News You Can Eat
6 things to know in Austin food right now: Korean fried chicken chain takes flight
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.
Korean-based restaurant chain BB.Q Chicken debuted its first Austin location on Monday, August 17, further cementing the city’s status as a destination for solid, traditionally twice-fried Korean chicken. Joining the likes of such operations as Seoul-Ju and Spicy Boys, BB.Q Chicken is open for takeout and curbside service exclusively at 6929 Airport Blvd. Its menu includes such flavorful rubs and sauces as original golden olive, soy garlic, and secret spicy — which are available in bone-in, boneless, and wing combo deals — as well as a variety of sides like sweet potato fries, corn salad, and Ddeok Bokki (spicy Korean rice cake). BB.Q Chicken’s hours are currently 11 am-10:30 pm daily. To-go orders can be placed by calling 512-344-9014. The full menu can be viewed here.
Daijoubu — a pop-up cocktail operation from Caer Maiko, CultureMap's 2019 Bartender of the Year — has announced plans for an ambitious new Asian market in Austin’s east side. Looking for a way to support the city’s Asian-American community in the time of coronavirus, Maiko and business partner Sharon Yeung settled on a market-style pop-up concept from which to serve their inspired craft libations. Collaborating with Maiko and Yeung are several Asian-owned operations, including the Indian bakery 33 Tigers, pop-up event operation Gan Bei Gals, and Asahi Import’s Onigiri Corner. Daijoubu's pop-up will take over the former Last Straw space at 1914 E. Sixth St. and will run Thursdays through Saturdays from August 20-September 20. Daijubu’s rotating menu of food and cocktails will be available for to-go orders only, and can be placed online for pickup between 4-8 pm at www.daijoubupopup.com.
Other news and notes
Via new additions to its menu and dining space, Plaza Colombian Coffee is bringing South American flavors to South Austin. The upgraded menu includes its staple arepas and empanadas, as well as newly introduced tiki cocktails featuring a variety of rum and mezcal. Plaza Colombian is also partnering with Easy Tiger Bake Shop and Hudson Meat Market to serve Colombian street dogs — a staple of Bogota's dining scene — at its new onsite hotdog stand. Also expanded is Plaza Colombia’s 2,000-square-foot outdoor patio, featuring such new additions as art installations, umbrellas, and an outdoor stage to spotlight Austin’s Latin musicians. Plaza Colombian’s indoor dining space is currently closed, and all guests are required to wear masks when ordering, moving through the outdoor spaces, and using restrooms. Plaza Colombian is open Monday-Wednesday from 7:30 am-8 pm, Thursday-Saturday from 7:30-midnight, and Sunday from 9 am-8 pm.
Austin’s premier Israeli street food eatery is celebrating its recent return to downtown food hall Fareground with perhaps the city’s largest Salatim menu. TLV’s revamped a la carte offerings feature 18 different traditional Israeli Salatim (salad and spread) options, including hummus, baba ghanoush, cumin beets, fire-roasted eggplant, and more — all of which can be ordered for a quick snack or combined for a filling meal. TLV is open Tuesday-Saturday from 11 am-9 pm for curbside pickup and third-party delivery.
On August 15, South Austin’s St. Elmo Brewing Co. announced that its outstanding flagship brew, Carl Koslch, will finally be hitting store shelves. A staple of local taprooms and bars, Carl’s crushable body and moderate ABV has, until now, only available to-go in crowlers and tallboys exclusively at the taproom. The beer's wide release sees Carl take on a new format: 12 oz. can six-packs with a snazzy retro label design courtesy of Austin artist/designer Keith Young. Eager craft beer nerds can snag the new release from Easy Tiger on Linc, WhichCraft Taproom and Bottleshop, and, of course, from St. Elmo’s Taproom. A full guide on where to find Carl can be found on the brewery’s social media pages.
One longtime Austinite is working to keep an iconic Southside pizzeria from closing permanently. The second of two remaining Conan’s Pizza locations — a family-owned chain often voted the city’s best slice — was set to close in early October, until Jeremy Shirk stepped in. “I have reached a deal with Scott [Leist], the owner of Conan's Pizza South, to buy the restaurant, carry the Conan’s name, and keep it running with no loss of jobs and no disruption of business,” reads Shirk’s statement on a recently established GoFundMe page. The fund has currently raised $4,000 of its $25,000 goal. Interested parties can learn more about Shirks’ effort and donate here.