Free Ice Cream from Lick, Fitzhugh Parties Hearty, Bird Bird Biscuit Spawns Anew, SXSE Does That Too, Don’t Forget Woo Woo, and What the Hell Is a Shaketini?

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

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

Some of the town's tastiest tacos and ranch water among the riverside putt-putt-putters? That's par for everybody's course at Migas Fest on Sunday.

Yes, it’s your Food News Buffet for the third week in October, Year Two of This Lousy Plague.

FREE ICE CREAM No, for real: Lick Honest Ice Creams is turning 10 years old this very month, and they’re gifting a free scoop to all guests who visit their Austin or San Antonio scoop shops on Thu., Oct. 14 from 7-10pm. Any kind of free ice cream is a True Good Thing, we reckon, but – do you know how good that Lick stuff is? Oh my … And, as if to complicate matters in a confectionary sort of fashion, on that same day – which is National Dessert Day, after all – Trudy’s Tex-Mex will be offering guests one free Brownie Sundae with the purchase of a dine-in entree. Yeah, that’s a fudge brownie topped with Mexican vanilla ice cream, drizzled with chocolate syrup, caramel, and whipped cream …

Heads-up, food professionals! The Austin Food & Wine Alliance is preparing to award $34,500 in grant funding to support culinary innovation and community giveback projects in Central Texas. Is your project a good fit for these grants? Deadline for application: Sun., Oct. 24

Here’s another early warning: Olamaie’s star chef Michael Fojtasek will host a three-course brunch with James Beard Award-Winning author Joshua McFadden (featuring recipes from the man’s newest cookbook) for the final day (Sun., Oct. 31) of this year’s Texas Book Festival. The two of them, going mano a mano – if not biscuit a biscuit? Reserve a spot, if you still can

Speaking of the TBF, Atlas Obscura’s Cecily Wong will be presenting the gorgeous new compendium of culinary weirdness, Gastro Obscura (which we’ve reviewed right here), at the festival – on Sat., Oct. 30

No, this isn’t The Dripping Springs Chronicle, but we’re still stoked to hear that Fitzhugh Brewing out thataway is celebrating their first anniversary (on Sat., Oct. 16) with a release of their Russian Imperial Stout – and live music, an array of local vendors, facepainting (for the kiddos, we assume), and so on. And Jester King’s out in those parts, too, right? And Treaty Oak Distilling? And – hell, maybe we should rename this river city rag …

And even a bit farther afield? The Fredericksburg Food and Wine Fest celebrates its 30th event on Sat., Oct. 23, featuring the best of Texas wine, beer, food, chefs, and entertainment – with 22 (!) Texas wineries onsite to offer their sips of liquid Lone Star terroir …

We’ve raved about the Laotian brilliance of those SXSE Chef’s Nights at 4th Tap Brewing Co-op, and noted that they’re well-reflected in chef Bob Somsith’s onsite foodtruck. Well. Chef is staying with those 4th Tappers, of course, but he’s also got another, second location coming: SXSE East will open alongside the popular Wanderlust Wine Company at 702 Shady Lane on Fri., Oct. 15. Mind you, that’s a soft opening, with a bigger inaugural celebration on its way …

Zorba, we reckon, would weep with joy: Downtown’s Simi Estiatorio, that Greek-island inspired restaurant of fresh Mediterranean fare from land and sea, is launching weekend brunch service (Sat.-Sun., 11am-4pm) on Oct. 16th. Ah, the omelets, those toasts, the mouth-watering souvlaki, and omg especially that seafood platter? Efharisti poli!

Sad news: Maiko Sushi (at 311 W. Sixth) is preparing to shutter permanently on Oct. 27. Their usual happy hours, dine-in and takeout services will be available until then, so now’s the time to your last taste of those sake mac and cheese, maki rolls, yaki udon, or poke bowls …

Glad news: The long-awaited Bird Bird Biscuit second location – at at 1401 W. Koenig, where that Thundercloud Coffee used to be – is opening on Mon., Oct. 18. You’ll be able to haul yourself over to get your chicken-and-biscuit fix daily, knowing that co-founders Brian Batch and Ryan McElroy will be offering the same yum-packed menu available at the original Manor Road location. (BTW: McElroy’s elegantly appointed pizza palace on Manor? That joint called Love Supreme? Is one of the finer places in any neighborhood to grab a bite to eat.)

Happy first year, y'old ursine provocateur!

Also, Old Thousand, that bold bastion of “Dope Chinese” cuisine at 4805 Burnet has opened their dining room for the first time ever! We’ve been shouting about the menu – especially, omg, that Brisket Fried Rice – since they started that take-out program in the midst of the pandemic; and now, a year later, we get to sit down almost like normal and eat some of the best Chinese-style food we’ve ever had in our mouths. Bonus: Old Thousand is marking the one-year success with a celebratory pig roast, and you can still get that party platter (Smoked Pork, Lettuce Wraps, Mapo Fermented Cornbread, Chino Mac Salad, and Sichuan Coleslaw) on Thursday …

And Northwest Hills is getting a burger bar: The 5280 Burger & Tap House, just to the west of MoPac, featuring “the finest chef-crafted burgers made from the freshest ingredients, topped with daily scratch-made sauces.” This 5280 is brought to us, in part, by Clay McPhail – one of the original El Arroyo guys, right? But the new joint’s about more than just burgers, of course (think: chicken and salads and so on), and – dessertwise? Whoa: Frozen custard with 25 different toppings and a robust milkshake menu, including the boozy Shaketinis

Z’Tejas Goes Pink! For the whole month of October, Z’Tejas Southwest Grill is selling pink awareness ribbons to raise funds for the Breast Cancer Resource Center. And if you buy a ribbon here, you get – for free – one of Z’Tejas’ thirst-busting watermelon-strawberry margaritas. Or, if you’d rather, a non-alcoholic strawberry lemonade cocktail. Either way, you’ll be sipping pretty while helping battle a harsh disease, right? And maybe availing yourself of some of what’s on the menu, too? We know you know how good that is – but we’ll remind you that the big Z is also workin’ the ghost kitchen action, these days, with their Woo Woo Burgers featuring fresh, never frozen, hormone-free beef and chicken sammiches for takeout at that same West Sixth location

Right, aaaaaaand – you know about this weekend’s WILD Meal Series launch at Desert Door Sotol, with the worldclass food and Hill Country hospitality under the stars out Wimberley way, yes? OK, what about Sunday’s minigolf-enhanced Migas Fest, right there near the river? And that upcoming Field Guide Festival? Damn, citizen, is there anything you don’t know about?

Now eat as well as you can, tip like it’s going out of style, and watch out for those lingering ‘ronas.

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