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Franklin Barbecue reopens, Z'Tejas shutters, and more Austin food news

Franklin Barbecue reopens, Z'Tejas shutters, and more Austin food news

Aaron Franklin Barbecue Pit
Aaron Franklin's namesake restaurant will be firing up the pits once again on the week of November 14. Photo courtesy of Franklin Barbecue Pits

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 weekly roundup of the freshest Austin restaurant news.

If local carnivores heard the sound of angels singing this afternoon, it was probably in response to Aaron Franklin announcing the return of Franklin Barbecue. The barbecue restaurant will reopen the week of November 14 after an August fire temporarily paused operations. The Austin American-Statesman's Matthew Odam reports that service will be limited at first to 75 briskets a day (Franklin usually serves up 120) with full operations resuming by the third week of December.

In other Franklin news, attendees of Friday's James Beard Foundation Taste America benefit dinner will have one more reason to give big on Friday evening. The lauded pitmaster and Tyson Cole, the culinary supergroup behind new Asian smokehouse Loro, will be auctioning off a private dinner for 20, including beer and batch cocktails. The top bidder will also receive a one-night stay for two at the W Hotel — perfect for the inevitable food coma.

Southwestern chain Z’Tejas' parent company, the Austin-based Cornbread Ventures, has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy for a second time. Among the four locations described as “underperforming” is the Austin location at Avery Ranch, which is now closed. The Arboretum and Sixth Street locations will remain open.

Lobster roll maven Heidi Garbo's Garbo’s Lobster Truck will be permanently parking at 823 Congress Ave. by early 2018. The new location will neighbor the downtown Chi’Lantro and include a small seating area, adding to a fledgling seafood empire that also includes a roaming truck and a Wells Branch brick-and-mortar.

Snooze will continue its nefarious plot to bring brunch to all corners of Austin with a just announced space in the upcoming Plaza Saltillo location, joining previously announced tenants Ginger Man, Epoch Coffee, Spanish chain Barcelona, Stout Burgers and Beers, and Austin Juicery.

Speaking of good works, Fresa’s Chicken al Carbon will be treating several underprivileged families with Thanksgiving dinner this year. The restaurant will be taking nominations at thanksgiving@fresaschicken.com until November 16 and will announce the winners on November 17. While you are at it, you can preorder a Thanksgiving meal for yourself through November 20.

Because they are nothing if not extra, homegrown chain Hopdoddy Burger Bar is debuting a Turducken Burger for the holiday season. The monster burger — featuring a turducken patty, fried green beans and onions, cranberry sauce, mayo, a stuffing bun, and a side of gravy — will be available November 8 - 22.

We all love a good prix fixe pairing dinner, but sometimes we want a different edible experience. That’s why we are excited about local nonprofit Austin Bat Cave's upcoming Eat Your Words event on November 14 at the South Congress Hotel. In addition to bites from some of Austin’s favorite chefs (Hai Hospitality’s Tyson Cole, Olamaie’s Michael Fojtasek, Emmer & Rye’s Kevin Fink, and New Waterloo’s Amanda Rockman) and pairings from master sommelier June Rodil of McGuire Moorman Hospitality, storytellers will regale guests with personal tales. Guests also will receive gifts and tickets to an exclusive after party at June’s All Day, plus they will be supporting free kid’s writing programs.

It’s just like the old saying goes. Give a man an oyster and you feed him for a happy hour. Teach a man to shuck and you feed him for a lifetime. Learn all about the world’s favorite bivalve at a Tide to Table dinner led by chef Maite Aizpurua at Hotel San José on November 7 and 8. All tickets include a dozen oysters with beer and wine pairings plus cheese and charcuterie.