News you can eat
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. But we have you covered with our weekly roundup of the freshest Austin restaurant news.
Today is the last day of business for longtime Austin-Bergstrom International Airport restaurant Wok & Roll, but it is not bowing out without some controversy. Owner Iris Ren blamed “systematic discrimination and unfair treatment” for the closure in an emailed statement to the Austin American-Statesman, but airport representatives said the decision was the result of several years of problems with Ren, including a failed second kiosk near Gate 13. Although Ren claims that the business is not profitable, she will still be running the airport’s SoCo Market under a separate lease.
Veteran La Corsha Hopitality Group chef Jason Stude has a whole new gig at the company: regional executive chef. While he will continue as executive chef at Seaholm’s Boiler Nine Bar + Grill, he now will also oversee culinary operations for the downtown Second Bar + Kitchen and the as-yet unnamed concept in the upcoming East Austin Hotel.
In other chef shuffles, chef Adam Brick has left Apis Restaurant & Apiary and Pizzeria Sorellina, where his obsessive approach to cuisine helped make both Spicewood restaurants culinary destinations. Brick says he will be opening a new project in the Austin city core, although the concept, name, and location have not been announced.
Applications are now open for Austin Food & Wine Alliance’s annual grant program. This year the organization has $50,000 to give away to businesses and nonprofits that are fostering culinary innovation and community giveback in Central Texas. Over the last six years, the local food boosters have awarded more than $190,000 to a who’s who of culinary Austin including Confituras, Miche Bread, SRSLY Chocolate, Salt & Time Butcher Shop & Salumeria, and Argus Cidery. This year, the organization is introducing the Gina Burchenal Grant, earmarked for women-owned business, and the Whole Foods Market Grant, awarded to artisan businesses focusing on fresh/organic product. The Alliance will also continue awarding the Premiere Events Community Grant for educationally-focused projects.
In a sign that God not only exists but is also on the fence about low carb diets, Unit-D Pizzeria is now open for lunch on weekends from 11:30 am-2:30 pm. The new counter service will focus on sandwiches from chef George Thomas like a seasonal vegetarian option on seeded wheat or mortadella and chicken liver mousse on a toasted brown butter croissant. And because no one should go unprepared for a weekend jaunt to Ikea, the Manor Road eatery will also be offering weekend libations like mimosas and beer shandies.
In yet another divine sign, Clarksville classic Cafe Josie is launching an all-you-can-eat $25 brunch service starting November 12. Blow all your plans for a productive Sunday with buttermilk pancakes, shrimp and grits, and peach pear cobbler. The restaurant will also be adding a new happy hour starting at 4 pm and a la carte dishes to their all-you-can-eat dinner service.
On Thursday, October 26, artisan chocolate wizard Chocolaterie Tessa is launching a holiday pop-up in the Domain Northside with a party from 5-7 pm. The first hundred guests will receive a goodie while the fashionably late will have to console themselves with red wine hot chocolate. The pop-up, hosted at 3211 Palm Way, Ste. 168, will last until December 31.
There is still some time to bid on a 10-course meal for 12 at Uchi, Uchiko, or Uchi Dallas to help the Greater Houston Community Foundation’s Harvey relief efforts. Gastronomes interested in attending the November meals should be prepared to cash in their change at CoinStar — the bidding price for each meal starts at $4,000.
October is getting spooky with a frightful series of events geared towards basic witches and all their ghoulfriends.
- Chef Gabe Erales of the upcoming Dai Due Taqueria and Noma Mexico will be collaborating with the Holy Roller team for The Conjuring, a seated pairing dinner on October 30 that promises weird and whimsical delights. The event will be followed by an after party.
- Eden East is holding a Halloween dinner at Springdale Farm on October 28 from 7-11 pm featuring a collaboration between chef Sonya Coté and "The Herbal Chef," Chris Sayegh.
- Lala’s will be shifting holiday gears for a Zombie Christmas party on October 28 with spooky cocktails and a costume contest.
- Craftsman is holding a Bloody Good Beer Fest on October 28 to benefit We are Blood. The stellar lineup of beers and a pig roast isn’t really that scary, but you can probably change that by dressing as sexy Mike Pence.
- After those two happenings, the only thing to do is drag yourself out of bed for some hair of the dog. Stella San Jac makes that easy with a Walk of No Shame Brunch on October 29 from 7 am-3 pm where guests are encouraged to wear makeup and costumes from the night before. A quick swipe of deodorant would be appreciated, however.
- If you can’t wait until the weekend to wear your David S. Pumpkins gear, we’re sure no one will mind if you show up to Wednesday night's Batchtoberfest at Batch Craft Beer & Kolaches with a couple of dancing skeletons. Expect plenty of Live Oak beer, bratwurst, and sauerkraut kolache to get you in the dancing spirit.
- And if you just want to avoid the army of Wonder Women and Pennywises sure to be puking in downtown alleyways, get refined with a cheese and coffee pairing at the Congress Avenue Houndstooth Coffee. A complete menu of four tastings is available for $45 on October 28 from 10 am-4 pm, or you can order separate pairings from $10-15.