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North Austin is fast becoming a destination for all ethnic food in town. Not only is the area home to some of the best Asian food, but new Middle Eastern and Mediterranean restaurants have popped up recently. Santorini Cafe is a Walnut Creek favorite that we stopped in to check out.

New Fortune Chinese Seafood is the latest addition to north Austin's Asian food scene, currently only open on weekends for dim sum. If you’re looking for an atypical brunch option, dim sum is a great choice.

North Austin is home to many authentic Asian restaurants serving up dishes the mainstream has yet to discover. This can be a little intimidating if you’re unfamiliar with the cuisine and lacking a qualified tour guide. This week I took a tasty adventure through Swad Restaurant, a South Indian diner immensely popular with vegetarians.

Be a Kid Again at Punch Bowl Social

08.29.2014 by: Travis Sandoval
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The dining area is beautifully lit with a mix of natural light.

North Austin has been lacking a trendy entertainment spot for far too long. Punch Bowl Social’s combination gastropub and adult entertainment complex certainly fills a void. The place packs in a diner, cocktail lounge, bowling lanes, karaoke rooms, video games, darts, deck shuffle, table shuffle, and billiards all for grown ups. 

One side houses multiple games and karaoke rooms.

Originating in Denver, Punch Bowl Social also has an outpost in Portland and soon Detroit. Founder Robert Thompson helped launch dirty sixth staple Buffalo Billiards in the 90s. His return to the Austin scene is obviously much different.

 
  

The center holds the main bar and bowling lanes behind it.

Each location’s menu is made up of local foods prepared fresh daily, giving Austin’s diner a truly Texas taste. In true gastropub fashion, the menu features plenty of hearty and casual fare, plenty of which can be made vegan or gluten-free. If you’re with a group of friends for a night out, you might like to share the Deviled eggs, which have a nice touch of bacon jam, the House Made Pretzel Bites, or the Bacon Jalapeño Poppers. The main focus seems to be sandwiches and burgers, but you’ll also find salads and dinner plates. One stand out dish the Quinoa Stuffed Relleno puts an interesting spin on a stuffed pepper with a mixture including golden raisins, candied walnuts, and chipotle molé.

  
   

Slider versions of the PBS burger and the Bat Bridge Bowl punch.

On weekends you can get the fun started early with hearty brunch offerings such as the Banana Split Waffles served with salted caramel, Nutella, and vanilla ice cream. 

Obvious in the name, the drink menu includes a section specifically for punches. During our visit our favorite drink was the “You must bring us...A shrubbery”, a light fruity punch made with watermelon shrub and moscato vodka. Classic drinks are also featured on the menu under “Old School” while “New School” concoctions continue with playful names such as the gin and cantaloupe based “South Dallas Sour.” In keeping with its theme as a play place for adults, the drink menu also includes some grown up milkshakes for your next sockhop. 

    
     

Stylish bowling lanes are flanked by sleek couches.

It takes a spacious building to pack in the amount of fun Punch Bowl Social offers. And like its activities, the interior design is a mix the team calls “Dirty Modern,” a combination of industrial, Victorian, and modern styles. It may sound odd, but each area’s mood certainly fits being at times outlandish and other times on trend. Certainly fitting for an adult play place not taking itself too seriously.

      
       

The interior design is odd but playful.

If you live in North Austin and have been looking for a fun night out with your friends, definitely give Punch Bowl Social a spin this weekend.

Punch Bowl Social

TAGS : Northwest Hills/Arboretum/ Domain , Punch Bowl Social