the spot: The West Table 1204 Broadway Ave ste 103 Lubbock TX 79401
the eats: Seared Duck Breast, Oysters on the half shell, Rack of Lamb, Mahi Mahi, Grilled Quail
the bucks: $$$ it’s a splurge, picture entrees from $30-$40 but you ain’t eating meatloaf
the full nelson: Not just a gem in Lubbock TX but a reason to rethink Lubbock TX
You ain’t eatin meatloaf at The West Table in Lubbock TX, but if you were it would be pretty darn good. I don’t often drop $300 on dinner unless there is an anniversary involved but sometimes you chalk it up to experience and the cost of going on vacation. On our way to New Mexico for a Spring Break ski trip, we stopped off in Lubbock TX. Driving can be cheaper than flying(unless gas is $4 a gallon) so the money saved on travel meant money to spend on food.
Over the last few years, comfort food and family friendly places have elevated their cooking game, which has been a blessing and a bit of a curse. Maybe not every pizza joint should have retro video games and craft beer. Ok, maybe they should. But I’m sensing the lost opportunities of taking your kid to eat a proper meal that comes with expectations like conversation and general table manners. Not trying to be some old grouch but back in my day, it was a treat to eat somewhere that had rack of lamb. So I made a reservation at The West Table so my kid could experience that.
After living on the West Coast for 20 years, one gets spoiled on oysters. I remember disavowing East Coast oysters entirely. Time away from pristine oyster bars like Hog Island Oyster Co in San Francisco have soften my stance. And I’m glad because get to add them to my dining experiences like my night at The West Table. These did the job. Can’t say I would tell you this is a must order but it didn’t hurt to start off raw as the entrees to follow next are heavy hitters.
Well, not exclusively but quail does hit the menus of restaurants like Dai Due and The West Table, really any place that values the ingredients of Texas. For me, quail is a love and hate dish. I love the flavor when its done right, like it is at The West Table, but like crawfish it’s work to get a mouthful. These lil birds are so lil you’re gonna be picking at some bone. Still, it’s delicious experience if you are into game birds and grilling them really showcases the meaty flavor of this poultry.
Rack of lamb is an expensive endeavor, whether at home or dining out. I tend to pass on it because I can eat my weight in it and that’s a small fortune. The West Table makes a fair offer here. $40 for a generous serving and cooked beautifully. That rare middle showcases tenderloin marvelously and the bones and fat cap handle the char well. This version had a Middle Eastern take with chickpeas, couscous and a Tzatziki sauce landing on the plate. All fine because the lamb stood up loud and proud on the plate, as it should.
Even if you don’t consider price, I’d make tracks to Lubbock for this duck. Well, that might be a stretch but the duck is a must order at the West Table for sure. And, AND, my kid dug it. TBH I thought the lamb would be a slam dunk for him but it turned out the duck was where it was at. Perfectly cooked like the lamb, this is a dish I could eat again and again. The Middle Eastern sides worked with the lamb, but I embraced the sides a bit more. Maybe I was more in the mood for a succotash spiked with Andouille sausage, or maybe I’m always in the mood for that smoky Cajun sausage. Either way I’m down for the duck at The West Table.
The waiter loved this dish, my wife loves fish and so our meal takes a distinct turn from hearty meats to seafood treats. I think of Hawaii when I think of Mahi Mahi but it’s big in Florida, which means its big in the Gulf, which means Texas is fair game. I can see why people take to this dish: it’s very rich. The fish wasn’t swimming in butter but it was def close. And I didn’t have a problem with that but a lighter palate might. The brussel sprouts were fried as well, further pushing the entree’s indulgent tendencies. Again, I didn’t have a problem with it but a lighter palate might.
I casually met the chef, Cameron West and he is a super chill guy who can cook, like really really cook. It’s not cheap to go for it at The West Table in Lubbock but it’s not supposed to be either. It’s a treat, that treated my family right on a night we wanted to splurge. And I’d do it again too.