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Ross' Old Austin Cafe

11800 North Lamar Boulevard, Austin, TX - (512) 835-2414
Posted By Mark Kaupe on 7/22/2009 12:54:00 AM
Ross' Old Austin Cafe is a great spot for home-style food in Austin. It is located at the very northern reaches of the city, near Walnut Creek Metropolitan Park, far from the crowded regions downtown. You feel as if you are in the country. In front is a covered stage surrounded by trees and wooden tables. Inside are the usual trappings and wall decorations that are required in Texas.

You place your order at the counter as you walk in. The menu items are written above on a chalkboard. They are simple and never-changing. The selection of sides is limited, and mashed potatoes are not guaranteed to be available. Baked potatoes are a staple; they become home fries the next morning.

The chicken fried steak is one of the best, with a crisp and well-seasoned coating; it's covered in a peppery cream gravy. The broccoli was a surprise; toothsome, buttery, and seasoned. The green beans went to the opposite end of the spectrum, canned and heated. Dang...

Bacon-wrapped pork loin is a popular Texas favorite. How can you not like pork wrapped in pork? I also ordered onion rings. They arrived hot and juicy in the blink of an eye. I have never seen food come out so quickly. The pork loin was tender and flavorful, topped with lightly sauteed and juicy onions. The fresh-cut French fries are excellent, and I had to order the broccoli again. These two meals did not require any additional seasoning; I kept my hands off the salt and pepper shakers.

Breakfast has a simple menu. I had the migas: two eggs scrambled with tortilla strips, tomato, onion, and a side of ranchero salsa. It comes with home fries, a fluffy, yeasty biscuit, and a choice of meat. It was good, but the home fries (listed as hash browns) were not seasoned; they were bland. The orange juice, served in a jelly jar, was refreshing. I had a side of biscuits and gravy and it deserves many complimentary adjectives. It was perfectly seasoned.

Ross', in a small and funky building, has flavorful, well-prepared food. You will find the locals meeting, eating, and listening to the music played on the outdoor stage on a starry night.

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Scorecard

3 - Overall: Excellent - Worth a Detour
Overall: Excellent - Worth a Detour
Chicken-Fried Steak
Migas with Ham
Bacon-Wrapped Pork Loin
Onion Rings
Biscuits and Gravy
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Reviewers Photos [Upload Your Photos]

This is a side of biscuits and gravy.  Very light and satisfying; the fluffy biscuit does not weigh you down.
"This is a side of biscuits and gravy. Very light and satisfying; the fluffy biscuit does not weigh you down."
Mark Kaupe





Bacon-wrapped pork loin was well-flavored, and the fries were fresh.
"Bacon-wrapped pork loin was well-flavored, and the fries were fresh."
Mark Kaupe


Migas is as prevalent in Austin as hash is in New England.  This is a great deal as it includes a choice of meat along with tortillas or biscuit. I went for the biscuit.  Good choice.
"Migas is as prevalent in Austin as hash is in New England. This is a great deal as it includes a choice of meat along with tortillas or biscuit. I went for the biscuit. Good choice."
Mark Kaupe


Velvety cream gravy covers the delicious and flavorful breaded steak.  The Texas toast is essential for mopping up the plate.  The broccoli and beans are as different from each other as night and day.
"Velvety cream gravy covers the delicious and flavorful breaded steak. The Texas toast is essential for mopping up the plate. The broccoli and beans are as different from each other as night and day."
Mark Kaupe


The Ross family story makes for good reading.  I learned about how interconnected some of the more popular places are in this town.
"The Ross family story makes for good reading. I learned about how interconnected some of the more popular places are in this town."
Mark Kaupe


The usual suspects are listed at a very good price.  Click on the photo for a better view.
"The usual suspects are listed at a very good price. Click on the photo for a better view."
Mark Kaupe


Steven is part of the most recent generation of the family.  He is all over the place as he moves around from front to back while engaging the regulars as he goes.
"Steven is part of the most recent generation of the family. He is all over the place as he moves around from front to back while engaging the regulars as he goes."
Mark Kaupe


Music, meals, and merriment are at work here.
"Music, meals, and merriment are at work here."
Mark Kaupe


Ross's takes pride in its contribution to Austin.  The family's history in the food business goes back to the early part of the 1900s.
"Ross's takes pride in its contribution to Austin. The family's history in the food business goes back to the early part of the 1900s."
Mark Kaupe



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