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Food Articles

I’ve been writing a column for work called “Austin Food Bytes”. I’m going to start posting it here. You can read all the old ones here.

Austin Food Bytes
Give yourself a holiday present – breakfast out!

Austin is overrun with excellent places for an early breakfast or a leisurely brunch. From breakfast tacos at Tamale House to brunch at Fonda San Miguel, you can have just about anything you can think of for breakfast, and in any price range. This week I’m going to feature some lovely places to have a moderately priced, but fancier brunch – perfect when you have visiting family and don’t feel like cooking breakfast for eight.

East Side Café
I love East Side Café for dinner. This well-known restaurant features locally grown and organic ingredients, the regular menu items are always good, and the specials and freshly made soups are usually wonderful. But not everyone knows that East Side is a great place for brunch.

They have a special menu comprised of half lunch and half breakfast plates, all of which are tasty, filling and reasonably priced. My favorites are the Apple Almond Waffle ($8.95); a Belgian waffle topped with whipped cream and toasted almonds, served with sautéed apples and three pieces of crisp bacon or garlic cheese grits, and the Smoked Salmon Benedict($7.75); two poached eggs and smoked salmon on an English muffin, topped with hollandaise sauce, served with homefries and a blueberry bran muffin. The menu also features blintzes, migas, and lunch favorites like burgers and sesame-fried catfish.

1886 Café & Bakery at The Driskill

The 1886 Café is much more casual that the Driskill Grill, but features some comparably tasty food. The atmosphere is light and airy, décor is comfortable and old-fashioned. Since it’s downtown, you’re walking distance from some excellent museums, galleries and shops.

The Café serves excellent coffee and espresso, and has an innovative but hearty menu. My favorite item is the Cast Iron Skillet Texas Two Step ($10);
eggs and cheddar cheese with grits, corn biscuit and chorizo gravy. That’s right, biscuits and chorizo gravy – it’s heavenly. Forget everything I said last week about healthy eating if you go here, it’s worth it.

Fonda San Miguel
Fonda San Miguel is world renowned for it’s Interior Mexican food. It’s one of my favorite places for happy hour and dinner, but I’ve actually never had their famous brunch. So, guest writer Melissa Maldonado has provided us with her own recommendations:

Brunch at Fonda San Miguel offers old-world, interior Mexican favorites that are as rich as the chocolate in the Pollo en Mole — grilled chicken breast with a berry-enhanced chili, chocolate, and nut sauce. The elegant, villa-like setting instantly transports you to an easier pace of life that prepares you for an amazing cultural dining experience. My favorites include a salad with slivers of nopales (cactus pads) in a tangy vinaigrette, but you’ll also find the sweet corn pudding is something to dream about until your next visit. !Buen provecho! $20-$40 (very well worth it!)

This holiday season, treat your relatives to something special from Austin, and treat yourself to a morning off!

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