London, United Kingdom
December 30, 2007
Touted as a modern, New Orleans style restaurant, Roux also has a certain grittiness to it, which it owes to its beautiful exposed brick walls, flat screen televisions for sports viewers and eclectic art displays. It’s an environment that wants to appeal to everyone, and fortunately the menu does the same thing.
On a very warm winter’s morning, we were catching an early lunch. Any pretense of trying to eat light went straight out the window once we saw the menu. Gumbo, bisque, cornbread, bison, oysters, jambalaya. You name a New Orleans dish and they have it. I can’t testify to its authenticity as I’ve never been to Louisiana but I was wishing that I had time to stay and taste more of their dishes, almost all of which sounded as exotic as a Mardi Gras festival.
In a weak attempt to eat in moderation (almost impossible in Austin, and I’m guessing Texas in general), I ordered the Chicken Po’boy Sandwich, which came with a side of Cajun potato salad. The sandwich was constructed out of a soft, large baguette bread with an ingenious spread of tapenade. I’ve only really ever experienced tapenade as a dip but to have it in the Po’boy sandwich, next to the tender blackened chicken breast was definitely an inspired creation on their part.
I couldn’t finish my sandwich but that didn’t stop me from trying a bite of their Key Lime Pie (ordered by someone else in our group – honest.) I’m not a connoisseur on Florida cuisine either but this was an interesting take on the pie. It was fairly small in size, not much bigger than a Christmas mince pie, but it was very deep and very dense. It had a robust pastry crust and the inside was the same consistency as a rich cheesecake. This was offset but the subtle but tangy lime sauce.
The service at Roux was excellent. The staff was sweet and attentive and went back to the kitchen more than once to find out the ingredients of their barbecue sauce for us. It was nice and quiet at the time we were there and I was surprised to read that it only opened in 2007. Roux already strikes its own identity in a town where I imagine you have to prove yourself pretty quickly to keep up with the competition.
From journal A Plateful of Austin Barbecue and Blues