Austin's culinary scene and craft beer industry continue to remain busy during the pandemic. Here is some notable food-and-drink news you might've missed this week:
Hazy IPA takeover: Admit it, during quarantine you have missed a cold, draft Electric Jellyfish, a New England-style IPA from Penthouse Pizza. The beer quickly became the brewpub's top seller after its 2015 debut—when it was initially met with some industry resistance, Austin Monthly learned. But now the beer is so big it is even available in four packs for the quaint price of $18.
Fancy fusion burgers: The same folks who brought you Lucky Robot Japanese Kitchen just opened Luck's Wagyu Burger Shoppe inside an existing Zen Japanese Food Fast location in the North Shoal Creek neighborhood. The menu includes Asian-inspired burgers and sandwiches, with the meat coming from a Texas-based farm, according to Eater.
Farm-to-your-table: Odd Duck gained a lot of recognition over the years for its farm-driven unique menu offerings, and chef Bryce Gilmore has seven James Beard nominations to his name. Gilmore told Eater Austin how the restaurant is adjusting during COVID-19, with curbside pickup available for the first time. But business is still half of what Odd Duck experienced pre-pandemic.
Stay sober in style: Mocktails, or alcohol-free mixed drinks, are all the rage right now. But who wants to do all that work without the reward of a good buzz? That's why Austin Chronicle shared three pre-made options that reach craft cocktail status.
Chic restaurant reopens dining area: After nine months of closing its South Lamar Boulevard dining area to guests, Eberly reopened this week. Austin360 points out the restaurant's popularity and "stunning" ambiance, although its parent publication once called Eberly "a shining example of how Austin's scene has lost its way" for its gaudy setup, among other reasons.
Takeout fatigue: Sick of the same-old takeout options? The Infatuation compiled this list of 16 restaurants that have great carryout options worthy of your business.
Other food/drink news in Austin:
- Did you know Jewboy Burgers dishes out El Paso-inspired burgers? Owner Mo Pittle grew up there before starting the food truck, once located on Burnet Road but now based in the North Loop neighborhood. (Austin Monthly)
- Hops & Grain Brewing, which debuted in 2012, is closing its East Austin taproom but still hopes to distribute its most popular beers. (Craft Beer Austin)
- On the other hand, Black Star Co-op just celebrated a decade in business, just three years after issuing a plea for help. More than 3,000 people and organizations have invested into the co-operative. (Austin Chronicle)
- Sazan Ramen, only open since June on Airport Boulevard, represents one of Austin's newest ramen options. Based on these food photos and the head chef's credentials, Sazan might outlast the pandemic. (Austin Food Magazine)
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- Austin restaurants and businesses struggle due to COVID-19 ... ›
- Many Austin restaurants can't afford reduced capacity - austonia ›
- Headlines from Austin: country music legend dies - austonia ›
Austin FC couldn't find the stamina to fight off a 2-0 loss against LAFC for their inaugural match on Saturday.
The match, which saw No. 21 Austin FC go head-to-head with No. 2 LAFC in Los Angeles, was broadcast nationally on FOX and FOX Deportes.
Salute the support. 👏
It's only the beginning for @AustinFC. pic.twitter.com/TduorqYr2y
— Major League Soccer (@MLS) April 18, 2021
Eleven players took the stage as Austin FC players for the first time, with five starters making their MLS debut. "Ringleader" Alex Ring took the captain's armband and wore it well. The defensive midfielder could be seen leading his teammates through their first ever match, but it wasn't enough to stage an Austin takeover in LA.
In the signature style of Head Coach Josh Wolff, the team played with quickness and intensity, nearly connecting on several fast breaks. It was harder for them to stay in front, however, something that Wolff credits with quick decision making and a tough LAFC defense.
"We have a quick attacking team, but I think when you make quick attacks and it fizzles it's just about some decision making," Wolff said. "Are we in position to finish attacks? If not, can we reestablish our attack and get stuff better?"
The club was given some generous breaks from No. 2 LAFC, who had one or both of their star DPs out for the half. While forward Diego Rossi is out for the entire match due to a hamstring injury, Carlos Vela was accidentally pulled too soon on what turned out to be a miscommunication.
"He gave us the sign that he needed to come off," LAFC Head Coach Bob Bradley said on broadcast. "I can't say more than maybe it's my fault."
LA pulled some dramatics and slowly gained more possession throughout the half, but ATXFC's defense wasn't initially as shaky as it seemed in preseason. Jhohan Romana has pulled his weight in getting the ball out of goal, and a 34-year old Matt Besler held his own in center back.
As the second half commenced, however, it became clear that LAFC had the advantage over Austin's first major league team.
Goalkeeper Brad Stuver had his work cut out for him, fending off 24 shot attempts, 11 of which were on goal. He didn't have much time to prepare, either: in the first 30 seconds of play, Stuver had already made a save to keep the match 0-0.
LAFC finally connected in the 61st minute of play as Corey Baird shot one into the bottom right corner. The team capitalized off their momentum and put one past Stuver a second time, drawing roars of approval from the LAFC crowd.
While some last-minute attempts from Jon Gallagher and others were made, Austin FC didn't have the endurance to bring a tie. After seven additional minutes of stoppage time, the club lost their first match 2-0.
While the scoreboard tells one story, Wolff said that the team did well considering the skill of LAFC and the pressure of their club debut.
"We've got to be realistic," Wolff said. "This is the first time this organization has been in front of TV with an opportunity to show itself and I think there were some promising moments. And we're going to maximize those and continue to try to develop those, but there's lots to build on."
The team may have lost, but it still won the support of thousands of Verde fans, dozens of which made it to watch their team's first match. When Stuver and the team made it to bthe stadium, Los Verdes fans were already there to show support, and Stuver said his wife saw the same back in Austin.
"The moment that we pulled into the stadium, we saw Black and Verde fans cheering us on as we got to the stadium," Stuver said. "During warm up, you can just look around and see different groups sitting in different sections of the stadium and it's just truly amazing to see the support in our first game. We know that we want to give the fans everything, because this we play for the city and we play for them."