Posts Tagged ‘Eastside Cafe’

Austin a delicious destination

So says Bon Appetit magazine in its February issue, giving us a two-page spread complete with map and atmospheric pix (byline Jon Paul Buchmeyer) and offering a downloadable guide in Adobe PDF form. We know that we’re a delicious destination, but sometimes it’s good to be reminded, complete with a couple of places we haven’t yet tried. We’re described as “a mecca for the eco-minded.” Food, of course, is the focus, and beyond Whole Foods, attention is devoted to establishments that “use local organic produce and all-natural Texas meats.” The list includes Wink, the Mighty Cone, Olivia, Thai Fresh, Somnio’s, House Pizzeria, and the Eastside Cafe. Bookmark this to have handy when all your SxSW visitors begin descending upon you.

Eastside Cafe quick-lunch

Those dining at Eastside Cafe should never overlook Pitchforks & Tablespoons, the little shop on the grounds, and a tour of the garden is always inspiring, too. Today, one of the owners was busy at work there, we saw as we left. We were replete with a fine meal, served so expeditiously that there would have been time for dessert, but also so generous in portion that there was no room for it.

The Eastside Cafe has been an Austin treasure for some twenty years, now. I was an early customer and then somehow got out of the habit. Pitchforks & Tablespoons has remained a regular stop, especially since it’s now the only place in town to buy some of the specialty dressings that some find so addicting. I think I’ve been trying the wrong days. If there’s a line, I don’t wait. Today, there wasn’t one, so now I’m going to try Tuesdays often.

There were three soup specials, a blue-plate special, and other tempting items not on the printed luncheon menu. The ruby trout and the salmon entrees came hot to the table and in generous portions, with just the right amount of delicious sauce. The person who ordered the shrimp dish can’t imagine ever ordering anything else. The green salad was very large, with a classic mustard vinaigrette. The tiny corn muffins were light and not at all sweet. My vegetable was broccoli, green and not undercooked. Lemon wedges were in generous supply. Everything we saw being ordered by anybody looked delicious. The little Craftsman bungalow is as it ever was, very homelike and very conducive to lively conversation. I’ve made a personal pledge never to let so long an interval pass between meals at Eastside.

A good time, even without any food

Eastside CafeEastside Cafe is 20 years young, and the garden is more spectacular than ever. Our rendez-vous didn’t work out quite as planned, but the people-watching was wonderful and the mystery of the missing salad dressings has been solved. We strolled the gardens, admired the cats and the purple martins, and enjoyed people-watching of a high order. And we also checked out the on-site shop, Pitchforks & Tablespoons, where the person in charge told us that the longed-for bottled dressings, Dijon mustard vinaigrette and feta cheese dressing, although missing from the shelves of Central Market, will soon be available again, at Pitchforks & Tablespoons. This little shop sells souvenir T-shirts, botanical-themed stationery, scented products, seeds in packets, and much more, including handsome bird-baths that stand on a metal stake stabbed into the ground. They’re easy to move and are safer against the predations of felines than other forms. Anyhow, food wasn’t on the menu tonight, as it turns out, at least not for us, but our visit was most enjoyable anyhow.

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