Tuesday, September 28, 2010

A day in Austin, part 2

After our sno-cones, we were only a few blocks away from the Congress Avenue Bridge, which is famous for being a bat roost. We were there pretty early because we couldn’t get a conclusive answer to when the bats normally fly out for the night. Many, many people had gathered in a nearby park and along the bridge to watch the bats fly out at dusk. Once the bats started flying out, they continued in a thick stream for several minutes. And by several, I mean as probably more than 10 – I wasn’t counting.


I only took a few photos, thinking they might not come out well and what would I do with them anyway – put them on a blog about what I eat? What I like best about this photo is that you can see little screens in front of everyone around; I wonder if they captured any images of the bats better than I did. It was pretty cool to see so many people coming to see these bats, especially as I’d heard some Austenites wanted to get rids of the bats when they first started roosting under the bridge.

For supper, we went to Kerbey Lane Cafe, which is celebrating its 30th anniversary. One of Shelby’s colleagues had suggested this place knowing it had a vegan menu. This is a popular chain of 24-hour diners in Austin, and we even had a short wait for a table around 9 p.m.


Alex ordered from the all-day breakfast menu and chose the vegan platter, which features tofu scramble scattered with potatoes and packed with tomatoes and green onions. This also came with two house-made sausage patties and the featured pancake, which on our visit was cinnamon pecan. All in all, this was a tasty dish. I tried some of everything and the sausage patties were my favorite. They were packed with flavor and the texture was perfect. Unfortunately, I was too hungry and focused on chowing down to try to discern the seasoning. Sometimes it’s good to just enjoy the food.


I chose one of the specials, which was barbecued tofu, braised spinach, and sweet potato hash. I was really excited to get some Texas barbecue. However, just before our waiter brought out the food, he mentioned that they were out of sweet potato hash and asked me if there was another side I would like instead. He was met with a disappointed dumb look – the hash was featured as a favorite dish, plus I had no idea what my other choices would be. He suggested the sweet potato fries. Then everyone else’s food came out, and mine was about 10 minutes behind.


When it finally arrived, though, it was pretty good. The barbecue sauce was described as being peanut butter barbecue, but it was more of a peanut butter tomato, with big chunks of tomato, whole cloves of garlic, and peanut pieces. This was tasty, and this place was a good suggestion.

Andy and Shelby each got pancakes and bacon; Shelby really enjoyed her pumpkin pancakes. They sell their mixes in the store. Then we suffered through the long night ride back to their home. We had talked about spending a weekend in Austin, but our hosts live pretty far out from any city and they needed to come home to the pets.


  1. The Trader Joe's veggie masala burgers are awesome-if you like indian spices that is :)
    They are a little bit greasy; but that makes them even more delicious in my opinion. I hope you enjoy them!

  2. I love bats. Sometimes Mr. SV & I stand outside at dusk and we can see a little bat swooping back and forth in the air eating mosquitos and other bugs. Great looking grub in Austin.

  3. Mmm I could go for a vegan diner place around here! Both plates look awesome!

  4. Sounds like you are having a great time. I hope you enjoy your visit.


  5. That is so cool about the bats!
    I would like to have what Alex ate..it looks so yummy. Yours looks good too, but I love breakfast foods.

  6. i spent 3 great years in austin, and one of the things i miss most is the kerbey lane vegan breakfast :) i'm glad you saw the bats -- it's pretty cool how they just keep pouring out from under that bridge!