Black Food Week’s Begun, Austin Restaurant Weeks Are On Their Way, There’s Canine Noms at Blue Lacy, Dollar Sales at Twin Liquors, a New Bar Boss at Watertrade, Local Pastures in South Austin, and Water, Water, Everywhere …

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, there's a special menu for dogs at the Origin Hotel's Blue Lacy diner (Photo by courtesy of Angela Hinson)

Yes, it’s your "Food News Buffet" for the last week of August, here in the recently moistened hellscape of Central Texas …

Let’s start off with a reminder for boozy bargain-hunters that this weekend is Twin Liquors’ annual Dollar Sale. No, citizen, that doesn’t mean you can score bottles for a buck apiece; but it does mean that Twin drops the price of their wares to the absolute lowest, then adds $1, and you buy it for that price – which is still one helluva fine deal. The sale happens at all Twin Liquors locations, Thu.-Sat., Aug 25-27, but there’s an added local delight: On Thursday, the first 100 shoppers in line (at 1000 E. 41st in Hancock Center and 4001 S. Lamar) will get free Deep Eddy Bloody Marys and breakfast tacos. Do you demand to have some booze? Chin-chin!

More reason to celebrate! Black Food Week – which goes for an entire month – has begun, showcasing more than 70 Black-owned restaurants and bars all over the north, south, east, and west of this mighty metrop. And the annual Austin Restaurant Weeks are about to begin …

Here comes National Dog Day, as our editor-in-chief is pleased to remind everyone, and so we’ll note how Blue Lacy, the dining spot inside that Origin Hotel at 1825 McBee in Mueller? Blue Lacy not only includes a patio that’s dog-friendly and bedecked with a canine-forward mural by the brilliant Heidi Pitre, but the eatery boasts a dedicated Dog Menu – featuring unseasoned chicken or beef over rice; beef-flavored, nonalcoholic Bowser Beer; and doggie ice cream with four different dog-approved flavors. Mmmmm, as an English bulldog might say, that’s not arf bad …

Question: Would we be remiss to not link to this recent news item about what’s going on with insurance fraud charges against the proprietors of Austin’s much-loved la Barbecue?

Up and coming at Watertrade: After being with the company for more than three years, bartender Nadia Hernandez has been promoted to bar manager at the izakaya-style bar attached to premier sushi temple Otoko. Hernandez and the bar team have launched a new cocktail menu inspired by the sekki – the 24 agricultural micro-seasons as reckoned in Japan – and chef Yoshi Okai has added a pair of new hosomaki rolls to the bar menu. Also, Watertrade’s launched their first Japanese-spirit-tasting-and-education series, Dram Sessions, happening the first Sunday of each month and led by general manager Billy Weston. Sun., Sept. 4, 5-7pm is up next with a class called Sherry Bomb! and you can score tickets here if you’re quick

Anybody else love this as much as our proofing team does?

The best Clever Commercial Cross-Promotion™ going on in town right now may well be Tiff’s Treats teaming up with iconic Tex-Mex restaurant El Arroyo to package their cookies (boxes of one to two dozen) with a take on the iconic El Arroyo sign. (See image at right, yo.) The special-edition boxes will be available for delivery and pickup at all 79 Tiff’s Treats locations throughout this great nation of ours. (A mini-book of El Arroyo’s best signs will also be available for purchase with a box of cookies.) And, bonus: The Tiff’s Treats truck will be parked outside of El Arroyo (1624 W. Fifth) on Thu., Aug. 25, 10am-7pm, giving away free cookies and delivery coupons

We’ve gabbed at you previous about all the fermented goodness along Dripping Springs’ Fitzhugh Road – Jester King! Treaty Oak! Nine Banded Whiskey! Frankly Vodka! – and so on – but at the moment we’re telling you about Beerburg, because that bad-ass brewpub is now open seven days a week. Not, like, for the first time since the pandemic, but for the first time ever. They’re kicking off the expanded hours with specials at their on-site restaurant, Taqueria la Violeta. And, especially because their upcoming releases include pecan and mesquite bean brown alesumac sour saison, and a barrel-aged Octoberfest, we reckon any crafty beer-lover’s gonna add the place to their must-visit list …

So the ACC Highland area is getting a Paris Baguette outpost – at 110 Jacob Fontaine – opening on August 26. Now, Paris Baguette, they’re a national chain that’s “on a mission to reestablish the neighborhood bakery café as the heart of the community,” and this new location has 2,059 square feet with seating for up to 40 guests. Reckon most folks have already established the neighborhood’s homegrown Bennu Coffee or Kick Butt Coffee as the heart of their community … but of course those places aren’t also bakeries, and, hey – the more, the merrier, n’est-ce pas? Welcome to Austin, y’all, and let’s get a taste of those fine croissants …

Along those lines, we’re totally spoiled ice-creamwise in this town, what with Amy’s and Lick and Gati churning out their sweet, cold miracles of confection. And there are Cold Stone Creamery stores hither and yon – and, yes, that splendid Jeni’s has been in Austin for a while, too. But now Denver’s acclaimed High Point Creamery and Eiskaffee brands are … well, they’re not moving to town, precisely, but they’ve debuted their goods at Central Market, bringing, oh yum, Basil Blackberry Swirl and Cornbread with Strawberry Jam and Honey & Bergamot Orange to the frozen dairy section of both locations …

From Local Pastures right into your kitchen

Two of Austin’s best-loved regenerative family farms, Belle Vie Farm and Shirttail Creek Farm, have joined forces to open a unique retail shop in South Austin. The new Local Pastures emporium (1301 W Oltorf ) carries 100% grass-fed-and-finished beef, and pastured pork, chickens, ducks – and those avians’ tasty eggs – all produced on the owners’ farms. Other locally sourced items – coffee, honey, pasta, and more – are also in stock. You want to get it good, get it local, get it fresh? The place is open Tue.-Fri., noon-6pm, and on Saturdays, 10-am-4pm …

’Course, when it comes to regenerative farming and the eggs resultant therefrom, we can’t help but think of Vital Farms and all the yolky goodness that upstanding operation provides – according to retail dollar sales, the Austin-born business is the leading U.S. brand of pasture-raised eggs in the country, after all – but maybe we’re biased because of how Vital Farms is all partnered up with Hopdoddy and, yeah, Hopdoddy is pretty much our burgertime huckleberry …

WUXTRY! Heads-up, oenophiles: Tickets are now on sale for Texas Hill Country Wineries’ annual Texas Wine Month passport deal, which runs throughout October at more than 45 wineries out there in the beautiful landscapes where the urban sprawl isn’t. Get yourself a wine passport ($85, single; $120, couple) and you can taste at up to four wineries per day over the course of the month – and get exclusive discounts on bottle purchases …

WUXTRY! The makers of TX Blended Whiskey and TX Straight Bourbon have released their TX Straight Bourbon Whiskey Finished in Rum & Cognac Barrels – the second blend edition and fourth overall expression of their TX Experimental Series. That’s certainly worth crowing about, even though these particular distillers are up there in Fort Worth (and tbh we remain helplessly smitten with the likes of Still Austin and Treaty Oak and those amazing Garrison Brothers). So we should also mention, in case you’re thinking “Road trip!” that there’ll be a rockin’ release party at the brand’s Whiskey Ranch on Sat., Aug. 27, noon-5pm

Let’s see, what else, what else … Swift’s Attic is celebrating their tenth anniversary with a special dinner on Wed., Aug. 31Chronicle food editor Melanie Haupt has rounded up a helpful batch of “Cheap Eats for Austin Students” as a new year begins at area colleges … and Valeria Valdez reveals a plethora of cozy places to get both wi-fi and coffee around town … and there’s some kinda bibliophilic celebration called Lagers & Literature at Meanwhile Brewing this Sunday … and, hey! – this is the last week of Desert Door’s hotly contested Margarita Madness out there in Driftwood

Finally – and this’ll be the last time we mention it for at least a year, we swear – get thee to a brunch at Foreign & Domestic sometime soon. You don’t have to spend a shit-ton of money; you don’t have to get a fancy mid-day cocktail; you don’t have to do anything you don’t already desire. But, for the love of St. Anthony Bourdain, treat yourself to one of that artisanal eatery’s Black Pepper and Gruyere Popovers. The warm, fluffy, bready perfection of the one we devoured a month ago is still haunting our palate’s most savory dreams …

Now eat as well as you can, tip like it’s going out of style, and don’t forget your umbrella.

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