Cafe Blue's Sunday brunch is highly recommended, but the rest still needs to be worked out
Reviewed by Wes Marshall, Fri., July 3, 2009
Sun., 9am-10pm; Mon.-Thu., 11am-10pm; Fri., 11am-11pm; Sat., 9am-11pm
Cafe Blue8714 Lime Creek Rd., Leander, 512/996-8188
Monday-Thursday, 4-10pm; Friday-Saturday, 11am-11pm; Sunday, 11am-10pm; Sunday brunch, 11am-2pm; happy hour Monday-Friday, 4-6pm
Lake dwellers, especially those in boats, usually get short shrift when it comes to fine dining. On Lake Travis, Cafe Blue is just about the only place trying to provide a viable fine dining option. For those who remember the original version of this lakeside eatery, one very important thing has changed – 90% of the restaurant area is now under a roof – still not air-conditioned, but between the fans and the breeze, it can be quite comfortable at brunch/lunch times.
We tried both a Sunday brunch and a Saturday lunch, faring much better with brunch. Eggs Benedict Arnold ($15) featured a good-sized, well-made crab cake, topped with a poached egg and a decadently rich shrimp and crawfish cream sauce. The steak and eggs ($21) were just that – a decent-sized rib eye and a couple of eggs, all cooked precisely to order. The Volente Volcano ($9) was a very good version of the popular molten chocolate cake, which created some magic with the side scoop of Amy's Mexican vanilla ice cream. With the beautiful view, a nice breeze, and an ice-cold Blue Moon ($4.75), lake life was feeling pretty appealing.
Our second visit was not so satisfying. There were no gross errors, but nothing was exactly right either. We started with blue crab spinach dip ($11), an intensely rich concoction with plenty of crab flavor but no chunks of crab in sight. The calamari ($10) had a dense sesame crust that was perfectly crisp, but the underlying squid was rubbery. The crab mac 'n' cheese ($18) claimed to have a "light cream sauce," but by the end of the meal, it was thick enough to stand a spoon in. The special was fish and chips ($12.95), which featured portions of fish so regularly sized as to suggest a factory formation. Chips that should have been crispy were limp. The worst surprise of all was the White Lightning Margarita ($8), chosen because it was described as lime juice, simple syrup, tequila, and Cointreau. If there was really any tequila in it, I certainly couldn't taste it.
Recommended for Sunday brunch. Hopefully the rest will be sorted out soon.