The Austin Chronicle

Hank's Roadhouse Cafe

February 2, 1996, Food

1000 S. Lamar, 707-2665

11am-2am Monday-Friday, 8am-2am Saturday and Sunday A couple of years ago, the Trudy's organization closed their Southern Star outlet at this location. Some of the staff members chose to stay and open a restaurant of their own, and Hank's Roadhouse Cafe was born. When people talk about South Austin and what defines it, Hank's is one of the places that immediately comes to my mind. A straightforward, no-frills kind of place with reasonably priced, hearty food. A place where a working man (or woman) can get a respectable meal, listen to live music, and relax among friends.

The menu at Hank's is quite large for a South Austin joint, offering some Tex-Mex, some Southern home cooking, and a whole page of Cajun dishes. The meal begins with chips and two bowls of their award-winning salsas (Hank's placed well at the 1995 Hot Sauce Challenge). My experience here is to stick with the Tex-Mex and the home cooking and go elsewhere for Cajun food. While we enjoyed our meal, the thing that impressed me most at Hank's was the service. The wait staff was casually dressed and coiffed but they were there to work. They were well-acquainted with the menu and made good suggestions. The first evening I ate there, our waitress was attentive without being obtrusive, keeping an eye on our table and several others to make sure we had everything we needed. Tea glasses were always quickly filled and she timed our take-out order to arrive at the same time as our check. It's obvious that someone with an eye for good workers does the hiring and training here; we saw no slackers on the floor at Hank's.

--Virginia B. Wood

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