advertisement

Part-time Austinite actress Sandra Bullock helped start this little West Sixth Street bistro, which is named for her mother's favorite character in "Porgy and Bess." Housed in the 1918 Stratford Apartments on Old Pecan Street, the bistro is not far from another Bullock business, the sunny bakery/deli/flower shop Walton's Fancy and Staple. Walton's makes the artisanal breads served at Bess and most everything else in Bess's kitchen also begins with local purveyors. The menu is Southern-inspired, with dishes like bacon shrimp and grits, mac 'n' cheese, and fried green tomatoes with lump Gulf crabmeat and Tabasco. (Bullock lives part-time in New Orleans, can't you tell?) The fun and flirty menu is simple, not trendy—though the atmosphere often gets more raves than the food. It's the kind of place I like to go with my mom or my girlfriends to have lunch. A rooftop patio, pewter bar, exposed-brick columns, sparkling chandeliers, and solid pecan woodwork give the space a warm, welcoming vibe that any sweet girl next door like Bullock would like. You'll like it, too.