Brunch is one of the best things about winding down for the weekend, especially when you’ve had a hell of a week. Callie Speer knows this and has upped the ante in the restaurant scene with her new venture, Holy Roller.
Why wait for weekend brunch when you can have it every day? After working her way through Austin at big name eateries such as Swift’s Attic and Geraldine’s, Speer opened Holy Roller earlier this year to much anticipation from brunch-loving Austinites.
Unapologetically Speer’s Vision
When you walk into Holy Roller, there’s no question it’s a different take on what you’d normally expect in the West Sixth district. Speer brings her love for punk rock, old Austin, and girl power to the restaurant’s aesthetic and menu.
Commissioned pieces of Iggy Pop and Siouxsie, from Siouxsie and the Banshees, adorn the walls to tunes from a punk rock heavy playlist. The original sign from now defunct Club de Ville (where Callie and fellow chef and husband, Philip Speer, had their first date) is prominently displayed, among the plethora of eclectic items.
A chalkboard offers the daily cocktail and a confessional, selected from those written by anonymous restaurant-goers using the confessional box around the corner.
Food and Drinks Pack a Punk Rock Punch
You’ve been warned: come hungry. The menu is a fun take on favorites from Speer’s Austin upbringing, with plenty of carb-heavy dishes on the menu.
- Liberty Lunch is her take on Wheatsville Co-op’s popcorn tofu, sandwiched in a pillow hoagie roll, topped with escabeche and fried pickles (yes please!).
- Casbah is another classic done right: fried chicken sandwiched between a honey buttered biscuit, served with fried egg and specialty comeback sauce.
- Migas kolache combines two Austin favorites into one delicious behometh of scrambled eggs, crispy potatoes, and veggies topped with queso.
- Consider ordering a stack of yellow cake pancakes. Top it off with any of three indulgent toppings: blackberry & soft serve, cookies & cream, or fried chicken & sriracha butter.
Don’t forget the sweets. Speer refined her dessert chops and decided to pull at our heartstrings with nostalgic items such as the Choco Taco, a grown-up version of the Klondike favorite, or the fries & soft serve (if you’ve ever dipped your fries into Wendy’s soft serve, then you know the magic of this combination).
The floats menu is on a different level, with combinations such as Big Red & cake batter or Ginger beer & sopapilla. You’ll want to come back multiple times to try the different concoctions.
The bar menu pays homage to Speer’s punk rock love, too. Jen Keyser has curated a cocktail menu the Ramones and Iggy would approve of. Drinks like Ruby Soho (Deep Eddy Ruby Red vodka, raspberry, lime, orange bitters, soda) and Black Flag (Jim Beam Black, lemon, red wine & balsamic reduction) pack a punch.
➡️ Keep reading: “Have You Done Brunch at These 6 Local Restaurants in Austin?”
All-star Female Team Brings A-game
Though Speer didn’t originally plan it, the team behind Holy Roller features an amazing array of women who have worked in the industry with Speer throughout the years. She offers a place for creativity and a no-holds-barred attitude toward the menu and restaurant, which caught the eye of everyone on the team.
General manager Sarah Bevil worked at Swift’s Attic with Speer, while bar manager Jen Keyser and pastry chef Brit Castro come from Hotel Van Zandt’s restaurant, Geraldine’s. Assistant bar manager Nicole Cruz joins from Contigo, where she worked with Keyser.
This fierce female-led team stands out in the heavily male-dominated restaurant industry. Go for brunch any time of day, any day of the week, and let me know what you think.
509 Rio Grande St. – Website
@theAustinot wants to know:
Which plates at Holy Roller are you looking forward to trying?