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
Chinese chain Tsaocaa will be opening its first Austin location at 13776 U.S. Highway 183 in spring 2020 according to a company rep. In addition to serving a variety of milk and fruit teas, the company is especially known for cheese tea — a Taiwanese sipper topped with a foamy mix of cream cheese, cream, milk, and salt.
East Austin is getting a new caffeine purveyor, according to a project filed with the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation. The buildout on Dear Diary Coffeehouse at 1212 Chicon St. #103 is slated to be finished in late January 2020, but otherwise details are unknown. One would assume it will have a few lattes on the menu, but given the slightly twee name, it could just as easily be an Instagram “experience.”
A month after the last location of Red’s Porch shuttered, a similar concept is grinding to a halt. According to a Doc's Motorworks restaurant employee, November 24 will be the last day of business for the casual eatery at 1106 W. 38th St. The closure will leave the chain one remaining location in Austin, the Doc’s Backyard at 5207 Brodie Ln. #100. Doc’s had previously shut down its South Congress location in 2016 to make way for the upcoming Music Lane development.
Garrison, the flagship restaurant inside The Fairmont Austin, has moved in a new team to replace Jason Purcell, who has climbed up the ranks as executive sous chef for the luxury downtown property. New chef de cuisine Jordan Sanchez and sous chef Jakub Czyszczon have introduced am outrageously decadent Luxe menu featuring riches like ossetra caviar served on a warm johnnycake, A5 Wagyu beef, and Alba white truffles which zhush up French omelettes and bucatini cacio e pepe.
Other news and notes
Like Tiff’s Treats but not the convenience of ready-to-eat desserts? The Austin-based company is now offering take-and-bake cookie kits for the holiday season. Each box comes with carefully arranged chocolate chip cookie balls, which can be plopped into the oven whenever fans have a hot holiday date. Officially the boxes are available for pick-up or delivery November 25-December 24, but the company advises ordering sooner than later. The kits will only be available while supplies last.
In other cookie new, Henbit is now selling its entree-sized Monster Cookie at all Royal Blue Grocery stores in Austin as of November 18. The enormous treat, which can double as an appetizer plate in a pinch, features chocolate chips, pecans, and a near-obscene amount of butter.
Austin Eastciders, home to more flavors than a vape store, introduced yet another variety on November 15. The seasonal sangria cider blends peach, apple, elderberry, lime, cherry, and strawberry and will hit shelves sometime in mid-November.