5 things to know in local food right now: New beer garden saddles up in East Austin

5 things to know in food: New beer garden saddles up in East Austin

Saddle Up
Saddle up to the new neighborhood beer bar at Micklethwait when it opens next week. Courtesy of Micklethwait Craft Meats

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.


As any good Texan knows, nothing pairs better with barbecue than an ice-cold beer. Luckily, the good folks at Micklethwait Craft Meats are making it easier for Austin barbecue devotees to nosh and raise a glass of the good stuff, all in one charming east side spot. The meat masters are expanding the Micklethwait footprint with the addition of Saddle Up, an indoor/outdoor neighborhood beer garden and gathering spot that takes its inspiration from traditional Texas icehouses. Located next to the Micklethwait food trailer at 1309 Rosewood Ave., Saddle Up includes 10,000 square feet of shaded outdoor seating and a walk-up service window, making it easy as pie to grab a cold brew (or some wine) and lip-smacking craft barbecue. It also features a cozy indoor retail space selling all the best cured meats as well as grab-and-go sandwiches, house-made soft serve, and baked treats from the Micklethwait team. Saddle Up will also serve locally roasted coffee and espresso drinks and offer rotating frozen drink specials. Though a grand opening celebration isn’t scheduled until December, the bar will open Thursday, November 18. Hours of operation will be Thursday through Sunday 10 am-10 pm. Giddy up!

We’re not ones to preach much, but there’s something inherently miraculous about what’s brewing at the space that housed venerated Austin establishment I Luv Video, which crushed the souls of many a longtime Austinite when it closed in late 2020. But the cool factor will be resurrected at the 4803 Airport Blvd. spot when groovy east side beer and taco biz Lazarus Brewing Company moves in. According to Eater Austin, Lazarus will open in the former I Luv Video location in June 2022, and will feature indoor and outdoor seating, a heftier menu than its sister location, and will brew beer onsite. Follow Lazarus Brewing on Instagram for updates.

Other news and notes

If your spirits are low lately, here’s something to raise a glass to: On Sunday, November 14, adored Mexican eatery Suerte will team up with fellow East Austin joint LoLo Wine for a pop-up event featuring a mariscos menu and wine takeover. Things get kicked off at Suerte, at 1800 E. Sixth St., from 11 am-4 pm, with bites influenced by coastal Mexico, like seafood platters, ceviche, and fish tacos, alongside wine pairings. The festivities then move on to LoLo, at 1504 E. Sixth St., for an after-party from 4-11 pm that will include chef Fermín Nuñez’s cochinita pibil tacos and a live DJ set from Clemente Castillo. Reservations for the Suerte portion of the pop-up are available from 11 am-3 pm and can be made here. Reservations are not required for the LoLo after-party, though it is first come, first served, so plan your party night accordingly.

In news that’s most decidedly unsweet for local dessert fanatics, one of Austin’s most celebrated pastry chefs is moving on to new things. According to the Austin American-Statesman, Laura Sawicki, known for her crave-worthy sweet treats (oh, birthday cake ice cream sammie, how we love thee), will exit her executive pastry chef role at Launderette and Fresa’s after an eight-year tenure at the end of this year. Dessert lovers can blame yet another loss on the dang pandemic, as Sawicki tells the Statesman that some self-reflection during this time led her to make the decision to move on to other things. “It was a painfully difficult decision to make, and one I did not take lightly,” Sawicki said. “I’m excited to spend the new year focusing my energy on the future.”

Getting a jump on your holiday shopping? Here’s a tasty Texas treat to consider: Abbey Road (yep, that’s really her name), the tireless proprietor of legendary honky-tonk Coupland Dance Hall — and one heck of a pitmaster — has spent her pandemic downtime creating delicious smoke-cured meat jerky and Bootstrap “Strong” Coffee. The jerky is available in rib-eye and pork loin versions and is crafted by Road with a house-made dry rub she applies to the meat. She then smokes it low and slow over a mesquite fire, a la tender barbecue. Both the jerky and Road’s kick-ya-in-the-booty coffee beans, roasted in Austin, are available online through the Coupland Dance Hall website. Or make the short trip up to Coupland, which we highly recommend, and enjoy some bites, sips, and boot-scootin’ music at the dance hall. And if you have too much fun to drive home, no worries, just book a room at the onsite and charming-as-all-get-out Coupland “brothel” B&B.