Honey Moon and TLC Bring the Brunch; Sprinkles Salutes Women with Cupcakes; Austin Crawfish Festival Returns; Chef Fermín Nuñez Is, Like, Everywhere Lately; 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.

They're brunching up a bounty at Honey Moon Spirit Lounge …

Yes, it’s your Food News Buffet for the last week of February, here in what might just be the final stretch of this lousy pandemic.

It’s likely that the hottest brunch ticket in town this weekend has already sold out, because it’s a one-off collab between chefs Fermín Nuñez of Suerte and Ed Szymanski of NYC’s Dame

… but you could definitely console yourself with Honey Moon Spirit Lounge’s new brunch service – their first ever – which will be an ongoing event, but starts this Sunday (Feb. 27, 10:30am-3:30pm) and features chef Manuel Rocha’s biscuits and foie gras gravy with duck carnitas and sunny eggs; báhn mí kolache with pâté de Campagne; a seafood tower with 12 east coast oysters, six Gulf shrimp, crab dip, crostinis, and tarragon mignonette; and – OK, we’ll stop there. But you know the elegant venue at 624 W. 34th has even more – and a whole bevy of brunch cocktails (including a Build Your Own Bloody Mary), too, and, yeah, this weekly day of dining will occur at the intersection of delicious and decadent …

And, speaking of brunch – how about those shrimp-and-grits at TLC?

But – hold on, south-of-the-river fans, because TLC, that family-friendly bastion of regional Texas cuisine (and 30 beers on tap) in the Lamar Union (1100 S. Lamar) is launching their brunch service, too! Menu highlights include shrimp & grits, brisket skillet hash, chicken fried steak and eggs, French toast bread pudding, and more – and $5 mimosas with which to wash all that deliciousness down – will be available on Saturdays and Sundays, 11am-3pm

Austin-based national bakery Sprinkles is launching its first-ever Female Chef Series to kick off Women’s History Month on Tue., March 1, which means they’ll be partnering with four nationally celebrated women in the culinary industry to collaborate on an original cupcake flavor that’ll be available at Sprinkles bakeries here, there, and everywhere. (Note: You’ll be wanting the Domain NORTHSIDE location at 3120 Palm Way.) Up first is Brooke Williamson of Playa Provisions, which means her Dark Chocolate Passionfruit cupcakes will be tempting you on March 1-13. Take a lot to follow a lead like that one, we reckon, but there’ll be more limited-edition flavors throughout the year – from Claudette Zepeda of VAGA and la Barbecue’s own LeAnn Mueller and Alison Clem

A supergroup of local chefs are cooking up a tuna-sourced feast at Mongers Market with Gulf of Maine Conservas' Keper Connell …

Did we say the name Fermín Nuñez earlier? Well, we’re gonna say it again, because the man’s a phenomenal chef – and he’s got two more things going on real soon: 1) On Tue., March 1, his acclaimed Suerte will host Barley Swine’s chef de cuisine Kevin Cannon for the month’s one-day-only taquero takeover, featuring stewed chicharrón and crispy pig ear tacos with hot sauce soaked pork fat – sourced from Richardson Farms in Milam County. 2) Nuñez himself is teaming up with Shane Stark of Mongers Market & Kitchen, Julien Hawkins of Hestia, Bradley Nicholson of Lutie’s, and Yoni Lang of Dallas’ Wolf and the Fox for a special dinner to raise money for the Gulf of Maine Research Institute. It’ll be a luxurious six-course, tuna-sourced meal, hosted by New Hampshire fisherman Keper Connell of Gulf of Maine Conservas, and presented at Mongers Market & Kitchen on March 6

Here’s another early get-your-tickets-now warning: After a two-year hiatus, the Austin Crawfish Festival has clawed its way on back and is expanding to two days, bringing a full weekend of mudbug mastication, Cajun-inflected vendors and live music, and general mafficking to Carson Creek Ranch on March 5-6

Also want to remind you that a boozy Mad Hatter’s Tea Party is coming to Austin from Australia – taking over the Wanderlust Wine Co. at 610 N. I-35 from April 14-July 10 – in case you were looking for something to do after you’ve recovered from SXSW and are into a fabricated, Instaworthy fantasy world where “you’ll play croquet with flamingos, paint the roses red and devour 'Eat Me' cake, solve riddles and challenges just like Alice – and unlock all the ingredients to create your own enchanted teapot cocktails.” Charles Lutwidge Dodgson may well be spinning in his grave at this point, but we doubt such posthumous activity is as fun as this party called The Alice could turn out to be …

And, let’s see – what else? We hear that Dear Diary Coffeehouse’s Amalia Litsa has bought out her business partner and is now sole owner of that beloved, vegan-forward java joint on the Eastside … We told you how Austin-based Gabriela’s, founded in 2018 by siblings and Mexico natives Gabriela and Arturo Bucio, is expanding to Houston … And Melanie Haupt, the Chron’s own Food Editor, recently reviewed the fare at Mo Pittle’s Jewboy Sub Shop … And this weekend’s got a few events – okay, a few bona fide festivals – also worth checking out

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


The Best of Austin: Restaurants ballot is here! Nominations can be made now through Monday, July 18, at midnight. Vote now at vote.austinchronicle.com.

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