The opening of the Fareground food hall in downtown Austin was highly anticipated and features some local big names for vendors. But the real question is does it live up to the hype?
Fareground is a food hall located in an office building in downtown Austin. It features six local vendors plus a bar in an inside / outside dining concept. It is located at 111 Congress Avenue, and it does have a parking garage (thank god). Since it is an office building though, you will need to get your parking validated by one of the vendors (parking is only validated with purchase). Once you park, take the elevator down to Level P which will lead you directly to the food hall!
First up was Contigo. I ordered the wings in their chicken dripping wing sauce. It does have a kick to it, but nothing too crazy (I mean I could handle it, and I don't really like spicy things). The wings were served with a house-made dipping sauce that tasted like an earthier ranch. I really liked the sauce and thought it was a perfect compliment to the wings, but David hated it (*shoulder shrug*). Overall, I did really enjoyed the this dish, but the biggest downside was the size. The wings were SO TINY, y'all. Especially considering it's $7 for five wings!
Next we ordered the $6 wild boar al pastor taco from Dai Due Taqueria. I was honestly so disappointed by this one! Dai Due has been on my list to try for quite a while, but this taco was lacking in just about every aspect. I'm sorry but if I am paying $6 for a taco, it better be filling AND taste like heaven. It's pretty hard to screw up a taco, right? But with this one in particular, the filling was so minimal I'm still not even sure I know what wild boar tastes like. The meat was cut into such small pieces it was dry and impossible to decipher a flavor. There was fresh fruit on it which I appreciate, and I think the concept is there, but I would absolutely not pay $6 for this again.
We then made our way over to Antonelli's for some good ol' mac and cheese. Out of everything we tried, this was hands down our favorite! The consistency of their sauce is honestly mac and cheese #goalsaf and is made using their "signature blend of eight specialty cheeses." Fair warning though, it was incredibly rich so if you that is not your cup of tea, I would recommend against ordering this dish. I definitely needed something to break up the decadence of this in between bites, and thankfully they served it with some bread (which I kept wishing for more of).
Finally, we couldn't leave without trying one of the monster cookies from Henbit! I would not recommend eating it immediately following the Antonelli's mac and cheese like we did, it was seriously richness overload. As a stand alone item though, yes, the cookie was awesome. Would I pay $4 for another one though? Eh, probably not.
Overall, I probably won't go back.
At the end of the day, if I wanted Easy Tiger, I would rather go to Easy Tiger. Or if I wanted Kome, I would rather just go to Kome, etc.. At Fareground, for what you get I think it is just too overpriced. I get it, it's downtown, which usually equates to everything being overpriced, right? Fine. But if I am going to go downtown specifically to eat, I would rather walk a block down the street to Gus's, or go to Italic, or La Condesa, or any number of other awesome restaurants in the downtown area.
It does have a very Austin-vibe and the outdoor area is beautiful, so I think if you work within walking distance of here it could be a nice lunch spot. But for those of us who do not live OR work downtown, you're okay to skip out on this one.
What are your favorite restaurants to eat at in Austin? Leave me a comment below and let me know!
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