National salad chain Sweetgreen opened its second Austin-area location on the Drag as of December 21. The 2234 Guadalupe Street restaurant includes a pickup window facing the main street. Pickup orders can be placed online or through the app, and there is dine-in service. Hours are from 10:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. The first Austin Sweetgreen opened in Austin within the South Congress Music Lane development.
Down south, there’s a new outdoor bar and venue, Armadillo Den, as of November 13 by co-owners Rick McMinn, Josh Hazzard, and Brett Berry. The 10106 Manchaca Road establishment includes food trucks Pueblo Viejo and Ranch Hand, indoor and outdoor space, and a soon-to-open dog park. Its hours are from 4 p.m. to 2 a.m. Monday through Thursday, and then from noon to 2 a.m. Friday through Sunday. There’s dine-in service, and takeout services aren’t indicated.
New South Congress boutique hotel Colton House opened in mid-November with on-site cafe Simon’s Coffee and Cocktails. On deck are grab-and-go dishes, plus beer, wine, and cocktails for on-site service.
Matthew McConaughey’s Favorite Central Texas Restaurants
Austin celebrity Matthew McConaughey shared his favorite two restaurants in the Texas area with digital series America’s Test Kitchen last week. For barbecue, it’s Spicewood joint Opie’s BBQ (he’s a fan of the sausage and jalapeno corn); for sushi, it’s specifically the madai made by Uchi chef and owner Tyson Cole. He also details his perfect cheeseburger and tuna sandwich.
Barbecue Christmas Memories
Snow’s BBQ pitmaster Tootsie Tomanetz shared her Christmas memories with Texas Monthly last week. She’s a big fan of Christmas lights, recounting her first electrically-lit Christmas tree to family tips to see the official Capitol tree.
Highland Japanese restaurant Sazan Ramen has a new executive chef on its team: Kris Hammond. The Korean-Japanese-Italian-American chef previously worked at Michelin-starred Chicago restaurant GreenRiver, Michelin Bib Gourmand Shanghai restaurant Alma, and Colorado restaurant the Regional. With Hammond on staff, the restaurant is adding ramen specials to its menu as well, such as the current Ma-Ya Black ramen made with black olive oil-based broth with chicken and pork.
Over at Hai Hospitality, Uchiko executive sous chef Lance Gillum is now chef de cuisine, since the previous chef de cuisine Edward Sura will go work at the Miami location of Uchi. in Austin, Uchi executive sous chef Blake Luecke is now the chef de cuisine.