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.
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.”
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.
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?”
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.”
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.