For my last meal in Austin, it was a pleasure to share it with my neighbors Natalie and David. I met them last year when I had the good fortune of living next to them. So it was fitting (and really fun) to spend some time together before I ventured onward.
What did we eat? What else, Vietnamese! David made a superb and somewhat prescient choice of suggesting Elizabeth Street Cafe which is owned by the good folks at Perla's. I find it interesting that an such excellent restaurant group as the guys behind Perla's would focus on Vietnamese cuisine, but that just illustrates the impact of it in these parts.
We ate outside under umbrellas in the late day sun and balmy 87° temps and drank Vietnamese beers called Hue (sounds like "Hway") which were excellent. So was the food. Natalie had a dynamite grilled Octopus salad as I recall, David scored with the grilled Octopus Bun (vermicelli rice noodle bowl), and I had the house special Banh Mi with roasted pork, chicken liver mousse, and pork pate. Everything was excellent. And to top it off, David picked up the tab! Absolutely would not let me pay. Whoa man. Thanks bud.
We took a walk through the Hyde Park neighborhood afterwards and then got into some tequila before we said our goodbyes. Who knows, by this time next year, they might be in Oregon on a new adventure. Wish them luck! Thank you Natalie and David!