6 things to know in Austin food: ‘Heavenly’ downtown restaurant closes

Editor’s note: We get it. It can be difficult to keep up with the fast pace of Austin’s restaurant and bar scene. We have you covered with our regular roundup of essential food news.

(Re)openings and closings

Citing business woes resulting from the novel coronavirus, Veggie Heaven — the iconic, Asian-inspired vegetarian restaurant on West Fifth Street — announced its closure last Tuesday, September 1. “With COVID-19 effecting our business greatly we have decided to shut down permanently,” read a statement on the company’s Facebook page. “While the prospect of closing is a sad one, we thank everyone who has become part of the Veggie Heaven Family. Thank you, Austin, for so many great years.” Veggie Heaven has been operating in Austin since 1998, save for a brief hiatus in 2014 when the original location on the Drag shuttered following owner Mei Chin’s retirement. Her daughter Stacy Chen then took over the operation and moved it downtown.

DipDipDip Tatsu-Ya, the new Japanese hot pot restaurant from the team behind Ramen Tatsu-Ya, is reopening for limited dine-in service starting Wednesday, September 9. DipDipDip Tatsu-Ya will offer a chef selects menu including two omakase and a menu of curated sake, while the operation’s adjacent sandwich pop-up operation will continue to operate out of the restaurant’s ice cream window. There guests can order an assortment of boozy milkshakes, artisanal ice cream pints, and dippable sandwiches like the new chicken karaage. Down the road, Ramen Tatsu-Ya’s East Austin location at 1600 E. 6th St. will also reopen for dine-in service with a soft opening Tuesday, September 8, followed by a return to the restaurant’s regular Wednesday-Sunday schedule on the following day. Reservations are required for both establishments, and can be made via Resy, or by calling 512-298-6289 for DipDipDip Tatsu-Ya. DipDipDip’s dine-in hours are Wednesday, Thursday, and Sunday, 5-10 pm, and Friday and Saturday, 5-11 pm. Ramen Tatsu-Ya’s east side’s hours are Wednesday through Sunday, 5-10 pm.

Relaxed cocktail bar and eatery Bar Peached reopened its West Sixth outpost for limited “safely distanced” seating Wednesday, September 2. The reopening comes with fresh new menu additions including a Taiwanese duck roll and the return of the operation’s popular weekly “steak and frites” Tuesday night event. Up north on Burnet Road, sister restaurant, The Peached Tortilla, expanded its dine-in space with a new open air patio (its indoor dining room remains available for socially distanced seating). The Peached Tortilla’s expanded seating is marked by the introduction of Life is a Peach Frose, a new cocktail featuring peach vodka, peach schnapps, rose, peach shrub, and orange juice. Both concepts’ curbside to-go operations remain operational. Bar Peached and The Peached Tortilla are currently open Tuesday through Thursday, 5 – 9 pm; Friday through Saturday from 5 pm – 10 pm; and Sunday from 5 pm – 9 pm. Additionally, The Peached Tortilla is open for Sunday brunch from 11 am – 2:30 pm.

Other news and notes

Austin’s own Siete Family Foods, purveyor of all things grain-free, is hosting a special “night-in” celebration. On Saturday, September 12, the company is partnering with local restaurants Comedor, La Condesa, Loro, and Nixta Taqueria to offer gluten-free dishes to-go, which are then be “paired” with a local musician during a special YouTube concert beginning at 7 pm. Participating musicians include some of the biggest names in Austin — The Tiarra Girls, Gina Chavez, Carrie Rodriguez, and Adrian Quesada and Beto Martinez. Siete Family Foods will also be donating a portion of the proceeds to the Hispanic Impact Fund. Meal pickup will take place on Saturday from noon to 5 pm. Preordering is strongly encouraged and can be done here

Austin’s premier Israeli street food eatery is introducing a fresh way to celebrate the Jewish new year from home. TLV’s special pre-fixe Rosh Hashanah menu will feature three courses, including such traditional dishes as fish kofte chraime, roasted shoulder lamb chops, fresh-baked challah, and an apple bread pudding. This one-time meal kit special will be offered for a price of $120 for two people and $200 for four, while a vegetarian option will sell for $100 for two and $180 for four. TLV currently accepting preorders for its Rosh Hashanah special, which will be made available for curbside pickup (and limited delivery) on Friday, September 18, from the restaurant’s downtown location at Fareground food hall. Orders can be placed here or by calling 512-608-4041.

Austin-based hard seltzer brand Mighty Swell recently relaunched with both a fresh new flavor and package design. Joining the company’s four pre-existing flavor variants (cherry lime, watermelon mint, peach, and grapefruit) is a new blackberry offering. Like the company’s other libations, blackberry Mighty Swell contains only 100 calories and three grams of sugar per 12-oz. can. According to a statement from the company’s president and general manager, John Beal, Mighty Swell’s hard seltzer producers, which all clock in at 5 percent AB, are now both gluten-free and OU-Kosher certified. All five hard seltzers options are currently available in area supermarkets as well as convenience and liquor stores.

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