The Austin Chronicle

Trudy’s Celebrates Local Women, Emmer & Rye Preps Canje, Texas (Sort of) Gets Milk Bar, and More

By Wayne Alan Brenner, July 20, 2021, 4:35pm, On the Range

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, it’s your Food News Buffet for the final week of July 2021.


Sometime in the fall of this year, Tavel Bristol-Joseph, that award-winning, Emmer & Rye-aligned pastry chef extraordinaire, will open his Canje – a Caribbean-style joint with a menu inspired by mainland Guyana and many of the islands in that region. “To me, Caribbean food represents a combination of different cultures: Indian, Portuguese, African, French,” says Bristol-Joseph. “Since moving to Austin, I’ve been craving this food, and it’s exciting for me to have the opportunity to share my version of it. My grandmother is going to be proud.” Canje will be at 1914 E. Sixth. Our forks are already twitching.

Welcome back, Trudy's! We recently enjoyed the reopening of Trudy’s South Star and are pleased to note that, in addition to the Tex-Mex food and wide array of drinks being, if anything, tastier than ever, Trudy’s has revamped its interior with a new thematic design program: Women of Trudy’s, recognizing ten local women who are pillars of the community. From a welder to a teacher to a nurse and more, the hardworking Austinites are celebrated right there on the walls as one walks in, right there among the convivial queso and fajitas and margaritas and so on – which, we reckon, makes that South Star location an even more delightful place to visit. Also: Trudy’s North Star? It’s fixing to reopen, too, and we’ll keep you posted.

Q: When is philanthropy cold and creamy and really delicious? When local dessertmongers NadaMoo! delight more than 150 kids and staff at the Boys & Girls Clubs of the Austin Area with their dairy-free, coconut milk ice cream via a surprise on-site delivery. That was the scene at BGCAA headquarters last Friday – which was National Ice Cream Day, yes – during which blessed event the local Clubs’ head honcho Misti Potter observed: “The kids are completely enjoying their ice cream and the time outside." Well, sure. And we’ll bet the staff was happily nomming down as well.

Austin loves its coffee shops, especially its indie coffee shops. Now, we’re not sure how this corporate news will sit with everyone, but, listen: Gopuff, the largest app for delivering everyday essentials, is acquiring Austin-based Bandit, the app-only coffee shop launched by early Uber employee Max Crowley. Maybe this is remarkable news? And maybe, these days, someone being an early Uber employee is something worth noting? The old hippies tell us that everything’s been fucked since Les Amis closed, of course. But the really old hippies tell us that nothing’s been cool since Gilgamesh broke up with Enkidu over the proper method of grilling an aurochs. So, hey, welcome to the present!

And, in this present: More corporate-level news. More distribution news, specifically. Which we’re pleased to relate, because we’re all about the excellent beverages of Meridian Hive … even though they lately seem reluctant to refer to any of their refreshing honey-based quaffs as “mead,” lest they get relegated to, what, too-nerdy Ren Faire status in the idiot public mind? Still, we’re enamored of Meridian’s line of alcoholic drinkables and thus totally stoked to learn that they’ve partnered with get-it-to-the-public powerhouse Brown Distributing to increase their availability in our ever-thirsty city. Hi, honey – we’re home!

What about distribution from elsewhere to here? Good ol’ Tejas: We’re so big and populated and loaded with real, economically burgeoning cities now, everybody wants into our market. So why should we care if just another company comes a-courting? Because the latest we hear is that it’s not “just another company,” but NYC’s Milk Bar – yes, that celebrated epicenter of culinary brilliance brought to fruition (or maybe to fruition-flavored success?) by Christina Tosi – is now available in Austin. How? Because of REEF, that humongous operator of delivery-only kitchens, which means that we can now get the likes of Milk Bar Pies and Truffle Crumb Cakes and the full line of Milk Bar cookies and more through local PostMates and UberEats and Grubhub deliveries.

You know Saturday the 24th is National Tequila Day, right? Personally, we're planning to hole up in the Food Lieutenant bünker with one of those handy Roadie bags of frozen margarita from Hopdoddy; but of course you might be more inclined to check out the populist specials at Chuy’s or the perhaps more rarified tippleage at the Roosevelt Room or those Volcán tequila flights at El Alma, or, hell, maybe you want your tequila time to be enhanced by a mechanical bull? If you’re not already at ACL’s Taco & Margarita Festival? Yeah, yeah, amigo, we know: Eat the worm.

Now y’all keep nomming as well as you can, tip like it’s going out of style, and remember: We’re back in Stage Four, pandemicwise.

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