The Domain and The Steeping Room

Century Oaks Tea Service

Even though I work close-by, I made my first visit to The Domain at lunch today. The Wife called me to see if I wanted to get out of the office, so we headed over there. There’s still a lot of construction and the whole thing has a backlot / Disneyland feel to it. It’s attempting to be urban and mixed use, but since it’s stuck out in North Central Austin, it all seems forced and fake. We checked out the new Apple Store and I managed to resist buying anything there. We were nearly suffocated from the cologne smell coming out of Ruehl which is made to look like a miniature brownstone from the outside. I’m clearly too old and out of it, but it must be an Abercrombie & Fitch spin-off. The California Pizza Kitchen is now open along with Kona Grill and a Starbucks.

We had lunch at The Steeping Room. The Wife says it’s run by some former employees of Eastside Cafe, a former manager, in fact, according to this Austin 360 article. We had the Century Oaks Tea Service with Pork Tenderloin and Lapsang Souchong Chicken Salad sandwiches, a pinenut and plum scone and some Earl Grey Breakfast (boring, I know). The scone was good although I would’ve liked it warm and not room temperature. The pork tenderloin sandwiches were excellent. Unfortunately, they don’t have the tea menu on the web site. I guess it changes too often? The place was nearly filled to capacity. We’re big fans of Mad Hatters Tea House in San Antonio. If you’re familiar with that place, The Steeping Room is a little more upscale and less funky than Mad Hatters. The Steeping Room is hosting a Mother’s Day Brunch this Sunday if you’re looking for something new to do with mom.

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