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Fearless Critic restaurant review
Sandwiches, Baked goods

Mon–Fri 6:30am–midnight
Sat 7:00am–midnight
Sun 7:30am–midnight

Features Kid-friendly, outdoor dining, veg-friendly, Wi-Fi
Bar None
Credit cards Visa, MC, AmEx


Hyde Park
411 E. 43rd St.
Austin, TX
(512) 453-3399
Quack’s Bakery
A funky relic of true Austin slackerdom, for better or worse

Captain Quackenbush’s Intergalactic Dessert Company and Café was once the heart and soul of the Drag, and the embodiment of the infamous slacker attitude that Austin was once known for. Sadly, much of the character of the Drag has been replaced by Jamba Juice and Einstein Bros. Bagels, emblems of American productivity; today’s Austin slacker is Urbanely Outfitted.

We are left with Quack’s on 43rd, which is shabby and sweet, with rickety furnishings, free Wi-Fi, and cheery walls of chile pepper and turquoise. It serves stale-tasting sandwiches, but the panini are okay (everything’s better slightly toasted—just ask the spaced-out staff). A turkey-and-brie is fine, but a Reuben is off-puttingly sweet and not at all sour enough. Baked goods are all over the place: greasy croissants; good banana bread; excellent key lime pie; and rock-hard cookies only loved for being artful and whimsical, iced to reflect political and seasonal concerns. If only this much care was put into their baking. (The salty oat cookie is still the jam.) The tea selection is Stash (hello, Travelodge), and coffee drinks are awful—we’ve seen them marry stale, old coffee with freshly brewed stuff, and Americanos are watery yet somehow burnt-tasting.

The slacker attitude works for Quack’s in every other way; we love whiling away a morning out front amid crazy conversations with the neighborhood eclectica. But how much better it would be with really good coffee, tea, and pastries.

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