Foodie Friday: 4 Austin Area Foodie Finds

by Marika Flatt & Nora Bonilla on September 8, 2023 in Food+Drink,

If you’re like us, one of our favorite things to do is to try out a new restaurant, or an old standby. We love to spend the afternoon or evening over a great meal, with a cold beverage and with people we enjoy. Explore these great Austin area restaurants and be sure and tell us what you think!


Walk The Plank

Calling all Brunch go-ers to Plank Seafood Provisions for a tasty late morning meal! Photo courtesy Plank Seafood Provisions.

Running under one of the country’s largest restaurant groups, Flagship Restaurant Group, Plank Seafood Provisions has made a name for itself after two years of operation in Austin’s Domain shopping area. The brand’s Conscious Earth program has allowed Plank to not only serve incredible dishes, but also inform diners of their responsible outsourcing of their seafoods and meats, which leaves us very impressed. (Check out our review when they first opened.)

Following its success, the Plank Team is officially welcoming all brunch lovers to their newly launched Weekend Brunch. Starting every Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., brunch is now in session at Plank Seafood Provisions.

You’ve heard of a triple threat in entertainment: dancing, singing, and acting. Plank’s weekend brunch is a triple threat in dining: amazing food, impeccable customer service, and super appealing interior vibe.

Breakfast Ramen Noodles, one of the many brunch dishes now served at Plank Seafood Provisions. Photo courtesy Plank Seafood Provisions.

Not sure where to start? Try Plank’s signature brunch choice: the Breakfast Ramen Noodles made with ginger scallion noodles, yuzu, bonito, with sunny side up eggs on top and bacon. As a ramen lover myself, nothing feels better than warming up my day with a bowl of ramen to quench my appetite. 

Yet, for those looking for a lighter meal, you can’t go wrong with a simple omelet. Plank’s signature dish, the Crawfish Omelette, made with mascarpone, and a simple side salad, is the perfect way to start your day. 

The brunch menu also features one of their most popular, the Bacon Wrapped Shrimp, a delicious version of shrimp and grits. Also, the hangar steak is a winner, which comes with eggs and potatoes, covered by great gravy.

Very important: Order the Elvis-inspired French Toast– banana brulee, peanut butter, and candied bacon– to share for the table as the perfect breakfast dessert.

Considered the official drink of brunch, having a mimosa is nearly a must. Photo courtesy Plank Seafood Provisions.

What better way to wash it down than with Plank’s cocktails such as the old classic Mimosa, or if feeling adventurous, try a Breakfast Margarita made with mi campo blanco tequila, cointreau, housemade orange, and lime. If you’re more of a coffee lover, check out the Nocino Espresso, made with Kasama rum, coffee liquor, nocino, coconut cold brew and cinnamon to top it off.

Worldly Cuisines in One Location

Grab a slice of the $5 S’mores Pizookie at BJ’s before it’s gone! Photo Brett O’Brien.

There is nothing s’more exciting than s’mmer specials, and we’re pleased to invite you to BJ’s Restaurant & Brewhouse® to try the numerous brand-new menu items, as well as old favorites like the fan-favorite Peanut Butter S’mores Pizookie!® One aspect we love about BJ’s is that it’s fit for the whole fam with each individual choosing their own culinary destination. Whether you want to visit the South with their famous parmesan crusted chicken, the Mediterranean with their chicken pitas, Italy to have their baked ziti, Cajun country with jambalaya or a good ‘ole fashioned U.S. cheeseburger, BJ’s has you.

Listen to that crunch as you dive into BJ’s new Hickory Brisket Nachos. Photo Brett O’Brien.

From savory starters to creative cocktails, BJ’s has refreshed its robust menu to include the Hickory Brisket Nachos, Big Twist Pretzel with BJ’s Beer Cheese, Buffalo Stampede Chicken Pasta, and more. 

At BJ’s, all alcoholic drinks qualify as “to go” in bottles including their beer and wine. Photo Brett O’Brien.

In addition, for a refreshing sip during Texas’ triple-digits temps, BJ’s has introduced four creative takes on the classic margarita including the White Peach Boba-Rita, the Spicy Mango Margarita, the Casamigos Watermelon Margarita, and the Grand Patrón Margarita. Lastly, BJ’s Restaurant & Brewhouse has partnered with the historic German brewery, Schneider Weisse, for an exclusive summer brew!

Hop on Over for the Buns

Check out the new August Burger of the Month, the “Birria Burger” for Hispanic Heritage Month! Photo courtesy Hopdoddy.

Formed in 2010, Hopdoddy made it their mission to create a new high standard for burgers with fresh and high quality ingredients. Partnering with Force of Nature, Hopdoddy prides itself on practicing regenerative farming. All beef and bison are 100% grass feed and regenerative. Hopdoddy also created Tuned In, to boost local musicians by providing listeners and donations for bands in their communities. Soon after, HopDoddy opened its doors to many locations from the Hollywood streets of California to riding the waves of Florida.

Find the nearest location near you as Hopdoddy will now be offering everything on their menu for half the price for those seated at the bar! Starting everyday from Sunday to Thursday between the hours of 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. Couldn’t get a seat? Don’t worry, for those sitting at a table a $5 happy hour menu will be provided for you as an alternative. 

Take a bite out of the Big Apple and taste HopDoddy’s New York-inspired burger, the “Bodega Burger”. Photo courtesy HopDoddy.

Known for their unique and innovative creations, HopDoddy is introducing their new Burger of the Month, The Bodega Burger for a limited time only. Drawing inspiration from New York City’s phenomenon known as a bodega, HopDoddy serves this meal with a chopped cheese patty, topped with butter pickles, spicy ketchup, lettuce, tomato, and doddy mayo wrapped in deli-style paper.

HopDoddy also includes a variety of meals for those who have dietary restrictions. Try their burger El Bandito Veggie, made with a black bean and corn patty topped with tomato, onions, avocado, goat cheese, arugula, chipotle aioli, and basil pesto sauce on a whole wheat bun. Their menu also includes salad bowls and a line of burgers that are gluten free with options for sweet potato fries, or loaded brussel sprouts. 

Quench your thirst with HopDoddy’s featured cocktails like the Paloma, made with Deep Eddy Ruby Red Grapefruit vodka, Monte Alban Silver Tequila, grapefruit & lime juices and agave with a salted rim. Want it to go? HopDoddy offers an exclusive To Go Bar. Each drink is qualified to order to go, but must be purchased with a meal. 

Heart and Soul in Georgetown

Make your reservations now at Alma’s in Georgetown. Photo courtesy Alma by Stephen Pyles.

Dallas-based chef Stephen Pyles has opened 24 restaurants in eight cities! He knows how to innovate, please the palate and take risks in hospitality. This might sound like a risk: a stand-alone, high-end restaurant at a senior living community. That’s what Pyles has debuted in Georgetown, food for the soul that folks should make the drive for! 

We are so egg-cited for you to try this dish, Hell’s Eggs, as Chef Pyles preps them. Photo courtesy Alma by Stephen Pyles.

Alma by Stephen Pyles sits in The Hacienda in west Georgetown. The menu features “Hill Country soul food” favorites with Pyles’ culinary twist. Start with the Hell’s Eggs which are a unique take on deviled eggs but with candied bacon and chile pop rocks! Do not miss the Shiner beer bread, not only for the presentation, but for the comfort, too! The Fried Green Tomatoes will sub for a salad; we won’t tell. 

Try one of the three signature Alma pizzas. Photo courtesy of Alma by Stephen Pyles.

As you move on to entrees, try the BBQ Wagyu Brisket pizza or one of the tacos (comes with three to an order), or settle in for some real soul-cuddling Bacon-Wrapped Meatloaf (served on a bed of creamed corn and a side of savory mac’n’cheese.) These all pair perfectly with a Daou cabernet, bold and inviting. Lastly, they make it divinely easy to try all the delectable desserts with SP’s Grand Dessert Tasting; pick your fave between black bottom pie, butterscotch pudding (yes, please!), apple spice cake and heaven n’ hell cake. 

Worth the journey!


Marika Flatt, Outstanding Austin Communicator 2021, is the Travel Editor of Texas Lifestyle Magazine. She began her travel writing career in 2002, and can be seen as a contributor on TV shows across Texas, such as KVUE, Daytime (FOX), San Antonio Living, Good Morning Texas, and KXAN!  Marika spent five years as the voice of the “Weekend Trip Tip” on NPR’s Texas Standard pre-Covid.

Nora Bonilla is a travel and food enthusiast with a rich love for writing and sharing those places and experiences with the world.