The unofficial breakfast food of the South and Instagram received its own Austin stage recently when biscuit-centric cafe Bird Bird Biscuit opened at 2701 Manor Road.
The restaurant, which will specialize in biscuits, biscuit sandwiches and doughnuts, was founded by Thunderbird Coffee’s co-owner Ryan McElroy and that popular coffee shop’s former general manager, Brian Batch.
Bird Bird serves breakfast and lunch, with a menu that includes the Bird Bird Bacon (bacon, over-medium egg, cheddar and bacon-infused chipotle mayo) and the Queen Beak (spiced and breaded chicken thigh, cayenne black pepper honey and bacon-infused chipotle mayo).
Bird Bird Biscuit is open 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tuesday through Friday and 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.
Kicked Up Grub , an all-day restaurant serving a mix of Mediterranean-influenced dishes and New American food, has opened at 3403 S. Lamar Blvd. in the space previously occupied by Manin Pasta.
The kitchen is helmed by some chefs that appear new to the Austin scene, with a wide-ranging menu that stretches from a selection of toasts, French toasts, sandwiches and pancakes at breakfast to Mediterranean-influenced pasta and vegetable dishes, and an array of burgers in the afternoon and evening. The owners state on their website that the restaurant was born of one partner’s desire for whiskey and meat and the other’s longing for healthier fare.
The short-lived Manin Pasta opened at the end of last year, taking the place of Aroma Italian Kitchen.
Kicked Up Grub is open Tuesday-Thursday from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m., Friday and Saturday from 8 a.m. to 1 a.m. and Sunday from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Stiles Switch seems to be building some kind of Super Friends of smoked meats. In recent years the North Lamar restaurant has brought on Christopher McGhee (formerly of Freedmen’s), Bill Dumas (Smokey Denmark) and Marco Oglesby (Texas Ranch BBQ) to cook at the flagship and the newly opened the Switch in Dripping Springs with pitmaster Lance Kirkpatrick. And now they have what is probably their biggest coup yet.
Stiles Switch recently announced that it has hired brisket wizard Braun Hughes, a longtime veteran of Franklin Barbecue. The Stiles Facebook post announcing the new hire calls the eight-year veteran of Franklin a “pitmaster” but does not go into detail about where he fits into the Stiles hierarchy.
Austin chef Jacob Weaver has left his position as executive chef at Juliet Italian Kitchen and joined Hotel Zaza as that boutique hotel brand’s corporate director of food and beverage. Weaver, who is a veteran of Asti Trattoria and Café Josie, will helm the program for the Hotel Zaza locations in Dallas and Houston and will directly oversee the Austin property, which is slated to open early next year at Guadalupe and Fourth streets.
“I am thrilled and humbled to have been given the opportunity to join Hotel Zaza, a brand that sets the bar for luxury, Texas style,” Weaver said. “Everything from the team, food and beverage offerings and, of course, the magnificent properties are world class, and I am eager to bring my own skillset to the program, as well as grow with the company as Hotel Zaza continues to expand.”
Juliet announced last month that it had promoted chef Jayson Munguia to replace Weaver.
New on the menu
It just got a whole lot easier to grab a quick slice of pizza at the Whole Foods Market flagship store at West Sixth Street and Lamar Boulevard. As part of a reconfiguration of the area that is home to the salad and hot bars, Whole Foods has added a self-serve pizza bar. There are about a dozen varieties available; flavors recently included pepperoni, prosciutto and arugula, Italian sausage, cheese and more. Self-serve pizza is sold by the slice for $3.50 or two slices for $6. Whole pizzas can still be ordered for pickup.
“We are excited to have our New York style pizza and our new skillet program join the selection of self-serve items in our prepared foods department at our downtown Austin store,” Tara Treffry, director of culinary in the Southwest region for Whole Foods Market, said. “The addition of added food bar space has allowed us to expand offerings and bring more choices to our guests, with several other new offerings joining the current lineup soon.”
The massive Warehouse District restaurant Searsucker has closed. The restaurant was opened in 2013 by former “Top Chef” contestant and “The Taste” judge Brian Malarkey, though the chef had recently sold his interest in the restaurant to focus on his demi empire in Southern California. Searsucker joins Chicon, Bonhomie, Bullfight and Alcomar among the recent closings in Austin, but this is the first major closing from an out-of-town group in recent months. The space was formerly home to another out-of-towner, Carlos Santana-backed Maria Maria.