Counter Cafe: breakfast for the busy

At the Counter Cafe, there’s also breakfast for those at leisure. This is the former GM Steakhouse on Lamar across from Book People.

The patrons this Friday morning were young and old, first-timers and regulars, deuces, solos, and larger parties, with children and without them, seated on backless diner stools at the counter, or at tables, inside or outdoors.

Although the coffee comes to the table in one of those extremely thick mugs, not a personal preference, the brew is from excellent beans and is generous with them, and the refills come without asking.

At our two-top we enjoyed eggs benedict, which arrives with a baking-powder biscuit for a foundation and a choice of layers; spinach was the selection. The egg dish shared a plate with a very generous helping of house-made hash-brown potatoes with onion and pepper. I can only speak about my own order, biscuits and French fries. I was very pleased.

Pancakes and breakfast tacos seemed to be the most popular orders. On every table were bottles of “rooster sauce” (Sriracha), Tabasco, and a bottled red salsa from Mexico, along with a bowl of tiny portions of half-and-half for those who don’t take their coffee unadorned.

The acoustics do not overpower conversations, but the space is small and it’s possible to overhear talk that’s interesting and not. Those seated at the counter enjoy a close-up of the professional culinary work behind it. Table service is swift and professional. Someday, I hope to try the lunch menu; the quail sounds especially tasty. Counter Cafe is one more only-in-Austin place that’s not overrun by tourists but that’s a lot of fun and people-watching for out-of-town guests.

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