Suerte’s Patio Opens, Thanksgiving Gobbles Hard, Otoko Brands a Sake, Nido and Industry Get All Brunchy, Aviary Collabs Supercharge Sunday Nights, 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.

Otoko's new private label sake

Yes, citizen, it’s your “Food News Buffet” for the third week of November in the midst of hippie-techie Austin’s holiday-anticipating frenzy.

And, gobble-gobble-gobble, Thanksgiving is almost upon us once again. We have a plethora of dining recos wrangled for you right here, of course, where they – both the dine-in and the to-go options – are selling out like turkey-flavored hotcakes. (Probably better, tbh; actual turkey-flavored hotcakes will likely never be a thing.) Your current reporter and his missus will be hitting up Perry’s Steakhouse in the Domain NORTHSIDE, for instance – but we made reservations weeks ago. (If we were Downtown, we’d go to Second Bar + Kitchen on East Sixth, because *chef’s kiss*) Whatever you choose, please: Do not hesitate.

Ooooh, Suerte (1800 E. Sixth), where chef Fermín Nuñez runs an internationally acclaimed kitchen serving the best of Mexican culinary traditions, has revealed their new outdoor covered patio. The handsome deck is now available for outside dining and private events of up to 40 guests, with a menu of small passed bites and large-format dishes designed for group celebrations – including popular dishes from each part of the Suerte menu …

Sure, you know how amazing chef Yoshi Okai’s Otoko (1603 S. Congress) is, and maybe you even visit the adjoining Watertrade bar more frequently? Look: Otoko now has their own private label sake – it’s called Revenge of the Third Son, it’s a Junmai Daiginjo brewed in Kyoto, and it’s available at both venues. (The label has one of Okai’s tattoos included on the front, plus a design on the barcode that resembles the dining room lights in Otoko.) Just as important: Both places are now open on Tuesdays, too …

Regardless, you know we’re not ditching any of our bottles from Austin’s superb Texas Sake Co., right?

We had to wait for Nido at the Loren Hotel (1211 W. Riverside) to get the usual things sorted before they finally opened, but now that they’re rocking steady and true, we don’t have to wait for brunch: Get yourself some of chef Brad McDonald’s soft-shell crab roll with bacon, smoked salmon hash with all the fixin’s, avocado toast with soft-scrambled eggs, and much more, right there on the elegant, sun-dappled rooftop overlooking Lady Bird Lake – Saturdays and Sundays, 11:30am-2:30pm.

The new Industry (1211 E. Fifth) has also launched a Sunday brunch (10am-3pm), and, since they’ve got a dish they call Porky’s Pancakes, and those pancakes are made with pork pastor, bacon, and blackberry compote … um, yeah, we’ll get back to you after we’ve indulged in that compelling gustatory flex and a few of Industry’s $3 mimosas …

Oh, Aviary, you make wine-paired Sunday dinners better and better (Courtesy of Cassandra Klepac)

That does leave the post-brunch slot of your dining agenda a mite bare, though – which is why we’re all smiles about the imminent Sunday series of chef pop-ups at Aviary (2110 S. Lamar), featuring the usual array of great wines and dinners by the eatery’s talented friends in the Austin culinary community. You can expect to find special menus of 4-6 items including new American amazement from Elementary ATX (Nov. 20), pasta from Che Cazzo (Nov. 27), neapolitan pizzas from Chef’s Kiss (Dec. 4), Malaysian delights from Penang Shack (Dec. 11), and all sorts of other wild and delicious offerings …

And, let’s see – what else, what else? Chris Cubas and Maris Clegg’s wonderful Red Beans & Ricely Yours program continues to feed hungry Austinites each week … Desert Door Texas Sotol is celebrating their fifth anniversary with all manner of gustatory goodness out in Driftwood … chef Laila Bazahm is debuting her Bird & Crown hot chicken pop-up at Central Machine Works … the boozy annual Miracle on Fifth Street returns to The Eleanor this week … and Chronicle photog Jana Birchum snapped the celebrities and celebrants of the 2022 Austin Food & Wine Festival … and A. Richmond answers the question: Are Chef-to-Table Meal Services the Future of Cheffing?

And what comes after Thanksgiving? Those, ah, winter solstice holidays, right? Yes: Christmas, Hannukah, Kwanzaa, Festivus, Pikamas, and so on, ad beatitudo. If you’re looking for relevant celebrational activities, may we suggest the Commodore Perry Estate (4100 Red River), where an exclusive collaboration between chef Susana Querejazu and world-renowned Houston baker Roy Shvartzapel (of This Is From Roy) has resulted in a Texas-inspired flavor of Shvartzapel’s famous panettone. Enjoy that sweet miracle of dough while you peruse the Festive Mercantile Bake Sale (Sun., Nov. 27, starting at 10am) and witness the spectacular mansion lighting (Thu., Dec. 1, 5:30-8:30pm) with special performances, unique gift shopping, and more holiday fun for the whole family …

WUXTRY! Hey, Monday night football fans, Side Eye Pie at Meanwhile Brewing (3901 Promontory Point) is running a $30-for-two-pizzas special every Monday night through Jan. 23, using (as ever) that cold-fermented, small-batch dough made fresh on-site according to the recipes of chef Tony Curet – who’s in happy cahoots with the grainmeisters of Barton Springs Mill – and perfectly cooked in a wood-fired oven. The obvious bonus here, in case you’re so ’za-obsessed it escaped your notice? You’ll be at Meanwhile, friend: The beer will be excellent.

Now eat as well as you can, tip like it’s going out of style, and try to be the sort of person you wouldn’t mind spending the holidays with.


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