Quantcast
Courtesy of Joe's Bakery/Instagram

In Austin, we don't need an excuse to celebrate our beloved local staples. Nonetheless, outside recognition never hurts, especially when it comes from the James Beard Foundation, which just named Joe's Bakery & Coffee Shop a 2023 American Classic.

On the heels of the recently revealed 2023 James Beard Award nominees, the James Beard Foundation announced this year's six recipients of its 2023 America's Classics Award. A different process than the annual restaurant and chef wards, the America's Classics designations are awarded to more casual, family-owned places that are staples of their community.

According to a press release, award winners "have timeless appeal and are beloved regionally for quality food that reflects the character of its community." Restaurants must have been existence for at least 10 years to be eligible for the award, and winners are chosen by region — meaning Joe's Bakery & Coffee Shop is this year's winner for all of Texas.

Joe’s Bakery & Coffee Shop is owned by the Avila family, which the announcement praised for serving "Austin’s quickly gentrifying East Austin since 1935, when Sophia DeLa'O operated La Oriental Grocery & Bakery from their home on East 9th Street. The business moved to East 7th Street in 1962 and Joe Avila, with the support of his wife Paula, bought the business and created Joe’s Bakery & Coffee Shop."

"Though he didn't realize it at the time, by bringing his childhood dream to fruition, Joe cemented a legacy through food and hospitality that continues to this day," the release continues. "The colorful Mexican pastries, known as pan dulce, and Tex-Mex family recipes draw large crowds hungry for migas, home-style pork carne guisada, and myriad breakfast tacos on homemade flour tortillas. (The infamous "fried bacon"—the dredging of thick-cut bacon through flour and cooking on the flat top grill—is a masterful touch). But it's the service and firm sense of community under the stewardship of three generations of Avila women, led by Joe’s widow Paula, that keeps people coming back again and again."

The announcement goes on to describe Joe's as a "melting pot of new and old Austin," and praises the family business for the ways it serves the Austin community, whether hosting voter registration drives or doubling as a general store during the peak of the pandemic:

"The neighborhood surrounding Joe’s Bakery and Coffee Shop is undergoing rapid development, but the restaurant remains a gathering place and piece of Austin history for longtime regulars and newcomers alike."

As one of this year's honorees, Joe's joins more than 100 restaurants across the country that have received the Award since the category was introduced in 1998. The Avila family will be celebrated alongside the 2023 Best Chef and Restaurant nominees at the James Beard Restaurant and Chef Awards ceremony on Monday, June 5, 2023 at the Lyric Opera of Chicago.

“The mission of the James Beard Awards is to celebrate excellence and that means recognizing the incredible work of long-standing restaurants that play such a crucial role in our communities, as our America’s Classics winners do,” said Clare Reichenbach, CEO of the James Beard Foundation. “We are so excited to announce this year’s winners. Congratulations to all!”


Ad Placement 300x100
Ad Placement 300x600

CultureMap Emails are Awesome

Breathtaking Hill Country hideaway is one of Vrbo's top 10 vacation homes in the country

RIVERFRONT OASIS

A magnificently hidden home located just an hour away from Austin has been chosen as one of Vrbo's "Vacation Homes of the Year" for 2023. It was the only Texas home chosen out hundreds of thousands of private residences on the vacation rental site.

The Vacation Homes of the Year showcases several popular homes throughout the country (with the occasional international spot) that range from "idyllic lakeside escapes to cozy mountain retreats and desert paradises." In all, two homes are based in California, and one each in Arizona, North Carolina, Oregon, New York, Florida, South Carolina, Idaho, Colorado, and Mexico.

Texas' Hill Country Riverfront Hideaway is tucked away on five acres of land bordering the Pedernales River in Dripping Springs. The home spans 2,150 square feet with an open-concept living area, three spacious bedrooms, two lavish bathrooms, a modern chef's kitchen, fireplace, and a breathtaking wrap-around terrace.

Floor-to-ceiling windows complete the space, allowing guests to take in all of the tranquility the Hill Country has to offer. With the home's 430 feet of river access, visitors can enjoy escaping the city and relax into the views of the vast canyon below.

Dripping Springs Riverfront HideawayImagine a getaway to this Hill Country paradise. Photo courtesy of Vrbo

The property is within a half hour drive to many of the finest wineries, breweries, and must-see outdoor recreation spots in nearby Dripping Springs. Fredericksburg is only an hour's drive west for those wanting to put a greater distance between them and downtown Austin.

The average nightly cost for the riverfront oasis is $475, making it an ideal destination for small groups, a family trip, or a couple's getaway.

Dripping Springs Riverfront Hideaway

Photo courtesy of Vrbo

The Hill Country Riverfront Hideaway was the only Texas home chosen on Vrbo's list.

Expedia Brands president Jon Gieselman shared in a press release that there were plenty of eye-catching homes to wade through for the report.

"This year’s Vacation Homes of the Year range from an urban oasis and a cozy ranch home under $400 a night to a beachfront estate that can sleep the whole family and more," said Gieselman. "Every single Vacation Home of the Year has a beautiful view, and combined boast seven private pools and fire pits, eight hot tubs and even five putting greens."

The full list of Vrbo's 2023 Vacation Homes of the Year are:

  • No. 1 – The Oasis Estate in Palm Springs, California
  • No. 2 – The Happy Roadrunner in Phoenix, Arizona
  • No. 3 – The Chasestone in Lake Norman, North Carolina
  • No. 4 – The Contemporary Gem in Manzanita, Oregon
  • No. 5 – Ocean View Oasis in Montauk, New York
  • No. 6 – The Riverfront Hideaway in Dripping Springs, Texas
  • No. 7 – 30A My Way in Rosemary Beach, Florida
  • No. 8 – Port of Call in Isle of Palms, South Carolina
  • No. 9 – Salmonfly Lodge in Victor, Idaho
  • No. 10 – Trestle House in Winter Park, Colorado
  • No. 11 – Villa Luna Nueva in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico
More information about Vrbo's 2023 Vacation Homes of the Year can be found on their website.

Whataburger weighs in as healthiest cheeseburger in the nation

THEMS EATIN' WORDS

With its love of greasy enchiladas, gluttonous fried steaks, and fat-speckled brisket, Texas isn’t always known as a healthy eating mecca. But it turns out that one locally beloved dish isn’t as unhealthy as one might think.

Inspired by February’s American Heart Month (albeit belatedly), Gambling.com decided to dig deep into which fast-food burger was best for the ticker and the body overall. What that has to do with online slots is anyone’s guess, but perhaps open-heart surgeries are not conducive to risk-taking.

Surprise, surprise, surprise! Local favorite/ food cult Whataburger took the top slot, earning honors with its standby cheeseburger. Assumably, the gambling site considered the mustard-slathered original, eschewing calorie bombs like bacon slices and creamy pepper sauce. Where’s the fun of Whataburger if you can’t get it just like you like it?

To arrive at the rankings, Gambling.com analyzed each burger for sugar, fat, salt, and calorie content per ounce. Each metric was given a one to ten score that factored into the final report card shared with content-hungry food journalists everywhere.

Coming in a close second was In-N-Out’s cheeseburger, a comforting fact for Texans who enjoy complaining about Californians. Rounding out the top five were Checker’s Checkerburger with Cheese, Culver’s ButterBurger Cheese, and Del Taco’s del Cheese Burger.

For those trying to make better eating choices, that list should give some pause. Yes, Whataburger beats out other fast-food faves, but it was competing against a chain that literally toasts all their buns in churned cream. Health is a relative concept.

Elsewhere on the list was another Texas darling, the No. 6 ranked Dairy Queen. Apparently, all that “hungr” is being busted by a hefty dose of sodium. Yes, we will take fries with that.

Texas ranks No. 2 best state to start a small business in new report

SUPPORT SMALL BIZ

Texas regularly ranks highly among business-friendly states, earning the No. 1 spot in Chief Executive magazine's recent annual report and the No. 5 spot in a February study of the best states for female entrepreneurs. Now, new research shows the Lone Star State stands out as one of the best places to start a small business, specifically.

Business credit card experts Capital on Tap determined Texas is the second best state to start a small business, right after Florida. They retrieved their data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics based on several factors, including new firm survival rates, corporate tax rates, the number of entrepreneurs per state, and more.

Texas has very friendly tax frameworks when it comes to small businesses; it is one of five total states that don’t impose any income tax. Furthermore, all Texas businesses that make less than $1.08 million in revenue don’t owe any franchise tax. That also includes all businesses that have less than $1,000 in tax liability.

If a small business owner in Texas needed to take out a loan, they’d be able to secure $4,811 per employee, which is the fifth-highest average loan amount in a calculation of all 50 states.

Capital on Tap COO Damian Brychcy says in a release that the decision to start a small business involves assessing several factors and risks, but he hopes his team’s research can provide future guidance for businesses and entrepreneurs no matter where they reside.

“Entrepreneurship is driven by the desire for independence,” he says. “This includes the freedom to pursue your passion, choose your workplace and working hours, and foster personal growth.”

Florida earned its top spot in the report due to its strong support of local economies with the highest number of jobs created by start-ups per 1,000 residents in the state. However, unlike Texas, Florida small businesses have to pay a 5.5 percent corporate tax rate.

The top states that are the best places to start a small business include:

  • No. 1 – Florida
  • No. 2 – Texas
  • No. 3 – Idaho
  • No. 4 – Nevada
  • No. 5 – North Carolina
  • No. 6 – Colorado
  • No. 7 – Washington
  • No. 8 – Georgia
  • No. 9 – California and Montana (tied)
  • No. 10 – Utah