Monday, March 18, 2013

Olivia - Best Looking Eggs in Austin

While at SXSW last week, I of course had to take advantage of all the amazing food Austin has to offer.  And even in my fourth time in this city, there's never a shortage of something new and delicious to discover.  Olivia, a modern farm-to-table restaurant was definitely on my list, especially as it came up when working on the Daily Meal's 101 Best Restaurants in America.

Located in the beautiful, trendy neighborhood of South Lamar, Olivia was one of many interesting restaurants found there.  The main attraction for me was their farm to table philosophy, and the fact that you can literally go and check out their gorgeous little backyard garden and chickens, that reigned freely on the grounds, proved its authenticity.

The restaurant is really modern and sleek inside, with earthy muted colors that work well to relax the senses.  There's a few cushy booths as well as more traditional tables and a vibrant bar.  I first situated myself there while waiting for my friend Jessica to arrive.  Greeted by the friendly bar staff, they were already taking care of me and I enjoyed the Southern hospitality.

As I was there for brunch, it was quite busy both inside and in the outdoor seating area.  This was testament to Olivia's solid reputation for great quality food, and the crowd didn't thin out at all during our entire stay.

There was lots to choose from, but I had my eye on something authentic and asked the bartender for his specific recommendations.  He steered me to the friend oyster benedict, which is what I ended up getting.

Fried Oyster Benedict - Loving my oysters, this certainly wasn't a hard sell, especially when I saw they were paired with farm fresh poached eggs.  I can't properly describe how satisfying it was to break the yolk on these babies, as they released the most beautiful orange color.  They tasted even better than they looked and the texture was just out of this world- soft, velvety and luxurious.  I was surprised (well not really) when a woman next to me got the same dish and thought there was something wrong with the eggs because they were so bright.  It's astounding, but we're so used to eating poor quality eggs that getting something as beautiful and rich as this, is so far from the norm.

Sticky Buns - Having a nice view into the kitchen, I kept my eye on the golden, fluffy sticky buns, which we decided to share.  One portion was good enough for at least three, and they were fantastic.  Moist on the inside and glazed with a rich, bourbony concoction, they were also made with chunky pecans, together creating a modern take on a classic Southern comfort staple.

Service and Cost:
While the initial service here was awesome, it suffered quite a bit once we sat down.  Unfortunately my friend was a bit under the weather and needed more TLC than usual, which wasn't granted.  Our waiter seemed to be really unaware of what we wanted and acted surprised when we asked for something that should've been given to us from the get go.

Costs are moderate and include:

Brunch entrees - $11 - 25
Dinner entrees - $21 - $32
You can also get a tasting menu for $75-$95 per person

3 Mmmms

Olivia - 20-43 South Lamar, Austin TX 78704

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