East Side Café

Posted by on Jan 1, 2007 in East, Reviews, Upscale Casual
2113 Manor Rd.
Austin, TX 78722
(512) 476-5858
Mon-Thu: 11am-10pm
Fri: 11am-11pm
Sat: 10am-11pm
Sun: 10am-10pm

Hey there restaurant fans. There’s something about restaurants in old houses. A feeling of warmth, of intimacy, of comfort. The sense that one is in the world and yet somehow comfortably detached from it. Of course, these digressions only work if the food does as well. And I’m pleased to tell you that at the East Side Café, on Manor Road, about a mile west of the old airport, the food most definitely works.

The cuisine here is what you could call American eclectic. You could toss in American authentic as well. They have an herb garden out back where the produce makes its way to your lunch or dinner on a daily basis. Start with the shrimp and goat cheese quesadillas. Pile a tortilla high with grilled shrimp, goat cheese, jack cheese and cilantro, serve with a lovely salsa, and you have one terrific appetizer. I’m also a big fan of the spicy tomato soup.

This is a puree of tomatoes, onions, tortillas and jalapenos topped with tortilla strips and jack cheese. The first rush of flavor you get from this will purse your lips and extract a GIANT aaaahhhhh!

To the more substantial fare, I love the smoked salmon ravioli. They use a homemade ravioli here and fill it with smoked salmon, dill, ricotta cheese and top it with a lemon cream sauce that is right on the money. And how about the amazing sesame catfish? They cost a catfish filet with sesame seeds, parsley, and breadcrumbs, grill it in butter, and serve with aioli. It’s excellent.

I also really enjoy the wild mushroom crepes. They begin with a mix of wild and domestic mushrooms (funny, I had a girl friend years ago who accused me of being a domestic mushroom), and then ad walnuts, ricotta, and jack cheese. They top this with a roasted tomato mushroom sauce that’s the perfect complement to this frenzy of fungi.

The prices are quite reasonable relative to the quality of the food. If you have not been, and I find that hard to imagine, go soon. Take the manor road exit off I-35, head east, and you’ll see the lovely, old house and the garden on your right.

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