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Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Breakfast in Austin Texas

I enjoyed some great breakfast meals in Austin but four days is just not enough time to sample even a small part of the restaurants. My theory is that Austin is different than most other American cosmopolitan areas and has a greater selection of 24/7 eateries offering reasonably priced high quality breakfast selections. This is my breakfast adventure road trip report and here is link to the pictures.
We got a late start on Saturday and stopped at Chappell Hill Bakery and Deli, about half way between Houston and Austin on Hwy 290. They have built a new, bigger bakery with a wide choice of kolaches and pies supplemented with breakfast meats. It was crowded when I arrived with a short waiting line to purchase your breakfast snack. Nonetheless the employees were friendly and very helpful as I reviewed the large selection of kolaches. They have internal seating which is in the style of an old time kick-backed kitchen, no table cloths, and wooden benches. I found it comforting and inviting. We decided to eat while driving then drove onto Brenham where we picked up a Starbucks latte.
Arriving in Austin I enjoyed one of my favorite activities, the classic nonstop, frantic, high energy interaction with grandchildren. This of course made me hungry. We decided on Austin Java  located at The Oasis.  Unfortunately,  Austin Java does not offer a menu at this location, this is not apparent from their web site. The latte was good but I was disappointed to not have a hot breakfast available. We retired to my daughter’s home and I was treated to an outstanding home cooked omelet prepared by my son-in law. He is one of those super geeks with a deep understanding and command of computer technology and  he also has excellent talents as a chef.
The next morning we had brunch at ZTejas. I had a new menu item of biscuits and gravy with eggs over easy and French toast.  On the 5 star rating system ZTejas rates six stars. As we left ZTejas it started to snow, a rare event in central Texas and this created a magical moment. All of this cemented my belief that Austin is a city of great breakfasts. Houston simply has no comparable establishments. Houston has Denny’s.
My last sampling was Kirbey Lane Café. This is an Austin classic. Kirbey Lane may have been the restaurant that established the standard for great Austin breakfast eateries. Since the original Kirbey Lane café in located on Kirbey Lane, the owners are not very clever at naming their restaurant but the menu is superb, the cooking excellent and the service top notch.  They call dinner for breakfast “Brinner”.
Austin being weird, while we hopped between breakfast locations, we engaged in an extensive discussion of the problems with the American political system and all adults contributed. We fell into the graduate school standard of a brutal intellectual honesty, allowing no claim to go unchallenged. All assumptions had to be defended and consistent. This kept the debate from becoming ideological and silly. The debate was civil and highly enjoyable. Breakfast and coffee with a political debate, it just doesn’t get any better.
It almost, but not quite, made me miss my own graduate school experience. In graduate school BS is not allowed, an assumption is not allowed, an unsupported claim is not allowed. In politics crazy claims based on false assumptions is standard operating procedure. After graduate school we slip back into believing stereotypes, accepting the easy (but wrong) explanation. A good orator with a well tested marketing plan can talk us into insane collective actions.
The grandchildren would love ice cream for breakfast but we waited until after Brinner.  We  stopped at Amy’s Ice creams and the grandchildren used the kids play ground to the full extent. Just spinning them on the rides made me dizzy, the energy level at that age is invigorating for us old guys. As a grandparent I can fade into the background to catch my breath and just watch, but I really want to play.
I will be returning to Austin next month and will continue my mission and search for the top Austin breakfast joints.  Stay tuned.

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