MLK-183 Japanese restaurant Uroko opened a new dedicated omakase space as of September 27. Tonari is found next door to the restaurant’s space at 1023 Springdale Road, Building 1 within the Springdale General complex. Going forward, the restaurant will offer its 45-minute omakase services in Tonari, as well as increase the number of guests from six to seven. The main Uroko area will now serve temaki with expanded days into Friday to serve temaki on Friday and Sunday evenings. .
Political barbecue stop
Texas Democratic gubernatorial candidate Beto O’Rourke was in Austin this weekend since he hosted a rally with Willie Nelson at Moontower Saloon on Sunday, October 2. Along with making an appearance at that evening’s Harry Styles concert (in the general admission pit no less), he squeezed in a meal at Austin restaurant La Barbecue that day.
Austin food nonprofits get lots of grants
Austin’s Office of Sustainability gave away $75,000 in grants to 25 local food-focused nonprofits through its Food Justice Mini-Grants program recently. This includes Alpeh Cookery, which will use the money for a free fridge in downtown Austin, Kalpulli Texas Quetzalcoatl, which will take the grand to create an event about native food systems, and restaurants-focused Good Work Austin, among others.
Austin coffee expansion
New hotel restaurant opening
Austin luxury spot the Hotel Granduca turned its existing Italian restaurant Visconti into a new one called Laurel, as of September 26. The new restaurant focuses on serving modern coastal Italian food made with Hill Country ingredients under executive chef Tommy Suddeth Jr. There are stuffed French toasts; chicken and waffles; pizzas topped with crab, ham, and blackened chicken; veal chops, and Impossible meatballs. This is part of the hotel’s ongoing renovation project.
Dealing with restaurant food waste
Austin restaurant El Mesón was featured in a New York Times article about how food businesses are approaching food waste in more useful ways. Owner Marisela Godinez started selling leftover buffet food through the mobile app Too Good To Go, where people bought bags of random dishes.
Austin food nonprofit mergers
Austin chef shuffles
New American restaurant Honey Moon Spirit Lounge in the Heritage neighborhood has two new chefs on staff: executive chef Raul Castillo and sous chef Raul Dominguez. Castillo had worked in the Four Seasons and the Versace Mansion in Miami; Dominguez at Los Angeles restaurants like Le Brea Bakery and Gjusta.
Dripping Springs brewery Fitzhugh Brewing added a new team member as well: chef Andrew Lang as of September 21. The new kitchen setup replaces the brewery’s previous one by Poke-E-Jo’s PEJ Kitchens. Lang had previously run a food truck at Twisted X Brewing. Fitzhugh’s new menu will include nachos topped with smoked brisket and queso, fries with bacon and hatch chili aioli, and pork belly served with arugula, along with hot fried chicken sandwiches and a bacon-cheddar burger. The brewery is celebrating its two-year anniversary with a party on Saturday, October 22 with its new beer the Barleywine.
Tracking Austin-area events, Texas Wine
As part of Texas Wine Month, the Texas Hill Country Wineries put together a passport allowing people to visit over 45 wineries in the region through self-guided events. The Digital passport allows people to sample wine tastings at four wineries every day throughout the month, and get discounts on bottles. The passports are $85 for singles and $120 for two. Five dollars from every passport sold will go towards the Texas Hill Country Wine Industry Scholarship fund.
Stonewall winery Kuhlman Cellars is hosting regular Friday and Saturday tastings from October 1 through November 19, highlighting wines from the state’s four American Viticultural Areas. It is $35 per person, $15 for wine club members, and takes place at 11 a.m. each day.