Diner HM Kerby Lane

Diner HM Kerby Lane

An Honorable Mention in my “Diner” category has to be Austin’s own Kerby Lane, now a franchise, or chain, or whatever.

The former South Lamar location, evenings, perhaps 11 at night? Couple of girlfriends getting off their evening shifts, work (stage) make–up, and gym bags. Polyester, gold lame, and baggy sweats — the memories run deep.

Over the years, there was a merry war of wits between Kerby and Magnolia. After the being unceremoniously chased out of Magnolia, and not comfortable with an hour wait, or more, I’ve not been back in a decade. See lines outside at peak hours, so they don’t miss me, I’m sure. However, there is still a notation, buried someplace, about Magnolia serving “Chicken–Fried Tofu.”

While Magnolia never makes it as a diner, Kerby Lane Cafe, after all these years, it deserves an honorable mention as close.

Breakfast served all day, suitably Austin–weird, and locally sourced food. Yes, Kerby Lane Cafe deserves a mention. Reminds of a story about the original location, once, rather recent.

It was before, during, or after — think Sunday morning before — a January Austin show. I had on, looked like, clothes from the night before. Hair a bit of a mess, black jeans, black long–sleeve Tee, black sport jacket, the unshaven and haggard performer look.

“Isn’t he that guitar player?”

Me, not like I’m young anymore, and dating an age appropriate woman is important to me, so there we were, on a Sunday morning, giggling like kids, looking like we were still drunk from the night before. Cold out, so the long pants and boots, all of that was perfect. Hadn’t showered or shaved yet, with the raw facts being just rolled out of bed, into clothing to grab food before work, while planning to go back and clean up after breakfast.

A fine, good–looking woman adds to my cachet, that’s for sure. No idea what was causing the giggles that morning.

“Rockstars. Astrologers. They’re all the same.”

Kerby Lane Cafe is no longer, in my mind, a real “diner.” Doesn’t meet the requirements as a diner. But certainly gets an Honorable Mention, especially the South Lamar location — but I liked that old location better — when Kerby Lane Cafe was on the other side of South Lamar. Wasn’t as clean, looked like an old cafeteria. That might’ve qualified as a diner.

The food is always good, with a special nod towards the Gingerbread Pancakes.

And another breakfast item, delving deep? Duty dictates, I must mention the old favorite, a Paris Texas Breakfast Platter, which was, French Toast, ham steak, and eggs. If memory serves, and it might not.

Kerby Lane Cafe gets an honorable mention, last time I was there? The waiting list for brunch was automated, with a “download the app” link. That’s not really a diner, not anymore.

Good food, and suitably Austin Off–Center.


Kramer Wetzel

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