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6 things to know in local food right now: Hot pizza pop-up permanently parks in West Austin
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.
One of the city’s hottest pizza pop-ups has moved to West Austin, this time for good. Sammataro, the food truck brainchild of hospitality veteran Issac Flores, officially opened on December 11. Paying homage to the team’s favorite New York pizza joints, the operation's 48-hour fermented dough yields a thin, chewy crust, which is then coated with Bianco Di Napoli tomatoes and topped with generous gratings of gouda and whole fresh basil leaves. Alongside the all-natural pepperoni utilized in the operation’s fall pop-ups (that menu included just cheese and pepperoni pie options), the truck’s Lost Creek location now offers such toppings as Calabrian chilies, Italian olives, Spanish anchovies, Smallhold mushrooms, and local shallots. Sammataro is open Wednesday through Saturday, 3 pm to 9 pm at 1158 Lost Creek Blvd. Pies can be pre-ordered online at www.sammataro.pizza as well as in-person on a first-come, first-serve basis.
Cult-favorite salad chain Sweetgreen will continue its steady expansion into Austin with a forthcoming location at the drag near the University of Texas campus. The health-focused eatery, located at 2234 Guadalupe St., will mark the Los Angeles-based chain’s second Capital City location. Like its predecessor, which opened this summer on South Congress, Sweetgreen’s sophomore Austin operation will offer a core menu of salads, warm bowls, and plates when it officially opens on Monday, December 21.
Hot on the heels of opening a Round Rock location this past September, Tony C’s Pizza & Beer Garden will debut its second area location on Thursday, December 17. Located in Allandale, at 2900 W. Anderson Ln., the new operation features an expansive, 4,000-square-foot space with long beer garden-style tables to accommodate groups. On tap are 25 local craft beers as well as wines served by the glass or carafe. Offered for eats will be such coal-fired pizza varieties as traditional margherita and the Mama Mia (pepperoni and Italian sausage), plus more adventurous pies like the Truffle Shuffle (fresh mozzarella, gorgonzola, fontina, mushroom, and truffle oil). Tony C’s Pizza & Beer Garden will be open for dine-in and takeout service Sunday through Thursday, 11 am - 9 pm and Friday through Saturday, 11 am - 10 pm.
Other news and notes
Uncomfortable holiday question: Are gingerbread people’s bodies made of the house, or is a gingerbread house actually built with cookie-person skin? Ugh, we need a drink to solve this one. Thankfully, Vinaigrette’s popular booze-fueled gingerbread house making event, GingerBooze, is returning in to-go form for 2020. The $45 GingerBooze kits feature everything architects need to construct their gingerbread house at home, including candy decorations from South Congress sweet store Big Top Candy Shop and two jars of house-made booze (choose between mulled cider with bourbon or Vinaigrette’s famously potent eggnog). For customers simply looking to decorate (or party), individual gingerbread house kits and “Hold the House” cocktail packages are available for $20 and $25, respectively. All kit pre-orders must be placed online by 5 pm. on Thursday, December 17, for in-person pick up Saturday, December 19. Additionally, kit delivery options are available for orders placed within three miles of Vinaigrette's location at 2201 College Ave.
To celebrate its unique new line of wine-beer hybrid ales, or Oenobeers, Driftwood-based destination brewery Vista Brewing is hosting an exclusive online tasting. Scheduled for Thursday, December 17, the virtual event will be led by the operation’s brewmaster Pat Korn, who will lead participants through tasting notes, barrel-aging basics, and this unique ale style’s two-year-long development process. Each $60 tasting kids includes access to the virtual session, plus a package of the three Oenobeers. For those who unable to attend the tasting, the bottle set is available for $45. Tasting kits can be pre-ordered at the virtual celebration’s Eventbrite page and picked up during regular business hours before December 17 at Vista's Driftwood brewery at 13551 Ranch to Market Rd. or the operation’s Hill Country Galleria tasting room at 12700 Hill Country Blvd.
Austin's famed father-son chef team is sharing their secrets for culinary success. Home cooks can catch Jack Allen’s Kitchen co-owner and executive chef Jack Gilmore and his son, Odd Duck and BarleySwine chef Bryce Gilmore, on Tuesday, December 15 from 5 pm - 6:30 pm, where the two will offer free bites and brews, swap family stories, and sign copies of their respective cookbooks, Celebrating the Tastes of Texas and the newly released 2021 Odd Duck Almanac. Both books will be available for purchase onsite for $25 each. The event will take place at Jack Allen’s Kitchen at 2010 W. Anderson Ln. and is free to the public, though cookbook purchase is encouraged.