By Lori Fredrich Senior Food Writer, Dining Editor, Podcast Host Published Sep 29, 2020 at 10:01 AM Photography: Lori Fredrich

There’s a chill in the air that foretells the approach of autumn. And in keeping with the change in season, Fairgrounds Coffee and Tea, 916 E. State St., has launched an all new menu meant to satisfy cafe-goers needs for breakfast, lunch or mid-afternoon snacks.

The menu features fresh, chef-made breakfast options including breakfast tacos, a breakfast burrito and avocado toast along with a cadre of new lunch options including fresh salads, hearty sandwiches and a variety of options for folks on the go.

The full menu can be enjoyed inside the socially distanced cafe, which has enacted a variety of safety measures including temperature checks for staff, mandatory masks for both staff and guests and carry-out and delivery options for guests who don’t feel comfortable dining in.  The cafe also has an outdoor patio which flanks both street-facing sides of the building with small, umbrella covered tables.

Wake up with autumnal beverages

Among the menu additions are returning favorites like the Power Flower Milk Tea, a beautiful color-changing concoction that combines the health benefits of matcha with jasmine butterfly pea flower tea, jasmine simple syrup and coconut milk ($5.69), along with new offerings like the Autumn Spice Latte with espresso flavored with spiced simple syrup ($5.29).

For matcha lovers, there are also sweet new finds like the Maple Cinnamon Matcha Latte with maple, cinnamon, sea salt and guest’s choice of matcha ($5.29).

The most important meal of the day

Start the day  off right pairing any of the above with a serving of Bad Hass Avocado Toast featuring toasted multi-grain bread topped with smashed avocado, tomatillo salsa, radish pico de gallo, ancho-roasted sunflower seeds ($9.99).

There’s an all-new Red Rocks Breakfast Burrito filled with scrambled eggs, black bean puree, roasted fingerling potatoes, poblano and onion rajas, shredded cheese and salsa roja ($7.29); or Austin’s Finest Breakfast Tacos featuring a bean and cheese quesadilla filled with scrambled eggs, salsa roja, queso fresco, avocado and tomatillo salsa and radish pico ($7.29).

If you’re looking for breakfast on the go, there might be nothing simpler than one of Fairgrounds’ classic breakfast sammies featuring a choice of scrambled eggs and cheese ($4.99); sausage, egg and cheese ($6.49) or bacon egg and cheese ($6.49). Each is served on a sweet brioche bun and topped with melted American cheese and a sweet and zippy sport pepper aioli.

Hearty, healthful lunches

On the lunch side, you’ll find fresh new salads like the All “Kale” Caesar dressed with harissa Caesar dressing ($9.99); and the All “Shuk” Up Cali Shawarma with a base of mixed greens and baby kale topped with roasted spiced cauliflower, red quinoa, cherry tomatoes, Persian cucumbers, feta cheese and hummus ($9.99). You can also opt for the All “Shuk” Up in a hand-held wrap form for the same price.

Sandwiches run the gamut from the “Jammin” Hamwich with honey cured ham, bacon lardons, cheddar and whole grain mustard on brioche ($9.99); and the St. Stephen’s Salmon BLT with roasted salmon, bacon lardons, greens, tomato and sport pepper aioli on multi-grain bread ($11.99)  to the Hearty Turkey and Havarti with oven roasted turkey, havarti, red cabbage slaw, mixed greens, tomato and Thousand Island dressing on multi-grain bread (pictured, $10.99). 

All options are available for dine-in or carry-out. Guests can place orders for carry-out on the Fairgrounds website, on the Fairgrounds app or Ritual. Delivery is available through GrubHub and UberEats. 

Fairgrounds Coffee and Tea is open daily from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Lori Fredrich Senior Food Writer, Dining Editor, Podcast Host

Lori is an avid cook whose accrual of condiments and spices is rivaled only by her cookbook collection. Her passion for the culinary industry was birthed while balancing A&W root beer mugs as a teenage carhop, fed by insatiable curiosity and fueled by the people whose stories entwine with each and every dish. She’s had the privilege of chronicling these tales via numerous media, including OnMilwaukee and in her book “Milwaukee Food.” Her work has garnered journalism awards from entities including the Milwaukee Press Club. 

When she’s not eating, photographing food, writing or recording the FoodCrush podcast, you’ll find Lori seeking out adventures with her husband Paul, traveling, cooking, reading, learning, snuggling with her cats and looking for ways to make a difference.