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The Austin barbecue scene smokes out some new contenders

By Virginia B. Wood, Fri., Aug. 1, 2014

August has always been a slow month with the heat usually on blast furnace settings, crops withering in the fields, and everyone who can afford it making a final pilgrimage to the mountains or the shore. But this summer, 100-degree days have been scarce, we've had some rain, farmers' market stalls are still abundant, and some restaurants and food trucks could make an August debut. For example, La Barbecue finishes its residence at East Sixth and Waller this Sunday and reopens in its new space at the GoodLife Food Park (902 E. Cesar Chavez) on Wednesday, Aug. 6. What with preparing for the move and making a mid-July trip to Charleston for a South Carolina vs. Texas BBQ Invitational, pit boss John Lewis hasn't had time to build a second smoker for the new spot and is actively looking for someone capable of building one to his specifications.

Speaking of barbecue, fourth-generation Lockhart pit boss Barrett Black says the family expects to have the new Black's Barbecue (3110 Guadalupe) retail outlet open in August and is still on the lookout for the perfect parking spot for the Black's food truck.

After some friends and family trial runs this weekend, Mark Avalos says we can look for Slab BBQ (9012 Research) to be open to the public next week.

Proprietor Jazmin Nunez reports that she has closed Casa Colombia (1614 E. Seventh) in anticipation of the opening of her newly built location at 2409 E. Seventh, where the restaurant will have more space and a full bar when it opens in September.

The signs are up and contractors are working hard to complete the interiors of both Sugar Mama's Bakeshop East and Dai Due Butcher Shop and Supper Club at 2406 Manor Rd. for their much-anticipated August openings.

Meanwhile, chef Michael Fojtasek is cautiously optimistic that Olamaie (1610 San Antonio St.) will be open in September.

Jessica Maher and Todd Duplechan celebrate the grand opening of Métier Cook's Supply (1805 S. First) this Sunday, Aug. 3. The store is stocked with distinctive cooking tools and books, and will be open Wednesday through Monday, 11am -7pm.

Many folks were saddened recently when Texas Saké Co. founder Yoed Anis sent out an email announcing the closing of his young company. The good news is, a group of his customers who are about to open a brewery decided to buy Texas Saké. When Adam Blumenshein, Tim Klatt, and Hank Legere open Strange Land Brewery (Capital of Texas Hwy. & Bee Caves Rd.) in Westlake Hills this fall, Texas Saké will be a separate entity under their company umbrella, with Yoed Anis as a part owner.

Organizers of Fun Fun Fun Fest are currently seeking applications for vendors to provide food that is "healthy, progressive, and tasty" for the November festival. For complete details and applications, go to www.funfunfunfest.com/vendors through Aug. 15.

Another August debut of note: Boomerang's Pies will open in the North End Zone Food Court at DKR Texas Memorial Stadium in time for the return of the fall football season. Co-owner Brian Keffer says, "Pies are the handheld food item of choice at soccer games in Australia, and we're excited for Texans to learn what great stadium food they are." Once they are open, Boomerang's will be serving from 8am-6pm Monday through Friday and on game days.

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