News You Can Eat
6 things to know in Austin food right now: Local street taco chain fries up sit-down Mueller concept
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.
Veracruz All Natural, one of Austin's favorite taco chains, is coming to Muelleras Veracruz Fonda & Bar, a sit-down concept. Although some hardcore taco fans might turn away from a chain, sisters and owners Reyna and Maritza Vazquez are bona fide taco pros, born and raised in the restaurant life in Mexico. They opened their food truck in Austin in 2008, becoming known for both straightforward and creative tacos loaded up with veggies. The new location will serve traditional meals, pastries, and coffee at 1905 Aldrich St., and opens on April 8. Mueller's Aldrich Street district announced that along with Veracruz, it would add locations for Aviator Pizza & Drafthouse, Dish Society, Nautical Bowls, and Sweetgreen.
Other news and notes
The old world of Texas barbecue and the new world of YouTubers collide on a channel called Mad Scientist BBQ, where Jeremy Yoder cooks and talks about the supremacy of the regional art. He's bringing that argument and a 1,000-gallon smoker on the road through Texas, signing on some guest chefs to cook for fans along the tour, and then giving the four-barrel monster away. Hopeful winners can buy a mug ($49) to enter. Yoder will announce his tour locations and dates on Instagram as he goes.
Brunch doesn't have to be a lazy Sunday activity. The Dirdie Birdie, a surreal carnival of an indoor mini golf course, just added a brunch service starting April 8, every Saturday and Sunday from 11 am to 3 pm. Befitting the imaginative golf course, the food is also above and beyond. Try a loco moco (Hawaiian hamburger) with crispy jasmine rice, ham, and runny egg; chicken and waffles with hot honey; avocado toast with mezcal pickled onions; bottomless mimosas, and more. Reserve at dirdiebirdieatx.com.
A free "Dog Party" at the Lucky Rabbit Live Music Bar & Kitchen on April 8 will connect interested adopters with dogs from Texas Humane Heroes and Texas Lifelong Friends. Mobile adoption units make it possible to complete everything onsite, but if visitors prefer just to get acquainted, there's plenty to do with their own pooches. The kitchen is whipping up some specialty hot dogs (for dogs); organizations are trimming nails, selling pet apparel and jewelry; and three bands are playing live. No RSVP required.
If you're not already super competitive about bar trivia, maybe having some Austin FC players in attendance will put a fire under your own team. Will Bruin, Leo Vaisanen, Jon Gallagher, and Nick Lima are heading over to Pluckers Wing Bar (9070 Research Blvd.) on April 12 to participate in a soccer and general sports round of the weekly live trivia game. Even if a visitor doesn't win trivia, they may win a raffle for a pair of Austin FC tickets and a signed jersey. Comment on Instagram for a chance to join the FC players' team.
Easter and Passover are finally here, and anyone suffering some last-minute planning angst should check CultureMap's best-of list for new additions. We've had our ears to the ground and shared our favorites. There are 11 recommendations from weekend brunches, to egg hunts, to beautiful desserts. Neighborhood Italian restaurant L’Oca D’Oro offers an all-faiths Passover Seder; Fareground removes the obstacle of families having to agree on what to eat; and Drag performers don their Sunday best.