Zen Japanese Food on Guadalupe Street has reportedly closed

Some eagle-eyed Reddit user posted a photo of a sign on the door at Zen, located at 3413 Guadalupe St., stating that the fast-casual restaurant has closed. The sign states that Zen sold the business to a local restaurant group that would announce their intentions soon. The location has also been scrubbed from the restaurant’s website.

Ahi tuna appetizer at Zen Japanese Food.

Torchy’s Tacos Trailer Park closing with free tacos and queso at party

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Torchy’s Tacos will say goodbye to its flagship trailer park on South First Street Wednesday with a party featuring free tacos. The spot at 1311 S. First St. was the second home the iconic trailer ever had, following a stint just north on the same street.

The party will run from 5 to 9 p.m. and feature four varieties of free tacos and green chili queso for attendees. Additionally, Torchy’s will donate $1 to the Texas School for the Deaf, for every taco that is served.

Credit: Facebook.com/TorchysTrailerPark

“The decision to close our Trailer Park location was not an easy one.” Torchy’s founder and vice president of marketing and culinary Mike Rypka said. “We are proud of our humble beginnings and we will always stay true to running our business with the same entrepreneurial spirit we had in 2006. Reaching this point just proves that with passion, dedication, and a lil’ bit of taco magic, anything can happen. Our dreams of expansion were realized because the people of Austin embraced us with open arms. While the Trailer Park will be gone, our commitment to serving Damn Good Food will always live on. “

One of the first movers in Austin’s 2.0 food trailer scene, Torchy’s opened its first trailer on South First in 2006 and now has more than 50 locations throughout Texas, Colorado and Oklahoma. The restaurant group took on significant investment money last spring, as the Statesman reported. We’ve reached out to Torchy’s to see if there is any word on the future of the trailer park location or the original trailer.



Audio: Talking Charm Korean BBQ restaurant review with KUT

Ah, the joys of grilling your own meat at your table and the exploration of the depths of kimchi. I popped into KUT this week to discuss my recent review of Charm Korean BBQ (which I gave 8.5/10). You can listen to that conversation here and check out the full review at MyStatesman.com.

The uncooked meat at Charm Korean BBQ is delivered to the table with an array of side dishes called banchan. Matthew Odam/AMERICAN-STATESMAN

Counter 357 adds lunch service, names former Launderette sous chef as head chef

Downtown fine dining destination Counter 357 is switching things up a bit. The restaurant Eric Earthman opened in March 2015 will begin lunch service starting next Tuesday. The menu, offered Tuesday-Friday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., will include items like mussels, chicken with curry and ice cream. More details are soon to come at counter3fivevii.com. The restaurant says no reservations are needed for lunch.

Peeler Ranch striploin at Counter 357 in 2017. Deborah Cannon/AMERICAN-STATESMAN

Spearheading the menu is new head chef Alan Delgado. He has spent the past year operating the Tumahye pop-up supper club series and previously served as sous chef at Rene Ortiz’s Launderette for about a year-and-a-half.

Lunch is the latest move by Counter 357 to make the restaurant a little more approachable. It added a la carte offerings like cheese and charcuterie boards and meatballs to a lounge menu last year, along with more seating. With its tucked away location between the Elephant Room and Swift’s Attic, it is low-key one of the best retreats for a great cocktail or glass of wine and snack downtown. It was recently announced that former Counter 357 executive chef Damien Brockway will be joining the new Line ATX as chef of the hotel’s rooftop lounge, P6.

Via 313 opening East Austin restaurant next week and moving trailer to West Sixth Street

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Via 313 is apparently ready for SXSW. The Detroit-style pizza makers are softly opening their East Austin restaurant at 1802 E. Sixth St. on Thursday. They will have a three-day soft launch next week, open Thursday-Saturday from 5 to 11 p.m., then will close on Sunday and reopen permanently Monday. The restaurant will offer dine-in dinner service only during the first month, open Sunday-Wednesday from 5 to 10 p.m. and Thursday-Saturday from 5 to 11 p.m., and add lunch in April. The restaurant will serve the same menus at the other brick-and-mortar restaurants.

Via 313 serves thick, cheesy, square slices of Detroit-style pizza.
Contributed by Knox Photographics

With the opening of the new restaurant comes the departure of the original trailer. It will move to the West Sixth Street district next week, opening Tuesday at 510 Rio Grande St. The address was previously home to Kung Fu Saloon and will be home starting next month sometime to a new bar called Stereotype. The pizza trailer will be open Sunday-Wednesday from 5 p.m.to midnight and Thursday-Saturday from 5 p.m. to 2 a.m. The trailer will eventually add lunch hours.