I confess: I have a secret obsession with farm-to-table restaurants. The concept, so near and dear to Austinites, also improves our city’s economy by supporting local businesses. Although First Watch is a breakfast franchise, it strives to source homegrown ingredients as often as possible. The biggest benefit of the farm-to-table movement is food traceability – the ingredients in the dishes and drinks are derived from neighboring farmers and purveyors. This culinary concept is also synonymous to freshness and seasonality.
For the health conscious, I recommend the avocado toast, a colorful tower assembled with thick-cut whole grain toast topped with fresh mashed avocado, EVOO, lemon, and Malden sea salt, served with two basted cage-free eggs. On the heartier side, choose the Chickenchanga, an artistic ensemble of whipped cage-free eggs, spicy all-natural white meat chicken, chorizo sausage, green chiles, Cheddar and Monterey Jack cheeses, onions, and avocado rolled in a flour tortilla. The burrito-like dish is topped with Veracruz sauce and sour cream, served with fresh fruit and seasoned potatoes. The in-house juice bar offers Kale Tonic or Morning Meditation, each a freshly squeezed medley of fruits and vegetables.
I have a love-hate relationship with seasonal menus. I love that they promote a changing diverse menu and culinary creativity, but I hate craving a winter dish during the summer, or a spring dish during the fall. A particular seasonal dish which quickly caught my eye was the Millionaire’s Bacon. Four slices of its signature hardwood-smoked bacon, crisped to perfection with brown sugar, black and cayenne peppers, and maple syrup drizzle for the low, low price of $5! I may break my New Year’s diet, but certainly not my bank. These sweet meets salty strands of heaven are a bacon-lover’s dream.
Keep in mind First Watch is a daytime café that only serves breakfast and lunch. Doors open at 7 a.m. and close at 2:30 p.m. daily. There are three locations in the greater Austin area, and patrons can read complimentary newspapers and or browse the internet using free WiFi. I may not be a morning person, but this insomniac writer found a good reason to not skip the most important meal of the day.