Boomerang's specializes in meat pies made how they make 'em in the land down under, where women glow and men plunder. The flaky pie crust is baked fresh every day from scratch—an ethereal, hallucinogenic substance comprised largely of all-natural flour—and stuffed with all-natural ingredients for a healthy handheld meal that can go toe-to-toe with any fast food. Meat pies are $5.50 each; beef comes in a wide variety of concoctions, such as Guinness steak and potato and Texas barbecue, while chicken clucks up in Thai chicken and chicken & mushroom in a creamy supreme sauce. Despite the focus on meat, vegetarians (known in Oz as vegemites) can sink their teeth into curry veggie, southwest veggie, and spinach and mushroom pie breeds for $5 a pop. Breakfast pies ($4), small sausage rolls ($3), and combo meals (up to $9.75) are also available.
Without relying on toxic cleaning products such as Perchloroethylene and hydrocarbon solvents or a bucket of melted action figures, EcoClean delivers professional garment cleaning and laundry services that are as good for the environment as they are easy on your skin. Thanks to a special wet cleaning process that uses biodegradable detergents and state-of-the-art equipment, clients can have their dirty shirts and blouses ($6.75), pants ($7), and regular dresses ($9) cleaned to a point of earth-friendly squeakiness. To prep for an important job interview or a mistakenly formal appearance at a paintball field, sport coats ($8), two-piece suits ($15), and full-length formal wear ($40) can be rid of their annoying aromas faster than coating a skunk with body spray. EcoClean also provides free pick-up and delivery (limited area available; call for details). Additional charges apply to items that are lined, beaded, stained, pleated, ruffled, or heated frequently in microwaves.
In 1984, Bob and Elizabeth Tumolo, a Philadelphia mother-son team, opened the first Rita’s Italian Ice, a modest shop that sold cups of ice water blended with chunks of fresh fruit. The smooth, flavor-packed recipe, which dates back to ancient Rome and Greece, was an immediate hit with Philadelphians and classics professors. By 1987, the Tumolos owned four shops, and by 2007, 500 locations served icy treats across the country.
Today, Rita’s Italian Ice continues blending fresh batches of Italian ice daily. Flavors ranging from tangy lemonade to sweet mango rotate based on the whims and cravings of the friendly staff. The expanded menu also serves thick frozen custard as well as the popular gelati, distinctive blends of Italian ice and creamy custard.
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.
Only steps from the University of Texas campus, a blue neon sign flashes the name of one of the city's most iconic diners: Kerbey Lane Cafe. The location on Guadalupe reflects the retro style and ethical consumerism of the neighborhood: Austinites can't get enough of their locally sourced, seasonal food and large range of comfort dishes, including vegan and vegetarian options, of course. They even compost! Kerbey Lane is known equally for their breakfast items and their Tex-Mex. Specialty pancakes, like seasonal lemon-glazed flapjacks, are not to be missed, and the gooey Kerbey Queso is a beloved late night snack. This UT-adjacent Kerbey Lane outpost is newly remodeled, with soothing birch walls and a gleaming breakfast counter, updating the 13-year old location for a new generation of diner food lovers.
Lil' Mama's Corner Café's resident pastry maestro Heather Biagas whips up scrumptious, scratch-made baked goods from all-natural ingredients. Visitors looking to stimulate blasé taste buds without eating a book of haiku can indulge in the cook's signature bite-size homemade cheesecakes. Flavors such as plain, fudge swirl, and caramel swirl add variation within the box of 12 creamy treats. Groupon customers who order a second dozen also receive 10% off their order, valid only at the café. Though not included with this Groupon, visitors to Lil' Mama's Corner Café can peruse a menu of full-size cheesecakes, brownies, cookies, and fresh bread.