Black Walnut Café, a “contemporary American fast casual concept” opened yesterday at 10817 Ranch Road 2222. Black Walnut has several locations in the Houston area, but this is the first in Austin.
I’m excited it’s here. I’ll admit that I’m slightly biased because I frequented and loved one of the Houston locations back in the day, but Black Walnut nicely fills a niche in the Lake Travis area.
It serves breakfast, lunch and dinner and manages to hit that sweet spot of being casual yet nice. It’s versatile and caters to many different crowds. Whether you’re in work clothes or workout clothes, you won’t feel out of place.
On any given day you could look around the restaurant and see a couple on a date, coworkers gathering for happy hour, families stopping by after soccer practice and a group of ladies gathered for a girls night out. It’s child-friendly, but seems more upscale than similarly priced restaurants. You get real plates, real silverware and oh – there’s a full service bar. That always helps.
The menu also has a little something for everyone. The breakfast offers omelets, breakfast burritos, kolaches, eggs and more. The lunch and dinner choices range everywhere from appetizers to salads (I counted 13 different options on the menu) to signature eentrés, burgers, sandwiches and pasta. There is a kids menu “for the little acorns” and a gelato bar for dessert. You can pop in for a drink, coffee, dessert or a full meal.
One thing I like about the counter service style is that it is convenient for a group. There are no awkward check fights or figuring out who-owes-what when the bill comes at the end of a meal (don’t we all have a friend who breaks out the calculator and takes 20 minutes to divide it down to the exact penny?). Here everyone orders and pays for their meal up front, so all that’s left is to enjoy the meal.
Happy Hour X2
I like a restaurant that has a good happy hour. Even better, I like a restaurant that has TWO good happy hours. Whether you prefer your fix in the morning or evening The Black Walnut has you covered Monday through Friday. They have Early Bird happy hour from 7-10:30am and then another from 3-6:30pm.
They have 10 beers on tap, including a good selection of local Austin beers (off the top of my head I remember Austin Amber, Thirsty Goat Amber and 512 Pale), as well as a nice wine and bar selection.
Let’s welcome Black Walnut Café to the Lake Travis area by stopping by for a visit. Let us know your favorite thing on the menu!
10817 Ranch Road 2222
Austin, TX 78730
phone: (512) 241-0333
Monday – Thursday: 6:30am – 10pm
Friday: 6:30am – 11pm
Saturday: 7am – 11pm
Sunday: 7am – 10pm