news you can eat
A new poke window and a mac and cheese festival top Austin's 9 tastiest bites of 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
Poke lovers often appreciate the raw fish salad for its convenience, but now it's easier than ever to get a bowl, thanks to a new walk-up window by Poke-Poke. This is the chain's fourth Austin location, where it offers a slightly different menu than many locals are used to — instead of adding ingredients to a chaotic custom bowl, these restaurants offer some curated combinations like the zesty "Yowza Yuzu" with shoyu sesame oil, yuzu kosho, tobiko, avocado, and jalapeño. The East Austin window (2601 E. Cesar Chavez St.) is open every day from 11 am to 9 pm.
Speaking of convenience, you could get a rotisserie chicken at the grocery store, but none of those can compare to the offerings at Austin Rotisserie. This French comfort spot with amazing takeout previously ran a food truck at the Far Out Lounge, but it closed for two years so the team could focus on the Fareground location. Now the truck is back at its original locale, continuing to serve luxe sandwiches, balanced family meals, and most important: potatoes tucked under the chicken to catch the drippings on your drive home. Swoon. Visit the truck at 8504 S. Congress Ave. from Thursdays through Sundays, from 6-10pm.
ICYMI: In a wave of New York restaurants opening in Austin, one famous bakery from the area is just paying us a visit. Milk Bar, made famous in association to Chef David Chang and Momofuku, will be staying at the Loren at Lady Bird Lake for six months. In more permanent news, one of Austin's most beloved restaurants, Intero, is getting a sister. The same couple in charge is opening a luxe Italian café called Poeta that encourages eating alone. We've also seen some older promises come into fruition this week: El Alma's anticipated second location and the intriguing dog park at Mutt's Canine Cantina are now open.
Other news and notes
Identity Productions, the team behind the popular Tacos of Texas podcast that airs on KUTX, is launching a new cooking show on YouTube. KanDeepa Texan highlights the cooking of Chef Deepa Shridhar, a now-Austin-based South Indian immigrant chef who grew up in Garland, Texas. Some of the fusion cuisine that will appear in upcoming episodes includes jaggery pistachio chocolate chip cookies, South Indian-Mexican steak, and chorizo queso thali. New episodes will drop every Thursday at noon.
Please don't tell anyone we're being such Grinches about this, but sometimes the same old holiday food gets old before the season even starts in earnest. The Salty, a small-ish high-quality donut chain with one Austin location, has added a quintessential holiday flavor that isn't played out: "Cinnamon Pear Crumble." This brioche donut is filled with spiced pears, and topped with a cinnamon glaze, Dutch apple pie streusel, and mascarpone whipped cream. This is a seasonal flavor as of November 13 — we don't know how long it'll last.
Fans of mac and cheese — and who isn't a fan of mac and cheese? — should mark their calendars for a festival this weekend. On November 19, the Mac & Cheese Festival descends upon Austin's Lantana Place, with another cheesy guest star on the menu: grilled cheese. There will be 16 food vendors, plus beer and cocktails, all available in unlimited quantities with each ticket. Most important, this festival benefits the Central TX Food Bank. Tickets ($56.68 general admission including fees, or VIP and kids' options) are available via macncheesetour.com.