Talk about how social media can affect our interpersonal lives. Recently, I’ve been telling my non-Twittering family and friends about how the tool has changed my life. As exaggerated as that sounds, I know it to be true- for the information resource it is (I get blog ideas from Twitter!), and for the new people I have met as a result IRL (in real life). This past Saturday, Twitter changed my the plans for the day–in fact, it enhanced them.
I was sitting at Lulu B’s, my 2nd favorite lunch spot in town, where a group of us was indulging in sweet, spicy, savory Vietnamese sandwiches (I Rebeccammend the Chinese BBQ Sandwich), when I posted a Tweet on my phone asking followers to guess where I was based on a photo I took of my lunch. I was expecting a few responses simply containing the answer. One unexpected response I received was from @laboite_atx (this is the format of a Twitter name), and read “can we tempt you to get a coffee when you’re done? We are just down the road!”
I was amazed. Not only did La Boîte cafe trailer owner Victoria Davies recognize my sandwich, she geo-located me based on the photo of my lunch, and reached out to me in real time to attract a new customer. How amazing is that? I was sold. I looked up the address, and the name of the cafe, since I hadn’t yet heard of it. I didn’t give my out of town visitors much choice in the matter, and drove them over to check out the month-old Euro cafe on S. Lamar to grab an afternoon coffee to warm me up.
Up on the hill shared by The Texas Cuban, in the Yoga-Yoga shopping center, was a clean, modern, recycled storage box painted with the cafe’s name: La Boîte (pronounced luh bwot), which literally means “the box”. It was built on a tile platform, with outdoor seating under chic tents that patrons walk under to enter the mobile rectangular glass and metal cafe. This was the most unique Austin coffee shop I have encountered visually, and I was instantly drawn to it. I realized that of all the trailer restaurants in Austin, this one was unique because I could actually walk inside. The “box” had enough room for 4 people to stand comfortably, as we chatted with friendly New Zealander and barista Victoria.
The counter provides space for the owners to use their sleek, silver French Press coffee makers to deliver custom-made beverages. It also includes a modest bakery case with freshly baked sweets by Barrie Cullinan, who previously baked as pastry-chef of Vespaio and Enoteca (also serving Euro-culinary delights), and now has her own company, Word on Food. I was lucky enough to be able to bring home two tasty pastries, courtesy of Victoria- one almond, and one chocolate croissant. They were delicious and briefly took me back to memories of walking the streets of Paris.
With such friendly staff, a fabulous location, the eco-friendly mission of the cafe, and a feeling of the simple life in Europe, I was sold on just one visit to “the box”.
If you have a moment for a quick pause in your day, stop by La Boîte to say hello, grab a cup of coffee, and a sweet treat.
*La Boite is open from 7:30 A-4:30 P on weekdays, and 9A-5 P on the weekends.