DINING FEATURE Lebowski’s Grill Bowling alley burger dive upends expectations A t rst glance, Lebowski’s Grill looks just like any other bowling alley concessions spot: an order window, a small kitchen and a menu featuring burgers, chicken tenders and fries. Owner Helen Alger knows there is more to Lebowski’s than meets the eye, but says she does not mind having the element of surprise. “It’s better than what most people expect when they go to a bowling alley. I think that people are expecting just kind of a attened, greasy burger with a bun that’s falling apart,” Alger said. “But I’m pretty particular about burgers, and this is almost the only place that I’ll eat one.” With two Austin locations—one at Highland Lanes on Burnet Road and one at Westgate Lanes on West William Cannon Drive—the eatery is named for “The Big Lebowski,” a cult classic lm from 1998 starring Je Bridges, set partially in a bowling alley. Alger opened the rst location at Highland Lanes 12 years ago with her friend Gabriel King, who frequented the business and noticed when the alley’s grill was vacant. Alger had young kids at the time, and was hesitant to make a move; she had owned restaurants before and knew how dicult it could be, but she also said she grew up in a family that owned restaurants and has a passion for the business. Alger has a career as a human resources executive at a bank in Georgetown but makes time for Lebowski’s, her long-running passion project. She credits a hard-working sta—which now includes her high school-aged children— with maintaining high quality and keeping Lebowski’s reputation as a hidden gem going. “We’ve been so fortunate, but I can honestly say it’s not only luck. It’s the fact that we have great people working for us that really care,” she said. “I will keep this place open as long as I possibly can.” BY OLIVIA ALDRIDGE
THE DUDE $7.25 Lebowski’s signature burger, The Dude is named after the lead character of the Coen brothers- directed lm “The Big Lebowski.”
BUN : Lebowski’s sources its bread from local bakery Big Mama’s.
SIDE: French fries
SAUCE : All Lebowski’s sauces, including jalapeno ranch, are made in-house.
PATTY : The Dude features a third-pound Angus beef patty.
PRODUCE : Lettuce, tomato and other produce are sourced locally.
PHOTOS BY OLIVIA ALDRIDGECOMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER
Helen Alger, owner of Lebowski's Grill, poses with her son AndrewAlger, center, and another employee, TimWhite.
One of the most popular orders at Lebowski’s Grill is its hand-breaded chicken tenders, owner Alger said.
Lebowski’s Grill Southwest Austin location is inside the Westgate Lanes bowling alley.
Lebowski’s Grill Westgate Lanes 2701 W. William Cannon Drive, Austin 512-442-4200 www.westgatelanes.net Hours: Mon.-Thu. 11 a.m.-10 p.m, Fri. 11 a.m.-11 p.m., Sat. 9 a.m.-11 p.m., Sun. 10 a.m.-10 p.m.
WEST GATE BLVD.
SOUTHWEST AUSTIN DRIPPING SPRINGS EDITION • OCTOBER 2021
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