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
An anticipated Dallas-based bar concept that mixes cocktails with science is making its Austin debut January 23. The Tipsy Alchemist at 70 Rainey St. serves a wide variety of creative cocktails such as The Edison, a rum drink with nitrogen-frozen mint, and the Mad Hatter, a vodka sipper that is transported in a pneumatic tube transport system similar to those used at banks.
Whataburger may no longer be Texas-owned, but it's still majorly invested in the Lone Star State. On January 31, the beloved chain debuted a new one-of-a-kind location at 1616 E. Oltorf St. with new features inspired by Austin's unique culture. Among the highlights are digital menu boards, recycling and compost bins, and patio seating, naturally.
In other fast-food news, Ike's Love & Sandwich is opening its first San Marcos at 301 N. Guadalupe St. #154 on January 31. Like the other locations, the outpost will boast exclusive sandwiches like the Can I Drink You a Buy made with fried chicken, orange Buffalo barbecue sauce, and American Cheese. Starting at 10 am on opening day, the restaurant will offer free sandwiches to the first 25 guests in line and $5 sandwiches all day after.
Other news and notes
Acclaimed downtown eatery Comedor has launched a new taco tasting menu available during happy hour from 5-6:30 pm. The three- to five-course tasting options, priced at $15 and $25, will change regularly based on seasonality, but will always include a dessert taco from owner and pastry chef Philip Speer. Mezcal pairings will also be available, priced at $24-$28 for five pours.
New Waterloo's corporate pastry chef Amanda Rockman is teaming up with Lick Honest Ice Creams on a swoon-worthy Valentine's Day collaboration. The heart-shaped strawberry red velvet ice cream cake, made with tart cream cheese ice cream with a strawberry-balsamic swirl, is available for pre-order through February 5 for $45.
Tito's Handmade Vodka is now the top-selling spirit in the country, according to a new report from drinks industry analysts company ISWR. The brand, founded in Austin by the aptly named Tito Beveridge, knocked out Smirnoff, who has held the spot for a decade.