Any true foodie loves to experiment with their food and attempt to recreate their favorite dish from their favorite restaurant. Today you and I get to take a peek inside one of Austin’s most beloved restaurants as they celebrate their 35th anniversary. Executive Chef Joel Welch invited The Austinot inside the Kerbey Lane Cafe kitchen for an introduction to some of their wildly popular dishes that have stood the test of time.
Kerbey Lane is an Austin institution that reminds many locals of meals in the middle of the night with college friends and the hilarity of a conversation over those familiar white diner plates. The original location situated in Central Austin was opened in 1980. Not only did it lay the foundation for the well know cafe to grow to six locations across Austin, but it also rooted the history of an entire family including Mason Ayer, current CEO at Kerbey Lane.
As we celebrate 35 years of Kerbey Lane, here’s your behind the scenes look at how three of the restaurant’s most popular plates are created in the kitchen. You may recognize your favorite dish or discover something new to try during your next visit.
Godfather Benedict: How Do You Like Your Eggs?
The Godfather Benedict is a savory Kerbey Lane variation on your traditional Eggs Benedict plate.
Stacked in the traditional manner with an English muffin base, the next layers are built with grilled prosciutto and poached eggs, and blanketed with a velvety hollandaise. Grilled onions accompany the Godfather.
Cinnamon Roll Pancakes: Flatten Out Your Sweet Roll
Cinnamon Roll Pancakes may sound innocently sweet, but they are a force to be reckoned with. The pancakes, which are literally as big as your face, are stacked in pairs for any customer who requests the cinnamon swirl addition to their dish.
I was the unsuspecting person on the receiving end of these massive pancakes. But in the name of research, I took one for the team and shoveled into the beautiful hot dish.
Seriously folks, this was such a treat. The pillowy cakes are full of crunch and, although every pancake is deserving of syrup, the cinnamon swirl adds just enough sweetness to allow for a sans syrup experience.
This dish earned its well-deserved spot on my list, satisfying my Kerbey Lane pancake craving.
Green Chile Mac and Cheese: More Cheese Please
Kerbey Lane colors between the lines of traditional Mac & Cheese…until Chef Joel Welch livens it up with green chile and tops the dish with a crunchy and perfectly Southern rendition of hand breaded chicken.
Made to order, you will receive a heaping bowl of steamy, cheese smothered elbow macaroni. If one level of cheese isn’t enough, Chef Joel sprinkles some kind of magic, crunchy cheese and bread crumb topping atop the dish.
All in all, gruyere, mozzarella and green chiles make this mac dish an ingenious comfort food.
Going Beyond Pancakes and Queso
Though Kerbey Lane is known for 24 hour pancakes and queso, the restaurant has transitioned into more than your basic cafe. Although you can order breakfast all day, the menu offerings are vast. Well known seasonal menus are named simply, like the Tomato Menu and the Pumpkin Menu.
Need something stronger than coffee? Another perk at Kerbey Lane is their $3 beer and wine selections available at all times of the day. Today there are six Austin locations. Four of them do business 24/7, with the exception of Christmas Day.
In true party fashion, Kerbey Lane Cafe has planned a celebration worthy of their 35th year. All proceeds at all locations will benefit United Way for Greater Austin. Find your way to one of the six Austin locations on May 4, 2015 to participate in the celebration.
@CrisMueller wants to know:
What is your favorite Kerbey Lane memory?