feelin' the love
Texas celebrity chef debuts new Tex-Mex 'ghost kitchen' in Austin
Always on trend, Texas celebrity chef Tim Love has launched a new "ghost restaurant" concept dedicated to Mexican food.
Called Burritos, Fajitas and 'Ritas, it'll be in step with the hot ghost kitchen trend right now in which restaurants are doing takeout and delivery only, with no dining rooms.
"It was time for us to get into delivery," Love says. "So many people aren't dining out right now. This is a great way for them to keep enjoying our food and a great way for us to keep doing what we do best."
The concept lives up to its name, offering these three important food groups:
- fajitas, in three varieties, including a veggie option
- burritos stuffed with choice of nearly a dozen ingredients
Love says he's stressing the quality of the food over the quantity.
"It's a small menu but the quality sets us apart," he says. "We use fresh flour tortillas for both the fajitas and burritos. We use prime outside skirt steak and my own rub for the beef. We use all organic chicken and our own poultry rub. And our vegetable fajitas are made with squash from the Gemelle garden. And we do an amazing creamy jalapeño salsa that is dairy-free."
For dessert there are warm chocolate chip and snickerdoodle cookies, plus "boozy" popsicles.
Love launched the concept in Austin on July 21, along with Fort Worth, Houston, and Denton. In Austin, the meals may be picked up at the chef's Lonesome Dove restaurant at 419 Colorado St., where the food will also be prepared.
"We’re doing this in every city where we have a restaurant," Love says. "We've put in secondary kitchens to cook the meals and restaurant employees will make the deliveries."
A fifth location in Knoxville, Tennessee, will launch later in July, out of that city's location of Lonesome Dove.
Place your order online, for pick-up or delivery only, from 11:30 am-7:30 pm Tuesday-Saturday. For delivery, there's a $5 fee and a $40 minimum for each order (there's no minimum for takeout). Deliveries will be available to those within a five-mile radius of each restaurant. That radius may expand, Love says.
"If this takes off and there's a big demand for it, we'll definitely take another look at the delivery radius," he says. "But right now, with a small staff, I want to start out small and make it as easy on my team as I can for deliveries."
Love says the concept grew out Bring Love Home, a family meal initiative he started in the spring after his restaurants closed due to COVID-19.
"When the restaurants reopened in May, we thought things were getting better," he says. "But now that we're back to 50 percent capacity, I knew we had to come up with another plan. When we were doing Bring Love Home, the meals with the fajitas and chile rellenos always went first, so I knew we wanted to apply that toward a new concept."