Saturday, November 12, 2011

Purple People Palate Pleaser

In Thailand, purple is worn by a widow mourning her husband's death.  In Tibet, amethyst is considered to be sacred to Buddha and rosaries are often fashioned from it. In Japan the color purple signifies wealth and position.  Purple denotes virtue and faith in Egypt. In Tennessee and Virginia, the purple bean is a freshwater, bottom-feeding mussel found in fast-moving streams.

But, in Austin, Texas, The Purple Bean Café, at 1200 E. 11th (the corner of 11th & Lydia), is the place to please your palate.

Yesterday, I had a hankerin’ for an adventurous lunch sandwich. Consulting the bookmarks I’d set on my Yelp iPhone app for local eateries, I decided on The Purple Bean Café. Although primarily known for its coffee drinks, many of the reviewers mentioned the yummy breakfast and lunch sandwiches that I decided it was time for me to partake.

Stellar service and delicious sandwiches were the Specials of the Day at the Purple Bean Café! I was greeted at the window by Kali, who sported a great big smile and was patient as I asked my questions and snapped my blog photos.

Behind her, the bustling trailer cooks were feverish and friendly as Lavalle (a.k.a. Momma), with her purple-tinted hair and fun-spirited attitude, gladly stopped mid-sandwich for a pose.

I regretfully admit that Gene and I ate our sammiches so fast, I didn’t even have time to snap a picture of them. As a first time patron of the Purple Bean, I ordered the Muffaletta and the Texan. The menu described the Muffaletta as “a meaty, New Orleans style sammich with Genoa Salami, Turkey Pastrami, our own Smokey olive/sundried tomato spread, melted provolone cheeez, sliced tomato, onion, fresh basil, served on a toasted Ciabatta roll.” Mmm….it was delicious! The olive/sundried tomato spread was a wonderful alternative to mustard or mayo, tying the flavors all together with a slight hint of sweetness.

The Texan, though, was my favorite, and was billed on the menu as “Modeled after a Chicago Style hot dog, this big boy uses local pork-venison sausage topped with melted Provolone cheese, Bavarian Sauerkraut, Spicy Mustard, Sweet Relish, Sliced tomato, onions, and fresh basil. A very sloppy sammich that brings a symphony of flavors to your mouth.” Need I say more? Of course I do!

The sausage was extremely nummy and juicy. But, the sauerkraut is what made this sandwich so special. It was very mild and sweet, which I did not expect, and it did not detract from the other flavors or textures. The onions were also sweet, not hot, and the sweet relish was a perfect complement to the meat. The Texan is most definitely a Purple People Pleaser in my book!

Each sandwich comes with a choice of chips. I also ordered the fresh-baked chocolate chip cookies for dessert. For a little over $13.00 for two sandwiches, two bags of chips and two cookies, my pocketbook was properly pleased!

Top all that frolicking friendliness and fantastic food with fabulous flora and sidewalk chalk, and you have a recipe for success!

This is a child-friendly and dog-friendly atmosphere that is not to be missed. 

However, if you really don’t have time to linger, fret not, my friends! Phone in your Purple Bean Café order first by calling 512-820-9707. You can also find out what others are saying about The Purple Bean Café on their Facebook page.

“I think it pisses God off if you walk by the color purple in a field somewhere and don't notice it.” --Alice Walker

Eat Sweet at The Purple Bean Café, Y’all!


  1. Sounds delicious!! I'd be all over either one of those sandwiches, I think.

  2. PURPLE; a color, a bean, a DESTINATION !

  3. OMGosh!!!! It was wonderful to meet you and I'm soooo glad you decided to come for another visit. You were so sweet and pleasing to visit with. I hope to have something new on the menu when you come for your next visit(like to keep 'em guessing). Join us at our new location, starting in Jan. 2012, inside the historic Victory Grill! Thanks for making me smile:)

  4. I am from California and I even made my way to the Purple Bean...though the coffee is great, the sammiches are AWESOME. I made a trip everyday until my return home.