Winebelly Shutters, Via 313 Shudders, Rosen’s and Rosita’s Go Brick-and-Mortar, Huckleberry Has a Moving Experience …

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.

Um, tequila lime pie ice cream? OMG, Lick, are we in love?

Yes, it’s your Food News Buffet for the second week of January 2022, wherein the local industry and entangled communities do their best to prevail against the continuing pandemic and the various societal upheavals resultant therefrom.

Um, speaking of which …

A group of workers at local Detroit-style pizza chain Via 313 protested for COVID and employment protections, claiming store management suspended them for delivery of a petition requesting sick leave, hazard pay, enhanced COVID safety protocols, and more. Much of this sort of thing’s been occurring over the past couple of years, everywhere, and your take on it might depend on what side of the boss/worker equation you’re on. Who’s trying to bullshit whom, precisely? [SPOILER ALERT: Take a look at human history, citizen.] For more intel on this particular Via 313 sitch, see our new Food Editor(!) Melanie Haupt’s coverage right here.

And remember: It's always been rough, working foodservice, and these fershlugginer 'ronas aren't making anyone's job easier …

And Winebelly, that wine-forward drinking and dining spot at Oltorf & South First has closed permanently, according to a sudden announcement on their Facebook page. Sad? You bet we’re sad. “It truly is a neighborhood wine bar,” noted the Chronicle’s Kate Thornberry in this review from 2013. “The service is knowledgeable, swift, and genuinely friendly.” And now Winebelly, like Contigo and Blue Dahlia and the Magnolia Cafe on Lake Austin Boulevard and so many others in these benighted times, is gone …

In happier news (and this is unrelated but in addition to our event listing for Central Market’s Citrus Fest), the cold-confection specialists at Lick Honest Ice Creams have just released a new lineup of winter citrus flavors boasting vitamin C-rich orange, grapefruit, lemon, and lime ingredients. That’s a fine array of immunity-fortifying fructose, baby, in creamy suspension, available all over this town. And we’ve heard that eating the best ice cream is a sure sign of good fortune; so if you lack Lick you’re likely out of luck …

Bagel, bagel, bagel, they made you out of dough … and they did it right, at Rosen's

And how ‘bout some more good news? Rosen’s Bagel Co., launched in 2017 as a frequent pop-up concept by bagel-badass Tom Rosen, will open its long-anticipated brick-and-mortar location at 11101 Burnet #100, just outside the Domain near the Austin FC stadium on Thu., Jan. 13. And they’ve had the good sense to engage Tiny House Coffee Roasters to run their coffee program. Bonus: The space boasts an interior designed by Lilianne Steckel, who’s made Better Half, Austin Eastciders, and Bird Bird Biscuit look so good. We daresay: Yessssss! Note: This Rosen’s hours of operation will be Thu.-Sun., 7am-noon (or until all the hot, fresh bagels are sold out) …

Also, you know Rosita's Al Pastor on Riverside has been serving tacos since 1985, right? Tacos, margaritas, and other staples and enhancements of a well-lived Texas life? They’ve recently acquired a brick-and-mortar building (formerly Church's Chicken) next to the parking lot that their food truck’s been in for decades. Yes: Rosita’s, now bigger and better! The venue’s at 1801 Riverside, to be precise, where plans are underway to add a mural (depicting strong Latina women from our past, FTW) to the wall along their drive-thru …

Uh oh, geographical switcheroo: The beloved Huckleberry food truck – we mean, we certainly love the noms Davis Turner and his crew serve out of that rolling epicenter of sea-derived goodness – has permanently moved from North Austin’s Circle Brewing and parked itself amid the well-trafficked, live-music-rockin’ environs of the Far Out Lounge at 8504 S. Congress

In the constantly evolving backstory of Austin, it’s like Uchi’s Tyson Cole is the king of sushi and Aaron Franklin is the king of barbecue, right? We’re not trying to make a case for that either way, atm, just acknowledging a sort of general consensus. And of course the acclaimed Cole/Franklin collaboration – that Asian smokehouse called Loro on South Lamar – is like the best of both their culinary worlds. Well, now. Damned if Loro isn’t celebrating National Popcorn Day on Wed., Jan. 19, by promoting their Candied Kettle Corn, tossed in togarashi and sea salt and then topped with their signature brisket burnt ends. Sounds like a perfect appetizer for less than $5, doesn't it? (Note: Since they serve the yummy stuff all the time, it's like every day could be National Popcorn Day.)

Also, speaking of sushi? Hey, sometimes it’s on wheels.

And sometimes your own wheels are all that’s needed for a culinarily enhanced weekend escape from our city’s madding crowds – out in Bee Cave, say, or on Lake Travis. When you’re not gifting yourself a snazzy sojourn right in the heart of Downtown, that is. Note: If now seems like a sketchy time, consider booking months in advance, for after – fingers crossedthis damned pandemic runs out of steam

Now eat as well as you can, tip like it’s going out of style, and beware those Omicron shenanigans.


A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for almost 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

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