This week was a smorgasbord of breakfasts at unique local Austin jaunts, Christmas shopping, friends, and discovery of new restaurants and stores. One of my favorites was yesterday with Mai and Jackie. Breakfast was suggested, and one thing led to another as we ended up at Austin's new 24 Diner that Jackie had suggested the evening before.
I arrived first, and sat down at a table for two with seats for three, but thru musical chairs ended up in a booth. Fortunately it was a much better angle for taking pictures of their cute little atmosphere. It was also much more comfortable for four when Mai and Jackie arrived a few minutes later.
In spite of it turning out a bit dark, I love that our waitress walking by was completely accidental in this picture. Her laugh is because she thought I was taking a picture of the place we were going to sit, and makes me laugh out loud as well.
24 immediately won me over with their commitment to local foods, starting with their special Owl Tree Roasting blend of, I believe, Kenyan and Brazilian coffee. I am becoming slightly addicted to Owl Tree's coffee.
Their menu was simple, yet managed to offer many options on just two sides. Oh, how I wish I had taken a picture of the breakfast side - next time! I ended up fixating on their cute little slogan, "Farm to Table".
No Belgian waffles, so I had to branch out. I loved how they listed the ingredients they use from local farms on a blackboard above the kitchen. It was the other half of what immediately won me over, and I was excited to taste the freshness.
The prices were a little high in my opinion. $10 for breakfast, not including coffee seems steep for breakfast for one. So, Mai and I decided to split the Spinach, Cherry Tomato, and Goat Cheese Frittata. Fortunately it was large enough to be completely filling for both of us.
I ended up with the cherry tomato half, and Mai ended up with the goat cheese half, as it could've afforded a little more mixing prior to completion of cooking. Although, we did trade off a bit with our ingredients, which made for an AHmazing few bites. Mai ordered veggie breakfast patties as well with her half which, as Jackie put it were, "Savory, smoky, and sweet."
They tasted just like one of the best meat sausages I've ever had, which, as a non-vegetarian, was absolutely delicious, and Mai loved it, too. Jackie ordered a goat cheese pulled chicken sandwich with avocado and roasted tomato vinaigrette which looked absolutely delicious on it's baguette,
and from all accounts lived up to the deliciousness that it sounded. I didn't personally try it, but it sounds like it would taste and look even better than it already did with thick sliced fresh tomatoes.
Overall the atmosphere was adorable, chic, and inviting,
the food was good, filling even with splitting, somewhat affordable with splitting - my bill still came to $11 with tip, and the service was impeccable. I'd actually heard reports that their service was slow, but it seems they were aware of that and were definitely making up for it. They had an excellent balance of making sure things were being taken care of without being intrusive.
With a few improvements this place could easily become one of my Austin favorites. A little attention to taste detail as I mentioned previously would go a long way and up the taste bud experience to perfection. In lieu of upping the taste detail, or even better, in addition to, slightly lower prices on most entree items would make this a much more frequent option. This would create lines out the door almost any day of the week, I'm sure. Also, it would encourage already fantastic service to the extreme as it would leave more room for tipping. But I'm not a business owner and I certainly have no idea of the ginormous funds it takes to run a business so who am I to say that. I just eat there!
I loved it and will totally be back,
on top of recommending it to locals and out-of-towners for an Austin breakfast experience
before shopping the day away downtown at Anthropologie across the street,
or experiencing the rest of the uniqueness Austin has to offer.
Speaking of uniqueness, I can't wait to explore this store, Emeralds, more. Mai says it is amazing with something for any occasion. She's getting her under $10 Santa gift there. Plus, they have clothes that are color-coordinated so if you need a yellow top you know exactly where to go (her words, not mine). I seriously think I could use two or three hours just to explore everything they have here, then be able to have it always in the back of my mind when I need something in particular. And the best part? They're right next door to 24 Diner. Breakfast and shopping. What could be better?