News You Can Eat
7 things to know in Austin food: Elementary, a "casual fine dining" concept, is reeducating Austin foodies
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.
Any city's food scene can get a little stuffy, so we're looking forward to Elementary and Hopscotch reviving our child-like sense of wonder on July 28. The restaurant and its accompanying bar are named and styled for their "curiosity, constant education, and fun," promising global influences and local ingredients. At former pop-up Elementary you can take your courses and eat them too: The menu includes sections like "Intros, Market, Sea, Pasta, and Protein." In a second building, the offerings at Hopscotch will depend on the scraps coming out of the restaurant, but there will always be natural wines, cocktails, small bites, and tinned fish. Elementary will open daily at 2026 S. Lamar Blvd. from 5-10 pm; Hopscotch will open daily in the adjacent building from 4-11 pm.
There are some things only a jiggly little cake can fix. Thankfully, Uncle Tetsu has arrived. The Japanese chain has been making its signature cheesecakes since 1985, and it's now operating in Austin (6929 Airport Blvd. #151) for the first time. These cakes are like soufflés: light, fluffy, and not excessively sweet. Those are basically the three commandments for Asian baking. But for cheesecake fans who want that creamy interior, Uncle Tetsu also bakes Basque styles, too. The Japanese cakes come in six flavors including matcha and ube. Try them at the grand opening on July 29 from 11 am to 8 pm.
Even though it's not in Austin, local shoppers will be happy to hear that Shake Shack is opening at a San Marcos outlet mall on July 28, with one of only four drive-thrus in Texas. It's fast food, for sure, but it's known for more varied ingredients like fried mushrooms and veggie patties. It's even dipped its toes into fine dining. The restaurant (4025 I-35 S., San Marcos) opens at 11 am, and some of the first guests will receive a custom beach towel.
Other news and notes
It's Leo season, and if you thought we were entering the spotlight quietly, you don't know anything about Leos. But Bar Moxy does. The hotel bar is kicking off its new astrology cocktail series with the fire sign, offering the Cat Scratch Fever from now until July 22. The long list of ingredients includes strawberry-infused Socorro Blanco Tequila, citrus fruit juices, a pinch of sea salt, and fruity garnishes. There's also a mocktail version. Next up is Virgo season, starting August 23.
If you're feeling bubbly, consider that today, July 27, is National Seltzer Day. Karbach Brewing Co., out of Houston, is celebrating the occasion by giving one Austin winner a $100 prepaid gift card to use on its Ranch Water, plus some "swag" honoring the drink. One additional winner in Texas will get an upgraded gift card of $1,200. That's a lot of seltzer. Enter online (requires a phone number), or text SUMMER to 78896. The contest is open until August 11.
Rosen's Bagels' managing partner needs some help from the community after a serious diagnosis. Joe Carr is undergoing treatment now for Stage 4 colon cancer, all without health insurance. Supporters can join forces at Central Machine Works on July 30: Proceeds from Central Machine Works Kolsch beers, exclusive Rosen's Pizza Bagels, and the "Carr Bar" will go toward Carr's treatment. St Elmo's GM Noah will be making a special mezcal cocktail. A longer fundraiser extends through July, donating $1 from each Central Machine Works "Community Vodka Summer Punch." Supporters can also donate to the GoFundMe.
We can't say for sure that a secret cheeseburger tastes better than one on the menu, but it's worth a try at Lenoir. The restaurant is expanding service to Mondays (4:30-10:30 pm), and celebrating with an off-menu treat: a smash burger with cheese, jalapeño relish, shredded lettuce, and "special sauce," plus a side of fries. It's $12 all night, every Monday. If you're worried about forgetting your secret options, Lenoir posts hints on Instagram.