Santa made a list, checked it twice, and it appears we have been nice since we have some culinary presents opening around the neighborhood. Deep Purpl, which serves up smoothies, açaí bowls, and empanadas, has opened over yonder near Dos Batos. And on the other side of Dos Batos, Pita Fusion is days away from opening. Pokéworks by Einstein’s is still in the works (but getting closer) as is Voodoo Donut. Taco Shack Express is fixin’ to open at the old (and sadly closed) Baby Greens location at 1513 West Anderson Lane. Baby Greens shut down because they were not able to hire enough employees to stay open. With this Taco Shack and the one just west of MoPac and one just south of 45th Street, I’m starting to feel like James Bowie and William B. Travis hunkered down in a little rock church.
Austin’s Very Own Saltt (still not a typo) has a banner up at Northcross promising seafood and daiquiris when it opens. Grove Market and Grove Liquor at The Grove are now groovily open. There has been more—but slow—progress at the locations for Carve American Grille, Verdad True Modern Mexican, and East Side Pies. Foxtrot, a fancy convenience store out of Chicago, announced that it will open in the former pet place at the corner of Burnet and 49th (and three other locations in town).
The culinary carbuncles of Eater Austin recognized Monkey Nest for having a fireplace; Bufalina Due, Bird Bird Biscuit, and The Peached Tortilla as essential restaurants; LaLa’s Little Nugget and Epoch Coffee for indulgent hot chocolates; LaLa’s Little Nugget for boozy eggnog; dipdipdip and Bufalina Due for date night; Barrett’s Coffee and Epoch Coffee for excellent coffee; Ichi-Umi and Ichiban for sushi; Top Notch for iconic burgers; Barley Swine for its fancy tasting menu; Chi’Lantro and La Cocina de Consuelo for fully packed burritos; and Fonda San Miguel for its private dining room.
Thrillest included the Lovely Day Egg Sandwich from Bird Bird Biscuit on its list of essential Austin dishes; Pinthouse Pizza on where to drink beer this winter; Tiny Pies, Upper Crust, and Chez Zee for pies; and Picnik, and Tso for best veg and vegan. Austin’s second-best food critic, the American-Stateman’s Matthew Odam, included Bufalina Due (#6), Barley Swine (#10), Eldorado Café (#23), and Bartlett’s (#27) among his top 27 restaurants in town. May your stocking be full of foodie gift cards and good treats!
I wrote this column for the Allandale Neighbor.