Grand Incubator

Southern-fried dim sum from Yaki Snack Attack and Bernie’s Burger Bus.

Just a few minutes after receiving two cortados across the bar from a friendly barista, our table was ready. We ordered another round of coffee — this time in a French press — and settled on splitting the Vermonter and a plate of breakfast tacos.

At $10 for the two tacos, it would be easy to think that Down House's prices haven't gone down at all — but you'd be wrong. The tacos are nearly burrito size and come with a side of black beans or home fries. Even better: You get to pick and choose between an assortment of different tacos for your plate. We chose the venison sausage (which — sorry, Goode Company Taqueria — is now my favorite venison sausage breakfast item in town) and the roasted red pepper taco with cherry tomatoes and goat cheese.

The Vermonter ($8) came with just as much food: A fried egg sandwich on an English muffin from local baker Bread & Batter along with Grafton Cheddar cheese and a jade-colored slice of tart green tomato. Roughly diced hunks of fatty bacon hid under the blanket of cheese, and the dark yellow yolk proved an excellent dipping sauce for the side of well-seasoned home fries. Newly installed chef Benjy Mason, who had no culinary training at all only two short years ago, has proven that he has the chops to keep the food coming out of Down House's kitchen as reliably excellent as its cocktails and coffee.

And throughout our entire long brunch — catching up and slowly sipping the excellent coffee that Down House buys from Cuvee in Austin — our waitress was a gem. She never rushed us out of our seats despite the wait at the front door, and she was never more than a whisper away when we needed something.

Although it's a rare thing to revisit a restaurant a year later and find it as drastically improved as Down House, it's a heartening thing when it does happen. Katharine Shilcutt

« Previous Page
My Voice Nation Help
Sort: Newest | Oldest