Southern style restaurants are not a new concept for downtown Austin. With great restaurants like Olamie, Bess Bistro, and Moonshine, I would say the bar is set fairly high in this particular arena.
Fixe, the newcomer on the scene, recently opened in the very slick, very new IBC Bank Building, right across 5th street from the Federal Courthouse complex, and is a hop, skip, and a jump away from downtown Austin condo towers like Plaza Lofts and the 360 Condos.
Given the lack of historical character on the building’s exterior, I was setting my expectations low, prepping myself for an upscale, but watered-down experience – a business-lunch destination, with a general lack of gumption.
However, Fixe holds it own in pretty much every aspect that matters to me when it comes to southern dining – genteel atmosphere, friendly staff, fun cocktails and flavorful food, and, most importantly – biscuits. Dang, they got good biscuits.
Genteel Atmosphere (with a helping of humor):
The overall atmosphere of Fixe is generally what you’d expect of a high-end, southern-comfort concept restaurant. Airy feel, lots of wooden furnishings, china plates and mirrors on the wall, etc. etc. What’s differently delightful, however, are the small touches of humor throughout. My absolute favorite “hidden-in-plain-sight-gem”:
a closer look at the wall of plates reveals….
There are a few little humorous touches throughout Fixe, including these great portraits in one of the semi-private dining areas:
And a cocktail called the Honey Badger (and no, it does not give a sh*t). Basically, I’d describe the interior design of Fixe as upscale with a silly edge, sort of like a less fiery Ouiser Boudreaux in Steel Magnolias.
Everyone working at Fixe seemed like they were having a good time. We had a great bartender, Eric Toska, who didn’t mind at all when I made a trillion special requests. He was friendly, but didn’t get too cozy, either. Great balance of down-to-earth, yet professional service. He even created a special cocktail which we are all now calling the Toska. It’s DIVINE and uses Fixe’s amazing fresh brewed tea service. Ask him about it if he’s your bartender when you go.
Fun Cocktails and Flavorful Food:
See above reference to the Honey Badger. Also, I had them make me a special cocktail of my own design (I am a huge fan of the Constant Ava Gardner cocktail at Violet Crown Cinema), and they did a masterful job recreating it, even sans the lavender bitters. And I simply adore oversized ice-cubes.
As for food, the deviled eggs are in the details. And the details are delicious. I had a taste of a couple of the smaller plates (Snacks) + a scrumptious dessert:
It was all spectacular. Looked good and tasted even better.
Made fresh to order, with friggin’ steam still coming from them when they hit the table. Served with this blueberry preserve type spread, plus a meat spread (which I did not try, and frankly, was the least appetizing looking thing I saw there all night). Dang, them biscuits were good.
Overall, I highly recommend Fixe. It’s comfortable, delicious, and has a touch of fun.
500 W 5th | austinfixe.com