Third Coast Grabs SRSLY, Jimmy John’s Goes Ooh-La-La, Spirited Steaks Sizzle thanks to Still Austin & Double J Ranch, and There’s Some Robot Rolling Up with Your Chicken Tikka Masala …

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.

Third Coast is raising more than just one bar

Anybody who likes coffee and chocolate knows that the pair’s conflation is a good thing indeed, and will be unsurprised – but likely stoked AF – to know that Joe Lozano and the fierce coffeemongers at Third Coast have acquired Austin’s SRSLY Chocolate. What can you expect, besides unsurpassed quality and sustainable practices? Says the SRSLY announcement: “Same name, same equipment, same cacao, same time-tested recipes, same delicious chocolate, same personal customer service." And we are srsly happy about that …

Okay, by now you’ve already made reservations for Valentine’s Weekend, n’est-ce pas? If not, lovers, then see our listings right here

Le ha-ha-ha, oui. Mais nous parions que ça a plutôt bon goût aussi!

Speaking of Valentines, here’s a promotional stunt that’s a goddam hoot and a half: Jimmy John’s, that national fast-food chain, is staging something called Château Jé Jé at 1102 E. Cesar Chavez. It’s a one-time-only, intimate, seated, outdoor concept restaurant to help couples celebrate Valentine’s Day – with a four-course meal centered around Jimmy John’s sandwiches, soda and chip sommeliers on hand to assist diners, and a romantic garden setting with a live jazz band singing “sultry sandwich ballads.” Hyuk! This absurd delight of an experience will be available (by reservation only) on Feb. 11-12 …

And, remember that Cookies and Cocktails competition at Fair Market, from the Girl Scouts of Central Texas and local pro mixologists? Yeah, no: Concerns over last Thursday’s freezing storm put the ol’ kibosh on the much-anticipated event – but! But the event’s been rescheduled to Fri., April 29. You know: After the city’s had a few weeks to recover from the returning South by Southwest Festival

But what’s at Fair Market tomorrowThu., Feb. 10, 7-9:30pm – is the Wine & Food Foundation’s Big Reds & Bubbles celebration. It’s a walkabout wine-and-food tasting experience, featuring a dazzling array of some of the world’s finest champagnes, sparkling wines, and “big reds,” along with noms from several of Austin’s finest restaurants. Might still be some tickets available right here

Have you noticed that new Thompson Austin hotel at the corner of Fifth & Brazos? Big ol’ thing, a concerted luxury flex from the Hyatt people, and kind of hard to miss, tbh? Well, Wax Myrtle’s – their chic poolside bar-and-restaurant on the fourth floor – is opening for business on Mon., Feb. 14, and will be offering “Mediterranean dishes with a local twist” and a veritable flotilla of of thirst-destroying cocktails …

You know how people say, “Well, boy howdy, that goes together like wine and yoga!” No? That’s because people don’t actually say that – yet. But they might start saying it, now that Vino Vinyasa has announced its first wine & yoga retreat, which will take place in the beautiful Texas Hill Country (specifically: Fredericksburg) in April, where guests will learn about and taste wines from the region, experience delicious food and wine pairings, and practice yoga vineyard-side. Morgan Perry, yeah, you might be onto a real good thing here …

Meanwhile, coming up much sooner – Tue., Feb. 22 – is the Full Circle Sustainable Steak Dinner from Double J Ranch out at The Long Time, featuring some of the finest beef in the country (live-fire cooked by a team from Jack Allen’s Kitchen) and cocktails made with Still Austin whiskey. Now, just on the face of it, this is a wonderful collaboration, and who wouldn’t want to partake of such a thing – especially when it’s completed with live fireside music by Eric Tessmer and Tomar & the FCs, right? But there’s a deeper reason at work here: Still Austin, see, always uses 100% Texas grains to make their spirits. And, after they’ve finished distilling, they send the spent grains to local ranchers and farmers for use as cattle feed. So, at those locations – for instance: Double J Ranch – the free-roaming livestock will only ever consume Still Austin spent grains and native Texas grasses. Now, that’s synergy! And also partial explanation as to why those steaks are gonna taste so damn good …

And, even sooner than that – on Wed., Feb, 16 – there will be a Makha Bucha Day dinner at Sway in Westlake. Makha Bucha is a Buddhist holiday that occurs on the night of the full moon during the third lunar month of the year, and it’s about “letting go.” So there’ll be an actual fire for burning away your paper-borne bête noires, nonalcoholic drinks and a rooftop shrine from Kin EuphoricsDJ Shani spinning the tunes, and of course that modern Australian Thai dinner menu …

All right, vegans, we’re crying “Uncle!” now. Because we already saw where Hopdoddy added those Beyond Beef options to their craveworthy burger menu, and now Freebirds World Burrito has partnered with Austin’s Siete Family Foods (for grain-free tortillas) and California’s Abbot’s Butcher (for meatless chorizo) to supercharge their own offerings with much plant-based yum. Note to any of our fellow bloodmouth carnists: Have you tried this stuff, lately? Because, some of it? Is good enough to make you wonder why you’d ever chomp into dead animal flesh again …

We can't help but wonder what Dr. Asimov might've ordered

First, they did away with the meat; next, they’ll do away with the humans? Let’s not even wonder who “they” are in general, but please note that Coco, the L.A.-based robotic delivery service, has begun its program to bring Austinites delivery from 10 Coco restaurant partners, including Arpeggio Grill, Bamboo Bistro, Clay Pit, DeSano Pizzeria, Tuk Tuk Thai, and Aviator Pizza. Bunch of little food-lockers-on-wheels, with some remote human helping ’em navigate the sidewalks (where there are sidewalks and those sidewalks aren’t already clogged with, like, scooters and such) – and their numbers will increase. Note: This initial launch includes merchants servicing the South Lamar, South Congress, South Austin, Downtown, Northside, North Loop, and Domain neighborhoods …

Mmm, those heart-shaped pies from Southside Flying Pizza

What else, what else? We told you about how the recently-moved-to-Austin head honchos of Truff do their sensational condiment thing … we rounded-up a few coffee liqueurs and more for your java-centric consideration … there was this Valentine’s Weekend extra … and our Culture Editor revealed what culinary expansions the unstoppable Josh Frank is fomenting with his Blue StarBite Cinema Al Fresco that’ll feature themed menus by chef Kelsey Rose

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


Get ready for Best of Austin: Restaurants! Voting begins June 30 in the Readers Poll. Find out more at vote.austinchronicle.com.

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