Don't be fooled by the name: La Boîte's Dan Bereczki and Victoria Davis think outside the box
Reviewed by Kate Thornberry, Fri., Feb. 19, 2010
La Boîte1700 S. Lamar, 377-6198
Monday-Friday, 7:30am-4:30pm; Saturday-Sunday, 9am-5pm
An important new addition to Austin's fleet of food vendors has taken up residence at the South Austin business park: La Boîte Cafe. La Boîte (the box) takes its name from the reused shipping container in which it is housed. "It is Austin's first commercial shipping container," says Dan Bereczki, who operates the tiny cafe with partner Victoria Davies. "Victoria and I are both interested in architecture and innovation, so we decided to go with recycling a shipping container, rather than a trailer. Plus, two walls can be opened to the breeze in fine weather, which is wonderful."
La Boîte specializes in high-quality French pastries and gourmet sandwiches and offers a full complement of espresso drinks. What sets this little gem apart is the bang for your buck: five-star quality for absolutely average prices. Everything served is genuinely outstanding. La Boîte's stellar French pastries are made by Barrie Cullinan, the pastry chef known for her amazing work at Enoteca/Vespaio, who now runs her own wholesale bakery (www.barriebaking.com). Cullinan supplies La Boîte with croissants, almond croissants, brioche, chocolate brioche, pain au chocolate, sausage brioche, and ham and cheese croissants (ranging in price from $1.95 to $3.50). "Our prices are low," explains Davies, "but we feel that part of the reason we are operating out of, essentially, a trailer, is to lower our overhead, so we can pass that savings on to the customer."
The sandwiches are made by Bereczki and Davies from locally sourced, high-quality ingredients such as Full Quiver Farm cheeses, Richardson Farms meats, and fruits and vegetables from the Downtown and Sunset Valley farmers' markets. Every day La Boîte makes two different sandwiches du jour ($5.95), one of which is always vegetarian. I sampled the feta, roasted red pepper, and mesclun sandwich and the roast beef and Monterey Jack with horseradish mayo. Both were fantastic, elegant symphonies of well-chosen flavors, and the pain au lait rolls they came on (also baked by Cullinan) were simply the best: soft, yet with a good substantial tooth and a fine crumb.
In addition to espresso drinks, La Boîte also offers Topo Chico, Mexican Coke, iced tea, and cold-brewed iced coffee.
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