Let’s face it. No one really likes a coffee shop muffin. And those dense bars you keep in your bag are probably better used as spackle than a meal. This week, skip the convenience foods, set your alarm a little earlier, and make time for breakfast at one of these five new AM hot spots.
Fresa’s Chicken al Carbon
Chefs Rene Ortiz and Laura Sawicki’s casual South First restaurant, recently named by Andrew Zimmern as an Austin must-try, has always dished out ATX’s best breakfast tacos from their to-go window. Now, you can sit down and stay awhile. The expanded morning menu includes chilaquiles — here served with pulled chicken, a rich huajillo sauce, and crema — and migas, but we can’t get enough of the crisp breakfast quesadilla dipped in Fresa’s signature fire-roasted red salsa. If you are feeling a little naughty, start your day with a tequila sunrise made with grapefruit juice, Topo Chico, and grenadine. You can always squeeze in a nap at lunch.
Batch Craft Beer & Kolaches
Get your cheat day off to a good start at Noah and Josh Lit's Manor Road shop, now open for breakfast. Under the guidance of pastry chef Jasmine Jones, owner of I Knead That bakery, Batch is serving up inspired takes on Czech pastries. On the klobasniky side (Czechs only refer to non-meat offerings as kolache), Batch has teamed up with wildly popular barbecue trailer Micklethwait Craft Meats for treats stuffed with brisket and sausage. But vegetarians shouldn’t despair. Jones' menu includes dough pockets filled with everything from the trappings of a veggie pizza supreme to chocolate, pecan, and caramel, to seasonal fruit sourced from local growers.
Although the new East Austin restaurant is most known for executive chef Max Snyder’s New American dinner menu (the fried chicken is already a cult classic), breakfast offers a chance to enjoy his adventurous cuisine on the cheap. Order The Pitchfork, soft scrambled eggs topped with a rotating selection of charcuterie, provolone, and a touch of sambal. The bagels are great too, whether served with pimento cheese and herbs, house-cured lox, or plain. Double up on the Flat Track coffee if you have a spin class.
The Houston import is best for those days when you don’t have much to do. Linger over a creamy chia seed pudding made with coconut milk, roasted almonds, seasonal berries, and a drizzle of honey and an Orange Julia, an adult version of your favorite mall food court treat. If there is a line, no worries. Grab a drink and head next door to Thompson Hanson, a curated shop featuring kitchenware, breezy clothing, home scents, and, yes, the restaurant’s namesake potted plants.
The Warehouse District staple has opened a second location in Mueller’s growing Aldrich Street District with an expanded breakfast menu and a warm airy space. The breakfast tacos from the downtown location are still available for those on the go, joined by an omelet stuffed with cream cheese, turkey, and bacon, and egg skillets served with breakfast sausage, mushrooms, or jalapeño cheddar sausage. The overnight French toast, made with baguettes from sister restaurant Stella Public House, is essential for those with a sweet tooth.