I Can Eat 50 Eggs: Blue Dahlia Bistro

In honor of Paul Newman and “Cool Hand Luke,” I’ll review 50 days of eggs from 50 different restaurants.
Day 31: Blue Dahlia Bistro
1115 E. 11th St. 542-9542, www.bluedahliabistro.com.
Hours: 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday-Thursday. 8 a.m. to 11 p.m. Friday. 9 a.m. to 11 p.m. Saturday. 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday.
By Mike Sutter | Fed Man Walking | 01.31.12
JULY 2012 UPDATE: The second Blue Dahlia location has opened at 3663 Bee Cave Road in West Lake Hills.
Blue Dahlia taught me to love the tartine, a sandwich with nothing to hide, laid flat in two halves and built with the freshest stuff in the house on fresh, sturdy bread. They build them with ham and cheese or tuna with capers or brie with apricot preserves on contoured slabs of graphite-colored slate. The egg salad tartine ($6.75) would have suited this 50 Eggs project just fine.
But walking through the restaurant to the peaceful bamboo garden out back, I saw an egg pie in the pass window and knew I had to set things right. The frittata and I have unfinished business after the brunch disaster at Taverna, where a hard frisbee of an omelette littered with meat and veg tried to pass itself off as the noble egg pie that is the proper frittata.
Blue Dahlia set things straight. Their frittata ($7.95) is as tall as an icebox pie, with a parchment of mushrooms, red bells and aromatic herbs across the top. Just below the surface, feta joins the well-distributed mix for an interior like fluffed egg custard. There’s no crust, just the proper protein infrastructure to make a sturdy slice. They bake a choice of meat and vegetable frittatas daily, and the plate includes a salad of mixed greens and a slice of sesame baguette and wheat breads. Ask for herbal green pesto to enliven both the leaves and the pie, because Blue Dahlia trusts you to set your own seasoning levels.
I can’t imagine re-creating Blue Dahlia’s East Austin vibe — make that Far-Eastern Austin — anywhere else. But they can imagine it just fine. In April, Blue Dahlia plans to set up a second shop in West Lake Hills at 3663 Bee Cave Road in the former home of the Wild Wood Art Cafe, which itself is planning to reopen in February at 3005 S. Lamar Blvd., according to a sign on the door.
(Photos by Mike Sutter © Fed Man Walking)
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