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Fearless Critic restaurant review
Austin
Food
Feel
Price
7.2
4.5
$10
Southern, Burgers
Counter service

Hours
Daily 6:00am–8:00pm

Features Kid-friendly
Bar None
Credit cards Visa, MC, AmEx

www.stalliongrill.com

Highland Mall
5201 Airport Blvd.
(866) 435-1184
Stallion Grill
Stick to the soul food steam-table for the best of this longtime dark horse

You’ve driven past it a hundred times on Airport and probably thought it closed sometime in the ’80s, when black-tinted windows and the splashy rearing stallion logo would have been cool. But not only is it open (under new ownership since about early 2010), there’s some right proper soul food in here. You’ll have to avert your eyes from the filthy floor, the unwiped tables,—the sort with their vinyl tablecloths stapled to them—and the crumbs in the self-service silverware cubbies. But seeing as how Travis County employees lunch fearlessly here throughout the week, you’re probably good to go.

The key to success is to ignore the sign: barbecue is so-so at best (a chopped beef sandwich is best, if you insist) and the flame-broiled burger is cardboardy and bears little resemblance to beef or flame. Do come for cheap greasy-spoon breakfasts and, most of all, the steam-table Southern. Collards are stewed with tomatoes and dried pork aren’t watery in the least; sweet potatoes are unapologetically saccharine and gelatinous, as if from the can; Yankee-style cornbread is crumbly and sweet. But the Wednesday meatloaf special is great and juicy, with not-too-salty gravy. Although fried catfish tastes mushy and muddy, the chicken dumplings, peach cobbler, black-eyed peas, cabbage, and mashed potatoes are totally passable—and cheap. You can even call ahead and pick it up in the drive-thru.

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