Posted September 23, 2014
This was a busy summer in Austin for restaurant openings (which makes it... pretty much like every season in recent memory). When you're thinking about what to do with yourself this fall, you're making a big mistake if you don't get these 10 new restaurants on your agenda. Sawyer and Co. Diner East Cesar Chavez Now open on the far East end of Cesar Chavez is Sawyer and Co., formerly Arkie's. Stylish and striking, the mid-century modern diner is serving breakfast and Southern Louisiana classics. A nice respite from the sometimes overly precious recent breakfast trends, their menu is full of feel-good classics like po' boys and hot cakes. Their booze program also has fun standouts like a Praline Sazerac, plus there're cocktails on tap like a Pimm's Cup, a Hurricane, and a rotating New Orleans-inspired drink. Jacoby's Restaurant & Mercantile East Cesar Chavez Jacoby's is the perfect spot for al fresco with friends -- cocktails, steaks made from locally sourced beef, and a view of the Colorado River that most people have never seen. What we're interested in: the Muskoka Smash (Bulleit Rye, blackberry, basil, & lemon), and for "supper", a bone-in rib eye with a side of mac 'n cheese (made with sour cream & Roggenbier). Dai Due Manor Road Former farmer's market mainstay and supper club with a serious locavore following, Dai Due is now a brick-and-mortar butcher shop and restaurant (via a prix fixe menu or à la carte). The menu changes almost every night, according to season and availability -- but with the team that's in place, you can expect it to be reliably inspired and high-quality. Dang Banh Mi Burnet Road With recipes, techniques, and inspiration from chefs in Vietnam, Dang Banh Mi has rolled out a simple, yet delicious, menu of Vietnamese classics with modern flair. Banh mi sandwiches, pho, and bun noodle bowls make up most of the menu. What to try? Their oxtail banh mi (12-hour-braised oxtail, homemade pâté, mint, cilantro, onion, cucumber, char siu sauce, saté, Japanese mayo, pickled papaya, and carrots) is sold out most days. Get your hands on one while you can! Sugar Mama's Bakeshop Eastside Cherrywood High-quality fair trade ingredients, beautiful presentation, and incredible flavors are what have made Sugar Mama's an Austin favorite. Now, Eastsiders can have a piece of the magic, and by "magic" we mean cake-like items. Try the Black and Tan, the manliest treat on the menu -- a Guinness Stout chocolate cupcake topped with Irish Cream liqueur-swirled vanilla cream cheese frosting. Olamaie Downtown Southern cuisine made with a skilled hand and modern eye is on the menu at Olamaie. Housed in a charming cottage just South of campus, look for deliciousness like skillet cornbread (with stewed okra & fairy tale eggplant), sweet tea Red Wattle pork chop (with charred apple, sorrel, pickled red onion), and the dessert we're craving: apple pie with buttermilk ice cream. Red Star Southern East Austin Pastry Chef Erica Waksmunski has made the transition to Southern fare via a shiny Airstream trailer parked outside The Grackle on East Sixth. Her style is East Coast-Southern, and standouts include her fried chicken (buttermilk-marinated Tennessee hot chicken that is breaded, fried, and seasoned with cayenne, lemon, thyme). Figure 8 Coffee Purveyors East Austin New coffeeshop Figure 8 sits quietly near 11th and Chicon, and is the pride and joy of it's native Austin owners, couple Kathleen Carmichael and Ryan Hall. Hall has had his eye on this space for years, and now both his dream and the centerpiece of the shop (the shiny, La Marzocco Italian espresso machine) have a place to call home. Stop in for a shot of Texas-roasted Tweed espresso with a sidecar of Topo Chico. Punchbowl Social Domain Because North Austin needs some love as well, there is Punchbowl Social, the newest in this restaurant group's ventures. The menu has elevated treats like a waffle with bing cherry-thyme compote (malted waffle, cherry-thyme compote, Chantilly cream, Tender Belly bacon), and an insane Bloody Mary bar. Oh yeah, and there's a bowling alley... no big deal.