Hoover’s Cooking: Stylish Soul Food in Austin

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My father, brother and I clearly didn’t need any more food, after eating four barbecue meals and stopping for pie, but I remembered the food being especially good at Hoover’s Cooking. Since we’re only in Texas once a year, might as well make it count, no matter how much damage we do to our stomachs.

Hoover Alexander is a native Texan who credits his mother Dorothy and his classmates at Our Lady of Guadalupe Catholic School as influences. He also seems to have a sense of humor. On the restaurant’s colorful sign, the apostrophe in Hoover’s is a green chile pepper, and he wears a sausage link necklace.

To start, we received a complimentary basket of dry cornbread muffins and fluffy sweet potato biscuits, which were really more like rolls.

Glazed and charbroiled ham steak ($10.49) was succulent and smoky. It came with a dish of Jezebel sauce, a mixture of horseradish, orange marmalade and pineapple. Hoover’s always offers a top-flight list of sides, plus blackboard specials. I opted for jalapeno creamed spinach and buttered cabbage. The former had some heat, and the latter was nice and simple.

Southern Food Austin
My father ordered meatloaf ($9.99) – a half-pound blend of Premium chuck, onions, bell peppers and spices. For his sides, he selected fried okra and cinnamon-tinged candied yams.

Southern Food Austin
My brother also ordered the meatloaf, but stuck with old school sides: mashed potatoes and gravy, and smoky green beans seasoned with pork.

Lemonade Austin
I literally drank a pitcher of lemonade ($2.95), the perfect balance of sweet and tart.

Was the dinner at Hoover’s Cooking worth the additional damage to our stomachs? Absolutely.


Joshua Lurie

Joshua Lurie founded FoodGPS in 2005. Read about him here.

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