I Can Eat 50 Eggs: The BakeHouse

In honor of Paul Newman and “Cool Hand Luke,” I’ll review 50 days of eggs from 50 different restaurants.
Day 26: The BakeHouse
5404 Manchaca Road. 443-5167, www.austinbakehouse.com.
Hours: 7 a.m. to midnight daily. Breakfast until 3 p.m.
By Mike Sutter | Fed Man Walking | 01.26.12
In this era of specialty, we’re conditioned to be wary of a menu where the words chimichanga, couscous, curry and Cantonese stir-fry co-exist. I’ll save that Marco Polo tour for another time. The Bakehouse breakfast menu skews less globally, leaving the international territories safe for the pancake boys down the road. However, you can still eat locally and sit globally underneath the yellowed glow of globe lamps in the back room.
The BakeHouse was on my radar because owner Carl Zapffe would call me at the American-Statesman whenever I did a roundup that could have wrapped in his place. In particular, I remember a call after a five-stop tour of breakfasts for less than $5. The story included Dan’s, the Omelettry, Ross’s and a few other modest plates. You couldn’t get an omelette at the Omelettry for less than $5, but the BakeHouse would sell you one with cheese and two sides for $4.99, Zapffe said. He and his regulars seemed to think a little old South Austin snobbery lay behind the snubbery.
A cheese omelette doesn’t make very good copy, and it’s risen just beyond five bucks, so let me talk about eggs Benedict instead. For $7.49, you get two poached eggs over English muffins with Canadian bacon and Hollandaise sauce, plus thoroughly charred homefries and a tiny blueberry muffin, more for decoration than for what it adds to a plate of starch and eggs.
The eggs were beautifully poached, with a high white dome over a yolk that flowed generously on the first cut, surrounded by a willowy shawl of white. They rested on English muffins like dense sponges, with slices of salty pork in that smoky range between bacon and ham. An acceptable plate of ham and eggs, betrayed only by the Benedict part, a thin Hollandaise more like frothy melted butter than a composed sauce of yolk and lemon and kitchen craft. Snobbery? More like a refusal to lower my expectations just because I’m in South Austin.
(Photos by Mike Sutter © Fed Man Walking)
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