People are taking an interest in where their food comes from more than ever, and I think that’s great! Last year I did some posts about restaurants and their gardens, and people wanted to see more. Sadly, there really aren’t that many restaurants with gardens. Eastside Cafe has had gardens for as long as I can remember, and they expand them every year. The owners have also now bought land and established an East Austin Farm, Hausbar Farm, which you can see for yourself on the upcoming East Austin Urban Farm Tour. (I’ll post about that again soon.)
At Eastside, you can walk around the gardens, and see exactly what will end up on your plate.
I love the round lettuce gardens, with different varieties swirling toward the center.
I’m a big fan of onions, and these water troughs are perfect for growing them.
There is lots of visual interest here, with food food growing in all manner of unlikely spaces.
Eastside was the first place I ever saw cinder block gardens, with the blocks turned up and food planted in the holes. These cinder gardens are all over their property. Very smart.
The gardens are indicative of the transition from late winter to early spring, filled with leeks, kale, lettuces, cabbage, but also tomatoes. I was interested to see they had not taken up their hoops or covers just yet, because we never know when that late cold snap is going to surprise us.
They also grow the flowers that you will find garnishing your plate.
Eastside Cafe has delicious American cuisine. They will be happy to tell you the source of everything on your plate, if it isn’t from the garden or their chickens. If they don’t grow it, they source it as locally and sustainably as possible. Located in East Austin, the cafe resides in a lovely old house, with a garden room out back where you can also sit. I enjoy shopping at the little shop on the premises, Pitchforks and Tablespoons, where you will find garden supplies, locally made candles and other gift items, books on gardening and eating sustainably, and where they also sell their housemade salsas and salad dressings. Dine there for lunch or dinner during the week, or for brunch, lunch or dinner on the weekends. You will be glad you went, I promise!
Eastside Cafe, 2113 Manor Road
More restaurant garden posts to follow soon!