Friday, May 30, 2014

Barley Swine in Austin, Texas

Green gazpacho, kefir, trout roe

Man, Austin seriously has to be one of the most underrated cities in the world for food. Sure, there have always been plenty of good barbecue and food trucks, but it was only on this trip did I discover the beauty of places like Parkside, not to mention Searsucker (I didn't post anything on the latter, but both the cocktails and food were fantastic, even if the place is originally from San Diego). Tonight, I came to Barley Swine, in part because I saw it on a Bourdain episode. They didn't really focus too much on cocktails, but the ingredients were all locally sourced (2024 South Lamar Boulevard, 394-8150).

Yes, it was better than I thought it would be. They only had a $75 fixed menu, but I would have expected an even higher price given the quality of food that came out of the kitchen. They progressed from milder flavors in the beginning gradually through to the most pronounced tastes in the end, all while maintaining textural, visual, and flavorful contrasts in each plate (cool - fried quinoa!). Best of all, there was zero pretentiousness in this place. The South Lamar location means that I'll probably stick to the more centrally-located Parkside and Searsucker next time, but it's easy enough to get transportation for a quick ride down here when needed.

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