Openings, openings, openings
Truck by Truckwest 2014 came to an exciting conclusion at the year's final Long Center "Trailer Food Tuesday" last week with the $10,000 prize being awarded to Hand Helds Quality Sliders located in the Midway Food Park (1905 Capital of Texas Hwy. S.). Longtime hospitality pro Robyn Morin and his family only launched their new business this fall, but they've already made quite an impression on Austin trailer food fans with this win. Based on the infographic at www.trailercrawl.com/2014-winner.html, it appears that Ralph Gilmore's Turf N Surf Po' Boy ran a very close second. Congratulations to the winners.
Food TV is hot on Austin again this fall, with the Cooking Channel's popular Eat St. featuring a segment shot at Micklethwait Craft Meats (1309 Rosewood) with Hungry Todd Rungy. Tom and the guys will host a watch party followed by a sausage slammin' contest at the Yellow Jacket Social Club (1704 E. Fifth) on Friday, Nov. 7. Enjoy free food from Micklethwait and live music by Dickie Lee Erwin at 6pm; view the show at 7pm.
Another amazing week with multiple restaurant openings. After hosting a media preview last week, the sleek new Gardner (1914 E. Sixth) opened on Monday night for dinner, featuring chef de cuisine Andrew Francisco executing a vegetable-forward menu designed by executive chef Andrew Wiseheart. On Wednesday, Brendan Puthoff and chef Camden Stuerzenberger launched Fork & Vine (3010 W. Anderson), serving both lunch and dinner in a Dick Clark-designed space in Creekside Square. Expect a comfortable dining atmosphere overlooking Shoal Creek, complemented by a selection of craft beers, sake-based cocktails, and a large wine list. The second outlet of Debbie Davis' Counter Cafe (1914 E. Sixth) also opens this week, sharing the redesigned neighborhood post office building with Gardner. The new cafe is serving the same popular breakfast and lunch menus that earned the tiny West Austin diner a legion of loyal fans, but in a larger and more comfortable space with plenty of parking, and a shady dining patio.
Thai Passion owner Pisit "Gene" Kobboon reports he's getting 50-100 calls a day from hungry customers since he lost the lease on his 18-year-old Downtown eatery. While he continues the search for an affordable outlet convenient to his devoted Downtown clientele, Kobboon has just leased an established restaurant space in the Galleria Oaks center (13376 Research) and hopes to navigate the city permit process quickly so as to be open there sometime in December.
The big news from the latest Austin Beer Guide was the announcement that Pinthouse Pizza (4729 Burnet Rd.) is expanding into South Austin, taking over a former Chili's (4236 S. Lamar) in the Brodie Oaks center. In addition to increased parking, the larger building will offer more dining area and the opportunity for expanding their brewing capacity. No opening date has been announced at this time.