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.

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