Austin’s East Side has done it again.
Update: This review was written before the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Drop Kick is now closed but offering online ordering.
Whether you are looking for a happy hour, a casual dinner out, a place to watch a game, or a nightcap, Drop Kick has you covered with its unique and ethnic menu, which blends different cultures and American food together.
A 12-year food veteran, Chef Francisco Baca handcrafted the menu with his influences from living and studying in both San Francisco and Manhattan. A variety of full-flavored snacks, small and big bites, and desserts are on Drop Kick’s menu, including some refreshing and unique cocktails.
My dining companion and I tried the Elephants on Parade and Purple Juice cocktails. Pretty drinks are some of my favorite and these didn’t disappoint. Made with Solerno, Elephants on Parade has seasonal berries buried at the bottom of ice, which surface as you drink. Decked with a beautiful flower on top, Purple Juice is made of Hendrick’s gin, elderflower and blackberry.
For appetizers, we tried the Kimchi Queso, which is served with breaded pretzel sticks and house pickles. The Smoked Salmon Sour Cream Dip was also delicious. Garnished with trout roe, pickled red onions, and capers, the dip is a different take on a smoked salmon lox bagel, and it was the perfect way to start our meal.
My dining companion loved the Chicken Liver Pate. Unlike most pates, which are simply savory, this pate has a sweet side to it, served with strawberry jam and candied pecans on Texas toast.
Drop Kick definitely won me over with its “Wooo” Burger. (See the photo at the top of this article.) Smoked Gouda, an onion bun from a bakery in Houston, dill pickles and Drop Kick’s secret slaw help put a unique twist on this salty and savory burger. Turns out, the burger’s secret slaw is made with whole romaine lettuce, which helps keep everything from falling apart.
If you’re in the mood for something savory – but not necessarily wanting a full meal – I’d recommend Drop Kick’s Chicken Slider or the Hot and Sweet Chicken Wings. Alabama sauce, B&B pickles, and a challah dinner roll, make the slider a fun snack. The chicken wings are a crispy, spicy and delicious addition to the menu.
With something for everyone, rich flavors are the key component seen throughout the menu. Whether it’s Texas zing, Korean spice, or a unique take on a French dish, Chef Baca wanted to give street food a little bit of his own personality.
“I interpret the food my own way, and I really want to remind people of the flavors when they’re eating something,” said Baca, a native of El Paso. “The US is a melting pot. In creating American bar food, there’s really no limitations.”
Of course, no meal is complete without dessert … and we tried both of Drop Kick’s current dessert offerings. As our server put it, no one should leave the restaurant without trying the PB&J Donut. Topped with salted peanut crumbles and grape jam, this donut is served warm, and made to order. For a saltier dessert, try the Mezcal Pudding. Smoked salt, orange zest and chocolate ganache help make this dessert both smoky, salty and crunchy, yet also smooth.
Cover photo Julia Keim
Britni Rachal lives in Austin, Texas. She is a freelance journalist and a full-time marketer within the automotive industry. In addition to writing, Rachal enjoys traveling, event planning, fashion, fitness and serving the Austin community.