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Hip 'bodega' coming to East Austin, local pizza shop voted best in U.S., and more food news

Hip 'bodega' coming to East Austin, local pizza honors, and more news

Home Slice Pizza North Loop
Home Slice Pizza beat hundreds of other pizzerias to be named one of the best in the nation. Courtesy photo

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.

Following the opening Joann’s Fine Foods next to the Austin Motel, it appears McGuire Moorman Hospitality is teaming up with Bunkhouse Group on another new concept. CultureMap previously reported on the project in June when a wine and beer retailer’s permit was filed with the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission by Jo's Holdings, the LLC behind Bunkhouse’s coffee shops of the same name. Now a job posting on hospitality industry site Poached reveals MMH involvement and a name, Lou’s Bodega. The counter service bar and restaurant, located in the former Leal’s Tire Shop at the 1900 E. Cesar Chavez St., will serve “coffee and morning pastries as well as wine, beer, rotisserie, and soft serve all day,” according to the listing. A rep from MMH says there are no additional details on the project, but this would be the first east side project for the restaurant group.

Travel giant TripAdvisor delivered Home Slice Pizza a big honor on October 16, naming it the No. 4 best pizzeria in the U.S. The rankings were based on both the quality and quantity of reviews on the site, with reviews from the past year given more weight. Unfortunately, Home Slice’s renown was not enough to give Austin a spot in the list of top pizza cities, but one can’t expect the internet to get everything right.

Home Slice also was named best pizza in the U.S. by the editors of travel advice site TripSavvy, along with other hometown heroes Pinthouse Pizza and Little Deli. Other Capital City champions include Hopdoddy Burger Bar for best burgers, Fabi + Rosi for best casual restaurant, and Craft Pride for best bar. See all the restaurant winners, along with the best attractions and hotels, here.

An employee has confirmed that the second location of Biderman’s Deli opened October 15 at 800 Brazos St. Currently, the eatery is opened 7 am-3 pm on weekdays, but weekend hours will be debuting in the upcoming weeks.

Folks who didn’t score a ticket to the sold-out Wine and Dine dinner with Lidia Bastianich on November 8 now have another chance to see the cooking legend. The Austin Food & Wine Alliance and the local chapter of Les Dames d’Escoffier are hosting a luncheon with the PBS star on November 8 at 7co, the event space in the former home of LaV. The event, honoring women in the culinary business, will feature a cocktail reception and a three-course meal prepared by Parkside Projects chef and owner Shawn Cirkiel. Bastianich will also be at the flagship Whole Foods Market from 3:30-5:30 pm on November 7 to sign books as part of the grocery’s Celebrate Italian event.

Chic downtown bar The Roosevelt Room has fully revamped their 80 drink cocktail menu. Although some favorites remain on the exhaustive chalkboard menu, co-owners Justin Lavenue and Dennis Gobis have introduced new classic like the Blue Blazer, Pink Squirrel, and Bobby Burns. An entirely new House Creations list rounds off the offerings, including the Death Valley served in a très Austin Topo Chico bottle.

In more bar news, cult whiskey maker High West Distillery is taking over Rainey Street’s Half Step October 18-20 during F1 weekend. The event, marking the Texas release of the brand’s A Midwinter Night’s Dram, will offer tastings of rare whiskeys, collaborative cocktails, live music, and complimentary tattoos.

Picnik on Burnet Road has embraced fall with a seasonal menu including a paleo pumpkin pie made with dairy-free whipped cream and vanilla bean. Also on tap are several new cocktails including a White Russian made with the brand’s butter coffee creamer and Blush Puppy, a rosé and St. Germain sipper that donates a $1 to Austin Pets Alive! with each drink sold.