News you can eat

5 things to know in Austin food right now: Fried chicken restaurant hatches on Burnet Road

5 things to know in Austin food: New restaurant hatches on Burnet Road

Happy Chicks chicken sandwich
Downtown's Happy Chicks is adding a new North Austin location. Happy Chicks/Facebook

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

In all the holiday hullabaloo, a few new restaurants slipped past our radar. First up is The Rice Ball Co., a fast casual eatery focusing on onigiri, hand-packed rice filled with a variety of ingredients and wrapped in seaweed. The eatery officially debuted November 20 at 6929 Airport Blvd., the home of ever-growing dining destination The Crescent.

A few weeks later on December 9, another location of Happy Chicks hatched at 6425 Burnet Rd. The outpost is the third shop for the chicken finger concept founded by former Bikinis impresario Doug Guller.

Lastly St. Louis-based pizzeria ‘Zza Pizza + Salad opened December 15 at 5511 State Hwy 71 in Bee Cave. The spot carries oblong pies with a variety of toppings including mainstays like sausage, pepperoni, and mozzarella and less common ingredients like Spam, kale, and spicy Thai-style peanut sauce.

A new Kerbey Lane Cafe location at 1806 W. Braker Ln. seems to finally be getting off the ground. Although the beloved Austin chain secured the lease in 2014, shifting company priorities and a long permitting process have delayed the project for years. However, a new filing with the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation projects that the buildout will be completed in early October 2020.The exact opening date is still unclear. CultureMap has reached out for further information.

Other news and notes

Lucky Robot Japanese Kitchen chef Jay Huang has once again proven his sustainability bonafides by winning the Reverence Gold Rush cooking competition, a nationwide contest highlighting responsibly harvested seafood. Huang won a three-day trip to Idaho and bragging rights for his Mountain Sunrise dish featuring grilled rainbow trout, crispy skin tuile, sunchoke chips, garden radishes, and arugula.