What happens to Austin Food & Wine Festival if it rains?

That question will be on some people’s minds as they head down to Auditorium Shores for the first full day of the fifth edition of the Austin Food & Wine Festival Saturday morning. Humidity and wind prevailed this morning,  along with a 30 percent chance of rain and a chance of thunderstorms after 1 p.m., according to the National Weather Service.  Of course, this is Texas, and if you don’t like the weather, just wait five minutes because it will likely change.

The daytime activities take place from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday at Auditorium Shores, and the festival will work in close coordination with the Austin Parks and Recreation Department to monitor weather conditions, according to a festival rep.  Last year’s festival was cancelled before it began due to heavy rains early in the week.

Josh Neises, with Lonesome Dove, flips lamb chops at the Austin Food and Wine Festival on Auditorium Shores on Saturday, April 25, 2015.

“We also have an on-site weather monitoring station that provides real-time updates on conditions.  Austin Food + Wine Festival is a rain or shine event, and we will take all necessary precautions to ensure the welfare and safety of our patrons, purveyors and staff,” the festival said in a statement. “All safety decisions are made by a team of representatives from C3, the Austin Parks and Recreation Department and the City of Austin’s emergency services departments.  In the event of dangerous weather or site evacuation, AFW will notify all patrons via social media and the website austinfoodandwinefestival.com.

That chance of precipitation will ramp up to 60 percent by tonight, which will be mostly cloudy with a low around 57, according to our Taylor Goldstein, and showers are likely and possibly a thunderstorm before 7 p.m., with showers and thunderstorms likely mainly between 7 p.m. and 1 a.m.

The Rock Your Taco event takes place at Fair Market tonight, and while the event space in East Austin does offer some covered areas, the same weather procedures from the daytime festivities apply to the evening events.

The good news: Sunday is supposed to have a high of 77 and be mostly clear, so as long as there is no standing water, it should be lovely tomorrow.

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Alton Brown agrees with us about the best breakfast taco in Austin (or anywhere)

This is Maritza Vazquez’ food trailer called Veracruz All-Natural Tacos located in east Austin at 1704 E. Cesar Chavez. She is holding a migas taco with a mango agua fresca.
(RALPH BARRERA / AMERICAN-STATESMAN)

Author, television personality and food scientist Alton Brown is one of many high-profile food folks eating his way through Austin this weekend, as the Austin Food & Wine Festival descends on town.

And, he’s got good taste in tacos. He Tweeted today that the migas taco at Veracruz All-Natural was the best breakfast taco he’s ever eaten. We agree. The homemade tortillas, the soft twirl of eggs, the ripe feathers of avocado, the melty cheese, crunch tortilla strips and perfect salt-and-pepper balance … it is the Platonic ideal of a great taco. So, kudos, Alton for your stellar taste. See you around town.

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#Austin360Eats: On the biggest foodie weekend of the year, is Instagram ready?

Ready for the Austin Food & Wine Festival or Eeyore’s Birthday this weekend?

No matter what you’ve got planned, it probably involves delicious food that you’re going to post on Instagram. You might as well use #Austin360Eats to share your photos with food lovers all over Central Texas.

Some of the recent submissions to #Austin360Eats.

Each week, we get hundreds of photos from foodies in every corner of the city. After several years of running this hashtag, I’ve found it’s a great way to share a delightful culinary discovery or find a little inspiration for where to eat next. (As a bonus, each Friday, we run a handful of reader photos in the print edition of the Austin American-Statesman, which happens to be perfect for clipping and mailing to your family members who aren’t super tech savvy.)

Scroll down for the latest #Austin360Eats pics, and happy eating!

Christina Tosi of famed NYC Milk Bar serving ice cream and sweets at pop-up Friday at noon

Austin Food & Wine Festival preview sampler and predictions

Tyson Cole’s Applewood Smoked Masu Taco at the Austin Food and Wine Festival’s Rock Your Taco event at Republic Square Park on Saturday, April 25, 2015. (Deborah Cannon AMERICAN-STATESMAN)

The Austin Food & Wine Festival returns this weekend for its sixth year. The festival started in 2012, but was cancelled due to rain last year. The weekend will see dozens of chefs from around the country descend on Auditorium Shores and Fair Market for three days and two nights of events. Here are a few things about which we are excited. (You can still purchase Weekender and All-In tickets at austinfoodandwinefestival.com and join in the delicious madness.)

  • The Friday night kick off event as been rebranded as Lone Star Nights and features a “global market” theme, so I am curious to see what cultures the chefs will honor. I talked to chef Diego Galicia of Mixtli in San Antonio and Austin’s Kevin Fink of Emmer & Rye about the Mexican, Peruvian and Italian touches they will bring to Texas flavors.
  • The Lone Star event is a great way to taste food from chefs around Texas whose restaurants I don’t get too very often or whose restaurants I’ve never visited. Sadly not been to Nonna in Dallas yet, so I’m happy to get a chance to see what chef Julian Barsotti cooks up.
  • The hands-on grilling demo with Tim Love is always a good, booze-soaked time. I cooked the greatest steak of my life at one a couple of years ago. And while I won’t be participating this year (leaving a grill free for an All In ticket holder), I will keep an ear out Saturday and Sunday at the fest for any new tips or bon mots from the chef.
  • The Fire Pit is always a good place to get your char fix, and sometimes you might learn a thing or two, like the name of the new restaurant concept from Contigo owners Andrew Wiseheart and Ben Edgerton a few years ago. Interested to see what Sonya Cote has in store Sunday.
  • Saturday night’s Rock Your Taco will see Love defend his crown against multiple winner Tyson Cole, and I’m curious to see what the all-star cast from around the country has prepared. I’m predicting first timer Ludo Lefebvre or Alon Shaya wins this year.
  • Watching DJ Mel get drunk rich people to dance at the Grand Tasting Saturday and Sunday.

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JuiceLand now open in Georgetown

JuiceLand features an array of tasty vegan options in addition to its dozens of fresh-fruit smoothies and cold-pressed juices. (Contributed)

The suburbs are getting their taste of the Austin experience. Longtime Austin staple JuiceLand recently opened at 900 North Austin Ave. (near Williams Drive). The store was the 18th in the Austin area when it opened two weeks ago, and was joined today by a JuiceLand inside the 365 by Whole Foods store in Cedar Park. The Georgetown store is open 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday-Saturday and 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Sunday.

JuiceLand also has locations in Dallas, Houston and Brooklyn.

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Easy Tiger and JuiceLand open at new 365 by Whole Foods in Cedar Park today

For the first Austin-area location of their new, budget-conscious store 365 by Whole Foods, the Austin-based company brought in some local vendors to serve customers. Instead of waiting in line for sandwiches made by the Whole Foods team, customers we will be able to order bread and sandwiches from local Easy Tiger, and Austin-born JuiceLand will take care of all of your fresh juice and smoothie needs. 365 allowed the two businesses to develop their own looks and spaces inside the store.

JuiceLand will serve more than 30 of the fresh-juice smoothies; raw, cold-pressed juices; and shots at the store; and Easy Tiger will serve pretzels, homemade sausages, several sandwiches, pastries, cookies, coffee and beer at 365. While Easy Tiger has plans for locations at The Linc and downtown’s forthcoming Fareground, this is the first Easy Tiger location to open since the original on Sixth Street in 2012. It is the 19th area store for JuiceLand, which recently opened its first Georgetown store.

JuiceLand inside the new 365 by Whole Foods store in Cedar Park. (Credit: Whole Foods)

“Along with bringing the Easy Tiger experience to the 365 by Whole Foods Market in Cedar Park, we are honored to be the store’s bread purveyor. The 365 team has designed some terrific displays, and I am excited that our breads will be on our Cedar Park neighbors’ tables,” Easy Tiger’s David Norman said.

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New Mexican restaurant coming to downtown Austin from veteran team

Some of Austin’s most successful a restaurateurs have their sights set on a new restaurant. The team that founded Eddie V’s, and has since opened Salty Sow and, most recently, Red Ash plan to open ATX Cocina in downtown.

The restaurant will be located in the Northshore Tower (110 San Antonio St.), the building that will also house the new French bistro and bakery Le Politique from the New Waterloo group.

There’s no scheduled opening date for the restaurant that bills itself as Modern Mexican, but ATX Cocina has already started hiring for all positions.

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Fareground food hall will include taqueria from Dai Due, concepts from Emmer & Rye, Contigo, Kome and more

The downtown food hall Fareground, which will be located on Congress Avenue between Cesar Chavez and Second streets, will feature some of the biggest names in Austin dining.

The space will include Easy Tiger, a taqueria from Dai Due, an all-day concept from Emmer & Rye and more, it was announced today.

The operation is being helmed by Easy Tiger owners Elm Restaurant Group and will have an outpost of Easy Tiger at the space that will also include Antonelli’s Cheese Shop’s second location and Contigo Fareground, which will find chef Andrew Wiseheart serving his ranch-inspired restaurant’s brand of Texas comfort food, including burgers and rotisserie chicken.

Jesse Griffith’s Dai Due Taquería will source hyper locally for its tacos, as part of a collaboration with chef Gabe Erales. Options will include tacos like venison suadero, wild boar chorizo, wild catfish and more. Easy Tiger will serve its trademark pretzels and sandwiches, along with offering two bars.

Henbit, the new cafe concept from Emmer & Rye, will serve breakfast, lunch and dinner, and Honeybit will be a cart from Emmer & Rye partner and pastry chef Tavel Bristol that serves ice cream and sweets.

The team behind Kome and Daruma Ramen will roll out Ni-Kome, a hybrid ramen and sushi bar.

There is no set date for the opening. Follow progress at faregroundaustin.com.

Fine Foods takes over old Snack Bar space at Austin Motel; opening party Friday

Burgers from Jo’s Burger Box will be available to patrons of Fine Foods at the Austin Motel. (Credit: Nick Simonite)

Hotelier Liz Lambert’s Bunkhouse has taken over operations of the newly revamped Austin Motel, and with it the dining and drinking destination, re-branded as Fine Foods.

Fine Foods will serve a roster of cocktails and retro punches that include The Dean (vodka, cranberry, cherry syrup, lemon lime soda), the Ann Richard’s Revenge (rums, apricot syrup, pineapple juice, and lime juice), Playboys Punch (bourbon, Earl Gray tea, orange, lemon, citrus, simple syrup, bitters), and the Cold Fashioned, a frozen old fashioned. Check the Fine Foods drink menu here.

“Like the Austin Motel itself, this menu is fun, new, fresh, and a little bit weird,” Fine Foods and Austin Motel bar manager Breezy Mayo said. “Yet, it still maintains the understanding of the importance of the city’s history and the culture of never taking itself too seriously.”

Food is sold from the adjacent Jo’s Burger Box, with a menu of burgers (including a veggie burger), fries and onion rings designed by Lambert’s brother and Lamberts Downtown Barbecue co-founder Lou Lambert.

Fine Foods celebrates its grand opening Friday with a free party open to the public, featuring frozen drinks, vintage-themed punches, live music from John Powell and a DJ. Following the grand opening, Fine Foods will be open 11 a.m. to midnight Friday to Sunday 3 p.m. to midnight Monday to Thursday.

Jo’s Burger Box is open daily from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. starting Friday.