Where we ate: Fixe, Austin TX
Meal type: Dinner
Party size: 4
Imagine fine dining in the west in the 1850s. The tables are long and full of adornments. The guests are wearing multiple layers with all of the appropriate cuff links and jewelry. There are candles lit and chandeliers dangling above the table.
That scene I just described is what I felt like I walked into when we opened the doors to Fixe, here in Austin. It was time to dust off my boots, remove my Bowler hat (think Charlie Chaplin) and have a proper meal.
All of the dishes at Fixe are Southern or Southern-inspired. Like Red Lobster, you start your meal with biscuits. Unlike Red Lobster, you can taste the generations of effort that resulted in the recipe for these crispy outside and cozy inside biscuits.
Below are the three spreads that comes with the biscuits. Clockwise from top was some honey mix, then a spicier and thicker spread, and a sort of jam. Sorry, too many details to remember and I wanted to try the biscuit plain to understand its taste without sprucing it up.
And yes, I’m primal/paleo. But when you go to a fine Southern restaurant, you eat the biscuits.
They have a robust menu full of many different items. It was tough to narrow our choices down but here is what we started with:
Deviled Eggs: (primal/paleo) We’ve all see this dish that serves eggs cut in half and filled with the “deviled” mix. Here, they are served as whole eggs. Awesome display value, and of course tasted great.
Crispy Beef Tendon: (I believe this is primal/paleo) Beef tendon is good and all but…it’s so much better when its crispy and served with hot sauce.
Beef Tartare: (mostly primal/paleo) This is served with a fried oyster on top, which isn’t quite primal, but the rest of the dish is fair game. So full of flavor and one of our favorite starters. If you want to to add this to your cheats for the week, be sure to eat the tiny pancakes it’s served with.
The Carnivore: (avoid the grits and it’s primal/paleo) They have three grits-based dishes (veggies, meat, and fish) which are great to start the night off with. The meat was very tender and they had a nice BBQ flavor to them.
With that many starter plates, we were trying to keep up with all of the flavor combinations. On to the main dishes:
Lobster & Crawfish Pot Pie: (not primal/paleo) You can’t go around eating pot pies on a high-fat diet but if your guests get down with carbs, you should urge them to eat this. I had a small bite and seafood as a replacement for chicken was a cool taste.
Fried Soft Shell Crab: (not primal/paleo). This was Belle’s dish. No, not exactly paleo (fried corn meal exterior) but she balanced out her meals so that a splurge at one meal is offset by healthy superfoods in another. She loved it and regretted nothing.
Fried Chicken: (not primal/paleo) You go to a Southern restaurant, you get the friend chicken. Our guest went through that plate quickly. I watched out of the corner of my eye in jealousy. It’s all good though. My dish that comes next blows them all out of the water.
Duck Breast: (primal/paleo) I’m a sucker for duck. When it’s on the menu, few other dishes will stand above it. I just love the slight gamey flavor with the higher fat content. And Fixe comes out swinging with their version.
It sits on top of duck confit (more duck!) and a bed of cabbage and tiny pieces of apple. It’s a generous portion too.
I was hesitant to order the duck since I wasn’t sure how Southern of a dish it was. Luckily a staff member overheard me and told me how she grew up in Louisiana and that duck was a very common dish. Lucky me!
I’m not a big dessert guy but the table was in the mood to keep the food flowing. Here is what all that looked like:
Red Beans & Rice (it’s not what you think. how? no clue.)
Carrot Cake ‘Tres Leches’
Accompanying all of the food were a couple glasses of dry red wine for me (Syrah & Grenache/Syrah).
Fixe stands out from other dining spots by not only offering meals inspired by traditional and home cooked southern meals but by having such a large menu. There is truly something for everyone.
My high-fat diet needs were easily met. Go check out Belle’s post for her perspective.