Austin Cake Slices
Emmer & Rye pastry chef Raymie Fuentes launched a new cake-selling side gig last month. His prepackaged cakes are available at all Austin locations of Royal Blue Grocery as of June. Each month will feature a different flavor. Last month was a beautiful layered rainbow cake in honor of Pride. July’s is a strawberry-matcha layer cake, made up of an almond-matcha sponge cake, sweet matcha buttercream, and strawberry gelee garnish.
Fuentes, who is from Uvalde, worked at Bouchon Bakery in California and then became a pastry sous chef of the bakery’s New York location within Rockefeller Center. When that location closed last summer because of the pandemic, Fuentes moved to Austin. He exchanged his baked goods for Instagram followers in Zilker Park for a bit until he was hired at Emmer & Rye in November (he helped develop the chicken liver mousse macaron). He frequented the Rainey Street location of Royal Blue near the downtown restaurant and noticed that it often sold packaged baked goods from other businesses. He asked if they’d be interested in his items, hence, the partnership.
Future items include small tarts such as chocolate-caramel, fruit ones, and pumpkin pie; macarons such as spiced apple, eggnog; and a chocolate and hazelnut buche de noel for Christmas.
Chain Restaurant Sale
San Antonio chain restaurant Taco Cabana was sold, as reported by MySA. The chain’s parent company Fiesta Restaurant Group, Inc. sold the chain to YTC Enterprises for $85 million. YTC Enterprises is under the Yadav Enterprises, which oversees Jack in the Box, Denny’s, El Pollo Loco, and other chains.
Shuttering and Coming Attraction
Austin-born Southwestern mini-chain restaurant Z’Tejas closed its Arboretum location on July 2. The reason behind the shutter is because of “insurmountable obstacles,” according to the press release.
But the restaurant company is going to open a new location in the northwest Austin area at 14900 Avery Ranch Boulevard sometime this fall. The new space will feature indoor and patio dining, as well as a chef’s table. The chain had operated a location nearby on West Parmer Lane, which it closed in 2017. Its West Sixth location remains open.
Japanese Taco Pop-Up
Otoko chef Yoshi Okai’s next collaboration pop-up is taking place at Driftwood distillery Desert Door on Monday, July 19. The menu includes okonomiyaki tacos, one pork belly and the other maitake mushroom, as well as cocktails created by Otkoko’s sibling bar Watertrade using sotol from Desert Door. Required tickets are still available.
Texas Restaurant Awards
Texas Restaurant Association announced the finalists for its 2021 awards. This includes Austin’s Harlan Scott, co-founder of San Marcos restaurant Industry and local restaurant consultant, in both the Deep in the Heart and Rising Star award categories; Creed Ford IV and Tony Violo of Austin restaurant mini-chains the League Kitchen/Tony C’s/Mighty Fine Burger in the Rising Star group; and Casa Chapala’s Luis and Rita Barragan in the Texas Restaurateur category. The Texas Restaurant Award winners will be announced at an event in San Antonio on Sunday, July 11.
Downtown coffee spot Alta’s Cafe might have to relocate from its address at the Waller Creek Boathouse due to the proposed light-rail line to the Austin airport, as reported by Community Impact.
The South Star location of Tex-Mex minichain Trudy’s reopened on July 1 with a renovated space and updated menu. The restaurant is also highlighting ten women in the community as part of its Women of Trudy’s program. The lineup includes EMS Association president and nurse Selena Xie and Austin Independent School District teacher Lisa Richardson, among others. Next up for renovations is the North Star location, which is now closed.
San Antonio Coming Attraction
A new casual restaurant and bar is opening in San Antonio this July. Three Star Bar will serve deli and comfort food such as glazed meatballs, sandwiches, and borracho bean hummus, alongside cocktails (emphasizing whiskey) and beer. It’ll be found at 521 East Grayson Street. The restaurant is helmed by co-owners beverage director Jeret Peña, chef Josh Calderon, and bartender Rob Gourlay.
Austin food business Comal Fajita House added folk band Jamestown Revival to its board of advisors. The company, which began in the fall of 2020, focuses on selling ready-to-serve fajita meat.