Sunday, February 17, 2013


Chicken-fried steak and eggs at Monument Cafe. © Ryan Schierling

There aren't too many old-school diners in Austin proper. The last, best place to get chicken-fried steak and eggs for breakfast was Arkie's Grill over on E. Cesar Chavez, but their temporary closure for remodeling turned permanent, and now the space is slated for a "New Orleans-inspired diner serving classy Texas comfort food with a Louisiana flare." Whenever I hear "classy" and "comfort food" in the same sentence, I default to "overpriced comfort food." I will miss Arkie's, but I guess the world keeps on turning.

We trekked 30 minutes north to Monument Cafe in Georgetown for breakfast, and it was worth the drive. While the four-ounce CFS was a bit slight by typical Texas standards (pounded-out, plate-sized behemoths), it was well-breaded, pleasantly-seasoned and served with delicious cream gravy. Julie's revered Florentine Benedict, a classic, simple dish easily screwed up by crab or diced tomatoes or spicy hollandaise, was so nicely done – and served with proper hash browns – that she nearly wept tears of joy. 

A tender moment
between beef and cream gravy
My fork is content 

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