7 things to know in Austin food right now: Giant soccer-themed hot spot rolls into town

7 things to know in Austin food: Soccer-themed hot spot comes to town

The Pitch Austin
The Pitch will offer Austinites lots of “food, fun, and fútbol.” Photo courtesy of The Pitch Austin

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

Some big names in the local hospitality industry are among those pitching Austin on a new “food, fun, and fútbol” destination venue. Opening to the public in February is a unique sports-entertainment concept dubbed The Pitch. Located at 13000 Harris Ridge Blvd. in the 50-acre Parmer Pond business park in Northeast Austin, The Pitch features some definite draws for Austin FC fans and foodies alike. In collaboration with Austin FC and Two Oak Ventures, the concept was brought about by a partnership between Karlin Real Estate/Parmer Austin; several sports-focused, project-management, and design ventures; and, perhaps most notably for local foodies, Corner Kick Hospitality Group, the creative force behind 24 Diner, Irene’s, and Cookbook at the Austin Central Library. Among its offerings, The Pitch — made from multi-level, customized shipping containers — will include a 1,200-seat stadium, jumbo TV screens, sports courts, and an artificial-surface soccer pitch. Planned eateries include high-end burger bar Ranger Burger; Ga Roti, a Vietnamese rotisserie chicken concept; Austin institution Taco Flats; Sand Bar, a beach bar alongside the onsite sand volleyball courts serving frozen tropical drinks; bakery Coffee Club; and a selection of local beer and craft cocktails will be available at the Corner Kick Bar. Follow The Pitch on Instagram for updates.

Another cherished Austin food institution is closing its doors permanently, but for once, it’s for an entirely different reason than the pandemic. La Mexicana Bakery, which opened in 1989 at 1924 S. First St., will close permanently in mid-February when owner Jesus Martinez Becerra retires. While Austinites will no doubt miss the variety of Mexican breads and baked goods (ooh, that tres leches cake, y’all!), Becerra’s daughter encourages locals to see the change not as something negative, but as part of a success story. “Yes, it’s true. The bakery will be closing,” Bianka Lopez said in a Facebook post from Sunday, January 23. “But don’t think we got pushed out. Dad is retiring and wants to enjoy the fruits of his labor. Don’t be sad. Be proud of what a Mexican immigrant [did] to build his American dream. If you know him, you know he’s very humble and a hard worker. La Mexicana holds a special place in everyone’s heart to the Austin locals and has made history to good ol’ Austin. Legacy is what Dad will be leaving behind and no one can ever take that from him.” You’ve still got a few weeks to pop by the bakery for some empanadas.

Meanwhile, a new bakery is on the rise in Leander. Noble Delights Bakery, which had previously been run by owner Regina Noble out of her home and cranks out some super impressive cakes, is renovating a space at 2091-B S. Hwy. 183 to make way for the new brick-and-mortar bakery, which will go in next door to a Papa John’s pizza shop. According to a state filing, Noble and her team will begin renovations on the 986-square-foot space on February 1, with renovations complete by the end of May. As they say at Noble Delights, that sounds delightfully delicious and creative.

Some seriously good coffee is now brewing at the flagship Whole Foods Market at Lamar Boulevard and Sixth Street, thanks to Philadelphia-based coffee brand La Colombe, which has officially opened its first café location in Texas inside the bustling Whole Foods location. Originally aiming to open in early December 2021, the opening was a bit delayed, but a month late hardly even counts in these pandemic times. Open daily from 7 am-7 pm, the new La Colombe, which is an independent retail space and café, features a buzzworthy menu, including its signature brews, lattes on tap, and a rotating lineup of single-origin coffees and blends available in espresso and drip. Check out more about the new café here.

Other news and notes

If you live in the Austin area and love Girl Scout Cookies, we’ve got some sweet news for you. Girl Scouts of Central Texas is making it over-the-top easy for cookie monsters to get their hands on the good stuff this cookie season. The local council has partnered with Austin burger chain P. Terry’s, which will host Girl Scout Cookie booths at select dine-in burger joints around town. The booths will be up and running on the weekends through Sunday, February 27. Hours of delicious operation for the cookie booths are Fridays 5-7 pm, Saturdays 9 am-7 pm, and Sundays 11 am-7 pm. The move is in response to the local Girl Scouts having to pivot their cookie-business plans during the pandemic while still giving Austinites access to all the Thin Mints (and the array of other cookie flavors) they could ever hope for. Additionally, in the spirit of Girl Scouts delivering the goods directly to your door, the local council has also partnered with Favor, which is offering same-day delivery of Girl Scout Cookies within a 6-mile radius in Austin and an 8-mile radius in San Marcos. Search “Girl Scout Cookies” in the Favor app or on to browse the available treats. And to sweeten the deal, Favor is even offering customers $3 discounted deliveries on all cookie orders, with no minimum purchase.     

In mouthwatering news that has us wondering, “Wait, that wasn’t already a thing?” local fan favorite Austin Eastciders is launching a new flavor: Apple Pie Cider. Only available locally and aiming to tap those nostalgic American feelings about apple pie, the new Eastciders beverage is a semi-sweet cider showcasing notes of cinnamon, vanilla, and fresh baked apples, and boasts a 6.9 percent alcohol content. The new Apple Pie Cider is launching as a tasting-room exclusive at Austin Eastciders’ South Austin restaurant at 1530 Barton Springs Rd., which is where the official launch party will take place. Open to the public, the launch party is set for February 11 at 6 pm, and will include live music, cocktails — including an Apple Pie Float and Mulled Apple Pie Cider — and more. Watch Austin Eastciders on Instagram for more info.

Continuing with this report’s sweet theme, we are happy to share this delightful news: The Salty, the wildly popular artisan doughnut shop based in Miami that opened to great success on South Congress Avenue in Austin in August, has launched its local catering program. Now, don’t go thinking this is just another mediocre catering service, as The Salty serves up a pretty charming menu of catering offerings, including doughnut towers, custom doughnut letters, table setups, rentals of its cute doughnut camper, and more. Learn all about the The Salty’s catering treats here.