Editor’s note: We get it. It can be difficult to keep up with the fast pace of Austin’s restaurant and bar scene. We have you covered with our regular roundup of essential food news.
Openings and closures
Late last month, a popular Dallas-based pizzeria chain flipped its last pie in the Austin area. Shuttering officially on May 23, Cane Rosso had been serving Neapolitan-style pizzas, as well as salads, pasta, and cocktails from its South Austin spot since 2016. When it opened, the Austin-based operation gained notoriety for unique menu items like a barbecue pizza pie featuring brisket from Austin’s own Valentina’s Tex Mex BBQ. According to an Instagram post made by the company, Cane Rosso Austin’s premature shuttering (the restaurant’s lease was set to expire later this year) came primarily as a result of staffing shortages, among other pandemic-related challenges. Fortunately, local eaters who simply cannot live without their Cane Rosso fix can visit the operation’s seven still-operational locations in and around the Dallas/Fort Worth area.
A beloved South Austin brewing institution has closed up shop, making way for a futuristic new operation to blast into its space. Opened back in 2016, Orf Brewing was an operation known for brewing a wide range of crushable, complex ales and hosting live comedy events. Orf occupied the brewing space at 4700 Burleson Rd. until its final day of service, May 30. The brewery was led by owner and head brewer Chris Orf, who cited the “ongoing challenges, headaches, and hassles” of small business as a reason for the operation’s closure. Set to move into the now vacant space is Starbase Brewing. Self-described as the “official brewery of Mars,” the forthcoming Texas-based microbrewery will feature beers inspired by Starbase, Boca Chica, and the Rio Grande Valley, tailored specifically to space fans. What’s more, the new brewery’s website hints at a plan to begin brewing in this summer, with products available in local restaurants and stores by this fall.
Other news and notes
Two beloved local brands are teaming to elevate the most important meal of the day — with copious amounts of melty, scrumptious cheese. On Saturday, June 12 from 9 am-4 pm, Austin’s own Otherside Deli and Figure 8 Coffee Purveyors will collaborate on an indulgent breakfast sandwich pop-up. The event, which will be held at Figure 8’s brick-and-mortar spot at 1111 Chicon St., will feature a small menu focused on very cheesy egg sandwiches. Offerings include a pastrami, egg, and cheese; pork roll, egg, and cheese; and a classic egg, cheese, and ketchup sandwich, each served on a poppy-seed kaiser bun with a dash of fermented Fresno hot sauce. “It’s a simple menu but one we are very proud of,” Otherside Deli owner Conor Mack tells CultureMap. “My first job was selling pork roll, egg, and cheese sandwiches when I was 13 on the beach in Long Branch, NJ. When tasting these sandwiches, it is hard not to feel the warm, ethereal embrace of Bruce Springsteen’s approval.”
Because everyone in town should have their own beer, local hair wizards Birds Barbershop has officially introduced a smooth Birds-brand brew perfect for enjoying while getting a fresh cut. Created in collaboration with Independence Brewing for the local barbershop chain’s 15th anniversary, the new Birds Anniversary Lager boats a refreshing taste and a can design that harkens back to the art of Bryan Keplesky, the artist who designed Birds’ logo in 2006 and went on to create the murals for three Birds locations. Decorated with imagery taken from those murals, the Birds Anniversary Lager will only be served in Birds Barbershops and will not be available for sale. Austinites have plenty of opportunities to taste the brew, however, at one of Birds’ nine locations citywide.
Attention, Tacodeli fans! Two old favorite menu items have made a triumphant return to the Mexico City-inspired “farm to taco” concept’s menu. From now through Thursday, July 1, Tacodeli’s famous Akaushi picadillo and egg taco (Vital Farms scrambled eggs, seasoned HeartBrand Akaushi ground beef, chile de arbol salsa), as well as the Tikin Xic (a Mayan-inspired taco featuring achiote-marinated grilled salmon, spicy salsa negra, and habanero onion escabeche) will be available for just $3.75 and $4.95, respectively. Both taco items will be available for dine-in service and takeout at all Tacodeli locations.
Two Austin icons are uniting in what’s sure to be the summer’s beefiest, most savory new treat. This month, all locations of Austin-based P. Terry’s Burger Stand will offer a BBQ Bacon Burger, featuring two all-natural Black Angus beef patties and cheddar cheese topped with bacon, grilled onions, and Stubb’s brand Smokey Mesquite Bar-B-Q Sauce. The BBQ Bacon Burger will be available for a limited time on all P. Terry’s menus for $5.25 and $9 for a combo with fresh-cut fries and a drink. And if you’re headed to P. Terry’s for the BBQ Bacon Burger, you might as well stop by on Saturday, June 12, aka P. Terry’s Giving Back Day. The burger chain will donate all profits from that day’s sales to Dell Children’s Medical Center in support of local children and their families. Chomping on a tasty burger while supporting Austin kids? It’s a win-win!
Hey Austin, support your local farming community in a far-out way. On Saturday, June 12, at The Far Out Lounge & Stage, MilkRun, an online local food marketplace and delivery service, will host Seeder Fest, a family-friendly farm festival featuring live music, locally farmed food, and even a free tie-dye station where attendees can design rad Seeder Fest T-shirts. The Far Out will feature a seasonal draft cocktail made with Seeder Fest spirit sponsor Doers Vodka and produced from MilkRun’s local farm partners. A portion of the proceeds from the draft cocktail will be donated to MilkRun’s Seeder Fund, a MilkRun initiative that brings farms (seeders), restaurants (feeders), and consumers (eaters) closer together by funding farmer tabs and meals at local restaurants and bars where their produce is featured. Musical guests for the event include Virginia Louise, Sedona Skies, Gamma Dog, and Mohawk Bends. Tickets are $5 for adults (kids get in free) and can be purchased online.
Good wine for a good cause: What else could you ask for? Texas wine leaders William Chris Vineyards recently announced the launch of its second wine created specifically to benefit Texas’ largest hunger-relief organization, Feeding Texas. Created in collaboration with sommelier and Emmer & Rye wine director and manager Ali Schmidt, William Chris’ new blend is dubbed Wanderer Series Relief Project II. The Wanderer Series Relief Project was launched by the winery in April 2020 with the mission to support the hardworking group of chefs, servers, sommeliers, and bartenders that make up the Texas restaurant community, which was critically impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. As far as the new wine’s profile goes, the Wanderer Series Relief Project II red blend is juicy and bright, with generous strawberry and cherry notes and a silky texture. The wine is available now on WCV’s website, as well as from the select retailers across Texas.