Best Bang for Your Buck: La Mancha’s Email Club

I’m not a huge fan of filling up my inbox with advertisements, but when it comes to restaurants I prefer to be in the know. Out of all the emails I sift through, La Mancha consistently comes through with the best bang for your buck in terms of exchanging your email address for food news.

La Mancha, a locally owned Rosedale Tex Mex joint, runs its marketing promo very simply: subscribe with your email and on Thursdays you’ll receive an email with a freebie offer such as flautas, queso, shrimp & crab rolls, guacamole and other goodies.  Thursdays are $5 Mexican Martini days, too.

What’s the fine print? You must show the email to your server, and you must order at least one entree.  Oh, and no more than one freebie per table. So let’s do the math on this Thursday deal: Mexican Martini, ($5) + freebie appetizer-sized item + El Camino Green Chile burger ($8.99) add fries ($1.99) = $15.98 in deliciousness. Mexican Martinis are normally a two drink pour, and cost $9 on every other day of the week.  The food freebie is a savings of around $4.99, give or take. You’ll save almost a ten spot on what you’d normally spend. That’s a win, folks.

Categories: Austin, Central Austin, Comfort Food, Family Friendly, Giveaway, Local, Queso, Tex Mex | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

Loro Preview Party Benefitting No Kid Hungry

Photo Credit: Loro

Loro, the love child of Aaron Franklin and Tyson Cole, opens its doors on April 4th.  You can claim bragging rights at being the first to experience the highly anticipated menu at a preview party on March 29th benefiting No Kid Hungry, a national nonprofit dedicated to eradicating childhood hunger.  Tickets are $100 and available online.

An Asian smokehouse and bar, Loro has seating indoors and out, under hundred year-old oak trees. Patrons will order food and drinks at the bar, and there is a separate To Go area. The ambience and architecture was inspired by historic dance halls of the Texas Hill Country. The goal is a homey yet elegant feel, with windows and skylights allowing for the play of sunlight indoors.  Outdoors, the deck, garden and patios host relaxed seating options including rocking chairs.

The Loro menu was created by Chef Tyson Cole and Aaron Franklin with Chef de Cuisine James Dumapit to offer a variety of dishes that balance Southeast Asian flavors with the rich texture of traditional Texas BBQ.  The menu is divided into Snacks, Starters, Sandwiches, Rice Bowls, Plates and Sides.  The entire menu is available throughout the day with the exception of the Smoked Beef Brisket, which is available only at dinner.

The menu features dishes like Candied Kettle Corn with burnt brisket ends topping, making it a sweet, salty, smoky treat; Char Siu Pork Shoulder marinated in soy hoisin oyster sauce and fermented bean curd then roasted and grilled for a glazed caramelized finish; and Smoked Beef Brisket, a dinner-only dish that is marinated in Nuoc Mam and Thai gastrique and finished with herbs and chili oil.  The brisket is the “most literal combinations of our styles,” says Aaron Franklin.

“The complex flavors of Southeast Asian food, ranging from the acidity in citrus, to heat from a variety of spices, to all the clean fresh flavors of the herbs, create a balance that is the perfect counterpoint to the richness of smoked meat,” said Chef and Loro Partner Tyson Cole.

Austinites will, no doubt, be won over by the fusion from these two wildly successful restaurateurs. Join them at the preview party and nibble your way through deliciousness. Let’s hope the sake slushies will be available for sampling, along with wine and sake on tap, craft beers and cocktails.

Categories: Austin, Barbecue, Benefit, Food Event, Local, South Austin, Southeast Asian | Tags: , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Austin Lamb Jam 2018

Texans are notoriously pro-beef, but did you know our state is the nation’s top producer of lamb? Become a #FanOfLamb at this weekend’s Austin Lamb Jam, part of a multi-city, annual culinary competition in which regional chefs and pitmasters vie for “Best in Show,” “Most Creative,” and “People’s Choice” prize spots. The “Best in Show” winner advances to the Lamb Jam Master finals in Nashville this September.

Austin Lamb Jam is Sunday, March 25th at the Hotel Van Zandt and you can get 10% off ticket purchases when you use the discount code JAM-WITH-ME. I recommend the VIP Experience ticket for early entrance to the event, a private lounge, VIP swag, oyster & caviar bites from Salt + Time and exclusive beverage service from Infinite Monkey Theorem, Stolen Spirits and Lagunitas Brewery. The Main Event ticket gains you entry to the competition, blind taste testing and judging of dishes, and much more, including the chance to meet the shepherds, butcher demo from Julia Poplawsky of The Central Texas Meat Collective, pop up micro events, live music and more.

Battling it out for the win are:

  • Teddy Bricker –  Soursop (Austin)

  • Jacob Weaver – Juliet (Austin)

  • Nick Sheley –  Salty Sow (Austin)

  • Thomas Calhoun – Aviary Wine + Kitchen (Austin)

  • Evan Leroy – LeRoy & Lewis (Austin)

  • James Zoller – TRACE (Austin)

  • Sarah Heard – Foreign + Domestic (Austin)

  • Stephen Bonin – Geraldine’s (Austin)

  • Barrett Black – Black’s BBQ (Austin)

  • Chris Hurley + Jennifer Costello – The Bonneville (Austin

  • Danny Kievit – Moonshine Grill (Austin)

  • Reina Morris + Paola Smith – Buenos Aires Café (Austin)

  • Rob Snow –  Greenhouse Craft Food  (Round Rock)

  • Aimee Chiodo – Aimee’s Super Fantazmo Food Club (Austin)

This event is organized by Tasty Creative and the American Lamb Board, an industry-funded research and promotions commodity board focused on increasing demand by promoting the freshness, flavor, nutritional benefits, and culinary versatility of American Lamb. Please visit for ticketing and event information. This event is 21+, and we encourage you to drink responsibly.

Categories: Austin, Buy Local, Cookoff, Festival, Food Event, Local, Meat | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment