Austin >Food & Dining > 34th Street Cafe
1005 W 34th St, Austin, TX | Directions 7870530.302846 -97.745215
Monday To Friday From 11:00 AM To 09:30 PM Saturday From 11:00 AM To 04:00 PM Saturday From 06:00 PM To 09:30 PM
Neighborhoods: General West Austin, Windsor Road
Don't let its casual decor fool you: 34th Street Cafe is a serious restaurant dressed up as a laid-back bistro, and their rigorously local menu means business. These days, you and your date can enjoy three (large-ish) courses for under $100 on Valentine's Day, and speaking from experience, the bacon-laced butternut squash ravioli (on the menu this year) is an ecstatic experience. I mean hopefully you'll be experiencing ecstasy in other ways, but why not start early, at the dinner table?
What did I pay for? – I just paid $15 for a sandwich with hardly anything meat and fries. I can't believe this. Very disappointed to say the least.
Strike 3 – My husband and i are done with giving this place a shot. The service is excellent if you are the "right people". It is very bad if you don't seem to personally know them. For example, the waitress put off taking our orders twice and then literally stopped in the middle of taking our order to get another table a refill of water. After that order, our food took an inordinate amount of time. Two hours time for 2 courses is too long. The food is extremely over seasoned. It isn't even that good. Neither was the wine. The cheese plate with honey is a joke. It comes with a handful of colored raisins dumped on the plate with a thin streak of honey drawn across the plate in what i assume is meant to be "presentation". There's barely enough honey to get on one spread of the table knife. (No cheese knife is offered). The hard crustini that comes with it is not elegant and already encrusted in parmasan cheese. The crust has to be biten off on the sides of your teeth which is embarrasing. It was also very overspiced with salt, pepper, and a spicy seasoning. The duck confit on ceasar was also so oversalted that it was almost inedible. I could go on about the food and service, but won't. Unfortunatly, we have wasted time and money at this place two other times. I don't know how on earth this place is getting good reviews. It's been a major disappointment for us 3/3 times. Needless to say, we are done with this place.
Don't get the fries – I had lunch here yesterday and had the turkey and swiss sandwich and french fries. I didn't have any problems with the sandwich, it was average but the french fries i got were so over seasoned with a nasty mix of salt and bbq flavoring, they were inedible. I would probublly give the cafe a 2nd try, but i would not ever order the fries again.
Sad Decline of a Previously Good Neighborhood Cafe – We used to be regulars at 34th Street, but after 1 very bad experience and two mediocre ones, I won?t be going back. About six months ago we had a very average meal, as opposed to the excellent ones we?d enjoyed over the years. Nothing was horrible, but nothing was exceptional either. We decided to give it another try about a month ago, to disastrous results. We started with the raw oysters, which basically ruined the entire meal. They were foul ? bad smelling and even worse tasting. They were rubbery and tasted ancient, maybe even spoiled. The waitress was gracious when we sent them back, but I wasn?t sure she or the chef understood how inedible they were. We eat oysters out a lot and after having some great ones recently (in Las Vegas at Bouchon and here at Parkside), these were just terrible. The awful taste stuck with us through the entire meal. I had the vegetable plate, which had good and bad spots. The couscous wasn?t as good as what I make at my house. It was dry and flavorless. The roasted beets, however, were very good. Another vegetable (which escapes me) was tough and dry. The kitchen was kind enough to make the chicken enchiladas for my husband even though they are no longer on the menu, but he said they were a little hard around the edges and not as good as they?d been previously. I also had a disappointing lunch there this week. I took my sister for her birthday. She liked her chicken quesadillas, but I did not enjoy my lunch. The gazpacho was like eating pico de gallo in flavorless tomato broth. It was unreasonably chunky yet flavorless. I had the mandarin orange salad with goat cheese and toasted pecans. The dressing was bitter and it was difficult to find the infinitesimal amount of goat cheese in the salad. The pecans were flavorless as well. I am disappointed in the decline of a restaurant that I used to enjoy so much.
Always good! – Easy, always great food and good service! Why fight downtown people, parking and overpriced food, when you can go to a locally owned restaurant with good food and nice people! The new night menu is FABULOUS! I am always surprised. We eat out quite a bit, and always like to try the new hot spot, but we always come back to 34th!
Crazy Bad – I would like to begin by saying I have never bothered taking the time to write a review of anything until now. Hopefully, I will be able to save others the absolutely misery of the meal I just experienced. Clearly those who wrote the rave reviews about this restaurant must own the place. Contrary to some other comments, we had a pretty good experience with our waitstaff. She was really nice when my very polite boyfriend mentioned that his pork was overcooked - which was probably the understatement of the year. I would have sent it back - which I have never done, even when finding hair in my food. It was the most grossly overcooked pork I had ever seen, in fact difficult for him to cut with a steak knife. Unfortunately, that was the best part of his meal. The potatoes were equally as dry with no seasoning, and he had some vegetable that neither of us could identify which was truly disgusting.
My meal was equally as flavorless and dry, which was an accomplishment because I ordered the enchilladas. How those come out dry and flavorless is beyond me, but they found a way.
This is the worst meal I've had in a very long time, and I ate at McDonald's on a road trip recently. I am grateful for the wine, otherwise it would have been unbearable. I would not eat here again if it were free. Apparently, you cannot rate something with zero stars, else I would. Stay away.
Salty Food – The food was really salty - by the time I left the restaurant, I was really full from the water.
I ordered the Chicken Piccatta & my boyfriend ordered the Petite Chairman's Reserve.
The presentation and the service was great (we also ordered the proscuitto pizza but since it took so long to get to us, it was taken off our bill) but the food had waaay too much salt and butter.
The ambiance is really cute and parking was no problem for us.
Best Lunch Stop in Town! – Can't go wrong here. Great Central Austin place to meet friends for lunch. Try the Chinese Chicken Salad. Awesome!
My favorite best kept secret in Austin – Don't be fooled by what some of the others have said. This restaurant is equal to the best in Austin. The chef Justin Raiford has a flair for food with great dishes. We eat there as often as we can. My wife loves the Chicken Picatta on Saffron Rice for dinner. They have some great Tuscan pizzas also. We have been there for lunch too. Always great food. Park in the back cause there is a back entrance.
Surprising – Long wait. YOU MUST MAKE RESERVATIONS. No joke 2.5 hr wait. Elegant but funky vibe, if you have reservations and can get a table. Hidden find because it is tiny.
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