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Halloween’s Not Just Another Night Out

East Side Show Room and Midnight Cowboy get gutsy for Halloween guests

By Gracie Salem, 10:10AM, Thu. Oct. 25, 2012

Beef Heart Tartare
Beef Heart Tartare
Photo Paul Hargrove

Some of Austin’s hipper restaurants and bars are truly embracing Halloween this year, not just hanging some sad pumpkins from the rafters and dressing servers up as sexy nurses, but indeed transforming their menus in the days leading up to October 31 to offer guests a taste of the dark side.

The East Side Show Room’s Executive Chef Paul Hargrove has created a Halloween-inspired offal happy hour menu that guests can enjoy starting Friday the 26th through the big night.

Officially, offal means the guts, the brains, the stuff leftover when an animal is butchered, and therefore a perfectly-gory name for a Halloween-themed menu. Hargrove has locally sourced these goods for the culinarily curious and has created quite a tasting menu for those brave enough to indulge. Lamb brains from Windy Hill farm will be sauteed with brown butter and gremolata. Bastrop Cattle Company will supply beef tongue that will accompany golden beets and wild mushrooms. Halibut cheek, a delicacy any time of year, will be baked in a corn husk with peppers and cilantro. Beef heart tartare will be topped with quail egg, and Niman Ranch pig trotters will be stuffed with foie gras. Test the culinary courageous-ness of your next date and stop by from 5 to 7 pm. Plunk down 25 bones for the five unique courses and you’ll have a great story for all your friends. No reservations needed, but beware, this menu is not for the faint of heart. On Halloween night, the Showroom will stage a Hollywood-themed bash featuring live music from Hollywood Revue. Sounds like a ball.

Midnight Cowboy, recently voted by CNN as one of the top ten bars in the U.S., is going all out, too.Year round, the bar considers itself a special refuge from all the other bars on 6th Street, and General Manager Brian Dressler and his team of bartenders are celebrating Halloween by creating a “zombie refuge”, complete with zombie-themed drink list, including some like the El Diablo, Satan’s Whiskers, Corpse Reviver #2, and Widow’s Kiss.

On any given day, the drink menu is amazing, extensive, and playful. Halloween here is sure to impress. Special drink menu begins Friday the 26th. Reservations only; two hour limit. Book through the website at midnightcowboymodeling.com. You’ll be looking for the boarded up building and the private buzzer that reads Harry Craddock.

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