1) A huge congrats to Bryce Gilmore of Barley Swine and Odd Duck Farm to Trailer, for being named one of Food and Wine magazine's top 10 new chefs. A great accomplishment, especially since Barley Swine has only been open since the end of December, and it puts him in the company of other local greats David Bull (at the Driskill Hotel when he won, currently at Congress in the Austonian building) and Tyson Cole (Uchi and Uchiko). Austin American-Statesman restaurant reviewer and nominator of Gilmore, Mike Sutter, posted this in today's Food section.
2) And for a super-duper job well done, congrats to Austin Bakes, and especially the chief organizer Kathryn Hutchinson, aka Austin Gastronomist for raising over $11,500 in a city-wide bake sale that supports relief efforts in Japan through AmeriCares. I made Grenada Nutmeg Cake and biscuits for the south location (the Hotel San Jose/Jo's Coffee parking lot, in the middle of all the hot rod cars here for the Lone Star Round Up!), and will need to improve upon my packaging techniques for future endeavors! The labels and packages I saw were absolutely adorable!
3) Torchy's Tacos opens TODAY, at 3005 S. Lamar, in the old Chango's spot. Can never have too many Torchy's!
4) A little further south on Lamar, the Along Came a Slider trailer moved in where Chris' Little Chicago had been, next to Red's Porch. Don't know anything about them, but the menu looks good, and the name is catchy.
5) From the owners of Imperia and Speakeasy, tenOak recently opened in the old Cuba Libre spot on Colorado Street, next to Frank. Said to be a masculine space, paying homage to bourbon and bloody marys, with a price-conscious listing of small plates.
Keep in your thoughts:6) Sagra, the Italian place I recently wrote about for the use of their digital tablets, has sustained a fire causing $100,000 worth of damage. Initial reports blamed the blaze on a faulty pizza oven installation, and the owners hoped they'd only be out of business for about a week while repairs were made.