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Milkshake bar shakes up the Domain, chef departure shakes up downtown restaurant, and more food news

Outrageous milkshake bar shakes up the Domain, plus more food news

The Yard Milkshake Bar
Outrageous ice cream treats are the specialty of The Yard Milkshake Bar. The Yard Milkshake Bar/ Facebook

Editor's note: We get it. It can be difficult to keep up with the what’s what and who’s who of Austin food. But we have you covered with our regular roundup of the freshest Austin restaurant news.

Alabama chain The Yard Milkshake Bar will be mixing it up at the Domain when its first Texas location opens this summer. Not to be confused with Yard House in the Domain Northside (or Yard Bar on Burnet Road), the shop will offer a variety of customizable milkshakes and ice cream sandwiches using doughnuts, waffles, or brownies as buns. Although the exact address has not been established yet, it will be located on Century Oaks Terrace across from California Pizza Kitchen.

Also making its Texas debut on Century Oaks Terrace will be oyster bar and grill Plank Seafood Provisions. The Domain outpost, located across from H&M, will be the second branch of the Omaha, Nebraska-based restaurant. Expect peel ’n’ eat shrimp, Asian barbecue oysters, and yellowfin tuna au poivre.

Two high-profile chef shuffles have hit Austin in the last week. On February 16, Emmer & Rye chef and partner Page Pressley announced he was leaving the acclaimed restaurant. A rep says the split was amicable and Pressley will focus on consulting work and spending more time with his son.

Meanwhile, Ethan Holmes is taking over the helm at Mattie’s at Green Pastures from former chef Joshua Thomas. This will be Holmes’ second time in the Green Pastures kitchen. While turning 11, he worked as a chef for a day as part of his birthday celebration. His grown-up menu includes health-conscious dishes like grilled Spanish octopus, beet salad, and pan roasted chicken breast with cauliflower, grilled carrots, trumpet mushrooms, cherry radish, and salsa verde.

A rep from upcoming craft beer makers Hopsquad Brewing Co. tells CultureMap that it is aiming to open its taproom at 2307 Kramer Ln. in late April or early May. Initial offerings will include Dr. Montopolis lager, Prof. Pleasant Pale Ale, and Lord Grackle IPA.

For the first time ever, East Austin’s Juniper is launching Monday dinner service. To coincide with the new day of business, the Italian favorite will also be offering a special Amoré Monday menu February 18 through March 25 featuring discounted dishes like spaghetti carbonara, chicken liver mousse, and the ever-popular puffy potatoes. A selection of spritzes will also be available for $6.

Prix fixe favorite Lenoir is getting into the a la carte game. After a brief interruption March 1-4 to implement the changes, the restaurant will reopen March 5 with individual dishes available in both the backyard wine garden and the main dining room.

Two Austin smart cookies have sweet news. First on February 12, Central Texas brand Meli’s Monster Cookies announced that its three mixes — Original, Choco-lot, and Cashewlicious — would be available at all Walmart stores nationwide.

Not to be outdone, Fareground food hall fixture Henbit announced that it would start selling its own Monster Cookies at the flagship Whole Foods Market on North Lamar Boulevard.

Also hitting grocery shelves is a new line from Austin snack masters Beanitos.  The "Dippers" chips, made to hold up to thick dips like guacamole and hummus, will be introduced in mid-March with three flavors: Twist of Lime, Black Bean Sea Salt, and White Bean Sea Salt. 

Bryce Gilmore’s Sour Duck Market has added a quarter of new dinner plates available after 5 pm until supplies last, including fried red fish, fried smoked half chicken, a half pound smoked brisket, and a new take on beanie weanies with borracho beans, beef sausage, and kimchi. Just as exciting? The restaurant has also expanded its parking lot.

Culinary competition Cochon555 has announced the chefs for this year's event. James Flowers of Ciclo, Brian Moses of Olive & June, Geronimo Lopez of San Antonio’s Botika, Page Pressley, and Gabe Erales, formerly of Dai Due Taqueria, will each be given a whole heritage hog, which they must convert into several dishes to wow a celebrity panel of judges. Tickets are available here.