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.
One of Austin’s premier Indian food trucks, Ras Modern Indian, has finally re-opened, this time on South Congress. Formerly located in the heart of downtown before shuttering temporarily in the spring of 2020, the operation officially re-opened last month at 2700 S. Congress Avenue. Now operating outside of (and under the umbrella of) chic, intensively stocked convenience/grocery/coffee shop operation Cork & Brew, the truck is helmed by Austin hospitality veteran Raj Singh, who deals in a humble yet outstanding assortment of curry bowls (served with saffron rice and a choice of chicken, paneer, or lamb), sandwiches (including a fried-chicken offering and a Manali Smash Burger with a four-chile rub), and a flavorful samosa chaat. Ras Modern Indian is open 11:30 am-9 pm daily. Customers can place their orders within Cork & Brew or by scanning the QR code on the outside of the truck.
Other news and notes
Sunday sippers, rejoice! Starting September 1, Texans will be able to purchase beer and wine at 10 am — two hours before the current noon booze-buying hour on Sundays. The Texas Legislature approved House Bill 1518 just ahead of the Memorial Day weekend. The bill also allows hotels to sell alcohol to guests at any time of the day. The change is definitely welcomed by the average drinking Texan and comes at a time when other Draconian alcohol laws in thee lone Star State are also being eased (alcoholic drinks are now available to go permanently). And that’s worth raising a toast to!
Meanwhile Brewing, one of Austin’s hottest new outdoor hang spots and beer gardens, is inviting locals to bring their outdoor lawn A-game this National Croquet Day (yep, it’s a thing). Saturday, June 5, the Sunset Lawn Croquet Club will transform Meanwhile Brewing Company’s soccer pitch into two croquet lawns for an afternoon of casual games, no experience required. The event is open to all and includes a lively soundtrack of global funk and soul beats. Additionally, a prize will be awarded to the winner of the brewery’s Classic One Wicket Challenge, and players will get the opportunity to win a one-year membership to the U.S. Croquet Association. An RSVP is required for access to the lawns during Croquet Day, which can be booked via Meanwhile’s website.
Two Texas-born LGBTQ-owned businesses are celebrating Pride Month in a seriously tasty way. Combining their knack for mindfully made ice cream and cookies, Lick Honest Ice Creams and Wunderkeks have collaborated on a hot (err, rather cold) new dessert: strawberry lemonade rainbow ice cream. Made with tart Texas lemon sweet cream and Lick’s local strawberry swirl, plus Wunderkek’s buttery cookie bites, the special treat is available by the scoop and pint all June at Austin and San Antonio Lick Honest Ice Creams scoop shops. Additionally, both operations are launching “Pride Fundae Kits,” which
include three pints of ice cream and five toppings so customers can play ice-cream artisan at home. After the June 1 launch, the Pride Fundae Kits will be available via Goldbelly’s Lick Honest Ice Cream page.
Texas’ premium spirit-based seltzer creators have launched a cool new flavor. New from Ranch Rider Spirits: the Buck, a fresh Moscow Mule recipe made from natural ingredients. The new beverage is described as a “better-for-you premium seltzer” that is made with six-times distilled vodka, fresh-pressed organic ginger, fresh-squeezed lime, and sparkling water. Additionally, the Buck has an ABV of 5.99 percent and has only 119 calories and less than a gram of sugar. Eager day drinkers can find a store carrying Ranch Rider near them using the store locator on the company’s website.
Attention, wine aficionados! No longer do you have to be a certified sommelier in order to become an accomplished wine blender. Announcing the highly anticipated return of Hill Country based Kuhlman Cellars’ Vina Vita University wine-education classes. Hosted by the Stonewall-based operation’s winemaker Bénédicte Rhyne, the latest installment in the series, titled Barrel to Blend, teaches students the basics of wine-blending theory. Participants will work as a team to create their own red blend. The class champion blend will go head-to-head with the Kuhlman Cellars staff champion blend for the chance to become the new 2020 Vina Vita Club red wine to be released in 2022. Tickets for the event run $60 per guest ($50 for Vina Vita Wine Club members) or $300 for a table. For more information about the class and ticket options, check out Kuhlman Cellars’ event page.