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 bi-weekly roundup of the freshest Austin restaurant news.
Another salvo has been fired in the battle to determine who has the best breakfast taco in Austin. Bon Appétit web editor Alex Delaney’s contribution to the perennial debate, released on March 27, saw him visiting 13 Austin restaurants in 10 hours. His stops included both institutions like Tamale House East, Juan in a Million, and Joe’s Bakery and brand-new spots like Dai Due Taqueria. Delaney divided the taco winners into two categories: specialty and classic. Valentina’s Tex Mex BBQ’s monster Real Deal Holyfield was deemed the best specialty breakfast taco, while the Rosita’s Al Pastor bacon, potato, egg, and cheese took the classic crown.
The second round of CultureMap's 2018 Best New Restaurant tournament kicked off on March 27. The close (and we do mean close) quarterfinal round pits Dai Due Taqueria vs. Eldorado Cafe; Yuyo vs. Pitchfork Pretty; Pool Burger vs. Holy Roller; and Be More Pacific vs. Colleen's Kitchen. Vote in the competition daily, now through April 10, and then join us on April 12 at Fair Market for our annual foodie fete, the CultureMap Tastemaker Awards.
Culinary nonprofit Austin Food & Wine Alliance has released the menu for its anticipated Live Fire event happening on April 5 at Camp Mabry. This year, chefs were asked to work with the flavors of Mexico for the beef-centric tasting event, which includes a mezcal and tequila focused “Agave Alley” for VIP ticketholders. Highlights of the menu include Aaron Franklin’s cajeta burnt ends; Fermín Núñez and Sam Hellman Mass’s (Suerte) tetela al carbon triangle stuffed masa; Rico Torres and Diego Galicia’s (Mixtli) beef strip loin pepitos; and CultureMap Tastemaker Awards Rising Star Chef of the Year nominee Gabe Erales’ (Dai Due Taqueria) brochetas with mushroom-adobo braised lengua. See the full lineup and buy tickets here.
Barman’s Fund founder Brian Floyd has been announced as the beverage director for the upcoming Line ATX. The industry vet, who has had stints at Half Step and Weather Up and oversees the bar program for Willie Nelson’s Luck Reunion, will oversee the bar programs for all of Line’s culinary projects.
Bee Cave is getting a new restaurant in early summer in the former home of Hill Country Golf & Guitar at 15506 W. Hwy 71. Wild Kitchen + Bar will have a New American menu with a focus on game, as well as full bar with Texas beer, wine, and spirits. According to a release, the new occupants plan to keep the miniature golf course and amphitheater on the property and will be adding a natural playscape for kids.
Mississippi-based fast-casual chain Newk’s Eatery has opened a second location in Austin. The outpost at 408 Congress Ave. offers the same menu of scratch sandwiches, salads, soups, and pizzas as the Arboretum location, but the historical surrounds and rooftop terrace are unique to the downtown location.
Downtown’s Counter 3. Five. VII has launched a lunch service Tuesday-Friday under new executive chef Alan Delgado (formerly of Patika). The menu will consist of a la carte items like housemade cheese, mussels with kimchi, and gnudi and will only be available in the lounge. The main dining room of the restaurant will continue to offer a seven-course prix fixe.
A mixed beverage permit has been filed for a new eatery, Cielo Bistro Mexico, to be located in the former home of El Arroyo’s Far West location at 7032 Wood Hollow. It’s unclear whether the restaurant has anything to do with the similarly named Cielo Mexican Bistro, which shuttered in 2011 in Houston.