Hello, friends. It's Sunday morning, and here in Austin, Texas, the weather is a tap-dancing transvestite of AWESOME. Sun is shining! Blue sky above! The kind of day where you better have your jazz hands ready to shake, if you know what I mean.
That being the case then, conditions are perfect for a brunch on a big, beautiful patio. Or at the very least, brunch in a setting with lots and lots of windows. (And if you don't like brunch, well then I just feel sorry for you).
So I'd like to humbly suggest 24 Diner for your brunch, friends.
Ross (R.) and I ate at 24 Diner for brunch about a week ago, after I had read several local food bloggers in town go bananas over it (including cute Poco Cocoa), and also after I had helped judge that chili cook-off, which 24 Diner won. So Ross, being the steel-stomached individual he is, ordered the CHILI and the brown sugar/roasted banana MILKSHAKE, for BREAKFAST. Hopefully you can see from caplocks in this sentence that I think that is an insane idea, and wouldn't suggest it to the average diner.
Anyway, my own breakfast was slightly more modest: roasted brussel sprouts, mashed sweet potatoes, and these beet-heavy, moist veggie patty sausages. Now friends: I love brussel sprouts. Nay, worship. That is because my mother makes incredible brussel sprouts herself, and can convert even the most heart-hardened brussel sprout hater with her recipe.
Well. 24 Diner's brussel sprouts were, if you can even imagine this, just as good as my mother's. An idle endorsement, this is not.
My sweet potatoes were a tad on the rich and buttery side, but then I am one of those odd people who ate sweet potatoes, naked, for roughly one year. What, you don't know any other people who did that? We're out there. Trust.
Back to Ross and his chili/milkshake brunch. He is sitting a few feet away from me now Reader, and had this to say about his meal:
"The milkshake defies description. Something you just have to experience. And the chili was very, very rich. Not to be taken lightly."
Heh. I would say so.
The last thing I want to say about 24 Diner, besides the fact that Ross and I ate there again for dinner a few nights ago, and that their dinner was just as eyes-rolled-back inducing as brunch, is that their food is sourced from local and regional farms. I know this because my buddy Dan works for Austin Farm to Table, and 24 Diner is one of their clients. And that, I think, is 24 Diner's standout characteristic: That in addition to the hip, retro diner atmosphere, the nostalgic decor, the tasteful menu and well-crafted dishes, there's a consciousness here that benefits both the environment and the eater. As it turns out, things taste a lot better when they've been plucked just a few miles away.