The long-awaited home opener for MLS newcomer Austin FC happens this Saturday June 19 at the stunning Q2 Stadium, where fans can expect a variety of food and drink that represents the laid back and diverse nature of the Texas capital.
The stadium embodies the ethos of the city – an airy, open layout surrounded by locally-based concessions thoughtfully curated by 512 Food Co. executive chef Sam Boisjoly. Born in Chile and a graduate of culinary school in Guadalajara, Mexico, Boisjoly [boy-zho-LEE] is the perfect person to lead the culinary team at Q2 Stadium – he’s a passionate sports fan fully immersed in football culture and is no stranger to the business, having led the culinary team for the San Antonio Spurs for four years before his move to Austin FC.
The goal of the food and beverage program at Q2 Stadium is to be as inclusive as possible, says Boisjoly, and that includes The Queso Fountain, an homage to what is arguably Austin’s favorite snack.
“We wanted to include the community in every aspect possible, so we put out a call for home cooks to send their queso recipes,” says Boisjoly. “We got dozens of entries; in the end we narrowed down to three, then declared the Queso Verde by Laura Morales to be the winner of the first Austin FC Queso Cup.” This delicious queso, spiced with salsa verde, will be served at the queso fountain.
The air conditioned Beer Hall on the second floor is a bright and welcoming place for fans to gather before, during and after the game, and it features a wide selection of local, national and imported beers and spirits. Dining destinations throughout include stadium classics from iconic local favorites, from Peproni rolls® and specialty pizzas from campus standby DoubleDave’s Pizzaworks to Easy Tiger’s massive pretzel served with beer cheese sauce and grain mustard, and Pluckers specialty wings and homemade sauces.
Other interesting options include Bao’d Up’s signature Baozi (Chinese rice flour buns filled with chicken, brisket or veggies); T-Locs’s Sonoran hot dogs and street foods, and Slovacek’s Czech-style barbeque and bakery, featuring house made ring bologna, jalapeño poppers and freshly baked kolaches.
Fans in the Premium Terrace can enjoy tacos, beers and cocktails from Taco Flats, including fan favorites such as smoked pork carnitas, queso, nachos, and spicy margaritas, while ATX Doghouse will provide twists on traditional hot dogs and sausages.
And since this is Austin, BBQ and Mexican food are strongly represented. Casa Chapala will offer tortas and nachos; One Taco will serve pork pastor and vegan nopalitos (cactus pads) tacos in freshly made corn tortillas, and El Mercado, a Latin-themed grab & go market, will have vegan and vegetarian options, snacks, specialty empanadas from Mmmpanadas, organic corn masa tamales from Tamale Addiction and tacos from local fave Tacodeli.
Valentina’s Tex Mex BBQ has a privileged position near section 137 offering grass-fed natural Angus beef brisket tacos and Berkshire pork spareribs, among other rotating specials. Owner and pitmaster Miguel Vidal has been a lifelong soccer fan, having played for St. Edward’s University and semi-professionally with the Austin Lighting.
“It is an incredible honor for me to be here,” he says. “With my passion for soccer and our local roots, we are the perfect fit at Q2 Stadium.”
Valentina’s tacos will also be available at the various grab & go markets located throughout the stadium, which will also carry vegan and vegetarian options, fresh fruit, ice cream, snacks, and Mom & Pops all natural frozen popsicles, including the signature ¡Viva Verde! flavor made from pineapple, spinach, basil and fresh lime juice. The grab and go markets also feature a wide selection of beer, wine and seltzers with many selections from local breweries and cideries.
Boisjoly’s most exciting concession is The Austin Table, a rotating stand highlighting favorite local chefs and restaurants. The schedule of pop-up appearances will evolve throughout the season and initially includes Chennai Café, Casa Chapala, Botanero, Easy Tiger, SXSE Food Co., The Peached Tortilla, Nixta, Otoko Austin and Sugar Pine. The full schedule will be released in the coming weeks.
For everyone’s convenience, all concessions at Q2 Stadium are cashless.
Boisjoly is proud of the starting food and drink lineup, and is excited to share the diverse Austin culture through its food and beverages.“I have a saying that if a friend came to visit and only had three hours to spend, if they came here, they would feel like they’ve seen Austin.”