The Hottest New Food Spot in Austin, Examined

Come on, dad, be a foodie. You’re already a fatty and a drunky – Bart Simpson

It’s not even debatable – Fareground is currently the newest rage in our town. And why wouldn’t it be? It’s an indoor food truck park on steroids. It features 6 food establishments, almost all of which are already well known in the ATX.

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Henbit is the only newcomer

LOCATION

Fareground is located in the heart of the most exciting district in downtown. It’s built right into the Wells Fargo building on 2nd and Congress, right in the midst of fast growing hi-rise condos, the JW Marriott, the Austin Convention Center, Lake Austin, and up the street is the new Austin Central Library (more on that in a future blog post).

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Another beautiful aspect of the location is easy access to parking, albeit paid parking. Fareground sports it’s own garage, and the Austin Convention Center lot is right next to it if you ever run into trouble. There is also street parking, but because of the location, you’ll have to get really lucky to find a spot.

Architecture

Wow, is this place aesthetically pleasing to look at. From the outside…

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You get a great view of the Austonian from here

…to most importantly, the inside…

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A real marvel of architecture and design

There are wide open spaces to walk through, a multitude of tables and stools, a beautiful ceiling, couches, and views of the outdoors. All the restaurants/food spots are mainly centralized around a bar, with the exception of Easy Tiger which is kind of off to the side, but still not too far from the main action.

ANTONELLI’S

It’s kind of not fair that I’m dedicating a whole section to them, but Antonelli’s should be in a category of it’s own because it’s unlike any of the other places.

The service that my friends and I received was phenomenal. We got to try almost every offering that they had – cheeses, cheese spreads, meats, olives, nuts, chocolate, and honey. Their staff was extremely helpful, and you could tell that they really knew their stuff.

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Be careful – you may end up buying everything from them

In total, we spent over $180 here. That should tell you something about the quality of their products.

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There are 9 different cheeses in this beautiful ‘cheese n’ mac’
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A cheese plate we made with their ghost pepper meat, Sottocenere, L’Amuse Gouda, and their delectable apricot jam

I can’t stop raving about this place. The only thing that bums me out is they’re not open until 10PM as some of the other places at Fareground are.

FOOD (for the most part)

Watch yourself. If you’re not careful, you can easily blow through your food budget. In two hours, I ordered a bloody Mary, mac n’ cheese, short ribs, a taco, an horchata, and if they hadn’t run out at the time, another taco and some churros from Dai Due.

Granted, I live far from Fareground, so I wanted the ultimate experience. I also wouldn’t have felt right reviewing this place without at least trying a little something from every place.

But regardless, if you’re anything like me, you might drop a few more buckaroos than you may have planned for.

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Short ribs from Henbit

The short ribs were delicious. Flavorful, tender, great quality meat, served on a bed of fresh veggies, including some amazing roasted sweet potatoes.

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Bread from Easy Tiger

This bread was devoured after pairing it with some cranberry and apricot jam from Antonelli’s.

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Bloody Mary

The bartender let me tell her when to stop pouring the Tabasco. I made sure this thing was up to my spicy standards, and as a result, it did not disappoint.

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Left to right: Wild Boar Pibil on corn, Venison Picadillo on flour

Arguably the best tasting thing that I had. The tacos felt and tasted high end, fresh, and very unique – you definitely won’t find these at most other taco places.

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Horchata cheers!

Horchata from Dai Due. A sweet note to end on.

ATTENTION RETENTION

Being a foodie, naturally, I didn’t need anything else but the food to keep me situated at Fareground for a while. However, I still felt that something was missing. There’s a huge outdoor patio area for seating, and there’s a stage at the center of it. I would love to have something to do while I’m there – maybe a live band, some cornhole, a few ping pong tables, ANYTHING. There’s so much underutilized space. I want this place to succeed, so I want there to be reasons for people to stay longer.

PRICE

With a couple of exceptions, I felt that in general, most things were a little pricy. Given the location, the upscale vibes, and the quality of food, I understand why it’s $$. But more often than not, I asked myself “why does it cost so much for this?”

 

More Pictures

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Ni-Kome ramen. I am a die hard Tatsuya fan, so I can’t give you an unbiased opinion… but my friend can. She says the broth is lacking. The lack of Chasu is also a bummer.  
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But I challenge you to try it and be your own judge. Why take my friend’s word for it?
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I discovered that I am NOT a fan of shrimp picadillo (Dai Due). I can see people really loving this, but I am not one of them – I like my shrimp whole, not ground. 
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How could you say no to trying these beautiful cheeses?! … Unless you’re lactose. If you are, sorry!!! 😦
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Oh, hi there Easy Tiger french baguette. What, you were only $2.75?! Quite a steal in these parts. 

SUMMARY

Overall, I loved Fareground. Would I take a date? Yes. Would I go again by myself? Yes. Should you go if you’ve never been? DEFINITELY. WHY HAVEN’T YOU ALREADY?!…

Keeping the things I said above in mind, you are sure to have an enjoyable time. *Emphasis on stopping by at Antonelli’s – and no, I did not receive any cheese kickbacks, or anything for that matter, to say that*

Just remember to bring an empty stomach and some full pockets.


Don’t forget to make your way to @ATXFoodiesBlog on Instagram for more hunger inducing food pictures.

Thanks to my friends for joining me on this particular adventure!

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Glen and Marissa
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Eric
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