Whether you’re taken or single, if you’re looking for something to do in Austin this Valentine’s Day, Punch Bowl Social has you covered with its newest location.
The fun eatery on Congress Avenue offers ping pong, darts, karaoke rooms, vintage arcade, board games and bowling. It’s located in the historic Scarborough building, at Sixth and Congress, making it a perfect stop for dinner and drinks.
For February, in true Valentine’s fashion, Punch Bowl Social is offering a signature punch, Shot Through the Heart. Now, if you’re like me, the name might make you immediately think, “You give love a bad name!” Turns out, this rosy-hued punch, made with Teakoe pear tea, Old Forester bourbon and more, is perfect to celebrate the season of pink and hearts, regardless of how you feel about Valentine’s Day.
Can’t make it this month? No worries: Punch Bowl Social introduces a limited edition signature punch each month, and I can tell you, the punches do not disappoint. One of my favorite punches on the year-round menu is the Will Conga Line for Rum. Made of a Bacardi reserva ocho rum, RumHaven coconut rum, Teakoe’s pomegranate green tea, Monin orgeat syrup and fresh lime juice, this detailed concoction gives an adult twist to a childhood favorite. It tastes like a spiked fruit punch!
Alcohol aside, some of the best things about Punch Bowl Social are its mocktails. Perfect for pregnant friends or anyone who doesn’t want to drink, the mocktails are elaborate and less sugary than your traditional Shirley Temple-style drinks. Palm Tree Shade is a refreshing choice. Pineapple and tropical spice-infused coconut water, mint syrup, fresh lemon juice and aquafaba give this thirst-quenching drink a clean taste.
If you order food at the diner area (which slightly resembles an old diner, with a contemporary Austin twist), you’ll receive a complimentary order of biscuits with raspberry jalapeno jam. The perfect treat to nibble as you wait for your meal, you also won’t find a shortage of variety on Punch Bowl Social’s full menu. Daily specials, including an adult grilled cheese that rotates on and off the menu, are accompanied by traditional menu items.
Our friendly and personable server, Mo, recommended the Five Layer Beef Brisket Chili, and it did not disappoint! Slow roasted brisket, Monterey jack cheese, avocado, Roma tomatoes, pickled jalapenos and corn tortilla chips – all served in a piping hot skillet, make this a one-of-a-kind savory dish.
My dining companion, who is on a gluten-free diet, tried the Cocoa Dusted Pork Carnitas, which have a rich taste. Covered in salsa adobo, crema, radish, queso cotija, yellow onions, cilantro and a soft corn tortilla, the hint of a cocoa powder puts a new twist on “Taco Tuesday.”
To cap off the evening, dessert was a must. The salted caramel cheesecake provided just the right taste of sweet. Covered – not just drizzled – in caramel, the cake includes large chunks of caramel swirl, all on top of a delicious graham cracker crust.
The downtown location is Punch Bowl Social’s second Austin location. Currently, Dallas is the only other Texas city with a Punch Bowl Social location. You can make a reservation online for both Austin and Dallas locations.
Cover: Punch Bowl Social’s Shot Through the Heart signature punch. Courtesy photo