The Merry Month of May’s Depressed Cake Shop, Celebratory Cinco de Mayo, Julep-Joltin’ Kentucky Derby, and the Visual Delights of Craft Beer Packaging

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 first week in May, smack dab in our ever-hustling and downright hypertrophied urban hub …

Don't fret, li'l cupcakes – the Depressed Cake Shop program is here to support NAMI Central Texas!

May is, among other things, Mental Health Month – and several Central Texas bakeries are lending their talents to Depressed Cake Shop, a nationwide effort to increase awareness and encourage mental health conversations, with sales benefiting NAMI Central Texas. All the baked goods feature an element of gray (to represent mental health struggles, they tell us) and a splash of bright color (to reflect hope and healing). We know this is a good cause and – as the pastry roster includes Abby Jane Bakeshop, Skull & Cakebones, Confituras, Swedish Hill, Zucchini Kill, Sour Duck Market, and more – we reckon it’s a highly delicious endeavor as well. Order your goodies through May 14

May is also Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month. Which is why local culinary badasses Tso Chinese Delivery, the Peached Tortilla, and Chi'Lantro are working together to support the Austin Asian Community Health Initiative, with a dollar donated from every order of the General Min’s Shrimp & Chicken from Tso, the #60 Fried Rice from that Tortilla, and Chi’Lantro’s Kimchi Fries Ssäm …

As heralded in an earlier Food News Buffet, chef Michael Fojtasek’s Maie Day awaits your pleasure in the South Congress Hotel. The “community chophouse,” a steak-forward concept that’s a casual and lively addition to the dining scene along SoCo, is open daily from 3-10pm, bringing the sort of excellence this town already knows from Fojtasek’s Olamaie

La Condesa's just the place for a happy Cinco de Mayo celebration

Can Cinco de Mayo get much tastier than what chef Rick Lopez and crew are cooking up at La Condesa for this Thursday’s celebration? We kinda doubt it – especially considering the cochinita of slow-roasted pork, black beans, and pickled red onions – and we’re further stoked to see that happy hour’s half-price beverages will still be offered from 4-6pm that day …

OTOH, there’s also Hopdoddy’s much-missed Bidi Bidi Bun Bun Burger (a Piedmontese beef taco patty topped with black bean spread, tostadas, pepper jack cheese, pico de gallo, cotija cheese, shredded lettuce, chipotle aiolo, guacamole crema, and chopped cilantro), returning to the popular joint’s menu for a month, at all locations, beginning May 4 …

And, oh! Bee Caves’ Hotel Sonesta is rolling out a new menu at their buzzy Meridian 98 restaurant. “Buzzy,” we say, as many of their dishes and drinks feature local honey: From those craveable bacon-wrapped Gulf shrimp to the spicy chicken sando, from the vodka-based Buzz to that gin-spiked wonderment called The Beekeeper. Suggestion: Drive on out and see what chefs Patrick Newman and Adrian Brice are crafting for your gustatory delight – maybe on the evening of May 5, when you can also enjoy live music from Austin’s own Kenny Luna

And, after Cinco de Mayo, up comes the fabled Kentucky Derby on Saturday, May 7 – with your most posh (and miniature horse-enhanced!) option for enjoying the equestrian action being that Live Oak event at the Four Seasons in Downtown Austin

But, look – Treaty Oak Distilling is releasing their second ready-to-drink cocktail, the Treaty Oak Peach Julep – a smooth, whiskey-based concoction made with peach, mint, and cane sugar – just in time for the Derby, too. And they’ll be throwing a release party for the tantalizing tipple (and featuring Derby-inspired fare from Alice’s Restaurant) on their 28-acre property in Dripping Springs on May 7

And then of course it’s Mother’s DaySunday, May 8 – and we’ve got a bountiful bevy of dining options (and a few sweet shopportunities) for your perusal … not to mention Ellen Daly’s recommendations for where to find, on any day, sipworthy vegan milkshakes in this town

WUXTRY! The Craft Beer Marketing Awards is the only global awards competition to recognize and celebrate the importance of craft beer artwork, culture, retail marketing, and design efforts – and Austin-based breweries Pinthouse Brewing and Helms Workshop/Austin Beerworks just scored big at the 2022 iteration of those awards. Like, two Gold Crushie wins for Pinthouse and one Gold Crushie win for Helms/ABW. Yeah, we’ve long been impressed with this town’s commercial graphic talent, so these wins are exciting – congrats, y’all visually compelling hopheads! – but unsurprising …

And here we tip our journo hat to Goodstock by Nolan Ryan, that exemplary butcher shop and kitchen emporium in Round Rock, who donated 100 briskets to last weekend’s Texas High School BBQ State Championship.

But, speaking of philanthropy and doing good in a sometimes too-harsh world, always keep in mind: Red Beans and Ricely Yours, Austin – a caring community at its very best …

Now eat as well as you can, tip like it’s going out of style, and mind the gap.

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