99 or three choices for $12.99. Lots of things to choose from, too. As of right now, I’ve tried the Asian Potstickers, Asian Calamari (comes with a Thai chili sauce), Asian Spring Rolls, Italian Rosemary Chicken Ravioli with a pesto cream sauce (that isn’t overwhelming like a lot of pesto sauces are), and the Spanish spring rolls with cilantro ranch dressing. OMG, the cilantro ranch dressing is TO DIE FOR!!! I can’t remember who said they’re not a big fan of the cilantro flavor but they still really liked this dressing because again, the cilantro flavor is blended well, not overwhelming.
As far as entrees go, I’ve had one full dinner and was there one day when their manager Trisha was doing final training of the kitchen staff. Raspberry Chipotle Salmon with rice pilaf and fresh steamed vegetables is great. I would probably order it without the raspberry sauce – no matter where I try it, I’m not a fan…it’s the sweet + savory thing I don’t like, though. I might try that sauce on a cheesecake or something; by itself, it’s yummy. Their Sesame Chicken with seasoned rice and steamed thai chili vegetables is the full dinner I had and it’s really good. The way the seasonings are balanced still keeps the chicken flavor abundant as well. The chicken itself is moist and tender. You can cut it with your fork! The Thai chili vegetables are not too spicy but certainly not bland. Oh, their Bourbon Street NY Strip steak is SO good. They marinate their steak overnight so it’s nice and juicy and tender. I only had a bite or two of it but I could go back for that whole dish anytime. It comes with seasoned potato wedges and steamed veggies as well. Their dinner prices range from $9.99 to $14.99.
They have desserts that I haven’t had a chance to try yet but the first thing I’m going to try is their Pina Colada Cake.
Now, let’s talk drinks. They have two walls of various beers on tap as well as many that are bottled. Their bartenders are trained to make about any drink you might want. They also have their own list of specialty martinis and my favorite is the Absolut Citron Lemon Drop Martini. My man Anthony can make a mean lemon drop martini for a man who doesn’t like them. 😉 And then, you have their Specialty Chocolate Shots – Chocolate Covered Cherry, Chocolate Covered Almond, Chocolate Covered Banana and Chocolate Orange. The fun part of this drink is that each one is just a shot of whatever flavor is listed with chocolate but it’s in a shot “glass” made entirely of chocolate. Once you drink your shot, you eat the chocolate!!! Now, how much fun is that? Again – YUMMY!! Here’s a picture of our shots that we got one night:
Okay, this post has gotten entirely too long and because it has no pictures (except the last one), you’ve probably not even gotten to here. I know, I’ll get pictures of their food and create them a page via my site until we get a site of their own up and running. Stay tuned for that and if you want to go to Merkaba, let me know. I’ll go with you and bring you a coupon for 10% off food!