Editor's note: We get it. It can be difficult to keep up with the fast pace of Austin’s restaurant and bar scene. We have you covered with our regular roundup of essential food news.
Openings and closings
Gabriela’s Downtown, which opened on East Seventh Street in February 2018 with little fanfare, is so far keeping a tight lip about its newest concept, Taquero Mucho. The restaurant has offered clues via a series of memes, including a projected opening date of November and a location at the former Frank & Angie’s address at 508 West Ave. CultureMap has reached out to owner Gabriela Bucio but received no response at press time.
Farmers market stalwart Steamies Dumplings is getting close to opening its first brick-and-mortar at the Crescent shopping center at 6929 Airport Blvd. In a November 1 Facebook post, the eatery said the build-out is almost complete and it is aiming for a soft launch in the upcoming weeks.
The 602 W. Sixth St. building that houses Pop and Lux appears to be getting another monosyllabic bar (maybe brevity is a clause in the rental contract). According to Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission filings, new concept Play applied for a mixed beverage and late hours permit. The project does seem to have a social media or web presence at this time, but it could certainly be buried under the other 134,000 Google hits for “play Austin.”
TABC public notices also spilled the beans on a new watering hole from nightlife impresario Bob Woody down the road from Lux/Pop/Play at 706 W. Sixth. Keeping with the Marie Kondo-ification of naming conventions on the bustling entertainment strip, this one will be called Wyld Bar. One hopes that it will play a soundbite of a lion’s roar each time a patron walks through the door.
Locally owned chain Austin’s Pizza opened its latest outpost November 7 inside the Little Woodrow’s at 5425 Burnet Rd. In addition to the usual assortment of pies, wings, and sandwiches, the eatery is adding a slew of new menu items exclusive to Burnet including calzones, deli-style sandwiches, loaded fries, and fried pickles. Hours are Sunday through Wednesday, 11 am-11 pm and Thursday through Saturday 11 am-midnight.
Other news and notes
Can too many cooks spoil the burger? The 2019 Lamb Jam Austin champ, Barrett Black of Blacks BBQ, has collaborated with more than 20 area food Instagram influencers to create The Smokey, Sweet and Spicy American Lamb Baaaa-B-Q Burger. The colossal burger is topped with candied bacon, jalapeño jam, melted Havarti, caramelized onions, fresh arugula, cherry tomatoes tossed in spicy barbecue sauce, and a faint dusting of FOMO. The creation will be available every Wednesday through the end of the year (except November 27) for $18.50, which includes a side and a dessert.
One of Austin’s most unique food fundraisers is returning on November 24. The Austin Empty Bowl Project invites local ceramicists to create a colorful array of bowls, which are then filled with gourmet soup and bread during the event held at the Central Texas Food Bank at 6500 Metropolis Dr. The $25 donation covers lunch, a take-home bowl, and live music and benefits the food bank’s Kids Cafe program and Meals for Kids through Meals on Wheels Central Texas. Further details can be found here.