Meanwhile Brewing’s National Beer Day at Loro; C-C-Cake Club Congregates; Fojtasek Everywhere You Look, So Very Very Much Sushi, and How About That Sweet Live Fire Action, Hoss?

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 say that, when Hell is full, dead bunnies will roam the earth. If they're like these chocolate ones from Sugar Plum, we say "Bring 'em on!"

Yes, it's another Food News Buffet, citizen! This one's for the second week of April in our increasingly money-bothered metroplis, and it's prepared, as ever, by your humble correspondent

National Beer Day is Thu., April 7, and surely you don’t need to be told how to accommodate that “holiday.” But, in case you’d like a gentle suggestion: The honchos of Meanwhile Brewing are taking over the taps at Loro (2115 S. Lamar) to offer their new Vampire Weekday (an experimental hop hazy IPA) and Royal Tannin (which is a rice lager with jasmine tea). We reckon you could successfully pair either of those with Loro’s pork belly and garlic noodles; but then, you could probably pair anything with Loro’s pork belly and garlic noodles for a win …

Well, this certainly takes the cake: It’s time again for That Takes the Cake, the annual showcase resulting from a citywide cake-making competition orchestrated by the Capital Confectioners Cake Club at ACC’s Highland Campus. Sculpted cakes, novelty cakes, wedding cakes, buttercream only, and live demos, and more – on display Sat.-Sun., April 9-10, noon-5pm

Carpenter Hotel, that elegant rental near Zilker Park – at 400 Josephine, to be precise – has just launched new menus at their Carpenters Hall restaurant as chef Jeffrey Hundelt takes the helm. (Note: Chef Jeffrey’s also the main kitchen man behind the Hotel Magdalena’s Summer House on Music Lane, one of SoCo’s finest gems of dining.) Also, the Carpenter’s lounge now boasts a new and welcoming coffee bar

Gimme Burger? Yes, please!

By the time you read this, Butler Pitch & Putt (201 Lee Barton Dr.) will have already celebrated their 72nd anniversary – but the food truck that debuted at that popular venue on April 6 will continue to service your nomming needs there throughout the year. And why do we care about this particular food truck? Because it’s Gimme Burger, from chef Michael Fojtasek and the Little Ola’s crew. Yeah, and they’ll be open Thu.-Fri., 3-8pm; Sat.-Sun., 1-8pm

Speaking of all things Fojtasek – or at least more things Fojtasek – we’re happy to note that that same Michael will be the executive chef of Maie Day, the “community chophouse” opening on May 1 in the South Congress Hotel. The new concept will replace existing restaurant Central Standard, and flourish a menu composed of all the things people love about steakhouses: great steaks, sides, and cocktails, but “with its own South Congress style.” And what is that style, precisely? “Casual, lively, and always a party,” they’re telling us. So, kind of like the Chronicle offices, but with much better food?

Here’s a reminder that this weekend – Sat., April 9, 6-11:30pm, out in Fredericksburg – brings us the highly anticipated Texas Wine Auction amid a backdrop of culinary exuberance and Hill Country celebration …

And, because it ain’t just about the turkey legs, sirrah, we’ll also note that the 41st season of the Scarborough Renaissance Festival begins out in Waxahachie this weekend …

And a new brand of ready-to-drink canned cocktails – Watertight Cocktails, made right here in Austin – is launching in Texas this month. Brought to us by beverage innovators Ryan Baird (formerly of Yellow Rose Distilling) and Revolver Brewing co-founder Rhett Keisler, the summertime refreshers boast plenty of real fruit juice in such tasty sips as the Beach Margarita, the Guava Paloma, and the Mango Sipper. Find ’em in four-packs at local grocery, convenience, and liquor stores real soon …

Margarita Kallas-Lee and Phillip Frankland Lee of Scratch Restaurants

Remember how Phillip Frankland Lee and Margarita Kallas-Lee brought that (amazing) Sushi | Bar to Austin (in a sweet alcove inside Bento Picnic) and then sold the concept to their former biz partners so they could focus on their own projects? Well. That married pair of chefs have brought their Michelin-starred Pasta | Bar experience to 1017 E. Sixth and have opened Sushi by Scratch Restaurants: Cedar Creek out there in the Hyatt Regency Lost Pines, so they can fulfill both your noodle- and nigiri-based omakase dreams

Meanwhile, that aforementioned Sushi | Bar continues to pull in awed aficionados on E. Cesar Chavez, now with chef Ambrely Oimette orchestrating the stunningly fresh piscine presentations each night … And TenTen at 501 W. Sixth? That venue on the corner with the elegant interior, with its superb bar program and delicious takes on modern Japanese fare? They've launched a new happy hour menu, featuring a vegetarian poke bowl, pork gyoza, and a series of don't-miss-'em handrolls including beef tartare, spicy salmon, unagi, coconut shrimp tempura, and more. And (because happy hour, duh) all specialty cocktails, wine, sake, and house spirits are half-off, Mon.-Fri., 4:30-5:30pm

Oh, hey! You know that Davis Turner of Huckleberry and Evan LeRoy of LeRoy & Lewis Barbecue and Nixta Taqueria’s Edgar Rico will be among the chefs passing out delicious bites at the Austin Food & Wine Alliance’s Live Fire festival, right? And that the event features a Grant Winner Market, highlighting some of Central Texas’ finest packages food brands? Yes: Confituras, Connie Jo’s All-Purpose Sauces, the Cultured Carrot, Jeany’s Caribbean Elixirs, and more among the night’s open-flamed revelry. Oh, what a tasty shindig – at Camp Mabry, on Thu., April 14, 6:30-9pm

Ah, here comes Peter Cottontail or whatever, something something Easter’s on its way, amirite? And we’ve got a plethora of sweet and savory dining options rounded up for your holiday-planning convenience

Surely no one’s forgotten for a moment that Tiki Tatsu-ya and DipDipDip exist, right? Just making sure. Just reminding you to try for reservations way in advance. Can’t spend every night at Garbo’s, after all. Can’t visit Suerte and Barley Swine and Foreign & Domestic and Honey Moon Spirit Lounge and Justine’s and Dai Due more than several times a month …

Ah, that Long Table Dinner at the Hotel Granduca …

The Hotel Granduca (320 S. Cap.of Texas Hwy) is presenting a multicourse dinner featuring Texas Hill Country winery William Chris Vineyards at their Spring Harvest Long Table Dinner on Thu., April 21. You know, we’ve had the pleasure of attending one of these posh but leisurely Long Table feasts, back in mid-pandemic times, and it’s still one of our favorite wine-paired culinary memories. Highly recommended …

We started off this column with a shout-out to National Beer Day. Might as well note that next Thursday, April 14, is National Pecan Day. And if you feel like paying homage to what might be your favorite nuts … then we’ll gladly point you to that restaurant called Corinne in the Austin Marriott Downtown, where they’ve got a decadent Pecan Praline French Toast on the menu, noting that the already-glorified hunk of bread is drizzled in bourbon maple syrup and served with whipped cream

And, let’s see – what else, what else? That compelling Dining in the Dark experience is still going on at the W … And chef Amanda Rockman is continuing to rock, man, the frosty confections at the Museum of Ice Cream

Now eat as well as you can, tip like it’s going out of style, and, ah, everybody Wang Chung tonight.

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for over 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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