News You Can Eat
New French bakery and seasonal snacks top Austin's 7 tastiest bites of food news
Editor's note: If y'all were in my inbox over the holidays (thank heavens you were not), you would have noticed restaurants taking a short winter's nap. But things are back in action this week, and there's only one thing to do — go out and taste it.
Openings and closings
The previously announcedRose Bakery by popular local pastry chef Julie Myrtille quietly opened in the Arboretum Shopping Center on December 16. The French chef — a member of the Académie Culinaire de France since 2017, according to a press release — has brought her traditional bakes to a new storefront at 10000 Research Blvd. Unit 123, where patrons can pick up "canelés, brioches, madeleines, crepes, quiches, macarons, breads, soups, and homemade jams." The exterior is appropriately, adorably pink, and some indoor and patio seating makes it a great place to pretend to be French Barbie.
When expediency is as important as your arteries, Sweetgreen is nearly heroic. The counter service salads and bowls chain already has a presence downtown, at Bouldin Creek, and at Mueller, and the University of Texas, one more has claimed a spot at Domain Northside — ideal for convenience while running shopping errands. Every meal sold at the new location (1501 Rock Rose Ave., Ste. 124) on opening day, January 16, will trigger a meal donation via elementary school nutrition organization Brighter Bites. Other opening day offers include giveaways from JuiceLand, Little Word Projects, and Sweetgreen, plus live performances from Austin Music Live. Sweetgreen is open daily from 10:30 am to 10 pm.
ICYMI: A new omakase "speakeasy" is opened in North Austin on January 11, but it's not following the uppity rules to which some speakeasies seem subscribe. Tare only seats 12, but wants all visitors to feel like they're welcome guests in a home kitchen. Meanwhile, another eatery with a social focus, Dish Society, closed its Houston flagship just weeks after opening its first Austin location. Owners say this was a matter of practicality, and the other locations are still doing fine.
Other news and notes
Mardi Gras, or Fat Tuesday, is sneaking up on February 13, and diners in search of a king cake should be prepared so they don't miss out. This ring-shaped cake — really closer to a huge cinnamon roll — is one of the most recognizable traditions during the holiday, and is usually jubilantly decorated with purple, green, and gold accents, with a baby Jesus figurine hidden inside. Little Ola's Biscuits is offering its own take: a yeasted brioche and lemon zest cake, with a brown sugar and spiced cream cheese filling and festive glaze. Order a whole cake ($18) while supplies last through February 13, or enjoy a slice ($3.50) via Toast.
This may be a surprise, but farmers exist year-round. That means the farmers market is not just a summertime activity. Visitors braving the chill will even be rewarded via the return of Texas Farmers Market's loyalty program. Visitors will receive a stamp for each market visit when they show off the goodies they bought at the info booth. Ten stamps equal a gift from the market and an entry into a raffle for a market shopping spree. The "Market Fan Club" is active through March 31.
If the cold air has been getting you down, voyage to warmer shores at Central Market's CitrusFest. The fancy cousin to H-E-B will be serving samples of its favorite citrus products, including coriander lime pork chops, mimosas, citrus spring rolls, and pink lemonade cake. This is good for free snacks, but even better for gaining cooking inspiration from now until January 23. For more concentrated acidity, join the free Citrus Tasting Stroll at your favorite on January 13 from 3-5 pm. RSVP at centralmarket.com and get $5 in shopping credits at the event.