Dinner for Two at Elizabeth St. Cafe
I’m drawn to anything mint or pink colored, which meant I instantly fell in love with Elizabeth Street Café. This adorable boulangerie and banh mi shop is an eclectic mix of bonbons, baked goods, noodles, and sandwiches. The menu offers great options, and the daily specials offer excellent suggestions too. I’m going to France in November and I really hope that the bistros are like Elizabeth Street café; with elegant white touches and floral wallpaper, chalkboards with specials and hidden coat racks. I would recommend this space for brunch, a quick stop for your sweet tooth, or a wonderful catch-up session between girlfriends.
Life is short so I’m going to talk about dessert first.
Espresso cream puff. Kaffir lime tart. Nutella Éclair. Are you drooling on yourself now? You should be. If the macaroons are as delicious as they look, you’re in for a treat. Their cappuccino is decent enough, and the café au lait is good as well. I wouldn’t go here for the coffee, but once here, I was grateful they offered it.
But we didn’t start with dessert first. We started with an order of the rice paper and vermicelli spring rolls, which were so good it turned into 2 orders of spring rolls. Yes, two people can eat 4 spring rolls and save room for dinner and dessert. The great way the spring rolls are served is that you can enjoy them in your choice of flavors; they are served with sweet chili vinegar, ginger-jalapeno sauce (for the spice lovers), and my favorite, the peanut sauce. The rolls themselves are filled with noodles, greens, carrots, and I think shrimp (don’t hold me to that), but they were fantastic.
I ordered the daily special, which was marinated and herbed flank steam served over rice and greens. The mix of sweet and spice, hot and cold elements, was all amazing. The steak was cooked perfectly, and the marinade also served as dressing to the greens and made the rice sing. The other options on the menu made it a tough call, but even as I ate the leftovers the next day, I was still pleased with my dinner decision. Singapore noodles are a great offering as well, and when I go back I’ll likely try my hand at the kaffir lime fried chicken banh mi. Come here jalapeno, I can take you!
Similarly to my experience at Titaya’s, cilantro made its way onto menu items that didn’t specify it, so if you’re not into the cilantro flavor, you should ask your server. They were a great resource each time I would scrunch my nose and ask if an item was “too spicy.” It was some of the best service I’ve had in Austin. Or maybe the dessert just sweetened my impression (get it?).
Elizabeth Street Café is worth a visit, the food and atmosphere and dessert are a winning combo in my book. Give yourself a bit of time to find parking and you’ll be all set.