The Digest: Restaurant News

P. Terry's expands in Lakeway,
with eyes on West Lake
By Mike Sutter / Fed Man Walking / 08.11.11
► Patrick Terry calls his new P. Terry's Burger Stand location in Lakeway "the coolest-looking place that ever sold a hamburger." That's saying something for the local chain, where the meat-and-produce bill must be rivaled only by the architect's invoices. Lakeway wasn't an easy sell, Terry said, placed as it is in the orbit of a condo complex whose residents flinched at the notion of a drive-through. On a space zoned for 7,000-square-foot restaurant, architect and P. Terry's go-to guy Michael Hsu designed a 2,500-square-foot space with a check-mark roof, desert-colored Tennessee stone and long planes of rough-sawn wood, hewing to the chain's mid-century Googie design aesthetic. The new shop, at 3311 RM 620 across the street from Lake Travis High School, moves the number of P. Terry's Burger Stands to five. It's set to open sometime next week, Terry said. Get updates by "liking" P. Terry's Facebook page.
UPDATE: The Lakeway P. Terry's opened Tuesday (Aug. 16).
 P. Terry's is also planning another new location, this one in West Lake Hills in the shopping center that includes H-E-B Westlake Market at 701 S. Capital of Texas Highway (Loop 360). The location is about the only certainty there, Terry said, as he works through the city planning process. That location sets up a cross-street rivalry with Hat Creek Burger Co., which is building on the former site of the Pots and Plants Nursery at 5902 Bee Cave Road.
Gypsy Trailer Fest coming back Oct. 22
Last year's inaugural Gypsy Picnic Trailer Food Festival was a bit of a cluster-truck, a good idea brought down by the fact that trailer food isn't fast food, and standing at the back of a line 25 people deep can eat up the better part of an afternoon. But the organizers are having another go at it Oct. 22 at Auditorium Shores from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., promising more trailers, $3 tasting portions and live music.
Bravo confirms Austin's role in 'Top Chef' Texas; Houston is not amused
Bravo TV's blog "The Dish" confirmed this week what everybody who cares already seems to know: Season 9 of "Top Chef" will be set in Texas, namely Austin, Dallas and San Antonio. Judges Padma Lakshmi, Tom Colicchio and Gail Simmons have been spotted around town, along with guest judges Emeril Lagasse and Hugh Acheson. True to the national media's cartoon version of Texas, the blog post actually says, "We hope the cheftestants' boots are made for walking." Get ready for a season of broad Western satire without a Coen Brothers filter. Meanwhile, Houston is none too happy. See the Houston Chronicle's 29-95 entertainment site, where one commenter might have stuck a vein of truth: "I think it's because Houston isn't 'pretty' like Austin and San Antonio." What, Colicchio's mug wouldn't play in Houston?
'Lights On' report
A roundup of restaurant openings, closings and works in progress. It's been awhile. With some of these, let's just say we're both getting back up to speed.
► Open: Papi Tino's (at left), a Mexican restaurant and full bar set in a remodeled white cottage, with white tablecloths in the front yard, tree-stump chairs, flamenco music and misters. Hours: 6 p.m. to midnight Tuesday-Saturday. 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday. 1306 E. Sixth St.
► Open: Moonie's Burger House, the fourth location of the local chain, at 12001 Burnet Road. 837-5400,
► Open: Man Bites Dog, the brick-and-mortar version of the popular hot-dog trailer, at 5222 Burnet Road. 614-1330,
► Open: Hugos Restaurant y Tequila Bar at 300 S. Lamar Blvd. 474-4846,
► Open: Boss Hogs Kitchen, a trailer doing sandwiches and sides from the smoker at 1120 W. Fifth St. 698-9818,
► Open: Meltzer Uptown Pub, with 33 beers on tap and a menu ranging from Reubens to fish and chips to a 32-ounce bone-in ribeye called the Battle Ax for $50. In the former Antonio's building at 7522 Interstate 35 N. 420-2333,
► Open: El Alma, featuring the interior Mexican food of chef Alma Alcocer-Thomas, who has run the kitchens at Jeffrey's, Fonda San Miguel and TNT/Tacos and Tequila. In the former El Chile location at 1025 Barton Springs Road. 609-8923. The restaurant is part of the El Chile Group, which also owns the El Chile, El Chilito and Red House Pizzeria restaurants on Manor Road.
► Open: Old School Grill, a cafe offshoot of the Old School BBQ schoolbus. Traditional bistro/diner menu instead of barbecue. 6301 W. Parmer Lane. 722-6353, Facebook page here
► Open: Hank's Garage, a Belgian-styled beer bar and restaurant at 115-A San Jacinto Blvd. 520-8060,
► Moved: Amaya's Taco Village has moved from Capital Plaza to a spot on the other side of the interstate at 5804 Interstate 35 N. 458-2341,
► On the way: A banner is up promising the coming of a place called Bacon at the former site of the Screaming Goat at 900 W. 10th St. A press release promises "good, simple food" like BLTs and waffles and a variety of bacon flavors. We like pork flavor best.
► Closings: Streat on Red River Street, Bagpipes on Research Boulevard, Kahuna's on Parmer Lane, Springhill on Airport Boulevard.
► Closed for good?: The Old Coupland Dancehall in Coupland announced in late July that it was closing, with hopes to reopen later. A call out to the inn this week still gets that recorded message, and a call to a neighbor confirms that the restaurant/dancehall still hasn't reopened. I liked the saloon atmosphere and the country-style cooking. Read my 2009 review here
(Photos by Mike Sutter © Fed Man Walking)