1886 Cafe and Bakery
BACK TO THE FUTURE I had no idea how much I was yearning to eat breakfast, lunch, and dinner in a Victorian dining room until the 1886 Cafe and Bakery opened in Austin’s Driskill Hotel, a mere block from my office. I’ve been all but boarding there since August. Early in the morning I like a booth by a window, a chocolate croissant, and a cappuccino made with Italy’s celebrated Illy coffee. At noon it’s easy to grab a perch at the bar for a quick lunch; favorite choices are a bowl of cheese soup, based on a recipe by Texas food maven Helen Corbitt, and the salad of spring greens with balsamic-honey vinaigrette. In the evening an outdoor table is perfect for a glass of wine and a mozzarella-and-roasted-tomato pizza. But what makes me happiest about the cafe is that it revives the spirit of the dear departed 1886 Room, which occupied this very spot until 1991. Much is different, but two key items—the aforementioned cheese soup and an irresistible chocolate cake—are still on the menu. If anything, they’re better than ever.