An Austin brunch blog, chronicling my adventures as I eat and drink my way through the weekend.
You might miss it if you don’t know where to look. Counter Cafe is nestled in the former G&M Steakhouse location at 626 S. Lamar. Right in the heart of one of my favorite parts of Austin. When you walk in you can tell who the regulars are. The staff greets them with a warm familiarity that can only come from routine visits and conversations. Not that the service isn’t friendly in general, it is. But you’ve got to take the bull by the horns if you want a table, and you can’t be afraid to wait outside in that Texas sun. My advice? Get a seat at the counter. Hell, the place was named after that epic slab. You get a front row seat to the main event: the kitchen. The energy of a kitchen is contagious. As you see other people’s food prepared you yourself are fired up as ever to watch your own come to fruition.
Megan and I watched the counter like hawks until two spots opened up. Success! I ordered an ice cold Topo Chico and Megan opted for the Counter Michelada, a spicy lime infused tomato concoction with Dos XX ($5). If you aren’t familiar, the Michelada is the Bloody Mary’s less high maintenance, more relaxed cousin.
Photo by Megan Russell
When it came to ordering we were both feeling the ‘unch’ part of brunch. I opted for the Grilled Pimiento Cheese Sandwich ($8.50) while Megan went with the Counter Crab Cakes ($13). The Pimiento Cheese Sandwich was good but it was a lot. I’d advise getting 1/2 a sandwich with soup or salad. The folks at Counter Cafe make an effort to use organic and locally-sourced products whenever available and it shows. The sandwich was dressed beautifully. The tomatoes were humongous and just perfect with the crisp organic bibb lettuce and red onions. The fries were just greasy enough and fried to perfection. You know, this is a pretty fantastic hangover meal now that I think about it.
Photo by Me.
Megan’s choice, while less greasy, was fresh and pretty. The cakes, seared with a golden brown crust, were laid on a bed of greens with red onions, capers and lemon aioli and curried peanut dipping sauces. The dipping sauces were so good - the perfect compliment to the crabmeat.
Such Bite! Photos by Megan R.
Counter Cafe serves breakfast all day, and the menu does not disappoint. My mouth is watering just looking at it. We got a glimpse of a blueberry pancake on the griddle and my, oh my did it look scrumptious.
I also hear their burger is to die for. Go check it out for yourself and let me know what you get. I’ll be heading back their way soon.
So many brunch spots, so little time!
B for P,
Has it really been two months since I last blogged? My how time flies when you’re…working 3 jobs. You heard me. But just because I haven’t made the time to write, that doesn’t mean I haven’t been brunching. Girl, please! I know where my loyalties lie, and my stomach is near (if not at) the top of that loyalties list. So let’s get to it.
I’m going to take you on a trip down memory lane: to April in Marfa, Texas. I took a little roadtrip with friends (some new, some old) out west for the Railroad Revival Tour. We got there on a Friday and camped out until the big concert on Sunday evening with Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeroes, Old Crow Medicine Show and Mumford and Sons. Sweet little lineup, no? The community of Marfa is amazing. It’s hard to pin point why this place is so fantastic, but I can guess that it has to do with the remote location, the friendly people, and the sunsets. It’s an artist attraction, but you can look into it’s history on your own. Listen to this NPR piece to get you started.
On our first slightly hungover morning in Marfa, we hopped on our bikes (two of which were loaned to us by our incredibly hospitable hosts Joe and Meridith - THANKS Y’ALL) and headed to scope out the scene. The simplicity of this place is so refreshing. We ended up at Padre’s, which is where you’ll end up too if you visit Marfa. This general watering hole serves breakfast tacos from a tiny kitchen behind their bar. Over the next few days Padre’s became our home base for breakfast, drinks, music, shuffleboard, jukebox battles and overall mayhem. But it all started with those breakfast tacos and strong ass drinks.
Look for this sign to find true happiness. Photo by Sierra Skorka.
It’s FINALLY Friday! I know I’ve been slacking. I’ve missed two Haiku Fridays in a row. I’m real sorry, but not that sorry because it’s a sign of the totally bitchin’ time I’ve been having. Spring in Austin is amazing. It’s like a disease. One dip in Barton Springs and your hooked.
I guess it’s pretty much Summer now. Tons of my friends seem to be getting their shit together this season and are graduating college. So - to all of you, you know who you are - Congratulations!!! Welcome to the broke, quarter-life crisis stage of your lives. It’s really not that bad. We will survive, just like all of the others that came before us.
Man, that was a bit of a buzz kill. It’s okay though because Bonnie Rue is here to kick off your weekend with another mind-blowing Haiku. Here we go.
It’s the crack of noon
Banana waffle sandwich
B for P!
Y’all - I am a lucky girl. I have some seriously badass friends. Elad and Ada are some of my closest and soon they will be leaving us for Israel. You see, Elad is from Israel and he met Ada one summer in Peru. A year or so later, he moved here to be with her while she finished school. Romantic much? Ada is from southern Louisiana and the combination of their two cultures, namely through the food they eat is very cool to watch. For instance, when we were making the breading to fry up some olives and eggs (Israel) Elad suggested that we add some Tony’s seasoning (Louisiana). Isn’t that just the most beautiful thing you ever heard? Ada has taught him well.
Taverna is probably the first place in Austin that inspired the idea to start a brunch blog. They had me at DOLLAR MIMOSAS. So on my latest trip to Taverna I took my cousin Zan and her friend Simone who were visiting from Abilene.
Fair warning: the place usually has a pretty serious wait because the dollar mimosa secret is out. Luckily by the time I dropped Zan off to put us on the list and found a parking spot it was our turn!
I’ve been to Taverna a handful of times, becoming a creature of habit - albeit a decadent habit. I can’t even pronounce the name of my favorite dish with a straight face. Seriously, you try: ‘Eggs Al Forno all ‘Olio Tartufato’. It’s the Olio Tartufato that gets me every time. Two fried eggs served over garlic bread drizzled with truffle oil with breakfast sausage and potatoes. So, obviously, I never even need to look at the menu.
Even though this dish is my favorite, I’ve tried some others in the past.. that I will tell you about…now.
Hey Folks! It’s that time of week again, for the lovely poetry stylings of my good friend Bonnie. This week’s haiku is themed because, you know, it’s Easter weekend.
I will be heading out West to Marfa for the Railroad Revival Tour, so there will be no brunch review this weekend. But don’t worry, I’ll be back next week with tons of goofy stories and hopefully some sweet food pictures from my phone - because I don’t trust myself to take the fancy camera out there amongst a bunch of crazy festival goers.
Anyway, I hope you all have a wonderful weekend, Easter or not. Here’s your haiku fix:
Best warm the oven
Jesus is out of his cave
And he wants biscuits
B for P!
Well, I survived the first music festival of the year. This past weekend I headed out to Camp Ben McCulloch for the Old Settler’s Music Festival. It was a weekend full of barbecue, whiskey, hammocks and creek swimming. Not to mention ‘round the clock music. Camping is great, but it never seems to involve a sufficient amount of sleep, at least during Old Settler’s.
On my drive back home Sunday, I was exhausted and starving.
Bonnie Rue. Get familiar, ladies and gents. I work with Bonnie at the ol’ jobby-job. (Insert complaint about an office job here) But I really can’t complain because I get to kick it with Bonnie and play a little game I like to call ‘Who Can Remember The Most Unbelievable Rap Song Of The 80’s & 90’s.’ You’re jealous, I know. I call her Yoda because she always has the answer to any life insanity that I throw at her. Basically, she is my favorite.
Last weekend I was invited to share a brunch experience with my oldest friend, her mother, and her mother’s mother. Megan and I have known each other since we were wee babes. Seeing a group of women together like that - you know the whole ‘I came from you and she came from me’ thing - is really beautiful.
Megan chose Eastside Cafe on Manor Rd. for our rendezvous.