Austin is well-known for its vibrant and diverse food and drink scene, and locals and visitors alike are quite familiar with many of Austin’s favorite bars and restaurants. However, few people know that many of these spots also have well-established “secret menus,” with some incredibly unique and exciting selections that you absolutely have to try!
Torchy’s Tacos – Jack of Clubs Taco
Torchy’s is arguably Austin’s most popular taco chain, but not many people know that they boast an entire secret menu with several different taco creations to expand their already impressive lineup. While they all bring something special to the table, my personal favorite (and sworn hangover cure) is the Jack of Clubs. This vegetarian taco comes on a flour tortilla and has roasted potatoes, black beans, crispy tortilla strips, cheese, and is topped with a fried egg, sour cream, and diablo sauce. It’s spicy, it’s flavorful, and remember when I said fried egg? Add this to your next order. You won’t be sorry.
Thundercloud Subs – The Big Paul
With almost 30 locations in Central Texas, I’d be willing to bet that you’ve been at a Thundercloud, or had it catered at an event, at least once in your time here. But one thing you likely haven’t seen on their menu is The Big Paul – an impressively giant 1 pound sub made with ham, turkey, salami, pastrami, pepperoncinis, black olives, and three different cheeses – plus whatever extras you choose to add on!
Kerby Lane Café – Carl’s Breakfast
Kerby Lane is an Austin institution, and over its 35 years in the city, some menu items have, understandably, been phased out. While this is sad news to many who have frequented the establishment over the years, the good news is that you can get many of their old menu items on request! One of the most popular of these is Carl’s Breakfast – an all-natural egg (and meat if you want it) sandwich served with sides.
Vince Young Steakhouse – Red Wine Shake
STAY WITH ME HERE. There’s a good chance that I lost you at “wine shake,” let alone “red wine shake,” but this off menu dessert is shockingly delicious and really refreshing! Made with house-made vanilla ice cream, Cabernet Sauvignon, and on occasion, house-made chocolate sauce, this dessert is at least worth trying once just to say you did it…and maybe twice because you love it!
Péché – Devil’s Cocktail
This secret menu item is so secret that we don’t even know what all goes into it! Péché’s charming atmosphere will definitely get you in the door, and this boozy concoction will knock you down if you’re not careful (go order a Jack of Clubs if you have a bad night with this drink). Made with limoncello, gin, and a bunch of other stuff they won’t tell you, the mysteriousness of the ingredients only add to the off-menu thrill you get ordering this cocktail.
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