TLC is Austin’s New Favorite Brunch Spot
Austin Seafood restaurant TLC, may be known for its crawfish boils, but after trying their new brunch menu, Sundays could quickly become their busiest day. TLC had introduced their brunch menu in order to recoup from what was a tough couple of years during the pandemic for Austin restaurants. It seemed to be working for the South Lamar restaurant, as we walked through a crowded patio. Austinites love a good brunch spot, but the brunch menu combined with the wonderful staff and cool but relaxed atmosphere has made it my new favorite.
We had the good luck of going to TLC on one of the rare good weather days in Austin of late. They have a nice picnic style patio area, which is dog friendly. The large trendy industrial style interior gives it a brewery feel. The space becomes indoor-outdoor on nice days, when they slide up the huge windows that separate the patio and indoor dining room.
A real highlight of TLC is the staff. Everyone was so kind and spoke so highly of the restaurant. Our server was more than willing to talk and share his favorite dishes with us. He was open about the difficulties TLC and the Austin restaurant business faced during the pandemic. However, the brunch, as well as the general opening up of the city seemed to have helped immensely.
What To Eat
We weren’t able to get through the whole menu, although that is my new goal after our visit. We were able to sample their new brunch menu. The dish we were most excited to try was the French Toast Bread Pudding. This little ramekin of goodness has french toast nuggets topped with a toasted meringue top. You break the delicate top with a spoon to soak the inside with maple syrup. It is somehow decadent and light; a must-eat.
Now, I am not a native Texan. I was born and raised in Georgia, so my expectations for shrimp and grits are high. No offense to Austin, but those expectations are often not met here. But, TLCs shrimp and cheddar grits can satisfy the most Southern of palettes. The grits are perfectly creamy and the shrimp shows off just how well TLC does seafood.
Another brunch addition is the Chicken Fried Steak. Chicken Fried Steak has a bad, and often earned, reputation of being a bad cut of meat with a grisly fry over it. But, when they put it on the table, it looked like a great piece of fried chicken. The ribeye was still tender, and the gravy, eggs, and potatoes worked beautifully together.
Maybe the biggest surprise of the day was the bacon flight. It is like a beer flight…but with bacon! TLC sources slab bacon from Nueske’s Smoked Meats. With the flight you get three pieces of thick-cut bacon; there is the regular piece, a spicy one with some jalapenos, and a candied piece. I was shocked at how flavorful the original piece was. The jalapeno slab had a nice little kick to it, but not too much heat. But, the candied piece had to be the favorite. It had a lovely balance of smokey and sweet.
You can’t have brunch without some mimosas. If you can walk or get a ride to TLC, I recommend the Texas Sized Mimosa. It is a whole bottle of champagne with some OJ in an always-trendy mason jar. Although, the punch bowl gets the most rave reviews. It is a literal punch bowl with Absolut Watermelon Vodka, Brandy, Raspberry Basil, Lime Juice, and tequila infused watermelon. If you don’t feel like drinking alcohol, they have amazing milkshakes. It has both a scoop of ice cream and soft serve, with monin syrup and a healthy dose of whip cream on top.
TLC does, in fact, deliver with the TLC. The food is reason enough to stop by the South Lamar location. But, the atmosphere and people give it a leg up. The motto “All Y’all ’R Welcome” is seen throughout the restaurant. We were certainly given that warm welcome. Go while you can get a table, no doubt TLC will be the next big brunch spot in Austin.