This week's Austin food news
The mobile food vendors located in the parking lot at Second & Congress have been notified that they'll need to relocate within a couple of weeks because funding for the hotel project destined for that block fell into place sooner than expected. The increased availability of real estate investment funds for properties in the central city is likely to result in a shake out in the food truck business, causing vendors to scramble for profitable locations... While vendor locations may be harder to come by, potential food artisans do have a new commercial kitchen rental option, now that personal chefs/caterers Trish Bales and Cynthia Wilson have opened Capital Kitchens (1606 W. Stassney #1). The 3,600-square-foot space can host events and features a shared-use commercial kitchen that can serve as a business incubator, mobile vendor commissary, or catering kitchen. Call Bales or Wilson at 686-4456 for details.
It's old news by now that Trader Joe's is finally coming to Austin and will open an eagerly-awaited store Downtown in 2013, in what's becoming known as the Market District... Wheatsville Co-op took two busloads of enthusiastic employees on a midnight ride last week to reveal the site of the homegrown grocery co-operative's new location at 4001 S. Lamar. Look for that store to open in 2013, as well... After more than a year of advance publicity, it appears there's construction work going on at the site of the package-free, zero-waste grocery store In.gredients (2610 Manor Rd.), with projections for an opening later this year... And if you're following me @ACFood, you'll know I'm particularly interested in tweets announcing the inviting local vendor lineup for the new East Side Market. Sources tell us the new store will be on East 11th, but the opening may be pushed back a couple of weeks.
We checked out two new bakery/cafe outlets in the Arboretum last week and found them bustling with business. Blue Baker (10000 Research, Bldg. A) is a recent transplant from Bryan/College Station that offers hearth-baked artisan breads and pizzas in addition to pastries, sandwiches, soups, and salads. The aroma in there was heavenly, and bakery action is visible through the large plate glass windows. And how's this for keepin' it weird? Anyone who arrives painted and dressed all in blue receives a free meal. The Corner Bakery Cafe (9761 Great Hills Trail) is the first Austin outlet of a fast-growing quick/casual chain – offering a wide selection of sandwiches and panini made on their fresh bread, plus plenty of salad options and signature soups by the cup, bowl, or bread bowl. What we had was very satisfying.
Speaking of baked goods, Foreign & Domestic pastry chef/co-owner Jodi Elliot is having Saturday morning bake sales at the restaurant (306 E. 53rd) from 10am until the desserts and pastries sell out – whole cakes and pies, individual sweets and pastries, plus giant popovers. Check the website for what's available each week; bring cash and come early. And FYI, the restaurant has stopped serving Sunday brunch.