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 what amounted to a monthslong pop-up residency out of Wingman Kitchens at Springdale General last year, family-owned Buda food truck Tejas Birria is wheeling into South Austin with a new food truck location this week. Located off Menchaca Road (specific address to come), the new South Austin spot is chef Alex Hernandez’s first official Tejas Birria location outside of its Buda home at 2775 FM 2001, and the chef, along with co-owner Mary Hernandez, is shooting for a February 18 grand opening. Tejas Birria’s menu features a ton of birria-forward dishes, from tacos and quesadillas to a meat-tastic dish dubbed the “pizzadilla,” as well as birria ramen, flautas, and even unadulterated birria by the pound. “We truly appreciate all the love and support in our family-owned business, and we can’t thank you all enough for helping us grow,” a recent Tejas Birria social media post noted. “We’re so excited for our first expansion into another city and we look forward to the opportunity to serve you all.” The Buda location will be closed for a few days leading up to the Austin opening. Follow Tejas Birria on Instagram for updates about the new Austin location, opening specifics, and for inspiration for your must-try birria list.
Here’s a concept that’s sure to get a whole lotta love from Austin carb enthusiasts. Popular fast-casual restaurant brand Bread Zeppelin is hoping to butter up Austin with its plans to expand its franchise business to the Capital City. The concept made its debut in Dallas in 2013 and signed its first major franchise partner in 2020. The company currently has six locations in the DFW area and one near Houston (with more locations planned in those markets), and it’s now targeting Austin for expansion. The concept is named for its Zeppelins, cored-out, freshly baked artisan baguettes. But humans can’t live on bread alone (so we hear), so Bread Zeppelin stuffs those loaves with freshly prepared salad ingredients to create obsession-worthy meals. “We see Austin as an ideal initial market for us to land and believe that neighborhoods like South Lamar and West Lake offer a great demographic for us to build awareness and gain traction in the city,” says Vincent Ginatta, Bread Zeppelin’s vice president of franchising. “We are actively speaking to potential locally based candidates, and our goal is to identify one franchise partner that will thoughtfully develop the brand across the metro.” Stay tuned for more info about when this Zeppelin brings it on home to the home of Dazed and Confused.
A popular national brand has grilled up a new location in a growing Austin suburb, making it even easier for locals to get a burrito on the go. Chipotle has opened its new quick-pickup concept, cleverly named Chipotlane, at 326 Ed Schmidt Blvd. in Hutto. The concept, which features a drive-thru digital order pickup lane, enables customers to order in advance on the Chipotle website or through the Chipotle app, then just drive up to the Chipotlane location and grab their grub — all without having to come face-to-face with any actual burrito baristas. This is the first Chipotlane location in Hutto and the third in the Greater Austin area. The new Hutto Chipotlane is open daily from 10:45 am-10 pm.
Other news and notes
If you’re hoping to honor the Buddhist holiday of Makha Bucha Day — or simply have a unique dining experience — just sway on over to Sway in West Lake on Wednesday, February 16 for a special holiday dinner. Makha Bucha Day is traditionally celebrated on the night of the full moon during the third lunar month of the year, and involves setting intentions and letting go. In observance of the holiday, Sway will host a special holiday event featuring an actual fire activation and a rooftop shrine, nonalcoholic drinks from Kin Eurphorics, spinning from DJ Shani, and, as always, a delightful modern Thai dinner menu. Chef Charles Schlienger will also serve up some new menu items, including the mussels hot pot, alongside favorites like the steak-y Tiger Cry and the Son in Law pork shoulder dish. Diners are encouraged to participate in the Makha Bucha ceremony by writing down something they seek to leave behind, then setting that note ablaze with Sway staff. Make a reservation for this special event online, or call 512-326-1999 for rooftop reservations.
The recent Baker’s Benefit bake sale hosted by Easy Tiger and nonprofit Les Dames d’Escoffier and featuring chef-made baked goods and a silent auction sponsored by local partners raised an impressive $7,000 for Texas French Bread after the local favorite was destroyed by fire last month. While the fundraiser was a success, Austinites who missed it but want to support Texas French Bread can still do so simply by sipping a cocktail at Easy Tiger. For the remainder of February, Still Austin and Tito’s Handmade Vodka will donate $1 from each sale of The Fizz cocktail, featuring Still Austin gin, and the Lavender Lemonade cocktail, featuring Tito’s, to Texas French Bread. The tasty benefit promo is available at all Easy Tiger locations.