7 things to know in Austin food right now: Popular east side restaurant sets sail for Hyde Park
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 shuffles
Two popular Mexican-style food truck operations have found new homes at Arbor Food Park at 1108 East 12th St. in East Austin. First up is Cuantos Tacos, a Mexico City-style street taco operation from Le Cordon Bleu grad Luis “Beto” Robledo. Cuantos Tacos moved to the location after Robledo’s former landlord, Edward Banks of Fast Eddie’s Automotive Repair, was told to vacate the premises by the property’s owner (despite Banks being in the middle of a lease). At Arbor Food Park, Robledo plans to eventually move his operation into a larger truck, and introduce an expanded menu that will include al pastor tacos cooked on a traditional trompo.
Also moving onto the site is ceviche truck from Baja-style catering company operation Rosarito. CultureMap first reported back in February that the operation, which serves traditional lime-pickled shrimp ceviches as well as more exotic, sashimi-style fish specials sourced from Mexico, first set up shop at 1812 E. Sixth St., in the parking lot beside Whisler’s, but was forced to pivot in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic. Rosarito’s owner, chef Carlos Acosta, tells CultureMap he hopes the truck will remain the cevicheria’s permanent home.
Mongers Market + Kitchen, the seafood restaurant that has docked on East Cesar Chavez since 2015, is setting sail for Hyde Park. The restaurant will take over the former Vino Vino space on Guadalupe Street, and says that while it "enjoyed a robust business at its East Cesar Chavez Street location ," it's looking forward to settling into its new neighborhood and welcoming more families. A release notes that Monger's reopening date will be announced soon.
“The Absolute Würst” is making its way to North Austin. Dog Haus, the California-based, craft-casual concept opened its first Texas location at Austin’s Kitchen United facility. In addition to nitrate-free sausages, dogs, and patties conceived by Würstmacher Adam Gertler, the new location will also offer menu items from three of The Absolute Brands' delivery-only concepts: Bad Mutha Clucka, Plant B, and Bad-Ass Breakfast Burritos. Created by Dog Haus’ founders, The Absolute Brands is a new restaurant group comprised of nine unique concepts. Located at 8023 Burnet Road, Dog Haus Kitchen is open every day from 11 am to 10 pm. Delivery and pickup orders can be placed online through kitchenunited.com and third party delivery apps.
A month after shuttering its San Antonio River-walk location, doughnut shop Gourdough’s filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy last week. According to KVUE, the company’s ill-fated expansion into the Alamo City left Gourdough’s with "substantial debt,” which has only worsened during the COVID-19 pandemic. The chain’s bankruptcy lawyer, Kareem Hajjar, says Austinite’s need not worry about losing their comically indulgent donuts any time soon. "I am confident that by using the tools that exist in the Bankruptcy Code, Austinites will continue to enjoy Gourdough’s donuts, burgers, and cocktails for many years to come," Hajjar told KVUE. Gordough’s two remaining locations — a brick-and-mortar on South Lamar Boulevard and the original food truck on South First Street — are currently both open for to-go orders.
South Austin breakfast taco fixture El Primo will re-open at its South First location on July 1, a representative tells CultureMap. The food truck, beloved for its breakfast and street tacos, closed temporarily on May 30 for a then indefinite amount of time. Since then, El Primo owner Jose Luis Perez has worked to move his operation into a larger truck to keep up with increased demand. Perez and his team will begin serving customers from the new truck beginning Wednesday, July 1, and are planning to resume their regular hours going forward. After Wednesday, the truck will be open 8 am – 5 pm, Monday through Thursday; 8 am-8 pm on Friday; and 8 am – 4 pm on Saturday.
Other news and notes
Thanks to the recent allocation of city funds, as well as support from Austin Ed Fund, the Austin Independent School District is partnering with local restaurants to provide meals to students and caregivers. Meals are being prepared by local restaurant partners, including Henbit, Easy Tiger, L'Oca d'Oro, Colleen's Kitchen, and Contigo. "Before COVID-19, 67 percent of Austin ISD students relied on school meals," says Michelle Wallis, executive director of Austin Ed Fund via press release, "so we are especially grateful to the City of Austin for this support and honored to work with our partners to support our local economy.” Meals are provided five days per week along with a Friday pack that includes meals for the weekend. Caregiver meals are available to the adults accompanying children at meal sites or with documentation of the children they are picking meals up for. Food is available until it runs out. Find Austin ISD meal sites, times, and more information at austinisd.org/covid19/meals.