New places, new faces, lots of tacos, and a wee bit of shabu shabu!
A few new restaurants are here or on their way: Debra Ford of Cleopatra’s Salon opened Austin Koffee & Kolache Shoppe next door in the former Kolache Creations location at 7113 Burnet Road so she could still get konvenient kolaches (now that’s devotion!). Louisiana Crab Shack flipped on its fryers in the Anderson Mall near Guitar Center (see review this issue). Jason’s Deli opened a new outpost (and several jars of mayonnaise) at 2438 Anderson Lane, and District Kitchen+Cocktails held its grand opening at the old Suzi’s location in mid-May (see review this issue).
The Tatsu-Ya Twins announced that their long-awaited expansion next to Tacodeli would be named DipDipDip Shabu-Shabu (which sounds like a racy Bollywood dance routine…), would open in June, and would focus on dinner (when Tacodeli is closed, thus avoiding a parkingapocalypse). Honest Mary’s, purveyor of fast-casual grain bowls, will open in the Rosedale Shopping Center (in the old spot for Blue Star?) in October. If you want a sneak preview, check out their original location at 9828 Great Hills Drive.
In other news, Philip Speer, he of Bonhomie (RIP), has opened a highly anticipated ModernMex place with Gabe Erales called Comedor downtown. Epicerie’s expansion into Laguna Gloria is now open, and Taco Flats is expanding into the old Zocalo Café on West Lynn. The Peached Tortilla’s new venture downtown, Bar Peached, is getting rave reviews, and Bidermann’s Deli opened a downtown spot. Dos Batos Tacos gave us a scare by closing down for a short time but is back at it with a newly added brisket taco. Finally, there are unconfirmed reports of Bryce Gilmore of Barley Swine throwing axes while mumbling about micro-spatulas at High 5.
The bride and I ventured to the National Taco Championships regional event in Austin on March 20th, and our local taco traders did quite well with Torchy’s topping out as the Grand Champion with the second best chicken taco, second best pork taco, best seafood taco, and second best veggie taco. Eldorado Café prepped the best pork taco and T-Loc’s slapped down the best beef taco. Between the two of us, we ate 11 tacos and still somehow drove home (officer: “Is that barbacoa I smell on your breath?”). The national event will be held November 9th in Las Vegas. Hopefully, whatever happens in Vegas (i.e. heartburn) stays in Vegas.
Culturemap Austin listed Pinthouse Pizza as one of the nine best breweries in town and Tacodeli’s Otto (a personal fave) as one of their top ten best tacos. The over-caffeinated Eater Austin listed Epoch Coffee as one of its “30 Excellent Coffee Shops”; Bidermann’s Deli, Little Deli & Pizzeria, Way South Philly, and Noble Sandwich Co. among its “Where to Find Austin’s Greatest Sandwiches”; Peached Tortilla, Fonda San Miguel, and Picnik among its “38 Essential Restaurants in Austin”; Eldorado Café, Fonda San Miguel, Tacodeli, and Torchy’s among its “15 Amazing Queso Spots”; and Fonda San Miguel as one of their “Best Restaurants to Take Your Parents To.” Austin360eats included Lucy’s Fried Chicken, Tumble 22, Noble Sandwich Co., Chi’Lantro, Peached Tortilla, Tarka, Tacodeli, Little Deli, Sap’s Fine Thai Cuisine, and Citizen Eatery as among their list of “101 Places to Dine for Less Than $15.”