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Stellar Taiwanese Food Truck Song La Closes on Campus to Move Into South Austin

Plus, a new Korean barbecue restaurant is using robot servers and more intel

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Cardboard boxes full of fried chicken.
Song La’s chicken bites
Song La/Facebook
Nadia Chaudhury is the editor of Eater Austin covering food and pop culture, as well as a photographer, writer, and frequent panel moderator and podcast guest.

Amazing Taiwanese food truck Song La closed up its campus location on October 24, ahead of reopening in the Thicket Food Truck Park at 7800 South First Street on Wednesday, November 3. The truck, from co-owners Aleksandr Karpets and Sun-Yun Yang, offers great Taiwanese chicken, bento boxes, and boba teas via online preorders. Other tenants of the food truck court include Shirtley’s Tini Cuisine, Artipasta, Brooklyn Breakfast Shop, and others.

New Korean barbecue restaurant uses robot servers

New Highland restaurant K BBQ is using robot servers, as reported by CBS Austin, due to the staffing shortages and many restaurants having difficulties finding and/or retaining employees. There are two robots that deliver dishes to diners. The restaurant, which focuses on all-you-can-eat Korean barbecue, opened in late September.

Laotian food truck expands with Govalle location

North Austin food truck SXSE Food Co. opened a second location in Govalle this month. Owner and chef Bob Somsith’s new truck is parked at the second location of wine bar Wanderlust Wine Collective at 702 Shady Lane as of October 15. The menu focuses on Southeast Asian and Southern American dishes, with a heavy Laotian influence, which includes crispy fried rice, skewers, and a new section of crudos. The host bar will offer suggested wine pairings for every item. Other food trucks parked at the bar include Forking Vegan and Out of Nowhere. SXSE’s original truck at 4th Tap Brewing, which hosts tasting menu meals, will remain there.

Many Austin venues received COVID-19 grants

Austin Chronicle listed out how much money local venues received through the Shuttered Venue Operators Grant Program from the Small Business Administration during the pandemic. The University of Texas at Austin received $10,000,000.

A Denver burger restaurant opens in Austin

Denver mini-chain 5280 Burger & Tap House is opening its first Texas location in Austin this month. The 7032 Wood Hollow Drive restaurant in the Northwest Hills area will open today, Thursday, October 28. The menu focuses on burgers, as well as chicken sandwiches, fries, soups, salads, frozen custard, and milkshakes (with boozy options). Then there are beers with a heavy Denver focus, along with cocktails and wines. 5280’s co-owners are Clay McPhail (who had been the president and chief executive officer of the restaurant group that opened Tex-Mex restaurant El Arroyo in Austin) and Don Redlinger. They opened the first 5280 in Denver in 2014, and now there are three locations in the Colorado city.

Rainey Street bar switches concepts

Downtown Austin bar Alibi on 96 Rainey Street closed up shop on September 11. The address is now home to a new tiki bar called Placeholder, which quickly opened as of September 24. The cocktail focuses on classic drinks such as Mai Tais and Zombies, as well as two frozen options. Detroit-style pizza truck Via 313 remains parked at the bar. Before Alibi opened in 2017, the address had been Bar 96 from bar entrepreneur Bridget Dunlap.

Tracking Austin events

The East Austin Taco Run, where runners will run through and learn about the eastern neighborhood while also partaking in tacos from participating restaurants, which are Las Trancas, Texseuno, and Asador Tacos. There are two scheduled runs, one tonight, Thursday, October 28, and the other on Thursday, November 18. Tickets are $30 and it begins at Las Trancas.

As part of the forthcoming and returning Austin Food & Wine Festival, the organizers are hosting a series of dinners. The first is a three-course meal at New American luxury hotel restaurant Lutie’s with chefs Bradley Nicholson and Susana Querejazu on Thursday, November 4 with two seatings at 6 and 8:30 p.m. for $175. The second is a four-course meal at new Caribbean restaurant Canje with chefs Kevin Fink and Tavel Bristol-Joseph, who will work with Washington, D.C. pastry chef Paola Velez (notable for being one of the co-organizers of Bakers Against Racism) on Friday, November 5 with seatings from 6 to 9 p.m. for $200. The final one is a casual evening event with wines chosen by Erika Wildmann and appetizers/grazing board from chef Madeline Brandstetter at New Texan restaurant and butcher shop Salt & Time on Friday, November 5 at 8 p.m. for $60.

Salt & Time

1912 East 7th Street, , TX 78702 (512) 524-1383 Visit Website

Lutie’s Garden Restaurant

4100 Red River Street, , TX 78751 (512) 675-2517 Visit Website

SXSE Food Co.

10615 Metric Boulevard, Austin, Texas 78758 Visit Website


96 Rainey Street, Austin, Texas 78701 Visit Website

Las Trancas

, , Texas 78702 (512) 701-8287

Song La

7800 South 1st Street, , TX 78745 (831) 254-7525 Visit Website

The Alibi

96 Rainey Street, , TX 78701 (512) 953-8469 Visit Website


6929 Airport Boulevard, , TX 78752 (512) 394-7937

Wanderlust Wine Co. [Shady Lane]

702 Shady Lane, Austin, TX 78702 Visit Website


1914 East 6th Street, , TX 78702 (512) 706-9119 Visit Website