Elizabeth Street Café – Austin, Texas (Round 1)
It would be an understatement to say that I like Elizabeth Street Café. This little gem was discovered in 2012 when Todd and I were yet again riding around Austin on our Bikes trying to find a place to have dinner. This small café was halfway between our house and the SoCo area. We had ridden by it may times and thought it was just that, a café, coffee and bakery…boy were we wrong.
Elizabeth Street Café is, in their own words: “classic French specialties, Stumptown coffee, a beautiful garden patio, bustling lunch, beer, wine, sake, vegetarian specialties, croissants, baguettes, pho, curry, national newspapers, dog friendly, kid friendly, to-go food, ride your bike over here and hang-out kind of place.” Their food is a combination of French and Vietnamese. You can go in the morning for a coffee and some amazing baked goods, or you can spend your evening there talking over cocktails and a piping hot bowl of pho.
On my first go-round of Elizabeth Street Café I tried the bún. I instantly thought this was a sandwich, but it is actually noodle dish. The bún starts with a bowl of Rice Vermicelli and tops it with Lettuces, Herbs, Cucumber, Carrot, Roasted Peanuts and is served with a side of Nuoc Cham. What is Nuoc Cham you ask? It is the most well known dipping sauce made from fish sauce. It combines lime juice, occasionally vinegar, one part fish sauce, one part sugar and two parts water. This is served as the dressing for the dish. Being Vegan and Elizabeth Street being veggie friendly they informed me that I could order the Roasted Mushrooms & Grilled Tofu bún with Vegan Nuoc Cham…perfect.
(Sorry about the off color photos, we were dining under pink lights!) The dish was kind of a salad, yet kind of an entrée. The starters in the bowl are all chilled or room temperature and that is topped with your selection of meat (the warm part of the dish), mine being Grilled Tofu and Roasted Mushrooms. I now crave this dish, it was so good that on my third visit to the Café I ordered it again (yes, I said my third visit).
To drink Todd and split a pitcher of one of their house-made punches, the waitress suggested Rosé Monsoon. Not too sweet, this punch contained Rosé, Lillet Rosé, Sparkling Rosé, Lychee Black tea, Pear & Lime Juice and Thai Basil. For an appetizer I went for the Rice Paper & Vermicelli Spring Rolls. The Vegan option being Ginger Marinated Grilled Tofu, Breakfast Radish, Thai Basil and Serrano pepper. The spring rolls are served with Sweet Chili Vinegar, Ginger-Jalapeño and a Peanut Sauce.
Elizabeth Street Café was the perfect way to begin our trip to Austin. As I said before, it would be an understatement to say that I like this Café. This is one of 3 posts I have on this restaurant alone, stay tuned…
P.S. Like Elizabeth Street Café on Facebook