Hyde Park Bar & Grill's comfort fare key to eatery's longevity The Pastrami Reuben ($9.99) comes with mustard, Russian dressing and homemade pickles.[/caption]

Before customers arrive at Hyde Park Bar & Grill, they are confronted with a giant fork in the road—or the parking lot to be exact.

The 30-foot-tall installation has stood in front of the restaurant for 32 of the restaurant’s 34 years of existence.

But owner Bick Brown said Hyde Park Bar & Grill’s most famous menu item does not require a fork for consumption.

The dining establishment on Duval Street opened in 1982 after Brown had spent years working in the city’s restaurant scene.

The eatery has become well-known for its seasoned, buttermilk-battered fries. Over the years the restaurant has garnered critical praise for them, including from both local and national media outlets.

“It’s become a very popular dish,” Brown said. “I’ve got one guy; that’s all he does—make fries.”

He joked that he turned a typically low-cost and low-labor item into a work-intensive and high-cost—for the hand-cut fresh potatoes—labor of love.

Hyde Park Bar & Grill's comfort fare key to eatery's longevity The Hyde Park Fries ($4.99 for two to three people, $7.99 for four to six people) are dipped in buttermilk batter.[/caption]

Other popular menu items include the chicken-fried steak or chicken ($11.99); Pork & Mac ($12.99), which is slow-roasted pork shoulder served atop macaroni and cheese; and the Asian Chicken Salad ($10.99).

The bar and grill also has a South Austin location on West Gate Boulevard, which features an outdoor patio for live music performances.

Asked whether any further expansion is on the horizon for the company, Brown said he would like to open a third location in the future, but the circumstances have to be just right. In the meantime, he said he is planning to add a front porch to the original location on Duval as well as make enhancements to the kitchen and other renovations to the 103-year-old building.

Still, the bar and grill will remain faithful to its core value: affordability.

“People know that we have fought the fight to keep those prices where they are and not give in to temptation to charge more than we should,” he said. “It’s not cheap to go out and eat these days. It’s expensive; it doesn’t always have to be.”