Photo courtesy of Hot Luck Fest

A celebrity-studded food and music festival — helmed by award-winning chef and pitmaster Aaron Franklin — is getting all fired up for its jubilant return this Memorial Day weekend, and every ingredient of the four-day fest, from the musical entertainment to the chefs and tantalizing bites, is guaranteed to be red-hot.

Hot Luck Fest, the annual food and music experience that has been on hold for the past couple years because of the pandemic, will flare back up in Austin May 26-29 at a variety of local spots and with plenty of juicy offerings for festivalgoers to sink their teeth into.

Individual tickets and weekend passes for Hot Luck Fest are available for purchase at hotluckfest.com.

Founded by James Beard Award winner Aaron Franklin of in-demand hot spot Franklin Barbecue, as well as Mohawk owner James Moody, and Mike Thelin, cofounder of Feast Portland, Hot Luck Fest is specifically designed to highlight the best chefs, cooks, and musicians from all over the country and beyond.

Hot Luck Fest is also a charitable event, with this year’s fest benefiting the Southern Smoke Foundation, the non-profit founded by Chris Shepherd that supports food-and-beverage industry workers nationwide.

“Super stoked that we’re able to bring Hot Luck back this year. I’ve invited a whole lot of my homies to come down to Austin to cook,” Franklin says. “We’ve all been through a lot in the last year and a half, and it’s going to be fun to all get together and catch up and help our friends at Southern Smoke, who continue to serve our industry unfailingly.”

While daytime events feature all the chef-y bites every foodie craves, in the evenings, Hot Luck Fest shifts its focus to music, with live performances at some of Austin’s most iconic clubs, including Mohawk and Antone’s. And ticket prices for music shows start at only $10.

This year’s performers include Superchunk, Shannon and The Clams, DJ Jazzy Jeff with DJ Mel, Cam Cole, Joe Marcinek Band featuring George Porter Jr., and more.

Here’s the rundown of this year’s Hot Luck Fest events:

Thursday, May 26, 6-9 pm
The Giddy Up: Mohawk
The festival lights up with a Thursday night industry pizza party, which will include savory pies, as well as sweet treats from Whole Foods and Christina Tosi’s Milk Bar. Sets from DJ Jazzy Jeff and DJ Mel will follow the food event. The chef lineup for The Giddy Up event includes:

  • Chris Bianco, Pizzeria Bianco (Phoenix)
  • Elias Cairo, Olympia Provisions (Portland, Oregon)
  • Fermin Nunez, Suerte (Austin)
  • Fiore Tedesco, L’Oca d’Oro (Austin)
  • Joe Beddia, Pizzeria Beddia (Philadelphia)
  • Mike Diaz, Oseyo (Austin)
  • Rebecca Masson, Fluff Bake Bar (Houston)
  • Reem Assil, Reem’s (Oakland, California)

Friday, May 27, 7-10 pm
Hi, How Are You?: Franklin Barbecue

This extravagant east side event is a backyard-style get-together that will feature the man himself, Aaron Franklin of Franklin Barbecue, as well as other acclaimed chefs, bites and sips, and a whole lot of extravagance that culinary nerds can totally geek out to. The chef lineup for the Hi, How Are You? event includes:

  • Aaron Franklin, Franklin Barbecue (Austin)
  • Amanda Shulman, Her Place (Philadelphia)
  • Andrew Taylor, Eventide Oyster Co. (Portland, Maine)
  • Ashley Christensen, Poole’s Diner (Raleigh, North Carolina)
  • Arlin Smith, Eventide Oyster Co. (Portland, Maine)
  • Chris Shepherd, Underbelly (Houston)
  • Erin Smith, Feges BBQ (Houston)
  • Jordan Rubin, Crispy Gai (Portland, Maine)
  • Kristine Kittrell, The Diner Bar (Austin)
  • Laura Sawicki and Mei Lin, Nightshade (Los Angeles)
  • Misti Norris, Petra and the Beast (Dallas)
  • Patrick Feges, Feges BBQ (Houston)
  • Shota Nakajima, Taku (Seattle)
  • Tavel Bristol-Joseph, Canje (Austin)
  • Todd Duplechan, Lenoir (Austin)
  • Tyson Cole, Uchi (Austin)

Saturday, May 28, 7-10 pm
Al Fuego: Wild Onion Ranch

Al Fuego is Hot Luck’s celebration of live-action, flame-fueled cooking styles and features a showcase of the “most inspiring food on the planet.” As fest organizers note, if you’ve ever wondered what chefs cook for their friends in their own backyards, this fiery shindig is for you. The chef lineup for the Al Fuego event includes:

  • Alon Shaya, Saba (New Orleans)
  • Amanda Rockman, South Congress Hotel (Austin)
  • Ashleigh Shanti, Good Hot Fish (Asheville, North Carolina)
  • Brad Leone (New York City)
  • Bradley Nicholson, Lutie’s (Austin)
  • Carlo Lamagna, Magna Kusina (Portland, Oregon)
  • Casey Wilcox, Little Trouble (Lockhart)
  • Christopher Schaefer, Geraldine’s (Austin)
  • Colin Yoshimoto, Eem (Portland, Oregon)
  • Davis Turner, Huckleberry (Austin)
  • Dawn Burrell, Late August (Houston)
  • Diego Galicia and Rico Torres, Mixtli (San Antonio)
  • Donny Sirisavath, Khao Noodle Shop (Dallas)
  • Earl Ninsom, Eem (Portland, Oregon)
  • Edgar Rico, Nixta Taqueria (Austin)
  • Evan LeRoy, Leroy and Lewis Barbecue, (Austin)
  • Jakub Czyszczon, Garrison (Austin)
  • James Wilson, East Austin Hotel (Austin)
  • Jeremy Charles, Raymonds (St. Johns, California)
  • John Tesar, Knife (Dallas)
  • Jori Jayne and José Enrique, José Enrique (San Juan, Puerto Rico)
  • Jules Stoddart, Olamaie (Austin)
  • Kareem El-Ghayesh, KG BBQ (Austin)
  • Kevin Fink, Hestia (Austin)
  • Maneet Chauhan, Chauhan Ale & Masala House (Nashville)
  • Mason Hereford, Turkey and the Wolf (New Orleans)
  • Matt Horn, Horn Barbecue (Oakland, California)
  • Michael Fojtasek, Olamaie (Austin)
  • Nicola Blaque, The Jerk Shack (San Antonio)
  • Ravi Kapur, Liholiho Yacht Club (San Francisco)
  • Rick Lopez, La Condesa (Austin)
  • Sarah Grueneberg, Monteverde (Chicago)
  • Shane Stark, Mongers (Austin)
  • Shota Nakajima, Taku (Seattle)
  • Stuart Brioza, The Anchovy Bar (San Francisco)
  • Susana Querejazu, Lutie’s (Austin)
  • Todd Pulsenelli, Hotel Chloe (New Orleans)
  • Tracy Malechek-Ezekiel, Birdie’s (Austin)
  • Yoshi Okai, Otoko (Austin)
  • Zak Pelaccio (Hudson Valley, New York)

For more info about this year’s Hot Luck Fest, visit hotluckfest.com and follow Hot Luck on Facebook and Instagram.

Courtesy of Circuit of the Americas

Texas' hottest racetrack unleashes thrilling attractions for intensified amusement park in 2022

Thrilling development

Austin’s COTAland amusement park is getting ready to take visitors on a thrill ride — or two thrill rides, to be exact.

The Circuit of the Americas announced on November 16 that COTAland, scheduled to formally debut in 2022, will become home to two thrill rides: the SkyBlazer and the Palindrome. COTAland reps say it’s the only place where people will be able to take advantage of these two rides next year.

COTA has long been known for its racetrack, which hosts the U.S. Formula 1 Grand Prix and other racing events, but also features a variety of entertainment offerings, including its karting track, zip line, and holiday and music experiences. With the addition of COTAland, the property aims to take amusement to the next level.

“COTA is working with the attraction industry’s best creators and producers to make COTAland a go-to amusement park destination,” Matt Hughey, senior manager of COTAland, says in a news release. “COTAland will feature everything from rides for young children to hair-raising experiences that will thrill even the most experienced theme park lovers. Something for everyone!”

The SkyBlazer seats 18 riders side by side on a circular platform before raising them off the ground and then sending them hundreds of feet into the air.

“After a few moments of anticipation, the rip cord releases and sends patrons into a momentary free fall before the swing motion catches them and sends them soaring over the enthralled onlookers,” the news release says.

The Palindrome roller coaster will feature a 95-foot vertical lift hill, a top speed of 51 mph, two inversions, and a vertical “hop-stall” before riders experience the ride again — in reverse.

Today, the park features “kiddie” rides, including a Ferris wheel and a carousel, but the SkyBlazer and Palindrome will elevate at least some of the experience to the adult category. Other rides planned for COTAland include the Skyflyer, Wacky Worm, and Texas Wildcat.


Texas tiny home convention opens big doors to small living

Tiny House, Big Livin'

Whether it's a desire for a smaller footprint, the need for a less tethered life, or just because real estate is expensive, tiny houses are a big deal in Texas — and the promoters of the Tiny House & Simple Living Jamboree have taken note. On May 30, the convention announced it's coming to the Capital City on August 23-26.

With Houston developers still slow on the tiny home trend (not for a lack of public interest), curious locals should head to Austin. Held at the Travis County Expo Center, the Tiny House & Simple Living Jamboree is both a trade show and public exhibition. The indoor and outdoor floor shows feature unique and innovative tiny houses, including those built on wheels, park models, school bus conversions, and yurts, as well as modular and manufactured homes.

More than 60 structures will be on display, all of which clock in at less than 800 square feet. Austin-based tiny home builders exhibiting include ATX Tiny Casas, Beaver Boxes, Kasita, Tex Zen Tiny Homes, Titan Factory Direct/Athens Park Model Homes, Village Farm, and Volstrukt. In addition to dwellings, the fest will also feature decor, furniture, and more tiny living accessories.

The goal, according to the website, is more than just showcasing unique homes. Instead, organizers want to provide both education about the small living movement and a platform to discuss affordability within the housing market.

As part of its 2018 programming, the jamboree is expanding to include educational seminars on construction, regulations, and development. "With increasing acceptance at the state and local government levels and so many communities and buyers embracing the benefits of tiny homes, there is a need for increased education and a central networking event," organizers said in a release.

Attendees can also witness firsthand construction of a house by Operation Tiny Home, a nonprofit that provides tiny dwellings for those suffering from housing instability. At the end of the weekend, the organization will donate the new home to East Austin's Community First! Village.

The first two days of the Tiny House & Simple Living Jamboree (August 23-24) will serve as the trade show portion, open to industry and real estate professionals. Weekend dates (August 25-26) are open to the general public. (Go here to see the list of approved trade show attendees.)

General admission tickets for August 25-26 are $25 per day in advance or $30 at the door. Weekend tickets are $40 in advance or $45 at the door. Discounted student tickets are priced at $15 per day in advance or $20 at the door per day; $25 in advance or $30 at the door for weekend passes.

Austin's own Kasita will be exhibiting at the event.

Kasita tiny house austin
Austin's own Kasita will be exhibiting at the event.

Bypass Buc-ee's: 5 unexpected restaurants between Houston and Austin

Travelin' Texas

Texas is filled with hidden treasures, and the journey from Houston to Texas' capital city is no different. But the next time you're heading east, bypass the Buc-ee's (we know, blasphemy!) and make a celebration of your roadside meal. From charming favorites to unexpected hidden gems, these spots are worth the detour.

R Place at Washington-on-the-Brazos
23254 FM 1155 E., Washington, Texas
You may recognize this spot from elementary school field trips to see Independence Hall at Washington-on-the-Brazos. After peeking into pioneer tents, touring the museum, and seeing where Texas was founded, you’re hungry. Good thing there is a 100-year-old grocery store turned barbecue joint adjacent to it, because there’s not much else in the area. Eight miles from Navasota and 20 miles from Brenham, R Place is a drive, but well worth it.

Road bikers and car clubs stop in frequently, as well as many local ranchers proud of this quiet joint, which seats up to 40 on Saturday night with reservation-only prix fixe fare. Recent menus included a brie and pesto starter; ribeye steaks with garlic mashed potatoes (proprietor Randy Rogers, also a chef, turns them on the back grill where he also smokes the brisket); and grilled salmon with a bow tie pasta in a caper cream sauce. His beer and wine menus don’t disappoint, and he makes the huge peach cobbler from scratch, as he does the pinto beans and German potato salad (read: more tart than rich). It would be un-Texan to not serve Blue Bell ice cream, and the restaurant pairs it with cobbler to please tourists and die-hards alike. Open only on weekends.

JW’s Steakhouse
122 S. Hauptstrasse St., Carmine, Texas

Steakhouses in Texas are as common as Tex-Mex joints, but don’t take for granted the quality of an otherwise unassuming mom-and-pop establishment — brown panel walls and casually dressed patrons included. JW’s Steakhouse has zero pretense and better quality than most (yes, I said that) higher brow joints in Houston or Austin, and it even boasts a Willamette Valley Pinot Noir. Just up the road from wonderful Round Top, it’s a great halfway point between Houston and Austin on 290 in Carmine — and the perfect end to an antique hunting adventure.

Try homemade onion rings, a certified Angus bone-in ribeye steak with baked potato and side salad, or chicken-fried steak and a vegetable of the day — all great values. Open Tuesday -Thursday from 11 am-9 pm, Friday and Saturday from 11 am-10 pm. Closed Sunday and Monday.

Hit the Spot Cafe
5121 Albert Brown Dr., Garfield, Texas

Located just east of Austin in the Garfield Community Library, this is a community center/breakfast joint that stays open for lunch. (Customers kept begging, so the owners obliged.) This has long been a favorite of locals camping out along the Colorado River east of Austin and those who want to avoid all the pomp and circumstance of downtown $12 eggs (and where a side of sausage is extra, tsk-tsk!). If you just want great service, great value, and a smile, Hit the Spot Cafe will welcome you, no matter how fancy your shoes are.

With chicken-fried steak, homemade tortillas and carne guisada, and homemade biscuits for breakfast served all day, this is one secret we hate spilling the beans about. Open Monday-Thursday from 6 am-3 pm, Friday from 6 am-9 pm, Saturday from 6 am-3 pm, and Sunday from 7:30 am-3 pm.

Front Room Wine Bar
116 Main St., Smithville, Texas

If you are headed to Houston from Austin on 71 West and I-10, you’ll have an opportunity to duck into Smithville, as it’s just off the highway. The sweet town will delay you though, so allow time; Smithville's antique shops and restaurants are incredibly charming.

Weekly sushi? Yep. Margarita specials? Yes. This place screams Texas — plus it skips the screaming TVs in every corner typical of so many cafes. While you don’t expect refinement just off a town square, the warmth of the staff keeps it cozy as they inspire you to try a new region of wine or entice you with a fancy cocktail, crab cakes, or oysters on the half shell paired with Italian prosecco. Open Wednesday and Thursday from 5-10 pm, and Friday and Saturday from 5-11 pm.

96 West
103 S. Baylor St., Brenham, Texas

If you know anything about Brenham or Chappell Hill, you love them. Both towns — separated only by a few miles — bring antique lovers from all over Texas, and Brenham's town square has at least a dozen shops to peruse. A new reason to get to Brenham, though, is 96 West, a fantastic tapas-style restaurant and wine bar also right on the square. Serial proprietors and locals Tami Redshaw and Edward Smith III opened the restaurant about a year ago with amazing specials, brunch worth brunching for, and craft beer.

Smith is the unofficial sommelier, and it’s best to go on a night when he’s pouring. Order a hand-selected rose paired with mushroom flatbread, and you won't believe you’re in a small town. They use ingredients from local farms whenever possible, and with better soil east of Austin than west, it’s a true farm-to-market town. The Home Sweet Farms Market Artisan Cheese Plate, stuffed chicken breast, and Asian quinoa salads please the health foodies, and chicken-fried steak and frites keep the locals fueled. Open Wednesday and Thursday from 4-9 pm, Friday and Saturday 11 am-10 pm, and Sunday from 11 am-3 pm.

Iconic Austin barbecue joint temporarily closes after damaging fire

Barbecue News

A fire at Franklin Barbecue has forced the famous joint to temporarily close. In a tweet on Saturday, August 26, the restaurant, which ranks No. 2 on Texas Monthly's list of best barbecue joints in the state, reported that it will be closed for the foreseeable future but that the staff is safe.

According to the Austin Fire Department, the blaze began around 5:30 am August 26, when the wind blew an ember from the fire pit onto the backside of the building. Flames destroyed the smokehouse, while the main building sustained light smoke damage in the dining room.

“Much love to the Austin Fire Department for helping us save the restaurant today,” read an Instagram post that was posted once the fire was contained. With $200,000 structural and $150,000 of content damage, the total damage estimate is $350,000.

Local businesses are already chipping in: new neighboring bar Nickel City is donating $2 from every old fashioned sold at the bar to help pay Franklin’s staff until the restaurant reopens. On Rainey Street, Javelina Bar will donate $2 from each order of picadillo queso nachos.

In 2015, Franklin Barbecue was damaged when a driver crashed into the dining room and drove away.

Speaking with the Austin American-Statesman, owner Aaron Franklin said the damage was worse than he expected. He still hopes to reopen soon, but the restaurant is awaiting an analysis.

Quirky Galveston Bay hotspot lands on exclusive list of America's best 'anti-restaurants'

Eating up The Praise

A famed oyster bar in a Galveston Bay fishing hamlet is one of “the best anti-restaurants in America,” according to GQ magazine.

In its September issue, GQ hails Gilhooley’s in San Leon, about an hour’s drive southeast of Houston, as an unexpected treasure, putting it into the anti-restaurant category. What’s an anti-restaurant, you ask?

“There’s a new day to dine out in America, and it has nothing to do with fancy restaurants. It almost has nothing to do with restaurants. It’s all about great food in … odd, incongruous, or just plain cool settings,” GQ says.

About Gilhooley's, which the Travel Channel's Andrew Zimmern also declared to be the ultimate seafood dive bar in an episode of Bizarre Foods, GQ's Jordan Breal writes:

On the one hand, Gilhooley's is just what you'd expect to find in a speck of a Gulf Coast fishing town. Fashioned out of weathered wood, with a rusty boxcar parked out front, this seafood dive is proudly unpolished, like many of its regulars, who start drinking icy longnecks at 11 am and have no problem with the strict "no kids, no pets, cash only" policy. But then you start in on the Oysters Gilhooley—each simmering in its own pool of butter, garlic, and Parm after being roasted over a pecan-and-oak fire—and you realize that the best bivalves in the country are being served in a no-bullshit shack on a road you'd otherwise never travel down.

Rancho Pizzeria in Coleman, nearly an hour’s drive southeast of Abilene, and Dai Due, which opened in 2014 in Austin, also get a nod from the magazine. “One half of Dai Due is a butcher shop that chops up just about everything you could imagine — from wild boor to quail. And the other half is a restaurant that Texas food critics are calling the best in Austin — which is saying a lot these days,” GQ says.

The magazine praises Dai Due’s proprietors, husband-and-wife team Jesse Griffiths and Tamara Mayfield, for sourcing most of their ingredients from Texas, and for serving up a virtual banquet of menu options.

“Pick from either à la carte dishes like beer-braised collard greens or venison hot dogs with kimchi, or a supper-club menu, with big, shareable family-style dishes of seafood on Friday and fried chicken on Sunday. So go on Sunday,” GQ says.

The magazine also urges readers to head to Dai Due on Tuesdays, when the Wagyu cheeseburger appears on the menu.

Other anti-restaurants that GQ applauded are in both on- and off-the-beaten-path places: Taylor, Mississippi; New Orleans; North Branch, New York; Biddeford and Freedom, Maine; Gloucester, Massachusetts; Washington, D.C.; St. Louis; Cordova, Alaska; Dunsmuir, California; Greenwood, Delaware; and Los Angeles.

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CultureMap Emails are Awesome

Brad Paisley joins George Strait and Selena with induction into RodeoHouston's prestigious Star Trail of Fame

paisley park

Country superstar Brad Paisley's RodeoHouston performance on Saturday, March 18 will mark more than his 15th time taking the Rodeo stage.

The amiable singer and crooner will also be inducted into the Houston Livestock Show & Rodeo’s prestigious Star Trail of Fame at 3 pm the same day.

This honor makes Paisley the 10th star honored with a gold plaque to commemorate his years of outstanding entertainment at the Rodeo. For those keeping score (and there are many), Paisley has played at RodeoHouston every year since 2014. He's also famous for his choice of wife, noted actress Kimberly Williams-Paisley.

"Brad Paisley is a great addition to our Star Trail of Fame, as he’s playing his 15th show at RodeoHouston this weekend and continues to be one of our top performers each season," Jason Kane, RodeoHouston's director of entertainment, tells CultureMap. "We’re thrilled to recognize Brad and welcome him to our RodeoHouston family, alongside fellow artists who have helped shaped our show over the years."

As for those other artists on the trail, those include names like the King of Country George Strait, Brooks & Dunn, Alan Jackson, and our beloved Tejano queen Selena.

Fans who want to check out the official Star Trail of Fame can find it on the second floor of NRG Center outside the Rodeo’s offices.

New Houston-area grocery stores offer shoppers bulk restaurant food and supplies without a membership

that's a lot of popcorn

Houstonians have a fresh new option for stocking up on groceries and party supplies. Gordon Food Service opened four stores this week with two more to follow soon.

Open this week:

  • Champions: 4701 FM 1960 W at Stuebner Airline
  • West Houston: 12533 Westheimer at Dairy Ashford
  • Katy: 649 S. Mason Road at Kingsland
  • League City: 215 W Main at Hwy 3

Coming soon:

  • Meyerland: 99 Braeswood Square at Chimney Rock
  • Northwest Houston: 5151 Antoine Drive at Pinemont

They’re the company’s first Texas locations and the most stores it has opened at one time. Overall, the company operates more than 175 stores in 13 states.

Although the stores are primarily aimed to supply restaurants, bars, and other professional food businesses, Gordon Food Service stores are open to the general public, too. Unlike typical warehouse stores, they do not require shoppers to purchase a membership.

Sized between 25,000 and 30,000-square feet, each store is stocked with fresh produce, meat, and dairy items as well as paper goods, cleaning supplies, and cookware. Shoppers will also find a range of prepared items such as rotisserie and fried chicken, ribs, and deli sandwiches as well as snacks like guacamole, cut fruit, and freshly squeezed juices.

A tortilleria produces fresh tortillas throughout the day, and 15 varieties of fresh popcorn are available.

Gordon Food Service popcornThey're perfect for movie night.Courtesy of Gordon Food Service

"Gordon Food Service Store believes in the power of good food and its ability to bring people together and make moments special," Gordon Food Service Stores president Tim Grabar said in a statement. "We are excited to open our doors to the greater Houston community and provide the chef-quality food products our stores are known for."

Heights Chicken Shack owner dishes on her Mandy Moore-approved sandwiches and big national plans

What's Eric Eating Episode 275

On this week's episode of "What's Eric Eating," chef Pace Webb joins CultureMap food editor Eric Sandler to discuss Daddy's Chicken Shack. The native Houstonian and HSPVA alum turned a former dry cleaners in the Heights into a flagship location of her California-based chicken restaurant that opened in October.

Pace Webb Daddy's Chicken Shack

Courtesy of Daddy's Chicken Shack

Chef Pace Webb is this week's guest.

The conversation begins with Webb sharing the story of how her interest in entertaining evolved into operating a catering business in the Los Angeles area. When a fried chicken sandwich she made for a party caught the attention of actress Mandy Moore, she shifted her focus to a restaurant. Ultimately, she developed a concept that blends Southern flavors with Asian touches across a range of chicken sandwiches, salads topped with chicken, chicken fingers, and breakfast items

Working in partnership with her husband Chris Georgala and RE/MAX founder Dave Liniger, Webb plans to grow Daddy's as a franchised business to locations across the country. She shares that the restaurant's plans include 10 additional Houston-area locations, starting in neighborhoods like Montrose, West University Place, and Katy. Sandler asks the chef about how Daddy's positions itself relative to other chicken sandwich restaurants.

"We're selling you time back," she says. "Our target is dual working households — maybe they have kids, maybe they don't — that are short on time. That's where my husband and I are in our lives. Placing an order ahead to pick up is a weight off your shoulders. You know you'll get it on time. You don't have to cook, and it's going to be accurate, tasty, and fresh."

Prior to the interview, Sandler is joined by co-hosts Matt Harris and Michael Fulmer to remember the life of Lee Ellis, the veteran restaurateur who died last week at the age of 63. They share a couple of favorite stories about the man who helped found restaurants such as BRC, Liberty Kitchen, and State Fare.

In the news of the week segment, Sandler and Harris discuss the changes coming to Hobby Airport after Houston City Council approved a new concessions contract that will replace Pappas Restaurants with Areas, a Spain-based company that operates restaurants in airports all over the world. They also talk about the closure of Kraftsmen Cafe in the Heights.

In the restaurant of the week segment, Fulmer, Harris, and Sandler raves about Jūn, the new restaurant in the Heights from Top Chef finalist Evelyn Garcia and her business partner Henry Lu. They're impressed by the food, decor, and service at this self-described “New Asian American” restaurant that draws on their cultural backgrounds as well as their time cooking at restaurants in New York City.


Subscribe to "What's Eric Eating" on Apple podcasts, Google Play, or Spotify. Listen to it Saturday at 2 pm on ESPN 97.5.