Austin FC's home opener is just over a week away, and the chefs behind all of the local eats at Q2 Stadium are ready to showcase their cuisine.
From dumplings at Bao'd up to Austin FC's signature Verde Queso, Austin FC chef Sam Boisjoly said that the goal is to make anyone feel ready to grab a plate at the stadium. "If I had a friend that had a layover for three hours at Austin... if he came here, he would be able to see Austin," Boisjoly said.
Austonia's Claire Partain got a sneak peek at all the spicy, sweet and savory options soon to be offered at the stadium.
Here's what she thought:
Verde Queso: 8.5/10
Austin FC's signature Verde Queso was the winner of the club's queso contest, which featured dozens of entries from homemade cooks across the city. It'll be featured at the club's soon-to-be-famous Queso Fountain alongside a classic queso and fuego queso. The queso and salsa verde combine into a lovely Tex-Mex flavor with a kick. Topped with pickled onions and chopped pork, this is a far cry from regular stadium nachos. Prepare to come to Q2 hungry for this one.
Bao'd Up veggie bao: 9/10
I've never had bao before, so I was least prepared for what was inside these lovely, aesthetically-pleasing dough rolls. The trendy restaurant stuffs bao with anything from buffalo chicken to cheesecake, but I chose the veggie flavor to see what vegetarians may be able to try at Q2. Boisjoly said that people with any diet would enjoy food at the stadium, and he didn't disappoint: the veggie bao featured a lovely cream inside wrapped in a warm, doughy crust. Definitely a must-try for any attendee.
Valentina's Tex-Mex: 8/10
The only reason this gets below a 9.5 is because they ran out of ribs before I could try it. I survived to tell the tale, and Valentina's other selection, a sliced brisket taco, did not disappoint. Featuring thick slabs of meat covered in a green sauce and wrapped in a fresh tortilla, Valentina's provides two Texas favorites—Tex-Mex and BBQ—into a joyfully delicious taco. The supporters' section will also have easy access to the truck, which is located nearby alongside a well-placed Dos XX booth.
Easy Tiger: 8/10
Easy Tiger was given the task of providing Austin FC with a classic stadium pretzel, and they fulfilled expectations. The massive pretzels are just soft and salty enough to satisfy, and they're paired with equally yummy cheddar cheese sauce. The only drawback was the horseradish sauce, but that may just come down to personal preference.
T'Locs Sonora Dogs: 7.5/10
What a combo: T'Locs Sonoran Hot Dogs combine savory, sweet, sour and spicy to form a truly excellent ballpark dog. Covered in multiple sauces, the meat is tender and juicy, but the true star of the show is their authentic Sonoran buns shipped in from Arizona.
DoubleDave's Pizza Rolls: 7/10
DoubleDave's is featured on both ends of Q2 Stadium, and it's no surprise that stadium officials double booked Austin's signature pizza chain. As a frequent DoubleDave's customer, I was less starstruck by the rolls than other dishes, which is why it only receives a seven out of 10. Still, anyone looking for cheesy, pepperoni goodness should grab a pizza roll before any Austin FC match.
Tacodeli's frontera fundido sirloin taco was unfortunately the last I tried, which means I was only able to muscle down a bit. Still, the tender beef topped with signature salsa will be a satisfying and portable option for anyone at Q2 come game time.
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East Austin restaurant la Barbecue has been robbed a third time in less than three months, according to a post on the restaurant's Instagram.
In the post, the restaurant included photos of what appeared to be a man exiting a minivan from surveillance footage.
"This guy pulled up in a car full of stuff… he ripped our gate open and stole a couple empty kegs," the post said. "The ring system scared him off so he did not venture back into the area. PLEASE EVERYONE ON THE EAST SIDE BE CAREFUL!!! This guy goes back into his car to grab something before he goes in. I am hoping he won’t be back!!"
The robbery comes as many restaurant and food truck owners have been on guard from recent break-ins. East Austin cheesesteak truck R&B's Steak and Fries has also been robbed three times in around three months, according to owner Kris Elliott. Elliot said the truck was last robbed around a month and a half ago.
"When the weather gets cold, it seems like these things start to happen more often," Elliott said. "We're just happy no one got hurt."
Additionally, he said all 5 of the food trucks in their lot have experienced burglaries. The landlord of the space is taking action by investing in alarm and camera systems. "Been very tough dealing with this problem as us small business owners are just trying to survive during the pandemic," Elliott said.
And it's not just in East Austin. North Austin restaurants Eldorado Cafe and Chez Zee Bistro were both broken into and robbed on the weekend of Jan. 8, while over a dozen food truck robberies and break-ins were reported in the latter half of 2021.
Some, like Chez Zee's Deborah Velasco, wonder if the understaffed Austin Police Department's decision to no longer respond to non-emergency calls is part of the problem. Xose Velasco, owner of East Austin's Discada, said owners are keeping their guard up in the wake of the robberies as he was robbed twice within a month of reopening in November 2021.
"We try to keep the lights on," Velasco said. "We're a little bit more careful."
After 12 months, the long-anticipated massive Tesla factory in Southeast Travis County is up and operating and everyone wants a look inside.
Phase 1 of Giga Texas appears to be tied up as production of the Model Y Tesla is underway, the electric car company revealed on Wednesday in its fourth-quarter earnings call. The factory, located on the former Harold Green-turned Tesla Road, sits on more than 2,000 acres of land in southeast Travis County.
Here's a glimpse inside the factory.
Model Ys will be the first Teslas to come out of Giga Texas with an estimated delivery of August. The wait estimate comes after Tesla noted supply chain issues have affected their factories, which have been running below capacity for several quarters. A deep blue metallic like this goes for $1,000 more than a white or silver Model Y, totaling $61,990.
Model Ys began being produced at Giga Texas at the end of 2020. In general assembly at the factory, the Teslas get their major interior components to finish the vehicle.
Workers at Austin's Gigafactory are attaching seats to a structural battery pack. It's been described by some as the biggest difference between Texas-made Model Y's and the current version at the Fremont, California factory. It shouldn't have a major impact on the owner's experience, but Tesla has updated instructions for the jacking procedure, as the lift points are different.
With a sleek, open office setup, workers can take in a view of the factory from their seats. It's a component CEO Elon Musk wanted for what is now the headquarters of Tesla.
On the Austin, Texas public location Snapchat, a photo of inside Giga Texas has appeared. On the left you can see a sneak peek of a Model Y body.pic.twitter.com/N7zliZ5vkL— Sawyer Merritt (@Sawyer Merritt) 1643081462
With Snapchat's maps, anyone can look at everyday activity happening at the factory. To view these geographically-linked stories, click the bottom left "map" icon and search "Tesla Giga Texas." Once you've found it, you can view the Snapchat story of those in and around the facility. While most stories stay up for only 24 hours, Giga Texas is a designated place on Snapchat, allowing users to view a collection of photos and videos from the inside.
Following Model Ys, Texas-made Teslas will include the Cybertruck, Semi and Model 3. But it might be a while before those other models arrive. EV makers have been hit hard by the chip shortage, and it's thought that changing features are contributing to Cybertruck delays as Tesla works to compete in the electric pickup market.
Joe Rogan paid a visit to buddy Elon Musk this week. The two have been seen around town since both moving to Texas. Naturally, Rogan was impressed with the prototype.
If you're dying to get a closer look at this factory, you just might get to. In December, Musk said the factory would have tours available to the community early this year.
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