|301 San Jacinto Blvd.
Austin, TX 78701
It’s somehow appropriate that the first thing that catches your eye when you enter the new Vince Young Steakhouse at 3rd and San Jacinto is a giant replica of Bevo, embossed with hundreds of copper plated coins, standing underneath a large picture of #10 in your hearts and programs. Another sports celebrity restaurant, you say? Yes indeed. But there’s a difference. Unlike so many others of its ilk around the country, this one works!
Young has partnered with husband and wife team, and family friends, Phillip and Laura Brown to author a very comfortable and serviceable steakhouse. That’s a tough order in a downtown that already has its fair share of competing upscale steak emporia. But this place works on many levels. Let’s begin with the appetizers. I really enjoy the Charcuterie Platter. Taken from the Italian for “cooked meat,” the VY version comprised rabbit pate, a savory house-made sausage and Duck Prosciutto along with spicy mustard. It changes every week and I’ve enjoyed it both times. The Calamari is another wise selection. Crispy and with a great texture, it crackles with flavor in the warm glow of a red pepper aioli. And don’t overlook the Pork Belly. As it should at its best, this dish epitomizes wonderfully subtle taste with each effortless bite. This one is seriously good.
The steaks at Vince Young are as advertised: prime and primal. Serious flavors here. Let’s start with the 16 oz. Prime Rib Eye. This is an offering to the steak deities that leaves the diner uncompromisingly satisfied. Beautifully marbled and laden with flavor, medium-rare-plus gets it done nicely. The Prime Porterhouse is 22oz. of grilled delight and goes down very easily for a piece of meat with that kind of ballast. And that’s the secret when the Porterhouse is correctly cooked. The 16oz NY Wagyu Strip from Strube Ranch in Pittsburgh, TX (near Tyler) is as tasty as they come. While Wagyu in Japanese literally means “all cows,” this Kobe beef is very much American and is raised according to strict Japanese tradition. I.e., they give the cows beer and daily massages. And the result is a killer strip at Vince Young.
There are many other entrees beyond the classic streaks at Vince Young that are worthy of mention. I really enjoy the Braised Short Ribs. This dish is served over goat cheese grit cakes and braised greens. In short, all the components melt together into one serious taste blast. And the texture of the ribs is incomparable. The Pork Chop is another study in good taste. The meat is cooked to the point where the ultimate measure of flavor is coaxed out of each bite. The sweet potato mash and haricot verts complete the plate with style. The Pan Seared Scallops have benefited from some serious creative contemplation from Chef Brown. The arugula and fennel salad along with a roasted cauliflower purée set the scallops up perfectly. I would like to see them a bit larger but the taste is authoritative.
The raspberry sorbet is a perfectly smooth way to close a meal at Vince Young Steakhouse. And on the way out, make an offering to Bevo for the Horns’ upcoming football season. They don’t have Vince anymore. But this steakhouse sure does.