5 things to know in Austin food right now: Former state representative opens café near Capitol
News you can eat
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Everything is political, including the new Capitol Café, a block from the Texas Capitol at 1001 Congress Avenue, Suite 180. This coffee, beer, wine, and snacks bar aims to serve people coming and going from the government building. Former Texas State Representative Dan Huberty (R) and his daughter launched the cafe based on the politician's ideas while passing the vacant space during his period in office. Huberty's father was also involved as an investor, along with State Rep. Jim Keffer (R) and others. Capitol Café, decorated with historical Texan items, opens February 3. It operates Monday through Saturday from 8 am to 6 pm. More information on Instagram.
Other news and notes
Les Dames d'Escoffier, an international organization that supports women in culinary and hospitality careers, is in the middle of the application process for its LDEI Legacy Award. This opportunity connects women (with at least four years of culinary industry experience) with other professionals already in the organization for one-on-one mentoring. Topics are divided by city; The Austin mentorship focuses on supply chain management. Nominations are open now and close March 17. Nominate someone at ldei.org.
The Salty Donut, one of Austin's most gourmet donut shops with an immaculate interior, has already mastered its craft; It's time to branch out. On February 6, it will launch a menu expansion with other baked goods that, unlike past non-donut specials, are here to stay. That includes a blueberry "pop tart," a brown butter chocolate chip cookie, and a savory layered ham and cheese roll with herbs and mustard. From the launch until February 10, all online and app orders will receive buy-one-get-one deals on baked goods. Order at saltydonut.com.
There are lots of opportunities to celebrate the Lunar New Year in Austin, but perhaps none as comprehensive as the annual celebration by Chinatown Center, which returns for the first time in three years with more than 25 local food and shopping vendors. There will also be traditional dancing, fireworks, martial arts, and international singers. A list of attractions at the free, family-friendly celebration is available at chinatownaustin.com.
Independence Brewing is kicking off "Carnival Season" with a beer launch. Geisterzug Kölsch is named for the "Ghost Train" that snakes through the German city of Cologne during its famous week of Carnival celebrations. Minor Mishap Marching Band will help get the party going at 3 pm, and the first 100 guests are invited to participate for free in the carnival mask crafting table from 2-5 pm. The brewery also scheduled a 5k beer run for the same day from 11 am to 1 pm. RSVP for each on Eventbrite.