Sunday Brunch Recommendation?
We'll be in Austin for only one night (coming from a business trip to San Antonio). Based on previous info from Austin hounds, we plan to hit the BBQ trail on Saturday on the way to Austin for lunch in Luling and Lockhart. We also plan on burgers at Casino El Camino on
Saturday night, and had hoped to hit Little Thailand on Sunday, but were advised it's closed on Sunday. I've done a few searches on brunch on this board and see that some folks recommend Stubb's Gospel brunch, but I'm not sure why. We're both adventurous eaters but our primary concern is very well prepared food (we both cook, too). So, Austin hounds, tell me about your favorite place for Sunday brunch and what makes it special. Thanks in advance!
re: Niki in Dayton
Eastside Cafe is one of Austin's gems in my opinion, and never moreso than for brunch.
My favorite brunch strategy involves going with at least one other person. We start with the baked brie -- this simple-yet-fantastic dish features a melty plate of brie spotted with toasted walnuts and pecans, and comes with a small dish of apple chutney which is tasty. The lightly toasted rounds of bread that come for serving are pretty good; not the best fresh-baked bread in the world, but they serve fine as brie-and-chutney vehicles.
I usually get the smoked salmon benedict. This dish is extremely reliable, and I prefer it over their normal eggs benedict (which is also excellent) as the salmon creates a nice contrast to the perfectly poached eggs, fresh tomatoes, and hollandaise. It comes with home fries and a blueberry bran muffin -- I always trade these items for a side of bacon. The bacon here is usually fantastic, mapping to my platonic ideal of breakfast bacon with regards to thickness, flavor, and both crispy and chewy aspects.
Once you've ordered your main course, they'll bring out blueberry bran muffins and tiny jalapeno cornbreads; these are OK, but not great. Hopefully the baked brie has slaked hunger enough that you won't fill up on them.
In addition to the smoked salmon benedict (and the normal eggs benedict), I can heartily recommend the french toast. The blintzes are a pretty good take on the dish. The migas are decent, but I find the rice and black beans bland. The waffle dishes are just OK, but if a member of your party is craving a waffle, I doubt they'll be disappointed.
The breakfast sides (seasonal fruit cup, cheese grits, rice + black beans, blueberry bran muffin, homefries, and bacon) are of varying deliciousness. In general, if your dish doesn't come with bacon, trade a side or two for it. They're generally pretty cool about this.
Their coffee is good, and will be refilled often. While you have a primary server at Eastside, they long ago decided that everyone helps everyone. Your water and coffee will be refilled by a handful of different people, some of whom you'll never see again. These are servers with a moment to spare that are touring the building looking for someone to help.
The mimosas are tasty, but their wine list is a real delight. Don't worry if you haven't heard of most of the options; this is part of the owners' goals. Feel free to explore it with abandon.
If you're planning on going, they accept reservations; usually I call them about two hours before I intend arriving. This minimizes the likelihood of having to wait.