The holiday season is upon us and with that comes a busy schedule. Don’t worry, though, if there’s no time to cook dinner. We’ve got you covered. Check out one of these Austin-area eateries and enjoy a night off from kitchen duty.
Bacalar is a Mexican fine-dining experience that recently opened in Austin’s Rainey Street Historic District. Created by Chef Gabe Erales, Bacalar brings the flavors of the Yucatan Peninsula to our town, from the town that he grew up in, Bacalar the Pueblo Magico. This area is known as the “Lake of Seven Colors.”
When you dine at Bacalar you will be impressed by the flavors of unique selections such as Kanpachi Ceviche, Castacan Tacos, Masa Roasted Golden Beet and so many more options to choose from. They also have an extensive dessert, cocktail and wine list. The tastes you will find in Bacalar are rare to Austin, making the food a great conversation starter and allows you to be opened to education about the flavors of the region.
Bacalar has a ton of space, making it a great place for a large party or event, with a spacious outdoor patio and two stories. The interior design is also resemblant of the region of Mexico from which the restaurant was inspired by. You will notice decor such as a large totem, which is symbolic because it “signifies abundance, fertility, and the natural world’s connection to the divine.”
Abby Jane Bakeshop was started by Abby Love, a Louisiana native and 12-year veteran of the restaurant and baking industry. In Dripping Springs, just a short drive from Austin, the bakeshop is tucked away on a large property inside of the Barton Springs Mill facility, which provides grain locally. You can even see the millers hard at work through the bakery window. This fresh, whole grain guarantees that you can not only enjoy tasty treats, but also feel good about making a healthier choice, as stone milled grains are easier to digest and contain flavor nuances that are missing from grocery store flour.
In 2021, Abby opened Abby Jane Bakeshop, and has been thriving ever since in the Dripping Springs and Austin community. They offer a regular menu of breads, pastries, sandwiches, treats, and sweets made with all the heirloom grains that are all sure to please. They also have coffee, tea, espresso-based drinks and more available. Pop in to get a box of pastries for the whole family, or a delicious seasonal loaf. Many weekends they’ll fire up the wood oven for a pizza party at Abby Jane Bakeshop.
After twenty eight successful locations in their home state, Velvet Taco is excited to announce their newest location in Round Rock, Texas. The Round Rock location opened its doors in October, welcoming all taco and food enthusiasts to its newest location. The Dallas-based taco chain is known for its creative, internationally inspired, made from scratch tacos with fresh sides and booze for anyone looking to do happy hour. Grab your seats now and experience Velvet Tacos’ unique taco experience.
Having trouble deciding on the menu? Try one of their most beloved and signature tacos, the Spicy Tikka Chicken, made with crisp tenders battered in spicy tikka sauce, buttered cilantro basmati rice, Thai basil on a flour tortilla topped with raita cream. If spicy flavors aren’t your thing, consider the Kobe Bacon Burger taco, made with peppered bacon, smoked cheddar, lettuce, onion, tomato, pickles, on a flour tortilla and topped with velvet sauce. Velvet Taco also offers a kids menu for the little ones and a variety of tacos for dietary restrictions that is sure to satisfy your tastebuds. Be sure to check out their Weekly Taco Feature, or known as “WTF,” for limited time creations, and their gluten free sides.
What better way than to quench your thirst than to order a cold beverage from their booze line on their menu. Their Kick Ass Margarita certainly packs a punch, made with Lunazul premium blanco tequila, orange liqueur, lime juice, and agave nectar. Don’t forget to get your dessert and order Velvet’s red velvet cake with cream cheese frosting topped with a cajeta drizzle made from scratch.
Cover photo courtesy Velvet Taco