Eating local foods can keep you from stretching your tongue too far and help reduce your carbon footprint to just four toes. Taste the fruits of proximity with today's Groupon: for $20, you get $40 worth of food and drink at Texas French Bread, near the North University area. Texas French Bread is the 2010 Austin Chronicle Critics Pick for Most Comforting Locavore Winter Bistro Meal.
Served Tuesday through Saturday, the rotating dinner menu combines diverse culinary interests in French and Mediterranean cooking with local, fresh ingredients. As of June 12th's iteration, you can commence your consumption with the tomatoes two ways, fried green tomatoes from Austin's Boggy Creek Farm paired with fresh, ripe tamahtoes from Jonestown's Angel Valley Farm ($8), or slice into the homemade tagliatelle drizzled with Italian olive oil and garden-grown fresh herbs ($13). Present the yummy kids menu to the little ones, who can find their spirit food with a charcouterie plate of turkey, salami, cheddar cheese, apples, and pickles ($6). Top off a hearty fresh meal with the butterscotch budino ($7), the finest of its kind since Scotch bakers drained Loch Ness. Although dinner's the meal du jour, Texas French Bread also serves breakfast and lunch.
The family of artisans behind Texas French Bread has cooked up beloved homemade breads and pastries for nearly 30 years and just introduced their succulent supper last year. A welcoming, honey-brown building lined with blue windows and white shutters prepares diners for Texas French Bread's scrumptious homemade dishes. Inside, exposed brick walls lined with paintings envelop wooden tables, and your mealtime indulgences may come accented by live music and Scott Bakula's electromagnetic embrace.
You can bring your own wine or beer, though corkage fee is not included in your Groupon ($4 per bottle or six pack).
Texas French Bread is a 2010 winner of Austin Chronicle's Critics Pick for Most Comforting Locavore Winter Bistro Meal in its annual restaurant poll. It also won Best Bread and an honorable mention for Best Full-Service Bakery in the same poll. Texas French Bread was reviewed favorably by the Austin Chronicle and by Jet Austin!, jetBlue's Austin-based lifestyle and travel blog. Yelpers give it an average of 3.5 stars, and 83% of more than 60 Urbanspooners recommend it.
- We experienced a very pleasant evening with a meal of simple, well-prepared dishes in comfortable surroundings with attentive service from the restaurant's proprietors and their personable staff. – Virginia B. Wood, Austin Chronicle
- By the end of the evening, I felt like I’d dined at an intimate dinner party cooked and served by friends. – Spike Gillespie, Jet Austin!
- The dinner is wonderful. The food is fresh, prepared well, and overall delicious, and the menu itself is super good. – Lee N, Yelp
Texas French Bread
Aromas of baking sourdough, amber rye, and brioche bread waft from the ovens of Texas French Bread, winner of the Austin Chronicle's Restaurant Poll Readers award for Best Bread in 2009, 2010, and 2011. For the past three decades, these ovens have been churning out artisan breads, pastries, and desserts made from scratch, and under the helm of brothers Ben and Murphy Willcott, the ovens now cook a dinner menu of local and sustainable rustic French fare, earning a place in the top five on the Growers Alliance of Central Texas's Truly Local 2011 restaurants survey. Yet neither of the brothers set out to be bakers. Murph, a Harvard law-school graduate and lawyer, and Ben, a student of English literature, both enjoyed staying up late, cooking, and coordinating aprons with spatulas so they decided to take over Texas French Bread with the goal of turning it from bakery into bistro because, as Murph claims, "rock star and/or Hollywood movie mogul seemed like a stretch."
In the kitchen, Ben crafts a weekly rotating menu hewn under the guidelines of famed chef Alice Waters, with local, fresh, and simple ingredients from the urban farms of Boggy Creek and Angel Valley, served in season at their peak. Meanwhile, the pastry chef sculpts key-lime tartlets, cupcakes, and cream puffs to accompany cups of coffee or espresso drinks made with locally roasted beans from Anderson's Coffee Company. The house blend combines premium East African beans with a Costa Rican hard bean, barrel-cooked to a medium-brown, full-city roast to jump-start mornings without licking a car battery.