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6 things to know in food right now: Portland coffee shop opens in buzzy Austin 'burb
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.
It does make sense that Portland, Oregon, businesses would do well in Austin, and proving that for the third time over is Black Rock Coffee Bar. A new location opening in Hutto on June 3 is the third in the Austin area — all outside of Austin proper— and the 12th in Texas. Reviewers note a welcoming atmosphere and a diverse, creative menu, including prickly pear and hibiscus teas, and several takes on mocha. Customers on opening day can pick up free 16-ounce drinks, and more specials will be announced throughout the week.
Noble Sandwich Co. flew under back onto the Austin radar with a new location quietly opening at Austin-Bergstrom International Airport. According to ABIA (often recognized for its great food), the outpost opened April 1. It joins Kome’s Sushi A-Go-Go, which opened on the same day. The two are included in the Austin City Market concept, which comprises Zocalo Café, Beerdrop by Austin Beerworks, and the newest live music stage at AUS.
News and Other Notes
A ramen lover knows fighting for the last few spoonfuls — no matter what — is part of the sport, but this may start looking like a harder task as the 100-degree days creep in. Thankfully, the ever-popular Ramen Tatsu-ya is bringing the heat and cooling things down with a new Spicy Chilled Ramen. The summer special, based on a typical hiyashi chuka (a dipped noodle dish), features citrus soy dressing, cucumber and tomatoes, pirikara ground pork, karashi mustard, and chili oil, with a few other more standard additions. It’s available now in all Austin locations.
To kick off Pride month, the gay and joyful cookie delivery companyWunderkeks took a step in a straighter direction. The husband-and-husband team partnered with actress Tori Spelling of 90210 fame, to discuss the importance of allyship and an accepting family. With help from Spelling’s kids, the team created their take on an, uh, “promiscuous” brownie, with a layer of chocolate chip cookie on top and an Oreo in the middle. The Safe Space Brownie, as it’s dubbed, makes no attempt at modesty, also incorporating coconut, caramel, pecan, and sprinkles. Boxes ($36 for nine) are available for nationwide delivery at wunderkeks.com.
Two of Austin’s hottest restaurants, Suerte and Uchi, are teaming up for a one-night-only fundraiser on June 7. Suerte will host chef Lance Gillum, serving braised lamb tacos made just for the occasion, with pickled summer squash, pepita salsa macha, and black crema. Proceeds from this Taquero Takeover will go to Urban Roots, a three-and-a-half-acre farm in East Austin that gives local youths paid jobs to teach about leadership through food and farming. This collaboration is part of a monthly series on the first Tuesday of every month. Reservations on Resy are gone, but the restaurant leaves a portion of seating during these events for walk-ins.
Another somewhat unlikely pair of restaurants are trading dishes through the entire month of June: Tso Chinese Delivery and Jewboy Burgers. Both center crab rangoon (fried crab and cream cheese dumplings). The Oy Vay Guey Rangoons available at Tso Delivery are stuffed with Jewboy’s picadillo, with ground beef (hold the crab), hatch green chile, and grilled onions. Jewboy’s Tso Rangoon Burger is topped, instead of stuffed, with Tso’s crab rangoon mix, fried wonton strips, and sweet chili sauce. Both are available in their respective stores, and online.