January 30, 2015

The Fork and the Photo: Main Street Cafe

By April Haines, Photos by Cherie Haines

The Rules: We visit random eateries in Bastrop County searching for awesome food, amazing atmospheres, and excellent service. We have to ask a server what they suggest and whatever it is, we must try it. Then, we rate the restaurant using our five fork system (like stars, but better) based on service, atmosphere, food taste and presentation, and general cleanliness.

We begin at The Main Street Café.

The gentle scent of pastries mingles with the sound of Al Green singing softly behind the counter and I already know I love this place. The atmosphere is warm with soft yellows and black and white prints on the walls.

It’s morning, and I hate mornings fiercely, but the early shades of light filtering in the front windows of Main Street Café are just magical enough to make me wish I didn’t. We make our way to the counter and take in the simple yet tasteful environment. We have the place to ourselves, except for the small group of women comfortably gossiping at a side table, which only adds to the charming small town feel.

The staff, which I’m told is mostly comprised of sisters, is fantastic. When I ask for suggestions from the girl at the counter, she is excited and full of ideas. We try them all.

I start by ordering the breakfast sandwich with bacon on jalapeño cornbread and add home fries, which end up being the first of many good choices. My sister, Cherie, orders the chicken fajita omelet, and I snag a blueberry muffin to start off with. I decide on a basic latte to get my bearings on the coffee while Cherie picks up a chai tea.

We sit at an adorable window seat where we can watch Main Street walk by. I begin with my muffin. It’s a good size, and me being me, I asked for butter to go with it, which they happily provided. The blueberries are plentiful but not overwhelming, and the muffin is still slightly warm from the oven. The streusel topping was a thing of beauty. The muffin was moist and just dense enough to be satisfying. I couldn’t have asked for better. (Note to self; it is impossible to eat a muffin gracefully. Crumbs invariably ensue).

The coffee came next and was the morning’s one and only disappointment. While the espresso was of excellent quality, to my sorrow, the milk was not steamed properly, and the texture of the latte was flat with very little microfoam. However, Cherie’s chai was excellent, spicy and creamy with a solid tea endnote.

Our food came shortly and I was delighted with both the portions and plating. It really did taste as good as it looked. The bread on my sandwich was homemade and very fresh. The bacon was perfect and plentiful (a rare and delightful combination that made my soon to be clogged arteries skip a beat). The cheese was excellent, and the egg was perfectly cooked. I cannot sing the praises of the home fries loudly enough. I love potatoes, and these were superb. If I were to nitpick at all, it would be that the sandwich was a little on the dry side, and I found myself wishing for a sauce of some sort. Being resourceful, I fixed my issue by stealing the salsa that came with my sisters meal, which was fresh, cilantro powered, delicious, and the perfect final touch.

Cherie's omelet was amazing as well, literally spilling over with flavor. The omelet was perfectly cooked with seasoned chicken, sautéed bell peppers, and onions stuffed inside and overflowing onto the plate. The choice of Monterey Jack cheese was the ideal compliment to finish off the flavor, and I was in love at first bite. The portion was huge and came with a side of the amazing home fries and toast.

All in all, the Main Street Café was just as it seemed on first impressiondelightful, gently paced, and as wholesome as its freshly baked bread. It's the kind of place to share good food and old stories as you watch the town walk by.

Location: 1006 Main Street in Bastrop, TX
Price Range: Medium; not too pricey but expect to pay around $10 for a meal
Rating: Four out of five forks!

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