One evening I decided to stick close to home and called up my good friend Melissa Skorpil, who also lives in my hood, to join me for a happy hour. We decided to check out Simplicity Wine and Eats, one of the fun establishments on Burnet Rd. We showed up at 5:30 and the place was pretty empty. But that soon changed and as the sun went down, the atmosphere went up. Nostalgic tunes from Depeche Mode were playing overhead, though not too loud so we could actually hold a conversation – what a concept. Folks started filing in, with a group of about 15 lively people pushing tables together to create their own party. Simplicity has a modern and simplistic feel to it, nothing pretentious. It lacks a little in style compared to other wine bars I’ve been to, but is very comfortable and functional.
The one thing that I admire about this place and helps it stand out from the crowd is their philosophy of creating an almost zero waste restaurant. On their website they state that “we compost all of the disposable dishes and utensils (made of renewable corn & bamboo) & we recycle all our wine and beer bottles. Simplicity is a 100+ seat restaurant that only produces 3 bags of landfill trash per week!” Really?? That is amazing to me because I know of a two person household, well…really a two person, two cat, two dog, two turtle and one gecko household, who produces about the same amount! So either they are really eco-friendly or we, um, I mean the other people, are completely wasteful. I’m going to go out on a limb here and say both are probably the case. But I digress…
The point is that Simplicity is really trying to do their part in helping the environment and I can really get behind that idea. Their happy hour is Tuesday through Friday, 4 to 7 pm, and offers half off of all starters, $5 wines by the glass, 15% off of all bottles of wine, $2 for all bottles or drafts of beer and $5 pitchers. We opted for a pitcher of Blue Moon, which is the equivalent of 3 beers for only $5. That is pretty darn cheap! We also got a couple of appetizers, the spinach artichoke dip and papas aioli (thick cut potato wedges with garlic aioli dip). The food here doesn’t have a decadent appearance since it is served in disposable bowls and plates with disposable utensils, but the dip was very fresh tasting and the potatoes were yummy. The prices are very reasonable and really fantastic during happy hour – our pitcher of beer and two starters cost up a whopping $11! Seriously.
Melissa and I had a great time and we both agreed that Simplicity Wine and Eats is worth coming back to. Melissa, who is a photographer, brought along her camera and took a shot of me enjoying the beer. Melissa is a great photographer and she specializes in portraits and food photography-handy for me to have a food photographer as a friend for this blog, eh? If you’re interested in learning about Melissa’s photography services, view her website, Skorpil Photography.
Until next time, get happy Austin!