Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Austin >
Dec 14, 2008 08:14 AM

Looking for a good breakfast spot way north. . .

Having just happened upon this site while web surfing, I am hoping you purveyers of fine food can aid me in my quest. My hubby and I moved to Taylor last year (from Austin) and I am still looking for a good breakfast place that is not a long drive. I am a big fan of the American breakfast (i.e. pancakes, eggs, bacon, etc).
Our present most commonly visited breakfast place is Cracker Barrel (it may be a chain but their pancakes are dang good). However, it is a little far when craving immediate breakfast satisfaction. I had high hopes for a little home-converted-into-restaurant up 79 towards Granger (can't remember the name right now) but was disappointed by bland food which I could find in the freezer at H.E.B.
I am willing to travel a bit if the food is worth it so any suggestions in Elgin, Goergetown, Round Rock, or Granger would be welcome and attempted even though my aim is to find a place closer by. Perhaps there lies some undiscovered gem in Taylor.
I am not a fan of Mexican food thus breakfast taco place suggestions will be wasted on me. I know this may be shocking to some of you as even in the short time I've spent going over the posts, I have seen numerous mentions of taco stands and TexMex. Still I hope you will all overlook this flaw and help me out.
Good burger/lunch suggestions would be appreciated as well (we are already quite familiar and fond of Texan Cafe).

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. You may want to repost on the Texas board.Some of the towns you mention are covered there.

    1 Reply
    1. re: scrumptiouschef

      Dang it, did I search the wrong board. Thanks I will check there.

    2. As scrumptious said, you do want the Texas board instead of Austin. You can ask the mods to move your post to that board, so as not to duplicate.

      That said, since you mentioned Georgetown, you might want to try Monument Cafe. I've only been there for lunch, and most of it was really good home-cookin' (the fries were terrible when I was there). Georgetown gets discussed on the Austin board, and Monument has been mentioned quite a few times. I'd like to get there for b'fast sometime, but I get up too late and too hungry on the weekends to make the longer drive for b'fast. It sounds like you know your breakfast, so I'd enjoy hearing what you think of them (and living a bit vicariously).

      1 Reply
      1. re: stephanieh

        Thanks! I just finished scoping out the Texas boards and will probably post again there but leave this one here to get the best of both worlds. I work in Austin so spend a lot of running back and forth which makes me tend to think of Taylor, Hutto etc as part of the Austin area.
        I too love to sleep in which is why a good b'fast is important to me. It has to be worth getting up for.
        While searching the Texas boards I stumbled onto scrumptious's review of the Old TImer's Cafe which was the one I couldn't remember. The review was quite through and much more detailed then my mention (though it came done I think to the same conclusion - bland).
        I will try the Monument and post a review.

      2. skaw, I can't vouch for the breakfast, but I really like the City Cafe in Elgin. I've had their chicken-fried steak and several types of their pie, and they were all excellent. The fact that they can do down-home cooking right leads me to believe that they must have at least a decent breakfast. Here's a link to a review that has photos of several of their offerings: That site says that breakfast is one of the meals they offer. Here's a review from the Austin Chronicle that says they open at 6:00 am seven days a week: If you do try it, you should report back so I know if it's worth the drive some weekend morning from South Austin!

        1. skaw in hutto the texan cafe has good burgers and great pie.In RR the java cafe on gattis school rd and grimes has really good brekfeast and is packed on the weekends.both are not chains.

          1 Reply
          1. re: nytexan

            from a previous post:
            Since I'm already out and about I move back across the tracks and hit the downtown proper portion of Hutto.A big steer head looms out over the row of nicely aged shops and I'm helpless.Nothing like a giant animal head commands my attention.Texan Cafe is right at old timey and very alluring.An additional sign announces Debbie's Pies and the elderly gent greeter informs me that it's pie happy hour right bout now.He leads me to the pie case which is filled with some very attractive pies.I'm addicted to Coconut so the conversation ends right there."This is a big moment"the man informs me as he carves up the first piece off the pie.Now's the part where I would love to intone on how this pie changed my life and indeed my very perspective on pie makery itself.But the pie is not delicious.It is pretty.It is large.But it isn't very tasty.The cream portion of the pie has never enjoyed a working relationship with a cow.Perhaps a vehicle with cows inside has once trundled past the factory where this concoction hails from but that's as close as ol girl ever got.The crust is brittle and neither pliant nor flaky.Coffee is served with the pie and at $3.50 the deal is a very good bargain.I just wish it tasted better.The menu is a classic Meat and 3 setup with offerings of Meatloaf,Chicken and Dumpings,Beef Tips etc.I hope the savory offerings are better and with SH-130 able to carry me up there at great speed from East Austin I definitely am planning a return visit.Perhaps a Hutto hound can point me toward the delicious items on the menu?

          2. I have returned triumphment! I tried the City Cafe in Elgin and we arrived just in time for breakfast (they stop serving at 11:00 AM). They have the option of a breakfast menu or on Saturdays (which is when we went) a buffet. We went with the breakfast menu.
            We both had the breakfast special which included pancake or waffle, eggs, hashbrowns, sausage or bacon, and toast or biscuit (all for only 6.50). The pancakes can be regular, blueberry, or pecan. They have a short and tall stack (two or three). The hashbrowns were not what we expected being small squares of pan fried potatoes rather then shredded; however, they were addictingly good with very nice flavor not at all bland as some potatoes tend to be. My husband particularily liked the the sausage which came in two small round patties. The pancakes were good and obiviously fresh as my blueberries were mixed in the batter (from their pattern I could tell they'd been scattered on top of the pancake while it was on the griddle).
            Service was fine; they were nice enough to let us order breakfast even though it was a few minutes past eleven.
            All in all it was a good experience and difinitely worth getting up a little early. Best of all - this goodness only cost us 14.80 and that included drinks and a meal upgrade for two. We'll have to try their lunch too one of these days. They have daily specials including Friday catfish fry, Monday buy one burger get one free, Tuesday kid special, and so on (if I got one of those days matched to the wrong special I apologize).
            Next, we will be trying the 290 Cafe in Manor for breakfast. Will report back. . .

            5 Replies
            1. re: skaw

              Although they are not on the menu, if you ask nicely, the 290 will make banana or banana nut pancakes for you.

              1. re: skaw

                skaw, thanks so much for reporting back, even though I know you started another thread on this topic in the general Texas board, which I don't normally follow. I'm happy to hear that the breakfast was good and affordable, as that's just how I imagined it would be. The strange thing to me about the City Cafe is that it's basically two big rooms, and the smoking room is so much nicer than the other room (actually, I guess it's strange to me that they even HAVE a smoking room). If the place is not full, I usually take my chances and sit on the "smoking" side. If it's full of people, the other room is not so bad, but if it's slow, it seems like a big cold cavern with a closed buffet line at one end--all the action takes place in the main (smoking) room.

                Did you get a chance to try the pie? Even if you're not hungry, I recommend getting a slice to go. I rarely drive through/past Elgin, but I always stop and buy a slice of pie when I do, and I'm never disappointed!

                1. re: angusb

                  The City Cafe is now entirely nonsmoking.

                  1. re: sighmesigh

                    Thanks for that info! It will definitely make me want to make the drive over there more often.

                  2. re: angusb

                    Its strange cause I work in Austin and live in Taylor so its hard for me to seperate the two areas in my head (hence the reason I started the thread here first).
                    We just went back to City Cafe for dinner last night so I am able to report the pie was divine. I won't go into the dinner food as it has probably been discussed elsehwhere and this is a breakfast thread but I will say it was quite enjoyable.
                    The pie is worth discussing though. I had the brownie pie warmed with two scoops of vanilla and it was superb - gooey and delightful. My husband had the German Chocolate cake and it was nice and moist (and big!).
                    We will definately be returning.