News You Can Eat
Take-home tamales and holiday shopping snacks top Austin's 6 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
A 23-year-old Austin cafe is shutting down at the end of the year. Pacha Organic Café's announcement came in a newsletter, where the owners attributed the closing to "many factors," all unnamed. Unfortunately, a Facebook post in April foreshadowed this end, naming the costs of a new, larger location along with inflation and the pandemic as "stressors." The newsletter says Pacha's last day of business will be December 31, and it will be closed on December 25-26. The final two days of service will include bidding for decor, including the hand-painted countertops. Pickup of claimed items will be December 31 from 3-4 pm.
ICYMI: A Houston restaurant called Dish Society, well known for combining farm-to-table meals with a fast-casual service style, is now open in Austin's Mueller neighborhood. The goal is to provide healthy eats quickly, but a scroll through some menu photos shows that this isn't at the expense of a hearty meal.
Other news and notes
Even though tamales are a wonderful Christmas tradition, it does take space and time to make them at home, so one of Austin's most popular Mexican restaurants is taking it on for takeout customers. Suerte's tamal kits include a dozen and one tamales for good luck, with a choice of red chile braised pork or grilled rajas for fillings. They'll also come with a signature margarita mix, heirloom corn chips, salsas, escabeche, and tres leches cake. Pickup will be December 23 from 3-5 pm. Preorder ($150) at suerteatx.com.
There's no gift like free live music, and the Red River Cultural District is looking mighty generous this January 5-6. While Austinites are enjoying admission free shows subsidized by community and partner donations, they can also chip in with food discounts from a newly announced lineup of neighborhood vendors: Hoboken Pie ($4 pizza slices), Stubb's BBQ (10 percent off food), Pelons Tex Mex (two tacos and a draft beer for $10), Marinara Miracles ($10 meatball hero), and Vaquero Taquero (two tacos and a beer for $12).
Austinites who have been putting off their final Christmas shopping may be motivated to get it done with a snack. The Armadillo Christmas Bazaar is open until December 23, connecting Austin holiday shoppers with local goods. There will be multiple bars serving beer and cocktails, and food trucks Southside Flying Pizza and I Juan Tacos will be onsite. Following our foodie theme, there will also be a few opportunities to buy artisan kitchen ware — especially decorative glasses.
Meanwhile Brewing is inviting college football fans to stop by and watch the semifinal games on Monday, January 1. Those will be Alabama versus Michigan State, and University of Texas versus Washington State. Doors open at 3 pm. Food trucks Side Eye Pie and Pueblo Viejo make great dinner options, and Meanwhile is serving up its game day beer, the Burnt Orange Lager featuring blood orange and mango notes. The same thing will be happening for the championship game on January 8, plus live music by Runner and Bobby.