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Fearless Critic restaurant review
Casual restaurant

Mon–Sat 5:00pm–midnight

Features Date-friendly
Bar Beer, wine
Credit cards Visa, MC, AmEx
Reservations Not accepted


South Lamar
2024 S. Lamar Blvd.
Austin, TX
(512) 394-8150
Barley Swine
Local drinking and farm-to-communal-table dining for these pig-fetish times

Barley Swine offers a menu of more than a dozen dime-sized dishes from which diners can build a playlist. The equally small space is a pain on busy nights, when the wait can exceed an hour with nowhere to comfortably loiter; once seated, however, that all melts into a pubbish, communal good cheer. The intent was to create a zayat for food and beer to come together, and a commendable selection of microbrews, Belgians, and locals come in draft, bottle, and large-format bottle. An improving wine selection limps along with some good intentions, and feels beside the point with all this good beer, anyway.

Ingredients here are carefully chosen, and are mostly local. This is good news when feasting on ethically and naturally raised meat. As ever, dishes are characterized by the same pluck and talent for various methods of cooking that brought its trailer, Odd Duck (please come back), to acclaim: crisp-exteriored trotter with sous-vide egg; pebble-sized ricotta dumplings with cumin-crusted broccoli bits. Now and then, one flavor wallops another (beef and capers trounce minced snails; house-made bacon overwhelms sweetbreads), but there are no duds. The price-to-experience ratio’s a little high, but until we can reverse the country’s trend of making Actual Food less accessible, that’s sort of par for the course.

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