Our Visit to The Wayback Cafe

Nicole Diaz

Nestled in the twisting roads of the Austin hill country, The Wayback Boutique Hotel & Café is the perfect place to slow down and treat yourself. The Wayback Cafe is the largest of several cottages dotting the property, easily visible from the parking lot. The cabin is encircled by small outdoor tables and immaculately maintained grounds, including a garden from which herbs and strawberries are procured.

The Starters

The interior of the café is stylish yet cozy, with bar chairs plush enough to sink into. Our server brought out the Summer Picnic Board – a charcuterie board featuring Antonelli’s Meats & Cheeses – alongside water and Richard’s Sparkling Water to get us started. I’m thankful I didn’t go alone, because I have very little knowledge of how to properly assess a charcuterie board. Once I was done marveling at the excellent presentation of the board, my friend Jenna helped me arrange complimentary foods on my extra plate.

After the charceauterie we moved onto cold soups and salads. First, we tried the Chilled Avocado and Cucumber Soup. This was akin to a savory smoothie in a bowl, with a pleasing texture from the avocado and an uplifting brightness from the cucumber. TheShaved Fennel and Grapefruit Salad had a different kind of brightness than the soup – it was invigorating thanks to the grapefruit slices and the bitterness of the arugula. These options proved The Wayback menu’s pairing ability – both starters complimented each other and naturally made way for a sip of the lightly bracing Elizabeth Spencer Sauvignon Blanc, Napa, CA 2020.

Entree

Our entrée paid homage to its roots with a gingham paper and basket which was dainty enough to look relatively at home with the rest of the menu. This is a new addition to the menu, and as soon as we tasted it Jenna and I agreed it would have been a tragedy had it not been added. I’ve had Lobster Roll before, but this was on another level. The potato bun was fluffy and subtly seasoned to keep you coming back for more. The lobster, attained in Maine, showcased its depth of flavor with little interference.

We received the Luau Freddy cocktail alongside the Lobster Roll. This comprised of Denizen Rum, prosecco, curacao, orgeat, lime juice, and mint. The Luau Freddy was great in keeping the playfulness introduced by the entrée alive. It stopped just short of a tropical flavor to somehow make you feel coastal and fancy at the same time.

Dessert

Now, despite enjoying an appetizer, two starters, an entrée, wine, and two special drinks, I still felt ready for dessert. That’s not to say the dishes so far hadn’t been filling. Rather, they were satisfyingly filling as opposed to being overwhelming, which I consider the mark of an excellent chef. The chef proved their excellence further with the decadent Lemon Curd which finished off our meal. This was truly a celebration of citrus. The cool, simple splendor of the Lemon Curd is beyond explanation and every spoonful takes your breath away.

Overall, The Wayback Cafe is very impressive. The servers are all personable, enthusiastic, and knowledgeable. They plan out and finely execute their dishes. The atmosphere is relaxing and rejuvenating, and the aesthetic is consistent and clean. Austin’s Wayback Cafe is a necessary addition to your list of self-care or date destinations. It’s its own little ecosystem within the hill country, and I am thrilled to have visited!