The Austin Chronicle


Reviewed by Sarah Hamlin, August 14, 2009, Food

Red Onion Market

1920 Sam Bass Rd., Round Rock, 512/238-9891
Monday-Friday, 8am-9pm

The North Austin burger benchmark has been set with Red Onion Market. Well worth the drive from Austin, these smoky, juicy, grill-y, toasty-bunned wonders will amaze you with their gastronomic wonderfulness. For about $7, it doesn't get any better than this!

Oh, wait. Maybe it does. The market makes a profound grilled Reuben, with seared corned beef, melted sharp cheese, and the perfect proportion of tart sauerkraut tastily commingled on grilled marble rye. I am not a major Reuben fan, but I wished I'd ordered this one as my own and stole as many bites from my dining buddy as I could. Wow, heaven on rye for a mere $7.29.

Then there's Red Onion's club sandwiches ($6.99): the real deal, with three slices of toast, smoked turkey, ham, and thick and crunchy bacon along with crisp, fresh lettuce and tomatoes you can taste. You can get a club with just the mesquite-smoked turkey if you're watching your diet (heh). Cut into quarters about 6 inches high, this sandwich can easily be shared, but why? Yet another sandwich benchmark for $6.99.

And let me tell you about the beef kebab on the crunchy-edged, bakery-soft, juice-absorbing French hoagie roll. This bliss bomb serves up tender beef, seasoned and grilled to perfection, with big chunks of onion and red and green peppers. What a savory treat for $7.29!

A small, family-owned and -operated neighborhood grocery and meat purveyor, Red Onion Market in Round Rock offers local residents small-town hospitality with city-size selections of meats and beer along with a mouthwatering assortment of fresh bakery treats. Three tables provide convenient eating if you just can't wait to take your food loot home. The friendly staff serves up deli sandwiches with chips and a pickle and your choice of beverage from the grocery section of the store, which is well-stocked with an impressive array of unique goods for a small, neighborhood market. My big score? A can of Imperial Sugar Dr Pepper.

The Red Onion Market used to have two locations, with a full-service restaurant in Cedar Park. The Cedar Park location recently closed and it will be sorely missed, as its breakfasts, dinners, and steak fries were most awesome.

I plan to console myself by stopping at the Round Rock Red Onion on my way home for a heaping helping of delicatessen deliciousness. C'mon, make the trip!

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