Despite the full slate of speakers, discussion panels, and cooking demos at PaleoFX, I attended only a few Saturday morning presentations before heading back to our bungalow in Austin to hang with my family. It was hard to sit still when I knew my boys were having fun without me.
Diana and Cathy joined us, and we all took a stroll down to Elizabeth Street Cafe for lunch.
You wouldn’t know it from its name, but Elizabeth Street Cafe serves up tasty Vietnamese fare. As I’ve mentioned before, I love Vietnamese food; the dishes always have the perfect balance of savory, sweet, tang, and crunch. Blending Chinese and French influences, the cuisine of Vietnam is pure alchemy, combining flavors, textures, and temperatures to create unique, surprising dishes that really pop.
I’ve had my fair share of terrific Vietnamese grub, but as soon as we sat down, I knew this place was gonna be good. Why? Because there were bottles of homemade sriracha AND Red Boat Fish Sauce on every table. And you know how much I love both.
Read on to see our chow!
**Spoiler alert: Continuing with the Paleo People Gone Wild theme, we ate some non-Paleo foods (Rice noodles! Rice wrappers! Sugar!), so skip this post if you don’t want your eyes to explode and melt off your face.**
After Diana, Cathy and I perused the menu (Henry was too busy snapping pics to even glance at the menu), we all decided to order a whole bunch of items to share family-style. (Okay, it’s possible that I strong-armed my dining companions into doing that.)
First up: appetizers. We split some fresh shrimp rolls with avocado…
…a platter of carpaccio…
…grilled beef rolls…
…a crunchy green papaya and cucumber salad with dried beef…
…and a grilled octopus salad.
For our main dish, Henry and I split two bowls of bun (for the uninitiated: it’s pronounced BOON) — one topped with pork belly…
…and the other with crispy brisket.
Man, how I’ve missed good Vietnamese food.
The service at Elizabeth Street Cafe is fantastic, by the way. Our friendly server was warm and super-accommodating when we told her that we wanted to order gluten-free; she listed for us all of the dishes that fit the criteria, and made helpful ordering suggestions, too.
When I return to Austin in a couple of months, Elizabeth Street Cafe will definitely be on my itinerary.