Delicious Tamales Facebook

Austin may still be getting used to having Delicious Tamales on hand at all times, after the two local outposts opened in quick succession. But only four months later, the San Antonio-based business has seen even more explosive growth, now shipping to the entire United States.

Fourteen tamale flavors – chicken, pork, beef, vegetarian, sweet, and more — can now all be shipped straight to a customer's door. And it's not just tamales on the menu; The restaurant specializes in a range of "authentic Mexican dishes" including carne guisada, picadillo, and barbacoa.

Customers asked for something more varied and shareable, according to the team. “People who love our year-round tamales have long been asking us to provide other dishes to share with their family and friends, especially those who don’t live nearby,” said co-president Valerie Gonzalez in a release. She shares presidential duties with her daughter, Herlinda Lopez-Wood.

To keep shipments fresh, every dish is made on a daily basis with no preservatives. That includes 1,800 pounds of gluten-free masa, stone-ground in the facility every day. It's then vacuum sealed and frozen before heading out.

Frozen meals are also ready to go home with walk-in customers. Of course, diners who want a hot tamale right away are welcome to pick those up, too.

Delicious Tamales is an extended Texas tradition, not just from the restaurant's San Antonio beginnings, but from Gonzalez's hometown, Laredo. She learned the skill at family tamaladas (tamale-making parties) during Christmas, and acquired some of her business skill at the University of Texas at Austin.

There are now six walk-up locations in San Antonio and two in Austin. Orders can be placed nationwide at delicioustamales.com or by calling 1-800-TAMALE-1.

Delicious Tamales Facebook

These San Antonio tamales are so delicious they had to make them twice...in Austin

cold tamale, hot tamale

Delicious Tamales, a San Antonio restaurant, already has one Austin outpost on East Oltorf street, but its first year in business has been so successful that another one is coming. The second Delicious Tamales will open at 1700 West Parmer Lane (near Metric Blvd) on March 2.

“Since we opened our first Austin location a little over a year ago at 1931 E. Oltorf, the response has been overwhelming, and customers have been asking us to open another location to the North,” said owner and president Valerie Gonzalez. ”After months of searching and several more months of construction, we are excited to begin providing families and businesses to the North with a more convenient location to buy fresh, authentic tamales all year round.”

Nothing can beat a simple pork tamale, but just to spice things up, this restaurant offers 13 permanent flavors. They're all wrapped in real corn husks in San Antonio, then shipped and cooked fresh at each location — that's 1,800 pounds of masa leaving the San Antonio kitchen each day. They can be purchased hot, or frozen to cook at home.

Best sellers include pork, chicken, and jalapeño-bean, while more adventurous and special diet-conscious options include a sweet blend with coconut, raisins, and pecans, or a Southwestern vegetarian blend with corn, black beans, and red bell peppers. Talk about being wrapped up in it — the entire menu is tamales.

Service starts at noon on opening day with a ribbon cutting by the Greater Austin Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. Although Delicious Tamales was born in San Antonio, Gonzalez and all six of her siblings went to the University of Texas at Austin. Her daughter, Herlinda Lopez, now serves as Vice President of the family business. It reaches out to the community with a veteran meal program, discounted tamales for reselling at school, church, or other group fundraisers, and a presence at local events.

More information about Delicious Tamales, including national shipping links, is available at delicioustamales.com.

Photo courtesy of sweetgreen

7 things to know in Austin food right now: 2 healthy fast casual chains make a home in Mueller

news you can eat

Update: A previous version of this story said Ike's Love & Sandwiches would host a grand opening on March 3. The company has changed the date of the event to March 9. It is already open to the public.

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.


We’ll always need more love and more sandwiches, so it’s good news that Ike’s Love & Sandwiches has opened a fifth Austin-area location, this time in the Mueller neighborhood at 1201 Barbara Jordan Boulevard #1210. This sandwich chain has an unbelievably long menu, especially noted for its many vegetarian, halal, and gluten-free options. Two sandwiches will be available exclusively at this new location: the “Mueller, Mueller” with chicken fried steak, Ike's Creamy Orange Buffalo Sauce, and cheddar cheese; and the “Sunny Came Home,” a vegetarian version with vegan fried chicken. There will be a grand opening celebration starting at 10 am on March 9, with $7.97 sandwiches for rewards members.

Sweetgreen, a staple counter service restaurant for Austinites who both love and tolerate salad, is opening a fourth location in the Mueller neighborhood "soon." The business started with three college students who wanted something accessible, but healthy, and the brand is still popular among the same demographic. The menu combines leafy greens, grains, fruit, proteins, starches, and more well-balanced spreads — not that a cheeseburger can't also do it, but sometimes a bowl is best. The brand also voices a commitment to animal welfare and becoming carbon neutral by 2027. The location is part of the new development in the Mueller neighborhood, across from the park amphitheater.

Sweetgreen salad
Photo courtesy of sweetgreen

Sweetgreen's salads and bowls make a refreshing lunch fast and inexpensive.

Other news and notes

Este, known for coastal Mexican cuisine, is inviting in some Filipino influence for a “Panaderia” morning pop-up on February 24 from 8-11 am. Pastry chef Derrick Flynn and his team are serving up pan de ube, beef asado siopao, leche flan croissant, and more. This takes place in Este’s event space, Bar Toti, and an Instagram post has shown that the inaugural bake sale will be popular, so interested shoppers should arrive early.

One of Austin’s longest-running top restaurants, La Condesa, is celebrating its 14th birthday. Try Hard Coffee owner Raechel Hurd was part of the Condesa pastry team before opening the coffee and record shop, so she’s returning with a live vinyl DJ, coffee specials, and cocktails. Chef Rick Lopez contributes brunch dishes like conchas, breakfast tortas, and chilaquiles. The celebration on February 25 and 26, from 11 am to 2 pm, benefits The Perez Family Farm: El Diamante in Huehuetenango, Guatemala. Reserve at lacondesa.com.

If your dream is to leave the regular 9-to-5 for a more beer-heavy lifestyle, Meanwhile Brewing is hosting a job fair in the hopes to “diversify the Texas craft brewing industry,” says a release. On March 1 from 10 am to 1 pm, meet industry professionals and members of Texas Craft Brewers Guild, the event organizer. Some of the listed opportunities include general managers, marketing professionals, data analysts, drivers, and packing technicians. RSVP at texascraftbrewersguild.org.

The historicDriskill hotel is hosting its grand Texas Independence Day festivities on March 2 from 4-7 pm. The food and drinks are just part of it (including two rescued longhorns, but we're going to stay focused): sparkling water courtesy of Rambler Sparkling Water, complementary tastings by Independence Brewing, William Chris Vineyards, and Desert Door Texas Sotol (hailing from Driftwood), brisket slides or grapefruit salad by Mark Dayanandan, lots of dessert bites by pastry chef Kristen Groth, plus specials at 1886 Cafe & Bakery like Texas chili and Texas "caviar" (bean salad).

Hank's Austin, a sunny Southern restaurant up in Northeast Austin, knows all about the Tuesday slump. It’s bringing some life back to the weekday by offering half-off deals on all bottles of wine every Tuesday going forward, recommending the Valmorena Barbera D'Asti and the Antinori Il Bruciato Super Tuscan. It’s also celebrating its fifth anniversary on April 15 from 10 am to 3 pm with a bounce house, cotton candy, and donations to the Austin Humane Society.

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CultureMap Emails are Awesome

A whimsical new brunch, brisket croissants, and Negroni week top Austin's tastiest food news

News You Can Eat

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

Shake Shack, the famous fast-casual burger chain, is opening the Greater Austin area's first drive-through on September 28. Although much of the appeal of Shake Shack is the not-quite-fast-food atmosphere, sometimes you just need a burger quickly — thankfully, both dine-in and drive-through experiences will be offered at this location. The "first wave" of guests on opening day at 1402 N. Interstate Hwy. 35 will receive branded keychains and matchbooks. The company will also donate $1 for every sandwich sold at the location that day to local high school career exploration group Ladders for Leaders.

ICYMI: Uchi spin-off Uchibāannounced its opening date: October 6. While Uchi focuses on sushi, this Dallas-born concept will be all about the bar and more casual snacks — things like bao, dumplings, and yakitori. The bar will offer some unique cocktail and spirits experiences that are like omakase for delicious drinks. Meanwhile, an aging Austin staple of 15 years, Circle Brewing, is in its final hours as it permanently closes, and a new Hill Country wine tasting room by Invention Vineyards may be a consolation prize for those willing to make the drive.

Other news and notes

Austinites have been excited about Elementary, the pop-up-turned-culinary-playground, since its opening in July. Now it's adding even more whimsy via a new brunch service. Some food highlights include the "Furikake Grown Up PB & J" on sourdough toast, augmented with tahini mascarpone, honey, and sesame, and the "Frosted Flake White Russian" with oat-infused Tito's Cereal Milk and...corn, somehow. Brunch service kicks off this weekend, September 23-24, from 10 am to 3 pm. Reserve on Resy.

Two big names in the Austin food scene — Sarah McIntosh of Épicerie and Aaron Franklin of Franklin Barbecue — have joined forces for one fatty treat. (Don't worry, that's where all the flavor comes from.) The limited-edition brisket-filled croissant is garnished with candied jalapeños, cream cheese, and watermelon rind relish for a decadent snack that has all the elements of a well-balanced sandwich. They'll be for sale at Épicerie until mid-October.

If Negroni are sbagliato, we don't want to be right. The classic drink, most commonly made with Campari, is in the spotlight until September 24 as part of "Negroni Week," a worldwide charity campaign launched a decade ago by the spirit company and Imbibe Magazine. In Austin, participating bitter-but-citrusy drinks can be found at Eberly (in three variations including sour and tequila twists), Kalimotxo (featuring salted vanilla), Uncle Nicky's (one of Austin's most aperitivo-friendly locales), Otoko (more news from them up next), and more.

Otoko and Watertrade, the luxe omakase and bar combo at the South Congress Hotel, have announced their fall "Dram Sessions." No, we're not talking about the viral rapper, but this is "capers on a square plate" energy. These small whisky pours ("drams," to Scots) will educate tasters via different distilleries around the world, and they'll come with paired bites and optional caviar to elevate the already fancy experience. Nikka Whisky gets the spotlight first on September 24. Book as early as possible on Tock.

Anticipated Japanese spin-off Uchibā sets opening date in downtown Austin

See You at the Bā

The newest Uchi group restaurant has been looking stately at the base of the Google Tower on 2nd Street, with signs up that it's opening soon. Now Austinites can save the date for the much-anticipated opening of Uchibā: October 6.

From the outside, it looks very similar to North Austin's Uchiko, with plenty of casual outdoor seating and shade that will welcome visitors who are just stopping by or are waiting for tables. The downtown location — much more in the thick of things than Uchiko or even the original Uchi location on South Lamar — will likely get significantly more foot traffic, so the welcoming patios look like they'll be in use often.

Inside, key words are "relaxed hideaway" and "intimate," despite the 117 seats across the 5600 square feet. This will be achieved, according to the release, by warm "furniture, fabric, art, accessories, [and] lighting."

Uchibā will serve up some of its sister restaurants' popular dishes, but the main concept is the bar, which is right there in the name (loosely translating to Uchi Bar). The new restaurant features a full bar, and sushi bar with a yakitori grill — those skewered meats and occasional veggies that bring the charred flavor to Japanese cuisine.

Unique to Uchibā are:

  • Two menu categories: Izakaya-inspired Buns, and Bao and Dumplings
  • Uchibā Salad
  • Crispy Tofu
  • Hot Rock
  • Karaage
  • Fried Green Tomato
  • Sake Maki
  • Spicy Tuna Roll
  • Every dessert on the menu

Although Uchi is one of the most famous sushi restaurants in the country, drawing notable visitors, these newer arrivals expand the brand to something a little more accessible to casual visitors who may not want to order (or spend on) an entire omakase meal. The option is certainly there to splurge, but a quick stop at the bar will likely lure new visitors in.

"The core of Uchibā is inspired by the Izakayas that our team visited when traveling through Japan," said Chef and Owner Tyson Cole in a release. "Like Uchi and Uchiko, we have a sushi bar; cool and hot tastings, but we really lean into items like Bao, Buns, Skewers and Dumplings as a part of the intimate bar experience and we are pushing the boundaries of cocktails beyond their role as a complement to food."

By "beyond," Cole is talking about an expansive menu of wines, beers, and more than 30 Japanese whiskies, including one that'll run visitors $300 a pour: a Yamazaki 18-year old Mizunara 100th Anniversary Edition. Most interesting, this new restaurant isn't leaving the omakase spirit behind; It's applying it to drinks, making "perfect bites" of food and spirit pairings, and designing well thought-out journeys through specific categories, like agave spirits.

Uchibā is located at 601 West 2nd Street, near the bridge to Austin Public Library's central location. Operating hours will be Sunday through Thursday from 4-10 pm, and Fridays and Saturdays from 4-11 pm. Happy Hour at Uchibā will be from 5-6:30 pm on weekdays. Reserve at uchirestaurants.com or call 512-916-4808.

\u200bUchib\u0101 Austin plates

Photo courtesy of Uchibā

Uchibā announced it will open on October 6.

Amazon goes on holiday hiring spree with 4.1K open positions in Austin

Holiday News

Soon the holidays will be here, and that means an influx of seasonal work from Amazon, which is on a holiday hiring spree.

According to a release, the company is hiring 250,000 employees throughout the U.S. in full-time, seasonal, and part-time roles across its operations network.

More than 28,000 of those will be in Texas with nearly half — 13,000 employees — to be hired in Dallas-Fort Worth. (Houston will be hiring more than 5,100, Austin more than 4,100, and San Antonio more than 2,600 workers. Waco gets 1,700-plus new positions, and El Paso, more than 300.)

Those include a diverse range of roles, from packing and picking to sorting and shipping, available to applicants from all backgrounds and experience levels.

Customer fulfillment and transportation employees can earn, on average, over $20.50 per hour for those roles, and up to $28 depending on location. Interested candidates can see hiring locations and open positions at amazon.com/apply.

"The holiday season is always a special time at Amazon and we’re excited to hire 250,000 additional people this year to help serve customers across the country," says Amazon SVP John Felton. "Whether someone is looking for a short-term way to make extra money, or is hoping to take their first step toward a fulfilling and rewarding career at Amazon, there’s a role available for them."

According to Felton, a fulfillment or transportation employee who starts today will see a 13 percent increase in pay over the next three years, on top of offerings like pre-paid college tuition and health care benefits on day one.

Jobs in Amazon’s operations network include: stowing, picking, packing, sorting, shipping customer orders, and more, available in hundreds of cities and towns across the U.S., with a range of full- or part-time hours.

For anyone interested in learning more about what it’s like to work at Amazon, they offer free behind-the-scenes tours to the public at amazontours.com.