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Tacos and Tex-Mex heat up this round of Austin restaurant news
UPDATE: This story has been updated to reflect the delayed opening date of Cyclone Anaya's Tex-Mex Cantina.
With chef shuffles, new openings, and a constant stream of special events, the Austin restaurant scene never sleeps. But for those who need a little shuteye, it can be difficult keeping up with the latest industry news. Don’t worry, we have you covered with six things you need to know about Austin food right now.
Chameleon Group, the folks behind Swift's Attic, Wu Chow, and the upcoming Guild, has hired Kyle McKinney as their new pastry chef. The mohawked chef, most recently attached to failed Lamar Union grocereraunt Delicious, will bring in some new desserts very much in the spirit of the playful hospitality group including the “Costanza” at Swift’s Attic — a take on the Snickers bar and the “Plumside Down Cake” — a dessert for Wu Chow that marries Chinese ingredients with the classic American upside down cake.
Burnet Road Eats, the monthly promotion for the neighborhood’s burgeoning restaurant row, has brought even more eateries into the fold. Barley Swine, Citizen Eatery, and Taco Flats have joined previous participants Andiamo Ristorante, Bonhomie, Bufalina, and The Peached Tortilla in offering a drink and a snack for $10 during the monthly event. We’ll have our eyes on Andiamo’s slider paired with a glass of Sangiovese when the festivities return on October 4.
Like bats drawn to the Congress Avenue Bridge, food TV continues to flock to Austin to look for talent. This week the Travel Channel’s Food Paradise stopped by The Local Post to try their 10-pound can of nachos. And on Monday, former Green Pastures and current Dobie Twenty21 Student Spaces chef Cliff Butler made it through to the next round of the Food Network’s Halloween Baking Championship.
The first Austin location of Houston favorite Cyclone Anaya's Tex-Mex Cantina was set to be open September 30 in Domain Northside, but it has been delayed a few days. In the meantime, the restaurant is gearing up for a soft opening week that will benefit the Rebuild Texas Fund's hurricane relief efforts. Once open, don't expect the transplant to be a carbon copy of the chain’s previous outposts. Owner Rico Valencia says the restaurant will be farm-to-table, bringing in locally sourced ingredients.
Veracruz All-Natural opened its second brick-and-mortar (the first in Austin city limits) this week, featuring an expanded menu with new tacos, enchiladas, and chilaquiles. The bright space has an industrial feel with bare Edison bulbs, reclaimed wood, and a corrugated metal ceiling. A separate coffee counter is operated by former Mueller trailer Machine Head Coffee.
Aisling Gammill, a bartender at East Sixth Street mainstay Whisler’s, rose to the top of a crowded field of bartenders competing in the Monkey Shoulder Scotch Ultimate Bartender Championship held at Nickel City on September 26. Gammill won a trip to Edinburgh, Scotland for the 2018 Tales on Tour cocktail festival.