the spot: Paperboy 1203 E. 11th St. Austin TX 78702
the eats: All of it: the burger, the hash, the fried chicken, anything sweet so yeah everything
the bucks: $10-$20 an entrée
the full nelson: the kind of brunch that lives up to the hype and is worth the wait
I don’t get out to brunch often these days. Back in my 20s, waiting in a long line for some poached eggs swimming in hollandaise while nursing a hangover was actually a welcomed ritual. In my 40s with a kid in tow, a line for a Sunday breakfast is gonna be met with a resounding “hell no”. A more perfect scenario would be a weekday business meeting. And the pro move is to hit up Paperboy, where they serve up breakfast + brunch seven days a week.
Twice now I’ve been to the food truck turned hip East Austin brunch spot Paperboy. And twice I’ve walked away impressed. This isn’t exactly Cheap Eats but the quality you’re getting at Paperboy is bang for your brunch buck, at least in my book.
A few weeks ago Chef Aaron May, who you might recognize from Guy’s Grocery Games on Food Network, came to Austin. We both happened to be at Formula One down at Circuit of the Americas but weren’t able to meet up. Next best solution? An epic breakfast on his way to the airport.
He literally texted me those words and until I walked in and saw our table, I kinda thought he was half kidding. Chef May don’t play. While this might seem like overkill, what I got from this experience(besides lots of leftovers) is that Paperboy throws it down, up and down the whole damn menu.
Paperboy changes up the menu every month or so. But their Texas Hash sticks around. On this plate you’ll find braised pork shoulder paired with roasted sweet potato, onion and kale. Top it with an egg and you have breakfast. Top that with a pecan mole and you have a Texas style brunch. I’ve had this dish twice and both times it tasted as good as it read off the menu.
I’m a savory breakfast kind of guy. If the breakfast bread program is gonna deviate me from my usual meat ‘n eggs order, it has got to be good. Enter the Ricotta toast: whipped ricotta, apple butter bourbon, bacon pecan crumble and caramelized onion on some . . . yeah you guessed it, toast. The texture play here stole the show, specifically that light and fluffy ricotta and the crunch of the bacon and pecan. If my kid wasn’t allergic to nuts I would eat this regularly.
My wife makes my kid pancakes almost every Sunday. And every Sunday he is getting a short stack. At Paperboy your pancake experience will be a stack of one. And that will be more than enough. This pancake is pretty straightforward: big ass pancake, butter and syrup. I suppose if you’re imagination decided to take a breakfast break, it makes sense to get this.
I can’t lie to you. I forgot what this dish was but I want to say it was some kind of play on a latke. It was fried potato awesomeness and tasted as pretty as it looked. Dense but not overwhelming, this possible potato latke would be a wise move should it return to the menu. As of November 2021, I don’t see anything like it on there.
Years ago I was sent off to Portland OR to tackle a few epic fried chicken brunches. To this day Screen Door in PDX remains some of the best fried chicken I have ever had for breakfast. Paperboy is right up there and dethroned the Pork and Sweet Potato hash as my go to breakfast here. I’d advise getting your workout on before you eat this. The Country Gravy was a perfect consistency, behaving more like a sauce than a food group as some country gravies tend to do.
If you do go to Paperboy and decide to play the splitsies game like I did, get the cheeseburger. It surprisingly stayed intact after being sawed in two and it’s a solid cheeseburger that makes as much sense for breakfast as a burger could. I loved the bun on this burger and it showed off the great bread program here.
The fact that Paperboy serves breakfast of this caliber on a Monday morning makes this my Austin Brunch(or breakfast go to). If you’re needing a mimosa or even just a waiter, Paperboy should be your breakfast spot in ATX. And you don’t need to order like Chef Aaron May to get the Paperboy experience. But it won’t hurt to either.