Saturday, October 3, 2009

Milano Cafe: Worth the Trip to SW Austin

After having just a few too many drinks at WOXY's ACL after party at the Seaholm Power Plant last night, the hubs and I slept in and lounged around most of the day today. By afternoon we were starving but not entirely motivated to go too far from home, since the rain was pouring down on Austin like the tropics. We narrowed lunch down our lunch choices to either tex mex or pizza. We had pizza last week from the Austin Pizza Kitchen and it was not our cup of tea. The crust was like cardboard. After googling around to see what was near our house, we decided to try the Milano Cafe on Southwest Parkway. And I am so glad we did - I plan on being a regular at this place. The yumminess factor is a 10 out of 10.

Milano Cafe is fairly new. The owners, brother and sister Sami and Giki Demi, opened it about 5 months ago. It is located in a tiny strip mall on Southwest Parkway, in between a Subway and a liquor store. From the outside, it is not much to look at, rather nondescript. But once inside the door, the decor is hipster cute.

Milano's is a small place, maybe 10 tables max, plus some couches and chairs for lounging. You place your order at the counter and they bring the food out to you. While we were looking over the menu, the owner told us that all of his flour is imported from Italy and France. He also imports as many other ingredients as he can to try to keep the flavors of his dishes as authentically European as possible. We decided to try the Albanezza pizza, since it is topped with Albanian sausage that has been smoked for over 3 weeks, the sausage is similar to pepperoni but with a smokey/salty flavor. We also decided to split one of the daily specials, a crostini de polenta.

While we were waiting, the owner brought us two small side salads as comps. He said our meals didn't come with salad but since another couple had just ordered salads, he had made a little extra for us to munch on while our pizza baked. We also were advised to help ourselves to the free lemonade or water while waiting.

After not too long of a wait, out came our lunch. The polenta dish was amazing. The polenta was a creamy, thick wedge covered in a tomato/sausage sauce, topped with goat cheese and garnished with fresh basil. Swoon.

The Albanezza pizza was also delicious. The crust was chewy and crunchy, yet light and airy. It had a good mouth feel. The cheese toppings were thick and gooey without being too heavy. The Albanian sausage was sliced into thin little strips, tasting very much like an over the top pepperoni.

I had to grab a shot of the pizza before Mike got carried away and dug into it (I had to admonish him to wait a sec!) So this picture is a little fuzzy because I took it quickly as Mike was practically drooling in anticipation of eating it.

I noticed right off that the cafe had a beautifully stocked dessert case. I had been eyeing it the entire time we were in there.

Even though we were stuffed, we had to try the tiramisu and have a couple of cappucchinos. The owner brought the desserts and coffees out and thanked us again for stopping in. Both owners were so friendly and genuinely pleased that we enjoyed our food.

Milano Cafe is located at 4601 Southwest Parkway, Suite 109, Austin TX 78735. Phone number (512) 428-6076. They are open from 10:00 until 10:00. They serve breakfast crepes, croissants, a good selection of salads, pasta, pizza, paninis and offer several daily specials. They have a full espresso bar. Milano's does not have a liquor license, but you can BYOB and there is a liquor store next door. There is also free wi-fi.

This is a little gem of a place. I will be back with a bottle of red wine soon.

Milano Cafe on Urbanspoon


  1. I love what you're doing, making this more than just a cooking blog. You're inspiring me. LOL.

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