Photo by Brianna Caleri

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.


Rosé Gosé, a new restaurant in the Sala & Betty space at 5201 Airport Boulevard, earned itself a mysterious reputation by quietly arriving in the space and sending out a few invites a week before opening. The mystery quickly evaporated at a preview on March 1, which unveiled the warm and stylish wine bar. The menu and retail space boasts more than 250 wines and 50 craft beers, but the whimsical cocktails stole the show, including one topped with an apple foam and another served with a flaming rose. The "comfort food"-based menu is upscale and all over the place in a fun way, placing extra emphasis on poke bowls, a raw bar, and starters with a strong midcentury tone (intended or otherwise). This is the team's first restaurant outside of Belarus. The restaurant opens to the public on March 2 at 5 pm. Reserve on OpenTable.

Another vino venture, Flo’s Wine Bar & Bottle Shop, just opened on March 1 at 3111 W 35th Street, servicing the Tarrytown area. This retail space offers 190 bottles to take home, while the bar offers 20 to try by the glass. Pair that with the "Neo-New York style pizza" by Allday, plus other Italian snacks including a very rare Austin offering of soft serve (punched up even more with unusual toppings like olive oil and pretzels). The owners are lifelong friends, and the community support is already pouring out via tons of Instagram comments. Flo's hours are Tuesday through Thursday from 11 am to 9 pm, and Friday through Sunday from 11 am to 10 pm.

Other news and notes

Popular Thai restaurantSway is celebrating a Buddhist holiday, Makha Bucha Day, with dinner specials alongside the regular dinner service on March 6. The lunar holiday celebrates purification and, according to a release, "letting go," which inspired the night's menu and activities. A live fire ceremony will allow guests to burn up intentions to surrender, while enjoying the cleansing benefits of a yellow curry, a lotus congee, and stir-fried green peas, plus some non-alcoholic cocktails and teas. Reserve on OpenTable.

Hat Creek Burger Company is launching a new spring burger with a giveaway. The "BBQ Burger" brings cookout vibes, with everything you might have on your plate on top of a patty; American cheese, barbecue sauce, coleslaw, and onion rings. This seasonal burger will be available from March 7 to May 1. From that launch date until March 7, social media visitors can enter to win a party in the restaurant with reserved tables and $500 to spend on food and other treats. Watch for the giveaway post on Instagram.

Making noodles is one of the equalizing experiences around the world, from luxury meals to grandma's house. A chef collaboration at Lutie's Garden Restaurant leans toward the former, but sets guests up for the latter with a noodle cooking class led by San Francisco chef James Yeun Leong Parry (The Happy Crane) and Lutie’s own chefs Susana Querejazu and Bradley Nicholson. A dinner on March 16 introduces the Chinese noodles, and a class on March 18 teaches the techniques. Book soon in case the high-profile events fill up fast.

Photo by Lee Cartledge on Unsplash

A diner with the "world's rudest service" is coming to Austin...like, whenever

Displeased to serve you

Imagine you’re at a restaurant and the server rolls her eyes because you don’t like ice in your water. What a pansy you are. First, you order a chocolate milkshake, but on second thought, you’d like vanilla. You apologetically ask her to change it on the ticket and she threatens to spit in it. On your way out, you tip her 20 percent and leave a review: “5 stars. Rudest service I’ve ever had.”

Karen’s Diner provides the worst service for the best experience, at least according to cheeky clientele who appreciate the campy comedy of a long-suffering server who just can’t smile through it anymore. The Australian restaurant concept exploded in popularity in the last few months, largely from viral videos of funny quips and embarrassed customers (who are usually in on the gag).

Part subversion of the sweet neighborhood waitress trope and part revenge fantasy for off-duty service industry people who find relief in watching other servers speak their minds, this is an exercise in improv comedy wrapped up in a classic diner meal. There are now 14 locations in the United States according to the restaurant’s locations page, including one that has quietly popped up online in Austin.

There is very little information about this location in particular, but there is an active listing on Hidden, which allows users to sign up for a waitlist and eventually gives access to the restaurant’s secret location. As of January 24, Hidden told CultureMap via email that it does not know the opening date.

Although the diner could rest on the laurels of its terrible attitude, reviewers seem to agree, the food is also good. The menu lists 14 burgers, including some traditional cheeseburgers, luxe twists, chicken burgers, and a few meatless options, in addition to other diner snacks like wings, floats, and fries. Prices may give visitors something to complain about (the burgers range from $16-28), but the price keeps the most creative instigators on staff.

Kids under 14 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian for lunch, while dinner’s raunchiness raises the accompanied age to 16. In general, the chain encourages minors to attend earlier in the day. Any actual Karens may show their ID for a free drink.

More information about Karen’s Diner can be found at bemorekaren.com. Check Hidden for changes, or sign up for the ticket release waitlist.

Daily Juice Facebook

Local fresh-squeezed juice shop closes after 20 years in Austin

Liquid Liquidation

Another homegrown Austin business is permanently closing this week. In a letter on their website, Daily Juice announced the pending closure of all locations. The shop's Westlake location is already closed, with its other three outposts to follow suit by Sunday, January 22.

Opened in 2003, the shop specializing in fresh-squeezed, cold pressed, never-processed juices would have reached two decades in business this year.

Citing the pandemic, rising food and labor costs, and high rent, Daily Juice thanked its Austin customers for all the support over the years:

"This really hurts," the letter reads. "We are so grateful to you all for supporting us through this journey ... We have been touched by your patronage, sharing of health journeys and passions for healing heads, hearts, and guts."

Customers can still visit any of the remaining three locations (3720 Far West Blvd. Ste 105; 8620 Burnet Road Suite 132; and 12921 Shops Pkwy) through Sunday for a final sip of their favorite juice, smoothie or acai bowl, or Daily Juice merch. Austinites can also collect larger mementos from Daily Juice through their restaurant equipment auction.

"If you’ve been thinking about a juice cleanse, now would be a good time to order one," the letter continues, also noting that customers can still redeem any Daily Juice gift cards, prepaid cleanses, or points through the weekend.

"We are sad to go, but hope we are leaving everybody a little healthier than when we found each other."

Photo by Paul Bardagy

Historic upscale Mexican restaurant cooks up collaboration with Austin Community College

Eat, work, study

It's never too soon to get started in the restaurant business, as proven again and again in family restaurants, school programs, and many high schoolers' résumés. Until recently, Austin Community College had a more insular Culinary Arts Department, but a unique new partnership with upscale Mexican restaurant Fonda San Miguel is about to change that: The landmark "career scholar agreement" honors the late Mexican cookbook author and friend of the restaurant Diana Kennedy, as well as the late executive chef Miguel Ravago.

“Miguel was the first chef to introduce true interior Mexican food to Austin when he arrived here in 1962. Naming the scholarships after both Diana and Miguel will continue their lifetime legacies of sharing knowledge and elevating true Mexican food to its deserved place at the top of culinary achievements," said Fonda San Miguel owner Tom Gilliland in a press release. “This is just the start of our collaboration with ACC students to become future leaders in the culinary world and to build Austin’s continued reputation as a national culinary destination.”

As in any other internship, this program allows culinary students to gain field experience while continuing studies, but is unusual in that it is only tied to the one restaurant so far. Students must apply to be accepted into the scholarship program, seeded by a check for $10,000 from Gilliland to the ACC Foundation, which provides "scholarships, training equipment, and student support."

Scholarship recipients will be on-site at Fonda San Miguel for up to 20 hours per week, and will be instructed and mentored by Fonda San Miguel co-chefs Carlos Monroy and Blanca Zesati.

The announcement took place at the nearly 50-year-old restaurant on Monday, January 16, and was attended by ACC and Fonda San Miguel staff, students, and two visiting chefs from the Yucatán region of Mexico. The restaurant has been lauded in almost every local publication, as well as the Travel Channel, the Wall Street Journal, and Forbes.

ACC's spring semester began on January 17. The culinary school offers associate of applied science degrees in culinary arts and baking and pastry, with entrepreneurship specializations in each, as well as one Level 2 certificate for each category. The entrepreneurship curriculum recently added a category in sustainable farming. More information about the culinary program is available at austincc.edu.

Photo courtesy of Flower Child

Newest location of healthy casual restaurant Flower Child blooms in Westlake

Third Child

Nine months after Fox Restaurant concepts announced a new Flower Child in the works, the new Westlake restaurant is ready to open on Tuesday, November 1. The Arizona-based concept is in 10 states and D.C.; the new location is the third Flower Child in Austin and the 11th in Texas.

The fast-casual restaurant specializes in holistic food made from scratch, which visitors order at the counter. Almost everything on the menu is dotted with at least one of three diet indicators — vegetarian, vegan, and gluten free — and the website points out a blanket tendency to keep paleo, keto, low-sugar, and other dietary considerations in mind.

Stylistically, it just gets wider from there. A cauliflower rice becomes “risotto” with the addition of maple coconut cream. Chicken enchiladas live in harmony with spicy Thai wraps with tofu and veggies. More Mediterranean treats like hummus, or a Greek yogurt and feta dip, join the American Cobb salad.

A new spot at 3300 Bee Caves Rd. situates the eatery among several others: both large fast food chains and smaller, but still casual restaurants. Flower Child is very similar to Modern Market Eatery, directly across the street, which serves similar “clean, nourishing and delicious food."

Where Modern Market seems to focus more on bowls, sandwiches, salads, and pizzas with straightforward American flavors, Flower Child digs deeper into more complicated flavors and an entrées-and-sides approach. Both rely on modular foods that are easy to customize and create quickly.

Flower Child’s other Austin locations are at Domain Northside (between Sephora and RH), and downtown on West 2nd Street. Despite the industrial genre conventions of fast-casual restaurants, these restaurants are homey and not identical to each other. As the name might suggest, Flower Child brings the outside in, with lots of plants and woven patio seating that close the gap between a quick meal in the middle of running errands to a warm catch-up with a practical friend.

The Westlake Hills Flower Child will open to the public on November 1. More information is available at iamaflowerchild.com.

Courtesy of Industry

Hospitality industry vets bring 'low-key healthy' restaurant to East Austin

East Austin Industry

Mid-October will see the opening of a new East Austin restaurant with what the founders describe as "low-key healthy" Texas fare. Harlan Scott and Cody Taylor, the names behind concepts like Cafe Josie, Valentino's in San Marcos, and Industry in San Marcos, are set to open a second location of Industry at 1211 E. Fifth St., Ste. 150 in just a few weeks.

According to a release, the name Industry comes from what Scott calls "the idea of celebrating the raw, authentic, and diverse lifestyle of servers and cooks and everyone in between." After thriving in the Austin industry for decades, Scott and Taylor opened Industry in San Marcos in hopes of enjoying a slightly slower pace. The restaurant is a "safe space" to break down the server/customer dynamic in an environment where people are being served by people who love their jobs, which is an ethos the pair will bring to the East Austin outpost.

“Great employee benefits including mental healthcare, fair wages, tip-share for the kitchen, and 40-hour work weeks are a priority for us,” Scott explains. “We don’t believe in the romantic notion of doubles and 70 hour work weeks; but we also hire people willing to make sacrifices from time to time to help out coworkers and the restaurant. The staff we have now, they “get it.” We think they will with Industry Eastside as well.”

Serving an all-day menu of tacos, burgers, hearty salads, and house-smoked meats in a casual atmosphere, Industry will have an all-scratch menu and counter service format. Menu highlights will include starters like blistered shishito peppers and green chile queso; heartier offerings like smoked chicken tacos and a smoked beet Reuben; and healthy alternatives like the Industry bowl, which will feature field greens, rice, sweet potatoes, Brussels sprouts, pepitas, chevre, and a cashew honey vinaigrette.

And since you can't forget the drinks on an Austin menu, the new spot will offer weekday drink specials such as half-off margs, $4 whiskey Wednesdays, and happy hour pricing for ladies all night on Thursdays. A reverse happy hour from 10:30 pm to close will also be a draw on weekdays, as well as $2.50 mimosas on Sundays, which will pair with an "over-the-top brunch." Highlights of the latter will include a smoked cheeseburger Benedict; buttermilk biscuits and gravy; and Porky’s Pancakes with pork pastor, bacon, buttermilk pancakes, blackberry compote, and bourbon maple syrup.

Head to industrytx.com to learn more about Scott and Taylor’s philosophy behind the concept, and follow them on Instagram at @industryeastside for updates on the opening.

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Austin Top Chef winner debuts new National Geographic series, plus more top stories

Hot Headlines

Editor’s note: It’s that time again — time to check in with our top stories. Here are five articles that captured our collective attention over the past seven days.

1. Austin Top Chef winner debuts new National Geographic series during SXSW. Available on Disney+, Restaurants at the End of the World is a docuseries following Kish on adventures to off-the-beaten-path pockets of the planet.

2. Boutique Austin hotel amplifies the vinyl bar scene with a moody new listening room. Hotel Magdalena opened a chic listening room on South Congress with speakeasy vibes, called Equipment Room.

3. 11 reasons to escape the Austin bustle with a day trip to Dripping Springs. Despite rapid recent growth in the Austin area, Dripping Springs still has many of the small-town features that its local residents — and transplants — all love.

4. Gothic Austin home sells after catching the eyes of onlookers during the Modern Home Tour. This all-black Victorian house sold shortly after an architecture tour brought Austinites through homes across Austin and the Hill Country.

5. Austin home buyers have more power when it comes to inventory, report says. Buyers are gaining more leverage through inventory increases across the Austin-Round Rock metro area, according to recent data from the Austin Board of Realtors.

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.”