Vaya con Dios, Z’Tejas! Bye-Bye, Sala & Betty! Howdy, Origin at Mueller! Greetings, Chief Taco Officer at Favor! And, uh, How’s It Hangin’, New Wardrobe From Tiki Tatsu-Ya?

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.

Chris Flores? He's Favor Delivery's new Chief Taco Officer.

Yes, it’s your "Food News Buffet" for the third week of July in Austin, Texas, where it might very well be literally hot as hell

First up: Best of Austin: Restaurants. It's time to nominate your favorites – unless you really, what, don’t have the slightest opinion about which are the best places to eat in this town?

Sorrow! Wailing! *gnashing of teeth intensifies* No, citizen, Z’Tejas (1110 W. Sixth) isn’t closed yet. But the longtime bastion of Southwestern cuisine (and omg those margaritas) will be 86’d from that space for good – sometime ’round December of this year. Co-owner Randy Cohen and his crew will have to find a new location Downtown or thereabouts in which to continue plying their tasty trade, to complement the sort of ambience and noms that grace the other Z’Tejas location in Texas – out there in Avery Ranch, remember? – and the eventual third place they’re planning to open in Kyle. We don’t yet know what the West Sixth property’s owner – Larry McGuire of McGuire Moorman Lambert Hospitality – will build there after the old place is torn down, but we do know that change is the only constant in this life, n’est-ce pas? Meanwhile, there’s still several months to revisit Z’Tejas and get yourself, say, one of those smoked chicken chile rellenos with the green and red sauces, and the crispy jalapeños, and the cotija cheese…

We'll miss you, Sala & Betty

And with similar sadness we pass along news that Sala & Betty (5201 Airport), the neighborhood powerhouse of elevated comfort food, will be shutting down regular service at the end of July and remain open only for private parties in August – and then close forever. “With over 40 years in business,” the company’s recent Facebook post informs us, “chef Teresa Wilson is ready to slow down and spend time with family.” Chronicle Food Editor Melanie Haupt tells us more right here

Okay, how about a little of the brighter side? The Origin Hotel has opened in the middle of Austin’s Mueller neighborhood – which already has more than its fair share of awesomeness, right? – and the boutique Wyndham property is a locally inflected, rock & roll doozy of a place, with that Blue Lacy restaurant of theirs bringing the tastiest of noms and cocktails to all comers in a casual yet stylish atmosphere…

And dining at Satellite south of the river just got better: Those Kamburis Brothers, giving both ERCOT and the infrastructural supply chain a steely side-eye, have just installed a brand new A/C system to bring refreshing levels of coolth to their flavor-forward emporium at 5900 W. Slaughter…

SXSE x 4th Tap = a match made in heaven (Photo by John Anderson)

Advance notice: Chef Bob Somsith of SXSE Food Co. (10615 Metric) reveals his newest Chef’s Table dinners – season 2, Act IV – showcasing his modern spin on Laotian food, expertly paired with beers from 4th Tap Brewing, coming up in August and September. Go for the food, stay for the beer. Or vice versa – it doesn’t matter: The combo of SXSE and 4th Tap is one of this city’s not-so-secret connoisseur secrets…

Also on the way in August is the Four Seasons’ new afternoon tea, called A-Tea-X, with savory options that include miniature smoked brisket sandwiches, chicken salpicon bites, and mango shrimp cocktail, with bite-sized chocolate tacos and matcha profiteroles for dessert. And, oh, the cocktails! Tea-based and exceptionally refreshing. (For instance: My Darling Earl, with milk-washed bourbon, Earl Grey simple syrup, and Angostura bitters.) You’ll be able to enjoy such elegance inside the Live Oak restaurant’s comfortable interiors or – lack of oppressive Texas heat allowing – even on its wraparound deck, with views of Lady Bird Lake and the gardens below. That’ll be Mon.-Fri., 2-4pm, and well worth going Downtown (98 San Jacinto) for…

WUXTRY! Prim and Proper at Neighborhood Goods (1007 S. Congress) has launched new summer specials right now, every day of the week. We’re talking about half-off coffee and pastries from 10am until noon, Monday and Tuesday; half-off lunch deals on Thursdays from 11:30am until 3pm; free sparkling rosé and prosecco after 5pm on Fridays; and – oh, get a load of the goodness right here

Favor, the Texas-based on-demand delivery service, has chosen Chris Flores of San Antonio as its first-ever Chief Taco Officer (CTO). As part of the role, Favor is paying the lucky man $10,000 to eat and review tacos across Texas. Naturally, Flores also gets free delivery from Favor for a year, along with, like, a veritable avalanche of branded swag. Pro tip, buddy: Don’t miss out on De Nada Cantina (4715 E. Cesar Chavez), Nixta Taqueria (2512 E. 12th), and Suerte (1800 E. Sixth) while you’re prowling the Austin scene…

When they say, "Get your Tiki on," they mean it literally

Tiki Tatsu-ya, that island paradise beloved by thirsty sailors and citizen landlubbers alike, has teamed with outdoor apparel company Howler Brothers to create a limited-edition, Tiki-themed line of shirts, hats, pins, patches, and glassware. You can check it out here, but look: They’ll be celebrating the collab with a Launch Luau – a tropical experience that’s replete with a luau-style buffet, event-specific cocktails by Cory Starr, and much swag for all – on Saturday and Sunday, July 23 and 24, from noon until 4pm…

Also collaborationwise, local cookie phenom Tiff’s Treats has partnered with those Main Event family entertainment centers, whereby all 48 Main Event venues across the nation will be offering three new milkshakes, with each shake including two Tiff’s cookies – the first blended within the shake and the second garnished on top. Now available: The chocolate chip, snickerdoodle, and blue monster varieties.

Ah, let’s see, what else?

This Saturday, Austin Eastciders releases its new strawberry rhubarb cider… and this Sunday, you could start the morning with some goat yoga and margaritas at Trudy’s Del Mar and end the afternoon with Camila McConaughey’s ice cream pop-up at Whole Foods… meanwhile, the Chronicle’s Yasmin Diallo Turk takes a good look at MezzeMe in the Triangle

Sawyer & Co.: It's not just for brunch, citizen. Laissez les bons temps rouler!

And, at this point, we’re almost tired of people telling us what a great place Sawyer & Co. (4827 E. Cesar Chavez) is for brunch, OK? We’re wearying of it, see, because 1) we know, we know; and 2) when we say, “Yeah, but what about their lunch and dinner meals?” we’re met with blank stares and have to roll our eyes because that menu is also destination-worthy and they’ve recently onboarded chef Javier Canales, formerly of El Chile and Jack Allen’s Kitchen fame, to take it even higher…

And, finally, though much in this big-sky land is currently disheartening af, still Red Beans and Ricely Yours continues its program of food-based community service and makes the general outlook a little less dismal…

Now eat as well as you can, tip like it’s going out of style, and be kind to the future.

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