Texas French Bread Burns, La Mexicana Says Adios, Texas Sake Company Brings the Sushiko, Delysia Brews Up Major Wins, Patika Reopens Downtown, and More …

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.

Yes, it’s your Food News Buffet for the final week of January 2022.

Fire destroyed the Texas French Bread building this past Monday night

You want the bad news first, citizen? OK, you likely already know that Murph Willcott’s longtime Texas French Bread eatery at 2900 Rio Grande has burned down, and that the Austin Fire Department responded to the fire just before 11pm on Monday night and it took about three hours to fully douse the flames. No one was injured in the blaze, but the whole structure collapsed and, yeah, we can’t conjecture what the next move might be for the iconic Austin business that started back in 1981. But – this just in – we do know that Ilana Panich-Linsman has organized a GoFundMe campaign for Texas French Bread, and that the funds have already surpassed the initial 100-grand goal. Fire be damned, the caring hearts in this town are sweeter than a cinnamon bun

And La Mexicana restaurant at 1921 S. First is closing, too. There’s no scouring inferno, in this instance – except inasmuch as time itself continues to burn us all at the rate of one second every second. Which is to say that owner Jesus Martinez Becerra Sr. is retiring from the business he took over (from La Reyna bakery) back in 1989; and so, in another couple of weeks, vanishes another bastion of goodness from the Bouldin Creek neighborhood…

The taco-form sushi goodness of Texas Sushiko (Photo by Couple in the Kitchen)

Let’s please switch to something generally happier now? How about Texas Sake Company in the Yard at 440 E. St. Elmo? They’ve got a dedicated food truck out front, now, and it’s chef Michael Carranza’s Texas Sushiko, serving up open-face sushi rolls in the shape of a taco. Carranza’s leveraged the best of two cultures, structurally, we reckon – and the taste? Well, as they’ll be rocking king crab with fresh truffles, grilled pork belly with kimchi, and caviar with Pringles(!), among other delights, we imagine the taste’ll be transcendent. Which means it’ll pair perfectly with those Texas Sake spirits…

And, soccer up, friends – as the Pitch (a “food, fun, and fútbol” center) opens to the public in February with an array of local food and beverage options, helping to anchor the 50-acre Parmer Pond District, which includes the Austin FC St. David’s Performance Center… And the annual Luck Reunion at Willie Nelson’s ranch has announced the chef lineup for Luck Potluck, their foodie-frenzy kickoff event; among the local chefs (joining Aces of Cakes star Duff Goldman) are Michael Fojtasek, Sonya Cote, Tavel Bristol-Joseph, Fermín Núñez, Ben Runkle, and more…

Also, Austin's top mixologists are crafting sweet and savory drinks inspired by Girl Scout Cookies, and you’re invited to taste the results. Join the Girl Scouts of Central Texas at Fair Market in downtown Austin to sample cocktails created and prepared just for this event alongside each of the featured cookies – and vote for your favorite pairing. That’s coming up on Thu., Feb. 3, 6:30-8:30pm, and you can click right here to register

You know what a mad crush we have on South Lamar’s excellent Patika, right? Imagine our joy as we note that the Patika Luncheonette has reopened in the lobby of 100 Congress in the deliciously caffeinated heart of Downtown. The little diner that can is open Mon.-Fri., 7:30am-2pm, and boasts not only the usual Patika fare, but also an array of grab-and-go goodies (yes, breakfast tacos included!) to complement the menu’s curried chicken salad wrap, farro salad, and that roast beef sando…

And that new doughnut shop, the Salty, at 2000 S. Congress? They’ve … *gasp* … they’ve teamed up with Terry Black’s BBQ to create a brisket-and-cheddar-cheese-stuffed kolache. Yes, a 24-hour brioche, stuffed with Black’s tasty brisket and some fine sharp cheese, available at the Salty every Saturday & Sunday beginning Jan. 29. And – what? Yes, until they’re sold out each day, so you’d best get there early…

Feeling a little … shellfish? Garbo’s Fresh Maine Lobster at 12709 N. MoPac is offering their seasonal white truffle butter lobster roll, stuffed with white butter-poached Maine lobster, drizzled with crème fraîche and scallion, throughout February. And they’re doing a February collab with Via 313, too, baking up some Queen Lobster Pizzas, available at those brick-and-mortar Via 313 stores at East Side, Oak Hill, and North Campus…

Fill your cup with Delysia's golden liquid chocolate

WUXTRY! Austin’s own Delysia Chocolatier swept each category at the International Chocolate Salon’s eighth annual Hot Chocolate Competition. And that golden chocolate of theirs, that we raved about at you two Thanksgivings ago? That heavenly stuff, in its drinkable form, took the highest award of the competition…

WUXTRY! Can Tavel Bristol-Joseph’s new Caribbean restaurant Canje actually be as good as promised? The Chron’s new food editor Melanie Haupt had this to say about the place

WUXTRY! It’s true: Russian House will be serving bear-stuffed pelmeni (among other exotic meats) during its Dumplings Day celebration on Tue., Feb. 1

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

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