Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Always open.

I was raised for a healthy appreciation for restaurants that serve breakfast all day long. Diners have always been some of my more favorite places, especially when they rise above their giant menu and deliver a few true specialties. (Even if that just means they have seriously excellent coffee and fries.)

Austin, no doubt, has many of these kinds of diners. It is, after all, a city obsessed with both food and late night live music sessions, so there has to be somewhere to caffeinate and chow down after midnight. 24 Diner, the one I visited (twice) on this most recent trip isn't quite like the diners of my childhood (which featured neither local produce nor grass-fed beef), but it has something of the same ethos.

Witness their 24 Hash. It's made with potatoes, jalapenos (this is Texas, after all), sausage and bacon, and topped with two eggs cracked right onto the hash and cooked over-easy. It manages to be crispy and chewy at the same time, the dark edges of the potato segueing into bits of sausage brightened by the tiniest specks of pepper.

The egg is rich and a bit gooey, and I found that the whole thing benefited immensely from a healthy pour of Cholula. That bit of spice took the hash from rich and sinful to perfect - so perfect, in fact, that I ordered it on both visits. Don't judge.

Oh, by the way: they also have chicken and waffles, if that's how you roll. Cholula doesn't hurt here, either. Trust me.


Alison said...

Love this! Diners rule! If my high school years were a WB drama, the main set would be a diner. And that diner would be The Spinning Wheel, in Whitehouse, NJ.

On second thought, that show has already been done. And the diner was called the Peach Pit. And the actors didn't have acne.

Meg Blocker said...

We could re-enact it at Minella's in Wayne this May...

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