#FoodieFriday: Aba in Austin is Flavorful, Fresh and Fabulous

by Leean Vargas on December 11, 2020 in Food, Austin,
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Whether for a first date, hanging with friends or a family get together, Aba’s unique flavors, fresh ingredients and fabulous ambiance will have you coming back for more and soon become your new favorite spot.

In the heart of Music Lane, SoCo’s latest development in this ever-popular Austin neighborhood of stores, clubs and bars, Mediterranean restaurant Aba has now put out a Texas-sized welcome mat.

Aba’s outdoor patio area on Austin’s South Congress is a whole vibe, very relaxing and homey, making the perfect spot to lounge with friends. Photo Chase Daniel

“Aba,” which means “father” in Hebrew, pays homage to Chef Partner CJ Jacobson’s culinary roots in California with a lighter style of cooking that draws inspiration for its cuisine from Israel, Lebanon, Turkey and Greece. The Aba kitchen is helmed by Austin-based Executive Chef Nick Erven. 

I suggest starting out with Aba’s heavenly hummus to get into the swing of things. You can’t go wrong with the Classic or Smoky Garlic served with house bread, which by the way, tastes like a mini pizza by itself. The Crispy Short Rib Hummus was creamy, smooth and not grainy at all. The creamy hummus pairs perfectly with the sweet glaze of the short rib.

Start out with Aba’s heavenly hummus. You can’t go wrong with the Classic, Smoky Garlic or Crispy Short Rib that’s so creamy and smooth. Courtesy photo

Move on to one of their signature dishes that will get your tastebuds jumping. The Tamarind Braised Short Rib was so delightfully tender, juicy and flavorful. The barberry glaze and gunpowder whipped potatoes add a nice touch to the meaty meal. There are plenty of other carnivore-pleasing Mediterranean dishes to choose from, such as their Heirloom Crispy Chicken Thigh, Slow-Braised Leg of Lamb Wrapped in Eggplant, Crispy Pork Belly or Shawarma Spiced Skirt Steak. Oh, and there are, of course, enticing kebabs that look picture perfect, from Grilled Cauliflower and Chicken to Lamb and Beef Kefta, and Grilled Salmon.

The Tamarind Braised Short Rib at Aba is delightfully tender, juicy and flavorful. The barberry glaze and gunpowder whipped potatoes add a nice touch to the meaty meal. Photo Chase Daniel

For those wanting food from under the sea, there are options for you too. The Black Garlic Shrimp Scampi was amazingly exquisite. Every pocket was filled with delicious lemony butter goodness, and the escargot platter kept the dish steamy and hot. Tip: Be sure to dip the bread in the lemony pocket for extra flavor. I promise you won’t regret it. Other seafood dishes include Grilled Spanish Octopus and Pan-Roasted Redfish. 

A Mediterranean speciality, the Slow-Braised Leg of Lamb Wrapped in Eggplant, is served with tomatoes, graviera, dates and cinnamon at Aba. Photo Chase Daniel

Some smaller dishes, aka “hot mezze” to stimulate your appetite include Crispy Potatoes that are yes, very much crispy and delish. The Brussels Sprouts (my fav!) were so flavorful, mouthwatering and honestly, flat out addictive, The crispy shallot, pumpkin seed and sherry glaze combo filled my mouth with bliss. Seriously, I’m still thinking about how amazing those Brussels sprouts were!

Aba’s enticing kebabs are picture perfect. Choices include Grilled Cauliflower, Grilled Chicken, Lamb and Beef Kefta or Grilled Salmon. Photo Chase Daniel

After you’ve filled up on mouth-watering Mediterranean dishes, wash it all down with the beverage delights crafted by Lead Mixologist Liz Pearce. There are plenty of cocktails with Mediterranean-inspired spirits and Middle Eastern ingredients to choose from. Favorites include Frozen Pina Express, Aloe, It’s Me, (which has a nice kick to it) and Green Harissa Bloody Mary. You also can’t go wrong with The Passion Fruit G&T, which is classic and clean. Then there’s the wine list, curated by Sommelier Alex Augustine, which features rare finds along with traditional old and new world selections.

Don’t miss the seafood dishes at Aba, including the Pan-Roasted Redfish, served with spiced bagna cauda (a kind of dipping sauce), raisin and smoked marcona almond. Photo Chase Daniel

If you still haven’t had enough, try one of Aba’s delectable desserts. Your taste buds will thank you for the Frozen Greek Yogurt that’s so creamy and buttery with sea salt and olive oil. Made in house, this savory greek yogurt is the real deal.

Aside from the amazing food and drinks, Aba’s ambiance is what sets them apart from other Mediterranean restaurants in my opinion. The indoor dining room at feels very warm and cozy while the multi-level outdoor patio and terrace live under the canopy of a 100+-year-old native Heritage Oak adorned with glass and metal lanterns from Morocco and the Middle East.

The Frozen Greek Yogurt is made in house and is the real deal. The flavors are so creamy and buttery, we promise you won’t get enough. Photo courtesy Aba

The outdoor patio area is a whole vibe, very relaxing and homey, making the perfect spot to lounge with friends. Both dine-in and carry-out options are available daily.

Of course, we have to mention health and safety, and Aba is following local guidelines and implementing new standards, which you can find on the website

From Aba’s ambiance, to the mouth watering Mediterreanean dishes and creative cocktails, Aba in Austin surely won’t disappoint your taste buds. If you want it, they got it!

Aba: 1011 S Congress, Building 2, Suite 180, Austin, TX 78704


Cover photo courtesy Chase Daniel

Leean Vargas is an Editorial Assistant at Texas Lifestyle Magazine and an honors graduate of Texas State University
with a bachelor’s degree in Public Relations.

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