Partner Jeremy Murray says Proof & Cooper, named after steps in the liquor distilling process, will sell classic picnic food like fried chicken, Texas caviar, and deviled eggs that guests can order to comprise a picnic basket or eat at the restaurant-bar. The bar will serve 22 beers on draft and use local ingredients to put its spin on classic cocktails. After its initial launch, management says Proof & Cooper will be open daily from 3 p.m. to midnight, with plans to introduce brunch and lunch in the future. Murray says Proof & Cooper eventually plan to open a Whiskey Library, a membership-based program that allows guests to keep their whiskey in lockers at the restaurant.
Detroit-style pizza specialists Via 313 are now open for lunch at their brick-and-mortar location in Oak Hill. The restaurant at 6705 U.S. 290 (at the corner of William Cannon Drive) serves the thick Detroit-style pies, thinner bar-style pizzas, salads, desserts, and appetizers like stuffed artichokes. The restaurant is open Sunday-Thursday from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. and Friday and Saturday from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Via 313 in Oak Hill does not take call-in orders, but does accept to-go orders places at the bar.
One of Austin’s best barbecue spots is getting into the deli game. Deli on wheels, that is. Micklethwait Craft Meats will open Romanouskas Delicatessen trailer adjacent to Micklethwait (1309 Rosewood Ave.) on July 9. The trailer will be open for lunch Tuesday-Saturday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. In advance of the grand opening, the trailer will have a soft open July 3-5 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Romanouskas will be run by Micklethwait veteran Bobby Lovelett and offer a menu featuring a smoked pastrami Reuben, all beef hot dog with homemade relish and creamy Dijon mayonnaise, brined and smoked chicken sandwich, and smoked beef strip loin sandwich.
The headline tells you most of what you need to know here. Refined Southern restaurant Olamaie (1610 San Antonio St.) will begin lunch service on Wednesday of next week. As with dinner, the menu will change often, but will include dishes like crispy fish filet on baguette, and shrimp and grits.
Lunch will be served Wednesday-Friday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and Saturday from 10:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. For some backstory on chefs Grae Nonas and Michael Fojtasek, who were recently named Best New Chefs by Food & Wine magazine, read my April interview with the two chefs here.
Farm-to-table restaurant Odd Duck is teaming with fellow South Lamar Boulevard businesses to raise money for flood relief. Through July 4, Odd Duck (1201 S. Lamar Blvd.), Barley Swine (2024 S. Lamar Blvd.), Gibson Street Bar (1109 S. Lamar Blvd.), SoLa (2005 S. Lamar Blvd.), and Café Medici (1100 S. Lamar Blvd.) are selling $5 raffle tickets, with money to be donated to Texas Search and Rescue (TexSAR), Austin Disaster Relief Network (ADRN) and Growers Alliance of Central Texas (Gro-ACT).
Participants can win items like a one-night stay at Hotel San Jose, $100 gift card to Viva Day Spa, dinner for four at Cantine, an Uchi gift card, $100 gift cards to Barley Swine and Odd Duck, and Alamo Drafthouse movie passes.
Tickets will also be sold at the Sustainable Food Center Market (422 Guadalupe St.) on July 4 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Venerable local burger chain Hill-Bert’s Burgers is down to one location. The 35th Street location closed about two weeks ago, but the 5340 Cameron Rd. location recently re-opened. With the Burnet Road location having closed, the Cameron Road location carries on as the only location for the burger shop that started in 1973.
An excerpt from former Statesman critic Mike Sutter’s 2009 story about the state of Austin’s burger joints.
The building of burger dynasties on the ruins of empires past is hardly new. P. Terry’s upcoming third location at 4228 William Cannon Drive recently housed a Long John Silver’s. Hilbert Maldonado’s original Hill–Bert‘s was a Burger Chef, and his three current restaurants are carved from old mission-style Taco Bell shops, painted Hill–Bert‘s signature canary yellow and beaver brown.
In 2007, when it looked inevitable that he’d lose the lease on 3303 N. Lamar Blvd., Maldonado grabbed a lease on a former Taco Bell site across Lamar Boulevard at 1503 W. 35th St. So for about a year, Hill–Bert‘s clicked along like Starbucks, operating stores practically across the street from each other. And both locations did fine, he said. The reason: Drivers approaching from the west preferred the right-hand turn into the 35th Street shop over making the left-hand turn off Lamar Boulevard to visit the other store. With another restaurant on Cameron Road, Hill–Bert‘s was up to three.
“But I knew the day of reckoning was coming, ” Maldonado said. And in 2008, after years of leasing the original site month-to-month, he chose not to match the lease offer involving P. Terry’s, and the family threw a closing party in September. The equipment went into storage until Maldonado, worried about providing for the three of his four grown children who had taken up the family business, made a bid for another former Taco Bell building on Burnet Road.
With the same stools, the same flame broiler and the same phone number from the original location, the Hill–Bert‘s on Burnet Road opened last month . Putting his GDI (Gosh-Dang-Independent) pride aside, Maldonado is squinting to see the bright side of his three-cornered empire. “My customers ask me every day, ‘What happened at Lamar?’ ” he said. “I put a smile on my face, and I say, ‘That’s a long story. But look what we have now.’ “
Downtown Round Rock has a new option for international cuisine. Mambo House opened today at 206 N. Mays St. The menu includes black bean soup, camarones al ajillo, croquetas de jamon, five sandwiches (including a classic Cuban), and entrees like ropa vieja and grilled pork chops.
Mambo House is open Sunday-Thursday from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. and Friday and Saturday from 11 a.m. to 2 a.m.