Downtown's newest buzz space is Fareground, an upscale adult version of a teenage hang zone at the mall food court. No, Sbarro Pizza isn't one of the vendors, but these six concepts from some of Austin's brightest names in food will have you making plans with your friends all the same. Their website says the new venture "is inspired by the idea that to make a place everyone wants to go, you have to have something for everyone." With plenty of communal seating and a central bar, it's Austin dining in a nutshell.
From the owners of Hyde Park's renowned cheese shop comes a menu focused on showcasing the very best cheese. There are both hot and cold items, including tomato soup, grilled cheese sandwiches, and salads. Signature boards include various cheeses and accompanying bread and pairings, and the specialty boards add charcuterie and other treats, including Peppadew peppers, Castelvetrano olives, Marcona almonds, and honeycomb. As if that wasn't enough, the ultimate comfort food is on deck: bowls of mac & cheese with eight cheeses.
In addition to menu items from the Eastside neighborhood favorite like the Contigo burger (and veggie burger), chef Andrew Wiseheart and co-owner Ben Edgerton add locally sourced rotisserie chicken with house-made sauces, several ready-to-grab fresh salads, and chicken wings. Breakfast gets an upgrade with delectable sandwiches and fruit hand pies that are a great treat to bring back to the office to butter up your officemates.
Chef Gabe Erales worked with owner/chef Jesse Griffiths and co-owner Tamara Mayfield to develop a new twist for their hyperlocal empire of wonderful food. Tacos and tortas featuring their signature wild game and seafood incorporate seasonal fruits and vegetables and house-made salsas. See our feature on their überspecial al pastor tacos.
Part beer garden, part bakery, Easy Tiger specializes in house-cured meats and sausages, and David Norman's artisanal breads, pastries, and pretzels. Whether it's an incurable craving for baguettes and espresso, or your coffee isn't complete without a croissant, this spot is guaranteed to improve your morning. If you only see eight o'clock once a day, their artisanal sandwiches pair perfectly with a Mexican Coke for a quick lunch excursion.
Named for the delightful greenery favored by chefs and chickens alike, this new concept from the Emmer & Rye team features healthy, approachable items suitable for any time of day. For breakfast, try a sweet kolache, kale burrito, or a signature bowl with crispy short rib, sweet potato, poached egg, local greens, and pickled chiles. The Thai chicken wrap with chicken laab, pickled carrots, galangal, Valencia peanuts, and cabbage makes a great lunch, especially when accompanied by cauliflower ceviche and a shrub soda.
Sushi has become a staple lunch item, and if there's a team who knows exactly how to roll it and price it, it's this one. Though the sushi selections are not as extensive as the flagship on Airport (check out their lovely, larger new digs), the same high-quality, bright flavor profiles beam. This new concept also pulls from the menu at Komé's sister shop, Daruma Ramen on Sixth Street, and the whole chicken broth ramen (or vegan option) is lighter for daylight dining.
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