East Austin Tasty Block Party
Everybody loves a good block party, relaxing with friends and neighbors over drinks and food. And what could be better than a party with some of Austin’s favorite restaurants?
During the summer, Chad Dolezal and Victor Farnsworth, co-owners of The Hightower, helped organize a weekly Tuesday night block party of East Austin restaurants with their Eat East promotion. The event was so popular that the eateries are continuing to host their specials on the first Tuesday of every month through the fall and winter.
Each venue offers a drink and appetizer special for the night, priced in the $8 to $10 range. Diners can hang out in one place or try several spots, choosing from casual to fine-dining fare in the neighborhood starting at East Cesar Chavez Street and winding up to East 11th Street. Guests can take a culinary crawl down one street or fashion an evening based on the style of food they most enjoy.
For a more upscale night, consider starting at The Hightower for blistered green beans and Tequila Fresa, then make your way to LaV for escargot and a swizzle cocktail. Then head to Gardner for crispy sweet potatoes with urfa mayo, accompanied by a Kalimotxo, a Basque cocktail with red wine and soda. For more casual fare, you might head to The Silo on Seventh for fries and an Old Fashioned, Tamale House East for chips, queso and margaritas, or Spartan Pizza for jalapeño dip and domestic beer.
Visit the Facebook event page (facebook.com/events/1674821236064309) or check with your favorite participating restaurant to learn the specials of the night. No matter which of the endless combinations you pick, Eat East promises a delicious night out on the town.
Eat East participating restaurants
The Hightower: 1209 E. Seventh St.
100 Pizzitas: 900 E. Seventh St.
LaV: 1501 E. Seventh St.
The Silo on Seventh: 1300 E. Seventh St.
Gardner: 1914 E. Sixth St.
Tamale House East: 1707 E. Sixth St.
Spartan Pizza: 1007 E. Sixth St.
Gelateria Gemelli: 1009 E. Sixth St.
East Side Show Room: 1100 E. Sixth St.
Buenos Aires Café: 1201 E. Sixth St.
Weather Up: 1808 E. Cesar Chavez St.
Jacoby’s Restaurant & Mercantile: 3235 E. Cesar Chavez St.
Maggie Louise Confections: 1017 E. Sixth St.
Sagra: 1050 E. 11th St., Suite 100
Hillside Farmacy: 1209 E. 11th St.
Mettle: Govalle Shopping Center, 507 Calles St.
Wright Bros. Brew & Brew: 500 San Marcos St., Suite 105
When: First Tuesday of every month (Nov. 3, Dec. 1, Jan. 5, Feb. 2, March 1, April 5). Hours vary by location.
A Chat With Chad Dolezal, Chef and Co-owner of The Hightower
Austin Woman: Tell me a little bit about The Hightower.
Chad Dolezal: We will be almost two years old in January and are so happy with how things are going. We knew from the beginning, we wanted to be a neighborhood place, and originally thought we would be more of a bar with some food. But the neighborhood wanted a restaurant, so we changed direction, adding lunch and brunch, and it ’s been really good to see it grow.
AW: What was your inspiration for Eat East?
CD: We wanted to do something to show off what restaurants are doing on the Eastside. There is so much diversity in the restaurants and so many styles of food as you walk down East Seventh. We thought an event like this with a discounted cocktail and appetizer, sort of tapas-style, would encourage people to try a few spots in one night.
AW: Why did you move from weekly to monthly?
CD: Summer can be a little slow for restaurants, but things really pick up in the fall, and we thought monthly would be more practical. It worked out great because several more places—Mettle, Hillside Farmacy, Wright Bros. Brew & Brew, East Side Show Room and 100 Pizzitas—have joined in. Eventually, I’d love to do an Eat East event and showcase all the restaurants in one place.
AW: Have you had any surprises from participating in Eat East?
CD: We were surprised by the response. We were hoping to get an extra 15 people or so through the door on a Tuesday night, and instead, some of the Tuesdays doubled in business. We’ve also been using the special dishes as a way to play around and see if there is something new we want to put on the menu. We did a pickled shrimp this summer tha t is now on the menu, and we have a carpaccio coming up that I’m hoping gets a great response.
The Hightower photos courtesy of The Hightower. Sagra photo courtesy of Sagra. Jacoby’s photo courtesy of Jacoby’s. Tamale House photo courtesy of Tamale House. Hillside Farmacy photo by Fubelly.