Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Funk & 50's at Austin Diner

Breakfast, by all accounts, is a pretty affordable meal, unless you're hitting brunch with 2 or more friends every weekend and sipping on mary's or mimosa's. Sort of puts the cost of eggs, bacon & toast in its own place. My initial hope with Breakfast In Austin was to flip between breakfast and brunch from week to week and showcase some cool places to start the day. With my last two reviews focusing on brunch, it was time to focus on some breakfast only menus. This weeks choice? The Burnet Road landmark and ultra retro, Austin Diner.

The Austin Diner oozes that old 50's - 60's ultra funky vibe! I'm not sure if it was the old signage embossed with "Diner" out front or the hard plastic elementary styled chairs with steel legs sitting outside. I couldn't wait to open the door to see what subtle nuances I might find inside. I was not disappointed! Gotta say, it was a toss-up on the old school decor - the glass vertical shelving hosting pots & pitchers, a wall holding old toasters & griddles AND the black records mounted on the walls and hanging from the ceiling. The latter was my fav! Certainly the formica dinette tabletops and checkered floors added a little class to the joint.

After G-Man and I were greeted by a pleasant waitress, I found myself bobbing along toward our table to an Elvis Presley tune. Totally fitting but where was the jukebox? We ordered our obligatory black coffee & water and once pleasant waitress returned, the musical stylings had hit Stevie Ray and an old Aerosmith tune. Nice mix! I asked what 2 items were popular on the Austin Diner menu. Answer? The Egg Platter or Brian's Favorite. But I had another idea in mind...

At the recent urging of a friend who loves Migas, he suggested I find a presentation to write up and photograph. The stars aligned because Migas was exactly what I wanted. Austin Diner delivered! Made with two scrambled eggs (which honestly seemed like the largest 2 eggs I'd ever had) sauteed onions, cilantro, jalapenos, tomato and a generous amount of tortilla strips, topped with cheese...I was in absolute heaven! Flavorful and hearty, I couldn't finish my plate (and I used the 2 flour tortillas provided). The Migas was also served with semi-bland home fries and a cup of black beans with kick. The charge? $6.99 - which to me was well priced and worth every penny!

G-Man was also inclined to order the Migas, great minds I'm telling you, but for the review's sake opted instead for the Mexican Omelet. G-Man hadn't eaten an omelet in years, but was curious and on a protein kick. His egg creation was made with 3 eggs, blended cheeses, sauteed onions, tomato, jalapenos, cilantro and topped off with ranchero sauce & sour cream. I thought the presentation looked too runny but G-Man was pleased and commented on the solid flavor and heartiness of the dish. I went in for a bite with my own fork and found the omelet - good. G-Man's sides included toast and home fries, all for the sticker price of $7.50.

I leave you with this - the general philosophy in Austin, I believe, is never sacrifice the stomach's need for nourishment. There is never a shortage of those who spend at their favorite establishments, but come on...we're all looking for a deal! The Austin Diner has that affordability factor. Matched with ambiance and vibe, patrons won't feel short changed. Perhaps the same circa 1950? Austin Diner offers great food, supplies awesome portions, is ultra-easy on the pocketbook and serves breakfast all day! So go pay your bills and swing by this hip little Diner.

It's all about the feast, not the famine! (Thinking this might just be my catch-phrase!)

To learn more about Austin Diner, go to http://austindineronline.com/home.html

To view the Breakfast Menu, go to http://austindineronline.com/dinermenu.pdf and scroll down to the very bottom

Pros: Affordable prices, cool retro vibe, quick & friendly service, flavorful food, lots of patrons, good parking
Cons: Sorry, but the tables were a little dirty
Suggestions: Wipe off the extra large salsa bottle before you move it from one table to another - germaphobes won't like that

Austin Diner ~ 5408 Burnet Rd., Austin, TX 78756 ~ (512) 467-9552


  1. Jen, Great blog! To add to your list, The Omlettry, Juan in a Million and 24Diner for fried chicken and waffles. Enjoy!

  2. Thanks, Nicole and thanks for input. It's appreciated! I have yet to eat at The Omelettry or Juan in a Million but they're definitely on my list. I love 24 Diner but have yet to review it! As you can imagine, my list is LONG. It's all about the feast, not the famine!