News You Can Eat
5 things to know in Austin food right now: New Mexican restaurant opens garden bar outpost
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.
Recent East Austin darlingEste, known for Mexican seafood and charcoal cooking, is opening up a garden bar to share its spotlight called Bar Toti. The menu is "inspired by the bar cultures of Spain, France, and Mexico," according to a release, including an unexpected "smashburger" by Chef Fermín Núñez, a current Tastemaker Awards nominee. Visitors can snack on other à la carte bar snacks like marinated olives, seasoned nuts, mussels, and Basque cake. Only 750 square feet, the side venue can accommodate 75 standing guests. Bar Toti opens on April 21 and operates Fridays and Saturdays from 5 pm to midnight.
Two openings at The Shops at Arbor Walk this April have expanded the food options at the North Austin outdoor mall. Casa Do Brasil, an upscale churrascaria (Brazilian steakhouse), brings fire-roasted meats straight to diners' tables alongside a salad bar, and opened on April 14. Teaspoon, which opened on April 1, brings teas, boba, coffee, and creative juice or milk mixes from the chain's Los Altos, California, origin. The Shops at Arbor Walk are located at 10515 N Mopac Expy.
Other news and notes
Topo Chico, the sparkling mineral water worthy of the cult obsession it's garnered since 1895, is branching out from its classic-but-safe flavor profiles with a whole new line called Topo Chico Sabores, launching on April 24. The three flavors come in cans containing real fruit juice and herbal extracts with no added sugars: blueberry with hibiscus, tangerine with ginger, and lime with mint. The new line will only be available in five regions: Texas, Mexico, Arizona, Colorado, and New York.
Coffee drinkers who have found themselves wishing for a little more spice will be pleased to hear about Roasty Buds, a new Austin coffee brand since 2022 that just launched new flavors — and maybe even a little intimidated. Existing flavors include hatch chile, ghost pepper, and Carolina reaper, plus some non-spicy roasts. Joining the roster are Texas BBQ and cherry glaze BBQ, both smoky flavors, but the latter takes on more sweetness. Bags can be purchased at roastybuds.com.
Pasta Bar, the semi-Italian cousin of omakase restaurant Sushi by Scratch Restaurants, is not so new to Austin anymore as it celebrates its first anniversary in town. The 10-person chef's table has drawn much attention for its luxury plating and pricing, but the experience is surprisingly laid back, especially with wine pairing. A new spring menu features beautiful al dente cavatelli with Louisiana crawfish and nasturtium (an edible flower), a knockout Parisian gnocchi with bone marrow, and a Texas wagyu ribeye with acorn flour pasta. Reserve ($195) on Tock.