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Michael Barnes

Order a double dose of Mattie’s at Green Pastures

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Matthew Odam just released his review of Mattie’s at Green Pastures, giving it a rating of 8 out of 10. He opens with a moving personal story about the slow decline of the previous restaurant before praising the current one.

Two excerpts:

“Things fall apart. But, if you’re lucky, they can be remade into something even greater. And if you’re really lucky, they do so under the animating force of developer Greg Porter and Jeff Trigger of La Corsha Hospitality Group, who acquired the Green Pastures property in 2015.”

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Mattie’s at Green Pastures. Ralph Barrera/AMERICAN-STATESMAN

“Yes, the birds are still there,” Odam continues. “And so is the milk punch. And it’s even punchier now. Crafted by La Corsha Hospitality Group beverage director Jason Stevens, the petite glass packs a wallop of aged bourbon, cognac and Jamaican rum, sloshing beneath a hood of nutmeg-dusted vanilla cream. The 1965 Milk Punch ($6) made me wobblier than my dad that night a few years ago and would’ve been lovely enough to dip my fluffy brioche French toast ($15) in if the candied-pecan-flecked triangles hadn’t come with their own powerful bourbon-maple syrup.”

As you know, the old house and former farm are crammed with history. Here’s my look back at Green Pastures, published a few months ago. Includes a video.

An excerpt:

Martha Koock Ward remembers the yeast rolls. “Rising, baking, baked and blanketed in a linen napkin lining a basket, revealed, ready for sweet cream butter,” says the Austinite who grew up in her mother’s childhood home, which Mary Faulk Koock turned into the hospitality legend Green Pastures. “The earthy smell of these rolls added another layer of satisfaction to a carefully prepared meal. And if all went well, I’d get a hot roll and homemade peach preserves for the best dessert ever.”

“She and other family members knew well that customers and guests came first at the South Austin eatery spread out over a Victorian farmhouse. “I often heard the words, ‘Don’t eat those!’” Ward recalls. “‘They’re counted!’”

“The unbroken spell of this oasis — it has served diners for more than 70 years — resonates in its name. Green Pastures sounds like a sweet, soothing, sacred place, something out of Psalms.”