Foreign and Domestic (Austin, TX)
306 E 53rd St
Austin, TX 78751
100810 — As we planned our trip to Austin a couple of weeks ago to see deadmau5 at Austin Music Hall, I quickly started jotting down where I wanted to go eat during our weekend stay. My top two favorites in Austin are Foreign and Domestic and Uchi, since both open for dinner only, it’s a definite struggle to get the timing correct, another hurdle is the reservation policy at both establishments. With an uncertain departure time from Houston, I decided to wing it and head straight to F&D with hopes of making it on time for the Blue Hour (read HAPPY HOUR) Menu. The Blue Hour menu contains some drink specials and my favorite, the food specials that include Fried Bacon Tartine, Tomatoes and Manchego and Fried Okra and Shishitos. With the Fried Okra being one of my favorite dishes in Austin, it felt like a rather long drive from Houston as we headed straight for F&D.
Upon entering F&D, some eye contact and a firm handshake with Ned, Chris, Sven and I made our way to the end of the bar. Within 5 minutes the wonderful Blue Hour treats made their way in front of us along with The Pantry Dropper and the Cyclist. As we ate our way through the Blue Hour menu we looked over the ever changing regular menu. My eyes and stomach made the decisions easy, Foie Gras and Chicken Liver Mousse, Popovers, Venison Heart Tartare for appetizers. Sven chose the Heartland Beef Waygu Flank Steak (w/ Long Squash, Chili, Brocolli, and Carrot Butter), Chris chose the Revival Meats Red Wattle Pork Steak (w/ Candied Olives, White Anchovy, Butter Greens, and Maytag Blue Cheese) and I went with the Roasted Octopus and Maine Scallops (w/ Crispy Potatoes, Peppers, Chorizo, and Squid Ink).
A little while after we ordered our appetizers, 5 more friends arrived with another 2 shortly behind them. Essentially we took up their entire counter space, it is of course the best seat(s) in the house. As we drooled over the dishes that were being prepared for other customers it was finally our turn, gorgeous dish after dish presented itself in front of us. My octopus and Scallop dish was amazing, perfectly cooked scallops under a black creamy squid ink solution under a bed of prickly crispy potatoes. I had a sliver of the Waygu Steak prepared rare, at it held its own beautifully as compared to other steaks I’ve had, it’s a shame my stomach can only handle so much in a single sitting (lol).
We polished off the appetizers and main entrees as our lovely waitress decided to tempt us even further with the dessert menu. During my previous visit I had to dip into the greatness that is the Bacon Root Beer Float, as much as I had to resist, I decided to order the Apple and Fig Strudel with Pomegranate Ice Cream. An unassuming scoop of off white / pink ice cream contained some of the best tasting ice cream I’ve ever had. It literally kicked my ass with flavor. A welcome ending to a great meal. I will forever recommend F&D to anyone that asks me for a recommendation in Austin.
4/5: Foreign and Domestic contains everything that is win in a small package.