Friday night dinner out is becoming a tradition for Sophie and me. With the beautiful spring weather we are seeking out patios to enjoy before the summer heat blankets San Antonio. I had heard good things about Auden's Kitchen on the Twitter recently, and was additionally motivated by the happy hour offerings. With Auden's Kitchen, chef/owner Bruce Auden (of the Riverwalk's Biga on the Banks fame), has achieved his goal of creating a dining destination for locals.
Blueberry mojito: putting the happy in happy hour. Five dolla, no holla! There was a nice selection of wines by the glass for $4 and April is margarita madness month including a cucumber margarita that sounded intriguing--maybe next time. The service was excellent, and our waiter made sure that Sophie's Dr. Pepper was refilled without her having to request it.
From the patio happy hour menu: garlic parmesan fries. The aroma of garlic wafted invitingly as the waiter put these on the table. As you can see, they looked crisp and tantalizing. Unfortunately, they were woefully under seasoned and required quite a bit of salting. Disappointingly uncrispy. The ketchup was strangely sweet and thin--possibly with apple sauce. It didn't cling to the fries and I gave up after a couple.
Sophie's pizza on the other hand was outstanding and a huge bargain at $6. She picked off all the tomatoes and gave them to me. They were nicely carmelized, perhaps having been roasted with some balsamic prior to their application the the pizza. The crust was thin and crispy/chewy, and I would not hesistate to order pizza the next time I go.
My main dish was pan seared salmon with smoky tomato butter, arugula and fennel salad and feta polenta cake. Excellent. The smoke really came through in the sauce but not overpoweringly so. The salmon was a generous portion and properly cooked. Soft but not raw in the center, it melted in the mouth. I was finished in an embarrassingly short period of time.
Sophie left half of her pizza on the table in order to make sure she had room for dessert. I chose the Earl Grey creme brulee. It was smooth and creamy with a nicely carmelized topping but could have been Earl Greyer and less sweet.
Sophie's lemon bar did not suffer from the same heavy hand with the sugar and was tart and bright. She ate so much she had to lay down on the way home.
Seek out this gem, tucked away in Stone Oak, and like our waiter encouraged us, enjoy and stay as long as you like. Thanks Chef Auden for thinking about us folks up here on the north side!