6 things to know in food right now: Hard seltzer tasting room bubbles up in South Austin

6 things to know in food: Hard seltzer spot bubbles up in South Austin

Blue Norther tasting room
Embrace the "Blues" at the hard seltzer brand's new tasting room at The Yard. Courtesy of Blue Norther

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.


If you’ve been feeling blue lately, one local hard seltzer brand is here to help you get more bubbly. Austin-based Blue Norther Hard Seltzer, which recently released a new formula with fewer calories and less sugar, will celebrate the grand opening of its new South Austin tasting room and headquarters on Friday, November 5. Located at The Yard at St. Elmo, the rustic new space oozes Texas flair and includes lots of room to gather, listen to live music, and enjoy ice-cold “Blues.” The grand opening celebration will include live music from Lewis Christian, Conner Stephens, and Paul Val, as well as shopping vendors, games, tacos from Granny’s Tacos, and complimentary drinks from Blue Norther, Still Austin, Dolce Vida, and Iron Wolf. Tickets are available online. The new tasting room is located at 440 E. St. Elmo Rd., unit C-1.

Kentucky-based Italian eatery franchise Fazoli’s has opened its third location in Austin: a carryout and takeout spot in newly opened ghost kitchen Prep ATX, the largest commercial kitchen community in Texas, at 1300 E. Anderson Ln. The new Fazoli’s is the 15th location in Texas and the 214th nationally. The brand’s menu includes pasta entrees, its signature breadsticks, Submarinos sandwiches, salads, pizza, and desserts. The new Fazoli’s ghost kitchen location with pickup and delivery through third-party services is open Monday through Saturday 11 am-10 pm and Sunday noon-8 pm.

Several Austin restaurant and entertainment luminaries are getting together to pop the top on a new biergarten on the east side — with help from a German man whose family essentially started the modern-day Oktoberfest. The Austin American-Statesman reported that Koko’s Bavarian, moving into the space formerly housing Brewer’s Table, will open this month. Partners in the project include Charles Attal (co-founder of C3 Presents, which produces the Austin City Limits Music Festival and Lollapalooza), legendary Western cuisine chef Tim Love (who created the menu), Jesse Herman of La Condesa and Sway fame, and Konstantin Prinz von Bayern of Germany. Koko’s will feature 20 beers on draft, including several Bavarian-style lagers Koko’s will brew.

Other news and notes

If you’re already wondering which local gadgets should be on your holiday gift list this year, just ask Oprah. The talk show hostess with the most-est and global influencer has released her annual Oprah’s Favorite Things list, which features her must-have gifts for this holiday season, all available through Amazon. She chose Austinite Mike Bradford’s Wonderffle, a stuffed waffle iron contraption the former welding engineer devised in order to take chicken and waffles on the go. “Just plain decadent,” Oprah says of the Wonderffle. “This tool lets you make stuffed Belgian waffles. Go savory with ham and cheese, or try cinnamon-y apples.” The Wonderffle is $49 and is available at, as well as on Amazon.

One of Austin’s best-kept restaurant secrets is celebrating 17 years of serving up some of the best Italian food in the city. Andiamo, the quaint Italian eatery tucked away in an unassuming North Austin strip mall, is commemorating its 17th year with a special anniversary dinner on Tuesday, November 9. Andiamo’s chef team will prepare a four-course authentic Italian menu, and include a chef demo. The menu features scallops with fresh pea sauce; house-made chicken and ricotta ravioli; orange lobster; and anniversary cake. Trust us, you don’t want to miss this meal. Reserve your seats here.

A tasty event is cooking up in Austin this month, and there’s still time to support local restaurants while getting a bite of the action. The James Beard Foundation’s Taste America culinary series, which tours 26 cities and brings chefs and diners together to celebrate local independent restaurants, dishes out the goods on Tuesday, November 9 at Suerte. The event menu, created by Suerte’s Fermín Núñez and LeAnn Mueller of la Barbecue, has just been released, and will include an amuse bouche of Rabbit Hole Boxergrail Rye Whiskey with chef Mueller’s house-made pickle back shot with la Barbecue brisket; beef tri-tip kimchi taco (appetizer); smoked beef short rib with recado negro, black beans, and tortillas (entree); smoked cauliflower with mole rojo and almonds (alternate entree); and frozen chocolate mousse for dessert. Additionally, guests will be served a Conejo Barbudo cocktail created by Suerte bar manager Patrick Wasetis, with Rabbit Hole Cavehill Bourbon Whiskey, sweet potato, honey, lime, allspice, falernum, and bitters. Tickets for the tasting event are available here.