Native Bar & Kitchen
Just east of I-35, this two-sided space can take you from coffee to cocktails and back again. The hipster quotient is high, but that’s to be expected, as this funky eatery is attached to a stylish youth hostel. Elaborate woodwork and brick and rock walls set a rustic stage for the occasional macrame wall hanging and disco ball, while a diner-style letter board advertises the likes of grilled pimento cheeses and seitan buffalo burgers. The Moscow Mule comes in a frosty copper mug topped with an ethereal froth of lime juice and sea salt. You can soak that up with an assortment of hard-core bar food that’s much better than it has to be. A wooden platter of waffle-fry nachos is a joyful melange of potatoes, melty yellow cheese, sour cream, and—if you choose to add it—surprisingly good brisket; all the richness is cut with fresh tomato, onion, and jalapeño. For something more elevated (and healthy) the duck confit salad is a colorful mound of shredded meat, fresh greens, buttery avocado, pink pickled radishes, fried pancetta, and a soft-boiled egg. The fried-chicken sandwich, the meat brined in pickle juice and fried to a perfect crispiness, suffered only from a bun that was too dense, crumbly, and cold. The music thumps but remains chill, that is till the sun starts to set, at which point you may very well witness (or join) a dance party.