Monday, February 20, 2012

Out and About: Austin Cake Ball Kitchen & Bar

About every month or so, a group of my girlfriends get together for GNO (girl's night out). A different girl usually takes the lead in planning something fun to do, and I always look forward to it. We've done pedicures at Embellish followed by dinner, girly movie night at Alamo Drafthouse, fondue at The Melting Pot....always something just a little bit different. This past week, we got together for dinner at Austin Cake Ball Kitchen & Bar. You'd have to be hiding under a rock to not have tried a cake ball at some point, and theirs are absolutely delicious (and so perfectly round and frosted!) However, I didn't realize they had such an interesting savory menu to choose from!

I tried my best to get there on time, but parking at The Domain is always a bitch. I found a spot, walked to the restaurant, and was pleasantly surprised by the space. It wasn't very big, but it had a really neat bar that ran almost the length of the restaurant (half of that was their cake ball display), and there were also really cool accent walls and floors with pennies imbedded in them. I thought the design was simple, but interesting. We had called ahead to make reservations since it was a larger party, and got a table towards the back. I usually don't like being so close to the kitchen, but I never noticed much noise.

Speaking of the kitchen- I will say this was one of my only complaints. They were SLOW!! It did not appear to be super busy, but I thought it took entirely too long to get our food (and later, a warm dessert) out to the table. The kitchen did not appear to be large enough to handle the variety of the menu. I think if they stuck with fewer, and maybe easier to prepare dishes (just cheese plates, stuffed peppers, 1-2 soup/sandwich options, etc) it might make things go more smoothly. But I had no complaints about the food whatsoever.

We started out with their amazing peppadews stuffed with a delicious citrus mascarpone filling, and then each of us had either a sandwich (bacon and grilled cheese for me) or their Cake Ball Cobb. (Yes, you read that right- red velvet crusted chicken with the usual fixings. ) Drink prices were really reasonable for happy hour up until 7, though none of us were brave enough to try the Candy Girl cocktail. You just can't beat a decent $5 glass of red wine! We each ended the night with a cake ball, my flavor of choice being the red velvet. I have also tried the lemon, and the salted caramel. Honestly, you can't go wrong with any of the flavors. Just be sure you have people to share with. At $2.50 each, it can really add up if you're wanting to taste a few. But if you're looking for something fun and different to do for happy hour (or even post-dinner), I recommend this place!

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