Fresa’s Chicken al Carbon
Surrounded by a super sized state best known for its uniquely Texan way of doing things, Austin is an oasis of freethinkers and creatives with a vibrant music, film, technology and food scene. Austinites have a taste for experimentation that borders on the delirious and it’s reflected in their food—from traditional barbecue to out of this world ramen. There is no shortage of amazing restaurants in this town, and some of the most impressive bites are from world-class chefs cooking out of food trucks or roadside stands. Opened by Rene Ortiz and Laura Sawicki, Fresa’s is a casual dine-in and take-out spot specializing in pollo al carbon. The chicken is brined for three days, marinated in an earthy achiote spice rub, then slow smoked before getting a char over a hot fire. Just the smell of the chicken cooking is intoxicating, but the taste is to die for.
The traditional sides are all available, but the showstopper is the humble beans that explode with flavor and a nuanced mouth feel the moment you tuck into the bowl. The ice cream window features fun and fantastic flavors, but it’s the dense and super dairy flavor base that makes choosing easy. I’d suggest the cookies and cream, loaded with fresh chocolate wafer cookie crumbles.
And for the early birds, their walk-up window offers one of the best breakfast tacos in town, the Tricky Taco, filled with migas, avocado and queso fresco. It’s a great way to start the day. Fresa’s is simple and unpretentious, with great music and a great vibe, and a menu with a masterful touch. Rene and Laura have an immense skill set that doesn’t get enough national recognition. Fresa’s needs to be on your list next time you head to the state’s capital city.
915 North Lamar
Austin, TX 78703
1703 South First
Austin, TX 78704
Photographs courtesy of Travel Channel.