As the cost of living in Austin reaches more unattainable levels, it’s getting harder and harder for service workers to live here, making it harder and harder for restaurants to stay staffed and open. Closings this year in Allandale almost always mention staffing issues, which is partly why Lucy’s Fried Chicken and Fluff Meringues and More, both on Burnet Road, have closed, Lucy’s in March and the Fluff in early July. Not sure when it shuttered, but Mr. Gatti’s Pizza at 2931 West Anderson Lane is no more. Close and closed are the Frenchies at Sala & Betty. Pinthouse Pizza is (thankfully) only temporarily closed pending a remodel with expectations to reopen in August.
If it’s not the cost of living, it’s bulldozers dozering down restaurants. Just about everything between Justin Lane and Pasadena along the eastern side of Burnet is getting mowed down. With the Council’s recent approval of a mixed-use amendment, the hunka lots that make up Tacodeli, Tumble 22, dipdipdip, and La Patisserie will likely be leveled shortly. One refugee from the Burnet Road Massacre, Austin Kolache & Koffee, successfully relocated from its soon-to-be-dozed locale on Burnet to 8127 Mesa Drive.
Despite various challenges, new restaurants continue to open. The Pflour Shop Bakery is now open at 7413 Burnet Road (review this issue). Wingstop at 2900 West Anderson Lane is now open as well. The trailer park at 5000 Burnet now hosts Indian Dosa Shop in addition to its usual suspects. And y’all So-So-Allans (South-South Allandalers) have been holding out on me on Jamie Mandujano and his little pop-up farmer’s market called The Real Pecos Melon at 5000 Burnet on Saturday mornings. Sadly, he stops poppin’ after July, but next year, after chipping some of his mama’s red chile salsa and munching on those melons, you will see us there (www.therealpecosmelon.com)!
Pat’s Games at 2308 Hancock is now hosting the taco and burger trailer Radfish. And I’ve not mentioned them before, but there are four trailers down yonder at Rosedale Market (45th and Burnet), including Austin Chai Wala, Everything New Orleans, Kuway’s Banh Mi, and Gyro Center. Near, new, and notable are the openings of the Brazilian pizza place Delucca Gaucho Pizza & Wine at 4200 West Braker Lane and Nissi VegMex Vegan Mexican Cuisine at 9012 Research. If you are missing the Local Foods’ pop-up, their new location is now open at 454 West Second Street downtown. And if you need White Claw (or real alcoholic beverages like wine and beer) delivered to your doorstep, Kitchen United now hosts J. Fermentos.
We’ve also got some new places on the way. VooDoo Doughnut will be moving into the old Lucy’s spot on Burnet. Pita Fusion—think Chipotles with pitas—is opening up at 2525 West Anderson Lane next to Dos Batos Tacos. Manhattan’s Pokéworks is opening up an outpost at 3022 West Anderson Lane next to Einstein Bros Bagels. Businesses are just starting to occupy the mixed-use spaces at The Grove, with The Grove Market currently under construction at 2601 Perseverance Drive. Carve American Grille will be at 2613 Perseverance Drive and Verdad True Modern Mexican at 2701 Perseverance Drive. Perseverance is a good name for that street since it will take perseverance to find parking there. Finally, East Side Pies has submitted permits to rework the old Hey Cupcake! Location into what amounts to Hey Pizza!
The culinary insurrectionists at Eater recognized Yeni’s Fusion and T-Loc’s Sonora as essential food trucks; Brentwood Social House, épicerie café & grocery, Upper Crust, and Zucchini Kill as outstanding bakeries; Eldorado, Enchiladas y Mas, and La Concina de Consuelo as sizzling good Tex-Mex; IchiUmi Ramen & Poke for great ramen; Snobowla (5801 Burnet) for icy treats; Little Deli & Pizzeria, Bufalina Due, and Tony C’s cfor pizza; Asahi Imports for soft-serve ice cream; and Austin Kolache & Koffee and Lone Star Kolaches for good kolaches. Thrillest included Poké-Poké (2320 Hancock Drive), among Austin’s top ten places to eat seafood. Thrillest also gave shout-outs to dipdipdip, Lick Honest Ice Creams, and Amy’s Ice Creams for ice cream; Tumble 22 and Top Notch for fried chicken, and Old Thousand for where-to-eat-right-now.
I wrote this column for the Allandale Neighbor.