Sunday, February 19, 2012

Opal Divines - Marina

Today we decided to stay in North Austin. Definitely had to do our Sunday brunch, just not in the mood to drive too far away from home. So after thinking about it for a bit we decided on Opal Divine's Marina location. We'd been there before, but that was before my brunching bloke days, so thought we'd re-visit. Why not.
12709 Mopac at Parmer Lane, North Austin

We arrived and the place was half empty. It was a nice day and plenty of folks were eating outdoors on the patio. Which reminds me, Opal Divine's is also dog friendly - so Fido can join you out on the patio! We'll have to bring our boy Rugby with us next time. We looked through the menu, and were reminded of how cheap their prices were. Now mind you, this isn't your fancy brunch type of place, more of a bar and grill atmosphere. Brunch is available Sat and Sun from 10 am-3 pm. Pretty straight forward, no fuss selections - omelets, benedict plates, and breakfast tacos. I was a bit disappointed that they didn't have any drink specials available for brunch, at least that's what the waiter said when we asked. That's a first! A brunch spots with out bloody Mary or mimosa specials? Hmm.

After a few minutes we were ready to place our order. I decided on an omelet. You can never really go wrong with a good ole' fashion omelet. I went with the build-your-own deal. It starts with a three egg omelet filled with cheddar, then you choose ONE of the following: sausage, canadian bacon, bacon, turkey, chili, queso, feta, or gongozola. Then, you can choose THREE of the following items: sweet peppers, bell peppers, onions, tomatoes, potatoes, sprouts, pico de gallo, jalapenos, black olives or spinach (phew!). I did bacon and onions, tomatoes, and spinach! All of that served with your choice of home fries or sweet potatoes, a side fresh fruit, and your choice of toast, biscuit, or muffin. I did the home fries and muffin. Lisa decided to go with the All American Breakfast. Basically, two eggs cooked to order, and your choice of the same sides I mentioned earlier. She did the bacon, home fries, and muffin as well. Great minds think alike!

Build-Your-Own Omelet
It wasn't long before our food was at our table. My omelet looked nice and fat, filled with everything I requested, and they weren't stingy with the fillings either ! I also forgot how awesome their home fries were. I was super happy with my plate. Lisa, on the other hand wasn't too impressed with hers. She said it was "o.k, but not the best". And I get it. Her plate was pretty basic, nothing fancy. Just some scrambled eggs with cheese and a side of bacon. Not bad tasting, but nothing to write home about either. But our bill was the cheapest we've ever had for we still came out on top.

All American Breakfast

Overall, I would recommend Opal Divine's if you are looking for some low budget brunching. Decent food that doesn't kill your wallet/purse. Can't go wrong with that!

Monday, February 13, 2012


So today we were really on the fence about what part of town we wanted to hit for brunch! After some deliberating I decided I wanted to drive downtown and hit up Taverna. This would be our first time, and even though the weather wasn't ideal (cold with a chance of ice), something told me to make the drive. I'm glad we did! And the free parking (Sundays) in the City Hall parking garage is a plus!
258 W. 2nd St., Austin
Photo: 365thingsaustin
After finding convenient garage parking. We made our way to Taverna, and found a mob of folks standing around waiting to be seated. Ughh, never good. We checked with the hour wait! We decided to stay. Eh, why not! We decided to walk a block down to Urban Outfitters to kill some time and check out their fun stuff. Soon after that, we decided to head back and check our wait list status. As we walked, it seemed to get colder, then wet drops began to hit our face. SNOW! What a beautiful moment. We stopped for a couple of minutes and enjoyed the moment. Everyone instantly became kids again. I saw a guy skipping around joyfully, girls were shrieking, and everyone was on their phones taking pictures or hitting their favorite form of social media. It was great. Lisa and I snapped a quick photo and smiled at each other. We didn't have to say it, but we were both really glad we decided to make the trek downtown.

When we arrived back at Taverna, the crowd was considerably smaller, but still there. I checked and we were almost up. While standing around we noticed everyone enjoying either a mimosa or bellini. Then we noticed another sign...mimosas and bellinis only $1. SCORE! Now we were really glad we came. We were finally seated and our waiter arrived to take our drink order. Two bellinis, please. He then brought out some bread and oil. Excellent! Next it was time to order. The brunch menu is pretty basic, yet impressive. A few egg dishes and omelets, frittata, waffles and french toast. Decisions, decisions. I finally decided on the Eggs Al Forno all Olio Tartufato which is two pan fried eggs with breakfast sausage served over garlic bread with truffle oil and a side of breakfast potatoes! Lisa decided on the stuffed french toast, full of cream cheese and caramelized bananas, topped with fresh raspberry sauce. We decided that we would split the plates. So we could each have the best of both worlds.

Focaccia bread and vinegar and oil
We enjoyed the bread and had our first round of bellinis. They were nice and slushy, and pretty tasty. But when it was time for a refill we decided on a round of mimosas. Hey, a dollar a pop...why not? Our plates arrived and we were excited to eat. Let me tell you...Taverna knows how to do things. The presentation was great, and the food was even better. My fried eggs were cooked just the way I like them, and the garlic bread was delicious -  a little moist from the truffle oil, yet still crunchy. And the breakfast potatoes are probably some of the best I've ever had. It was a perfect dish from top to bottom. The french toast looked amazing as well. It was oozing with cream cheese and the bread was nice and moist. This wasn't your IHOP french toast. We split the food and then killed the french toast.

eggs al fornio all olio tartufato
stuffed french toast
Overall this was one of the best brunch experiences I've ever had. Great company, great food and drink, and a little snow. A bloke couldn't ask for anything more.
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Hey guys, do you know of an awesome brunch spot I should check out in Austin? Let me know here or write on my Facebook wall. Thanks!

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