“How cool!” was my wife’s reaction when we first walked into Blue Star Cafeteria in Rosedale Village for dinner on a recent Friday night. The exterior really didn’t clue us into the contemporary interior. It’s certainly not the serve-yourself-pay-the-cashier type of cafeteria that I’m used to – and that’s a good thing. I’ve never found Chicken-Fried Quail or Waldorf Chopped Spinach Salad at a cafeteria. Both, by the way, were very tasty. These are the kinds of out-of-the ordinary dishes you can expect to find at Blue Star.
The upscale diner-like restaurant has been open a little over 4 weeks now and is doing well. Eddie Bernal, the owner (pictured above), is very pleased with how well it has been received. He has yet to advertise but business is already exceeding his expectations. He wanted to keep the opening low key intentionally to give the restaurant time to establish its rhythm.
I met with Eddie at the restaurnt at 2:30 on a hot Sunday afternoon and was surprised to see the place almost full. Eddie has been in the restaurant business nearly 25 years. Blue Star Cafeteria is now his third restaurant. He also owns 34th Street Cafe and Santa Rita Cantina in the 26 Doors Shopping Center. Prior to opening his own restaurant, Eddie was the general manager of Granite Cafe for 5 years and involved in other local restaurants like Z-Tejas and Hyde Park Bar and grill before that. He has been in Austin since 1984. Four years ago he moved into Allandale and has a house on Shoalmont.
Eddie was originally approached by the landlord of the Rosedale Village to open a restaurant. This was 3 years ago even before he had opened the Santa Rita Cantina. The basic idea for the menu is upscale comfort food. Blue Star is different however from the other comfort food restaurants in Austin like Threadgills, Hoovers, and Hyde Park Bar and Grill. You don’t find items like boursin cheese grits or smoked trout salad on their menus. He also prides himself in his wine and beer selection – has my local favorite, Full Moon Rye Ale, and has a coffee bar (take a look at that handsome cappuccino maker). You’ll find pizzas, pasta dishes, 3 types of hamburgers, salads, sandwiches and desserts like Toll House pie. It’s not a large menu but one that gives you plenty of choice.
Eddie is not quite ready to sit back and declare it’s finished. He says he listening to customers and making plans on a few menu changes. Blue Star Cafeteria is a welcomed addition to the area, offering those of us in Allandale a good dining destination that is nearby.