A hidden gem in the North Loop area
Reviewed by Rachel Feit, Fri., Feb. 15, 2013
Daisies Cafe2320 Hancock Dr., 524-1904
Tue.-Fri., 7am-3pm; Sat., 10am-3pm
Amidst the noise and panache of almost weekly restaurant openings in central Austin's Allandale and Rosedale neighborhood, there is a hidden gem of a cafe that few outsiders know about.
Daisies Cafe is easy to miss. Attached to a gas station and convenience store at the busy intersection of Hancock and North Loop, at first impression, the location is charmless. But owner Angela Tyler has remarkably transformed a nondescript gyro joint into a sunny diner for breakfast and lunch. And it hasn't taken long for local residents to catch on; Daisies is becoming a neighborhood favorite for its eclectic take on comfort food. Home-cooked breakfast tacos form the core of the morning fare, while lunch generally features a mix of sandwiches, soups, and salads to appeal to meat lovers and vegetarians alike. Think fat, well-seasoned hamburgers ($6.99-7.99) and chicken shawarma ($6.99) alongside homemade vegan burgers ($6.99) with a side of thick-cut, seasoned fries. I will confess to some disappointment with the "Angie" Reuben ($6.99), which I found to be a bit soggy. Toasting or grilling the bread would help. Daily specials such as Salisbury steak, chicken and dumpling soup, and mouthwatering crème brûlée French toast with homemade whipped cream (brunch only) keep the small menu fresh and exciting.
But sampling the goods can be no simple feat. Daisies Cafe keeps absurdly short hours. No dinner. Closed Sunday and Monday. The place is closed by 3pm, and on Saturday, it doesn't open until 10am. And on one recent Saturday, the cook (who was not the owner) seemed to have some trouble with timing a meal for four. There are only five tables at Daisies, which means it doesn't take much for the place to feel full, and I think a full house can put a stress on the one-person kitchen. Still, it's hard not to like the bright interior, friendly staff, and terrific burgers this truly neighborhood spot offers. Daisies is worth venturing off the beaten path; just make sure you check their hours first.