Our Saturday started like this. “What do you want to do today”? My answer “ go to Paris”. “I was thinking of something a bit closer”. “Mexico City?” “Closer?” “How about Austin?” “Hmmmm ….. ok.” And so we did. We drove 2.5h just to go to Austin for lunch.
You may say, why would you choose to drive that long just to get to Austin for lunch? The reality is that we would have easily spent more time than that driving around Houston getting errands done (Houston is a 100% car based city), so this way rather than fighting traffic we were able to enjoy a bit of the Texas countryside, stop for Kolaches at Hruska’s Bakery in Ellinger and enjoy a few hours in Austin, one of the funkiest cities there is anywhere. Hunger and Austin go very well together, although a bit of insider knowledge is needed to know exactly where to go to satisfy that hunger. Our plan was simple; a food truck. The food trucks of Austin are not only unique and diverse, but hardly ever disappoint. They can transport your taste buds to any city you want with incredibly authentic flavours.
But it was 40 degrees today…full midday sun, and food trucks require one to sit and eat outside often without shade. So we chose to visit Café Elizabeth instead, a gorgeous and incredibly popular café sandwiched between two large food truck lots. Café Elizabeth is a mix between a Vietnamese café and a French bakery and does both things very well. They have great bahn mi and pho, spring rolls, curries, lots of interesting fruit based drinks and a really fantastic kids menu.
Perhaps surprisingly we chose to sit outside. Not only was there more room (and no waiting line) but the terrace is beautiful and was cool enough that one could sit there relatively comfortably as long as you were presented with a steady stream of cold drinks and the fans were pointed in the right direction. The numerous fans were blowing a super fine mist onto the terrace. We could see the mist but we could not feel it. It just evaporated within a second of hitting the air but it all helped.
The hot chocolate at Café Elizabeth wasn’t as good, or as interesting, as the food was unfortunately. Instead I would recommend lunch at Café Elizabeth and then go back onto First Street towards Austin and you will get to another food truck park where you will find Holy Cacao which, as you will see form a past review, offers a serious hot chocolate.
Verdict: Great food, great atmosphere, great food, but hot chocolate only so so. I’m not sure anyone comes here for the hot chocolate anyways and, as mentioned, other good hot chocolate options to finish off your meal in the vicinity (if you still have room!) Café Elizabeth, 1501 S. First Street, Austin, Texas