Launderette Combines New American Flavors with Worldwide Cuisine

By Keana Saberi, Reporter

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  • Launderette's flavorful biscuits and jam.

    Photo By Keana Saberi

  • The Fried Chicken Sammie brings heat and immense flavor to a classic dish.

    Photo By Keana Saberi

  • The whipped ricotta toast topped with strawberries.

    Photo By Keana Saberi

  • The quaint atmosphere of Launderette.

    Photo By Keana Saberi

  • The bright colored umbrellas add a nice accent to the outdoor patio.

    Photo By Keana Saberi

  • Posters hang on the wall, adding pops of color to the space.

    Photo By Keana Saberi

  • Shades of blue decorate the space.

    Photo By Keana Saberi

  • The delectable Pei Mussels are a treat to eat.

    Photo By Keana Saberi

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Located in the upcoming newly revamped East Austin area, Launderette, a chic and modern restaurant is altering the local food scene with New American fare incorporated with a flair of aspects of different cuisines. Once a laundromat, the space has been transformed into a quaint and charming restaurant by Chefs Rene Ortiz and Laura Sawicki. Chef Sawicki has been nominated four times for a James Beard culinary award for her skills as a pastry chef and the restaurant has been nominated as well for its cuisine.

The pair of chefs opened up La Condesa and Sway: two acclaimed Austin restaurants through the course of the past decade. Launderette opened in early 2015, quickly drawing in the relaxed urban population of Downtown Austin and becoming a local favorite. When talking to a member of Launderette’s wait staff they described the restaurant as part of “the newer age of fine dining” which caters to the Austin crowd.

Upon entering the restaurant, the outside patio is gorgeously adorned with a seating area with pastel pink and baby blue cushions and broad blue and white umbrellas that create a cozy yet elegant scene to enjoy the delicious food. Outside, white small tables are paired with stylish black chairs to sit and enjoy refreshments. In the restaurant, shades of blue and white furniture decorate the space and cute little flower vases sit atop each table. A gold modern light fixture adds a sophisticated and refined look to the restaurant above the dark blue counter where drinks are being mixed by a waiter. Retro art posters hang on the wall, adding to the authenticity of Austin’s laid back culture.  

Having been a few times, my go-to dish is the Pei Mussels. This dish transforms classic mussels into a zesty and delectable dish, dynamic with flavor and straying away from the norm of simplistic mussels. Flavorful and crispy pancetta blended with bright green olives decorate the tantalizingly soft mussels. On the side, golden slices of sourdough bread add a nice crunch to the simplicity of texture from the mussels. A green chile sauce coats the plate, adding intense heat that nicely complements the richness of the pancetta slices. The creaminess of the sauce adds another layer of textural complexity that brightens up the entire dish and ties all the elements cohesively together.

Another must-try dish is the Fried Chicken Sammie. A toasted challah bun is topped with a spectacular poblano slaw that combines the heat of the mild poblano pepper with the crunchiness of cabbage. Breaded and fried tender chicken is paired with the pickled peppers that add another savory flavor which makes the mouth water. To add, a decadent green sauce adds a piquant and tangy flavor profile to the dish. Overall, the addition of spice blended with the warm and comforting taste of the fried chicken makes for an amazing dish.   

Having a bite of their pistachio and rosewater infused gelato, the taste of pistachios and a variety of other roasted nuts is very prominent. The nuts are coated in a crispy layer which adds a nice textural component to the soft gelato. The sweet simplicity of notes of vanilla swirl with the dark and nutty flavors of the roasted pistachios, creating a distinct and complex flavor. As a seasonal gelato, this is an unforgettable and extraordinary creation far different from plain ice cream.The smooth and rich texture of the gelato melts in the mouth creating a sensation of sweet delight.

Another item to try on their menu is the biscuits and jam with whipped butter. The butter is coated in flakes of salt which perfectly contrasts with the pure sweetness of the fruity jam. The warm and soft biscuits radiate heat from the oven, and remind those who eat it of proper English scones served with the classic pairing of butter and jam. Aside from this small plate, Launderette also provides a wonderful array of beverages and small dishes to share with your dining party.  The prices are moderate, best for special occasions or a once in a while treat. 

A one of a kind spot, Laundrette is ideal for any meal with an ambience the exudes a relaxed yet polished atmosphere and great food. Going down to East Austin is worth it in order to give this restaurant a try because not only is there kind wait staff, but sitting down at the restaurant is an experience unto itself.

 

Overall rating: four out of five stars

Launderette

2115 Holly St, Austin, TX 78702

Sunday – Thursday 11 a.m. – 2:30 p.m., 5 – 10 p.m.

Friday and Saturday 11 a.m. – 2:30 p.m., 5 – 11 p.m.

https://launderetteaustin.com