News You Can Eat
Drake's swanky visit, praise from Bon Appetit, and Yummi Joy's reopening top Austin's tastiest food news
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.
Openings and closings
Famous candy and toy store duo Toy Joy and Yummi Joy are hosting a grand opening to celebrate their arrival in a new, bigger space. From September 15-17, the twin stores will be offering tons of deals and fun activations. On the food side, there will be fudge and vegan ice cream samples, as well as "handcrafted drinks." On the toy side, there will be special discounts, raffles, and free goodies, along with character meet-and-greets, photo ops, and even a naming competition for the "World's Largest Kit Cat Clock." The first 100 visitors each day will receive free slime (so 2023).
Americans lost their collective minds when Crumbl Cookies started becoming popular. There's a cakey cookie, and then there's a Crumbl Cookie — the latter is basically a half-and-half blend of cake and cookies, and is served warm for extra goodness. A new round of six flavors is served every week to keep things exciting. A new location is opening in Round Rock Crossing (3021 S IH 35 Frontage Road, Suite 140) on September 15. The store will be open from 8 am to 10 pm on weekdays and 8 am to midnight on Fridays and Saturdays.
East Austin food trailer Fil 'n Viet grew popular thanks to unique eats and creative collaborations, but owners Kevin and Rosie Truong announced this week that it would close on September 16. They assured fans that they plan to return to cooking soon, but did not say what their next project is. Fans can follow along as more is announced on Instagram.
High-demand downtown Italian restaurant Red Ash is temporarily closed following a fire. A banner on the website says the space is undergoing duct repairs, but does not mention an estimated reopening date. KXAN reported that there is no damage to the building, and there were no injuries.
ICYMI: The super-popular South Austin food and beverage park Cosmic Coffee + Beer opened a second location, this time in East Austin. The original is known for its natural vibes courtesy of multiple water features and well cared-for plants — it's even a certified wildlife habitat. The new location turned all that up to 11 in a jaw-droppingly gorgeous renovated Texaco Depot. Read more from our editorial coverage.
Other news and notes
Austinites have surely visited some fancy places around town and fantasized about being (or running into) Champagne Papi — Drake, himself. Some of them may have gotten lucky when he was here for two shows in a row on September 11 and 12. He went out both nights, first to fancy 6th Street sushi spotTenTen, where a publicist says he and friends enjoyed "Wagyu tacos and charred edamame, and sipped on fresh passion fruit Onda seltzer cocktails." Next the rapper hit the literally underground music and cocktail loungeDevil May Care, and enjoyed "1942 Lemon Drops, Lalo Tequila, and Sunny Vodka," per the same publicist. Drake's touring DJ took over the turntables.
Austinites didn't need Bon Apetit to tell them that coastal Mexican restaurant Este really is all that, but it's cool to get the validation. The popular publication named Este in its top 24 best new restaurantslist, and it's the only Texas spot that appears. "By the time Este opened in East Austin, it seemed like pretty much everyone knew the restaurant would be a hit," writes Bon Appetit restaurant editor Elazar Sontag. He attributes the success to Chef Fermín Nuñez and co-owner Sam Hellman-Mass, as well as great shrimp, trout, and carnitas.
A new guest chef series at The Loren at Lady Bird Lake, starting September 21, makes the upscale experience a little more accessible by wrapping up several plates along with live music and cocktails in one experience. The first featured chef is San Antonio's Jason Dady, who runs a catering company under his own name. He'll serve up "JD Deviled Eggs 'Cacio y Pepe'," Maine lobster aguachile, snow crab bahn mi wraps, Tuscan bolognese arancini, smoked beef shortrib taco, and more. Some bar seats ($65) are still available via OpenTable. Some proceeds support a carbon footprint initiative by The Loren.