News you can eat
Cult New York wine bar pops into Bufalina, Schlotzsky's debuts new Austin eatery and more food news
Editor's note: We get it. It can be difficult to keep up with the what’s what and who’s who of Austin food. But we have you covered with our regular roundup of the freshest Austin restaurant news.
The Cesar Chavez Street Bufalina is preparing to host two special pop-ups. First on March 18, New York City wine bar La Compagnie des Vins Surnaturels is closing out SXSW with an Austin stop of their "Where in the World is Compagnie?" event series. Enjoy curated flights and Buffalo Chicken Rillettes pizza from 5 pm-11:30 pm, on a first-come, first-served. On March 23-25, famed Brooklyn pizzeria Roberta’s returns to the space from 11 am-11:30 pm each day. The menu has not yet been released, but the 2016 menu featured decadent pies like the three cheese and heavy cream Cheesus Christ, as well as select Italian bites.
Reps have confirmed that Takuya Matsumoto and Tatsu Aikawa from cult eateries Ramen Tatsu-Ya and Kemuri Tatsu-Ya have signed a lease to take over the former Qui space at 1600 E. Sixth St. That makes a second mystery project from the team, which is also working on a concept at a strip mall that includes the Local Post Pub, Tacodeli, and JuiceLand on 7301 Burnet Rd. No further details have been made available.
Locally born fast casual chain Schlotzsky's is trying its hand at a new concept. Schlotzsky's Austin Eatery is now open at 5105 Balcones Woods Dr. in Bee Cave with a menu that combines Schlotzsky's classics with new street food-inspired dishes like sliders and tacos. Although the company has opened new locations with a similar design in places like Atlanta and Dallas, a company rep tells CultureMap that the new menu items are exclusive to Austin.
Married chefs and restaurateurs Callie Speer (Holy Roller) and Philip Speer (Bonhomie) are headed to New York City to cook at the James Beard House on March 22. The pair will be joined by Holy Roller pastry chef Britt Castro for Austin Sizzle, a one-night only engagement featuring dishes like breakfast tacos with sweet potatoes, mole, soft eggs, and corn shoots on heirloom blue corn tortillas; French onion éclairs with gruyère ganache, cheese toast tuiles, and chervil; and "impossible" crème brûlée with caramelized sugar, almond genoise, and Valrhona chocolate.
The mega-popular Texas Farmers Market at Mueller is getting a second night due to popular demand. According to parent organization Texas Farmers Market, the new Wednesday night event will debut on May 2 with more than 40 local vendors.
Johnson’s Backyard Garden is holding their annual Spring Picnic and 5K Garden Gallop on March 21 from 11 am-2:30 pm on their Garfield, Texas farm. The annual family party will feature live music, and kids' activities like an “egg” hunt, arts and crafts, and exercise among the veggies.
Swift’s Attic has a new executive chef. Rene De Leon comes off stints at Michelin-starred Alinea in Chicago and at famed chef Michael Mina’s restaurant group, where he worked on several concepts as executive sous chef. De Leon has already put his stamp on the Swift’s menu with new brunch, lunch, and dinner items like a spin on fish and chips; pozole verde with mussels, radish, crispy onions, hominy, and crème fraîche; and hamachi tartare with black sesame tuile, avocado puree, and Vietnamese dressing.
Grab a picnic for a day at the Greenbelt from Épicerie’s new ready-to-eat case. The neighborhood gem from chef Sarah McIntosh has added a huge selection of soups, salads, and mains including French green lentils with walnuts, yogurt, and herbs; poached salmon; red bean salad with veggies, ham hocks, kielbasa, and rice; and a rotating daily quiche.
Cuvée Coffee on East Sixth Street is now offering an uber-Austin add-on to any of its drinks. For $2.50, customers can drop in 10mg of hemp oil, a supplement that adherents claim has anti-aging and cholesterol lowering effects. If you are worried about a skunky latte, rest assured; hemp oil is both odorless and tasteless.
Celis Raspberry is making a comeback on March 21 with a party coinciding with original founder Pierre Celis’ birthday. The shindig at the brewery will include onsite screen printing, live music, bites from chef Aaron Esserman’s Belgian Experience food truck, and birthday cake, of course.