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Read Some Books and Grab Some Grub at the Cookbook Cafe

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Read Some Books and Grab Some Grub at the Cookbook Cafe

The Cookbook Bar & Cafe is located in the Austin Public Library.

The Cookbook Bar & Cafe is located in the Austin Public Library.

The Cookbook Bar & Cafe is located in the Austin Public Library.

The Cookbook Bar & Cafe is located in the Austin Public Library.

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Conner Tate, Staff Writer

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The Cookbook Bar and Cafe is a unique and charming dining experience inside one of Austin’s newest landmarks. This restaurant, located at the Austin Central Library, serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner at average prices and is accessible for all ages.  The walls are lined with shelves full of, appropriately enough, cookbooks. Diners are encouraged to read as they eat – you can even look up the recipe for the dish you ordered.

The menu itself changes depending on what’s in season.  Since the Cookbook is open from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 9 to 7 Friday and Saturday, and 11 to 7 on Sunday, you can go on practically any day of the year and find something to the tastes of even the pickiest eater.  Parking can be found at the library parking garage. Since the library is adjacent to a hike-and-bike trail and there are numerous places to park one’s bicycle, you can get to the Cookbook surprisingly easily. To walk there from school,  follow the sidewalk from the parking lot by the portables and keep going until you get to the library. The Cookbook Bar and Cafe is on the far side.

The drink selection is extremely varied – there is a wide range of alcoholic beverages for adults, and those not old enough can order water, soft drinks, lemonade (which is very good if you like lots of lemon in your ade), hot chocolate, and coffee. Said coffee can be brewed to specification and comes with free refills.  The staff are friendly, polite and will direct you to which cookbooks contain the recipes currently on the menu. The service is quite good as well. When my mother, my friend Theron, his family, and I ate lunch at the Cookbook, we got our food in 20 minutes, and that was at peak lunch hour with a party of six.

The atmosphere always manages to be very calm and peaceful, no matter how crowded it is or whether you sit inside or at the outdoor tables.  I got the impression that the Cookbook would be a very good place to work on homework. Those of an environmentalist bent will be happy to know that all the plastics used there for cups, straws and such are compostable and marked as such.  Unfortunately, there is little allowance for gluten allergies and other such issues, at least not that I know of.

Fortunately, the food itself is very, very enjoyable.  The cookies are first-rate, the chicken pot pie is incredible, and the French toast tastes almost as good as homemade French toast does.  There is an excellent variety of quality sandwiches, ranging from cheese to chicken salad. The green curry is delicious and vegetarian. All in all, the Cookbook Bar and Cafe is an excellent restaurant with good food, great atmosphere and a unique theme and setting in the heart of downtown Austin – all just a short walk away from our school.

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Read Some Books and Grab Some Grub at the Cookbook Cafe