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The Dispatch

The student news site of James Bowie High School

The Dispatch

The student news site of James Bowie High School

The Dispatch

Mental health awareness should be prioritized in all schools
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Hyped hybrid tavern thrills customers

A recent addition to Brodie Lane becomes the new hot spot for Shady Hollow residents
SITTING+AT+THE+COUNTER%3A+Customers+drink+their+cocktails+at+the+bar.+The+diner+offers+a+variety+of+seating+for+both+small+and+large+groups.
Claire Scott
SITTING AT THE COUNTER: Customers drink their cocktails at the bar. The diner offers a variety of seating for both small and large groups.

The bartender diligently mixes crystal clear ice into the stainless steel cocktail shaker, and while streams of warm sunlight sparkle through the wooden blinds, ceramic plates clink as customers puncture their food with their polished forks.

The Local is a diner-tavern hybrid restaurant that serves a wide array of popular, mouthwatering American and European-inspired dishes. This restaurant has everything, from captivating cottage pies to fabulous French toast, and even soothing strawberry salads; you’ll be sure to find at least one meal you’ll thoroughly enjoy.

Nate and Tiff Wales launched this remarkable restaurant in October of 2023. According to communityimpact.com, the couple created The Local with inspiration from their Welsh and English heritages. They wanted their restaurant to be a favorite dining spot, as well as a place to unwind.

The Local has become increasingly popular for their specialty cocktails and classic American and European-based sandwiches. This establishment is far from a chain restaurant, as its only location is at 9901 Brodie Lane.

This restaurant is a perfect place for the Bowie community to grab a bite to eat, whether that be after a long school day with friends or during the weekend with your family. The Local is a great study spot, as the seating is relatively comfortable, and the sound level has a similar decibel level to a bustling coffee shop. Not only is the Brodie Lane location just three minutes away from school, but it has also accumulated a four-out-of-five star rating on Google Reviews and Yelp. Because this restaurant was opened less than a year ago, many popular and reliable review pages have yet to do a proper analysis of the diner.

If you try out The Local, plan on bringing as many guests as you would like, because there is a wide arrangement of seating options, with several rows of leather booths and bar seats. Another thing to note is that The Local is surprisingly clean for how much seating the establishment provides, thanks to the diner’s stellar staff.

The outside design of the diner was nothing remarkable, as it looked like the rest of the buildings located on Brodie Lane. However, after walking into the establishment on a brisk Thursday night, I was immediately charmed by the interior design of The Local. Inside, you are met with columns of matte leather brown booths and emerald green walls that accent the wood counter tops.

Unlike other restaurants, it seems like the Wales put a lot of thought and care into the interior, which makes it even more worth a visit.

A NEW ADDITION: The Local has become the newest addition to Brodie Lane. The diner is located between JuiceLand and Oak Park Dental. (Claire Scott)

The Local offers brunch, lunch, and dinner menus; it’s worth mentioning that the lunch and dinner menus are similar, and the brunch menu is the only menu with different options. Although the restaurant doesn’t offer gluten-free or vegan food, they do serve a plethora of salads and bowls that you can remove the protein from.

It wasn’t easy to choose what dishes to try, but I settled on the Sweet Potato Hummus, the Cottage Pie, and the Grain Bowl.

Although I was hesitant to order Sweet Potato Hummus as my appetizer, I ended up thoroughly enjoying this unique dish. The hummus consists of chickpeas, roasted sweet potatoes, and olive oil, and is served with a side of toasted sliced pita bread. I loved how the earthiness of the chickpeas and the nuttiness of the sweet potatoes contrasted with each other to make the perfect flavor. The texture was perfect, as it wasn’t grimy from the blended chickpeas and effortlessly spread onto the pita bread.

I would rate this dish five-out-of-five stars, because the hummus is jam-packed with earthy flavors and the pita bread slices come out of the kitchen at the perfect temperature. For $14, the Sweet Potato Hummus is definitely worth it, and it can comfortably feed up to two people.

The bowl is made with quinoa, roasted brussel sprouts, cauliflower, spinach, mushrooms, and cilantro-lime aioli. This bowl is nothing like I’ve ever tasted, and I made the right decision ordering it. I enjoyed this dish for the cooked brussel sprouts, and the cilantro-lime aioli enhanced the refreshing flavor of the greens. Another aspect to note is that the dish’s presentation was done well and it made it look significantly more appetizing.

I typically don’t gravitate toward salads that have quinoa incorporated into them, but the texture of the quinoa grain and the crunch from the roasted brussel sprouts worked together perfectly.

I would rate the Grain Bowl five-out-of-five stars, and out of all the foods that I tried here, the Grain Bowl was by far my favorite. For the price of $14, I would absolutely order this dish again.

The last plate I ordered was the Cottage Pie. This entree is made with curried sweet potato, braised beef, carrots, and peas. I assumed that this dish would be similar to a pot pie, but I was wrong. The braised beef under the layer of curried sweet potato tasted very rich and was filling. However, the curried sweet potato layer didn’t have any taste to it, and had a similar texture to mashed potatoes.

Although I wasn’t a fan of the mushy texture, the rich beef flavor pleasantly surprised me.

I would rate this dish a three-out-of-five stars because, although the sweet potatoes had no flavor, the taste of the beef effortlessly contrasted with the freshness of the peas and carrots. For $18, I wouldn’t buy this entree again due to the lack of sweet potato flavor and mushy texture.

When it comes to American-style diners in Austin, competitive is an understatement. Just minutes away from The Local are popular and well-loved restaurants, like Galaxy Cafe, Oasthouse Kitchen and Bar, and Evangeline Cafe. All of these restaurants serve the same genre of food and have little-to-no distinction between their menu items.

The Local dominates all of the diners between Slaughter and Brodie. Although most of the restaurant’s dishes can be found just about anywhere else in the Austin area, there are some unique bites that I haven’t discovered anywhere else, such as The Local’s Hatch Mac Bites, Sweet Potato Hummus, and Strawberry Salad.

I recommend you visit The Local. The menu has delicious hidden gems that you can’t find anywhere else, the staff goes above and beyond for their customers, and the restaurant creates a comforting ambiance and unique experience for customers of all ages.

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