In-N-Out has landed
I'll admit it, I haven't exactly gotten caught up in the In-N-Out Burger hysteria, but now that the first Austin location is opening up mere blocks from the Chronicle offices on one of my regular travel paths, I will certainly be checking it out. The Round Rock location opened last week to great excitement, and we're told the second metro area In-N-Out Burger (4508 N. I-35) outlet will open this week. A third outlet in Cedar Park should not be far behind. What interests me more than an actual In-N-Out burger is the fact that Austin is such a hot burger town these days. Count 'em up: eight P. Terry's Burger Stand outlets currently, with a total of 12 projected; four Mighty Fine Burgers & Fries; three Five Guys Burgers; two Smashburgers, with another on the way; two Hopdoddy Burger Bars; and a Shake Shack coming in 2014. And speaking of Smashburger, in keeping with their concept to partner up with a different local craft brewer in each market, look for the Austin outlets to be featuring Real Ale beers.
There's more good news where openings are concerned. Bryce Gilmore's Odd Duck (1201 S. Lamar) has landed and is definitely serving soft-opening dinners this week, and La Condesa (400 W. Second) reopened for dinner on Monday, Dec. 9, after being closed for fire repairs since Nov. 2.
The Austinville 78750 development (13265 Hwy. 183 N.) that includes an Amy's Ice Creams and a Phil's Icehouse is now also home to Baked by Amy's, a pastry shop that creates decorated ice cream cakes as well as a line of cookies, cupcakes, brownies, and more. I had one of their lovely little ice cream cakes back on Valentine's Day, and it was delightful. Can designer ice cream sandwiches be far behind? We'll be sending someone for a full report.
Another food item that is getting lots of attention in Austin is pizza, what with Stephen Dilley of Bufalina (1519 E. Cesar Chavez) raising the bar on Neapolitan pizza, Home Slice (1415 S. Congress) adding Neapolitan dough to their menu on Mondays, and the Uchi/Uchiko team planning a pizza parlor and bake shop for 2014. Into the local pizza fray comes Due Forni Pizza & Wine (106 E. Sixth), the second outlet of a popular Las Vegas pizza restaurant owned by former Austinite Alex Taylor. Taylor and his business partner, chef Carlos Buscaglia, founded the original Due Forni in 2011, boasting the only dual-oven pizza system in the country. With one oven set at 500 degrees to cook what they describe as "authentic Romana thin crust pizza" and another set at 900 degrees to turn out the thicker, chewier Neapolitan crust, Due Forni could have all the pizza bases covered. The full-service restaurant will also offer a full menu of hot and cold appetizers, entrées baked in the wood-fired ovens, a substantial selection of wines from Italy and Argentina, cocktails, and local craft beers. Due Forni opens today, Dec. 12, in the former Louie's 106 location in the historic Littlefield building Downtown.