News you can eat
Iconic Tex-Mex eatery reopens after sad shutter, plus more Austin food news
Editor's note: We get it. It can be difficult to keep up with the what’s what and who’s who of Austin food. We have you covered with our regular roundup of the freshest Austin restaurant news.
It turns out El Patio isn't closing. The iconic Tex-Mex restaurant, which closed August 9 after 65 years in business, is being resuscitated by an ownership group that includes C3 partner Charles Attal, Kristyn Ciani, Jennifer Attal-Allen, Sled Allen, and Jesse Herman. The new incarnation will open at the end of September and will retain many of the longtime employees, notes a release.
Cult Ohio-based ice cream shop Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams is opening its two shops in Austin, the brand's first-ever in Texas. The first will take over the space of shuttered jewelry store Turquoise Door at 1208 S. Congress Ave., and the second is taking over the former Raven + Lily at 11601 Rock Rose Ave., Ste. 110 in the Domain Northside. Both stores are expected to arrive sometime this winter, according to the company.
Adam Weisberg and Jay Huang, the team behind Lucky Robot, are sweetening up Rainey Street with a new food truck devoted to outrageous desserts. Waffle Bot + Freak Shakery, opening September 20, will offer nostalgic treats like the Sir Brunch-a-Lot waffle with maple glaze, bacon, strawberries, and a cream cheese drizzle and the Saturday Morning Cartoons shake featuring Fruity Pebble-infused ice cream topped with Pop-Tarts.
Snap Kitchen announced a major new partnership with Whole Foods Market September 10. The company’s ready-to-eat meals are now available in all six Austin stores and will be expanding to select stores throughout the Southwest region throughout September.
Women in Hospitality United have announced an Austin stop on October 7 for its ListenUP Tour, which will be used to build a blueprint for addressing hospitality industry issues such as gender and racial wage gaps, staff diversity, and creating safe, harassment-free workplaces. Women, nonbinary individuals, and allies can apply by September 16 to be team members for the event.
The Austin Food and Wine Alliance has released the food menu for its annual Official Drink of Austin, the September 12 event showcasing the top bartending talent in the city. Highlights include pizza bagels from Rosen’s Bagel Co.’s Tom Rosen; grilled beef tongue from Pitchfork Pretty’s Max Snyder; braised lamb tartlets with mint labneh, pickled figs, and chive from MacKenzie Viglianco of District Kitchen & Cocktails; and malted chocolate mousse shooters from Geraldine’s pastry chef Yolanda Diaz. A handful of tickets are available online for $65. Proceeds benefit the nonprofit’s culinary innovation grant program.
Speaking of delicious benefits, 5.12K Run to Brunch is sprinting into Austin on September 22. Keep Austin Weird is presenting a packed slate of activities including a 5K and 10K race; pingpong from Spin; tug-of-war; and music from Girlfriend ATX, Wesley Bray & The Disciples of Joy, and Body Rock ATX featuring DJ Chorizo Funk and Riders Against the Storm. The post-race brunch features bites from Loro, Ooga Booga Waffles, Lin Asian Bar,Comedor, and more. And a certain CultureMap food editor gets to crown the Mayor of Brunch. Registration is now open for both runs or just brunch and benefits Livestrong.
L’oca d’Oro will also be bringing the fun September 22 as the acclaimed Mueller Italian restaurant celebrates the Feast of San Gennaro in honor of the patron saint of Naples. The event will feature live music, bocce, face painting, and chef Fiore Tedesco’s takes on Italian street food like a polenta-mortadella corn dog. No reservations are necessary for the 11 am to 3 pm event.
Three mixologists will be representing Austin in the central regional finals of Bombay Sapphire Gin’s 13th annual Most Imaginative Bartender competition. Terance Robson and Nikolas Zoylinos of Here Not There and Alexis Mijares of Suerte will travel to Nashville September 16-17 to battle competitors from New Orleans; Houston; Columbus, Ohio; Chicago; and Canada.