Popular Korean-Mexican fusion food truck Chi’Lantro plans to open a restaurant in January at 1509 S. Lamar Blvd. in the space previously occupied by A-OK Chinese. Chi’Lantro (the name a portmanteau play on kimchi and cilantro) owner Jae Kim said he will have more details on the new restaurant next week.
After eight months in business, A-OK Chinese has closed its doors at 1509 S. Lamar Blvd. The Americanized Chinese fast-casual restaurant was guided by former Alamo Drafthouse chef John Bullington and longtime Austin restaurant general manager Jerry Reid. I’ll give you details soon on what will be taking its place.
The restaurant posted the note below:
You’re going to need energy (and a break) when you head out for holiday shopping. Below I offer some dining choices near major shopping areas. I generally stuck to locally-owned businesses, with a few exceptions. I didn’t list certain shopping areas that are surrounded by mostly chain restaurants. More restaurants broken down by category at austin360.com/AustinRestaurants.
Amy’s Ice Creams. 10000 Research Blvd. 512-345-1006, amysicecreams.com. Luscious scoops of ice cream sprinkled with eccentricity.
Eddie V’s Prime Seafood. 9400B Arboretum Blvd. 512-342-2642, eddiev.com. Enjoy shrimp cocktail and a martini, or a steak and Manhattan after a long day of shopping.
Elevation Burger. 9828 Great Hills Trail. 512-608-4054, elevationburger.com. Organic grass-fed burgers and creamy shakes.
Estância Churrascaria. 10000 Research Blvd. 512-345-5600, estanciachurrascaria.com. If you’re going to be shopping all day, you’ll need some protein. This restaurant answers the question “Where’s the beef?” And the chicken, pork, and lamb.
Manuel’s. 10201 Jollyville Rd. 512-345-1042, manuels.com. Check out the nice roster of seafood and rellenos selections at this off-shoot of the longtime downtown favorite.
Texadelphia. 9828 Great Hills Trail. 512-338-1338, texadelphia.com. You’re gonna need a nap after all of this meaty-cheesy goodness.
Z’Tejas. 9400 Arboretum Blvd. 512-346-3506, ztejas.com. One of the first Southwestern specialists in town has serious staying power thanks to dishes like chili pork verde and chicken-fried chicken.
Cru. 11410 Century Oaks Terrace #104. 512-339-9463, cruawinebar.com. Choose from a large list of small plates, or get a steak for yourself, at this wine bar that offers a touch of sophistication amidst the shopping madness.
Gloria’s. 3309 Esperanza Crossing. 512-833-6400, gloriasrestaurants.com. Classic El Salvadoran cuisine and Tex-Mex share menu space.
Jasper’s. 11506 Century Oaks Terrace #128. 512834-411, kentrathbun.com. Chop-house favorites with a Texas flare at chef Kent Rathbun’s restaurant.
Punch Bowl Social. 11310 Domain Dr. 512-368-9070, punchbowlsocial.com. American standards at breakfast, brunch, lunch and dinner at this restaurant-entertainment space that features a bowling alley.
Hill Country Galleria
Amy’s Ice Creams. 13420 Galleria Circle. 512-263-2903, amysicecreams.com. Luscious scoops of ice cream sprinkled with eccentricity.
Buenos Aires Café. 13500 Galleria Circle. 512-441-9000, buenosairescafe.com. This Argentine café serves excellent empandas (for meat-lovers and vegetarians) and make a fantastic chimichurri to go with their steaks (and steak sandwiches).
Café Blue. 12921 Hill Country Blvd. D2-120. 512-366-5230, cafebluetx.com. A bistro menu starring oysters and a host of bountiful seafood salads.
Iron Cactus. 13420 Galleria Circle A128. 512-263-7636, ironcactus.com. Settle in with a margarita to go with a bowl of chips and queso.
Madam Mam’s. 929 Market St. 512-263-7507, madammam.com. Thai staples like papaya salad and pad Thai at the western outpost of this campus-area favorite.
Schmidt Family Barbecue. 12532 Bee Caves Rd. 512-263-4060, schmidtfamilybarbecue.com. Two barbecue families stopped squabbling and started smoking, and brought Bee Caves a taste of Lockhart.
Tadashi. 12820 Hill Country Blvd. #105. 512-263-3200, tadashiaustin.com. Hot and cold entrees in addition to a long roster of sushi rolls and nigiri.
Tony C’s Coal Fired Pizza. 12800 Hill Country Blvd. G160. 512-263-3473, tonycs.com. Serving up pizzas with a puffed crunchy edge and chewy center.
Verts Kebap. 12800 Galleria Circle. 512-369-3918, vertskebap.com. Get roasted chicken or lamb/beef combo stuffed in a warm pita or layered in a fresh salad.
Zingers Bar & Grill. 12700 Hill Country Blvd. 512-524-2434, zingersbarandgrill.com. Zingers specializes in sandwiches, salads and Southwestern fare.
Yaghi’s New York Pizzeria. 12400 Texas 71. 512-402-0202, yaghisnewyorkpizzeria.com. This pizza spots serves creative offerings like a lasagna pizza, as well as an array of Buffalo wing options.
Green Mesquite BBQ. 9900 S. I-35. 512-282-7100, gmsouthpark.com. Smoked meats that won’t break the bank and don’t require a long wait. Try the brisket-loaded baked potato.
PhoNatic. 9900 S. I-35. 512-291-8220, pho-natic.com. Solid Vietnamese classics like restorative bowls of pho and modern spins like banh mi “sliders.”
Serranos. 9500 S. I-35. 512-280-7770, serranostx.com. This operation has been serving Austin Tex-Mex staples for almost 30 years.
Spec’s Wine, Spirits and Finer Foods. 9900 S. I-35. 512-280-7400, specsonline.com. Browse the salami and cheese selections for a snack or dig in with a fat burger or stacked sandwich.
Third Base. 9600 S. I-35. 512-381-2273, thirdbaseaustin.com. Watch the game with a cold one and some upscale bar food while the rest of the family shops.
Waterloo Ice House. 9600 S I-35. 512-292-7900, waterlooicehouse.com. A family-friendly stop that offers something for everyone.
Doc’s Bar & Grill. 5207 Brodie Ln. 512-892-5200, eatdrinkdocs.com. A great outdoor space to let the little ones burn off some energy, Tex-Mex platters, big burgers, and a huge beer selection make this place good for the whole family.
IM Thai. 5207 Brodie Ln. 512-892-2744, imthaicuisine.com. From spring rolls to sticky rice with mango, this local spot has your Thai needs covered.
Luby’s. 5200 Brodie Ln. 512-892-0297, lubys.com. Everyone’s got his favorite dish at this Texas classic. What’s yours?
Mighty Fine. 5601 Brodie Ln. 512-735-2800, mightyfineburgers.com. Burgers, shakes, and friendly service are hallmarks of this clean, airy burger joint.
St. Philip. 4715 S. Lamar Blvd. 512-358-7445, stpaustin.com. An enticing array of small plates, Neapolitan pizzas, and excellent pastries make this pizza parlor and bakeshop from the Uchi family a welcome addition to South Austin.
Tarka Indian Kitchen. 5207 Brodie Ln. 512-892-2008, tarkaindiankitchen.com. Fast-casual concept from Clay Pit owners serves flavorful curries, fluffy naan, and refreshing mango-lemonade.
Zoës Kitchen. 5601 Brodie Ln. 512-358-0888, zoeskitchen.com. Roasted vegetables, grilled meats, fresh salads, and a gooey grilled pimento cheese put this chain on my list of preferred stops.
Many local restaurants can make Thanksgiving a hassle-free holiday. Want somebody else to do the cooking? Check out some of the restaurants below (note that some may require reservations). Looking for a Chinese restaurant open on Thanksgiving? Click here.
Know of a restaurant we’re missing? Let me know in the comments.
24 Diner. (600 N. Lamar Blvd., 512-472-5400, 24diner.com): Serving a special Thanksgiving meal starting at 10:30 a.m. in addition to full menu offerings. Reservations not accepted.
Buca di Beppo. (3612 Tudor Blvd., 512-342-8462, bucadibeppo.com): Turkey with Italian sausage stuffing, garlic mashed potatoes, green beans, whole-berry cranberry sauce and pumpkin pie. Meal serving up to three people costs $53.99. Meal serving as many as six people costs $98.99. Opens at 11 a.m.
Capital Grille. (117 W. Fourth St., 512-322-2005, thecapitalgrille.com): The restaurant will serve a traditional Thanksgiving dinner from noon to 9 p.m. $36 for adults, $15 for children 12 and under.
The Carillon. 1900 University Ave. 512-404-3655, thecarillonrestaurant.com. The fine dining restaurant at the AT&T Executive Education and Conference Center will offer five seatings between 10:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. for Thanksgiving-themed breakfast and lunch buffets. Breakfast will include items like maple-glazed pork belly benedict and crab cakes eggs benedict, while lunch will feature offerings like a carving station and buttermilk-marinated turkey breast and confit dark meat. $65 for adults, $19.95 for kids ages 6-12, and free for kids 5 and under. For reservations call 512-404-3689 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Chavez. 111 E. Cesar Chavez St. 512-478-2991, chavez-austin.com. Shawn Cirkiel’s restaurant inside the Radisson is serving a Thanksgiving buffet from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. The buffet, which includes carving stations for roasted turkey and agave-glazed ham, poached shrimp, oysters on the half shell, chorizo cornbread stuffing, butternut ravioli with sage brown butter, sweet potato sopes with spiced marshmallow cream, pumpkin panna cotta, bourbon pecan pie and more, costs $49 for adults and $19 for kids. Reservations are recommended and can be made online.
Corazon at Castle Hill. 1101 W. Fifth St. 512-476-0728, corazonatcastlehill.com. The restaurant will serve a three-course prix-fixe lunch featuring classics from the Southwestern-cuisine Castle Hill days as well as bold new Interior Mexican-inspired dishes from chef Michael Taddeo. Dishes include roasted butternut squash soup and roasted turkey breast with a Oaxacan mole negro. Reservations will be accepted from noon to 3 p.m. and meals range from $29.95 to $33.95. For complete menus, and to make reservations, visit corazonatcastlehill.com or call 476-0728.
Crú. (238 W. Second St., 512-472-9563; 11410 Century Oaks Terrace 104 at the Domain, 512-339-9463, cruwinebar.com): A special Thanksgiving three-course meal with optional wine pairings served from noon to 9 p.m. $38 for adults. $19 for kids 12 and younger.
The Driskill. (604 Brazos St., 512-391-7178, driskillhotel.com): A special Thanksgiving brunch and five-course dinner feast will be served. Brunch buffet: 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. $72 for adults, $36 for kids 6-12. Dinner seating: 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. $86 for adults and $42 for children.
Estancia Churrascaria. (Arboretum, 10000 Research Blvd., 512-345-5600, estanciachurrascaria.com): Serving turkey and pumpkin pie a la mode in addition to the usual Southern Brazilian offerings. $38.50 at lunch and $41.50 at dinner. Reservations recommended.
Finn & Porter. (500 E. Fourth St., 512-493-4900, finnandporteraustin.com): Restaurant at the Hilton Austin will serve a three-course prix-fixe menu of traditional favorites with a modern touch, including slow-roasted turkey green bean casserole, sausage-apple stuffing, mashed potatoes, candied sweet potatoes and cranberry relish. Thanksgiving dinner is priced at $45 for adults and $20 for children under age 11.
The Frisco. (6801 Burnet Road, 512-459-6279, thefriscoaustin.com): Will serve a special Thanksgiving menu from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. The regular menu will not be available. $23.95 for adults. $14. 95. for children.
Hoover’s Cooking. (2002 Manor Road, 512-479-5006, hooverscooking.com): The down-home classic will serve diners an entrée with two sides (and some additional fixins) for $18.49 per person from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. They’re also serving turkey and Thanksgiving sides for take-out.
Hyatt Regency Austin. (208 Barton Springs Road, 512-480-2035, http://www.opentable.com): Chef Paul French will present a Thanksgiving buffet with seven different stations, including meat-carving, seafood, salads, breakfast, antipasto, sides and more. 11 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. $60 for adults. $27 for children ( kids 5 and younger, free).
Hyde Park Bar & Grill. (4206 Duval St., 512-458-3168, 4521 W. Gate Blvd., 512-899-2700, hpbng.com): Traditional Thanksgiving dinner will be served at both locations from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. $18.95 (kids 10 and younger, $10.95), $13.95 for vegetarian dinner.
Kerbey Lane Cafe. Multiple locations. Kerbeylanecafe.com The longtime Austin favorite will serve a meal of turkey breast with gravy, mashed potatoes, cornbread stuffing, candied yams, and broccoli served with cranberry sauce and a dinner roll for $14.95 at all six locations. Most will be open 24 hours. Check website for specific hours.
Lakeway Resort and Spa. (101 Lakeway Drive, 512-261-6600, lakewayresortandspa.com): Thanksgiving brunch served from 10:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. $50 for adults, $20 for kids 5-12. The resort will also feature live music and a petting zoo from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Threadgill’s. (6416 N. Lamar Blvd., 512-451-5440, 301 W. Riverside Drive, 512-472-9304, threadgills.com): Holiday menu includes turkey and dressing, candied yams, green bean casserole, pumpkin pie and more. Meals cost $14.95 and will be served from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Trace. (200 Lavaca St., 512-542-3660, traceaustin.com): The fine dining restaurant at the W Hotel will serve lunch and dinner with dishes like turkey breast stuffed with confit leg and a roasted fall vegetable tart. The three-course lunch runs from 11:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. and costs $55. The four-course dinner is served from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. and costs $75.
Trio. 98 San Jacinto Blvd., 512-685-8300, triorestaurantaustin.com. The restaurant at the Four Seasons will offer a buffet with more than 80 items from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Cost is $85 per adult and $27 per child.
Sisters Ashley and Christina Cheng plan to open Spun Ice Cream at 1912 E. Seventh St. in early 2015. The shop will specialize in scratch ice cream, made to order using the culinary power of liquid nitrogen. Visitors can watch as ingredients are transformed into ice cream under the force of liquid nitrogen that is negative-321-degrees Fahrenheit. Spun will also offer home-made toppings like Texas pecan brittle, old-fashioned pie crumble and candied citrus confetti.
“The beauty of using liquid nitrogen is that the science goes into the process of making the ice cream and not into the ingredients,” the sisters said in a release. “Because every order is made instantly, the integrity of each ingredient can be maintained without the use of preservatives, emulsifiers or stabilizers.”
Ashley and Christina, who earned a Patisserie and Baking Certificate from Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts in Austin, are daughters of Chinatown restaurant founder Ronald Cheng. (facebook.com/spunicecream)
Chef Taylor Hall will bring contemporary American cuisine to the edge of the Texas Hill Country when he opens Apis Restaurant and Apiary in Spicewood early next year.
Apis, located at 23526 Texas 71 W. on six acres overlooking the Pedernales River, will source product from an onsite garden and 20 bee hives. (Apis is the genus to which honey bees belong.) Hall’s experience working with bees began in 2010 when he learned about Colony Collapse Disorder, and he and his wife, Casie, have tended a hive at their home since that time.
“For us, the apiary is really the soul of Apis. With 20 hives onsite, the apiary will actively complete the cycle of sustainability, pollinating the gardens that will provide the honey for our craft cocktail program and many of the dishes we’ll serve, “Hall said. “Beyond the menu, the plan is eventually to provide tours for guests wanting to learn more about beekeeping in addition to bottling and selling some of the honey that’s produced.”
Native Texan Hall started his career at Brennan’s in New Orleans and has worked in several lauded restaurants in San Francisco, including Wolfgang Puck’s Postrio. For the past several years Hall has served as the head chef for pop-up dinner party Supper Underground and will use that experience to conduct pop-up dinners at Noble Sandwich Co. at Oasis Brewing on December 16 and 17 to preview Apis. Those five-course dinners (with optional beer pairings) cost $50 and will include dishes like feral hog ragu and honey-glazed duck breast.
Reservations for the pop-up can be made by calling 512-436-8918 or by emailing email@example.com. (apisrestaurant.com)
The pizza-eating contests, hands-on-an-eggplant-sub endurance marathon, carnival games, and general merriment will have to wait a few weeks. Due to the chance of inclement weather, Home Slice Pizza is postponing its annual Carnival O’ Pizza to December 13. Gives you time to build up your shoulder and leg muscles for the eggplant-sub contest.
A popular burgers-and-fries (or is it fries-and-burgers?) restaurant from Boise, Idaho is headed to Austin. The Boise Fry Company will open its first Texas location in the Edge Eleven retail center at 11005 Burnet Rd. in early 2015. The company said in a press release in September that this would be the first of several planned locations in the Austin market.
The Boise Fry Company opened in 2009 in Idaho serving grass-fed beef and bison burgers and a wide variety of potatoes and cuts of fries. At BFC, customers can choose from russet, purple, gold, sweet, and Okinawa potatoes or yams, and can have them cut into shoestring, regular, homestyle, or curly shapes, or something called po-balls. The fries come with the choice of several homemade seasonings, spritzers, and dipping sauces to coat your fries.
BFC co-founder Blake Lingle says in the Boise TV interview below that with expansion, the environmentally conscious restaurant would still focus on sourcing certain items from within a certain radius of the store’s location.
The two comedians made famous in the Sonic Drive-In commercials may need a bigger car. They are about to get some company in the form of long-legged NBA superstar and Longhorn great Kevin Durant.
The Oklahoma City Thunder forward has inked an endorsement deal with the Oklahoma City-based fast-food chain, Sonic announced today. Durant will be the chains first-ever athlete ambassador, according to ESPN.com.
Durant will help with the “development of balanced menu items” and serve as a “promoter of co-branded philanthropic efforts,” according to a release.
“What really happened was the MVP speech that he made last year really pushed him into a national presence more, but also, his likability is off the charts,” Sonic Drive-In CMO Todd Smith told AdWeek. “For us, we wanted someone who has a hometown feel with a national presence because that’s the type of brand we are.”
Durant, who has already shown some acting chops and comedic timing in a Nike commercial directed by Austinite David Gordon Green, will appear in commercials with comedians T. J. Jagodowski and Peter Grosz, as well as digital, merchandising, packaging and social media.
That social media engagement has already begun. For those wondering why an athlete would an endorse a fast-food chain (like LeBron and McDonald’s), Durant Tweeted that he was looking forward to introducing some healthier items to the Sonic menu.
Durant, who Smith says is already a Sonic fan, will also work with the company’s non-profit educational arm, Limeades for Learning, according to AdWeek.
Maybe the new endorsement will give Thunder fan hope that Durant won’t flee when he becomes a free agent after the 2015-2016 season.
While I’ve got you, if you haven’t watched Durant’s MVP acceptance speech from last season, do so. All class and heart (and more of his trademark wit).
French-inspired gastropub Hopfields (3110 Guadalupe St.) celebrates its third anniversary Saturday with an all-day party. The details are vague, but I’ve been told there will be pork rillette sandwiches, poutine, free beer, various beer specials, multiple giveaways, and raffles.
The Austin Food and Wine Alliance showcase some of the state’s top culinary talent at its fourth annual Wine & Swine event Sunday afternoon from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. at Star Hill Ranch (just outside of Austin). Twenty-three chefs will prepare whole Berkshire hog in various styles. Visiting talent includes Dallas chef John Tesar, whose Knife was just named one of the best new restaurants in the country by Esquire magazine, and Steve McHugh, whose excellent Cured at the Pearl Brewery complex in San Antonio received a runner-up nod on the same list.
The event will also give attendees a chance to taste food from upcoming Austin restaurants Launderette/Angry Bear (Rene Ortiz, formerly of Sway and La Condesa) and chef Lawrence Kocurek’s Counter 3. Five. VII. Austin restaurants participating in the day of grazing (and wine tastings) include Mat Clouser of Swift’s Attic and Wu Chow; Michael Fojtasek & Grae Nonas of Olamaie; Brandon Fuller of Café Josie; Jason Stude of Congress; and Andrew Wiseheart of Contigo.Tickets cost $85 and proceeds benefit the culinary grant program from the Austin Food and Wine Alliance, which will distribute $30,000 in grant money to chefs, farmers, artisan producers and entrepreneurs in 2014. Click here for ticket information and the complete menu.