Places to Eat

There’s a Breakfast Paradise in This Texas Town On the Road to Austin

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Are you in search of a great home-style breakfast? We’ve got the perfect spot for you! A few years ago I discovered a great way to enjoy Austin’s attractions without fighting their traffic. I make the almost 400-mile round trip south on I-35 from Dallas several times a month. Sometimes I even stay in Austin, since my sister and daughter both have homes there. But when I crave a little more privacy or don’t want to suffer through rush hour traffic (which is most of the time in Austin), I stop at a hotel in Round Rock. It’s a short 17 miles north of town, which allows me to choose a low traffic time to venture into Austin. I can arrive at my destination in a less frazzled state.

I’ve also found another good reason to stay in Round Rock, a comfort food restaurant that serves home-style food. It’s an offshoot of Austin’s Kerbey Lane (named for their original 1980 location). The Round Rock restaurant is one of eight now operating in the Austin area.

Austin Favorite Kerbey Lane in Round Rock

There's a Breakfast Paradise in This Texas Town On the Road to Austin

Photo: Amanda Kuda for Kerbey Lane

I love that this restaurant is open 24 hours, serving delicious dishes like breakfast any time of day. Kerbey Scramble features scrambled eggs, home fries, mushrooms, tomatoes, green onion, and cheddar jack cheese, with two sides. Their giant, incredibly fluffy biscuits, huge cinnamon rolls, and terrific pancakes are all addictive. Signature omelets like Chicken Verde sell for around $10. The extensive breakfast/brunch menu features specialties like chicken and waffles, or $3 mimosas.

The full bar at Kerbey Lane offers such attention-grabbing craft cocktails as Hill Country Tea on the menu. It’s a combination of Herman Marshall Whiskey, fresh-brewed iced tea, local honey, lemon, and pecan bitters. Texas Two Step is Reyka Vodka or 100% agave tequila, cooled down with cucumber, watermelon, dry vermouth and bubbles.

Kerbey Lane’s Summer Menu

There's a Breakfast Paradise in This Texas Town On the Road to Austin

Photo: Amanda Kuda for Kerbey Lane

Kerbey Lane’s summer menu has some interesting items, too. It’s heavy on tomato dishes, like fried green tomato sliders, tomato pie, or fried green tomato Benedict. A Lone Star Reuben features one-half pound sliced corned beef, aged white cheddar, sauerkraut, jalapeno remoulade, spicy brown mustard on marble rye bread for $12.99.

Lunch and dinner menu features every Texan’s most-wanted dish, chicken fried steak (or chicken). Also pan-seared salmon, Greek chicken, bacon-wrapped meatloaf, and other entrees are all reasonably priced. Round Rock’s Kerbey Lane is located at 2120 N. Mays Street, 512-879-2827.

Round Rock Offers Amenities

There's a Breakfast Paradise in This Texas Town On the Road to Austin

Photo: Amanda Kuda for Kerbey Lane

While Round Rock is a smaller town, with a population under 130,000, it offers plenty of amenities for road-weary travelers. There’s an Ikea Store and a Premium Outlet Mall, and a number of hotel chains. I usually stay in the Best Western Executive Inn, conveniently situated just off I-35 North. Prices are affordable, starting around $70, and the rooms are uniformly clean and quiet. Plus free wi-fi and free breakfast are included.

There are other good restaurants in Round Rock, many of them branches of Austin favorites like Jack Allen’s and Torchy’s Tacos. If you add Greenhouse Craft Food, Louisiana Longhorn Café, and Salt Traders Coastal Cooking, you might start to wonder—do I really need to drive into Austin?