I'm not sure how this happened, but I went to FINO three times in one week. Once, for a Gourmet Mourning Hour, once for an awesome dinner with friends, and once for brunch. This means that basically my entire blogging backlog is FINO. Er.
You already might know how much we love this place. Here's a tasty dinner we blogged a while back, and here's the blogger event they put on in style this spring. Yup, we're big fans. You should probably know, in the interest of full disclosure, that we count these guys as friends and they know we're food bloggers.
Anyway, here's my first brunch with them!
First, a protip: it's a really good idea, if you're on twitter, to follow @fino_austin. Brian, the general manager, often tweets about really good deals for brunch sometime on Sunday morning, and he'll also tweet about weekly specials and events being held in the restaurant. On the particular Sunday I went there with the always-awesome Jennifer, you could get a free FINO bloody mary with Hangar One chipotle vodka and housemade tomato juice, or a free Corpse Reviver #2 with gin, cointreau, lillet blanc, lemon and absinthe.
We ordered one of each, as well as a dish of their anchovy-stuffed fried olives. These are crunchy, and briny, and even people who don't like olives or anchovies love them.
The drinks were perfectly mixed, as always. Their bar really is one of the best in town. While we sipped, we perused the rest of the menu. Jennifer ordered a beef tenderloin and egg dish, that came with fries and looked like the perfect hangover-buster. I was in the mood for something kind of light and vinegary, though, and ordered the Ensalada Nicoise.
Oh my, you guys. This probably isn't the best thing to order if you come in with a Sunday morning hangover (which I didn't, for once), but it is exactly the thing if you want to feel like Popeye. All the components were prepared well and were top-notch, from the fingerling potatoes to the oil-cured tuna, the crunchy fried capers to the perfectly soft-boiled egg. This was delicious. And those white anchovies were firm and perfumed the whole dish. Loved them.
This salad might also not be ideal for people with a slight bent towards OCD, like me (evidence here), but I just got over myself and cleaned the plate.
My first FINO brunch experience was terrific. I'll totally be back, but first I have to let my wallet heal a bit from my three visits in a week!
And thank you a thousand times to Jennifer for my beautiful infinity scarf! I'll be wearing it all winter, I can tell.
FINO is at 2905 San Gabriel Street, just off of 30th and Lamar. 512.474.2905.