Confituras opens jam and biscuit shop off South Lamar

Confituras owner Stephanie McClenny has been delivering tasty preserves made with local ingredients to Austinites since 2010. Her efforts have nabbed awards, national attention and grant money from the Austin Food & Wine Alliance. Now, she has a shop serving the preserves, jams and jellies on homemade biscuits.

Confituras’ Facebook page.

Confituras Little Kitchen opened this week at 2129 Goodrich Ave. just off South Lamar Boulevard. It is open 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. Wednesday-Friday and from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday.

Related: Restaurants scheduled to open in 2018

Seafood-centric restaurant TLC opens next to Alamo South Lamar next week

If you’ve been to the Alamo Drafthouse (or Vox Table or Lick Honest Ice Creams et al) over the past year, you’ve seen the work-in-progress that is TLC for months. Well, the wait is almost over. The restaurant from the Manera Restaurant Group, which also operates J. Black’s Feel Good Kitchen & Lounge, will open the comfort spot that draws on coastal inspiration on Tuesday.

The menu from chef Jeff Parks (formerly of Gumbo’s) will include a variety of seafood boils, sandwiches sandwiches, Gulf redfish, oysters and shrimp, along with comfort staples like deviled eggs and chicken fried steak. The restaurant states in a release that the seafood will be “local, and sustainably sourced when possible.” See the complete menu below. 

The counter-service restaurant will serve 30 beers on tap and feature large tables for communal seating, outdoor space for dining and drinking, TVs set to spots and a game room area with classic arcade games.

TLC opens softly next week with service Tuesday-Thursday from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Follow this link to get 25 percent off your meal on Tuesday night. After its soft opening, TLC will be open Monday – Thursday from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. and until midnight on Friday and Saturday.

 

 

Franklin Barbecue reopens next week

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The long wait for barbecue lovers (and the Franklins and their staff) is over: Franklin Barbecue will reopen Tuesday, Nov. 21.

The restaurant will be back to doing regular lunch business but will limit their pre-orders until the new smokehouse is complete.

Franklin closed after a fire in August that was caused by a wind-blown ember from a pit.

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Austin restaurants selling Thanksgiving meals to-go

Ah, traditions: buying the turkey; anxiously cooking the turkey in hopes it doesn’t dry out; fighting over whose stuffing recipe to use; fidgeting about who should carve the turkey; lying about how good your mother-in-law’s pie tastes. What would we do without the rituals that surround Thanksgiving? Maybe just call a professional.

This year, more so than any I can remember in Austin, there is a staggering number of restaurants offering up their services for Thanksgiving. They are selling to-go meals that take the stress off of you, saving you time and allowing you the opportunity to watch more football. I mean, spend more stress-free time with loved ones. Call or email  the restaurants for more details about pricing and information on ordering and pick-up. Gobble, gobble.

Freedmen’s takes a smoked approach to Thanksgiving. (Contributed by Hayden Walker)

Apis. 23526 Texas 71, Spicewood. 512-436- 8918, apisrestaurant.com. This Spicewood gem is selling Thanksgiving meals to pick up on November 22 or 23. The packages cost $275, feed up to 10 people and include one whole roast turkey, mashed potatoes, stuffing, green beans, turkey leg hash, cranberry sauce, turkey gravy and two pies.  

Boiler Nine Bar + Grill. 800 W. Cesar Chavez St. 512-220-9990,  boilernine.com. The industrial restaurant built in the old Seaholm Power Plant has introduced a new Thanksgiving To-Go program. Thanksgiving meals are available for pre-order through November 15 (with rush ordering through the 17th). Whole meals can be purchased for two ($70), four ($130) and eight ($240). A la carte offerings include meats by the pound ($19), such as smoke roasted turkey breast and beer-braised brisket, and 16-ounce containers of sides, such as roasted Brussels sprouts and oak-roasted carrots, for $9.

Easy TigerThe bakery located on East Sixth Street and at the Whole Foods 365 in Cedar Park is selling pull-apart dinner rolls ($8/dozen) and croutons made of levain and sourdough bread ($4/14-ounce bag) for the big day. Orders must be placed two days in advance of pick up, with ordering ending at 5 p.m. on November 20. Email emily@easytiger365.com or call 512-986-7872 for more information on ordering from the Whole Foods 365 store and email specialorders@easytigeraustin.com or call 512-614-4972 for downtown orders.

El Chipiron. 2717 S. Lamar Blvd. #1085. 512-518-3618, elchipironaustin.com. The Spanish restaurant is selling Thanksgiving feasts that include a whole turkey or hen, along with mashed potatoes and gravy, cornbread, stuffing, a selection of Spanish meats and cheeses and more. Meals feed two, four and six, and cost $105, $210 and $260, respectively. Add a bottle of Spanish red or white wine for $20. Email contact@elchipironaustin.com or call restaurant Monday-Saturday between 5 and 10 p.m. by November 16 to order. Pick-ups take place November 21 and 22.

Freedmen’s. 2402 San Gabriel St. 512-220-0953, freedmensbar.com. The campus-area barbecue favorite is selling whole smoked turkeys for $120 (14-16 lbs. and feeds 8-10), smoked turkey breast ($80, feeds 8-10), along with half-pint ($5.50), pine ($11) and quart-sized ($22) sides of sides like brisket burnt-end cornbread stuffing, smoked cheddar mashed potatoes and more. The deadline for pre-ordering is November 16, with pick-up on November 22.

Fresa’s. 1703 S. First St. 512-992-2946, fresaschicken.com. Mexican restaurant Fresa’s is selling meals that feed 8-10. Included in the bounty are a whole roasted turkey with turkey pan gravy, chorizo stuffing, citrus-serrano cranberry sauce and a selection of three sides that include poblano spinach gratin, sweet potato mash and roasted Brussels sprouts. Cost is $280, and executive pastry chef Laura Sawicki is also selling apple and caramel pumpkin pies ($30 each) and Mexican vanilla ice cream for $10 pint. Orders must be placed by November 20, with pick-up taking place at the South First Street location on November 22.

LeRoy and Lewis. 121 Pickle Road. 512-775-3392, leroyandlewis.com. The inventive barbecue wizards are preparing a slew of meats and sides to take home. The meats, all sound by the pound, include turkey with giblet gravy ($26/pound) and 44 Farms brisket ($24/pound). The sides, sold by the quart, include mashed potatoes and gravy ($18/quart) and macaroni and cheese ($24/quart). They’re also selling pumpkin gooey cake ($32) and smoked pecan pie ($40). Email sawyer@leroyandlewis.com with questions, for family packages, or to place your order.Final orders due by Friday, November 17th. Scheduled to be picked up by 8 p.m. on November 22nd.

Mañana. 1603 S. Congress Ave. 512-872-3144, mananaaustin.com. The coffee shop at the South Congress Hotel, home to talented executive pastry chef Amanda Rockman, will be selling  pies (chocolate bourbon pecan, caramel apple and pumpkin) through November 18th on South Congress Hotel’s website (shop.southcongresshotel.com) or for in-store purchase November 20th through November 23rd.

Mongers Market.  2401 E. Cesar Chavez St. 512-215-8972, mongersaustin.com. The long list of items available for pre-orders at this seafood market and restaurant includes chowder, gumbo, fish dip, crab fingers, shrimp salad, oysters and more.

Olamaie. 1610 San Antonio St. 512-474-2796, olamaieaustin.com. You can serve some of the best biscuits on the planet at your Thanksgiving or holiday feast. The off-menu items are being sold for pick-up. You need to give the restaurant notice a week in advance of pick-up. Pick-up will be between 10 a.m. and 2pm on Thanksgiving Day, and the last pick-up day of holiday season is December 23. There is a one-dozen minimum for orders. Interested customers email biscuits@olamaieaustin.com for more info.

Phoebe’s Diner. 533 Oltorf St. 512-643-3218, phoebesdiner.com. The diner from the Winebelly team is selling ham dinners (with all the fixins) for pre-order. Ham and sides are both sold by the pound. Those meals must be ordered by November 21. Call for more details.

Rudy’s “Country Store” & Bar-B-Q. Multiple locations. rudysbarbq.com. The barbecue restaurant is selling whole smoked turkeys for $47.95 ($53.95 with a bottle of sauce). Pick up days are November 20-22. Place orders at bbqgo.com.    

Tiny Pies. 5035 Burnet Road. 512-916-0184; 2032 South Lamar Blvd. 512-460-9697, tinypies.com. The pie makers are selling  a dozen small pies (choose apple, pumpkin, cherry and brownie-pecan) for $51, as well as an assortment of regular 9”pies for $30. Pre-orders end November 15.

Vox Table. 1100 S. Lamar Blvd #2140. 512-375-4869,  voxtableaustin.com. The restaurant across from the Alamo Drafthouse is selling packaged meals that feed six-eight people. Options include ribeye with red wine au just ($135) or turducken ($115) as the main course, and sides like mac and cheese ($8) and mashed potatoes ($8). Orders must be placed by the end of day November 18 and can be picked up November 22 between noon and 9 p.m.

Walton’s Fancy & Staple. 609 W. Sixth St. 512-542-3380, waltonsfancyandstaple.com. Sandra Bullock’s bakery and cafe is selling full turkeys (ranging from $120 to $180), thyme-rubbed airline turkey breast with turkey gravy ($90-$150), rib roast ($138) and other entrees, along with sides like whipped Yukon potatoes and cauliflower; creamed sweet corn with crimini mushrooms and farmer’s cheese (all $29), and a variety of pies ($25) and spiced bundt cake ($19). They are accepting orders November 17-25 and December 18-January 1. They will close at 4 p.m. the day before Thanksgiving and will be closed on Thanksgiving.

Rudy’s Bar-B-Q opening in old EZ’s location on North Lamar

The barbecue spot with the country vibe is getting an address in the heart of the city. Rudy’s “Country Store” & Bar-B-Q is slated to open in late spring at 3918 N. Lamar Blvd. in the space occupied for 22 years by EZ’s Brick Oven and Grill.

(AMERICAN-STATESMAN)

It will be the fifth Austin-area location, and first in the center of town, from local restaurateurs Ken Schiller and Brian Nolen, whose K&N Management is the licensed area developer for Rudy’s. Schiller and Nolen opened the first Austin-area Rudy’s in 1994. The restaurant will serve the same barbecue and breakfast taco menu as the other Austin-area locations, blend the familiar meat-market ambience with some nostalgic design elements from the building’s past and offer 81 parking spaces.

Rudy’s Country Store and Bar-B-Q. American-Statesman 1997

The new restaurant, which will also incorporate the adjacent building that is currently home to Banzai Sushi & Grill, will be designed in collaboration by architect Morris Hoover and builder John King, who intend to “create a distinctive space that fits the neighborhood,” according to the owners.

There were 14 finalists for the hot and highly visible property that has a storied history dating back to 2-J’s in 1954. The property owners, the Moton Crockett Jr. family, chose K&N Management,which also owns Mighty Fine Burgers, Fries & Shakes, due in part to Moton Crockett Jr.’s great-grandson’s love for both Mighty Fine and Rudy’s, according to a news release.

“We are pleased to be working with the Crockett family, who embodies our commitment to supporting the local community,” Schiller said. “We are proud and honored to be able to bring Rudy’s to Central Austin.”

The original Rudy’s opened in Leon Springs in 1989, and there are now 32 locations in Texas, two each in Oklahoma, Colorado and Arizona, and three in New Mexico.

EZ’s closed in January 2016 following a fire that did an estimated $400,000 in damage.

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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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Aaron Franklin partners with Uchi chef Tyson Cole for Japanese smokehouse Loro

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What happens when you team two of the most distinguished and celebrated chefs in Austin’s history and put them under one roof? We’re about to find out.  

Aaron Franklin has partnered with Uchi founding chef Tyson Cole to become part of the team at Loro, a Japanese smokehouse from Uchi’s parent company, Hai Hospitality, that is slated to open late in the first quarter of next year at 2115 S. Lamar Blvd.

Aaron Franklin and Tyson Cole have partnered for Loro, a Japanese smokehouse in South Austin. (Credit: Logan Crable)

Longtime friends Cole and Franklin casually discussed the idea of the smokehouse about three years ago, but it was earlier this year that the idea of a partnership first arose, a light-bulb moment Cole credits to his partner and Hai Hospitality founder Daryl Kunik.

While the two chefs’ areas of expertise may seem disparate — Cole working with raw fish and Franklin mastering smoked meat — the Uchi founding chef sees obvious parallels.

“I had an epiphany years back. If you look at it, the meat thing, specifically barbecue, it’s kind of just like sushi,” Cole said. “When it’s the best barbecue and the best sushi, it’s cut a la minute. It’s sliced right then before you eat it.”

Franklin echoes the sentiment: “I think the way the two of us cook is pretty synonymous. We do almost the same thing, if you think about perfecting one thing over and over and over.”

Loro, which was announced at the beginning of the year, will center around grilled and smoked meats, with the culinary team applying the Uchi style and flavor profiles to meat dishes and inventive sides.

Franklin, who has long been a fan of Uchi and Uchiko, shares Cole’s enthusiasm for this unique new partnership that essentially amounts to a James Beard Voltron, with both chefs having taken home Best Chef Southwest honors from the esteemed organization, Franklin in 2015 and Cole in 2011.

“The first thing is that those guys are so hugely inspirational. The level of precision and the amount of integrity that those guys have is incredible,” Franklin said. “If I was ever going to do anything, those guys are the only people I’d ever go into cahoots with on something like this. I’d never open another barbecue place, but it doesn’t mean I can’t do something else that’s really exciting and fun.”

Cole first started toying with the idea of trying something new about seven years ago, with the smokehouse idea percolating about three years ago. The Uchi team kept a Green Egg smoker in the backyard at the South Lamar Boulevard restaurant and used it to experiment with dishes, some of which, like brisket nigiri, made their way onto the specials menu of the restaurant Cole opened in 2003.

“Some of our best specials came off of that. And we thought there’s a concept on its own,” Hai Hospitality president John Baydale said.

Franklin and Cole are spending time in the Uchiko and Franklin Barbecue kitchens tinkering with menu research and development. For Cole, the new restaurant offers a chance to do something that puts a different spin on something that is familiar.

“It’s going to be familiar but unique. Unique sides, unique selections of meat,” Cole said. “The game changer is going to be the way it’s served, the sauces we’re going to make and what we’re pairing it with and how it all fits together. Hopefully it’s an amazing experience and food that people have never had before.”

Franklin has long had a predilection for the light, acidic flavors found in the dishes at Uchi and Uchiko and taps into his trademark enthusiasm and humility when discussing the opportunity to work with the Uchi/Uchiko team.

“I’ve looked up to those guys for so long. I’m excited to learn. I think it’s going to be great. I’m super excited to get to know those guys a little bit better and actually learn how to cook,” Franklin said.

What can diners expect Franklin to bring to the table at Loro? Franklin says the restaurant, which will likely use all post oak, will taste like Central Texas. And the chef, who will spend time working in the kitchen at Loro once it opens, intends to apply the same simple seasoning and complex fire principles he’s crafted at his East Austin barbecue restaurant. 

“I think the biggest thing is going to be the clean flavors of the smoke. Not a whole bunch of over-smoked things. Just really tastefully done. The more delicate side of smoking,” Franklin said.

In addition to experimenting with a new format and cuisine, Loro will also offer a new challenge and opportunity for Cole, as Loro will be the only restaurant in the Hai Hospitality family that serves lunch. Preparing more food for more people at a lower price point are pieces of a puzzle that Cole and company will sort through during the R&D process. As the team continues to hone its vision for Loro, the one recurring theme is excitement.

“Putting two people at the strongest point in their discipline together is a rare thing,” Baydale said. “It’s going to be a lot of fun putting these two mad scientists together, and we’re just super excited.”

AUSTIN360 DINING GUIDE: The Top 25 restaurants in Austin | #26-#75

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