Roux the day
Owner of revered East Austin food truck dishes on new Cajun concept
Nicholas Patrizi admits he didn’t expect to be talking to the press yet about Vic & Al’s, his new project rolling into the former Unit-D Pizzeria space at 2406 Manor Rd. The kitchen space still has to be rebuilt, and he has only begun to think about the menu.
“I still have a lot to work out,” he says.
Still, the owner of the wildly popular Italian food truck Patrizi’s did reveal the first few details of the concept, including a target opening date in October.
Although brick-and-mortar, Vic & Al’s will be a revival of a short-lived trailer that operated in 2016 at the Scoot Inn. Like that truck, also called Vic & Al's, the new restaurant will focus on Cajun cuisine.
Patrizi tells CultureMap that the new eatery may borrow a few dishes from the original — specifically mentioning the truck's cochon de lait po’boy with red cabbage slaw, remoulade, and pickles — but it won’t exactly be a repeat.
Initially, he will start with a smaller menu, focusing on grab-and-go items at lunch and a bar menu for dinner. The other key difference is that the new Vic & Al’s will serve alcohol. “I want to create a local neighborhood watering hole,” Patrizi says.
The sourcing will remain true to Patrizi’s standards. The owner says he is talking to local farms to source sustainable catfish and is bringing in heirloom rice from Louisiana for a dirty rice dish. Vic & Al’s will also be making several of its ingredients in house, including boudin and cheese. The team has already begun fermenting hot sauce.
Sourcing won’t be the only similarity to Patrizi’s. Part of the menu will be devoted to daily specials based on what’s in season, and the service style will also be similar, with guests ordering at the counter.
For now, however, the entrepreneur is focusing on the build-out and getting all the permits secured. The exact menu will be finalized later, during what Patrizi expects to be a long soft-opening period.
“I don’t worry about the food as much,” he says of his enthusiasm for the menu creation process. “Making awesome food isn’t hard for me.”