Jack Allen’s Kitchen- Twisted Cobb Salad and Country Club Fancy Chicken Salad | December 10, 2012

Twisted Cobb Salad

Twisted Cobb Salad

Country Club Fancy Chicken Salad

Country Club Fancy Chicken Salad

Jack Gilmore is the chef/partner with Tom Kamm behind Jack Allen’s Kitchen which describes itself as “local in source, Texan in spirit.” Jack is the former chef of the popular Z Tejas restaurant in Austin. When he decided to open his own restaurant, he planned a menu that would be a crossroads between Southern American cuisine and Southwestern cuisine which you see in the decor and the food. The pendant lights in the entry are made to look like  mason jars and when your waiter comes to take your drink orders, he brings a small plate of pimento cheese with flatbread crackers instead of the ubiquitous chips and salsa.   Part of our game plan was to wait until after 2 PM to eat because we were there for the salad and between 10 and 2 on Sunday, you have to eat from the buffet. In fact, we got there slightly before 2 and were directed to the bar to wait until 2 when the kitchen would be taking orders from the menu.

My friend and I sat out on the porch since we are having summer for Christmas this year in central Texas. There is supposed to be a cold front coming in tonight and I have never been so ready for one. The only annoyance was a bee that kept trying to go for our food but our waiter kindly brought out a glass with some lemonade in it and sat it away from us to distract the bee.

I ordered the Twisted Cobb salad, $10.99, which was large and filling. It came with grilled achiote chicken, roasted corn, grape tomatoes, cotija cheese, ranch vinaigrette and homemade corn nuts. I like the way they toss the salad in the kitchen instead of sending the dressing out on the side of the plate as some restaurants do. This salad was just to my liking. My friend said her country club fancy chicken salad was a bit too sweet for her but she was able to eat it all. I sampled it and I know what she meant. The thinly sliced pear, the fig, the candied walnuts and most likely, some sugar in the vinaigrette combined to make a savory but sweet salad. The bleu cheese was a nice contrast.

I decided to have a beer from their extensive bar menu so I had the Fireman’s #4 pale ale. I was delighted when the waiter came back with my beer and had brought a sample of one of the other draft beers for us to try, a darker Thirsty Goat amber. It’s a good way to make repeat customers because now I want to go back to have that other beer again. I ordered a hamburger to take home with me, the Killer Cheeseburger, which is huge and comes in at $9.99. Even though I peeled most of the bread off, I could still tell that the bread was a sweet variety like Hawaiian bread is sweet. The meat was cooked to preference, which I asked for medium-well and I thought it was more pink than that, it was really, really good. That one came with Swiss cheese and Russian dressing, tomato and iceberg lettuce. My total bill came to $30 but I got two meals and a beer out of it. Good food, good company and excellent service.  It was all very good and I will be back many, many times.


Twisted Cobb Salad


Country Club Fancy Chicken Salad


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