Please excuse me a moment while I brush the cobwebs off of my keyboard. It’s been such a long time, I feel like a public speaker stuck in an awkward pause with that deer-in-the-headlights look…
Whew..glad that’s over. A little while back, MJ and I had the privilege of attending a menu tasting at Finn & Porter. During our meal, we got to chat with Executive Chef Peter Maffei and just had to ask him, “Where in town do you like to eat?” Making his short list was Round Rock’s own Deckhand Oyster Bar.
We’d seen the restaurant in passing on a number of occasions (frankly, it’s quite hard to miss thanks to the uniquely orange facade), but never took the time to stop in until just recently. Although the interior was a little worn, we enjoyed the comfortable, neighborhood bar feel. As we settled into our booth, we couldn’t help but overhear the praises of past experiences and the buzz of excitement for orders to come. Oysters on the half shell, broiled snapper, fried catfish we expected. However, we were quite intrigued when we also saw the likes of boudin, shrimp satay, and grilled boar on the menu. We decided to save oysters for another occasion and ordered the Longhorn Stuffed Catfish (13 oz. catfish filet stuffed with pico de gallo, crab meat & chopped bacon, served with seasonal vegetables and toast – I may have been influenced by the name just a tad), Drunken Sailor (an assortment of seafood sautéed in a Deckhand special sauce), and Tom Yum Seafood Soup (Thai flavored seafood broth with shrimp, black mussels and fish).
Distinctly Thai in flavor, this was hands-down my favorite dish of the meal. It came out steaming hot, and the aroma had my mouth watering. Beautifully herbaceous and with a nice bit of heat, they advertised this as “The Natural Hangover Remedy.” Hmm…good to know ;).
If you get the opportunity to make it out to the Deckhand, be sure to bring your appetite. The portions are plentiful! The Drunken Sailor was filled with big scallop pieces and perfectly accented with Thai basil.
I honestly had no idea how to tackle the meal. Focus on one dish and sample the others? Rotate through them equally? I threw caution to the wind and just added everything to the same bowl. It was wonderful!
We tried to summon the competitive eater spirit in both of us but still had to walk out of there with leftovers. We had been so engrossed in our meal that we didn’t realize the frenzy of activity that had developed. To make way for patiently waiting patrons, we took care of our check, thanked our super sweet server, CeCe, and headed out to enjoy the day ahead.
Deckhand Oyster Bar is located at 500 Parker Dr, Austin TX 78728