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[Photograph: Meredith Bethune]

Housed in an exquisitely renovated old building, Hillside Farmacy has all the components of a successful Austin restaurant: beautiful interior design with a vintage-French-apothecary vibe, beverages served in canning jars, and a locally-driven menu featuring sandwiches, salads, oysters, and a few entrées. Food products available for purchase are displayed on antique wooden cases, mimicking the medicines sold here when it was one the first African-American pharmacies in the city.

One item on the menu leaped out at me: the Cook's Sandwich ($10) with sliced pâté, bacon, mustard, pickles, arugula, and goat cheese. It sounded unbearably tangy and salty, but I couldn't help myself, so I ordered it anyway. I braced myself for that nostril burning sensation as I bit into the crusty white bread, but it wasn't there.

The flavors were surprisingly subtle considering the mix of ingredients, and the pâté was downright bland. I would have appreciated a heavier hand with the mustard and goat cheese; there was barely any on the sandwich.

The highlights were the perfectly cooked crispy bacon and a small side salad of lettuce and pickled red onions (that would actually be a nice addition to the sandwich). The housemade cucumber pickles added a hint of sourness and crunch, but it wasn't enough. The Cook's Sandwich was a decent attempt to hit all the current trendy flavor points, but I would be disappointed if that pâté was served to me on a charcuterie board.

Hillside Farmacy

1209 East 11th Street, Austin TX 78702 (map)
512-628-0168
hillsidefarmacy.com

About the author: Meredith Bethune is a writer and blogger based in Austin, TX. Follow her on Twitter (@biscuitsoftoday).

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