El Arroyo serving free margaritas to teachers on final day of school (May 30)

That frozen concoction that helps teachers hang on will soon be flowing freely.

Austin Tex-Mex restaurant El Arroyo’s famous marquee sign, whose black letters tell a new joke to passing motorists each day, is featured in “El Arroyo’s Big Book of Signs Volume One.” This is one of the signs featured in the book.

If you think kids can’t wait for the last day of school, just imagine how teachers feel. El Arroyo can imagine it. And the Austin-owned Tex-Mex restaurant on West Fifth Street is here for the teacher.

On the last day of school (May 30), the restaurant with the famous sign and its never-ending stream of pithy comments is teaming with 512 Tequila to serve free margaritas to teachers. While there are no specific terms on the special, management says they will be following the laws of safe and legal alcohol service. One also assumes the margaritas won’t stop flowing until after the final bell actually rings. But, who knows?

So, get ready for some sick burns about bad students and some rideshare surge pricing. You’ve earned it, teachers.


Whataburger giving away free meals for a year to winning couples in Valentine’s Day contest

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Ah, who doesn’t remember the thrill of reading flirtatious notes of Valentine’s-driven affection from your sweetheart or secret admirer as a kid?

Whataburger is tapping into our love of nostalgia (and Whataburger) by offering downloadable sweet love notes (like the one below) inspired by the restaurant. That’s all well and good, but what you probably really care about is the free Whataburger for a year they are also offering.

While fancy restaurants around the city offer pricy prix fixe meals on Valentine’s Day (one of the two or three best days of the year for restaurants), Whataburger is luring burger-loving couples into their stores the week before Valentine’s Day for the chance to win Whataburger for a year.

Here’s how the contest works: Between now and February 8, competing couples should post a photo on social media with the tag #WhataloveContest for the chance to win Whataburger Date Night for a year. I’m sure the cheesier the better. Thre winners will be selected for the grand prize – 52 dates (104 meals) at Whataburger for the next year. (Winners actually get a gift card for the estimated amount).

So, if you see some people next to you sharing a chocolate shake with two straws and a selfie stick in the coming days, you know what’s up. Heck, you could just grab a stranger to take a photo with you. Who knows, maybe you’ll find true love. Winners will be announced on Valentine’s Day. Complete details at Whataburger.com.

Parkside serving half-price oysters and bubbles for 10 days to celebrate anniversary

Ten years is a lifetime in the restaurant world. Heck, it might be two lifetimes these days. Austin chef Shawn Cirkiel brought hope and vision to downtown’s East Sixth Street when he opened Parkside 10 years ago. The gaatropub serves solid cocktails and Central Texas bistro food, has developed a ton of kitchen talent that has spread out around town, and made a name for itself with a great happy hour that on Wednesdays includes half-prices oysters and bubbles. As part of its 10th anniversary run of specials, it is serving half-price oysters and bubbles through January 31.


Additionally, Parkside is running daily $10 specials through January 31, with the kitchen highlighting some of the restaurant’s greatest hits. Dishes include fluke with lemon and almond, blond pâté, doughnut holes and more. Parkside will also be surprising guests with $10 gift cards and 10 percent off meals during that stretch.

Parkside (301 E. Sixth St.) opens daily at 5 p.m. and has a great happy hour that includes half-priced oysters and bubbles on Wednesdays.

Amy’s Ice Creams giving away free ice cream on Tuesday

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The free ice cream promotion does not include this Mystery Box Sundae from Amy’s Ice Creams, which has Mexican vanilla and blackberry ice cream, nuts, hot fudge and whipped cream. (Kristin Finan AMERICAN-STATESMAN)

If you’re driving around this afternoon and evening, you might see lines of wide-eyed folks sprouting up all over town.  Just ahead of one of the first cold fronts of the year, Amy’s Ice Creams will do that thing where they annually cause mild pandemonium, giving away a free tiny ice cream with a topping or a small ice cream with a crush’n or topping to guests from 3 to 7 p.m.

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Baby Greens celebrates anniversary with $1 salads and wraps Wednesday

What do you eat after a night of tearing through 1,000 miniature candy wrappers? Maybe a salad.

Baby Greens (1508 W. Anderson Lane) is celebrating its one-year anniversary today by selling $1 salads and wraps (one per person).

In addition to the special prices, Baby Greens is releasing its first bottled sLad dressing and donating all proceeds from the sales of its BT juice to local nonprofit Flatwater Foundation.

Sharon Mays relaunched the drive-thru Baby Greens in North Austin last year as a healthy and accessible alternative to fast food.

Free Olamaie fried chicken biscuits at Billy Reid sale Thursday to support Houston restaurants

Two modern Southern classics are joining forces to raise money for their friends in Houston. Designer Billy Reid of Florence, Alabama is having a warehouse sale at his Austin store at 1122 W. Sixth St. in Austin, with all proceeds going to benefit the Houston restaurant community.

Contributed by Kate LeSueur

And while folks shop, they’ll be able to dig on fried chicken biscuits from refined Southern restaurant Olamaie, while supplies last. The sale runs from 5 to 8 p.m. Thursday.


Chevrolet giving away free breakfast tacos at Torchy’s South Congress Thursday

SXSW is over, but that doesn’t mean there are no brands left to give you free things. Chevrolet is celebrating being the area’s biggest seller of cars in 2016 by giving away breakfast tacos tomorrow at the Torchy’s location at 1822 South Congress Ave. The free tacos (they’re giving away #1-#5 on the menu) will be passed out (one per customer) from 7 to 10 a.m., or while supplies last.

A rep from Chevy says last year Chevrolet car and trucks were up 17.5 percent in Austin compared to the previous year and sales of vehicles such as the Chevrolet Malibu, Chevrolet Colorado and Chevrolet Cruze were up 53 percent, 65.9 percent, and 21.8 percent, respectively.  Apparently Austinites like Chevrolet cars and trucks almost as much as they like breakfast tacos.



Dai Due selling female-themed pastries Saturday in support of Women’s March

Credit: Ralph Barrera AMERICAN-STATESMAN
Credit: Ralph Barrera AMERICAN-STATESMAN

Dai Due executive pastry chef Abby Love is supporting the Women’s March in Austin Saturday in one of the ways she knows best, making awesome pastries. But there’s a clever twist. Love has created a roster of cheeky  “lady-themed” pastries for sale, some of which are anatomical and comical in nature. In addition to those undisclosed goodies, Love will also create what she is calling Mama Bear Claws and Burning Bra Chili Cheese Rolls.

The bear claws are croissant dough filled with Texas pecan frangipane ($5) and the bra-shaped offerings are cheddar buns spiked with house-fermented chili paste ($4). Dai Due will be serving the limited offerings from its bakery (2406 Manor Road) starting at 10 a.m. Saturday.

“We are in full support of the march on Saturday and would love nothing more than to fill anyone who is marching full of gluten, sugar, fraternity, and solidarity,” Love said.

Hopdoddy celebrating one year in Round Rock with limited offer Round Rock Donuts burger

The Code 7, a collaboration between Round Rock Donuts and Hopdoddy, comes sandwiched between two glazed Round Rock Donuts. (Credit: Hopdoddy)
The Code 7, a collaboration between Round Rock Donuts and Hopdoddy, comes sandwiched between two glazed Round Rock Donuts. (Credit: Hopdoddy)

Austin-born Hopddody Burger Bar is celebrating its first birthday in Round Rock (2600 Hoppe Trail) by challenging the stomachs and desires of its patrons. The restaurant will serve limited numbers of its Code 7 Burger from January 20-22. The burger, which is a joint with local favorite Round Rock Donuts, will feature an angus beef patty, Tillamook cheddar, applewood smoked bacon and a fried egg sandwiched between a sticky-sweet Round Rock Donut. The burger, which made a brief menu appearance at the restaurant’s opening, will cost $11.


Flyrite Chicken opens in North Austin next weekend with chance to win chicken for a year


Austin’s answer to that fast-food fried chicken giant expands next weekend. Flyrite Chicken opens at 6539 Burnet Road on January 22. The drive-thru and dine-in restaurant is located on the lot next to Barley Swine, Lick Honest Ice Cream and Bufalina Due.

The grand opening will be marked by special giveaways, including the chance to win breakfast once a week for a year and chicken and a beer once a week for a year. The first giveaway takes place in the morning at the restaurant, with the second to follow. Flyrite, which will be open daily for breakfast, lunch and dinner, will also have giveaways throughout the day from neighbors like Austin Beerworks, Austin Eastciders, Apothecary Cafe & Wine Bar, Barley Swine, Bonhomie, County Line, El Chilito, Juiceland, Picnik, Tacodeli, VIA 313, and more.

Flyrite, which serves vegetarian-fed chicken raised without antibiotics, opened its first location on East Seventh Street last year.