News you can eat
6 things to know in Austin food right now: Casual cafe swoops into trendy downtown hotel
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
A third dining concept has perched at downtown's tony Austin Proper hotel. According to its sole Instagram post, casual sidewalk cafe The Mockingbird opened February 15 with a Mediterranean menu including a breakfast mezze plate, shakshuka, shawarma, and rotisserie chicken. Though upscale McGuire Moorman Hospitality developed the concept, the majority of the prices are kept well under $20 per plate. In contrast to the group's $22 matzo ball caldo at June's All Day, the chicken matzo ball soup at The Mockingbird runs a lean $7.
One of the city's oldest restaurants closed its doors February 2, but don't worry; the 87-year-old Hoffbrau Steakhouse won't be another Austin classic to meet an untimely end. Instead, the owners share in a Facebook post that it is time for a refresh. Though exact details have not been announced, the statement hinted at renovations to the dining room, new menu items, and a beverage program that merges "Prohibition Era-cocktails with simple bottled beer." Keep watch of the restaurant's social media for updates on the reopening.
While Hoffbrau busies itself with a renovation, another Austin classic has made a comeback. After a year's hiatus, the soda fountain at Nau's Enfield Drug in Clarksville reopened in early February, according to an employee.
Trendy açaí cafe Blenders & Bowls has whipped up a new location at 4200 N. Lamar Blvd., #110. The outpost is the fifth location for the brand founded by locals Kara Jordan and Erin Thompson. It will carry the same menu as the other locations, including smoothies and fruit bowls.
Other news and notes
Locally owned beverage company Clean Cause will soon see its yerba mate on more grocery store shelves. The brand, known for giving 50-percent of its profits to initiatives that support drug and alcohol recovery, announced on February 17 that it will be stocked in all Whole Foods Market locations nationwide on March 7. According to a release, the deal will help Clean Cause in its goal to give back $500,000 in support through its sober living scholarship initiative.
Feel like you're always stuck in second gear? A Friends-themed pop-up put on by mysterious outfit The Brunch Club might enliven your summer. Though the company has not released the location, menu, or ticket price (potential guests can register here to be "the first to hear about tickets"), it has divulged that there will be a costume contest for those who want to dress up as trash human being Ross Geller.