Austin >Austin Diner
Austin's quintessential greasy spoon recently moved into new digs, and while a few menu items are still working out some kinks, this hangover breakfast has remained steadfast: "The California." A humongous, delicious plate of mushrooms, cheese, spinach, onions, black olives and avocado hash browns and eggs. Split this with your favorite drinking buddy.
This is the best American breakfast place in town, that's why you only find locals there. The service is adequate. Usually pretty friendly. But this is Austin, and most places have terrible service. So, I'm gonna go ahead and say they have awesome service considering the league they are playing. Besides, it's the weekend and you've just lost the plot if you're in a rush. Go back to Threadgills or Dallas if you can't just kick back and relax at the Austin Diner.
This is one of the only places left in town that is truly keeping Austin weird without even trying. The owner is a hard-working man who can always be seen at the Diner. The staff are young and hip and would probably rather be doing anything else than serving your ugly mug on a beautiful Sunday but they do the best "waiter" impressions they can come up with, but the cooks, on the other hand, are rockin' it out! If you go there for lunch, get the BLT. You're welcome. You can't go wrong with breakfast. Everything is good, even the pancakes (they're not all dry and cakey like Kerbey and Magnolia).
A Denver Omlette Amongst Friends. A question: have you ever wanted - NEEDED, really - a Denver Omlette? You know exactly what I am talking about: that delicious and seductive blend of salt, eggs, butter, mushrooms, green onions, black pepper and green bell peppers. That sweet ham. Made only better because it is topped off with the love and dedication that only a real "line cook" can bring. Then, you absolutely MUST trek down Burnet to this Den of Coloradoian Goodness at the Austin Diner and order a Denver Omlette. Or two! Now! When I relocated to Austin from Boulder, CO, I'll admit, I was skepitcal: "This isn't Denver. Heck, this isn't even Colorado. This is Texas, Diana (that's my wife, Diana)! Our days with the Denver Omlette are over." Boy was I ever wrong! ....also, their iced tea is good.
Here are the facts. It's all about the food.. I've been to the Austin Diner 25 times over the past couple of years. Probably more. The service has been largely uninspired, drinks have gone un-refilled, the decor is strangely unsettling. Yet I have never had anything other than a wonderful meal. Sometimes an inspired one. I've had their sandwiches and soups and specials and breakfasts and so forth. Honestly, it is just consistently great food at a reasonable price. Half the time I get their tuna salad sandwich on toasted sourdough with swiss cheese. Unbelievable.
Great Decor & Customer Service.
The food is quite good (not outstanding or anything). But what I really like is the decor. It is most definitely one of the most interesting restaurants I've been to.
It has, and showcases, vintage Coffee pots / makers, Toasters, Mixers etc. They always have fresh flowers on the table too.
On the negative side - parking can be a problem. Also, it's not a cheap place. An omellette w/Potatoes and toast with OJ or Coffee will come out to $10+.
You People Are Nuts!.
Just go there.
I'm not sure what disturbance was in the force when some of these previous reviewers visited Austin Diner, but this is one of my favorite places to eat (especially breakfast) in all of Austin. No, it's not fine dining. If you want a fresh tablecloth and a native english speaking server, then you should go somewhere else. But if you appreciate the laid back friendly culture of Austin, then it's for you.
I haven't even mentioned the food!
It's all wonderful. That's all there is to it.
The only variable I can think of is the pancakes. At their worst, they're very good...like Kerbey Lane on a GOOD day. At their best, they're the best damn pancakes I've ever put in my mouth.
My advice? Get yer ass out there this saturday morning and find out for yourself.
Or don't. I'll get served quicker that way.
Great Reviews Set Us Up for Disapointment. We heard nothing but great things about Austin Diner and were a little lit down. The pancakes were below average, four ice cubes in a huge tea glass and there was a bit of a language barrier with the waitstaff. The prices were not as cheap as were described in other reviews. However, the omlettes were more than good and the food was prompt and served hot. We will go back, but with lower expectations.
Review by a Regular. Living only a couple of blocks away, we eat breakfast here regularly, and enjoy it considerably. The food is good, portions immense, your coffee cup will never be empty, and the ambience and servers have personality. For best value, get a breakfast taco, or two if really hungry, and ask for some salsa. Its gets busy on weekends, but we've never had to wait, unlike some trendier spots...
The Full Moon at the Bar. After waiting for 10 minutes b/c you can't seat yourself even though there are available tables, we finally sat down. We got the same awful waiter as last time. It took over an hour to get our scrambled eggs and when we got them, they were COLD. Don't even think about ordering onion rings b/c they will only give you 5 in a basket. Then we saw the hostess stand on top of the kitchen counter in her combat boots to wipe an item off the chalk menu--how sanitary is that?? What a waste of time, money & stomach space. I do NOT recommend the Austin diner.
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