I Can Eat 50 Eggs: The Steeping Room

In honor of Paul Newman and “Cool Hand Luke,” I’ll review 50 days of eggs from 50 different restaurants.
Day 40: The Steeping Room
11410 Century Oaks Terrace, Suite 12, in the Domain near Macy’s. 977-8337, www.thesteepingroom.com.
Hours: 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday-Thursday. 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. Friday-Saturday. 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Sunday. Breakfast available until 11 a.m. Monday-Saturday. Sunday brunch is 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
By Mike Sutter | Fed Man Walking | 02.09.12
Real estate sources tell me the Domain teahouse called the Steeping Room has leased space for a second shop in Central Austin, buoyed no doubt by the fact that even on a weekday morning, the Domain shop hums with activity. And on the weekends? Be prepared to join the waiting list for a table to stage your daddy-daughter tea party for two.
If you’ve made a breakfast casserole to feed the masses the morning after Thanksgiving, you’re familiar with a strata. Same thing, fancier name. It’s layers of bread and egg and whatever else is handy, baked until the top is brindled and crusty. At the Steeping Room, what’s handy is bacon, mushroom, scallions, gruyere and cheddar for $8.25. It’s refreshingly rustic for a pinkie-finger place where daddies take their daughters for tea and scones.
The bread absorbs the flavors and textures, and every bite comes across like dredging a piece of farm bread through the savory remainders of your breakfast. This is the Domain, and more specifically a tea shop at the Domain, so the plate is finished with a refined toss of red and green oak leaf lettuce, mache and other greens with a sesame-scented light vinaigrette.
The tea list reads like a sommelier’s journal, with national origins and tasting notes. It’s hard to resist the Harmutty Assam from India ($3.95 per pot), described as “very tippy, with a malty, fruity aroma.” Haven’t we all felt that way from time to time? The result is a tea as brown as a leather binding. “Tippy” means just what it says, tea harvested from the small leaves at the tips of the plant, with sharper astringency, the luxury version of the occasional cup your mom drank with the tag hanging over the side. I drink the first cup straight, for manly points. The second cup of many from the fat little pot gets cream and sugar to even out the bitterness.
(Photos by Mike Sutter © Fed Man Walking)
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