Au Revoir, Chez Nous; WB, Antonelli's; Howdy, Local Foods; Mmmmm, Pinthouse; and More

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

Here’s some of what’s happening in Austin’s vast culinary scene, as the pandemic continues to fade and everything begins to open up again and, oh, here’s a suggestion: Let’s not do 2020 again real soon, okay?

Ooooh, that Truffled Egg Salad Sandwich at the Local Foods pop-up …

And right now, as more vaccines go in and more masks come off, here’s your Food News Buffet for the third week of June:

This old town just got a little less Gallic: Chez Nous, that longtime French restaurant Downtown, has closed after four decades of tasty, butter-drenched, always a wonderful Bastille Day-celebrating business. You might remember that 'In Search of Escargot' article we posted a few years ago, which perforce included the welcoming venue that Sybil Reinhart-Regimbeau, Robert Paprota, and Pascal Regimbeau started back in 1982, after they moved here from Paris? Anyway, yeah, damn it: C’est la vie, and – c’est la mort

Don't wanna hear anything more about France right now because it's making you sad, citizen? Okay, how about Greece? How about the Evzone-rocking, culinary extravaganza of this weekend's Austin Greek Festival

Antonelli’s, however, a shop that also has something to do with Greece and France – as well as all the other countries (and local sources) that produce some of the finest cheeses in the world – Antonelli’s Cheese Shop in Hyde Park, we say, is reopening for regular business again. Yes! Oh, yes! Mind you, this return to full openness won’t go into effect until Thursday, June 24 (but right now they’re still taking orders for curbside or in-store pickup), but then it’s back to the sort of in-person cheesebrowsing we happily recall from the Before Times. (Note: You know the company’s vigorous program of virtual tours of cheesemongers around the world, and the accompanying tastings, was one of the rare mid-pandemic success stories? Yeah, and now they’ve gone and hired a marketing pro for the first time in their dozen-year history; which is all well and good as a sign of flourishing, boy howdy; but if that Kendall completely quits writing her occasional email newsletters, we’ll be weeping into our fondue for years.)

The Houston-based Local Foods restaurant, with its five locations in that city (and the honorable mission of supporting local farmers and purveyors), is expanding beyond H-Town for the first time. Can you, astute reader, guess where they’re headed? If you guessed “Austin,” you should reward yourself with a treat from the Local Foods pop-up at 5350 Burnet Road, opening on Sat., June 19, and continuing to offer its yummy goodness Tue.-Sun., 10:45am-6pm, each week. Saturday’s introductory menu will feature an array of their fresh and from-scratch items, including the Crunchy Chicken Sandwich, Truffled Egg Salad Sandwich, Spring Harvest Salad with Texas goat cheese, and a variety of market sides. Also, it’s not like the company’s honchos are strangers to these here parts. Says chef and partner Dylan Murray, “Venturing back into Austin for me is full circle. I cut my teeth in the restaurant business working for Jack Allen and Larry Perdido in the Nineties, so to get the opportunity to rejoin the Austin restaurant community is thrilling and a longtime goal realized.” Sure, and founder Benjy Levit and the other Local Foods partner Martin Berson all graduated from UT – so it’s kind of like, “Welcome home, boys!” And we know they’re serious about Local Foods’ imminent permanent venue – in Downtown’s Second Street district, later this summer – because they’ve got Michael Hsu, one of the best architects in the city, to design the place.

Most everyone in Austin knows at least two things: Black is beautiful, and Pinthouse is delicious. Which is why we’re glad to report that the Pinthouse Brewing team is releasing its new Starlit Rosé Lager (in collaboration with artist Alannah Tiller) on Sat., June 19, 11am. Two more things to know: 1) The brew, which’ll be available at all Pinthouse Pizza locations, features a dry lager base of German pilsner and pale wheat malts layered with traditional Tettnang and Loral hops – all embued with strawberry, raspberry, black currant, and guava, and cold steeped with hibiscus for a vibrant pink hue. 2) A portion of the proceeds from Starlit, brewed in remembrance of Juneteenth, will be donated to the African American Youth Harvest Foundation.

Vegans, FTW! The highly esteemed Auguste Escoffier School of Culinary Arts has launched its first-ever plant-based culinary arts degree and diploma programs for “beginners or seasoned chefs seeking to learn and meet the growing demand for plant-based cuisine and sustainable cooking practices.” Austin’s got an Escoffier outpost, of course; but this program’s based out of Boulder, Colorado; but – thanks to Al Gore for having invented the internet – it’s also possible to matriculate online. Check out the bright possibilities right here.

Speaking of vegan things, this summer brings Bolthouse Farms’ Wunderoots, a new line of plant-based deliciousness, to two of the city’s favorite food trucks, T-Loc’s Sonora Hotdogs and TaLad, to reimagine their chefs’ signature recipes – with Carrot Dogs, Riced Carrots, and Noodled Carrots. The bonus part is: You can try these delectables for free at the two trucks (while supplies last) throughout June and July. Carrot-based, eh? That sounds perfectly updoc to us …

Good heavens, Professor Throckmorton – burgers through the aether?! P. Terry's Burger Stand announced the launch of a new ordering app that can be used for takeout and delivery from all 20 of the popular local chain’s locations. (P. Terry's has also introduced curbside pick-up at select locations with dining rooms.) The new app, powered by Olo, lets you browse and order from the full P. Terry’s menu and includes features like choosing the nearest P. Terry’s, placing new orders, viewing your recent orders, and saving your favorite orders. Yes, it’s available for both iOS and Android …

Oh hey, frequent flyer: Salvation Pizza, that local shop specializing in New Haven-style pies, is now open at the Austin-Bergstrom International Airport. They’ve started off dishing out specialty pies and pizza by the slice, along with plenty of wine and beer to wash ’em down with, and they’ll also be adding breakfast service in the next few weeks. Note: You can find them at Gate 11 in the Barbara Jordan Terminal, not too far from where uniformed TSA agents perform adorable shows of security theatre …

And? In corporate honcho-positioning news? Hai Hospitality – the group behind Austin’s Uchi, Uchiko, and Loro – announced the creation of a brand-new leadership position with the promotion of chef Jack Yoss to Vice President of Culinary. Well. We know the food at those fine joints; and that Tyson Cole did put Austin on the international sushi map, and he says, “Jack Yoss is an immensely talented chef and creative force in our company;” so all we can do is shout “Bravo!” with the rest of our town’s discerning foodies. And maybe see if reservations are available for this weekend …

Now y’all stay safe out there, okay? Eat as well and tip as big as you can, and, ah, carry on.


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