Months after closing Mueller location, original Bribery Bakery closes abruptly

After closing the Mueller location of Bribery Bakery last fall, pastry chef Jodi Elliott announced this week that she has closed the original location on Wells Branch and is putting the business up for sale.

Bribery Bakery’s pink-hued Mueller location has closed after two locations ended up being too much for owner Jodi Elliott. Arianna Auber / American-Statesman

“After a lot of thought and soul searching, I’ve made the difficult decision to close and sell Bribery Bakery,” she wrote via email. “It’s been an unforgettable and invaluable life experience that I will always cherish.” Interested buyers can contact her at briberysale@gmail.com.

Elliott says she will be doing more pastry consulting as she considers her next steps.

 

 

#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!

In Texas Monthly’s top burger list, Austin falls second to San Antonio

Screen Shot 2016-07-19 at 6.53.55 PMIt’s been seven years since Texas Monthly compiled its first 50 Best Burgers in Texas list, and back then, a number of us were surprised to see Austin’s tiny Counter Cafe with the No. 2 burger on the list. (The Grape in Dallas had the top burger in 2009.)

This week, the magazine is releasing its newest top 50 list, and, thanks to social media and the physical copies already in mailboxes today, we know that Austin’s Second Bar & Kitchen snagged the second spot in the magazine’s top 5 for its Congress Burger.

The top burger in the state, according to reports from subscribers who have been posting images from the print magazine today, is the Brisket Burger with Pork Belly at Folc in San Antonio.

UPDATE: Other Austin restaurants in the magazine’s top 50 include the burgers at Central Standard Kitchen & Bar, Chicon, Clark’s Oyster Bar and Texas French Bread.

Hopdoddy earned a nod for its classic burger, and the Big Tex Burger at Cover 3 got an honorable mention.

Statesman restaurant critic Matthew Odam put Second’s burger at No. 3 on his list of best Austin burgers last year. The top two were Odd Duck and Hopfield’s.

What other burgers should be in the top five in the state? Have you had any of the burgers on the list so far?

Despite Prop 1 loss, UberEats to continue delivery service

Even though Uber has suspended ride-hailing operations in Austin, the company is continuing its UberEats delivery service.
Even though Uber has suspended ride-hailing operations in Austin, the company is continuing its UberEats delivery service.

Even after a tough Prop 1 loss this weekend, Uber announced today that its popular UberEats food delivery service would continue.

Uber shared the news in an email to users:

As you’ve heard from the results of Proposition 1, Uber ridesharing is no longer available in Austin. However, we’re glad to tell you that UberEATS will continue service as normal, providing great food when you need it, helping restaurants serve beyond the brick-and-mortar, and offering driver-partners an option to stay on the road.

How it works: UberEats partners with a few restaurants each day, and drivers carry the meals with them in their cars, which means customers can order a dish and it often arrives in less than 10 minutes for a delivery fee of around $3. The company recently added the option of ordering from a restaurant not on the “Instant” menu but with a higher fee and longer delivery time.

You have to have the UberEats app, which is separate from the regular Uber app, to place an order, and you can find out more about the service at ubereats.com/austin.

East Side King opens in the heart of Sixth Street downtown

The fifth location of East Side King opened on Wednesday in a bar called The Four Horsemen on Sixth Street downtown. Photo from @eastsideking.
The fifth location of East Side King opened on Wednesday in a bar called The Four Horsemen on Sixth Street downtown. Photo from @eastsideking.

East Side King has opened its newest location inside The Four Horsemen, a bar at 310 E. Sixth St. downtown.

The popular Asian eatery from Paul Qui and Moto Utsunomiya now has five locations, three of which are also associated with bars, including the Liberty, Hole in the Wall and Whislers. (They also have a standalone location on South Lamar Boulevard.)

The location quietly opened today at 4 p.m. with the only announcement coming from a post on East Side King’s Instagram

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Third Jack Allen’s Kitchen opens in Westlake

Jack Gilmore and Tom Kamm have opened the third location of their popular Jack Allen's Kitchen restaurant in Westlake. Photo from Jack Allen's Kitchen.
Jack Gilmore and Tom Kamm have opened the third location of their popular Jack Allen’s Kitchen restaurant in Westlake. Photo from Jack Allen’s Kitchen.

The newest Jack Allen’s Kitchen has opened at Loop 360 (Capital of Texas Highway) and Westlake Drive, in the shopping center across the highway from Opal Divine’s and Maudie’s in West Lake Hills.

The newest location, 3600 Loop 360 North, will feature the same seasonally inspired Texas comfort food of the other locations in Oak Hill and Round Rock and will be open for lunch, dinner and Sunday brunch.

You can find out more at the location’s Facebook page, Facebook.com/JackAllensKitchen360.

When is Native Foods Cafe coming to Austin?

Native Foods Cafe in Encinitas, Calif. Photo by Addie Broyles.
Native Foods Cafe in Encinitas, Calif. Photo by Addie Broyles.

I’d never heard of Native Foods Cafe until I was in California last month.

But within the first few days, no fewer than three people had mentioned this regional fast-casual vegan chain. The first time was from my uncle, who said that he and his wife have been wanting to try it but there’s always too long of a line to get in.

Too long of a line for a vegan cafe?

Coming from a place where people stand in line for hours for brisket, I decided it would be worth the effort to check out what all the fuss was about.

Driving from San Diego to Anaheim, where I was attending a giant food show, I popped into the Native Foods Cafe in Encinitas for a mid-afternoon lunch, where there was only a short (3-person) line.

Native Foods is known for using house-made meat substitutes, some of which are based on ancient foods like tempeh and seitan, to make comfort food dishes that even omnivores enjoy.

The Bistro Steak Sandwich from Native Foods Cafe in Encinitas, Calif. The vegan fast casual chain has expanded beyond the West Coast, but when will it open in Texas? Photo by Addie Broyles.
The Bistro Steak Sandwich from Native Foods Cafe in Encinitas, Calif. The vegan fast casual chain has expanded beyond the West Coast, but when will it open in Texas? Photo by Addie Broyles.

I skipped some of their most popular dishes, like the Chicken Run Ranch Burger (made with their battered “Native Chicken) or the Oklahoma Bacon Cheeseburger (using tofu bacon and sliced seitan), in favor of a seasonal special called the Bistro Steak Sandwich ($9.95).

Seitan isn’t steak, but I’ll be darned if that thinly sliced seitan, topped with a tofu-based knock-off of bleu cheese, crispy shallots and arugula on a chewy fresh baguette, wasn’t just as satisfying as one made with real meat and cheese.

But to call it health food would be quite a stretch.

The seitan, bleu cheese and fried shallots, though the best parts of the sandwich, made for quiet a dense, almost greasy sandwich, one that absolutely hit the spot on my little road trip.

The company, founded more than 20 years ago in Southern California, moved its headquarters to Chicago in recent years and hired a former Chipotle executive to expand the company nationwide. They have nearly 30 locations throughout California, as well as Colorado, Oregon, Chicago and, as of last fall, Washington D.C.

The plant-based eatery aims to have 200 locations open by the end of 2017, and I can’t imagine how some of them wouldn’t be located in Texas.

But the question is, when and where?

Austin, a city teeming with vegans who eat as well as non-vegans, seems like an obvious choice.

I’ve reached out to the company for an official comment on when we might be able to expect them to expand here, and I’ll update this post if I hear back from them.

Have you tried Native Foods Cafe? Do you think it would do well in meat-loving Texas?

Salad bistro Vinaigrette to open in former Treehouse Italian Grill space on South Congress

Been wondering what’s going to open in the former Treehouse Italian Grill on South Congress?

You’re not the only one.

The lush space at the south end of one of Austin’s most popular tourist destinations — shaded, no less, by an oak tree that is estimated to be 500 years old — has been vacant for several years, but we received word today of a new eatery called Vinaigrette, Vinny for short, that will open later this year.

The “farm-to-table salad bistro” from New Mexico-based chef/owner Erin Wade is slated to open in September, according to a rep for the restaurant at 2201 College Ave.

Wade has two other Vinny restaurants, one in Albuquerque and another in Santa Fe, near a 10-acre farm in Nambe that produces the majority of the Santa Fe’s location’s ingredients during peak season. Wade is looking at farms in the Bastrop area for a similar approach here.

One of the salads served at Vinny, a bistro with two locations in New Mexico that will open in Austin later this year. Photo from Vinaigrette.
One of the salads served at Vinny, a bistro with two locations in New Mexico that will open in Austin later this year. Photo from Vinaigrette.

From the release:

“Vinny Santa Fe and Albuquerque have a distinct Vinaigrette style, but one that reflects the historic charm of their individual locations. Similarly, I think Vinaigrette Austin will be a unique expression of its neighborhood; the building has a residential feel with an Eichler-esque mid-century form that we wanted to preserve and showcase in a contemporary way,” said Wade. “The property and bones of this space are amazing. I was immediately drawn to the shape of the existing building with its incredible beams and quirky roofline. And the tree… it’s unbelievably beautiful and will make for a magical outdoor space.”

Like its Santa Fe and Albuquerque predecessors, Vinaigrette’s Austin menu will include playful farm-to-table lunch and dinner salads such as “All Kale Caesar!” (chopped green kale, Marcona almonds, parmesan, anchovies, lemon-anchovy vinaigrette), “Eat Your Peas” (sweet peas, shredded manchego, sautéed mushrooms, bacon shards, baby greens) and “La Pepita” (chopped kale, pulled chicken, cojija, avocado and black bean with chilied pepitas and cumin lemon vinaigrette). The menu also features salad pairings such as grilled, marinated pork tenderloin, seared Diver scallops, or grilled baby artichokes, as well as sides and snacks like Erin’s Mac & Cheese, Fried Kale Fritters or Sweet Beet Fries. Wade will also offer refreshing pressed juice-based cocktails, alongside a thoughtful and sustainable wine and beer selection.

Two Austin restaurants land on GQ’s 25 best new restaurants list

Alan Richman, the longtime restaurant critic for GQ magazine, named his top 25 new restaurants in the country today, and Austin’s Dai Due and St. Philip Bakeshop made the list.

Dai Due charcuterie. Photo by Ricardo Brazziell for the American-Statesman.
Dai Due charcuterie. Photo by Ricardo Brazziell for the American-Statesman.

Jesse Griffiths’ East Austin eatery is sure to land on numerous best new restaurants lists this year, and though St. Philip is technically a pizzeria in Sunset Valley, its thoughtful small plates and solid execution (and connection to the Uchi restaurants) make it a popular destination for visiting critics as well.