Nix on the Flix, Farm to Market Shutters, Sazan Hires a Hammond, Taste of Texas Extended

All the news that's fit to get your taste buds quivering

Here’s your Food News Buffet for the fourth week of November in the Year of COVID-19, as we shamble toward a Thanksgiving weekend unlike any we’ve known before. Here’s the latest of what’s happening in town, culled from numerous PR releases, official posts, words on the digital street, and even the occasional (verified) IRL eavesdroppings.

Chef Kris Hammond of Sazan Ramen

Flix Brewhouse is calling it quits, as the popular chain of kinda-sorta-like-the-Alamo-Drafthouse movie theatres has been reeling (so to speak) from the pandemic devastation that’s got the entire film industry on the ring ropes. The comfortable, well-kitchened venues (the most local one was in Round Rock) may return after we’ve all weathered These Thwartsome Times, as CEO Allan Reagan has noted, but for right now it’s definitely nix to the Flix and maybe time to, ah, heat up some Hot Pockets while bingeing TikTok instead? Kubrick wept.

[Note: If you want to make the Baby Kubrick smile, consider joining the Austin Film Society, where the relentless and much-informed programming of classics and filmic arcana are unmatched for your deep media enjoyment and everybody’s cultural enrichment.]

Much more locally, the South Congress mercantile gem called Farm to Market Grocery (1718 S. Congress) will be closing down after Thanksgiving day, as owner Peg McCoy has sold the business to longtime grocer Steph Steele. Steele will “reopen the site as Tiny Grocer after a few months of rejuvenation,” McCoy noted in a recent post on the Bouldin Creek area’s Nextdoor Digest. “Tiny Grocer will maintain the communal spirit of Farm to Market,” insists McCoy, who started the business in 2005, “but will embrace long needed updates and improvements. You'll be able to order sandwiches and prepared foods to go (more than likely on an app) and pick up a wide assortment of local products and specialty items.”

The Sazan Ramen place that opened on Airport in, bless ‘em, June of this year? They’ve got a new executive chef, Kris Hammond – a first-generation Korean-Japanese-Italian American with experience in Michelin-starred kitchens – who’s artfully serving up their menu of paitan ramen, Japanese homestyle dishes, and new limited-season ramen (e.g., chintan shoyu), and more, amid a fine array of Japanese whiskey …

Don’t reckon we could make it to the end of this way-too-interesting year without a fine mess o’ holiday tamales. Luckily, El Chilito (they're the folks behind that El Alma at Home subscription service) has us just as nicely covered as they did in the Before Times, with choices like black-bean-and-cheese, puerco rojo, or pollo verde – at $10 per half dozen, frozen and ready to be heated, and available for curbside pickup at their three locations around the ATX …

SoCo’s new Mediterranean restaurant Aba – it’s upscale and acclaimed and righteously spice-forward, much like the original incarnation in Chicago – is now offering delivery and carry-out in addition to their current dinner and brunch dine-in options; they’ll be open for weekday lunches, too, starting in “early December.” How soon, Aba? Two weeks? Three? Please – we crave that mineral

Downtown’s Speakeasy would like you to be reminded that their “9,000 square feet over four different rooms” is available for booking your Covid-cautious holiday parties at now, and it is an elegant place with a Roaring ’20s vibe, after all, and also boasts a rooftop terrace overlooking the city …

The Texas Wine and Food Alliance’s Taste of Texas Auction? That bodacious bounty of biddable local imbibery that we rang a joyous tocsin about last issue? The virtual event’s been extended – the bidding continues! – through Fri., Nov. 27

In closing, we’ll just mention the name “Antonelli’s” again – because it’s been a while, and that local couple and crew are continuing their amazing program of cheesevangelism, you might call it, and couldn’t we all use a nice big hunk of havarti right about now?

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