News You Can Eat
A popular speakeasy's new snack menu and an award-winning podcast 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
The Austin suburb of Hutto is welcoming a new location for Jack Allen’s Kitchen, projected to open in summer of 2024. The laid-back but modern eatery serves "Southern comfort food with a Texas twist," which is not just Tex-Mex, but salads, seafood, and general American staples. It will be located in the Co-Op District, which states a goal of bringing more Austin favorites farther north. The large new restaurant — spanning 7,500 square feet — will also need 90-100 local workers for the "opening and ongoing operations," according to a release.
ICYMI: A staple coffee shop in East Austin, Thunderbird Coffee, has announced that it will close by December 17, if it makes it that long. The pandemic was more than it could come back from. In better news for lovers of Mexican cuisine, a Yucatán-inspired restaurant with lots of tropical charm has set an opening date of October 22. The design at Nômadé Cocina Y Raw Bar has us drooling...but the food looks good, too. And if eating at home is more your speed, Sprouts Farmers Market is having a big opening event for the new Mueller store on October 13.
Other news and notes
One of Austin's most well-regarded cocktail bars, Here Nor There, is launching a brand-new food menu on October 16. Previously just a spot for sipping and chatting, the bar will now provide a way to cut through all that alcohol. Photos show stuffed olives; bite-sized tarts, sandwiches, and roe crackers; and a witch's potion-like dip with what looks like wonton chips. Of course the speakeasy-like bar has been a little opaque about the new offerings, aside from photos in a newsletter.
Austin's hometown taco podcast, hosted by the inquisitive but casual Mando Rayo, has won its second Signal Award, joining other winners including Oprah, Michelle Obama, and Jon Stewart. Tacos of Texaswon a gold award in the "activism, public service and social impact" category for the episode “Thank You Jesus," which honored migrant farm workers and the impact they've had on the Texas food system.
Another Friday the 13th, another opportunity to get a cute little tattoo for cheap. One event at the Hotel Van Zandt lobby spices things up a little. In addition to three-inch flash tattoos (at varying prices), there will be a tarot reader offering complimentary fortune telling, and specialty cocktails by Patrón Tequila. Upstairs, at Geraldine's, R&B band smooth nature will play a set from 10-11:30 pm.
Lick Honest Ice Creams, based in Austin, is having a great month — it kicked it off with a successful crowdfunding campaign that raised nearly $100,000 in its first week and has since crossed the milestone. Now it's celebrating its 12th birthday, with free scoops on October 17, from 7 pm to closing. There will also be new fall flavors to try, including Hazel’s Pumpkin Pie and Caramel Apple Cake — some returning, and some new.