Report: Franklin Barbecue will open a taco trailer this year

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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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For more details on the taco trailer at Franklin, read Vaughn’s full report here.

Noted taco lover Aaron Franklin is opening a breakfast taco trailer on his property on East 11th St. (Ralph Barrera/ AMERICAN-STATESMAN)



Two Austin restaurants land on Bon Appetit’s 50 Best New Restaurants in America list

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Bon Appetit today released its list of the 50 best new restaurants in America, a list they call the Hot 50. Overseen by newly minted Austinite Andrew Knowlton, the list includes Austin spots Sour Duck Market and Suerte. The former is a bakery, cafe and bar from the team behind Odd Duck, while the latter is a masa-loving modern Mexican restaurant from owner Sam Hellman-Mass, also an Odd Duck co-founder, and executive chef Fermin Nuñez. I recently called Suerte the best restaurant to open in Austin this year, granting it a 9.5 rating, and the East Austin restaurant was also recently named one of the 18 best new restaurants in America by Eater national restaurant critic Bill Addison. Bon Appetit will name its final Hot 10 on August 14.

The Green Chorizo Tlayuda, made with white bean refrito, quesillo, almond, and pumpkin seeds, is on the menu at the modern Mexican restaurant, Suerte. (Amanda Voisard/AMERICAN-STATESMAN)



Austin Justice Coalition presents ATX Black Food Week

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.

David Mays at Sam’s BBQ in 2013. (Andy Sharp/FOR AMERICAN-STATESMAN)

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.).


No, Franklin Barbecue is not closing

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Slow summer news days can create some hardcore speculation. A barbecue-centric podcast titled “Tales from the Pits BBQ” released its 65th episode yesterday. It’s entitled “Changes at Franklin Barbecue.”

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.

Franklin BBQ’s success is due to the dedication and hard work of the powerhouse couple in Aaron and Stacy Franklin. The two are daily fixtures at the east Austin restaurant overseeing every aspect of the culinary hotspot.

Using some circumstantial evidence, such as Franklin working on a steak cookbook, the coffee trailer at Franklin closing and a longtime member of the Franklin team having left recently, the show speculated in its show notes the following:

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 change and in the not too distant future may not be owned and operated by Aaron and Stacy Franklin.

Barbecue lovers can rest easy, however. While the Franklins are on vacation until August 9, and are working on a book, they have no plans to end their stellar run.

“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.

OK, everyone. Get back to eating barbecue and fighting about Lockhart.


Franklin Barbecue closing for summer vacation

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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.

Franklin Barbecue. (Matthew Odam AMERICAN-STATESMAN)




Lucy’s Fried Chicken now open in Cedar Park

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 Friend Chicken. (Ralph Barrera AMERICAN-STATESMAN)

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.


Taco Tuesday: Blue Corn Harvest in Cedar Park

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.

Three chili skillet chicken tacos at Blue Corn Harvest. (Matthew Odam/AMERICAN-STATESMAN)

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.

Fried tilapia tacos at Blue Corn Harvest. (Matthew Odam/AMERICAN-STATESMAN)

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.

Blue Corn Harvest. Cedar Park: 700 E. Whitestone Blvd. 512-528-0889, bluecornharvest.comGeorgetown: 212 W. 7th Street, #105. 512-819-6018,


Ramen Tatsu-Ya on East Sixth Street now open

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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. 
#1 Original at Ramen Tatsu-Ya (Jay Janner AMERICAN-STATESMAN)

Update: Loro closed Tuesday following smoke-related evacuation

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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.

Frozen mango sake cocktail at Loro. (Arianna Auber AMERICAN-STATESMAN)

Perry’s Steakhouse & Grille opening North Austin location

Houston-based Perry’s Steakhouse & Grille is opening a location at Domain Northside. The location, the second Perry’s in Austin, will be at 11801 Domain Blvd. and is slated to open in early 2019.

Tableside Chateaubriand at Perry’s Steakhouse & Grille. (Ricardo B. Brazziell AMERICAN-STATESMAN)

The first Austin outpost of the steakhouse opened at Seventh and Colorado streets in October 2008.