|Photo from collegebarscene.com.|
Most of the time when I go to a restaurant, I expect to see some menu items that I wouldn't necessarily cook at home to draw my attention. Call me a snob, but I can't even waste my time at chain restaurants for dinner anymore because it's the same old food that I could cook better, healthier, and cheaper at home. Elizabeth Street Cafe did not disappoint. With a cuisine labeled 'French-Vietnamese', how could it?
I got: Roasted Pork & Wood Ear Mushroom Omelete with a side of mango, cucumber, basil and crispy shallots. This is one of those meals that I'm going to dream about for breakfasts to come.
Crepes Mille: I spent a lot of time wandering around South Congress on Sunday, and had such a hard time deciding where to do lunch. I settled on a crepe from the Crepes Mille trailer. The menu isn't online, but they have all sorts of both savory and sweet crepes. I got some sort of chicken curry with shredded carrots. When it came out, it seemed like it was swimming in curry sauce, but as soon as I cut the crepe open, the chicken absorbed all the sauce and it was delish.
Where: At the corner of South Congress and Gibson. Cash only, but there's an ATM right out front (not to mention all over the city).
Stubb's BBQ: Anyone else a fan of Stubb's BBQ sauce? Jon and I discovered it in the "Eat This, Not That" books as one of the healthiest (read: low in sugar) BBQ sauces out there. On the bottle, it says they're located in Austin, TX, so we made plans to visit the restaurant when we were there. I got brisket; Jon got pulled pork. Served up central Texas style with a slice of bread, the focus is on the meat. On most nights, Stubb's also acts as a live music venue (their tagline is cold beer | live music).
Hey Cupcake: I know food trucks and trailers are becoming ubiquitous all over the US, but I've never seen more in one city than I did in Austin. And I think most of them aren't even mobile on a daily basis; there are bunch of 'food trailer parks' around Austin where several take up a semi-permanent residence. When you're out and about on your own, and need a quick bite, they are cheap and yummy, so I did take advantage of them on this trip for sure.
Before I even stopped to get my lunch at Crepes Mille, I bought two cupcakes from Hey Cupcake. They put them in this nice little to-go box with a separator inside, but I still managed to tip them around by the time I got back to the hotel. But no matter - Jon and I agreed that they were still tasty.
|No picture of the mushed cupcakes, sorry.|
|Crappy iPhone picture, sorry.|
Where: On (North) Congress, between 3rd and 4th.
Snack Bar: There's only so much I can do to entertain myself every day. After walking around for so long, my feet start to get tired, and all I want to do is sit. But not in the hotel. So I try to find someplace that welcomes people who want to order little and sit for awhile. Besides Starbucks. I'd wanted to try Snack Bar and all its retro glory, but didn't think we'd have a chance go make it there for dinner or drinks, so I walked all the way down to S. Congress on a cloudy, chilly day (Monday?). There was only one other guy there drinking coffee, and earlier in the week I'd seen a girl sitting around with her laptop there, so I didn't feel too bad. A small order is better than no order, right?
A pot of tea (naturally) and fresh toasted banana bread. I chose to sit outside despite the chill in the air, right next to the fire. It was actually very cozy. I stayed for about 45 minutes before I had to walk back to the hotel to meet Jon.
Where: South Congress and James St.
|From my seat outside at Snack Bar, I could turn around and see Jo's Coffee.|
|A customer placing her order at Iron Works BBQ.|
|The story behind IWB|
Le Cafe Crepe: I forget what made me stop here for breakfast one day. I think Jon needed to get to the conference early and didn't have time for breakfast, and so I showered up and pulled out the iPad in search of food nearby. The road outside is under construction, so I probably would have walked right past if I weren't actually looking for it.
There must have been a break in the conference because just after I went in to the near empty cafe, meteorologists started coming in filling out the rest of the tables. (My overachiever husband wasn't one of them.) My server was super cool with me sitting there reading and offered to refill my tea pot for me. I ordered the Morning Crepe (eggs, spinach, mushrooms, onions, and Swiss) and it was so damn good that I told Jon I'd get up early with him to get breakfast there again the next morning. Only on that day, he ordered the special, and I was jealous that I didn't. There were cheesy potatoes involved, you guys. And bacon. And a big fried egg on top. Whaaaaaat?
Where: San Jacinto and 2nd.
|I should have gotten this on the second morning.|
|But whatever, this was still good. And healthier. So hah!|
Easy Tiger: I found this place online the day before we left for Austin. It's a bakery/beer garden. I'm a carb-o-holic, and my husband brews his own beer (mentioned just so you know that he's a beer connoisseur not an alcoholic, hah), so it was kind of a win/win for the both of us. This was our last dinner in Austin, but we didn't even really eat a true meal here. Because just about every review of the place mentioned their 'boards', we got two to share.
|Not my picture, and not what I ordered, but you get the idea.|
Where: Behind the Hilton Garden Inn, on 6th between Sabine St and Frontage Rd. Walk along the rowdy bars on 6th and keep walking until you think there's nothing left. You'll hit Easy Tiger before you reach the highway.
Torchy's Tacos/South Austin Trailer Park: So breakfast tacos are a big thing in Austin. My dad makes them for breakfast all the time for us when we visit, so they're nothing new to us, but I like that it's a common thing in Austin. I specifically heard good things about Torchy's. Jon was supposed to come with me on our last morning in Texas to get breakfast here, but he ran short on time and couldn't. So I just went alone.
Then I got there and realized that even though the breakfast tacos sounded just fine, what I really wanted was a 'lunch' taco. And I suppose I could have gotten one for breakfast, but instead I asked Jon if he wanted me to come back and pick us up some tacos for lunch so we had some food before we went to the airport. And he said yes. So I did just that. After the capitol tour, I took the bus back down to Torchy's and got Jon a green chili pork taco, and the fried avocado taco for myself thanks to a recommendation from my friend Abby. Good call, Abby. That taco was awesome!
Where: On S. 1st St, just before Elizabeth Street. They do take credit cards, by the way.
|Bacon, egg, and cheese breakfast taco in corn tortillas.|
Are you hungry now?