I have been hearing about Elizabeth Street Café since day one of moving to Austin. Elizabeth St. Cafe serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and has an in-house bakery that makes classic French pastries and desserts. The small French Vietnamese café seemed charming and with a name like that how could I resist? So today for lunch I packed up my camera and headed down to South Austin to try it out.
Although parking can be very sparse in South Austin, I held tight to my mom’s mantra of “there’s always room up front” and sure enough I scored a perfect spot right outside the restaurant. When I walked in my first thought was that this little café is exactly the type of place that could be featured in a rom-com chick flick movie. It’s stinkin’ adorable! And led by Chefs Larry McGuire and Tommy Mooreman I knew I was in for a treat.
I was greeted enthusiastically by the hostess and she informed me that I could grab a table inside, sit up on their countertop bar but that outside would be a few minutes. Since I was by myself I didn’t want to take up a table, so I hopped up onto a bar stool and started pouring over the menu.
I immediately knew that I wanted to try more than one thing, everything just looked so intriguing. The menu features a slew of options from pho, báhn mì, bún, specialty items and spring rolls. They also have a wide range of beverages from beer and wine to saké, but since I was dining alone and it was early afternoon, I stuck with my H2O.
A sucker for a good spring roll I opted to start off with the BBQ pork roll.
BBQ Pork, Shredded Carrot, Daikon, Basil, and Mint all wrapped up in Rice paper, these babies were yummy. They came with three dipping sauces; a Sweet Chili Vinegar, Classic Peanut Sauce, and my personal favorite the Ginger & Jalapeño.
mmm mmm goodness gracious
What came next was equally delicious. Eyeing the passing dishes going by me I decided to go with a bún dish. Bun (pronounced “boon”) is a great, cooler alternative to pho – it has the same thin rice noodles, fresh vegetables, but no boiling hot broth. It’s basically like a rice salad, and with grilled meat on top. I chose the Grilled McAllen Ranch Flank Steak with rice noodles, lettuce, bean sprouts, cucumber, carrot, peanut, jalapeño, and radish. Topping it off with a Nuoc Cham, a vinegar fish sauce dressing that was delicious.
I was worried for a wee minute about the chop sticks, but accepting the challenge they weren’t too hard to use and I gobbled the salad right up.
Even though it was like pulling teeth to get my waitress interested in helping me, although who could blame her; I was a girl sitting by herself taking pictures of her food, I loved Elizabeth Street Café and will definitely be back. Bravo Chefs Larry and Tommy!
So with my leftovers and cappuccino in tow, I’m headed off to my next culinary adventure.