We chose Bess Bistro for lunch because, well, it's Austin Restaurant Week! We want to take advantage of food that we can not otherwise afford! Bess Bistro is an American Southern and French-inspired establishment opened by Sandra Bullock. We were stoked to lunch on a $15 prix-fixe lunch at a restaurant owned by a likeable Oscar-nominee!
I was hungry from a morning of writing a paper on assessing presidential tools for effective policymaking and dug right into the basket of bread and butter. Although I admired my friend's amazing restraint and reason (the lunch promises more bread to come in the form of croutons and sandwiches), but I enjoyed the comfort of delicious carbs though I was caught off-guard by the extremely sweet butter. This foreshadows the extreme flavors that were to come in Sara's dishes.
Bread with surprisingly sweet butter
I wanted to order the spinach salad with warm ranch dressing and fried egg for my first course, but I decided to pick the herb salad with strawberries and toasted walnuts so we can try different dishes. I immediately regretted my pick when I saw the egg on top of Sara's salad. My salad on the other hand was light, crisp, and a perfect starter to build appetite. But screw my healthier salad! I was completely envious when Sara exclaimed the intense garlickyness of her croutons. I tried one, and it was like a firecracker in my mouth. It was a total Emeril "BAM!" moment.
Organic Baby Spinach with smoked bacon, oven roasted tomatoes, over easy egg, and parmesan brioche croutons
Organic Spring Mix with herbs, toasted walnuts, parmesan, strawberry, and raspberry basil vinaigrette
Next came my friend's panini and my croque monsieur. Again, Sara's dish had an overdose of flavors and ingredients-super strong basil pesto and copious amounts of mozzarella cheese. My croque monsieur was well-balanced but is a rich dish to start with. The bread was generously buttered and perfectly crusty to withstand the heavy bechamel.