First Look: Haymaker

East Austin isn’t exactly known as a sports bar mecca, but Haymaker, the newly opened Manor Road bar/restaurant from the Black Sheep Lodge family, has quickly filled that void since opening in early fall. And, with plenty of beers, hearty eats, and a relaxed, friendly atmosphere, Haymaker is the type of place even those with an allergy to ESPN can appreciate.

Pretzel Bites

Pretzel Bites

Because one should never be forced to watch football sans beer, Haymaker’s lengthy list of beer options includes everything from popular domestics to cult craft favorites. Though beer prices are on the mid to higher end of the spectrum, there are various daily happy hour specials available. For the non-beer drinker, Haymaker offers a number of specialty cocktails as well.

 Legendary comfort eats from around the country inspire much of Haymaker’s menu. The Louisville Slugger Big and Burly sandwich, for example, is representative of he famed Benedictine BLT from The Cheddar Box in Louisville, KY. Haymaker’s version of the notoriously gluttonous sandwich features layers of roasted turkey and bacon piled high on top of a thick slice of buttery Texas toast and smothered with a creamy gruyere cheese sauce. Topped off with beef tomato slices and a hearty sprinkle of shredded parmesan, it’s a gutcheck of a dish, but seriously worth every calorie.

Louisville Slugger w/no tomatoes

Louisville Slugger w/no tomatoes

 Though the Black Sheep Lodge may hold a spot on Texas Monthly’s Top 50 burger list, its new brother restaurant may just give it a run for its money in the burger department, as exemplified by a delicious patty melt burger. A juicy beef patty sandwiched between two slices of slightly sweet, well-buttered toast and topped with grilled onions, melted cheese, and pickles, the patty melt was exactly as it should be.

Patty Melt

Patty Melt

 Naturally, a fried egg can be added to almost anything on the menu, just in case the double cheese and bacon aren’t enough. In my case, I made the California (it has avocados) BLT an ELT. Paired with a cold Heffenweizn, it made for a simple, filling brunch sammy that kept me full well into dinner.

BLT CA w/Fried Egg

BLT CA w/Fried Egg

With Haymaker’s other dishes including such options as southern style poutine, deep fried pimento sandwich bites, and ‘Midwestern fare food’-inspired sausage dogs, a post-meal food coma is almost guaranteed. While lighter menu items such as salads and veggie burgers do actually exist on Haymaker’s menu, one might as well do as the Romans do right?

Haymaker Austin

Haymaker Austin

 

Whereas Black Sheep Lodge’s mancave-esque interior of minimal windows and dark interior make reentering daylight a tough pill to swallow, Haymaker’s space is much brighter with plenty of natural light. There a flat screen TVs lining every wall in the bar, meaning for sports lovers, there is a hardly a bad seat in the house. For those needing a game time diversion, there are bar games such as shuffleboard and darts in the backroom. While outdoor seating is minimal for now, finishing touches are being put on what will become an expansive patio in the front.

Haymaker is located at 2310 Manor Road, Austin, TX 78722. Open daily for lunch and dinner.

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