Austin >34th Street Cafe
Don't let its casual decor fool you: 34th Street Cafe is a serious restaurant dressed up as a laid-back bistro, and their rigorously local menu means business. These days, you and your date can enjoy three (large-ish) courses for under $100 on Valentine's Day, and speaking from experience, the bacon-laced butternut squash ravioli (on the menu this year) is an ecstatic experience. I mean hopefully you'll be experiencing ecstasy in other ways, but why not start early, at the dinner table?
Blink and you'll drive right past this little charmer, located behind Seton Medical Center..
Built of concrete blocks, with a ceiling of steel beams and corrugated iron, the interior is made serene by colorfully painted walls, original art and white tablecloths. The crowd runs the gamut of ages, and is simultaneously upscale and laid-back. The chicken quesadillas are delicate and flavorful, though hungrier diners might want to order two. The goat cheese and spinach pizza includes a light drizzle of olive oil.
Too expensive for an ok dinner. First, the service is not fantastic by any means. The tables are way too clode together making the waitstaff bump you every time in order to sqeeze between your chair and the person behind you. The food was not nearly as impressive as it should have been for the price. You can find much better in Austin!
Interesting food. Their menu was a good one that didn't try to do too much. The portion size was good as were the prices. We came with a large party (this is a smaller place) and had fine service. The restaurant accomodates fine wine lovers (hint, hint).
Great new find. I have been to this restaurant twice, once for dinner and for lunch, and I have been pleased both times. The food is splendid with rich textures and elegant flavors. Although the place is small, you should try this one out atleast once. Overall, the food was good and the service was below average.
Best New Find of the Year. My boyfriend and I were seated immediately on a Saturday night. The server was very knowledgeable about the wine list and encouraged us to sample three selections. She was very personable and, even though we were wearing jeans and t-shirts, she treated us as very important guests. The food was unique and delicious. Serving sizes were perfect (we chose from the "small plates" section of the menu), and the wines were exceptional and complimentary to our meals. Since the food portions were just right, we had room for amazing chocolate espresso cake with ice cream.We paid $56 for two of us to have entrees, wine, dessert, and coffee, and we had an amazing experience. We highly recommend this place.
Butter is NOT Aioli (mayonnaise)!.
Nice ambience and helpful service improved lackluster food.
Everything sounded better on the menu than it tasted in execution, unfortunately.
The fried oyster appetizer tasted like its cooking oil ---no oyster flavor whatsoever. Old or overused oil is the cause.
The smoked salmon appetizer dish claimed to have aioli with it, but instead, it arrived with a whipped herb butter (so, yukon potato chip, smoked salmon and butter are supposed to be good together?) without any mention by the wait staff. Do they think guests don't know the difference between butter and mayonnaise?
LOVED IT!. I graduated from UT without ever going to this place, but on a recent trip to Austin with my family, we went there for dinner. Such a charming place - the food was fabulous, the service was impeccable... couldn't have asked for anything to be better!! This is definitely one of my new favorite Austin restaurants. I wish I had known about it while I was living there in college!
Not Worth It. Went for dinner on a Friday night with my boyfriend and two friends. No wait. We were the first seated in the section. Other tables that were seated thirty minutes after received their salads and appetizers before we did (a few tables received their dinner before we got our salads). There was some excuse from the waitress about serving things in courses. However, watching all the tables around us receive all "courses" before we did was upsetting. How long does it really take to make a Caesar salad?? The food was ok. It certainly wasn't worth the $150 bill we received at the end of the night and the tip we shouldn't have left.
Friendly, fresh, great value. We have been to 34th Street often, mostly for dinner lately but for lunch, too. Saavy insiders (or those capable of reading) know that you can park behind the rug store just west of the block the restaurant is on or in the back. The well-selected and inexpensive wine selection is a delight. The food is fresh and the ambiance is of a neighborhood place. Laura Bush used to come here with her girlfriends on weekends, a lot of people know each other. Lunches are ordered at the counter but table service is the rule in the evening. Fries here are my favorite in town.
Nightmare on 34th Street. This restaurant does not deserve customers. I went with two guests and two of us ordered the special, beef tenderloin with carmelized onions and our guest ordered a cheeseburger. 30 minutes later we were told they were out of the special. Why can't they tell you when you order it??? We were told we could order something else, but they were out of most things and whatever we ordered "Had better not cost more than the special!" ??? They should have given us a refund but they would not. We asked for the owner's phone number and he never answered. We left 3 messages explaining our experience and he never even had the courtesy to reply!!! Owners like this do not deserve customers!!! If you are thinking about eating here, skip it! If you are craving a nice lunch nearby I recommend going to Foodheads, NeWorlDeli or Central Market instead!!!
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