Trudy’s North Star | December 3, 2012

If you live in Austin, you have to know about Trudy’s. The original Trudy’s in the UT campus area was here when I first moved to Austin in 1986 and I don’t know how old it was then. Now there are at least five locations. The food is consistently good so I never worry about taking out-of-town guests there. 

On weekends, they have one of the best brunch buffets, for the money, in town. It abounds with Tex-Mex favorites such as chilaquiles, migas, refried beans and the usual sweet confections of pancakes and waffles. My favorite buffet item, if I suspend my breadless adventure, is the shrimp and grits. The chef, as it was explained to me by my server, is a true southerner and knows a little something about cooking grits. I will have them again someday! Mmmmm! But I digress…

The salad menu didn’t hold a lot of interest for me; plus, it was 10 o’clock in the morning! I wanted eggs. The migas were drawing me into their spell but I knew I didn’t want the usual sides of beans, hashbrown potatoes and biscuits or tortillas.  The onion and peppers in the migas didn’t seem like enough veg to count as a serving of vegetables. 

 I started thinking that perhaps I should have some criteria for what constitutes a salad or what constitutes a serving of vegetables for this blog and what I decided is:

  1. A salad has to have at least three ingredients that are vegetables. 
  2. A main course has to have at least three vegetables in it to be considered a vegetable serving

The server was eager to work with me. I asked for the migas, hold the beans and potatoes, and let me have a side salad which for $4 was lettuce, tomato and mushrooms. My choice of dressing was the cilantro pesto vinaigrette. He said, No problem. I forgot to tell him to leave off the crispy red tortilla strips on top but they were easy to push aside. The corn tortilla in the migas cannot be omitted because they make them in a large batch and they are kind of central to what makes them migas, so I just ate a small amount. Eating the salad first really curbed my appetite. I think the three cups of coffee did that, too. 

Before leaving, I asked the server what his favorite salad at Trudy’s is, he said “the large”. I didn’t know what he meant until I looked at the menu again. It’s called Ensalada Grande or large salad. According to the two servers who described it to me, the “large” can be topped with a choice of crispy chicken tenders, grilled chicken, rotisserie smoked chicken, gulf shrimp dusted in blue corn meal or corn tortilla breaded tilapia. I’m going back soon to try “the large” with the rotisserie smoked chicken. Image


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