There is a sweeter smell wafting down the alleyways of Dirty Sixth. The aroma is sweet enough to tempt the most finicky of eaters, and may even make established Austinites question their preconceived notions about our city’s most notorious street.
While 6th Street’s strongest associations may be cheap liquor and cover bands, hidden restaurant gems have been here for years. A more recent addition to the list is Easy Tiger, a somewhat unexpected mix between bakery and bar that has quickly become a local favorite.
Tucked away at the far end of Dirty Sixth, just a block away from I-35, Easy Tiger spreads out over two levels of a lovely, spacious warehouse. The iconic tiger bloom is featured on walls and doors making it easy to find. If you still need extra directions, as a wise bird once said: “follow your nose.” The steady supply of pretzels, bread, and danishes being produced within the upstairs bakery sends a seductive scent down the street.
Once inside, the yummy smells are actualized through the goods available at the bakery counter. The building is open, with the feeling of authentic age that only time can grant, yet it has a clean and fresh aura so desired in food service.
In the morning, only the bakery is open. This is where lost tourists or members of the local workforce can grab a coffee and treat before work.
After 11 AM, the downstairs is open as well. This is where the beer lives (and wine, and cider, and spirits) – and most patrons are lured in by the beer. The draft list at Easy Tiger is comprehensive, and built on the backs of local breweries. There are over thirty beers on draft at any time, and from what I can tell the staff here has tried them all. It is difficult to catch a bartender by surprise, and they are always ready with a specialized recommendation based on your personal taste preferences.
Speaking of personal taste, let’s talk sausage. Somewhere in the extensive bakery upstairs, the kitchen witches at Easy Tiger manage to craft some amazing house links in some very special savory flavors. My current favorite is the duck, which arrived with an accompaniment of onion marmalade and disappeared very quickly.
The waitress also seemed to know a lot about the foodstuffs, and managed to remain patiently happy, even when faced with my allergy-ridden companion. He couldn’t eat the amazing pretzel and beer cheese, but I didn’t need any help.
With such tempting fare, Easy Tiger is often packed, even for lunch, but there is plenty of room to spread out. Emphasizing the Oktoberfest-style menu, the dining area is doubled with the inclusion of a covered patio. There are large picnic tables wherever space will allow, encouraging diners to squeeze in and make room for more. So sit down, and have another pint.
Have you been to Easy Tiger before? Share your experience below!
As almost always, photos provided by Trevor Yopp.