Food News Buffet

We told you that Tavel Bristol-Joseph of Emmer & Rye (and Hestia and Henbit, et. al.) was recently awarded a Best New Chef accolade from Food & Wine, and that his and Kevin Fink's Rainey Street venue has reopened for limited dine-in service and they're rolling out a to-go Italian concept called, um, Emmeroni's, right? Cool.

Know also that a Clarksville-based bastion of fine dining, Wink, is similarly back in the (limited) dine-in business (with an expanded patio), as is South Lamar's Aviary and El Naranjo and Downtown's Scholz Garten and Cherrywood Coffeehouse on the Eastside. And the SoCo location of Hey, Cupcake! is again flowing with a veritable river of icing-topped confections for your sweetest tooth. And there's more to come, we're sure; which is great, because we like to spread good news; although, with Covid-19 numbers spiking again, it remains to be seen what's still regarded as good news in the months ahead.

Definitely among the service industry's bad news this week are the destructive break-ins reported by South First's vegan favorite Bouldin Creek Cafe and Westlake's Trianon Coffee – and that lobster-lavishing Garbo's is trying to recover from the recent heist of their thousand-dollar power generator. Sweet baby Tony Bourdain, people! Like things aren't bad enough for the food-service community right now, someone has to kick 'em while they're down?

Further sad to relate that Be More Pacific, the beloved powerhouse of Filipino-inflected vittles, has decided to shutter indefinitely, and so now Anderson Lane suffers a harsh reduction in flavor – while still boasting the goodness of Eldorado and the newly reopened Jack Allen's Kitchen (among other terrific eateries).

Counter that sorrow with the now-open-for-dining patio of Buenos Aires Cafe Este on East Sixth (where you can get, fight us, some of the best empanadas in this hemisphere; and whose Father's Day Grill Box is sure to have Dad roleplaying as Supreme Sorcerer of the Meat-Searing Coals) … and the knowledge that Killa Wasi, the acclaimed Brazilian food-truck-that's-actually-a-food-bus, continues to provide all the delicious to-go family meals you can order at Independence Brewing Company.

(And of course Independence itself offers many excellent varieties of that beverage you might have heard of? It's called … beer? Spoiler alert: Yes.)

Further good news – in the odd, pandemic-spurred Venn crossover of eating well and supporting social justice – the international Bakers Against Racism project has a fierce local contingent that's currently taking orders, cooking up the treats, and readying Saturday delivery of much bready brilliance and pastry perfection to all of Austin.

But maybe you don't have the money to spend right now? Maybe you can't scrape up enough for anything and you really need to eat something? We end this week's column with the best news, then: Red Beans and Ricely Yours, a program headed by Chris Cubas and Maris Clegg, is dedicated to providing free meals (of red beans and rice, andouille sausage, cornbread, fruit, dessert, and a drink) to Austinites in need. "On Tuesdays, we will provide a link to sign up for a free home-made meal delivered to you with safety in mind," goes their announcement on Facebook. "There is no judgment and the form is anonymous. If you have been affected by the impact of Covid-19 or are having a hard time, we would like to make a small portion of your day a little bit better." Or, if you'd like to donate your time in driving, baking treats, or providing cases of non-alcoholic beverages, please reach out to

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