Tres Amigos on Slaughter Lane to close; DK Maria’s Legendary Tex-Mex to take its place 

The chicken enchiladas with sour cream sauce at Tres Amigos will soon be a thing of the past.

Longtime South Austin Tex-Mex staple Tres Amigos will close at 1807 W. Slaughter Lane at the end of the month, and a new Tex-Mex restaurant with new ownership will move into the space.

DK Maria’s Legendary Tex-Mex, which is owned and operated by Mike and DK Reynolds and Bruce and Mary Evans, plans to “keep the lively vibe that Tres Amigos fans have grown to know and love,” the owners said in a release.

Mike Reynolds and Bruce Evans, who named the restaurant after their wives, are both native Austinites with experience in the restaurant industry. Reynolds was a part of the ownership group at the former downtown sushi restaurant Kenichi and Evans is a partner at Cooper’s BBQ on Congress Avenue.

Tres Amigos was originally founded on Loop 360 in 1978 and expanded to several locations, but has downsized over the past couple of years. The original closed in 2015 to much fanfare, and with the closing of the Slaughter Lane location, the only Tres Amigos remaining is at 7535 U.S. 290.

Partners Don Burdett and Bobby Steiner (of Steiner Ranch Steakhouse) are close to opening a new Tex-Mex restaurant, Vaquero’s, on Loop 360 in the original Tres Amigos spot, though a representative for the owners said no opening date has been set.


Food & Wine Magazine names Austin restaurant one of 10 Best New Restaurants in America

The June’s charbroiled burger with grilled onions & jalapenos, American cheese, and pickles at June’s All Day (Deborah Cannon AMERICAN-STATESMAN)

Food & Wine magazine was apparently smitten following visits to the latest restaurant from the McGuire Moorman Hospitality group. The important food magazine named June’s All Day to its list of the 10 Best New Restaurants in America Thursday. The restaurant named after partner and master sommelier June Rodil opened last summer on South Congress Avenue, and true to its name, serves morning, noon and night. When we reviewed the restaurant in December, we called it a mash-up of a Parisian bistro and the Peach Pit, and its menu delivers comforting eclecticism, from a pastrami salmon board in the mornings to meaty bolognese at night, as well as one of the city’s best burgers.

What made the restaurant grab the magazine’s attention?

“All of our Restaurants of the Year winners are defying convention in some fundamental way—and June’s All Day is a perfect example. On the surface, this easy-breezy Austin hangout looks like a stylish wine bar, with colorful design and a cool vintage-diner vibe. But here, the food supports the wine, instead of the other way around,” Food & Wine editor-in-chief Nilou Motamed said. “The kitchen has created small plates to go along with the brilliant wine list, curated by sommelier June Rodil. She comes up with the most unlikely yet spot-on pairings, like a briny South African rosé matched to a hearty matzo ball caldo soup.”

June’s is the second new Austin restaurant to get national magazine love in recent weeks, as Kemuri Tatsu-ya recently landed on GQ’s list of best new restaurants. You can see the complete Food & Wine list here.


Austin 360 review: June’s All Day backs up its style with substance

Austin360 Dining Guide: The Top 25 restaurants in Austin

Gourdough’s downtown closes; North Austin location planned

Starch-and-sugar slingers Gourdough’s has closed its downtown location at 209 W. Fifth St.

Owners said in a press release that the downtown closure presages the opening of a bigger shop in North Austin on Burnet Road.
The owners intend to open a newly built restaurant with bar and an extended food menu, according to the release.

Gourdough’s, which started as a trailer on South Lamar Avenue, still operates its Public House at 2700 S. Lamar Blvd. and its trailer on South First Street.


Aaron Franklin’s Hot Luck adds Ivan Ramen’s Ivan Orkin, Mixtli chefs and more

The Hot Luck food and music festival today announced that newly minted James Beard award winners Greg and Gabi Denton of Portland’s Ox will participate in the fest, along with Ivan Orkin of Ivan Ramen, Diego Galicia and Rico Torres of Mixtli and more. Galicia and Torres were recently named Best New Chefs in America by Food & Wine and will be joined at the festival by other honorees Peter Cho of Han Oak (Portland) and Sara Kramer of Kismet (Los Angeles), who will cook at the kickoff event “Hi, How Are You?”

Food & Wine Best New Chefs Rico Torres (left) and Diego Galicia (right) of Mixtli in San Antonio are two of the new names added to Hot Luck.

The festival has already announced a slew of events, including a night of chefs cooking the foods that inspired them, a tiki party pig roast and more

Tickets and more information and the food and music events of the festival the takes place May 18-21 can be found at

The Pizza Press to raise money for slain UT student’s memorial fund

In the wake of a stabbing attack on the University of Texas at Austin campus that left one dead and three injured, a new campus-area restaurant is holding a fundraiser to benefit a memorial fund for the student that died.

A portrait of Harrison Brown is on display at the University Catholic Center before the start of a memorial Mass in his honor on Tuesday. Brown was killed in a stabbing attack at the University of Texas on Monday. (TAMIR KALIFA/ AMERICAN-STATESMAN)

The Pizza Press (404 W. 26th St.) opens May 4. According to a news release, the restaurant will donate all profits from sales through May 7 — up to $3,000 — to the Harrison Brown Memorial Fund. “Guests can also make anonymous donations in any amount through provided gift card envelopes or electronically when paying for their beverages or meal,” according to a news release.

PHOTOS: Memorial Mass for Harrison Brown on May 2

The memorial fund for Brown blew past its goal of $100,000 in just a day, earning more than $127,000 as of 2 p.m. Wednesday. The money, organizers told the Statesman, will be donated to Brown’s family.

Read complete coverage of the stabbing attack at UT at
Photo courtesy of Pizza Press

Salt Lick to open in North Texas

North Texas is going to get a taste of Central Texas. A really famous taste. Scott Roberts plans to open a location in Grapevine in 2018. Details are slim as of now, but the restaurant is planned to seat 450 and feature 6,000 square feet of patios and decks, with large trees and views of Denton Creek. An exact address has not been released.

(Credit: Kenny Braun)

Denizens of the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex are undoubtedly familiar with the Central Texas legend that has been smoking for more than 50 years, but they may be happy to know that a recent poll shows that Austinites prefer Salt Lick to any other barbecue restaurant in the area.


Austin360 Dining Guide: Best barbecue in Central Texas


James Beard award for Best Chef Southwest eludes Bryce Gilmore again

Bryce Gilmore is exeucitve chef and owner of Barley Swine at 6555 Burnet Rd in North Austin.

The James Beard award for Best Chef Southwest remained elusive for Barley Swine chef-owner Bryce Gilmore Monday night in Chicago. Houston chef Hugo Ortega took home the award for which Gilmore earned his fifth consecutive finalist nod this year for the small-plates, hyper-local restaurant he originally opened in 2010.

 Barley Swine earned the #1 ranking in the Austin360 Dining Guide in 2016 and in 2013, and his Odd Duck also took at Top 10 spot last year (#4).

10 tasty takeaways from the 2017 Austin Food & Wine Festival

Chef Tyson Cole hands out tacos and receives compliments from Donna and Ed King as the country’s best chefs compete with their own versions of taco dishes in the Rock Your Taco showdown during the Austin Food and Wine Festival at Fair Market April 29. (Tom McCarthy Jr. FOR AMERICAN-STATESMAN)

The fifth installment of the Austin Food & Wine Festival kept attendees well fed and fueled by libations over three days. The weather gods smiled and the sold-out festival, which included a venue making its AFWF debut, seemed to run without any serious problems. We take a look at a few highlights, best bites and random notes from the festival.

Beef cheek from Matt Balke of Bolsa in Dallas. (Matthew Odam AMERICAN-STATESMAN)

Texas proud: The Lone Star Nights kickoff again once again showcased the amazing array of talent across the state and should serve as encouragement for diners  to gas up their cars and road trip to restaurants outside of their hometowns. My highlights: Sonoran cascarelli with ricotta from Kevin Fink of Emmer & Rye; beef cheek pastrami with Eagle Mountain pimento cheese from Matt Balke of Bolsa in Dallas; trout roe migas from Paul Qui’s Kuneho; and Northern Thai chicken salad from Thai Changthong of Thai Kun.

Chef Tyson Cole created a smoked masu taco with Asian pear, yuzu kosho and ramps to win his third Rock Your Taco crown. (Tom McCarthy Jr. FOR AMERICAN-STATESMAN)

Taco king: Tyson Cole may operate some of the best sushi restaurants in Texas, but the man knows how to create a killer taco. The chef took home the Rock Your Taco title for the third time in five years on the strength of his smoked ocean trout taco that was tingly with pickled ramps, and bright with shiso.

Chef Alon Shaya created a pastrami taco with preserved mango labneh, pickled cabbage and herbs for the Rock Your Taco event. (Tom McCarthy Jr. FOR AMERICAN-STATESMAN)

National names: One of my favorite parts of the fest each year is getting to taste food from out-of-state chefs. I’ve dined at Ludo Lefebvre’s Peitt Trois in Los Angeles, so I was not surprised to see him create an excellent, though I was surprised to have such love for a taco with mashed potatoes in it. Jimmy Bannos Jr.’s imaginative taco made with a chorizo shell got me excited to visit  the Purple Pig in Chicago again. Christina Tosi of Milk Bar in New York City proved why she is the most fun and talented pastry chefs in America with her corn cake taco with strawberries. And, I didn’t need another reason to head back to New Orleans, but Israeli-born Alon Shaya’s pastrami taco with preserved mango labneh, pickled cabbage and herbs certainly has added to the city’s appeal.

Fair Market was a hit at this year’s Austin Food & Wine Festival. (Tom McCarthy Jr. FOR AMERICAN-STATESMAN)

New kid on the block: The evening events were moved  to Fair Market this year, and the event space in East Austin proved an ideal fit. The tasting stations and bar were located in the hangar-style indoor space and two outdoor spaces. The chambered spaces slowed the flow of traffic and kept people from eyeing something across the park and heading that direction. I didn’t experience any extended line waits, and hope to see the space utilized more by AFWF and other events.

The briscuit from Olamaie. (Contributed by Olamaie)

Stellar bites: Olamaie’s other worldly biscuit and Texas staple brisket were combined for what was known as a “briscuit.” There were several heavy, smoky dishes during the Saturday daytime tastings, but Contigo was wise enliven their lamb shoulder with an electric chimichurri.

Keep your eyes open and you might find a new favorite wine. (Matthew Odam AMERICAN-STATESMAN)

Rosé all day: Sure, there’s wine everywhere and it’s easy to get carried away with tastings. But the point of a festival like this shouldn’t be to get drunk; hopefully, it can be about discovery.  Like most rosé lovers, I know about the easily drinkable Whispering Angel from Chateau d’Esclans, but I didn’t know about their Les Clans and Garrus rosés, the latter of which was brawny and beautiful with a long finish with notes of toasted oak. They were offering limited pours, and later in the day had the Garrus below the table. Pro tip: Always ask if they’re hiding something great out of sight.

Jonathan Waxman at Rock Your Taco. (Tom McCarthy Jr. FOR AMERICAN-STATESMAN)

Getting to know you: One upside from the cooking demos is that you don’t just learn how to make a dish, but you also hopefully find out a little bite about the person behind the name. Celebrated California chef Jonathan Waxman, the proud shedder of about 20 pounds in recent weeks, shared his recipe for vegan chili and also had the temerity to let people know he had cut alcohol from his diet. He also talked about how he loves a heavy skillet, and said that when he graduated from culinary school in France he received a set of Le Creuset cookware but he couldn’t afford to ship it home.  

Tameca Jones performs at the Austin Food and Wine Festival. (Tom McCarthy Jr. FOR AMERICAN-STATESMAN

Live music. Because Austin: Tameca Jones’ soulful and powerful performance at Rock Your Taco reminded me that I should see her whenever I get the chance.

The Foodie Magician blew our minds at dinner Sunday. (Matthew Odam AMERICAN-STATESMAN)

High-cholesterol David Blaine: Some friends and I were having dinner after the festival Sunday night when I was introduced to Josh Beckerman, the Foodie Magician. The charismatic magician worked his sorcery on me, pulling a card from his wallet with the name of my favorite restaurant and pulled some crazy slight of hand maneuvers that involved a friend’s cell phone and convincing a member of our party that he had touched specific parts of their body even though he never did. Then he disappeared. You never know whom you’ll meet at AFWF.

Chef Tim Love is the straw that stirs the drink at Austin Food & Wine Festival. (Tom McCarthy FOR AMERICAN-STATESMAN)

Socializing, not social media: Festival co-founder and master of the flame Tim Love appeared to be on mostly PG-13 behavior during his grilling demos, though he couldn’t help but let an F-bomb fly when calling out someone on her phone during his session. She told him she was updating social media. He conceded that the social media fix wasn’t a horrible sin, but added that the demo and festival were actual forms of socializing and not just social media. “We hardly ever interact anymore, and we’re forced to interact here,” Love said. “I (expletive) love it.”

What Austin restaurants did Austin Food & Wine Festival celebrity chefs love?

IU heard the name Kemuri from a lot of visiting chefs last weekend. (Ricardo B. Brazziell AMERICAN-STATESMAN)

You know how you love to hit all the cool, delicious spots when you visit a town? Chefs are the exact same way. And they really know what’s up. It’s their job. So, where do you turn when you’re looking for a hot restaurant recommendation (well, the Austin360 Dining Guide, of course), but chefs also make great guides. You just have to know whom to stalk on Instagram. We saved you some of the legwork. Below are where some of the biggest visiting names visited while in Austin over the weekend.

Judging by context clues, it appears Georgia-based chef Hugh Acheson followed Alton Brown’s playbook and visited Veracruz All-Natural.

Acheson’s caffeine fix at least one morning came from Houndstooth ….

Famed California chef Jonathan Waxman hit Fresa’s on South First Street.

Waxman, who announced at the fest that he has lost quite a bit of weight, also hit June’s for some veggies. (Read our recent review.)

Israeli-born chef and James Beard winner Alon Shaya of New Orleans knows that Uchiko always delivers the goods.

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@uchikoaustin tofu is on 🔥

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Shaya proved himself master of the taco at Rock Your Taco and hit La Condesa after arriving to town.

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Hello Austin

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Shaya knows that Franklin is the place to be for brisket in Austin.

I’d say Snow’s in Lexington should be proud given that Will Guidara, owner of Eleven Madison Park, recently named the #1 restaurant in the world, made the drive on a Saturday morning for barbecue.

Ming Tsai was one of many chefs who visited Kemuri Tatsu-ya for the Texas izakaya experience. (Read our recent review.)

Tsai went heavy at Kemuri and a little lighter at Clark’s.

Nashville chef Matt Bolus hit La Barebcue for his brisket fix.

Ford Fry, who spends most of his time in Georgia, also had love for Kemuri.

Junior Borges made the trip up Burnet Road to Bonhomie.

Borges showed more Uchi veterans love by visiting Nick Yanes’ Juniper in East Austin.

Borges also stopped into Paul Qui’s Kuneho. (Read our recent review.)