Eats on 8th opened in October just off the Georgetown Square. Half a year later the restaurant has become known not only in town, but guests are also coming from Austin, Salado, Temple, Dripping Springs and some from as far away as Horseshoe Bay, General Manager David Rudd said.
“I want to say thanks,” Rudd said. “It has really been taking off for us.”
Rudd said he attributes the steadily increasing number of customers to social media and online services such as Urbanspoon and Yelp as well as word of mouth.
“It just keeps going, higher and higher,” co-owner Pat Mullins said. “The word of mouth is spreading so much, and we have a great team.”
Mullins met his business partner and Executive Chef Albert Benitez in the Austin restaurant scene several years ago. In 2014 they decided to open their own restaurant. Albert brought his brother Ernest, also a chef, with him. The chefs had worked with Rudd in the past and convinced him to come along, too.
Although none of the men are from Georgetown, Rudd said they were quickly welcomed and have gotten to know the community.
Debbie Booher, an Eats on 8th regular, said she said she found the restaurant when driving by and liked the building. She stopped, went in and keeps coming back.
“I tried their Brussels sprouts the first time, and even if you don’t like Brussels sprouts, you’ll love them," she said. “They are made with bacon, green garlic and roasted pistachios.”
Each meal at the restaurant is handmade, and the ingredients are fresh from local farms.
“We try to go local as much as possible,” Rudd said. “We use local farms for proteins; we have Texas quail, Texas duck, Gulf snapper, Gulf shrimp. There are some things that we simply can’t find here: Our lobster and our scallops are from the East Coast. We use grass-fed beef for our burgers and steaks.”
The beer list is also predominantly local, Rudd said. And the wines are smaller boutique brands not found at big-box stores. Some customers come only to buy bottled wine at the restaurant because they cannot buy it anywhere else, Mullins said.
Rudd said the restaurant’s best-selling entree is the red snapper ($15), which is delivered five to six days per week to ensure freshness. The entree is served with lobster sauce and flash-fried kale. Eats on 8th serves between 800 and 900 servings of the dish per week, he said.
The pork belly, braised in-house and served as a sandwich, part of the eggs Benedict or as an entree on its own, is also a popular menu item, he said.
“[The pork belly] is braised for 18 hours; it has a great consistency —it literally falls apart,” Rudd said.
For dessert, Eats on 8th offers a rotating selection of cheesecake as well as triple chocolate cake and bread pudding served with black cherries and white chocolate with vanilla ice cream.
On Sundays the restaurant offers a brunch menu from 11 a.m.-3 p.m.