News You Can Eat
7 things to know in Austin food right now: Johnson City uncorks new tasting room
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.
Lost Draw Cellars, part of the acclaimed William Chris Wine Co., opens a new Johnson City tasting room on Thursday, December 8, at 1686 US Highway 290. This is just phase one of a larger expansion; now the tasting room opens, and by late 2023, the rest of the 9,260-square-foot project will be complete. This is a temporarily public tasting room, which will provide a place to sample seasonal Texas-grown wines (with Antonelli cheeses) as more private and public tasting rooms are built. To celebrate, Lost Draw invites visitors to try the first wine made with estate fruit, for free. The tasting room is open all week from 10:30 am to 5 pm, except Saturdays when it is open until 6 pm.
Austin-Bergstrom International Airport is a wonderland of an airport, with amazing food options and a simple one-hour journey from drop-off to the gate. (Don’t tell the TSA I said this.) No restaurant can get me to the airport earlier, so Farmer's Fridge, out of Chicago, could be a game-changer. The vending machine is arriving at AUS this week, stocked with layered salads in jars for $10 or less. These may include items like apple pecan chicken salad, a vegetarian elote salad, or a vegan Thai noodle bowl. Check across from gate 23, between gates 1 and 11, or near the baggage claim carousels to see options.
There’s nothing like a Southern brunch, so of course Maie Day is jumping on the brunch wagon. The new Friday-through-Sunday brunch service is served from 11 am to 3 pm. (Check Maie Day’s Google sidebar for updated hours.) The brunch menu covers pastries, cold bowls, waffles, fries, and substantial mains like steak and eggs, burgers, and Little Ola’s biscuits and gravy. Lots of add-ons keep the menu customizable, but watch out for your wallet.
Other news and notes
Walden Retreats, a Johnson City glamping destination, is launching a new “Supper Club” series on January 28 with the help of Austin Thai restaurantSway. The multicourse live fire pig roast utilizes ingredients from neighboring farms for a sunset feast including charred oysters and clams, root vegetables, and a heritage pig with chili dips and local lettuce. This is a social event, and visitors are encouraged to chat with each other and Sway chef Randy Magallanez. Presale tickets ($175) available until December 10 on Eventbrite.
Mom’s home, and she’s cooking a Korean ssam-style (wrapped) omakase at Fierce Whiskers. Chef Mia Li, known in Austin for work at Lenoir and Kuneho, is sharing her take on the "food of our mothers” with wontons, whole fish, crispy pork belly, kabocha (winter squash), and kaya (custard with bread). The one-night dinner takes place during two seatings on December 11. Tickets ($115) available on Tock.
There’s no better way to celebrate a birthday than with donuts. The Salty donut shop turned three this week, and is celebrating with two limited edition flavors. The “Funfetti 'Cake Pop’” and the “Devil’s Food ‘Cake Pop’” are filled with their respective cakes, and topped with glaze. The former comes with vanilla frosting and sprinkles, and the latter comes with mascarpone whipped cream. Free delivery on the app and website is available until December 11.
One of the bright sides of being a perpetually un-white Christmas city is that the pool can stay open. The Austin Motel is inviting poolside revelers to their Winter Wanderland until December 26, featuring festive drinks at the pool bar — alcoholic and otherwise — from Thursday through Sunday, and organizing other fun programming to pass the time. That means pictures with “Hunky Santa,” holiday movies, and popup gift shops. Partners are La Colombe Coffee, Chambord, and Old Forrester.