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8 things to know in Austin food right now: Backspace squeezes into new Crestview location

8 things to know in Austin food now: Backspace adds Crestview location

The Backspace
Favorite pizza spot Backspace is opening a second location. Courtesy of The Backspace

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.

Openings and closings

Hot off the November 23 opening of a second Parkside location at the Austin-Bergstrom International Airport, restaurateur Shawn Cirkiel of Parkside Projects is expanding another one of his popular concepts. A rep confirms a new Backspace will open at 1745 W. Anderson Ln. #6 sometime in spring 2020. There’s no word if the menu will be the same as the original downtown outpost (or if the space will be as small).

The Crescent shopping center at 6929 Airport Blvd., already home to Kula Revolving Sushi Bar, 99 Ranch Market, and the upcoming Steamies Dumplings brick-and-mortar, is gaining yet another new restaurant. According to a filing with the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation, KBBQ is set to begin a buildout in January 2020 with an estimated late August completion date. It’s not yet clear what sort of cuisine it will serve (the name is far from Google-friendly), but KBBQ is a common abbreviation for Korean barbecue.

After making a major expansion in 2019 with stores in Houston and San Antonio, Texas chain Sweet Paris Crêperie & Café seems set to open its first Austin store. A beer and wine permit application teases a location at 11410 Century Oaks Terrace, Ste. C08A in The Domain. A request for further information was not returned at press time.

The planned Donuts Please shop at 1601 W. 38th St. is no longer happening. In a Facebook message posted November 21, the owners said that they were faced with a legal battle and could no longer carry on with the debut.

Other news and notes

Online restaurant reservation platform Resy is giving Austin an early holiday gift. Off Menu Week, running from December 9-15, asks celebrated local chefs to create brand-new dishes or menus to give diners an insight into the culinary creative process. This year, the brand attracted some heavy hitters including Barley Swine, Carpenters Hall, Kemuri Tatsu-Ya, Lenoir, Odd Duck, Old Thousand, Pitchfork Pretty, Salt & Time, She’s Not Here, Suerte, and Vixen’s Wedding.

Barley Swine/Odd Duck chef Bryce Gilmore will also be kept busy with the release of his first cookbook project, The Odd Duck Almanac on December 9. The book, edited by local food writer Veronica Meewes, features recipes, farmer profiles, and behind-the-scenes insights. A December 9 release party will also serve as the eatery’s annual Trailer Throwback Anniversary Party in honor of its food truck roots.

Stiles Switch BBQ is firing up another edition of its annual 12 Days of Smoked Meats promotion starting December 10. Each day features another creative take on barbecue, some made in collaboration with top local chefs. Highlights include a smoked sausage, brisket, and chicken gumbo made with Lenoir’s Todd Duplechan, a pulled pork torta made in in collaboration with Comedor’s Philip Speer, and biscuit sandwiches from both Callie Speer of Holy Roller and Michael Fojtasek of Olamaie.

Speaking of holiday traditions, Walton’s Fancy and Staple has announced its first take-home tamale day. Executive chef Andrea Juarez will be making three different varieties: green chile chicken, pork chile Colorado, and refried beans with queso fresco and jalapeño. Orders must be placed by December 16 and picked up on December 23.