Kale, have you heard of it? This dark, leafy green vegetable has taken the world by storm over the past couple of years. Whether served raw, roasted, deep fried, or braised, kale gives a more intense flavor and texture than most salads with mixed greens. Over the past couple of weeks, I've tasted lots of kale and here's my favorite kale salads in Austin. Cafe Mueller Currently obsessed with this festival kale salad from the neighborhood cafe in HEB. Filled with cranberries, almonds pepitas, and tossed in an orange sesame dressing. Pick up a couple for the week and substitute your usual salad with this powerhouse vegetable salad, and serve alongside a comforting soup. TRACE Staying true to the core philosophy of serving food that’s seasonal, sustainable and locally sourced, Chef de Cuisine Lawrence Kocurek of TRACE debuts a newly revamped menu that is perfectly timed to a cooler weather shift. The Tuscan Kale Salad is made with kale from Springdale Farm. Served with wild mushrooms, croutons, warm apple and a pear vinaigrette. Of all the varieties, tuscan kale - also known as dinosaur kale - is richer, and much darker with lots of flavor. Second Bar + Congress Raw kale and carrots take the place of traditional salad greens and partners with a bold chickpea dressing that stands up to the hearty greens. The addition of red quinoa, red onion, and dill gives the salad extra richness. And the chef's touch: frozen red grapes, gives the salad a pop of cold sweetness against the hearty greens. Contigo Crunchy, sweet, and tangy all at once, this hearty main-course salad combines grilled kale, grapefruit segments, chestnuts, and roasted oyster mushrooms. Roasting kale in the oven gives it a hearty wilted texture with lighter crispy pieces and a nice caramelized char. The simple and flavorful vinaigrette made with fresh grapefruit juices brightens up the salad with a zesty and citrusy bite. Snap Kitchen Toasted garlic is tossed with bite-size kale leaves, then dressed with extra virgin olive oil, sea salt and lemon juice. The red chili flakes give this Tuscan kale snack a spicy kick that’s easily addicting.Read More
La Boite Cafe
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Breakfast may be the most important meal of the day, but brunch is the most favorite meal of the week. Boozy cocktails, stacks of pancakes, and eggs served in any way you like them. Start the weekend off with these local brunch spots in Austin. Chez Zee Tucked away in North Austin, this delightful bistro features Southern comfort foods and American favorites. The delectable weekend brunch features a creme brûlée French toast so good you'll want it for breakfast and dinner. Banger’s Banger's Austin is one of the best dog-friendly spots in Austin with a large tap wall (over 100 brews on tap), incredible sausage selection and live music. Get the kitchen sink, it is their version of beef tongue hash covered with two fried eggs, side of creamy grits, bacon steak, spicy sausage and country ham. And Sunday brunch wouldn’t be the same without a Manmosa - one liter of champagne with a splash of orange juice. Epicerie Epicerie Cafe and Grocery serves lunch, dinner and Sunday brunch with a neighborhood-centric focus on community, comfort and convenience. The croque madame is smothered with bechamel sauce and topped with a sunny side up egg, and the shrimp and grits is the perfect bowl of comfort for Sunday mornings. Have a sweet tooth? Order the beignets, they're made from scratch and covered with a mountain of powdered sugar! The Steeping Room Recently named one of the ten great places to curl up with a cup of tea, The Steeping Room offers specialty teas, food and designer tea ware. Stop in for a wholesome meal with natural meats, organic dairy, and cage-free eggs with gluten-free, vegetarian and vegan options. The Chai Spiced French Toast and creme brulee steamer are favorites. Contigo Remodeled after Contigo Ranch in South Texas, Contigo Austin serves up high quality, reasonably priced tavern-style dishes in an easygoing, casual atmosphere. Try the beef tongue hash, it's like steak and eggs only so much more delicious. Tender pieces of beef tongue are seared until crispy with a mound of crispy russet potatoes, Japanese scallions, a farm egg, and covered with a blanket of hollandaise sauce. Sit back and enjoy the picnic style brunch with a glass of bubbly and their enormous cinnamon rolls.Read More
I'm not going to pretend that I've eaten every breakfast taco in Austin because that would take a lifetime. However, with a bit of research and advice from other food lovers, I've narrowed down 5 of my current favorites. Cenote (1010 E Cesar Chavez St | (512) 524-1311) A good cup of coffee should go hand in hand with breakfast but that's rarely the case when it comes to most breakfast tacos joints. Fortunately, the two worlds do collide at Cenote. This East Austin coffee shop serves up fair trade, locally roasted Cuvee coffee and also has fantastic breakfast tacos. Bacon, chorizo, or potato top scrambled local Coyote Creek Farms eggs, all served on top of 2 corn tortillas. $3.50 might sound like a lot for a breakfast taco but these babies are huge and are impossible to eat without the filling spilling out. I’ve found that the best way to eat them is to make 2 tacos out of one. Best yet, they're even gluten free for the gluten intolerant. Taco Deli (1500 Spyglass Dr | (512) 732-0303 | 12001 Burnet Rd | (512) 339-1700 | 4200 N Lamar Blvd | (512) 419-1900) The folks at Taco Deli fully embrace Austin’s weirdness. Their 3 restaurant locations are always upbeat and fun. Their popular breakfast tacos fly off the shelves, especially on weekends when line-ups always form. What sets them apart is they only use organic eggs, which they scramble to fluffy perfection. They have traditional migas and less conventional varieties like El Popeye (sautéed spinach and crumbled queso fresco). The Otto, made with refried black beans, crispy bacon, creamy avocado and Monterrey Jack cheese is a must-have. Slather on one of their salsas, from the mild rioja to the fiery habanero. They offer flour, corn, and whole wheat tortillas for the health conscious. Juan in a Million (2300 E Cesar Chavez St | (512) 472-3872) I wouldn’t call this breakfast taco royalty, the Don Juan, a taco, per se; it’s more like 4 tacos. After travelling for 3 weeks, the first thing I craved after landing in Austin was the Don Juan. How strange. The Don Juan will be your best friend after a long night of partying. It is a mountain of potatoes, eggs, bacon, and cheese, loaded onto a pliant flour tortilla. It sounds simple but their secret combination is utterly addictive. I recommend ordering a few extra tortillas to wrap the griddled goodness up. For $4.50, this hefty “taco grande” is a meal and a half. Paco's Taco (1304 E 51st St | (512) 323-6206) If you have a big day ahead of you, head to Paco’s to fuel up. The Paco's Big Man is loaded with refried beans, cheese, peppers, potatoes, bacon, two eggs over easy, all rolled up in a 10" flour tortilla. For the everyday appetite, Paco’s breakfast tacos are $1.75 for 2 toppings, ranging from eggs to meaty sausage, to hearty beans, to vegetables like mushrooms and peppers. What makes their tacos special is they use a blended corn and flour tortilla that’s soft, yet slightly sweet and flavorful. Joe's Bakery (2305 E 7th St | (512) 472-0017) Joe’s Bakery, established in 1962, is by no means the new kid on the block and they take their breakfasts seriously. Apart from their bountiful breakfast plates, they have a long list of tasty breakfast tacos with every combination that you’d want in the wee mornings. Apart from the typical egg and breakfast meat taco, you can simply add an egg to any of their tacos for $1.09. So imagine having a barbacoa or chicharrone taco with an egg on top. Yup, that’s how they roll. For something less meat forward, their popular Migas Taco con Todo contains a healthy mixture of eggs, tomatoes, onions, jalapeños and cheese.Read More
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