Though we do our best to bring readers news of every restaurant opening, a few sometimes fly under the radar. This month, we are traveling about to discover Austin’s newest hidden treasures. While these recently opened restaurants and trucks may not have the hype of splashier downtown Austin concepts, they deserve mad props for keeping every corner of the Capital City (and beyond) delicious.
Anything’s Baked Potato
This traveling food truck hit the road in late August with a menu devoted to pure comfort. True to its name, the concept will throw almost anything on its giant taters. Try chicken fried chicken with collard greens, corn shredded cheese, and white gravy on a Russet or the unexpected combination of brown sugar-glazed salmon, asparagus, and tangy Thai chili sauce on a sweet potato. The rest of the menu is a spud-tacular journey through the world’s favorite cuisines.
Brooklyn Breakfast Shop
Located in the Yard development at 440 E. St Elmo Rd., this September newcomer from former Peached Tortilla chef Ryan Rosen reflects Austin’s current appetite for Big Apple breakfasts (see: the upcoming Wham Bam trailer). In addition to offering de rigueur bagel sandwiches, the chef takes inspiration from New York’s cross-cultural mix. There’s always something new to try on the ever-changing menu, from eggy burgers flavored with Ethiopian berbere spice to flaky Southern-style biscuits.
When Cluck-n-Burger owners Kassandra and Aaron Esserman took over Turntable Eatery in July, they got straight to work making sure the Airport Boulevard concept was open by September. They’ve been on a roll ever since, with chef-driven takes on fast casual fare like Buffalo chicken sandwiches, smothered burgers, and Southwest Caesar salads. Still, this isn’t just a spot for a quick meal on the go. Name another quick-service spot that is offering a brunoise watermelon Caprese salad or charcuterie and cheese boards.
East Social House
Hutto may not be the budding “hipster suburb” like neighbor Leander, but don’t tell that to this swanky coffee shop. Opened in late August, it has a chic interior that rivals city slicker shops like The Line Austin’s Alfred or downtown’s Intelligentsia. The food is up to par with those big name, too, with snacks like house-made hummus with sunflower seeds, a meaty Cuban sandwich, and avocado toast, naturally.
Austin’s Mexican street food renaissance continued in October with the debut of this trailer at the Barn Bar and Food Court on Brodie Lane. In addition to serving bistec and al pastor mini tacos, this tiny operation pulls out all the stops with an alambre plate with fajita, sausage, bacon, and grilled onions and bell peppers topped with avocado and cheese. The charro beans, often an afterthought in town, are positively drool-worthy.
Sushi Junai Omakase
With barely a pop of a Champagne cork, this sleek Japanese restaurant arrived on Congress Avenue in October. Though the name will be familiar to Austin sushi fans, the restaurant is a far cry from the other two eateries bearing the Sushi Junai name. The former Counter Three. 5. VII space has been warmed up with pale woods and tufted banquettes. And both the lunch and dinner omakase are a testament to the minimalistic elegance of Japanese cuisine.