Restaurants & Bars


City Cafe in Elgin [Austin area]


Restaurants & Bars

City Cafe in Elgin [Austin area]

MPH | Jul 2, 2006 12:04 AM

Thanks to johnm for recommending this place:

I was just there for dinner. First things first: Their coconut meringue pie was simply outstanding. The crust wasn't very tender (so probably no lard, and maybe made with all-purpose rather than pastry flour), but it was firm, buttery, and delicious. The coconut-custard filing was just sweet enough, with a thick, creamy consistency. The meringue was a thing of beauty. The top was so evenly browned as to be almost caramel-colored, with little swirls, like the baker had been working with buttercream frosting, and toasted pieces of coconut. I had the same kind of pie when I was at RO's Outpost in Spicewood, which at the time I thought was pretty good. The coconut meringue pie at City Cafe just blew it away. It was absolutely perfect.

My friend thought the apple crumb pie was very good, kind of like an apple-crisp in a pie crust, with a tasty crumb-topping and a thick stack of tartly-sweet apple slices.

Other dishes sampled included an appetizer of fried veggies (mushrooms, zucchini slices, and broccoli florets) served with ranch dressing. These were well-fried and satisfying, though the breading was "Italian-style" prepared breadcrumbs for the zucchini and plain unseasoned ones for the mushrooms and broccoli. All the vegetable side dishes were quite good: the green beans--which were fresh, not out of a can--were seasoned Southern-style with bacon slices and onions; thick slices of steamed fresh carrot were served with a butter and sugar sauce; sautéed spinach was flavored with a judicious amount of garlic and onions. For a main course I had chicken-fried steak. It was well-fried with a crisp crust and tender meat. As with the fried veggies, however, the batter to the CFS was not seasoned, not even with salt. Because of this, the frying masked the flavor of all underlying ingredients. The slightly-sweet cream gravy, served on the side, had a nice texture, with no flour residue. The gravy could have used a bit more cream (or even beef fat) to improve the taste. Overall, the CFS was pretty good, though. The grilled pork chops that my friend ordered, however, were better. They were liberally seasoned with salt, pepper, and maybe some olive oil, and thrown on the grill. Simple, well-cooked, and delicious. City Cafe also offers homemade rolls and corn muffins. I preferred the rolls, which were the pull-apart type of dinner rolls. They were soft, yeasty, also a little sweet. If I hadn't been saving room for pie, I would have had more of them with butter.

If you haven't registered yet, johnm, I hope you do soon. That way you can keep the good suggestions coming!

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