“Remington Steele” hoss, Pierce Brosnan, dipped into the Central Texas barbecue scene today when he stopped by Black’s BBQ in Lockhart for lunch. The moment was captured by Black’s and disseminated on the restaurant’s Instagram page. The actor, who also played some British spy, is likely in the area to shoot the AMC television series “The Son.” Brosnan will portray Eli, the patriarch of an oil and ranching family, in the story based on Austinite Phillip Meyer’s epic novel of the same name.
Verts has exploded since it opened its first location five years ago. The fast-casual Mediterranean restaurant now has more than 30 locations across Texas, is expanding to the East Coast this fall and hired former Alamo Drafthouse and Fino chef Jason Donoho to oversee culinary operations.
To celebrate its fifth anniversary, Verts will give away one free, full-size entrée to each guest from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. at all Austin, San Antonio, and San Marcos locations. Additionally, the first 25 guests at each location get a bag full of Verts swag.
- From the archives (11/2011): A Smart approach to German street food
Never one to shy away from hyperbole, the NY Post recently published an article that claims Emmer & Rye may be the best restaurant in America. Post writer Hana Alberts raved about chef Kevin Fink’s Rainey Street palace of preservation and heritage grains in a blurby article praising the restaurant’s service, described as “straight-talking (what you’d expect in Texas) meets classy and efficient” and the restaurant’s “locally sourced, innovative small plates.” It has been a big year for Fink and the restaurant. Earlier this year the chef was named one of the Best New Chefs in America by Food & Wine magazine.
Read the full piece here.
- Related: My February review of Emmer & Rye
The Iron Cactus at the Hill Country Galleria has closed. The locations downtown and in North Austin remain open, according to the Tex-Mex restaurant’s website. The shutter out west is accompanied by a shutter up north, as the Austin location of Dallas-based Jasper’s has closed at the Domain. The New American restaurant says it is searching for another Austin location, and will update via social media channels.
UberEats continues to spread its services across the Austin area, today announcing that they have expanded north past the Arboretum and Domain and south to William Cannon Drive. UberEats offers food delivery daily from over a dozen restaurants, with specific quick delivery spots designated for lunch hours on weekdays. Check out UberEats.com for more info.
The expansion of the Austin metro area creeps ever southwestward with news that Torchy’s Tacos and Mama Fu’s Asian House will open locations at the Belterra Village mixed-use development at the southwest corner of U.S. 290 and Nutty Brown Road. The two restaurants are part of a group of tenants that includes Sky Cinemas from the owner of downtown Austin’s Violet Crown Cinema, according to Statesman business reporter Gary Dinges. The location off U.S. 290 is about halfway between the Y at Oak Hill and the main highway intersection in Dripping Springs where FM 12 meets U.S. 290. For more on the other tenants and expected open dates, head to the story on MyStatesman.com.
We all know Austin’s restaurant scene is booming, even with the recent spate of closures, but how does it stack up to other big cities? Alignable and FirstData.com studied transactions during the first six months of the year in the 25 biggest cities in America. And, according to the results, Austinites like to eat out. A lot.
The study crunched numbers to come up with the number of visits and purchases for the average Austin restaurant, along with the average meal price. Judging by this study, it pays to be in the restaurant business in Austin. The average restaurant has had more daily transactions through the first six months (17,714, or about just under 100 a day) than the average restaurant in any other big city in America.
Though many have complained about rising prices in Austin, the average cost of a meal in Austin these days is just over $30, placing Austin 16th on the list. But the sheer volume of meals purchased means the average restaurant in the city has raked about $539,000 to date this year, placing Austin restaurants fourth on the list behind Boston, Washington D.C. and New York City.