I have a theory about local restaurants -- as they expand locations, the quality of the food changes. It usually gets worse. Opal Divine's proves this theory's validity. I'm not sure what allure Opal Divine's has on the city of Austin, but there are three locations across the city. The food is mediocre at best.
But before I launch into Complain Fest 2008, I will first say the downtown location has a fun atmosphere, with a large porch and balcony, covered in string lights and overlooking W. 6th. It also has a large selection of beers on tap and friendly service.
Now to the food. I had the nachos with guacamole. I split them with a friend, which was plenty of food for us, but I thought they were overpriced, especially for the quality (about $11 total). The toppings -- plenty of refried beans, pico de gallo and cheese -- were actually pretty good, but the chips were stale. The guac was a little runny. I've never had runny guacamole before. I didn't think it was possible, but then I ate at Opal Divine's.
Another friend ordered a side sampler because the vegetarian options are lacking. So he got french fries, mashed potatoes and mac and cheese. The fries are probably the best thing on the menu, although a bit too greasy. The mashed potatoes and mac and cheese were only decent. Honestly, both are the kinds of dishes best homemade, but you would expect better from such a restaurant.
Two other friends both ordered fish tacos. They both said they enjoyed their tacos, but needed more food, especially considering the fish tacos cost $9. I guess that's the overall verdict on Opal's Divine -- you just need more for what you're paying. After all you can get a decent burger and fries at so many better, cheaper places.
Location: 700 W. 6th Street, 3601 S. Congress Ave., 12709 Mopac and Parmer Lane
Hours: Monday through Friday 11 a.m. to 2 a.m., Saturdays 10 a.m. to 2 a.m., Sundays 10 a.m. to midnight
Accepts: All major credit cards
Rating: 1 1/2 stars
Bottom line: A shame to waste such a great porch