- Matthew Odam American-Statesman Staff
After bringing quality ingredients, convenience, a simple menu and low prices to the hamburger concept, Patrick Terry has applyied the same philosophy to Tex-Mex. He opened Taco Ranch last week to massive crowds and lines.
The restaurant, located in a former Burger King at MoPac Boulevard and U.S. 290 (5033 U.S. 290 W.), serves a simple menu of tacos, chalupas, burritos, quesadillas and taco salads, topping and filling them with homemade salsas, all-natural chicken, beef, homemade chorizo and veggies, and serving them with homemade flour and corn tortillas. Taco Ranch also serves several breakfast tacos, cinnamon rolls and coffee cake in the morning.
After selling out of food and announcing early closures the first couple of days, Terry decided to scale back on the hours at Taco Ranch until they can get a handle on demand.
Therefore, until further notice, the hours of Taco Ranch are 6 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday-Friday and 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday.
Teji’s, the Round Rock-based Indian restaurant and grocer, opened its first downtown Austin location about a week ago. Teji’s on 6th is located at 616 E. Sixth St. in the old Geisha Sushi & Grill. Like its locations in Round Rock, Cedar Park and on the Drag, Teji’s on 6th serves a selection of samosas and naan, vegetarian dishes like gobi Manchurian and palak paneer, a roster of proteins from the tandoor, and more than a dozen goat and lamb entrees.
Cosmic Coffee and Beer Garden , the lovely new lumberjack-meets-old-Austin spot from former Momo’s owner Paul Oveisi at 121 Pickle Road in South Austin, already had a strong food truck game simply by having LeRoy & Lewis there. It’s now upped the ante. Former East Austin taco truck Pueblo Viejo , makers of some of the best tacos and salsas in town, has relocated to the spot at 121 Pickle Road. The truck is open 7:30 a.m. t0 11 p.m. Sunday-Thursday and 7:30 a.m. to midnight on Friday and Saturday.
Veggie Heaven owner Stacy Chen opened her second concept, Yoshi Ramen , at 3320 Harmon Ave (near Hancock Park). The restaurant was inspired by her grandmother’s ramen shop in Osaka and serves vegetarian, vegan and meat-based ramens.
Yoshi Ramen is initially serving a limited menu that includes crispy bao sliders, gyoza and pork fry rolls, along with the various ramen. The menu will eventually expand to include rice bowls and a Yoshi burger. Yoshi also serves matcha desserts and offers beer and champagne cocktails. Yoshi Ramen is open daily from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Sunday’s Super Bowl will feature the heir of some Austin restaurant royalty who also has some of his own skin in the restaurant game. Eagles quarterback Nick Foles, the Westlake High School graduate who took his team to the Division I title game in 2006, is the son of Austin super-restaurateur Larry Foles and one of the owners of the elder Foles’ ATX Cocina. Larry Foles, along with partner Guy Villavaso, opened Z’Tejas, Hopdoddy, Eddie V’s (which they sold for a small fortune), Salty Sow, Roaring Fork, Red Ash and most recently ATX Cocina.
If you untangle the Austin-Philly-football-restaurant connections a little further, you’ll discover that ATX Cocina executive chef Kevin Taylor’s parents in New Jersey were good friends with former Eagles player Brit Hager and his wife, Bridgette. The Hagers moved to Austin, and their son, Bryce, played at Westlake and became friends with Nick Foles. When Larry started visiting Philadelphia to watch Nick play with the Eagles, the Hagers put him in touch with Taylor, according to a rep for ATX Cocina. Larry Foles, who was interested in Starr Restaurants, became friendly with Taylor, who was the chef at Starr’s El Vez Mexican restaurant. And, voila, the chef now works for Foles in Austin.
No word on Nick’s favorite food (though he once told another publication he was a regular at Texas Honey Ham Company as a kid), but apparently his appetite for the industry his dad has worked in for decades spans back quite a few years. While playing for the University of Arizona in 2010, Nick Foles told the Oklahoman, “I remember when I was little, he’d come home late and I’d smell the catfish on his shirt. (Getting into the business) is something I want to do after football.”
In honor of Foles playing in the Super Bowl on Sunday, ATX Cocina wil be closed, while both Roaring Fork locations will be doing a buy-one-entree-get-one-free special at dinner Sunday and Salty Sow will serve a four-course chef’s tasting menu for $20 per person in addition to their regular menu. For more Super Bowl specials at Austin restaurants, visit austin360.com/thefeed.