You ever get to Franklin Barbecue around 8 a.m. empty handed and by 9 a.m. you were wishing you had stopped to get a breakfast taco during your harried sprint to get in line? Soon, that problem will be solved by Franklin Barbecue itself. According to the Texas Monthly barbecue editor Daniel Vaughn, Franklin Barbecue intends to open a breakfast taco trailer by the end of the year. It will be located in an Airstream on the property and include coffee service, which might explain why Legends Coffee posted recently on Instagram that it would be pulling up anchor soon.
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Black-owned restaurants in East Austin, like many other businesses, face increasingly stiff challenges to remain in operation amidst continued gentrification and rising property taxes and rents. The Austin Justice Coalition next week will shine a light on some of the pillars of the black community in East Austin with its ATX Black Food Week.
The week-long series of dinners and conversations begins Sunday at Roland’s Soul Food (311 Chestnut Ave.). The restaurant will be open from noon to 4 p.m., with a Meet and Eat session slated from 1 to 4 p.m. The event continues along a similar schedule at restaurants throughout the week. Each restaurant has posted hours of operation and then a block of time during which diners and community members and hear the stories of the men and women who have nourished and enriched the East Austin community for years.
The following restaurants will participate, with dining hours followed by Meet and Eat hours: Monday, Mr. Catfish at 1144 Airport Blvd. (11.a.m to 8 p.m. and 5 to 8 p.m.); Tuesday, Big Easy Bar and Grill at 1806 E. 12th St. (11 a.m. to 10 p.m. and 7 to 10 p.m.); Wednesday, Hoover’s Cooking at 2002 Manor Road (11 a.m. to 10 p.m. and 3 to 7 p.m.); Thursday, Tony’s Jamaican Food at 1200 E. 11th St. (11:45 a.m. to 11 p.m. and 5 to 8 p.m.); Country Boyz Fixins at 4140 E. 12th St. (11 a.m. to 8 p.m. and 5 to 8 p.m.); Sam’s BBQ at 2000 E. 12th St. (10 a.m. to 1 a.m. and noon to 4 p.m.).
Update: It appears the podcasters at Tales from the Pits BBQ have permanently deleted the podcast in question from their archives both on their website and in iTunes. They sent out a Tweet Monday evening responding to Franklin’s comments and explaining their methodology.
In our episode we discuss recent high profile departures from Aaron Franklin and his restaurant’s inner circle, upcoming projects we’ve confirmed he’s involved in, as well as documents we’ve seen that lend credence to a very surprising development our sources have been telling us is in the works: Aaron Franklin may be stepping back from the barbecue world.
Based on the information we received and facts we’ve found, we have a few theories on what may be developing which we discuss at length on this podcast. Not everything has been confirmed and spelled out for the public yet, but with everything we’ve seen, discovered, and been told, we firmly believe that Franklin Barbecue as we know it is undergoing a major changeand in the not too distant future may not be owned and operated by Aaron and Stacy Franklin.
“Yes, we have had staffing changes after the fire, folks moving on for one reason or another,” Stacy Franklin said via text. “We have no plans of selling or not operating Franklin Barbecue. That is simply not true.”
“That’s a good laugh,” Aaron Franklin added after hearing about the speculation.
When you work the kind of crazy hours barbecue professionals put in, you deserve a break. Especially when you’ve been doing it for a decade like Aaron and Stacy Franklin. The whole crew at Franklin gets a break starting next week, so if you’ve got out-of-town friends looking to grub some barbecue or you’re a glutton for waiting in the heat, you best make other plans. Franklin Barbecue will be closed from July 30 through August 9. What that means, this Sunday will be the last time to get that transcendent brisket until Friday August 10. During that lull, check out the Top 10 barbecue restaurants in Austin. Or maybe just take a few plays off, friends.
James Holmes’ fried chicken empire has expanded to the suburbs. Lucy’s Fried Chicken recently opened at 401 E. Whitestone Blvd. in Cedar Park. In addition to the fried chicken, sandwiches and architectural slices of homemade pie for which the local restaurant is known, Lucy’s Cedar Park is following in the footsteps of Lucy’s Lake Travis with a half-pound burger. The new location also features an oyster bar and, along with the other three locations, is shucking East Coast oysters in addition to the big boys from the Gulf.
Lucy’s Cedar Park is open 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday-Saturday and 10 a.m to 10 p.m. Sunday, with brunch served until 3 p.m.
Blue Corn Harvest has been delivering a taste of 90s era Southwestern populism to Cedar Park for more than five years. A meal at the restaurant owned by Carlos Manzano and Santos Garcia starts with a warm corn muffin and sweet butter. Leave it to the Z’Tejas veterans to remind diners that the sweetness of a corn muffin and fried tortilla chips served with the mild heat of a pepper-flecked red salsa make for an oddly satisfying trio.
You’ve got three taco options here and the two I tried were both build-your-own endeavors. Shredded chicken arrives in a little cast-iron skillet swimming with three chili salsa, the ancho and guajillo most pronounced in this stew with whispers of mole ($12.99, served with rice and beans). The sloshy dish is topped with melted cheese and pickled jalapenos and red onion desperate for a better developed tang. The sand dollar sized blue corn tortillas with which you wrap your chicken put up a stubborn fight and had little of the signature corn flavor.
Blue Corn doesn’t make their namesake tortillas or the superior flour ones (I was told they came from the excellent Fiesta Tortillas in Southeast Austin), which wrapped blackened tilapia tacos ($12.99 with rice and beans) cut in half and resembling small burritos more than tacos. The blackening spices from Texas Spice Company in Round Rock buzzed the seared fish with cayenne and paprika and a touch too much salt, which was mellowed by a syrupy sweet ginger vinaigrette.
The order: Blackened fish tacos
Note: Blue Corn Harvest serves a gluten-free menu, and for those who live more north than northwest, Blue Corn Harvest opened a Georgetown outpost last October.
Ramen Tatsu-Ya has opened its location at 1600 E. Sixth St. The new East Austin shop, the fourth Ramen Tatsu-Ya, is open 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.Sunday through Thursday and 11 a.m. to 1 a.m.on Friday and Saturday. The restaurant serves the same menu as its other locations, along with an expanded craft cocktail menu.
Update: Loro will be closed all day Tuesday following the smoke incident Monday night.
Some team members at Loro smelled smoke Monday night, leading to an evacuation and a visit from the Austin Fire and Police departments. While nobody was hurt, the incident, which Loro says made the restaurant get a little smokier than usual, has led the Asian smokehouse to close for lunch Tuesday. Management has not yet decided whether the restaurant on South Lamar will be open for dinner, but keep an eye on their Facebook and Instagram for updates.