Photo courtesy of Premier Rugby Sevens

Soccer fans, keep your calendars open in between Austin FC matches this spring. The U.S. Women’s National Team (USWNT) is returning to Q2 Stadium for a friendly international battle against the Republic of Ireland on April 8.

The match will be the first time the USWNT has played at the popular Austin stadium since its inaugural opening in June 2021. They defeated the Nigeria Super Falcons 2-0 in front of a sold-out crowd of 20,500 people.

“Q2 Stadium is honored to once again provide a stage for women’s soccer in Austin,” said Austin FC President Andy Loughnane. “The US Women’s National Team will always hold the distinction as opening Q2 Stadium, and we’re proud to once again offer fans one of the final opportunities to cheer on the USWNT, in person, before this summer’s World Cup.”

Following their Austin match, the teams will reunite for a second match in St. Louis, Missouri on April 11. These will be the last international matches before Head Coach Vlatko Andonovski and his staff choose the USA’s 23-player FIFA World Cup roster. The 2023 World Cup is set for July 20 to August 20 in Australia and New Zealand, where the USWNT will play against the Netherlands, Vietnam, and Portugal in group play.

The nationally televised Austin match will kick off at 1:30 pm on April 8. Pre-sale tickets will be available for FC Austin season ticket members starting March 2. Ticket sales for the general public will begin March 6 via ussoccer.com.

Photo courtesy of Kerbey Lane Cafe

Kerbey Lane teams up with Austin FC as official queso partner at Q2 Stadium

Q2 Queso

Believe it or not, one of Austin’s favorite quesos comes from a cafe. This favor is further canonized this March by Q2 Stadium, which has announced Kerbey Lane Cafe as the “Official Queso Partner” of Austin FC. The famous cheese dip will be available to purchase at games along with margaritas and a vegan option.

“As a family and as a brand, Kerbey Lane is Austin born and raised,” said Kerbey Lane owner and CEO Mason Ayer in a press release. “It’s been exciting to see our hometown get a major league sports team. We are inspired by the energy and passion of supporters and the club’s commitment to our community. We knew we wanted to be a part of the Austin FC family, and bringing our fan-favorite queso to Q2 Stadium made perfect sense.”

The new offerings by Kerbey Lane will be sold from a cart at the northeast corner of the stadium. The classic queso contains organic whole milk, a secretive “signature white cheese,” onions, tomatoes, jalapeños, and cilantro. The vegan option is made by Credo Foods, another Austin brand, which makes exclusively vegan foods including a cashew queso sold at Kerbey Lane. The more than 30-year-old cafe will also sponsor the “Kid of the Match” at a home game, monthly.

“We’re pleased to welcome Kerbey Lane to the Austin FC family,” Austin FC President Andy Loughnane, said. “Austin is one of the best food cities in the world, and incorporating uniquely Austin institutions like Kerbey Lane within our matchday experience is an important part of what makes Q2 Stadium the best sports experience in the state of Texas.”

This queso has made it to 10 Kerbey Lane locations including one in San Antonio, Toomey Tap Room on South Lamar, Whole Foods (although this contract seems to have lapsed), and even the moon when the SpaceX Falcon carried a recipe over. Other local food vendors at Q2 include Valentina’s Tex-Mex BBQ, Bao’d Up, and a few other nacho options besides the official queso.

The third Austin FC season starts at a home match against St. Louis City SC on February 25 at 7:30 pm. There is no hard date for the queso cart to open, but a press release says sales will begin in March.

Photo courtesy of Premier Rugby Sevens

Rugby tackles Austin in 2023 season kickoff at Q2 Stadium

Drop kickstart

Austin is a proud football city, but Q2 Stadium is ready to shake things up a bit. The venue is reprising its first-ever sporting venture out of soccer, getting North America’s rugby season started on June 17. The Premier Rugby Sevens (PR7s) men's and women’s season starts with a tournament, the 2023 Eastern Conference Kickoff, and will move around the United States subsequently.

“We are very excited for the Texas Team to host the first official Home Tournament in PR7s history at Q2 Stadium,” said PR7s CEO Owen Scannell in a press release. “The Austin fans and community were incredible hosts for the 2022 Championship last year, and we could not wait to return. This year, the stakes are even higher, with every match counting towards a postseason berth. The Texas Team will be part of the growing sport of rugby throughout the Austin community all year, culminating in hosting on June 17.”

The PR7s have been to Q2 before for the 2022 Championship Weekend, which also marked the end of the league’s inaugural season, after a total of 30 matches. The Headliners won the women’s championship, and The Loggerheads took the men’s.

The league has doubled in size, with eight franchises (16 teams) including the Texas Team, which will play in the Eastern Conference with the New York Locals, Southern Headliners, and “an expansion franchise from Western Pennsylvania” that is not yet named. The Western conference comprises the SoCal Loggerheads, the Rocky Mountain Experts, the Northern Loonies, and the Golden State Retrievers (added in parallel with the Pennsylvania expansion). Two Eastern and Two Western teams will make the final championship.

The unique tournaments alternate between eight men’s and women’s games of only 14 minutes. This is the first league to combine experiences at this level, and both teams are paid equally. Eventually, the season will lead up to the 2023 PR7s United Championship, which will consider the success of all teams, “based off of the combined finishes between the women’s and men’s teams.” The last male and female team standing will also take home a cup.

Tickets to the 2023 Eastern Conference Kickoff are available at prsevens.com, with more events opening up soon.

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Blossom into a new Easter or Passover tradition with these spring treats and feasts around Austin


Easter and Passover (April 9 and April 5-13) are right around the corner; you might want to consider solidifying any plans before it gets any nicer outside and the crowds come out. Whether you’re enjoying the holiday with your friends or family, or taking yourself out to brunch, we’ve gathered a basketful of egg-cellent happenings for you to hop to in Austin.

Check back here for more recommendations as businesses finalize their plans.

Easter brunches and egg hunts

Fairmont Austin's Easter brunch and egg hunt
Come for the brunch, stay for the egg hunt. The first brunch we’re eyeing is at Fairmont Austin downtown on Red River Street. They’ll host two different brunch buffets at 10 am and 1:30 pm on Easter Sunday. Guests can take their pick of an egg-stravagant spread of seafood, oak-smoked prime rib, and other delicacies. After you’ve had your fill, head to the rooftop for the hotel’s brunch attendee-exclusive Easter Egg Hunt at 11:30 am or 3:00 pm. Word on the street says the Easter Bunny might make a special appearance. The Tiny Tails petting zoo will also be at the hotel to show off the cutest animals for friends of all ages. Brunch bookings can be made via OpenTable.

Fareground's Easter brunch specials and egg hunts
For an afternoon of fun for children of all ages, consider bringing the family to downtown Austin’s first food hall, Fareground, for their Easter Egg-Stravaganza. From 12-3 pm, there will be plenty of brunch specials at the food hall's many eateries while children can enjoy sweets like cotton candy and get their face painted. There will be three egg hunts throughout the afternoon for three different age groups. Free general admission reservations can be made via Eventbrite.

Aba's Easter weekend brunches
Mediterranean cuisine lovers can spend their Easter brunch on the patio at Aba, Austin’s premiere Mediterranean restaurant on South Congress. Their exclusive Easter special on April 8 and 9 includes a spring frittata with lump crab, English peas, shaved asparagus, avocado, pickled fresnos, and parmesan. Guests can also pick a weekend favorite like the short rib shakshuka or khachapuri. Reserve on Tock.

Kalahari Resorts' Easter brunch buffet
If you live farther north, Kalahari Resorts in Round Rock will host their own Easter brunch buffet from 11 am to 3 pm with a delightful assortment of local charcuterie, fresh crudité, soups, and more. Children aged three and under eat free. The resort will also have two Easter egg hunts for two age ranges at 10:30 am and 1:30 pm. Brunch tickets can be made on Tock.

TRACE's April drag brunch
Though this brunch isn’t Easter themed, Trace (stylized TRACE) inside the W Hotel is going all out for its April Fool’s Comedy Drag Brunch from 11 am to 4 pm on April 9 with some of Austin’s favorite queens, The Beckies. The iconic duo are the restaurant’s regular brunch hosts every second Sunday of the month. Their performances begin at 11 am and 2 pm. Reserve ($10 per person) on OpenTable.

Passover meals

Aba's passover dine-in and take-out
In addition to its Easter specials, Aba will also offer guests a special Passover dine-in or take-home meal by Chef CJ Jacobson. The to-go package includes hummus, matzo crackers and crudité, potato and Brussels sprout latkes, slow-braised short rib, and much more. The dine-in Passover specials will be available April 5 and 6, but to-go specials must be pre-ordered by 3 pm on April 4. Pickup is available between 11 am and 5 pm on April 5 and 6. Reservations for both offers ($58.95 per person) can be made on Tock.

L’Oca D’Oro's Passover Seder
Neighborhood Italian restaurant L’Oca D’Oro is bringing back their omni-denominational Passover Seder. Chef Fiore Tedesco will delight guests with his version of a traditional Seder meal on April 10 and 11. The first celebration will be led by Cantor Sarah Avner (Beth Israel), and the next by Rabbi Neil Blumofe (Aguadas Achim). Reserve ($100 per person) on OpenTable.

Sweet Treats

What’s Easter without a couple extra desserts to take home? SusieCakes is baking up its SusieChick lemon cake, Easter carrot cupcakes, peeps sugar cookies, dessert decorating kits, and more for the occasion. Their festive Easter treats will be available through April 9.

Bakery Lorraine
Bakery Lorraine at the Domain is accepting pre-orders for its classic seven-inch Easter carrot cake. The luscious dessert serves 10-12 people and contains pineapple, coconut, walnuts, and is topped with a cream cheese frosting. Fill out a form to preorder ($80) by April 4 to pick up on April 8, just in time for your Easter feast.

Popular restaurant in Austin suburb brings spinoff bar and live music to Leander

Down the Rabbit Hole

A new bar is hopping into a growing Austin suburb: After the success of opening the Lucky Rabbit in the Lake Travis area last year, Matt Morcher, Sandra Cleveland, and Matt and Shelly Delahoussaye are set to open a new spinoff neighborhood bar in Leander next week.

Located located in the San Gabriel Ridge shopping center at 2080 N. US-183 unit 145, The Rabbit Hole will open on Friday, March 31, starting at 2 pm. The team will celebrate with a grand opening party, featuring live music by Luke Daniel from 6-9 pm and Carter Whitaker from 9 pm - midnight. A special time-related happy hour will offer new specials for guests to enjoy at the top of every hour.

The name is, of course, a small nod to The Lucky Rabbit, but also an invitation to "go down the rabbit hole” — whether with friends and family or passing time solo. The bar will serve high quality cocktails in a swanky space, bringing in live music acts most weekend nights for locals to enjoy.

The 68-seat interior play on the theme of time and the trippy experience of going down the rabbit hole, featuring exposed brick walls with murals of clock-like rabbits and gears painted by local artist Sarah Blankenship, along with a variety of light fixtures featuring Edison-style bulbs and gears that light the space.

The drink menu carries that theme through its featured cocktails, with rabbit names like Bug’s Old Fashioned (rye, demerara, bitters, orange, luxardo cherry); the 24 Carrot Gold (vodka, triple sec, blood orange, lime, bitters); and the Bubbly Bunny (gin, lavender, lemon, prosecco). Perfect as we head into hotter temperatures, frozen drink option include traditional and flavored margaritas, the Hot Hare (Spicy Mango, Chamoy, Tajin rim), or the Perky Bunny (Red Bull floater, Pop Rocks rim). Local beer and wine is also available, as well as bar snacks. Heartier food options will also be available to order from neighboring restaurants, Sabino’s Pizza Pub and Ah Thinh Asian Cuisine.

Morcher and Cleveland are veterans in the industry with a big heart for the local community:

“Sandra and I live in the area, and we often found ourselves looking for a nearby neighborhood bar to hang out in," said Morcher via release. "We saw this space, and felt that there was great potential to make it into a fun local spot — so we just decided to create one ourselves! We’re excited to be bringing this to an underserved area here in Leander, Liberty Hill and beyond. It was tough to find a place out here with affordable craft cocktails, great service, and live music on the weekends. We’re thrilled to be able to bring that to our community.”

Zilker Botanical Garden seeks budding fey architects for 2023 Woodland Faerie Trail

enchanting summer homes

Love thy neighbor, but don’t give them your name, eat their food, or trespass. You can’t be too careful when the fey — in this case, your design clients — move in. Zilker Botanical Garden has opened applications to “become a faerie home architect” on the 2023 Woodland Faerie Trail.

Skilled architects and well-meaning amateurs alike can purchase a four-by-four-inch plot for $25, as applications are accepted in the order they’re received rather than based on skill. These woodland creatures can appreciate houses of all shapes and sensibilities, but photos the garden chose for inspiration are mostly stick, moss, and pebble-based.

The houses are exposed to the elements, so architects should consider durability. However, landscaping is the exclusive purview of Zilker Botanical Garden and the woodland creatures, so plants are not accepted. Neither are glass, plastic, non-solar lighting, and a few other materials listed in the builders’ guidelines.

Faeries have been living in the pop-up neighborhood since 2013, when the garden started the tradition, and 2022 saw a record number of new builds on 75 plots.

Walking the path is free for anyone who buys a ticket to the garden ($8 or less depending on age), and sometimes there are surprises like a story time for children, harp and flute music, or wearable wings for sale. Before the fairie houses are installed, Zilker Botanical Garden has another, more adult-oriented walking trail called the Surreal Garden (April 6-8, and13-15) — essentially a garden rave amid neon art installations.

More information, including guidelines and dates of installation and removal, is available at zilkergarden.org.