Far from the madding crowd...
May 20, 2011 9:19 AM   Subscribe

Tomorrow morning, 10 AM, Austin, TX: Where to go for a first date that is breakfasty that will not be PACKED?

We haven't really spoken at length before, so I would like to be somewhere relatively calm. The busy breakfast places (Omelettry, Kerby, Magnolia) are sure to be cacophonous on Saturday morning at 10am.

Being a full-service restaurant isn't necessary, but I would like it to be a place with some food beyond just pastries. And, naturally, serving coffee.

I am have anxious tendencies to begin with, so in order to lessen my chance of throwing up on this lovely lady, I would like to have somewhere peaceful to devastate her with my charm and wit.

I know she is a foodie and cook, and I am too.

Help me out, I could really use a successful human interaction.
posted by TheRedArmy to Food & Drink (32 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
I really used to love East Side Cafe for brunch. It's in a charming old house with its own sweet garden you can stroll through before/after you eat.
posted by goggie at 9:24 AM on May 20, 2011 [1 favorite]

I like East Side Cafe---do you know anything about what the wait/chaos level is there on Saturday mornings?
posted by TheRedArmy at 9:29 AM on May 20, 2011

(But keep 'em comin...)
posted by TheRedArmy at 9:30 AM on May 20, 2011

It's been a few years since I lived in Austin, so I can't really say. In the past, the wait was usually managable. You can call to make reservations.
posted by goggie at 9:30 AM on May 20, 2011

Hopefully more places than usual? won't be packed because all the UT students are leaving/left town - OR - are graduating! - and will still be in the Erwin center (graduation is occurring all tomorrow morning. Traffic near campus is going to be hairy).

Whatever you do, don't change your date time to later! : )
posted by bitterkitten at 9:31 AM on May 20, 2011

Star Seeds is nice and casual.
posted by Uncle Ira at 9:38 AM on May 20, 2011 [1 favorite]

Biscuits and Groovy is a pretty cool food trailer at 51st and Duval that has like 3 tables right alongside it. (Note: the earlier you go, the more likely they will to have not run out of some of the more popular items, like the wamlettes or the french toast) If you don't like their single coffee option, you could stop off at the Flightpath first, which is like right around the corner.
posted by 23skidoo at 9:43 AM on May 20, 2011

Commencement ceremonies occur all weekend for various colleges at UT. There will be plenty of people who have their ceremonies in the evenings or afternoons and will have nothing better to do in the morning than have brunch with their families. I'd avoid anywhere near campus, such as Star Seeds and East Side.

I'd consider Snack Bar. I'm not sure how the lines get, but it's got to be better than Kerbey, Magnolia, or anywhere near campus.
posted by grouse at 9:44 AM on May 20, 2011

La Patisserie is on Annie St. off S. 1st and they might do just pastries, but damn they're good pastries and they're a relatively new business so I don't think they draw regular crowds. Not only is it a traditional French bakery but it's in a converted cottage, so you get major atmosphere points.
posted by slow graffiti at 9:49 AM on May 20, 2011

I came here to recommend Biscuits and Groovy as well. $9 gets you the Gloria Gaynor, which can feed a family of four for three days.
posted by spikeleemajortomdickandharryconnickjrmints at 9:55 AM on May 20, 2011

I really liked Blue Dahlia Bistro when I lived on the East Side.

I don't know about busyness. A few years ago it was pretty unknown, but I see that there are hundreds of reviews on Yelp, so maybe they are more popular now.

I'd love to be taken there on a date, though, especially if you can swing a table outside. See if they do reservations?
posted by thebazilist at 10:11 AM on May 20, 2011

Ooooh, how did I forget about Blue Dahlia? Definitely nicer than a biscuit trailer.
posted by spikeleemajortomdickandharryconnickjrmints at 10:15 AM on May 20, 2011

I like Star Seeds, but I don't think it's what you're looking for. It is often packed in the morning, and it certainly isn't "peaceful."

I'm surprised you're rejecting the Kerbey Lane Cafe. It has a lot of seating. Have you been to the original one, on its namesake Kerbey Lane? It's supposed to be much better than the one on Guadalupe.

Also: relax. It's fine to try to plan this stuff out to a certain extent, but you have to also accept that any restaurant or diner or cafe you choose might be packed and might not have a "peaceful" vibe on that particular occasion. This is not going to ruin your date. It's an opportunity to show you can handle a slightly unpredictable situation.
posted by John Cohen at 10:16 AM on May 20, 2011

Thanks for the heads ups on the graduation situation---I had no idea.

And thank you for your suggestions---my confidence grows, and soon it will soar like an eagle!
posted by TheRedArmy at 10:16 AM on May 20, 2011 [1 favorite]

For my money, the best breakfast in town is at Dan's hamburgers. Traditional Southern breakfast. The place isn't really pretty or anything, but the food is top-notch.
Have you maybe considered going out for Dim Sum? Fortune on N. Lamar in the Chinatown center is fixing to close soon, or you could check out Chinatown on Mo-Pac and Greystone.
posted by Gilbert at 10:20 AM on May 20, 2011

And thank you for your suggestions---my confidence grows, and soon it will soar like an eagle!

Glad to hear. I should add to my above comment: even if things go wrong somehow (whether it's external circumstances like an overly crowded restaurant, or even a faux pas done by one of you), don't think of it as embarrassing or a disaster. Think of it as: we got to laugh about it together. That has the potential to be fun and put both of you in an attractive light. Dates work out not because everything is planned perfectly down to the finest detail, but because two people click and have a good time together.
posted by John Cohen at 10:25 AM on May 20, 2011

Sorry for the multiple commenting, but how about the Red River Cafe? Several people on Yelp specifically say it's never crowded, and it always seemed fairly laid-back (but not eerily deserted) when I'd go there on weekend mornings back when I lived in Austin. It's of the same ilk as Star Seeds or Kerbey Lane. But frankly, I don't think it's as good. I remember the food as so-so, nothing special. That's the problem with trying to find a great place that's not crowded at peak times.
posted by John Cohen at 10:30 AM on May 20, 2011

Dolce Vita on Duval and 43rd is a nice little cafe that also offers some egg things and sandwich things in the morning (as well as pastry/muffin things). It has a mellow ambiance and excellent coffees/teas. I doubt it would be particularly packed on Saturday morning.
posted by Ginkgo at 10:42 AM on May 20, 2011

Well, I really, really like Red River Cafe. But it's more a place to go with the New York Times folded under your arm and a leisurely hour and a half to kill, or to meet a friend, not really a place to take a date. And yeah -- it's UT graduation time, so stay far away from anything near campus. I would guess that the East Side Cafe, usually a good bet provided you show up right at 10 AM when they open, would be dicey tomorrow for that reason.

I'll also chime in in favor of Blue Dahlia.
posted by fugitivefromchaingang at 10:52 AM on May 20, 2011

Yeah, if you are cooks into food, then the Red River's diner fare won't cut it, I don't think.

What about Chango's for breakfast? They have amazing breakfast tacos, and it's usually not crowded in the morning, since people think of it more as a lunch/dinner place.
posted by umbĂș at 10:57 AM on May 20, 2011

Yes, fugitive is right, don't go to Red River Cafe expecting it to be very romantic.
posted by John Cohen at 10:59 AM on May 20, 2011

Also just remembered Taco Xpress! A little crowded, perhaps, but really fun and quirky. A fun place to eat outside.
posted by goggie at 11:02 AM on May 20, 2011

How far are you willing to go? I'll be happy to plug the Monument Cafe up in Georgetown. They use (or at least they have used) my grandmother's honey. It looks like Southwestern has already graduated, so that might help. Plus, the drive up and back would give you time to talk.
posted by ES Mom at 11:06 AM on May 20, 2011

Oh, breakfast tacos. Go to Nueva Onda, sit on the patio. Very laidback.
posted by 23skidoo at 11:06 AM on May 20, 2011

My only recommendation (because it is the best) is Blue Dahlia. It fills a niche that has been seriously missing in Austin- a little classier than diner food but not crazy expensive. I've not had too much trouble getting a spot there even at times you would expect it to be crazy. And don't listen to what people say about the original Kerbey Ln.- it's insanity on Saturday and smaller than the one on the Drag. I wouldn't do it.
posted by Polyhymnia at 11:50 AM on May 20, 2011

How about staying away from restaurants altogether and doing a breakfast picnic with a thermos of coffee? Somewhere by the river or a shady spot under an oak?
posted by mimo at 12:05 PM on May 20, 2011

The eggs benedict at Blue Star Cafeteria is excellent, and they open for brunch at 10:00 and don't get rolling till 11 - usually.
posted by dirtdirt at 12:09 PM on May 20, 2011

What about Whole Foods? They have great food - it's fresh and they have a large variety. If not, there's 27 right across the street next to Waterloo, or there's Sweetish Hill right there on West 6th Street: http://www.sweetishhill.com/index1.html
posted by ATX Peanut at 1:21 PM on May 20, 2011

Pick any and go! The large hipster crowds won't be out until at least noon. 10AM should be a 5-10 minute wait tops.

There's also Curra's down on Oltorf. That place rocks breakfast so hard.

And what ATX Peanut said.
posted by roboton666 at 1:34 PM on May 20, 2011

I always found that in Austin, any time I wanted an eggs and bacon type breakfast, I would run into huge crowds, but as long as a I opted for one of the scores of great Mexican restaurants, there was no problem. The safest bet is a place that is a little bit off the radar (i.e., not Trudy's), but lord, that still leaves like a hundred places. Two that I like for brunch are Habaneros, on Oltorf, and Cisco's, on the west side. Both of those are good enough that they will be full eventually, but at 10 AM with a party of two, you probably wont even have to wait.

Also, second the Dan's recommendation above, though it will be full and bustling.

Finally, please don't take your date to Star Seeds or Red River Cafe. Both have their time and place, but a first date probably is not it.
posted by dredge at 2:11 PM on May 20, 2011

You all are awesome, thanks guys. I will let you know where we end up.
posted by TheRedArmy at 2:19 PM on May 20, 2011

Wow. For once I could have really helped and I didn't read askme for two days.

Anyway, for future breakfast dates, I recommend Takoba (1411 E. 7th St.). They open at 10, have a nice brunch menu, a lovely patio area and the inside dining area is nicely air conditioned (for those steam-bath days like today). My friends and I were actually there for breakfast this morning, and the inside only had one other table of diners, while the patio had about four tables of diners, a couple of them with well-behaved dogs.

It was my first time there, but I will definitely go back. The food was quite tasty.

So, where did you end up going?
posted by Brody's chum at 6:00 PM on May 21, 2011 [1 favorite]

« Older A friend and a heroin addiction - what to do? Your...   |   Help me find an article about how the brain... Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.