One of my favorite things about living in Austin is eating breakfast at Mexican restaurants. The nine-year-old in me absolutely loves the concept of starting your day with a basket of warm tortilla chips and a variety of fiery, cobweb-clearing salsas.
We've been stepping out quite a bit for chilaquiles, unofficially looking for the best in town, so my chicken-fried steak streak has wavered. Recently, we were feeling conventional (read as: chain restaurant) and tried Trudy's, a Tex-Mex joint more famous for their syrupy-sweet Mexican Martini than anything on their food menu. I was a little bit wary when we walked into the place. If Jim's Restaurant was a respite for oldsters and nostalgia over coffee on a Sunday morning, Trudy's seemed to be the place where every good-looking twenty-something was sipping their Bloody Mary breakfast at the enormous bar, and the only nostalgia was in trying to remember last night. Our very cool waiter didn't hesitate to enthusiastically mention the six different incredible drink specials they had, but when I ordered black coffee and asked how the CFS was he could only shrug and say "Yeah... it's alright?"
I wondered if maybe I'd be better off with chilaquiles?
Chips and salsa arrived with our black blood of the gods, and I set aside my reservations and hesitations. When the CFS came, it looked promising – a generous portion of round steak with all the requisite nooks and crannies that a hand-breaded CFS should have. Jalapeño cream gravy was served on the side. The over-easy eggs were over-cooked, the hash-browned square of potatoes looked crispy but were sadly soggy. The pico de gallo side baffled me a bit, and I wasn't quite sure what to eat it with. The steak itself was better than the waiter had let on, and certainly not the worst I've had on this quest – properly cooked, a touch tough, but seasoned well. It would get me by for a bit (and my chips and salsa-stuffed inner nine-year-old) until we could wrangle and round up the next breakfast CFS.
No, NO. I don't want the Mexican Martini. I'm old, humor me.