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Cult California juice bar brightens up South Congress and more Austin food news

California juice bar brightens South Congress and more local food news

SunLife Organics
SunLife Organics is the latest restaurant to sign up to South Austin's swanky Music Lane development. Photo courtesy of SunLife Organics

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.

Like a little California with your Austin? Upcoming South Congress Avenue development Music Lane revealed in a release another round of tenants opening storefronts in spring 2020. Joining previously confirmed concept Aba from Top Chef alum CJ Jacobson will be the first local outpost of SunLife Organics, a Malibu-based juice shop specializing in superfood smoothies and açai bowls. A second location of east side ice cream shop Gelateria Gemelli is the only hometown name confirmed so far.

Gourmet hot dog chain Dog Haus is making a big leap into the Austin market. A September 24 release revealed that the company will be opening 10 location in the area at an unspecified future date. Behind the rollout will be Michael Kim, currently the president and co-owner of Spaghetti Warehouse.

A new doughnut shop is hoping to score a hole-in-one when it opens at 1601 W. 38th St. Donuts Please comes from industry vets Angel and Arianna Salinas and will offer plenty of pastry variety when it opens early 2020.

The team behind Contigo is expanding from the Live Music Capital of the World to Music City. In a September 21 Instagram post, the Austin favorite announced that it was opening Ladybird Taco in Nashville with musician and producer Gabe Scott. The new concept will start slinging breakfast tacos in February 2020.

Rosedale Kitchen & Bar, the newest addition to the Chameleon Company roster (Wu Chow, Swift’s Attic), finally launched brunch on September 22. Available Sundays from 10 am to 2 pm, the service features approachable dishes from chef Janelle Reynolds like Fruity Pebble French toast; loaded tots with cheddar, bacon, scallions, pickled aioli, and fried egg; and a classic diner-style breakfast plate.

Backspace is pressing on with a new lunch offering. On September 19, the downtown pizzeria announced it added panini to the lunch menu. The choices include chicken saltimbocca with fontina, sage, prosciutto, and aioli; Il Clasico with capocolla, mortadella, salami cotto, mozzarella, and roasted peppers; and Sicilian eggplant with provolone, pesto, and cherry tomatoes — all made on Easy Tiger bread. The sandwiches are priced at $14 and come with house chips or a side salad.

Otoko chef Yoshi Okai is commandeering the South Congress Hotel lobby bar September 30 through October 4. Though RSVPs are closed for the opening day kickoff, guests can stop by from 10 am to close throughout the week to try out Okai’s menu on the fly ... without having to wait months to nab a seat in the tiny 12-seat main restaurant.

Local oil obsessive Con’ Olio is celebrating its 10th anniversary by bringing a curated selection of products to Antonelli’s Cheese Shop in Hyde Park. For the first time ever, the company’s single varietal extra virgin olive oils and a Modena balsamic vinegar will be available on tap. Foodies can start pouring October 2.

In other birthday news, Lick Honest Ice Creams is kicking off its eighth year in business with a series of chef collaborations. First up on October 3 is an apple fritter and bay leaf flavor created by Dai Due owner Jesse Griffiths. Next slated is Stephanie McClenny of Confituras in November and Abby Love of Abby Jane in December. Details for those scoops will be announced at a later date.

Applications are open now for the Austin Food & Wine Alliance’s 2019 culinary grants. The $70,000 in available funds will go to chefs, farmers, nonprofits, and food and beverage artisans to support innovation and community giveback. Interested parties can apply here before midnight on October 15.

Local craft distillery Violet Crown Spirits is holding a cocktail contest to benefit the Lone Star Victims Advocacy Project, a nonprofit that provides free legal services to immigrant victims of abuse in rural Texas communities. Inspired by food writer and Mexico City native Claudia Alarcón, the contest will challenge both pros and amateurs to come up with a Día de los Muertos sipper using Midnight Marigold bitter cordial. The deadline for entries is October 7; the winner will be chosen at the Flor de Muertos event at Bar 508 on October 28.