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.
Eating healthily and still enjoying yourself? Yes, it’s now actually possible in the heart of downtown Austin. The Well, Nova Hospitality’s new concept, has opened a new dining room offering a full dinner menu and a “better-for-you” beverage program. Located in Austin’s Second Street District, The Well features a menu that comes courtesy of the dynamic culinary duo of chef Jon Oh and nutrition consultant Liv Langdon. Highlights include main dishes like seared sea bass, Texas wagyu steak, and half chicken tagine with tomato sofrito and eggplant. For drinks, guests can expect unique offerings like Majik Matcha (mezcal, Blue Majik spirulina, matcha tea, and raw organic honey) and a keto Old-Fashioned featuring bone broth fat, washed bourbon, and medjool dates. The Well dining room is open for reservations and walk-ins Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Sunday from 4:30-9 pm, and Friday and Saturday from 4:30-10 pm. Happy hour runs Tuesday through Friday from 4:30-6 pm and includes half-off deals on all alcoholic beverages and wines by the bottle.
There’s more than just great beer brewing at one of the city’s favorite carb-centric hangout spots, Batch Craft Beer & Kolaches. Now open at the east side hang’s popular beer garden is a new food truck lead by chefs Carrie Legner and Laura Connolly, a duo previously known for their elevated in-home catering service, Food for Thought. Via their new food truck concept, Envie, the pair will serve up an eclectic fusion of Mexican and Cajun fare designed to please any palate. Offerings include mulitas, crispy corn tortillas stuffed with melty Monterey cheese; Blue Bossa, buttermilk fried local green tomatoes in crispy Barton Springs Mill blue cornmeal; and Cajun elotes, grilled corn topped with remoulade and cotija cheese — all of which are designed to pair with Batch’s wide variety of beer offerings. Envie is open daily from 4-10 pm, and is located at 3220 Manor Road, in Batch’s outdoor beer garden.
Dripping Springs: a bucolic stretch of Texas Hill Country that is home to some of the state’s best wine, ales, and — burritos? Yep, Freebirds World Burrito has finally arrived in Dripping. The brand-new burrito-and-bowl-slinging location is slated to open this winter at the Shops at Ledge Stone. Though no official opening date has been announced, Freebirds will hold a public grand opening celebration with free samples and special promotions on a date to be announced soon. In preparation of slinging meaty burritos, tacos, and gallons of golden queso, Freebirds is looking to hire more than 40 employees at the new Dripping Springs restaurant. For more information, visit Freebirds.com/careers.
Other news and notes
After more than a decade of building up one of the state’s most impactful culinary nonprofits, the head of the Austin-based Texas Food & Wine Alliance is moving on. TFWA announced August 6 that founding executive director Mariam Parker will transition out of her role and relocate to Chicago this fall. Gina Burchenal, a founding member of the alliance and past board president, will serve as the interim executive director until a successor can be found, according to the organization. In addition to Parker’s departure, TFWA has named two new members of the board of directors: John Carbajal of San Antonio and Paula Rester Salinas of Fredericksburg, who previously worked as a sommelier at Uchi, Vino Vino, and the La Corsha Hospitality Group.
Your prayers to the pepperoni gods have been answered, pizza fans. Now, thanks to Detroit-style pizza shop Jet’s Pizza, cheesy, meaty pies are just a text away. The company recently introduced its text-to-order program and is offering 20 percent off menu-priced pizzas to customers who order via text message to any of the three Austin locations. Using the same local number customers would call to place an order, they can text their order, choose pickup or delivery, provide payment information, and ask basic questions. Jet’s specialties include the meat-tastic Jet 10 pizza and the BBQ chicken pizza. Get more info about the new text-to-order program and offer on the Jet’s website.
Get ready, veg heads. Hopdoddy Burger Bar, one of Austin’s favorite spots for a great burger and fries, is going where it never has before: Beyond Meat. As of this month, all Hopdoddy locations are shifting to the Beyond Burger as their exclusive plant-based burger offering and marking the occasion with the August Burger of the Month — Beyond a Reuben —a Beyond Burger patty topped with pastrami-spiced mushrooms, Gruyere cheese, Dijon mustard, sauerkraut, pickles, and Russian dressing on a fresh-baked caraway-seeded bun. With this launch, Hopdoddy becomes one of the first restaurant groups to offer the new meatier and juicier Beyond Burger, the latest iteration of the popular Beyond Burger. As part of the new partnership, Hopdoddy is taking over Beyond Meat food trucks in Dallas, Los Angeles, and other cities across the country to give Beyond Burgers a Hopdoddy twist. Dates, times, and locations will be shared in the coming months via Hopdoddy’s social media pages: Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.