Austin’s offers classic American cuisine |

Austin’s offers classic American cuisine

Wendy Lautner/Sierra SunAustin's salad packs a flavorful punch with grilled chicken, chives, crunchy tortilla strips, tomatoes and crisp greens. Order with the recommended dressing - it's delicious and it comes with a big slice of sweet, thick cornbread.

Tucked into a cozy space in the Country Club Mall across from the Hyatt, Austin’s provides a comfortable, country feel with good down-home cooking. It’s no wonder this cabin bustles with a diverse lunch and dinner crowd. Log cabin walls give the inside a cheerful, cabin feel and nice touches like a wooden bear in the tree near the door, vintage photographs on the walls, and evergreen garland draped throughout the restaurant add to Austin’s country cabin charm.

Remember the food your grandmother used to make? You’ll find it here. Austin’s features home-style American cuisine. Time-tested, family recipes are the backbone of the kitchen, for more than 17 years the Austin’s family has been serving satisfying meals to locals and visitors alike. Expect to find your hearty favorites – like the chicken fried steak, classic meatloaf sandwhich, and the rib eye steak – but don’t be surprised to find a few dishes with a slight twist, like the crowd-favorite chicken fried chicken. For a country kitchen, Austin’s has a surprisingly extensive salad list as well. But lest you think you’re eating light, remember that each heaping salad is served with a thick, sweet homemade chunk of cornbread also.

On the sandwich menu you’ll find a good variety of melts, as well as the chicken fried chicken, popular apple nut chicken sandwich, and a grilled portabella, to name a few. It’s obvious a good amount of thought and care went into creating the menu, as it seems there truly is something for everyone.

Who would have guessed that Austin’s would have a full bar? In addition to a pretty good wine list of varieties available by both the glass and the bottle, and a good selection of mircobrews and domestic beers, guests can also order a cocktail while they dine. One good choice is the Austin’s Tahoe 10 oz Martinis, “aka the Mountain Sized Martini.”

Everything on the menu looks good, but speaking from experience I have to recommend the Austin’s salad. First of all, its ginormous size makes it eat like two-meals-in-one. It comes with grilled chicken, chives, crispy tortilla strips and fresh tomatoes over crispy greens and is served with an Oriental dressing. The salad comes in a heaping bowl that is tossed at your table and it’s served with a huge block of sweet, homemade cornbread. It’s simply fantastic. Another must-try menu item – the Buttermilk french fries. Dipped in a delicate, tasty batter, these fries are truly one-of-a-kind and they come with any sandwich on the menu or as a side order. And last but not least, the popular recommendation is the chicken fried chicken.

It’s likely that you’ll find your eyes are bigger than your stomach at Austin’s, where the serving sizes are anything but “small plate.” However, diners who don’t want to stretch their stomachs don’t have to cringe about getting a box to go. Austin’s uses a Truckee supplier for bio-degradable and compostable take-out products – no styrofoam! And another enviro bonus: Austin’s trans fat free oil is used to create bio-fuel locally. While Austin’s food reflects timeless favorites prepared with good old fashioned values, the owners’ philosophy is clearly cutting edge environmentally and that’s a nice combo all the way around.

Salads are $9.95 (but when you consider one salad is essentially two meals, it’s got to be one of the most affordable places in town). Dinner entrees range from $13.95 for the classic meatloaf to $21.95 for the legendary rib eye. Sandwiches and country favorites are mostly $7-$9 except for the $12.95 mountain trout.

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