Second Helpings: For 24-hour Party People
Up all night? Hungry? Literate? Then read on.
Katz's Deli and Bar618 W. Sixth, 472-2037
I gotta tell ya, though it's a bit pricier than your average all-night greasy spoon, Katz's New York-style deli menu can sate most any appetite. The classic Reuben comes with a half-pound of meat, as do the prime Angus burgers. The menu also features homemade soups, salads, all-beef kosher franks, meat loaf, and Yankee pot roast. Katz's breakfast lineup features the requisite bagels and lox, blintzes, and latkes.
Denny's/Denny's Classic DinerVarious locations
Though things haven't been the same since they discontinued the free birthday meal for adults (kids 10 and under are still eligible), Denny's still packs in the late-night crowd. At $2.99 (more during the wee hours), the Grand Slam Breakfast with two eggs, two pancakes, bacon, and sausage is almost a bargain of Las Vegas proportions. The Moons Over My Hammy ham-and-egg sandwich is worth ordering just for the pleasure of saying it. Denny's lunch/dinner menu includes burgers, sandwiches, steaks, and a decadent fried appetizer basket that includes onion rings, chicken strips, and cheese sticks with marinara dipping sauce.
Kerbey Lane Cafe3704 Kerbey Lane, 451-1436
2700 S. Lamar, 445-4451
12602 Research, 258-7757
2606 Guadalupe, 477-5717
If there is such a thing as Austin-style dining, Kerbey Lane has been instrumental in defining it. Their trademark gingerbread pancakes and migas pack in the Sunday brunch minions, while the after-club crowd chows down on enchiladas, burgers, sandwiches, and salads with locally grown produce. Kerbey Lane's black bean and roasted chicken tacos are a particularly hearty find for the budget minded.
Magnolia Cafe2304 Lake Austin Blvd., 478-8945
1920 S. Congress, 445-0000
This venerable Austin variation on the coffee shop serves great breakfast tacos, French toast, and omelets along with fresh-squeezed orange juice and strong joe. The economical among us will appreciate Magnolia's wide selection of inexpensive grilled potato dishes and breakfast tacos. The menu also features a number of vegetarian items, including Magnolia Mud, a must for every visit.
International House of PancakesVarious locations
IHOP and Waffle House (the latter of which Austin sorely lacks) are two of the only national sit-down chain restaurants that don't make you feel like you've stumbled into some focus group-tested concept. IHOP's food is simple, but the pancakes are always good and the coffeepot is always bottomless. They make huge omelets, and who can resist ordering the Rooty Tooty Fresh and Fruity breakfast? If you're not in the mood for breakfast, IHOP also serves burgers, sandwiches, steaks, and pot roast.
Jim's807 Camino La Costa, 452-0450
Highway 183 at Burnet Rd., 837-1119
Spicewood Springs at Highway 183,
Highway 290 at Highway 71, Oak Hill,
The funny-looking cowboy mascot on the welcome mat is the first sign that you've wandered into a regional coffee-shop chain whose aesthetic is permanently mired somewhere in Reagan's first term. Jim's breakfast fare (served anytime) includes most of the standards along with decent breakfast tacos. For lunch or dinner, try the chiliburger with fries or the chicken-fried steak plate. That and several cups of coffee will have you feeling whole again.