News You Can Eat
5 things to know in Austin food right now: Lake Travis taqueria closes up shop
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.
Lakeway street taco restaurant R19 Taqueria is closing at the end of the month. The restaurant announced the impending closure on Instagram, statng that it did not get enough business to keep up with costs. The restaurant opened just over a year ago as a revival of Reunion 19 — the East Austin taqueria that was opened by four Los Angeles chefs just prior to the pandemic (it shuttered in 2022). R19 is located at 2422 Ranch Road 620 S A-120 in Lakeway, and fans are encouraged to stop by to connect over tacos and burritos until the official closure. The taqueria has reduced hours to accommodate fewer staff: 9 am to 7 pm.
Other news and notes
Believe it or not, panettone has range. There's a special place in our hearts for all boxed cakes with ribbon handles, but Houston chef Roy Shvartzapel has elevated the Italian fruitcake game. Now he's taking his famous creation to Austin in a collaboration with the unstoppable pastry chef Susana Querejazu of the Commodore Perry Estate. The next-level panettone includes caramel, banana, and Texas pecan — and it costs $125. Great press and lots of word-of-mouth says it's worth a try. Email firstname.lastname@example.org to order.
There's nothing like a labor-intensive hotel desert, and Watertrade just committed to the bit with its Baked Hokkaido, made in collaboration with extravagant ice cream maker Bésame. Like a baked Alaska, it's blanketed in a toasted meringue, this time containing blueberry mochi cake, tea-infused coconut ice cream, yuzu curd, and an earthy buckwheat and white miso crumble. The cherry on top is actually a small glass of private label sake, crisp and light. Served now until December 17.
The only thing that isn't awesome about brunch is that you're usually expected to get dressed for it. This is not the case at "Santa's Pajama Party," a Saturday, December 17 brunch at the Stephen F. Austin Royal Sonesta. Adults and children are invited to show up in their pajamas for hot chocolate, bottomless mimosas, and holiday cookie decorating. The hotel will also be collecting donations for Toys for Tots Austin. Brunch is from 11 am to 1 pm. Tickets ($71 for adults, $40 for kids over 3) available on Eventbrite.
'Tis the season of dairy in your cocktail, and Z'Tejas is serving up a Southwestern twist on a classic eggnog. Called the "mi abuelita eggnog," these creamy drinks feature rum and spices based on a recipe passed down by the chef's grandmother, and will be available for a short, very Christmas-centric window from December 20-31. The $14 drinks will be served at both Austin locations.