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Local Southern restaurant shutters, Snap Kitchen goes national, and more Austin food news

Local Southern restaurant shutters, plus more Austin food news

Poppy's Southern Recipes barbecue shrimp
Poppy's Southern Recipes was a Steiner Ranch favorite for Cajun and Southern comfort food. Poppy's Southern Recipes/Facebook

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. We have you covered with our regular roundup of the freshest Austin restaurant news.

After less than a year in business, Steiner Ranch Cajun spot Poppy’s Southern Recipes closed June 22. Owners Mark and Deidre Harvey opened the eatery at 4300 N. Quinlan Park Rd. in August 2018 with a menu of classics like gumbo, po’ boys, étouffée, and New Orleans-style barbecue shrimp. According to a Facebook post, the shutter was forced by a medical diagnosis. Although Poppy’s tried to cut back to four days a week, the Harveys soon realized that recovery would require their full attention.

Hot off opening its Cedar Park location on May 15, popular San Francisco chain Ike’s Love & Sandwiches debuted in Sunset Valley at 5207 Brodie Ln., Ste. 210 on June 19. To celebrate its grand opening on June 27, the new eatery will be giving out free sandwiches to the first 50 guests. CEO and founder Ike Shehadeh and franchise partner (and former Houston Astros No. 1 draft pick) Mark Appel will be in attendance.

A new concept is moving into 415 E. Sixth St., the former home to a string of spots, including Agave and Big Bang Bar. Although a web presence has not been established for Bijou Lounge just yet, a Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission filing states that it will have a full bar and offer late night hours.

The June 25 sale of Texas Monthly may be the talk of the town, but that’s not the only news coming out of the venerable magazine. On June 19 at the Wine and Food Foundation of Texas’ Toast of Texas event, the periodical named a Grenache, Syrah, Mourvèdre blend from Driftwood winery Fall Creek Vineyards its Top Texas Wine of 2018.

Central Market has been named among the cleanest grocery stores in America by nonprofit watchdog Consumer Reports. The rankings were culled from a survey of more than 75,000 of the organization’s members. Of the 96 grocers rated, only six earned the highest marks in the white glove test. California-based Trader Joe’s, also operating in Austin, was the only national chain on the list.

In the most exciting pairing since DJ Jazzy Jeff teamed up with the Fresh Prince, Uchiko has announced a Ko-Lab (get it?) dinner with red-hot East Austin restaurant Suerte. The six-course dinner on July 1 will include a variety of family style and individual dishes melding Japanese and Mexican cuisine. Reservations for the $175 feast can be made by calling 512-916-4808.

Austin-based Snap Kitchen is going national. On June 24, the healthy grab-and-go chain announced that it was now offering direct-ship meals throughout the South and East Coast. The meal-plan service — covering specialty diets like plant-based, keto, Whole30, paleo, and high protein — were previously only available in Austin, Dallas, Houston, and Philadelphia.