The G'Raj Is Closed, Micklethwait Does Tacos, Sazan Ramen Sizzles, and What's Cooking at 1417?

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

Here’s some of what’s happening in Austin’s vast and multivalent culinary scene, as wrangled from numerous PR releases, official posts, words on the digital street, and even the occasional (verified) IRL eavesdroppings.

Yes, citizen, it’s your Food News Buffet for the second week of July 2021:

Elegant dining. Easy location. The name of the place is 1417.

G’raj Mahal, Sidney Roberts’ excellent Indian restaurant (with the cleverest name ever) on Rainey Street is kaput? It closed this past weekend? Yes, sadly. Aaaaargh. But, mirabile dictu, you can still indulge your craving for that beloved menu at Roberts’ Mumtaz Market – which continues to spice up the Bouldin Creek neighborhood at 1816 South First ...

Do you remember, before the ’ronas shut everything down, how the folks at Micklethwait Craft Meats had that Taco Bronco pop-up in Batch’s expansive backyard, and how delicious those briskety wraps of goodness were? Voice a big hallelujah, then, for the righteous return of Taco Bronco – right next door to the original Micklethwait’s at 1309 Rosewood and now serving an updated menu of smoked meat tacos and classic Tex-Mex dishes on Fridays and Saturdays, 6-10pm

You know that Crescent corner that’s like a bit of foodie-and-bibliophile heaven, where Airport Blvd terminates into North Lamar, right? With the 99 Ranch supermarket and the glorious Kinokuniya bookstore and that Kura revolving sushi bar and 85°C Bakery and so on? Now the “and so on” of that popular destination includes the noodle-forward noms of Sazan Ramen, which is hosting a Star Festival and grand opening party on Wed., July 7, 6-9pm, with tunes from DJ Crash and inking by All Saints TattoosCarlos Ybarra as the new joint’s full menu is revealed …

We previously bid a sad farewell to the Thai temptations of Sway on South First last year – while noting that the equally elegant Sway in Westlake (at 3437 Bee Caves Road, to be precise) remains open and thriving – but now, wouldn’tcha know it, the good folks behind Hopfields have opened a new eatery in that former location at South First & Elizabeth. The name of the place is 1417 – we’ll let you deduce why it’s called that, Monsieur Poirot – and they’re already serving breakfast, lunch, and dinner on the shaded back patio, featuring breakfast items like baked bao with Portugeuse chorizo and kale, buttermilk biscuits, and cast-iron quiche … luncheon options such as gazpacho with cucumber sorbet, blue crab lettuce cups, and the signature 1417 burger … and dinnertime marvels of duck confit crepes, marrow-rich bones, and halibut. Note: Breakfast and lunch goes from 8am-3pm; dinner from 4-9pm, with a happy hour from 4-6pm. “Happy hour?” you say, your foodie sense (the one that detects alcohol and bargains) suddenly a-tingling like Spider-Man when some foe’s approaching. Yes, citizen, happy hour – because 1417 further boasts a full bar and cocktail program, an impressive beer and wine list, and a java program supercharged by Austin’s own Try Hard Coffee Roasters. Also? You like a good dessert? Listen: Goat cheese crème brûlée with beet foam, candied walnuts, and a balsamic reduction is only one of the finishing touches at the snazzy gastrovenue. This 1417 is sounding real good, n’est-ce pas? Yeah, just wait – the front patio will be available in a couple of weeks, too, and the well-appointed interior is set to debut this fall

Speaking of South First, there’s a new pizza joint (oh, let’s say new pizza-joint-with-a-gimmick) along that funky corridor of food and culture: Show Me Pizza at 2809 S. First. The pizza part is solid, with the usual classics and notable pies like the Cashville Hot Chicken (with white bbq sauce, spicy crispy chicken, burrata, and pepper relish) and that Rancho Blanco (with fresh mozzarella, bacon, ricotta, Havarti, queso blanco, and roasted hatch salsa). The gimmick part is: You can watch your pizza cook in real time, all the way from the prep start of the dough to when the cheesy round’s bubbling in the oven, via Twitch TV. *blink* Yo, surveillance society – your Margherita’s ready and it’s, ah, doubleplusgood

Our love for Austin Eastciders is well-documented, so we’ll simply note that the local beverage company’s just announced the return of their Maker’s Stash series of limited-edition, “experimental” craft ciders. What’s best, we think, is that a Lemon Ginger cider is the first offering in this latest salvo of succulence. It’s a blend created with bittersweet apples and bright, acidic lemons – and finished with a beautiful bite of ginger. Which sounds like exactly what we’ll need for fending off thirst in this year’s hot, hot summer. Bonus: Besides appearing in Lauren Dickens-illustrated cans wherever fine beverages are sold, this nectar of the apple gods is also available on tap at the Eastciders outpost on Barton Springs and that Eastside Collaboratory of theirs on Springdale …

Curry Up Now, the nation’s "largest and fastest-growing Indian fast casual concept known for its innovative approach to Indian cuisine," has signed the lease for its first location in Austin. They’re based in California; they’ll be in the Domain. Meanwhile, our downhome entrepreneur Tinku Saini of Tarka Indian Kitchen continues his fine works unabated, possibly even rolling his eyes at this latest incursion …

Oh! We missed Thai Fresh’s July 4 Burger Cook-out, more’s the pity, but are so damned excited by this news from chef Jam Sanitchat: Following renovations to the venue’s interior and the installation of a new food-ordering system, the popular restaurant will reopen with full service on August 6

Of course we already have a listing online for the Japanese + Tex-Mex taco pop-up that Otoko’s chef Yoshi will be presenting out at Desert Door Distillery on Monday, July 19. But we wanted to tell you about it now, citizen, maybe before all the tickets are sold out … Also, this weekend, there are opening parties at the seafood-centric Keepers Coastal Kitchen and that diversion-mongering Bull & Bowl

Let’s end with a note for all the hardworking folks in the public relations industry: You never have to call something “a local Austin business,” okay? This is Austin, right? If you’ve already said “local,” where the fuck else would it be? And if you’ve said “Austin,” how can it be anything other than local? Please, we love you fellow scribes; don’t drive us crazy with this shit. :)

Now y’all eat as well as you can, tip like it’s going out of style, and mind those pesky Delta variants.


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