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7 things to know in Austin food right now: Local burger chain raises minimum wage to $15

7 things to know in Austin: Burger chain raises minimum wage to $15

p. terry's restaurant exterior new braunfels
P. Terry's has upped its minimum wage to $15 per hour. Photo courtesy of P. Terry's

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 re-openings
After a week of delays, Easy Tiger has officially opened its latest location on the east side. As with the bakery’s two preceding locations, beer lovers can enjoy a variety of baked goods and savory brunch items including sandwiches and pretzels for dine-in service on the outpost’s 15,000-square-foot patio or simply take an expertly baked loaf to go. Easy Tiger East is now open at 1501 E. Seventh St. Sunday through Thursday from 7 am to 9 pm and Friday through Saturday from 7 am -12 am.

As if you needed another reason to grab a double-cheeser from P. Terry’s (plus a large Oreo shake, why not?), the beloved local burger stand has recently upped its full-time employees' minimum wage to $15 per hour, a more than 50-percent increase in a state where the required minimum wage is $7.25. The new rate went into effect in January, and is now uniformly applied across all 20 P. Terry’s Burger stands location, its central commissary kitchen, and its to-go taqueria, Taco Ranch. P. Terry’s opened its latest location (its 20th overall) in Pflugerville at the start of the year and plans to round out 2021 with three new San Antonio locations as well as an additional forthcoming Austin location.

A popular New-York based pizza chain has made its way to the Capital City. Grimaldi’s Pizzeria debuted its first Texas outpost in Dallas-Fort Worth back in 2007 and has since brought its menu of craveable coal-fired pies, bold Mediterranean salads, and decadent Oreo cookie cheesecakes to several additional dine-in locations throughout the state. Now, the company has brought its second-ever satellite kitchen operation (the first opened in Scottsdale, Arizona, in November 2020) to the city’s largest shared ghost kitchen space, Kitchen United Mix. Customers can order contactless takeout from Grimaldi’s as well as other Kitchen United Mix concepts like Teji’s Indian and Hawaiian Bros. Island Grill daily from 9:30 am to 11 pm.

Other news and notes
This year for Amplify Austin Day, the annual day of giving helmed by nonprofit I Live Here I Give Here, two Red River staples giving back in a major way. From March 1-5, when customers pick up any individual pizza slice from Hoboken Pie or a classic Taco Plate from Pelon’s Tex-Mex (with your choice of meat), a portion of each sale will benefit Banding Together ATX, the nonprofit created for Red River’s community of artists, venue owners, and hospitality workers in the wake of COVID-19. In addition to supporting these two businesses directly, local foodies are encouraged to donate directly at amplifyatx.org.

While kickoff for our highly anticipated Major League Soccer team Austin FC doesn't take place until,April 17, Austin Eastciders is already getting in the game-day spirit. Firstly, the club’s official cider sponsor is planning a series of watch parties at its two tasting rooms (at 979 Springdale Rd. and 1530 Barton Springs Rd.), during which $1 from every pint sold will be donated to nonprofit foundation 4 ATX Foundation’s youth development program. The cidery is also launching loaded game-day tailgate specials available at their Barton Springs location. These party packs feature smoked chicken wings, chef’s specialty dip, two 12-inch pizzas, Nadamoo! dairy-free ice cream, and one twelve-can variety pack of Eastciders cider or hard-seltzer, all of which feeds a party of four for $55. Finally, FC super fans can follow Eastciders Instagram page for the chance to win a free custom Austin FC or Austin Eastciders tattoo (one given away per week), courtesy of Tiny Tats ATX.

Texas Hill Country wildflowers are always a sight to behold, but they're even better with a glass of wine. Wine and Wildflower Journey 2021 takes place March 22 to April 16, and offers amateur sommeliers a chance to enjoy both bluebonnets and bevs in equal measure. The second of four self-guided passport events that nonprofit trade association Hill Country Wineries hosts each year, purchase of the event’s digital passport allows guests to enjoy up to four complimentary winery tastings a day from any of the 45 participating area wineries, including Tejas Winery, Limestone Terrace Vineyard, and Texas Mead Works, among others. Passport holders can also enjoy 15 percent off on purchases of three bottles. Passport tickets run $65 per individual and $100 for a couple’s passport and can be purchased at texaaswinetrail.com. 

Californians may be moving to our dear state in droves, but at least they’re bringing some serious cocktail knowledge with them. Now available on local shelves is Live Wire Drinks, a new canned cocktail line from seasoned LA bartender Aaron Polsky. These cocktails are crafted alongside veteran mixologists and are launching the Honeydew Collins (an electrifying mix of gin, honeydew, and elderflower). Live Wire’s Honeydew Collins is on sale in select area specialty shops, through the third-party alcohol delivery app Drizly, or online.