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.
After years of subsisting on some of the best bagels around during the occasional pop-up, Austinites can finally enjoy the whole schmear. Rosen’s Bagel Co. has just opened its highly anticipated brick-and-mortar location at 11101 Burnet Rd., suite 100, near The Domain. The business — which founder Tom Rosen launched in 2017 after exhaustively researching how to make the best bagels — has grown into a brand that’s now available at Whole Foods Markets and more than 20 coffee shops and eateries throughout Austin. The new New York-style bagel shop features all the faves, from everything to jalapeño-cheddar bagels and sun-dried tomato to lime roasted-poblano scallion schmears, and even a classic lox “schmearwich.” “There is something special, borderline magical, about eating a bagel that has just come out of the oven,” Rosen says. “Seeing steam escape the bagel as it is sliced open adds to that element of wonder, and our brick-and-mortar allows us to share this experience with our customers.” The new Rosen’s Bagel shop is open Thursday through Sunday 7 am-noon, or until bagels sell out.
One of Austin’s oldest bars has opened an old-town pub in the ’burbs. Maggie Mae’s, which was founded in Austin in 1978, has branched out with a new location in Leander. Featuring loads of the live music and pub grub the Sixth Street spot is known for — and, of course, all the beers and cocktails befitting a storied pub establishment — the Leander location also boasts a particularly bitchin’ piece of Austin music history: The bar top was fashioned from maple wood that once lined the floor at the celebrated and now defunct Armadillo World Headquarters. That means simply sipping a brew at the Leander Maggie Mae’s brings you closer to all the legends who stomped along those wooden planks, from Willie Nelson and Ray Charles to Frank Zappa and The Clash. We’ll raise a toast to that! The Leader pub is located at 105 W. Willis St. It’s open Tuesday through Thursday 4-11 pm, and Friday and Saturday 4 pm-midnight.
Detroit-style-pie slinger Jet’s Pizza is on the rise in Cedar Park. According to a state filing, Jet’s is moving into the Austin suburb, opening a location at 1420 Cypress Creek Rd., suite 400, in an existing space at a shopping center anchored by a Randalls grocery store. Renovations on the 1,338-square-foot space are expected to begin February 1 and be completed by May 1. Design firm Designhaus Architecture out of Michigan will handle the space redesign. The owner is listed as JMCR Cedar Park. This will be the first Jet’s Pizza location for Cedar Park.
Other news and notes
Following a recent announcement of the opening of its 100th restaurant location (at 8601 S. Congress Ave. in South Austin) and continued major growth plans for the brand, local favorite Torchy’s Tacos is welcoming back an old friend. Torchy’s founder Mike Rypka — who left the company in 2018 when Torchy’s tapped GJ Hart, the former CEO of the California Pizza Kitchen and Texas Roadhouse restaurant chains, to be CEO — returned to the company upon Hart’s departure in November. And now, according to a report from the Austin Business Journal, Rypka is back in the leading role for good. With his full return, Torchy’s is set to continue expanding its “damn good” brand, both in Texas and into other states.
Fans of Texas’ most historic beer company have good reason to raise a toast. Shiner Beer — which has been brewing up every delicious drop of beer it makes at the Spoetzl Brewery in Shiner, Texas, since 1909 — is releasing its first-ever IPA, tapping the largest and fastest-growing beer category in the U.S. Tex Hex Bruja’s Brew is made using some far-out Southwestern ingredients, including cactus water and Amarillo hops, giving the beer a bright, citrusy, and tropical vibe. Shiner’s pitch for the new brew includes the fictional story behind the beer’s name: “In the treacherous heart of the Texas desert, a dark shaman roams the land. Locals call her La Bruja, the alchemist. Her shadow wanders the desert gathering ingredients for her otherworldly creations. Brewed with fire, magic, and sin, hers are only for the worthy, the ones called by the wind.” Tex Hex Bruja’s Brew is rolling out now, with limited distribution in Texas, and will be available nationwide this spring. It will be the first of three IPAs launched under Shiner’s Tex Hex umbrella this year.