Driving up to this quaint little place feels more like stopping by a friend’s than arriving to a culinary destination.  High walls surround the patio area, which are dominated by a huge, beautiful, shade-casting tree.  Upon stepping in, I felt like I had been transported to “the old country”.

The multi-story patio, the casual feel and the smiling faces, coupled with the converted home reminded me of many restaurants I’ve visited in Europe; this restaurant is built into its surroundings, instead of the other way around.

Sunday brunch. That particular day when it is perfectly acceptable to have mimosas before noon without being judged. In Austin, there is never a need to wait because brunch is served daily at South Congress Cafe!

The Live Music Capital of the World welcomes One Taco! Owner Axel Beverido, a native of Veracruz, Mexico, opened this eatery just last month. An engineer by trade, he discovered that the tacos he tasted in Austin neighborhoods were more geared towards Tex-Mex cuisine.

Trained in French Culinary School, Chef Nikki Kaya from Istanbul, also known as The Mediterranean Chef, was a chemical engineer by trade. She has been featured by Food Network’s Healthy Eats and the Austin Chronicle.  With experience working in both Swiss and American nutritional analysis laboratories, chef Kaya perfected a Middle Eastern family recipe.

In 1933, Kenneth Threadgill was the first person in the country to own a beer license. His vision was to create a comfortable hotspot where musicians can relax and enjoy a drink after gigs. The Wednesday night singing sessions drew crowds from all walks of life. From longhairs to rednecks, the hodgepodge of patrons created a distinct culture that stuck with Austin.

“Dad, I’m too big for a kid’s meal.”  My youngest child has been telling me this for about a year now.  Upon turning 10 she was considered a pre-teen, which is practically a teenager, which is almost an adult (at least in her mind).  So when we walked into Mighty Fine and I suggested she order a “youngster’s meal” – she wasn’t super excited about it.  I explained to her one of the main reasons we were a guest of the restaurant is that it specifically wanted her – and our neighbor’s children as well – to try out it’s children’s menu.  I promised her if she was still hungry afterwards I would

I'm a big proponent of local business. From the contractor, to the repair shop, to the salon. But above all there lies a special place in my heart for the local restaurateur. I have seen the hopeful look in a new owner's eyes on opening day, been one of those that trickled in and been one of the very first to try its food.

Here's how I imagine it all started. It's after midnight and a young college student stares into the empty refrigerator. In the background a few good friends call out for something to eat. Peering into the fridge there's a half order of General Tso's chicken and a few pieces of honey walnut shrimp.

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