Audio: Talking Olamaie and Dai Due on KUT

Fried catfish at Olamaie. (Credit: Ricardo Brazziell AMERICAN-STATESMAN)
Fried catfish at Olamaie. (Credit: Ricardo Brazziell AMERICAN-STATESMAN)

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In the audio above, I talk to KUT’s Nathan Bernier about my two most recent restaurant reviews — Olamaie and Dai Due.

You can read those two reviews here: Dai Due | Olamaie

Austin restaurants: Gluten-free menu options

Vespaio and Enoteca offer gluten-free versions of several of their pasta dishes. (Thao Nguyen FOR AMERICAN-STATESMAN)
Vespaio and Enoteca offer gluten-free versions of several of their pasta dishes. (Thao Nguyen FOR AMERICAN-STATESMAN)

Regularly in Austin360 we offer a rotating list of places to eat right now. This week: Whether you manage your diet because of celiac disease or if you’re just someone who wants to cut gluten from your diet, it can sometimes be hard to find certain items. This week I offer a list of places with a wide selection of gluten-free options. Obviously there are certain types of restaurants — Indian (Asiana, Tarka), barbecue (Freedmen’s, Stiles Switch), and Mexican (Polvos, Azul Tequila), for instance — where you can always find gluten-free options, so I stuck to the kinds of foods (hamburgers, pasta, sandwiches, pizza) that can sometimes be harder to find. Don’t see one of your favorites listed? Email me at

Please keep in mind that due to cross-contamination, frying methods, etc., you should still ask your server or a restaurant manager to verify that dishes are completely gluten-free.

Guide on the go

Take Matthew Odam’s 2014 Dining Guide — a list of his top 25 restaurants and 100 other places he likes to eat — with you by bookmarking on your smartphone or tablet.

24 Diner. 600 N. Lamar Blvd. 512-472-5400, Farm-to-table comfort food spot serves gluten-free breakfast items and lunch and dinner entrees on a dedicated menu.

aRoma Italian Kitchen. 3403 S. Lamar Blvd. 512-900-8670, Features about 20 gluten-free items, and any of the pasta dishes can substitute zucchini ribbons for noodles.

Bess Bistro. 500 W. Sixth St. 512-477-2377, New executive chef Roman Murphy’s menu of bistro classics and modern takes includes gluten-free options like PEI mussels with pork lardons in a spiced tomato broth, chili-crusted mahi, and pumpkin soup with maple-bacon jam.

Brick Oven on 35th. 1608 W. 35th St. 512-453-4330, Restaurant offers gluten-free options for Italian sandwiches, a half-dozen pastas and a host of pizzas.

Casa de Luz. 1701 Toomey Road. 512-476-2535, The daily meals at this South Austin non-profit community center are always gluten-free.

Cenote. 1010 E. Cesar Chavez St. 512-524-1311, The coffee shop and café serves sandwiches on gluten-free bread from Misty Morning Bakery and gluten-free pastries from Sippie’s Studio.

Due Forni. 106 E. 6th St. 512-391-9300, The restaurant serves Roman and Neapolitan style pizzas with gluten-free options.

Frank. 407 Colorado St. 512-494-6916, Fancy dogs like the Jackalope (made with smoked antelope, rabbit and pork sausage, and topped with cranberry compote) can be ordered on gluten-free buns.

Hopdoddy. 1400 S. Congress Ave., 512-243-7505; 2438 W. Anderson Lane, 512-467-2337. The payoff for what can often be a long wait is the choice of a dozen well-crafted burgers that can all be ordered on house-made gluten-free buns.

Hut’s Hamburgers. 807 W. Sixth St. 512-472-0693, The longtime downtown favorite offers gluten-free buns.

Jack Allen’s Kitchen. 7720 Texas 71. 512-852-8558; 2500 Hoppe Trail, Round Rock, 512-215-0372, The popular comfort-food brunch always includes dishes clearly marked with gluten-free stickers.

Ka-Prow Thai & Sushi Bistro. 1200 W Howard Lane. 512-990-2111, These pan-Asian specialists offer a massive gluten-free menu.

Kerbey Lane Cafe. Multiple locations. 512-447-3767, All locations have gluten-free menus that include sandwiches served on gluten-free bread.

Kome. 4917 Airport Blvd. 512-712-5700, Want to dip your sushi in some gluten-free soy sauce, here’s your spot.

Max’s Wine Dive. 207 San Jacinto Blvd. 512-904-0111, It’s always the right time for gluten-free fried chicken. Menu also indicated many other gluten-free options, but … fried chicken!

Mighty Fine Burgers. Multiple locations. Four Austin-area locations for this family-friendly place that offers burgers on gluten-free buns.

Olive & June. 3411 Glenview Ave. 512-467-9898, The restaurant that makes some of the best handmade pasta also makes handmade gluten-free pasta.

Sagra. 1050 E. 11th St. 512-535-5988, This Italian restaurant in East Austin says it can make anything on the menu gluten-free.

Thai Fresh. 909 Mary St. 512-494-6436, Thai food restaurant, coffee shop and bakery serves more than 20 gluten-free items, including sandwiches and baked goods.

Toastie’s. 215 S. Lamar Blvd. 512-499-8500, All of their sandwiches can be ordered in a gluten-free brown rice wrap.

Vespaio. 1610 S. Congress Ave. 512-441-6100, Spaghetti with tomato sauce and eggplant, mandilli de saea with pesto, linguine with clams and several other pasta dishes can be ordered with gluten-free pasta at this South Congress stalwart.

Via 313. Multiple locations. The trailers serve thick, fluffy, cheesy squares of pizza. And they can make them gluten-free without sacrificing flavor.

Wild Wood Bakehouse. 3016 Guadalupe St. 512-327-9660, The kitchen here is entirely gluten-free, meaning gluten-free baked goods, pastas, sandwiches and more.

Events: Via 313 pop-up at Bufalina

Bufalina hosts the guys from Via 313 on December 15. (Credit: Rodolfo Gonzalez AMERICAN-STATESMAN)
Bufalina hosts the guys from Via 313 on December 15. (Credit: Rodolfo Gonzalez AMERICAN-STATESMAN)

The Detroiters from Via 313 pizza are switching up their style and serving “Bar Style Pie” at Bufalina on December 15. The Via 313 team will move for the night from their usual thick, squares of fluffy pie to the round, thin, crunchy style with cheese that extends to the edge of the crust. The style is popular in the Northeast and Midwest.

The meal, which includes a choice of one of five Bar Style Pies and either a fresh bibb salad or a meat and cheese plate prepared by Bufalina, costs $20 per person. You can view the pizza offerings and purchase tickets here.


The Bonneville introduces lunch service

(Credit: Rodolfo Gonzalez AMERICAN-STATESMAN)
(Credit: Rodolfo Gonzalez AMERICAN-STATESMAN)

Downtown restaurant the Bonneville (202 W. Cesar Chavez St.) is expanding its hours to include lunch service. The bistro from husband-and-wife chef tram Chris Hurley and Jennifer Costello will serve lunch Wednesday-Friday from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. The menu will include sandwiches, salads and light entrees to start. View the full lunch menu here.


Foreign & Domestic announces initial talent lineup for Indie Chefs Week

David Santos of NYC's Louro is one of 30 chefs who will be participating in January's Indie Chefs Week. (Credit: Evan Sung Lo)
David Santos of NYC’s Louro is one of 30 chefs who will be participating in January’s Indie Chefs Week. (Credit: Evan Sung Lo)

Ned Elliott today announced the first half of the roster of 30 up-and-coming chefs who will participate in Indie Chefs Week at Foreign & Domestic.

The weeklong event that takes place January 6-10 at the North Loop restaurant features a different group of seven or more chefs from around the country (and Toronto) collaborating on meals, with all of the chefs joining forces on the event’s final night, a 15-course feast.

Talent will include Richie Nakano of Hapa Ramen in San Francisco, Scott Vivian of Toronto’s Beast, Giorgio Rapicavoli of Eating House and Taperia Raca in Miami, David Santos of Louro in NYC, and Josh Jones of Austin’s Salt & Time.

Tickets are on sale now, with two options available. Tickets cost $195 per person for dining at a table and $225 for counter seating on Tuesday – Friday. For Saturday’s finale, tickets are $275 for table seating and $315 per person for dinner at the counter. Tickets can be purchased at

“We are excited to kick off Indie Chefs Week in Austin. I love hosting this event because it creates an environment for chefs to collaborate in an unusual way while also providing an opportunity to show off among their peers,” says Elliott. “This year, we have a lineup of very creative talent and diners can expect some pretty incredible dishes.”

Read my report from last year’s event here.

The first round of 15 participating chefs is listed below.

Eric Gabrynowicz | Restaurant North | Armonk, NY

Carlos Salgado| Taco Maria| Costa Mesa, CA

David Santos | Louro| NYC

Richie Nakano | Hapa Ramen | San Francisco, CA

Matthew Gaudet | Westbridge Restaurant | Cambridge, MA

Kristen Essig |Meauxbar | New Orleans, LA

Johanna Ware |Smallwares | Portland, OR

Jessica Perez | Hot Joy | San Antonio, TX

Aaron Hoskins |The Rogue Gentlemen| Richmond, VA

Justin Carlisle | Ardent | Milwaukee, WI

Matt Masera + Michael Thiemann | Mother | Sacramento, CA

Trevor Kunk |PRESS |St. Helena, CA

Scott Vivian | Beast | Toronto, ON

Giorgio Rapicavoli | Eating House and Taperia Raca | Miami, FL

Josh Jones | Salt & Time | Austin, TX




Franklin Barbecue selling whole briskets for $50 today

Aaron Franklin at his trailer in 2010. (Credit: Rodolfo Gonzalez)
Aaron Franklin at his trailer in 2010. (Credit: Rodolfo Gonzalez)

UPDATE: As of 12:22 p.m., Franklin has sold out of its chilled briskets, according to a colleague.

Christmas done come early. That Tweet above pretty much says it all. To celebrate their 5th anniversary (back when they were a wee trailer near the I-35 feeder road), Franklin Barbecue is selling whole chilled briskets for only $50. Those briskets are about six pounds, and Franklin currently sells brisket at $20/pound, so we’re talking more than 1/2-off for whole briskets today.

AND, THERE’S NO WAITING. If you want to buy a whole (read: un-sliced) chilled brisket to go, you don’t have to wait in line. You can walk up to register and be in and out within a few minutes. seems to be on holiday, so no telling how long the line is today.

Bravo’s Austin-heavy ‘Best New Restaurant’ premieres January 21

Swift's Attic (Credit: Alberto Martinez AMERICAN-STATESMAN)
Swift’s Attic (Credit: Alberto Martinez AMERICAN-STATESMAN)

Bravo’s new reality-competition TV show “Best New Restaurant” will premiere on January 21 at 9 p.m. The show features 16 restaurants from New York City, Los Angeles, Austin and Miami competing for the title. The participating Austin restaurants are Swift’s Attic, Porter Ale House and Gastropub, Barlata Tapas Bar, and Restaurant Jezebel.

“Top Chef” star chef Tom Colicchio will host the show, and the winner will receive an editorial feature in Bon Appétit, a featured spot at Vegas Uncork’d food festival, and $100,000.

A press release describes the show’s format:

In the first round of competition, the restaurants are divided into pairs based around a common theme reflected in their concepts or culinary influences. All are challenged to the same three tasks testing their overall performance, the strength of their staff, and the clarity of their concept. First, the restaurants are subjected to a “Pressure Test,” in which 30 hungry diners descend on the restaurants without notice to see how the businesses handle the stress of a packed house. Next, Tom sends in two “Undercover Diners” wired with hidden cameras in order to get a patron’s perspective when the restaurants do not know they are being judged. Finally, the two paired-up restaurants come together in a neutral location and serve dinner for 30 VIP diners. At the end of each of the first eight episodes, Tom declares one restaurant the victor, and the establishments move on to the semifinals.

The semifinal rounds will feature the restaurants battling in two groups to open a pop-up restaurant based around what the eateries see as the next evolution of their current concepts. The grand finale pits the final two restaurants against each other in a head-to-head contest to put forward their best service possible for a group of 50 VIP diners at Tom’s restaurant Riverpark in New York City.”


The restaurant pairings featured on the show are:

Shared Plates – The Federal vs. Swift’s Attic

Italian Cuisine – Dolce Italian vs. Doma Beverly Hills

New Service Concepts – The Church Key vs. Restaurant Jezebel

Operated by Couples – R House vs. Barlata Tapas Bar

Battle of the Burger – Porter Ale House and Gastropub vs. Tongue & Cheek

European Inspired – L’Apicio vs. Little Sparrow

Fast Casual Dining – Morgan’s Barbecue vs. Buns & Buns

Seasonal Menus – Union Restaurant vs. The Pines


Now open: Pinkberry at Barton Creek Square Mall


Pinkberry opened its second Austin location last week. The popular California-based yogurt shop, which serves frozen yogurt made with real yogurt and real milk topped with fresh hand-cut fruit and gourmet toppings, is located in the Barton Creek Square Mall

“We are excited to arrive at Barton Creek Square Mall,” franchisee Elisa Pederson said. “We are happy to serve and be the local favorite of the community in Austin with our signature light and refreshing taste, outstanding service and inspirational design.”

The Pinkberry at Barton Creek Mall is open Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Peached Tortilla restaurant opens Thursday

Thai summer salad (available in vegetarian, $6, or with beef, $8) from The Peached Tortilla at Austin City Limits Festival in 2013. (Credit: Tina Phan AMERICAN-STATESMAN)
Thai summer salad (available in vegetarian, $6, or with beef, $8) from The Peached Tortilla at Austin City Limits Festival in 2013. (Credit: Tina Phan AMERICAN-STATESMAN)

Popular food truck Peached Tortilla will open its brick-and-mortar restaurant at 5520 Burnet Rd. on Thursday. Chef Eric Silverstein’s Asian-Southern comfort hybrid restaurant will expand on the truck’s menu, with a focus on shared dining. Menu items include rice bowls and savory noodle dishes, and the Peached Tortilla will also have a full bar.

“The menu has been methodically thought out— we’ve focused on making it not only incredibly original, but even a little whimsical in its approach. The style of food is truly unique to the Peached Tortilla,” said Silverstein said. “We want to be a little different, as we believe different is good. Diners, especially those who love our food trucks, won’t be disappointed.”

Silverstein is partnered on the project with Seattle Restaurateur Joshua Henderson’s Huxley Wallace Collective team.