When I saw the "Coming Soon" sign go up for Foxhole Culinary Tavern, I was instantly intrigued. How exactly were they going to transform a once dark and dingy Bennigan's? But more importantly, what kind of contribution were they going to make to the Austin restaurant scene?
Only two weeks in and I'm already having a blast :). Almost as much fun as when I helped put together a burger list for the Austin City Guide. I really do like trying new places. Maybe it's the creativity put into developing a menu that I appreciate or seeing how well the chef is able to transform thoughts and words into skillfully executed dishes... Whatever it is, this new series has my palate tickled pink!
As MJ and I browsed the menu, we were both impressed. With a variety of appetizers, salads, sandwiches, and entrees, Foxhole clearly had all its bases covered. I got lost in their craft beer list, but quickly got re-focused by the grumbling within my stomach. We were only halfway through our Black Friday shopping and I was desperately in need of some fuel. We started off with the Foxhole Trio - French onion spread, Edamame hummus, and Roasted garlic hummus served with fresh cucumber slices, toast points, and house potato chips. I had to fight the urge to finish the plate because I absolutely had to have room for my main dish. Of note - MJ and I battled over the edamame hummus. It was unlike anything either of us had had before, and I mean that in a very, very good way.
After getting suggestions from our waiter, we went with something different for all of our dishes (sorry, Daniel). Instead of getting the Grilled Chicken Sandwich (with baby spinach, farm tomatoes, havarti and green goddess), I couldn't help but order the Kobe Burger - Akaushi Heartbrand beef patty, Bibb lettuce, beefsteak tomato, grilled onions, and Redneck cheddar (available for sale and shipping ONLY within the state of Texas). Dusted generously with coarsely ground black pepper, the meat was incredibly juicy and had a smoky flavor from the wood-fired grill. And considering that Akaushi beef is lower in cholesterol and higher in monounsaturated fat than 95/5 ground beef, that's healthy eating, right? 😉
While the Grilled Quail Breast Salad (Honey Gem, figs, Texas pecans, roasted sweet potato, gorgonzola and warm bacon vinaigrette) tugged at MJ's tastebuds, she could not resist the allure of the Fun-Guy - a wood-fired flatbread with wild mushroom, portabella, caramelized onion, smoked gouda, mozzarella, and balsamic. Just typing the description makes me salivate! Now I typically like my pies with red sauce, but when you've got this much flavor going on, there really is no need. The mushrooms had a brilliant flavor that nestled in nicely with the sweet onions, the mild cheese, and the tart balsamic. MJ's all about sharing, but I could see that it pained her to be generous with her slices.
Our meals were so good that we decided to order one more dish to take home with us...
Foxhole Culinary Tavern truly is a bright spot in the midst of a sea of chain dining experiences. They're using locally sourced ingredients and putting an emphasis on quality and freshness to ensure that this is unlike any other pub/tavern that you've been to. And a special kudos to Daniel, our waiter, who not only provided exceptional service, but also accommodated our picture-taking and other blogger shenanigans. He was knowledgable about the menu and had a knack at making us feel welcome. Quality food and great service...a winning combination for sure.
Foxhole Culinary Tavern
13995 N Highway 183, Austin TX 78717
With the food scene being so exciting in Austin right now, I’ve created a list of the newer restaurants that I have to try, a bucket list if you will. Over the next couple of months MJ and I are committed to checking out these establishments and sharing our experiences. It’s gonna be fun so stay tuned!! Here they are in no particular order…
1) Kin & Comfort
4) Sawyer and Co.
6) Dai Due
7) St. Philip
8) Dang Banh Mi
9) Noble Sandwich Co.
10) The Peached Tortilla