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Tiki Central Forums Tiki Travel San Antonio & Austin Texas TX tiki bars?
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San Antonio & Austin Texas TX tiki bars?
mikehooker
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jul 17, 2014
Posts: 238
From: Austin via Mai Kai town
Posted: 2014-10-22 11:48 am   Permalink

Went to Pleasant Storage Room for happy hour yesterday with a couple friends and must say I had a wonderful time. Three different bar tenders served us and a fourth plus the bar back all chatted with us. I kicked things off with a simple Daiquiri. I asked what rum she was going to use and she showed me a white well rum I wasn't familiar with. She sensed my puzzlement and said she can use Smith & Cross to which I gleefully accepted. A heavy pour of S&C and for just 5 bucks we were off to a good start! Next ordered the $5 jerk chicken which was divine. Decided to order off the happy hour menu next. They have a long list of cocktails that I was unfamiliar with so I asked bartender #2 what she would recommend as a classic Donn or Vic style tiki drink and she said they could make us whatever we wanted, a Mai Tai, Jungle Bird, Zombie, Painkiller, you name it. I asked what she puts in the Mai Tai and she recited the original Vic recipe using Clement VSOP and Appleton. She first pulled down the V/X so I asked if she could use 12 instead and she happily obliged. Finished product was perfectly measured and mixed with a wonderful presentation (see below). She even gave it a LH151 float that maintained perfect balance throughout the drink. I asked how their supply of Lemon Hart was doing as I only saw a few bottles on the shelf and she wasn't sure if that was the end of the line or if they were somehow importing it. Bartender #3 overheard the conversation and joined in. He said, so you like Lemon Hart? And proceeded to make us what appeared to be a Kapu Kai but with homemade cinnamon syrup instead of sugar. Potent and very tasty drink! We continued talking rum and he pulled down some of his favorites, mostly small batch rums I'd never heard of, and gave us samples of atleast three or four different ones and explained where they were from and the process for each. Then he started whipping up another concoction with fresh mint leaves and chunks of pineapple and some other things that all went into the blender and came out deliciously green and slushy. Probably a Missionaries Downfall. It was a Tuesday night so it wasn't very busy and the staff was all attentive and knew their stuff. Everything I consumed was excellent and I definitely will be back for more.



[ This Message was edited by: mikehooker 2014-10-22 11:50 ]

[ This Message was edited by: mikehooker 2015-05-20 11:31 ]


 
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croe67
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jan 05, 2003
Posts: 1109
From: Texas Tikiland
Posted: 2014-10-23 06:51 am   Permalink

Peche is doing some good stuff these days with Tiki Drinks. They have Tiki Sundays pretty much every Sunday & the drinks are exceptional. Also plenty of tiki mugs to serve from, too & a new custom mug coming soon as well. Trey is the guy passionate about tiki there, so if he's working, see if you can be at his end of the bar

Pleasant Storage Room can be good, but we have found that some of the bartenders are very good, while others seem to be going through the motions & it shows in their drinks. Glad to hear that you got a good one. My only challenge for them is that they should be more consistent.

Bar Congress will likely do Tiki weekdays again next Summer, but it's over for the season. But - they can still do GREAT tiki-style drinks & have tiki mugs as well. Atmosphere is less casual than what tiki folks tend to look for, but get a spot at the bar & chat with the bartenders - some very good people with some excellent drink mixing chops!

Drink.Well is usually very good. They have had some staff turnover of late, which has ben a challenge. They are currently getting their new staff trained-up, so hopefully better next time. It's still one of the best places in town for a well-made cocktail. They Tiki Tuesdays are over for the season to my knowledge.

The guys at Midnight Cowboy have some serious Tiki Drink Mixing chops, too, so most definitely worth checking out to see what you think.

There's also a Tiki & Vintage event this Saturday. Unfortunately we'll be out of town for the weekend so will not be able to go.


 
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mikehooker
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jul 17, 2014
Posts: 238
From: Austin via Mai Kai town
Posted: 2014-10-23 12:28 pm   Permalink

Hey, thanks for all the info. Will definitely check out those other spots. What is the event going on this weekend?

 
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croe67
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jan 05, 2003
Posts: 1109
From: Texas Tikiland
Posted: 2014-10-23 1:11 pm   Permalink

Quote:

On 2014-10-23 12:28, mikehooker wrote:
Hey, thanks for all the info. Will definitely check out those other spots. What is the event going on this weekend?


It's an event for The Barman's Fund - I just sent you an invite for it on Facebook so you can check it out


 
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mikehooker
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jul 17, 2014
Posts: 238
From: Austin via Mai Kai town
Posted: 2014-10-23 1:42 pm   Permalink

Got it, thanks. Looks like it's Sunday not Saturday. Hope I can make it.

 
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lunavideogames
Grand Member (3 years)  

Joined: May 09, 2012
Posts: 1391
From: San Diego
Posted: 2015-03-24 1:31 pm   Permalink

The new bar in Austin, Isla, is great! I stopped by a couple of times last week. As far as tiki in Austin, it is the best. I had the Lamb Stew a couple of times and I loved it. The staff was super friendly and very eager to chat about rum.

They have a Mai Tai and a Zombie on tap. I am not a fan of drinks on tap, but I tried a zombie and it was on par. They do serve some drinks in tiki mugs, Tiki Farm not cheap China knock offs. The only thing that I really feel that they need to improve on is the decor. No actual tikis just some cheap Indonesian masks (however I do hope that will change, they did just open. The rum selection was amazing, far better than most of the Southern California tiki bars. I talked with Tre who is the rum guy there as well as the owner. Quite a friendly staff!


To the drinks,this is a Painkiller. I subbed Smith & Cross.

This is a Saturn. Quite tasty!

This is a Zombie. You can tell by the photo that it was effective...

I would like to see some drinks custom for this place, but they all tasted great and the menu was vast with a lot of my all time favorites. Go check it out if you are in the area!


 
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lunavideogames
Grand Member (3 years)  

Joined: May 09, 2012
Posts: 1391
From: San Diego
Posted: 2015-03-24 1:34 pm   Permalink


I had a lot of fun and good food and drinks at Bar Congress as well. This is a Queens Park Swizzle. They were happy to accommodate off menu drinks too. Had tiki drinks and mugs.


 
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mikehooker
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jul 17, 2014
Posts: 238
From: Austin via Mai Kai town
Posted: 2015-03-29 2:45 pm   Permalink

I found myself in Houston twice in the past few weeks so took the opportunity to check out the Lei Low and must say I had a really nice time on both visits. While Isla has been getting some rave reviews from tikiphiles and the press, my one experience there was very poor and it appears they're having an identity crisis as first they declared they are not a tiki bar, but an "island" bar, then a couple weeks later claiming to be the only tiki bar in Austin. Besides the excellent rum selection which they inherited from my beloved Pleasant Storage Room (RIP), the cocktails and decor left a lot to be desired in my mind.

Lei Low on the other hand, nailed it. Tucked on the end of an unassuming little strip plaza about a mile off the highway, you walk into the quaint space and are immediately whisked away. The outside world is forgotten as tributes to tiki temples of the past adorn the walls and several carvings are scattered throughout with some so inconspicuously placed I didn't even noticed them til my second visit. Travis was the bartender both nights I went and he proved to be knowledgeable about tiki history and quite skilled at making drinks. No, not everything was perfection, but nothing was even close to bad, and some drinks were incredible.


Night 1

Barefoot in the Sand
This one was rich and delicious, like a painkiller in overdrive. Their tiki butter consists of brown sugar, ice cream, bacon fat and some other things.



B-26 Marauder
Perfectly spicy and a great color thanks to their fresh made hibiscus grenadine.



Mai Tai
I was reluctant to try this based on it being Hawaiian style and not Vic but Travis insisted I give it a shot to see how it stacks up. They ordinarily serve this on tap but he made me one from scratch. It was OK, nothing like what I make at home, but certainly looked nice.



He sent me home with one of their new mai tai glasses, a bunch of swizzles, stickers, and a menu.



Night 2

Brought a friend along. He was equally impressed with the decor and quality of the drinks. We had...

Zombie
Didn't blow me away. Kinda slushie-like and not very complex but not a bad drink at all.



Mexican Flying Circus
I'm not much of a tequila drinker but I really enjoyed the flavors of this one and recommended it to a stranger who was undecided on his next drink. He loved it.



Fire at Aku Aku
That house infused Jamaican jerk rum is somethin' else. This was my buddies drink so I only had a sip but remember it being minty and spicy which I like. Bonus points for being on fire.



Rum Barrel
They ordinarily serve this in a bowl but Travis reworked the proportions for a single serving. Honestly don't remember how this one was.




I should also add I let him know how fond I am of Luxardo cherries so he made a point to disperse them to me at regular intervals throughout night. Now that's service! I might be back next week to try more of the menu.


 
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davidphantomatic
Member

Joined: Aug 25, 2013
Posts: 4
From: San Antone
Posted: 2015-04-04 11:50 am   Permalink

Concrete Jungle in SATX opened a couple months back.
They're a self proclaimed tiki bar and while their menu doesn't immediately jump out as tiki, I'm holding judgement until I've actually been.


 
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Miss Hell
Tiki Centralite

Joined: Feb 02, 2012
Posts: 76
Posted: 9 days ago; 09:46 am   Permalink

We went to the Lonestar RoundUp out in Austin in April and the ONLY remotely tiki place we found was the Hula Hut. The drinks were good, but no mugs and really not that "tiki-esque" either. It was more like fishing-style. Whatever that means. There is a group on FB called Texas Tikiphiles, they are great on giving you local happenings around Texas. But from what I can tell, most of it is happening in Houston.

 
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Atomic Tiki Punk
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jul 19, 2009
Posts: 6611
From: Costa Misery
Posted: 9 days ago; 12:56 pm   Permalink

I hear "Twin Peaks" in Waco is pretty crazy.

[ This Message was edited by: Atomic Tiki Punk 2015-05-19 12:57 ]


 
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