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Ross' Old Austin Cafe

11800 North Lamar Boulevard, Austin, TX - (512) 835-2414
Posted By Bob Dale on August 24, 2009 11:07 PM
Ross Sterzing has been a fixture in the Austin restaurant business for many years. The history of his family in the food business goes back to his granparents' Maerki bakery directly accross from the Texas State Capital building on Congress Avenue, now a historical landmark and museum, which eventually moved to what is now Katz Bakery on 6th Avenue. Pictures of both businesses as well as many other historical Austin landmarks and souvenirs of Ross' past are displayed throughout the restaurant.

You will probably never find Ross not personally manning the cash register but if he is not there you can bet that one of his sons will be. Simply put, this is just a great family owned and operated local eatery in every sense of the word. Both the food and the atmosphere are very casual and comfortable. Ross or Steve will probably check on you several times during your stay and are likely to remember you on your next visit.

After placing your order at the counter, make your own salad and enjoy it while your meal is prepared. I recommend the sirloin special on Thursdays, a nice-sized sirloin steak grilled to order and covered with sauteed onions and mushrooms. In addition to the salad, it is accompanied by your choice of potatoes and vegetable. Also good are the fried catfish, chopped steak, CFS, and burgers. It's all good!
4 star rating
Overall Rating
Sirloin Steak
Chopped Steak
Chicken-Fried Steak

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Posted By Mark Kaupe on July 22, 2009 12:54 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.
3 star rating
Overall Rating
Chicken-Fried Steak
Bacon-Wrapped Pork Loin
Biscuits and Gravy
Migas with Ham
Onion Rings

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