Pleasant Storage Room

I think I’ve mentioned this before, but I’m fairly convinced that you could eat at a different restaurant in Austin every day, and still won’t have exhausted the options after an entire year. There really are that many different places within this fair city. And most of them are amazingly delicious; a treat for your mouth and your stomach, though slightly less so for your wallet. But there comes a point when New Restaurant A, New Restaurant B, and Old School Restaurant C start to blend together. The more places that pop up around this city, the more opportunity for more of the same. So I was pleasantly surprised to find out about Pleasant Storage Room because it truly does succeed as a unique local eatery.

New to downtown Austin, Pleasant Storage Room is part rum bar, part Cuban/Caribbean hot spot that boasts local flavors in a variety of common Caribbean street foods. It sounded like a fun place, but I had heard mixed reviews (mostly on its inconsistency), so I was hesitant to actually try it. But when Brandon and I were looking for a place to celebrate our 5-year anniversary and wanted a low-key, fun environment that veered away from the fancy restaurants we tend to celebrate at, I decided this would be the perfect spot. Plus, we had an upcoming beach getaway planned, making Pleasant Storage Room a great way to build excitement for our quickly approaching vacation.

The vibe in the restaurant was exactly what we were looking for – fun, vibrant, and made you excited for a night of celebration. We sat down and were immediately greeted by one of the largest rum menus I had ever seen – page after page was filled with exotic rum concoctions and punches, though there were other alcoholic options for those who don’t love rum like I do. I ordered their Bay of Figs drink, which combines Black Mission Fig Bourbon, Liquor Strega, Demerara Rum, fresh lemon and orange juice, wormword tincture, and demerara sugar to create a drink that was unique, yet surprisingly familiar. Brandon opted for a classic rum and coke, but still reported that it was crisp and refreshing (they use Mexican Coke, which adds a touch of sugar and a lot of awesomeness).

The menu isn’t huge, but it provides a good sampling of different flavors and options. Everything is served as street food, meaning that the portions are smaller and most of it can be easily eaten by hand. Because the plates are shareable, Brandon and I opted for a variety of different dishes that allowed us to try several different things. We are both HUGE fans of ceviche, and constantly in search of one that beats out the ceviche at South Congress Cafe (which currently holds the top spot in our list), so it goes without saying that we ordered the Napali Death Tuna Ceviche, one of Pleasant Storage Room’s most popular options. Filled with tuna, passionfruit, cashews and jalapeño syrup, the ceviche was an interesting take on the traditional version, though while tasty, it didn’t quite surpass our long-standing favorite. Along with the ceviche, we ordered jerk chicken, both meat and veggie empanadas, and grilled street corn, all of which disappeared fairly quickly and tasted of the Caribbean.

We left Pleasant Storage Room that evening feeling pleasantly full, but I found myself hungry again fairly quickly…though that might be due to the fact that we followed dinner up with some fast-paced two-stepping. I really enjoyed the experience at Pleasant Storage Room, and wouldn’t hesitate to return, but given a more recent happy hour experience there, I think the place is better suited for individuals looking for a drink (or two) and some small plates after work, not people looking for a filling, hearty meal. Even so, Brandon and I left happy and even more excited for our vacation, making our 5-anniversary dinner a success in my book.

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