Growing up, service above self was emphasized in my household. One of the many ways my parents would give back was through blood donations. On days when she donated, my mother would come home and jokingly declare she could not possibly hold a cooking utensil with her sore arm. On those days, we would eat out to celebrate this good deed, and thus service and eating out were forever linked in my mind.
Eating Out Serves Austin’s Community
Austin Restaurant Weeks combines service and eating out by benefiting Central Texas Food Bank. When you eat out at participating restaurants between August 15 and September 2, 2019, a portion of the proceeds will provide meals to central Texans.
Central Texas Food Bank is headquartered in Austin and serves a 21-county region through meals, groceries, education, and other services focused on reducing food insecurity.
Beyond benefiting a great cause, Austin Restaurant Weeks features many wonderful restaurants and is a worthy excuse to diversify your current rotation. The two restaurant weeks overlap with back-to-school, the ensuing new traffic patterns, and some of summer’s hottest days.
So follow my mother’s example: give yourself a break from the stove, and let’s eat out for good!
The Austinot has done the research and scoured the specials to bring you recommendations, based on more than 100 participants. With the number of restaurant options up from last year’s 86, we can certainly top the previous record of more than 500,000 meals provided from proceeds!
Recommendations are based on information available at the time of publication, but more restaurants will be added to the website as they sign on. You can also ask your favorite eateries to consider participating, if they aren’t already listed.
Coffee, Snacks, and Beverages
For your caffeine fix, all Austin Java locations will select a coffee beverage that will benefit the food bank. Be sure to ask which beverage when you visit.
Also consider stopping by the following:
- Amy’s Ice Creams for a Cool Combo, a take on the hot fudge sundae.
- Easy Tiger for its special food board.
- One of three Austin-based breweries: 4th Tap Brewing Cooperative, Circle Brewing Company, and St. Elmo Brewing Company. All but 4th Tap have announced a special beer selection that will benefit the event.
If you plan to take advantage of lunch or dinner specials during Austin Restaurant Weeks, then my recommendation is to browse the offerings online to guide your decision. You may prefer a restaurant that’s preparing a special meal, or one where all offerings are included.
My personal preference is for pre-fixe. I like the reduced stress of ordering, and sometimes the chef will prepare something new. To me, it adds to the special occasion.
If you’re part of my school of thought, a few eateries have announced pre-fixe lunch:
- Revelry on the Boulevard, whose selections give you a great reason to have both a fried appetizer and a salad before your main course.
- Sway, which will be doing a two-course selection that can be paired with an Austin Restaurant Weeks cocktail.
- House of the Rising Tanuki-san, whose General Tso’s pork has been on my mind since the announcement.
- Cover 3, whose lunch not only includes several choices of appetizer and main course, but is also one of the few lunch options that includes dessert!
Dinner may be a bit more difficult to narrow down, as the majority of participating restaurants are offering a well-considered $35 or $50 pre-fixe meal.
But in the spirit of celebrating our good deeds, you may consider the following restaurants that offer dessert as part of the pre-fixe meals:
- Texas French Bread will offer three dessert choices, including the Hyde Park Fudge Cake.
- Bar Peached will serve a Banana Split Milky Ice, a version of Korean shaved ice for two.
- Chispas, which is not only offering a Nutella Torte, but is also including a table appetizer as part of its $35 meal.
Finally, there are a few places that deserve a special mention. First is Pitchfork Pretty, which is doing a one-night popup for Austin Restaurant Weeks. If you really want to make this benefit an occasion, then reserve your seat now.
If you’re looking for brunch, then head to Fixe. True Food Kitchen will also offer brunch, but dinner includes a selection from a curated beverage list.
Learn more on the official Austin Restaurant Weeks website.
@theAustinot wants to know:
Where are you going during Austin Restaurant Weeks?