West 6th Street is where I ventured to senior year of college and my early twenties when I’d come back to visit from NYC (before the east side grew and planted all the cool bars). Never did I think this area would be a destination I’d go for lunch or dinner. Walton’s has pretty good sandwiches and salads and Whole Foods isn’t too far either. When Holy Roller opened from a well-known pastry chef Callie Speer who worked at several restaurants around town, so the community was extremely excited when she was planning to open her own female-run, punk rock diner. If you think punk rock is taken lightly here, think again. It’s loud, it’s grungy, there is a neon sign that says “Girls, Girls, Girls” in pink, red, purple hughes. There’s even a pair of roller skates tied up on the wall to transport you to a ladies roller derby event (yes, they do exist in Austin!) and a neon crown lit up by the bar. This restaurant screams girl power without pushing away the boys, and fits right into the culture on West 6th. The menu isn’t too serious and you can tell Callie just wants to have fun and create food (with REALLY good bread and pastries) in a casual atmosphere where silver trays and plates with brown paper covering them are A-OK.
Now where to start: this menu serves brunch all day, so if you are in the mood for pancakes or eggs, your tastebuds are welcome here. At night, however, there are blue plate specials that you might not want to miss. Skillet enchiladas, Chicken Pot Pie, Pork Chop are all part of the 4 p.m. and after gang, and the Hot Brick Chicken with grilled green beans and a spicy maple glaze is the wining ticket! Tender chicken with a little sweetness and those crips green beans are the perfect American dinner. However, you probably came here for the crazy dishes that you can’t get anywhere else like the Brisket Fries with Stiles Switch Brisket, Queso, Sour Cream, Jalapeno, Diced onion; Migas Kolache with Queso, Crispy Potatoes, Jalapeno, Cilantro; or the YELLOW CAKE Pancakes (vegan and gluten free available) which doesn’t stop at the pancakes because you can add soft serve, cookies and cream, or even fried chicken and sriracha butter. Unfortunately, when we went for dinner, they were out of the pancakes. LUCY ( my 5 year old friend and daughter of Kathleen Pieratt who is a great photographer) ALMOST LOST HER MARBLES when she heard the news, but it wasn’t anything a CHURRO TACO AND SOFT SERVE couldn’t fix.
Back to the mains. Besides the chicken, I loved the Grilled Cheesus on buttered toast (this toast was the main event!), american, mozzarella, cheddar, tomato jam and avocado. I’ve never had a grilled cheese with avocado and this additional texture made it all the better. I probably could have added more tomato jam but decided to save the sweetness for the soft serve. This bread is incredible as it should be with a pastry chef in charge of the kitchen! The Green Goddess Salad with Romaine, Roasted Corn Relish, Cotija, Radish, Crunchy Cheese is a great light option for lunch. If only the Everything English Muffin egg sandwich was still on the menu….now THAT was the best english muffin that has ever kissed my lips.
Anyway, on to desserts. The Choco Taco wins in my book. You can tell it’s super homemade and the waffle taco has cinnamon dust on it. The soft serve of the day was hibiscus and chocolate pecan and it somehow worked. Love the hardened chocolate they sprinkled on top, too. OH, and it comes with a side dish of crumbled sugar cookie. YES! Also, get the fries and soft serve, because it’s fries and soft serve and if you didn’t do this as a kid at McDonald’s then you’re in for a real treat!
Overall, Holy Roller, is a great spot for big groups, especially bachelor/bachelorette parties on the weekend who want to get rowdy and bar hop. It’s a nice easy dinner spot that won’t be too crowded, acceptable for kids even, and a downtown restaurant that won’t let you down.