Two new steakhouses are opening in downtown Austin this spring. First is a new hotel restaurant, Dean’s Italian Steakhouse, within the JW Marriott on 110 East Second Street starting sometime in the spring. The menu includes wagyu and dry-aged steaks and house-made pasta such as short rib gnocchi and truffle bucatini. It’s taking over what had been the hotel’s Italian restaurant OP Italian (née Osteria Pronto).
Then, San Antonio restaurant J-Prime Steakhouse is also opening in downtown Austin this spring. It’ll be found at 301 Brazos Street, Suite 150, the former home of Dallas-based Tex-Mex restaurant Uncle Julio’s. On deck will be USDA prime-aged Angus and wagyu steaks, seafood, and cocktails. It aims to open sometime this spring.
Southern restaurant opens new burger truck
The Olamaie/Little Ola’s team opened up a burger truck at Bouldin Creek’s Butler Park Pitch & Putt in early April. Gimme Burger includes cheeseburgers, fries, and fried okra, with hot dogs and vegetarian options being added later. Its hours are from 3 to 8 pm Thursday and Friday, and then from 1 to 8 pm Saturday and Sunday. It joins Little Ola’s outpost at the golf course.
An Austin restaurant opening delay
The opening of the Austin-born Southwestern chain restaurant Z’Tejas Avery Ranch location has been delayed from mid-April into early May, due to a fire at the restaurant’s storage unit where it had been keeping furniture and equipment.
Local food nonprofits extend produce benefits
Nonprofit Sustainable Food Center (SFC) with the City of Austin and nonprofit Farmshare launched a new service, Double Up Food Bucks, as of early April. Through it, people and families who receive Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer (P-EBT), and Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) benefits can use an extra $30 for produce at farmers markets. There are ten locations in the city, including SFC’s farmers markets, Fresh for Less Mobile Markets, and the Texas Farmers Markets in Lakeline and Mueller.
Hill Country market expansions
Hill Country Texa-Spain-focused market Los Olivos is opening two new locations in Texas this spring. The first one opened in South Texas city Harlingen at 6710 West Expressway 83, Suite A107, on April 22, and the Dripping Springs one will open sometime in May. The spaces include retail goods, a butcher shop, and a restaurant. The first two shops are in Buda and Wimberly. Co-owners father and daughter Rafael and Rebecca Verela are also changing its name to Dos Olivos Market in June.
Tracking Austin food events
The Austin chapter of Les Dames d’Escoffier is hosting its annual grill fundraiser event again this week. You Grill Girl takes place at Franklin Barbecue’s parking lot on Thursday, April 28. Participating chefs like Franklin’s Megan Nesland and Sarah Petmecky, Dai Due’s Janie Ramirez, Olamaie’s Amanda Turner, and others, will smoke and grill up dishes such as nilgai cervelat sausage, grilled catfish yakitori with grits and a crawfish tare, lamb belly huaraches, and more. There are also raffles and a silent auction, which includes a Franklin Barbecue pit, and more. General admission tickets are $85 and children 12 years old and younger can enter free (but tickets are still required). Tickets, raffles, the silent auction, and sponsorship proceeds will go back into Les Dames’s scholarship program.
South Congress market Tiny Grocer is celebrating its first year anniversary with an outdoor market this weekend. Vendors include vegan ice cream shop Gati, Kinship Milk Tea, Madhu Chocolate, and others. It takes place on Saturday, April 30 from 10 am to 3 pm
A new bar and venue opens north of Lake Travis
A new restaurant/bar/music venue opened in Jonestown near Lake Travis in late February. Lucky Rabbit is found on 18626 Ranch Road 1431. Food includes items like sloppy beef nachos, burgers, and an array of dips. Cocktails take on rabbit pun names like the Fuzzy Bunny with gin, a rosemary simple syrup, and soda, or the Dirty Bleu Bunny martini, plus there are beers, frozen margaritas, and live music. The co-owners and operating partners are Matt Morcher, who had worked at restaurants like Jack Allen’s Kitchen, Z’Tejas, and Lupe Tortilla, and Sandra Cleveland. The space is kid-friendly until 10 pm and dog-friendly. It’s open from 11 am to midnight Monday through Thursday, 11 am to 1 am Friday and Saturday, and 11 am to midnight Sunday.