Longtime cofounder and current owner Carl Zapffe has been at the helm of this place for many years and he is quite a character. Who can forget the time he deep-sixed the obnoxious Gordon Ramsey because they asked his staff to sign a contract acknowledging that no member of the staff would lay a hand on Ramsey? Or when he created the gigantic “eat this burger” contest. That’s a much heavier me about 8 years ago trying to do just that with the enormous challenge.
The Bakehouse had a menu that was truly eclectic. The Sausage Crisps (as noted) were one of the tastiest and most calorically dense dishes around. And the South Austin Beef Wellington was always up to its ironic and facetiously originated name. The burgers were spot-on and were indeed a handful. Decent soups as well.
You could get Chinese stir fry and dishes from around the globe. Some great, a few not so great, but they were always innovating at the Bakehouse. Their cookies were awesome and their brownies were even better.The bar scene was lively and one could always count on meeting some fascinating folks at this Manchaca mecca.
Rebuilding will begin and soon a new 24-hour concept will emerge. Apparently the new owners are considering a contest where customers can choose the name of the new venture. I’m still somewhat in a state of shock, however, that Carl is actually selling. I thought he would go on indefinitely. I will miss this little joint next to the laundromat and the cultural reference point for the “old” south Austin that it became.