My wife and I were looking for a quality, traditional Sunday Brunch in Austin, TX and found it at the 1886 Cafe & Bakery in the historic Driskill Hotel. Since we weren't staying at the Driskill Hotel, we attempted to make brunch reservations using their website which re-directs you to the OpenTable.com website. There we found no reservations available within 2 1/2 hours of our preferred time. So, we decided to take a chance and go as walk-ins. The hostess was very friendly and advised us it would be about 20 minutes before a table was available. She took our name and my cell phone number so she could call to let us know when a table was ready. We decided to sit at the bar inside the cafe, order Bloody Mary's ($6 ea) and wait for her call. The only oddity is that you must order a food item to be served alcohol. I don't know if this is a state or local law, but to comply, we ordered a blueberry muffin ($3).
Within 15 minutes, the hostess called and advised us a table was ready. We sat outside on the patio overlooking Sixth Street (the weather was relatively mild, but we wouldn't recommend this during hot summer months). The server was prompt and very friendly. My wife ordered "Brazos Huevo Rancheros" ($13) and I had their "Traditional Eggs Benedict" ($13). Both meals were served quickly, hot, and very delicious! We enjoyed our brunch while "people watching".
After we ate, we took a brief, self-guided tour of the immaculate and ornate hotel lobby and meeting spaces on the mezzanine level. The Driskill was built in 1885 (or '86, depending on what source you read) and has a rich past including a relatively more recent history as the location where late President Lyndon Johnson awaited the outcome of his Senate, Vice President, and Presidential election results. The hotel's presidential suite is named "LBJ" in his honor.
We found the service to be friendly and comfortably prompt. We also found the prices of their drinks and meals to be less than average for the high quality and fascinating location. We highly recommend Sunday Brunch in the 1886 Cafe & Bakery!
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