Sunday, March 8, 2015


Meat and cheese. Besides wine, what more does a person really need? Maybe a guide to finding the best of it in Austin? I have rounded up my favorites here. Some of them include boards, some are DIY plates you can put together yourself.  In this year's installment of the Austin Food Blogger Alliance's annual guide to eating in Austin, I present to you:

The 2015 guide to the best Charcuterie and Cheese in Austin

2nd Bar and Kitchen

200 Congress Avenue Austin, TX 78701
Sunday through Thursday, 11 a.m. – 11:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday, 11 a.m. – 1:30 a.m.


House Charcuterie Block with Old World Preparation of "appropriate" condiments.

I think my favorite part of this plate is the plate itself. The condiments and bread vessels are nestled into their own little wood block cubby-holes, letting the main event take stage. My favorite here was the chicken liver mousse. And the wine. Always the wine.

2nd Bar Charcuterie:
Paté Campaña (Pork)
Prosciutto, especially stripey and the least salty.
Blood Sausage
Chicken Liver Mousse
Mustard, Pickles

To pair: I recommend the Rosé

Whole Foods Flagship on Lamar

525 N Lamar Blvd. Austin, TX 78703
Open daily, 7am-10pm 

This is my home. I have been accused of loitering, employment and suspicious activity at this place. Why they haven't started charging me rent, I dunno.

My approach to charcuterie and cheese chow at WF is totally DIY. Let me walk you through it. I go up to the cheese counter and talk to my friend Graham. He's one of the resident cheesemongers, and always remembers me by name. I tell him what I'm in the mood for: Stinky and soft, new and exciting, raw and goatey, aged, spicy, something that pairs well with XYZ... whatever mood I'm in, he can hook it up.

Then, I go to the deli counter and get my accompanying charcuterie. You can ask for however much you want, and curate it with the cheese and wine you are enjoying. It usually costs me under $5 for this part.

Then I run down the gluten-free aisle for a box of crackers. Then off to the bar. I order a glass of wine to pair with my meat and cheese loot, at which point the bartender (usually Nathan) will bring me a plate and a knife. I carefully peel the stickers off the cheese and meat labels and stick them to my cracker box, so I can pay for it all later.

Whole Foods Cheese I'm into: 
Pierre Robert Rouzaire -- A creamy cows milk, slightly stinky. Pairs well with a dry Italian red. Bleu D'Auvergne -- Raw cow's milk blue (happened to be $1.87 from the under $3 cheese orphan bin) D'Affinois - super creamy washed rind. Mild, not too bloomy. Delice Bourgongne -- My go-to favorite soft, stinky, creamy cheese. It makes a huge mess. Raw Milk Taleggio -- lovely stinker, super melty Anything from Vermont Creamery. Literally any of it.

Whole Foods Charcuterie I'm into:  
Prosciutto di San Danielle Coffee Braised Bison
Calabrese Salami


2026 South Lamar Blvd. Austin, TX78704Cheese & Charcuterie Hours: Mon-Sat 11am-Close; Sun 11am-3pm

This place makes me feel like I live in a fairy tale. Any time I want to get away and feel fancy and mysterious, I go here. They offer meat and cheese plates, but as you know, I wanted to direct it. The meat and cheese plates come with two meats and one cheese, and if you want to substitute the daily selection, they alter the price by the pound.

Off topic, but you should also know that they have amazing salads for lunch here. The duck confit with beets and goat cheese is to die for.

Calabrese Salame

Local Texas Goat

Wine Pairing: Pradvaj Italian White

Josephine House

1601 Waterston, Austin 78703

Happy hour: Daily, 3-6pm

At Josephine House, I found my new favorite cheese. And it's from North Carolina! Nothing surprises me, but the Hunkadora on the build-your-own cheese and charcuterie board on the most delightful porch in Clarksville did it.

Everything on the board was unique and stimulating to my tastebuds, especially the duck rillete, which was flavorfully synonymous to chicken salad, kicked up to true food-snot stature.

Josephine Charcuterie:
Duck Rillette -- slow roasted, fatty yet well balanced, full of flavor.
Olli Salami Toscano - a favorite and a crowdpleaser

Josephine Cheese:
Hunkadora (N. Carolina) -- The new love of my life.
Bluebonnet - 1 oz goat cheese with the ash on the outside.. yum
Petit Agour (France) -- Raw, unpasturized soft cheese (also a crowd pleaser)
Zamorano (Spain) - Raw, unpasturized, sharp firm cheese

Accouterments: Whole grain mustard, pickled turnips, olives, house-made jam, marinated mushrooms

Salt and Time

1912 E. 7th St. Austin, TX 78702
Butcher Shop Hours: Tuesday- Saturday 10am-8pm Sunday 10am-6pm

A visit to S & T makes me feel like I'm part of a boy's club. Beer and live-butchery-- this is not for the faint of heart or vegetarian persuasion. You eat your charcuterie while watching them cut fresh bacon on their deli slicer behind the bar.

My "regular" order, when I'm not dining there is a pound of pig skin for a dollar and a wild card from the butcher case (last time it was lamb neck).

They make EVERYthing in house at Salt and Time. They are butchers, chefs and experts when it comes to charcuterie. I like to get one of their boards and a beer and hang out alone at the bar. And its not weird. Great place to dine alone. (I am currently writing this alone at their bar. True story.)

Salt and Time Charcuterie:
Their salumi board is $12 and includes a selection of house made meats. You can add a cheese of the day for $5. If you want to select your own meats from the case, you can and they will charge you by weight. The day I went they had this amazing sweet and spicy ham called Jambon du Tejas. Loved it.

Jambon du Tejas - Lightly smoked, slightly sweet and spicy ham.
Pecan Salame - Fermented and dried sausage with pecans, honey and chile

To pair:
Anchor Saison is a great palate cleanser when it comes to charcuterie.


519 W Oltorf St., Austin, TX 78704
sun - wed | 4pm - 11pm; thur - sat | 4pm - midnight

I won a free t-shirt from their instagram contest once, so I decided I needed to go back and commit to their cheese board. A girl needs to do thorough research on these things! Wine belly is a luxurious little hideout on busy Oltorf in South Austin. It's a great place to meet for after-work happy hour.

Winebelly has fabulous wine. Duh. But when you really care about how much your wine pairs with the snacks, this is the place to go.

Winebelly Charcuterie:
Biased-cut sausage
Chicken Liver Mousse with pickled shallots -- one of my favorites in the city

Also order:
Crispy Pig Ears -- trust me. They're weird but you'll love them.

Snack Bar

1224 S. Congress Austin TX 78704
Happy Hour: Daily, 4-7pm

The chicken liver mousse is (how do you frankenmerge the words fucking and amazing?) It is the clear winner for my favorite in the city. Its whipped and sweet, smooth and full of fresh flavor, then topped off with a thin layer of high-quality olive oil. It's awesome.

You can go gluten free with this board. They'll serve it to you with bias-cut zucchini, pickled onions and grain mustard.

Snack bar Charcuterie and Cheese:
Chicken Liver Mousse--with olive oil, pickled vegetables, house mustard
Texas Chevre-- herbed goat cheese, olive oil, english cucumber, crostini

Counter 3FiveVII

315 Congress Ave. Ste. 100 Austin, Texas 78701Wine and Charcuterie Bar Open Tuesday-Saturday 4pm-11pm 

This brand new culinary mecca just opened on Congress just before SXSW. They offer pre fixe dinners with three, five or seven courses, with wine pairings.

In the bar area, they offer charcuterie, cheese and drinks only. With charcuterie as the only offering in the front of the house, you know they are going to do it right. They are proud to say that all of their charcuterie is made in house. It shows. This stuff is incredibly fresh. 

Counter 3FiveVII Charcuterie:

Smoked Pig Jowl - smokey, tender cured pork with sea salt shavings sprinkled on top
Kabanosy --  its the house "slim jim" and is cut in with the mixed olives
Pate Campagne - TBH, I don't love pork pates that much. But this one was my favorite thing on the board. The quality meat is highlighted with fresh seasonings including coriander and cracked pepper.
Duck Bacon -- Sweet, tender duck cured in maple syrup. 
Mortadella - thinkly sliced and peppered with pistachios
Blut-Zugenwurst - House blood sausage. 
Duck Liver Mousse - oh god. Just say yes. 

Pairing: Sherry -- You wouldn't think, but it was an incredible compliment to the cured meats!

Served with house mustard, pickles from the chef's garden, and crackers

Dai Due 

2406 Manor Road, Austin 78722Butcher Shop Tuesday through Sunday  10am–10pm

The butcher is actually a total babe. And this is so intriguing to me.

This is the lamb rillette. It's slow-roasted in its own fat and mixed with fresh and pickled vegetables. Served with eggs and a glass of wine. It is pure, simple and elegant.

Dai Due Charcuterie:

Dai Due, a marketplace/butcher shop and restraurant also serves daily charcuterie plates and by-weight selections from their case. Options vary daily, and in the past I've loved:

Rabbit Rillette
Pork Rillete
Duck Liver Mousse


601 W. 6th St. Austin TX 78701
Happy Hour: Weekdays, 5-6:30pm

This is where my money goes. And my willpower, because their bread and butter is irresistible.

My favorite cheese at Arro:

Raclette -- It is broiled in a cast iron skillet and served warm.

Pairing -- I love trying their wine of the month. Their sommelier is award-winning and always helpful in making suggestions. Also, check out their 1st Monday series of wine tastings and special prices on snacks from their kitchen.


2307 hancock drive austin, texas 78756
sunday 10:30 am – 3 pm monday – thursday 10:30 am – 9:30 pm

French bistro Epicerie is on the mark with the fabulous trend of market dining. Part restaruant, part cheese market, this place will curate a board for you, or you can make your own selections from the case. Of course, I opted to do it myself.

Epicerie Cheese:
Detroit St. Brick - Soft, bloomy
Granbury Gold -- A grassy, sharp Texas cheddar made in a Gouda-style
Big John's Cajun - firm, sharp, amazing spiced crust
Red Hawk -- A beloved tangy goat cheese from Cowgirl Creamery

Epicerie Charcuterie:
Chicken liver mousse- smooth, light and sweet
Moroccan Coppa -- fresh, slightly smokey. Tasted great with tangy goat cheese.
Pork Pate -- wrapped in bacon. Lovely.

Accouterments: Cured egg yolk (amazing), pickled onions, pickled beets, smooth mustard, crusty bread

For more guidance to eating the best of Austin, check out this year's

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