Central 214 has rolled out its new summer menu. And, as chef Blythe Beck explains, "It tastes like Texas. I'm all about it. I love it." The menu keeps some 214 faves, like Beck's signature chicken and waffles (spicy fried chicken and buttered waffle with jalapeño gravy, $28).
But it also rolls out a number of new dishes likely to be added to the faves list, including barbecued short rib sliders (with cabbage slaw and queso fresco, $15) and crab and roasted corn fondue (lump crab and roasted corn with Oaxaca cheese $17). The former has tiny veggies on top that are pickled in the kitchen.
And Beck has added grilled pizza to the appetizer menu as well, one with beef pepperoni, port salut and basil ($13) and the other with prosciutto, goat cheese and candied peach slices ($13). "We make the dough ourselves and grill it," Beck says. "We also make the tortillas to order for the fondue." The peaches are fresh, and 214 candies them in-house.
The sugar and spice salad (with butter lettuce, aged white cheddar, gingerbread croutons and caramelized apple dressing, $10) is new too. And, of course, the greens are local and the croutons and dressing are homemade. The combo of sweet and salty is a Beck signature.
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Also new to the menu are the fried green tomatoes (with burrata cheese and lavender basil chimichurri, $18) which are crispy and fresh and delicious. But the true rock star of the new menu is pan seared Texas redfish (with Texas shrimp cocktail and avocado, $29). "The red fish is local," Beck explains. "So are the green tomatoes, the cheese, the honey. Even the okra is local. This state does summer so well."
The dessert menu has a few surprises too, including upside down peach rum cake, the dirty Dr Pepper shake (made from Dublin Dr Pepper, with the real cane sugar, and homemade amaretto ice cream), and the So Co soaked cherries. Luckily Beck's banana pudding (with whipped cream and vanilla wafers soaked in Maker's Mark bourbon, $9) is still on the menu too. It comes in a wide-mouthed mason jar and chances are very good that you'll be doing whatever gymnastics it takes to scrape out every last bit.
This summer's menu, Beck says, is "All about fresh and local. That's it. That's what we do."