Full Disclosure: We attended a complimentary tasting at Marker 10. All opinions are our own.
Like many of the great cities of the world, Austin rests on the banks of a beautiful river (alright, they call it a lake here, but that’s a whole other blog post). The Colorado River meanders easterly to the pleasure of those paddleboarding, kayaking, or cruising along the trail lining its beautiful banks.
But do you know what all those other cities have that Austin doesn’t have? A bitchin’ place to eat and drink while watching couples on first dates awkwardly navigate giant swan paddle boats upstream! Well, it turns out, there is such a place and it’s been right under our collective noses the entire time.
We suspiciously accepted a media invitation to sample the new menu and ambiance of Marker 10 – the Hyatt’s restaurant overlooking Lady Bird Lake near South First Street. Expecting fare meant to satiate sedentary vacationers from the Midwest, we found a real restaurant hiding right under our noses. Like a sleepy giant, the airy, unassuming restaurant at the Hyatt–nestled between bats, Barton Springs, and the Hike & Bike–has been busying itself creating a dining and drinking experience rivaling Austin’s better-known local eateries.
Marker 10 has thrown off the restraints of their corporate-overlords’ standard cocktail and beer menu and replaced it with one better suited to the evolving palates of the locals. Now we feel at home sipping on local draft beers and chowing down on some favorite Tejas comfort foods like yummy mac and cheese, and well, meats.
Don’t be fooled by their unassuming menu – for example, the charcuterie is listed as simply Texas Meat and Cheese, but it encompasses such interesting delights as a smoky/gamey buffalo jerky, and seasonal pâté. Here are some of the high and low notes:
Marker 10 Highlights:
- Texas Meat & Cheese (read: charcuterie) – our platter had coconut gouda, cypress lamb chopper, bison jerky, pork and chicken pâté with mushroom, spicy borsellino, and black truffle salami, though we’re told items rotate in and out
- The Buffalo Mac and Cheese with Buffalo Cheddar and Blue Cheese crust – which smells just like bacon, yummy!
- Lamb Burger – one of the few I’ve had that tastes like lamb but eats like a burger
- Blistered Shishito Peppers – sweet, simple and goes great with a cocktail on the veranda
Food Banjo’s Favorite Cocktails:
- Honey & Jam: gin, four-fruits jam, honey and simple syrup – great for cooling down on any of Austin’s 300 days of summer
- Grapefruit Julep: ruby red vodka, mint, soda, lemon and pomegranate juice – what can we say? We love us some pink drinks
- B.A.M. – The Manhattan that is barrel-aged in-house making for some nice depth and slow sipping
- Not so great: the Strawberry Margarita – the only pink drink we didn’t care for (tasted of sweet and sour mix) we recommend just about everything else though
If you’re like us and have overlooked Marker 10, we’d recommend stopping by while you’re walking the Hike & Bike trail, or if you’re driving by, take advantage of their validated garage parking.