Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Brunch with a Boom at TnT Tacos and Tequila!

Dare I say that Breakfast In Austin has discovered the biggest boom for it's buck at TnT's Sunday Brunch? Absolutely! I wouldn't have believed the $17.95 full buffet with Champagne and Mimosa's sticker price unless I had tried it myself. There are always hidden costs with Brunch, right? You want coffee & cream, that'd be an extra $2.50. A premium vodka in your Bloody Mary? We'd be happy to provide that for $8.00. Champagne in a flute? Oh...that's not part of the Sunday Brunch cost, but I'll be sure to add $10.00 to your final bill. After two months of exploring a variety of spins on breakfast in our fair city of Austin, Tacos and Tequila on the corner of Pressler & W. 5th Street, offers the most legitimate Brunch for the best price!

Like most patrons, I'd experienced TnT as the new place on W. 5th Street for Happy Hour. A distinct tequila menu intact, TnT's post work experience boasted inexpensive Mojitos & Margaritas with delicious handmade chips served in a brown paper bag with a variety of salsa's. Pretty much heaven! Unfortunately TnT doesn't seem to have a distinct marketing strategy for their Brunch aside from word of mouth. (It's not on their website with only a minor mention on Facebook) I'd heard of TnT's Sunday Brunch by way of an insert attached to my final bill at Happy Hour. Brunch? Oh boy! I was intrigued with their $17.95 price and knew I'd have to add it to my list of places to go. Additionally, my friend Kindra (aka KZ, who did not pay me for this endorsement) enjoyed TnT's Brunch soon after and highly recommended the stop to Breakfast In Austin. An immediate move up the list...

My companion for Sunday? Ever the good sport, G-Man, who teases me mercilessly when I pull out the Nikon for photo opp's. We arrived at 10:15 a.m., after scoring a parking spot on Pressler St. just outside the restaurant. There's always something a little odd about arriving first. Like you're the overanxious patron who beats everyone else to the venue and catches the staff doing something naughty. Like licking a spoon or picking their nose. In this case, the staff wasn't quite finished with their set-up, so it gave Breakfast In Austin a chance to walk the venue and photograph some of their offerings.

Our server, Amy, with the purple highlights and friendly smile, greeted and guided us through TnT offering great tidbits and made us feel right at home. G-Man and I opted to sit outside amongst 10 sidewalk tabletops. The interior of TnT is open & festive but on a sunny, temperate morning, there's nothing like fresh air while you eat. I loved having the option!

Amy recommended we try the handmade mango agua fresca added to our champagne. Absolute perfection! I must admit this was the #1 hit for me at TnT's Sunday Brunch and it didn't hurt that Amy was ON the refills!

Always a sucker for Eggs Benedict, I requested two-made to order and enjoyed every bite. Other delicious items were the Shrimp Ceviche, Cheese Enchiladas, Red Potatoes, Migas, Flan & Cinnamon Brewed Coffee.

Here is a listing of some of TnT's brunch items including impressions & snapshots (note the * signifies extra worthy):

*Eggs Benedict (delicious flavor, muffin & egg were perfect, hollandaise was GOOD and would've been my new #1 with a touch less butter)

*Shrimp Ceviche (fresh, fresh & fresh, delicious)

*Cheese Enchiladas with Blue Corn Tortillas (right side of plate - perfectly made with great taste)
*Cornbread Grit (sweet and surprising)

*Red Potatoes with Peppers & Onion (near perfect with flavor & spice gusto)
*Migas (delicious)

*Corn Tortillas & Chicken Stew (flavorful thick sauce)

*Homemade Tortilla Chips & Salsa (love them!)
*Fresh Guacamole & Queso (both excellent & fresh)

*Coffee (a blend made especially for TnT - smooth, rich with a hint of cinnamon)
*Flan (creamy, yum)
*Baked goods (Tasted several - loved the cinnamon twist)
*Fresh fruit (Strawberries, Raspberries, Blueberries)

Pasta Salad
Huevos Rancheros
Chicken Enchiladas (the ONLY thing I ate that wasn't good)
Rice & Beans (standard)
Sausage Links
Belgian Waffles (with amazing fixings)

Tacos and Tequila pulls off a genuine blend of breakfast & lunch with an appealing Mexican infusion. I literally enjoyed every item with only one exception, and that my friends, is impressive! Just take the chicken enchiladas off your menu, TnT, and I'll pretend they never existed! Full buffet is $17.95, children 6-10 are $6.95 and children 5 and under are free.

I've heard some say that TnT is hard to find. It's not! If you're driving into downtown from Mopac, Pressler is a cross street on W. 5th. Past ART on 5th & Covert Buick Body Shop, look for the new Gables on your left and TnT is on the 1st floor. Parking is free in the garage at the Gables or you can try your luck on or around Pressler Street.

It's all about the feast not the famine!

To find out more aboutTnT Tacos and Tequila, you can find them at: or on Facebook at:

Pros: Great selection of food, friendly & attentive staff (Amy our server was awesome), the mango agua fresca was insanely delicious, DJ Manolo playing some groovy tunes, affordable all in one price, terrific open & light atmosphere, outdoor seating, great parking
Cons: Still setting up when we arrived, the chicken enchilada
Suggestions: Advertise your Sunday Brunch! You can't rely on word of mouth only when you have huge competition all around you. You're a business, so make some money!

TnT Tacos and Tequila ~ on the corner of W. 5th & Pressler ~ 507 Pressler Street, Austin, Texas 78703 ~ 512.436.8226

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Mass Production at Kerbey Lane Cafe

Ohhhh, Kerbey Lane Cafe, how you've disappointed Breakfast In Austin! Pumpkin pancakes! 30 years in business! Spectacular presentation! I only wish this was my 1st time visiting with no knowledge or regard for you...but because it wasn't, I returned a patron with high hopes based on your prior consistency. My expectation didn't do you any favors, Kerbey Lane Cafe, though I can probably forgive you and will most likely return.

My expectations? I expect a 30-45 minute wait, I understand your enterprising move farther up 183 to accomodate more people, I get how busy and popular you are in all of your locations and I can even sympathize with the challenge in mass producing food and living up to the Kerbey Lane Cafe name. But it's your name! Your Patrons! Their experience! Really, I'm not complaining. Read all my other reviews...

After listening to the cool blues guitarist outside and watching kids dancing & adults fidgeting, our pager vibrated and we were ushered by the hostess to our extra large and comfy booth. In moments we were greeted by a friendly server and placed our drink orders. I happily accepted and enjoyed my cappuccino with froth. It was hot and substantially caffeinated. Side note! On a Sunday you're prohibited from ordering a bloody mary or any other alcohol for that matter until noon. BUT if you order food FIRST (before noon on Sunday), THEN you're within legal means to order the cheer. Patrons can thank the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission for this little law.

After taking a few minutes to scour the breakfast items, we ordered and then waited an additional 30 minutes for our plated food. Stomachs growling, our plates were finally presented! Unfortunately the items were not hot and had that semi-lackluster, muted appearance, where you just kinda know your food sat in a pick up station for several minutes. Ugh. All joking aside, we've all had that moment where you suspect complaining probably won't do any good. Especially after waiting 60 minutes. In the interest of hunger (we were nearly cannibalistic) we sucked up our disappointment and ate. THANKFULLY, there was still that glorious flavor in my Eggs Francisco, but I just couldn't get that past satisfaction back by eating a lukewarm meal...

The items...

I ordered the Eggs Francisco consisting of an English Muffin piled with scrambled eggs, bacon, tomato, avocado and a generous heap of creamy queso with sides of seasonal fruit and shriveled home fries - all for $7.95. I would highly recommend this offering to anyone because of it's flavor.

The 14 year old boy ordered a Breakfast Platter with 2 scrambled eggs, 2 pancakes (blackberry to be specific) and mandatory bacon for $5.55. Bacon was the only hit for him. He was disgruntled with the cold pancakes and flat eggs, leaving most of the food on his plate.

G-Man ordered the Biscuits, Scrambled Eggs & Gravy plate with 2 sausage patties for $5.95. His comments? Flavorful gravy but lackluster and hardly warm. He cleaned his plate though - obviously hungry.

So, should you go? Yes. Based on my past experiences at Kerbey Lane Cafe, I'd recommend a trip and the Eggs Francisco or any variety of pancake. They've always done a fine job! Unfortunately we caught KLC on a bad day. In the future, I'll personally avoid the weekend and hope for fresher food at a different location Monday through Friday.

It's all about the feast, not the famine!

To learn more about Kerbey Lane Cafe, go to:
To scour Kerbey Lane Cafe's breakfast items:

Pros: Bustling, people watching, great menu selection, service, guitar guy outside, established repuation
Cons: Cold food, waited 30 minutes for a table for 3, waited 30 minutes for our food, understaffed during their busiest time
Suggestions: More staff on the weekends? Back up runners from pick up counter to table?When you have this many Patrons & mass production there is so much room for error and less than stellar experiences

Kerbey Lane Cafe has four (4) locations to serve you:
Northwest ~ 13435 Hwy 183 N., Ste. 415, Austin, TX 78750 ~ 512.258.7757
South ~ 2700 S. Lamar, Austin, TX 78704 ~ 512.445.4451
UT ~ 2606 Guadalupe St., Austin, TX 78705 ~ 512. 477.5717
Central ~ 3704 Kerbey Ln., Austin, TX 78732 ~ 512.451.1436
Southwest ~ 4301 William Cannon, Austin, TX 78749 ~ 512.899.1500