I was recently invited to the opening of the Gibson Bar and Trailer on South Lamar (not to be confused with the Gibson Room which is above Maggie Mae's). The bar is the square charcoal colored building across from Alamo South. When I drove up, I was kind of.. underwhelmed. The outside of the building is quite stout and not very attractive. And there's not alot of parking. You end up having to park on a side street between the bar and the railroad tracks next to some questionable looking abandoned lots. My advice to you is not to inspect the abandoned lots too closely. When I was walking from my car, I noticed a man passed out in a passenger van parked a few hundred feet into one of the lots. There was even a little clothes line strung up.
The inside of the bar is much nicer than the outside would lend you to believe. Its dark, modern and rather generic, but looks clean. There are several nice, large booths that can fit moderately large drinking parties. But, to warn you, there's no sound dampening in the place, so it can get rather noisy. All in all, though, a pleasant place to spend a few hours drinking.
Bar, itself, doesn't serve food. They've actually figured a rather fun and ingenious way to incorporate food, with an permanently attached airstream trailer, called interestingly enough, The Trailer. The Trailer is actually where the food is ordered and made. Its even one of those fun silver bullet airstream trailers. The Trailer, however, takes up most of the outdoor space at The Gibson Bar. Which is unfortunate, since the view out the large picture windows is nice, and a large deck would have been a great addition to the place.
When I went, they had a sample of some of the treats from their menu. The first thing I tried were the chicken fingers and buttermilk battered french fries. I normally don't care for thick cut french fries, but these big hunks of potato were pretty tasty. The honey mustard was crazy strong and apparently made by a local merchant by the name of "Cousin Leroy" (more to come on that). The batter on the chicken fingers was nice, but the batter to chick ratio was close to one. I would have preferred a little meatier chicken tender.
The second thing I tried was the chicken sandwich. It was really just your basic chicken sandwich. Only ok. And unfortunately, with the thick slices of Texas Toast, I felt like I was eating a chicken sandwich at the local DQ. Skip the chicken sandwich.
The famous donut burger. I've been hearing about this donut burger for months. You heard that right folks, a burger on a donut. On a delicious, toasted Round Rock donut no less (with cheese abd bacon to top it off). Now, the top and bottom of the donut are sliced off, so the "donut bun" is more reminiscent of Hawaiian Bread. There really isn't the sugary glaze on top that you'd expect of a "donut bun". All in all it's actually a really tasty, if decadent treat. The clear winner on the menu.
I'm not going to lie. By the time I had the hot dogs, I was starting to get a little "greased out". The donut burger kind of did me in and I didn't know how much more grease and fat I could take. So when I tasted the bacon wrapped hot dogs below, I really wasn't that impressed. Now that could be a function of me being fed up with all the deep fry or it could be because they were just legitimately gross. A hot dog, wrapped in bacon, topped with french fries and covered in queso, sour cream and chives. I thought it was a gross overkill.
But nothing compared to the disgusting overkill of a beef hot dog wrapped in bacon and covered in cheese and a fried egg. A heart attack on a bun and really not all that tasty. I could feel my heart seizing while I ate it, and for once, my mouth wasn't all that impressed with the decadence. I mean, if I'm going to eat something that monumentally bad for me, I want it to taste like an orgasm in my mouth. This did not.
So I've been hearing a mixed bag of reviews of The Gibson Bar off the grapevines. Some people love it, and some people hate it. Apparently they don't offer draft beer, but they do sell wine by the half bottle. I guess I'm somewhere in the middle. It wasn't that great, but it really wasn't that bad either. When I'm looking for a good heart attack inducing fried treat, I'll really consider going back for the Donut Burger and some of their tasty steak fries.