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Kerbey Lane Cafe Remains Local Austin Favorite

By Anouka Saha, Reporter

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An Austin staple, Kerbey Lane Cafe once started out as a small restaurant run out of a house on Kerbey Lane. Now, it has expanded to seven locations across the city. The 24-hour cafe is a favorite among many locals, and is seen as a fun environment to relax and enjoy some good food.

When my brother, dad, and I arrived at the parking lot of the cafe on US-183, there were more than a few empty spaces and it was quiet. However, walking inside the restaurant was a different story. The place was bustling, and the scent of syrup filled the air. We entered into a large airy room with a bar and TV on the side. The staff waiting to seat us was very friendly, and led us to a place filled with the chatter of other diners. Small, colorful paintings dotted the walls and music played faintly in the background. One thing I definitely loved and found very quirky was the amount of pancakes being ordered by others. Though it was dinnertime, clearly breakfast food was still in high demand. The booth we sat in was very nice, the only downside was that our table was a bit rickety. We decided to order Kerbey Lane Cafe’s famous Kerbey Queso, Green Chile Mac, Greek Chicken, Fried Chicken Platter, and a Chocolate Strawberry Pancake.

The Kerbey Lane Queso was absolutely incredible. Perfectly warm, gooey, and cheesy, it was a great starter. The guacamole and pico de gallo added to it really made it special. The bowl of queso they brought us was huge, and the cheese seemed to melt in your mouth. The cool flavor of the guacamole and pico de gallo, though not as spicy as I expected it to be, was a pleasant contrast to the warmth and tangy richness of the queso. This added another dimension to an otherwise typical dish, and I would definitely recommend it. While this appetizer came fairly quickly, we had to wait some time for the main courses to come.

The Greek Chicken was much more than just chicken — the dish also included pita bread, hummus, and tabbouleh. The chicken was well-cooked and juicy, and the toppings of tomato, olives, and feta cheese really added to the flavor. The presentation on a bed of spinach was attractive and very interesting. The pita bread, though dry, was very soft on the inside, and the triangular shapes they were cut into were very neat. But that did not detract from the way the warm bread enhanced the hummus. It was not what hummus typically looks like, it was a little more orange in color. The flavor was also stronger, making it above average and unique. The tabbouleh, a salad with chopped parsley, was a little bland, and didn’t add much to the quality of the meal. Nevertheless, it was still good and I would definitely recommend it to someone looking for a healthy and filling option.

The Fried Chicken Platter perfectly captured the comfort food vibe, and had an incredible amount of food for a reasonable price. The fried chicken was as good as it could be: crispy on the outside, yet soft on the inside. It wasn’t too hard to chew and it wasn’t too salty as chicken sometimes can be. Along with the meal came mashed potatoes, a biscuit and broccoli. The mashed potatoes were incredibly soft and creamy, and eating it with the cheese and bacon on top made it even more unique. The broccoli tasted average and was nothing special. But the biscuit on the side was very flaky and rounded off a very familiar food.

There was also the Green Chile Mac, a spicy twist on the classic mac and cheese. It wasn’t as cheesy as macaroni and cheese usually is, but the added spice made it more flavorful and different. The fried chicken on top also helped add to its quirkiness. It was crispy and soft at the same time, but a little bit dry. The macaroni was also a little lukewarm, which made this dish to be a bit more mediocre than the others, but still something new and tasty for macaroni and cheese lovers.

The final item I ate was the Strawberry Chocolate Pancake. Taking the first bite, I realized why everyone was ordering them at night, even though pancakes were a breakfast food. The pancake was today’s special and I was a little shocked because the pancakes were just how I liked them — not too fluffy but also not too thin. It smelled like chocolate and tasted absolutely heavenly with the smooth, dense syrup. Initially, I didn’t get much of the strawberry flavor but after a few bites in, I started getting hints of it, adding a new flavor into the mix of sweetness, chocolate, and syrup. It was different from the ordinary buttermilk pancake, but in the best way possible. For me personally, these pancakes were as close to perfection as I could get.

From the unique flavors blending together, to the lively, friendly atmosphere of the place, I would definitely say Kerbey Lane Cafe is the place to go. The price is moderate, our meal cost was about $55, and the servings are large. Overall, I would give this Austin landmark 4 out of 5 stars.


Kerbey Lane Cafe

13435 US-183, Austin, TX 78750

P (512) 258-7757

Mon – Sun 24 hrs


About the Photographer
Anouka Saha, Reporter

When I'm not in student press, I'm usually playing piano, reading, or watching TV shows (Avatar: The...

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