George H. Mitchell

Korean and Mexican fusion food truck Chi’Lantro is one of several vendors at the Co-op food court located behind the University Co-op. The food court opened two weeks ago and is anticipated to expand by the middle of September. 

Photo Credit: Sam Ortega | Daily Texan Staff

While everyone was away from Austin this summer, new restaurants and eateries opened left and right, offering students new culinary options to try. Some restaurants closed, such as the grungy but delicious Texadelphia on the Drag or the traditional South Congress burger joint Fran’s, but at least students can feast on these new eats between cramming for their first tests. 

1. The Co-op Food Court

The closing of the SoCo food trucks was a bummer, but don’t despair, a new romp of trucks can be found right behind the UT Co-op. The Co-op Food Court opened just two weeks before classes started and offers four new trucks of assorted food. George H. Mitchell, president and CEO of the UT Co-op, said the Co-op Food Court will continue to grow. He is hoping to have ten food trucks by the middle of September. In addition to good food, Mitchell said the food court will offer entertainment as well. “Eventually we’re going to show football games by the food court, and we’re going to show movies, once it gets a little darker.” The best way to start fall? Football and food trucks. 

Location: The parking lot behind the Co-op 

2. Uncle Julio’s

This Mexican food restaurant is now all over the country. Uncle Julio’s describes their food as “authentic border style.” Serving traditional favorites such as quesadillas and enchiladas while offering more refined dishes such as their honey chipotle salmon, Uncle Julio’s boasts a large menu with options to satisfy any appetite.

Location: 301 Brazos St., Suite 150, corner of Third Street and San Jacinto

3. Umami Mia Pizzeria 

Conservative and romantic Romeo’s has closed on Barton Springs, and in its place a bold eatery has taken over. As playful and vibrant as the name suggests, Umami Mia Pizzeria has brightened the building with its colorful walls and bold flavors, offering pizza as well as sandwiches, pastas, a large drink menu and an entirely separate gluten-free menu. In addition, pizza can also be ordered by the slice for less than $5. Cheap and delicious. 

Location: 1500 Barton Springs Road

4. P.O.D. Express 

If you enjoy the P.O.D. Express, be sure to thank the Student Government for making it happen. The P.O.D. Express, or “provisions on demand,” was pitched by former UT student government members Kenton Wilson and Ugeo Williams to give the student body an on-campus eatery that stayed opened late in the night. Nick Parras, assistant director with the University Unions, said the P.O.D. Express is a standing kiosk that allows a quick option for students to buy healthy foods. Located in the Student Activity Center, the P.O.D Express will be open on weekdays until midnight, serving fresh fruit, salads, sandwiches and everyday items. And thanks to this new addition, there will be new seating in the SAC, which, let’s face it, there could always be more of. Don’t miss the grand opening of P.O.D Express on the first day of classes, Wednesday at 2 p.m. 

Location: SAC, first floor, west wall, near the auditorium 

5. Mettle 

Mettle’s cold yet posh interior looks like a metal box upon entering. The polished atmosphere of the East Austin bistro and upscale restaurant plays off the surprisingly casual menu, which offers southern charms as well as “kid at heart” favorites. Feeling daring? Order the beef tongue tacos or the duck liver mousse. For the more traditional, a grilled cheese, fried chicken or a French dip sandwich awaits.

Location: 507 Calles St.

6. Eden East 

Sometimes the hustle and bustle of living in a city can get overwhelming, so instead of eating fast food in the dorm again, Eden East is a reservation only, outdoor eating concept you can treat yourself to. Boasting the slogan, “Austin farm to table,” Eden East’s menu changes weekly in order to keep courses fresh and local. Despite being higher on the price range, the fresh food, beautiful outdoor eating and “cooked at home” feeling, make the eating experience well worth the splurge. 

Location: 755 Springdale Road

7. Benji’s Cantina 

If you’re planning a night on Sixth Street, Benji’s Cantina is a new eatery on the bustling street that you can hit before or after the night’s activities. Available only for dinner, the two-story restaurant opens at 4 p.m. and closes at 11 p.m. on weeknights and midnight on the weekend. The price range is a little higher, but if you want to go in for a quick bite to satisfy your hunger, the menu offers delicious appetizers such as the queso flamedo or the shrimp diablo — gulf shrimp stuffed with goat cheese and chilies wrapped in pecan-smoked bacon — for under $20. 

Location: 716 W. Sixth St.

8. Quickie Pickie

Quickie Pickie may sound familiar — it used to be a gas station — but it has been updated to a restaurant and grocery store over the summer. Savannah Mcanally, barista and bartender, said they have a full kitchen, serving breakfast tacos in the morning, sandwiches at lunch and salads at dinner. “Most of our food is made in house, from scratch, and we also have a wide craft and artisan beer selection,” Mcanally said. “On tap, we have 27 taps, 24 of which are beer, and we also have the grocery selections with frozen goods, every chip you can possibly imagine, chocolate, everything.” With a simple menu, and cheap breakfast tacos, Quickie Pickie can be a good destination for comfort food, whether eating in or taking out. 

Location: 1208 E. 11th St.

9. Say laV

Not everyone can afford to travel abroad, but if the wanderlust for exotic food strikes, Say laV offers a short menu of French and Mediterranean dishes, all in the small space of a food truck. The Say laV food truck is a temporary workspace for its restaurant, laV, which is being built in East Austin. Say LaV’s menu offers locally sourced ingredients and changes with the seasons. Order sweet potato donut holes, fried okra, old bay fries or, for a more
substantial meal, the goat kebab pita with pickled zucchini & arugula. 

Location: 1501 E. Sixth St., inside Hotel Vegas and Volstead Lounge

Junior quarterback Garrett Gilbert scans the field during the LonghornsÂ’ win over Rice in the season opener on Sept. 3. Gilbert is out for the season after undergoing surgery on his right shoulder.

Photo Credit: Mary Kang | Daily Texan Staff

It has not been a good month for Garrett Gilbert. The Texas quarterback was benched midway through the Sept. 10 game against BYU and was demoted to third string for the next week’s game against UCLA. Then, he underwent season-ending surgery on his right shoulder.

Now, the No. 7 jersey — the number worn by Gilbert in football games — is being sold at a discounted price at all six of the University Co-op stores around the state.

“We hate to mark the jerseys off because obviously it’s a reflection on him,” said Co-op President George H. Mitchell. “That’s not fair because he’s been forced to take the blame for all of Texas’ struggles last season.”

Nike, the official supplier of Texas athletics, dictated that the Co-op sell No. 1 uniforms (the number worn by linebacker Keenan Robinson and wide receiver Mike Davis) as well as the rest of the No. 7 jerseys the store still had in stock from last season when public discontent with Gilbert and the football team’s losing record (5-7) hurt sales.

A No. 7 men’s jersey usually runs at a cost of $75 for the stitched version and $60 for a printed jersey. Those figures have been slashed in half. Fans can now buy a No. 7 printed men’s jersey for a mere $30 — the price of an i>clicker. That is, if they even think it’s worth that much.

“I wouldn’t spend $30 on it,” said physical culture and sports freshman Kevin Russell, who was shopping at the Co-op on Wednesday afternoon. “I’d rather get a Case McCoy jersey.”

The Co-op decided to put the jerseys on sale Monday afternoon. According to Mitchell, there are about 1,000 No. 7 jerseys — which are made for men, women and children, stitched and printed — waiting on the shelves.

“We really don’t know what the business effects are going to be, if they’re going to sell or not,” Mitchell said. “We’ve never had to do this.”

The Co-op had a hard enough time selling No. 7 jerseys after last season. Now that Gilbert is out for the year and Nolan Brewster — the only other member of the team to wear No. 7 — gave up football because of a history of concussions, the Co-op had to make a proactive move.

“We didn’t get any new No. 7s this year,” Mitchell said. “They were old from the last season. I feel sorry for [Gilbert] because he’s taking all the blame for it, and, though it is a team game, it’s his jersey that we’re marking off.”

In addition to cutting the costs of the No. 7 jersey in half, the store is now selling No. 6 jerseys, the number of new quarterback McCoy and safety Christian Scott.

“We’re allowed to print blank jerseys, so long as there’s no name on the back,” Mitchell said. “So we printed about 100 with No. 6 on them.”

When asked if he would consider printing more should McCoy continue to succeed, Mitchell replied, “It’s early in the season. He’s started one game. We’ll have to see how he does.”

Longhorns Ltd., the official store of the Texas athletic department, hasn’t marked the No. 7 jersey down yet. Neither has Academy Sports & Outdoors, though it has struggled to get it off the racks. According to an apparel manager of the East William Cannon Drive store, who chose to remain anonymous, only three No. 7 uniforms have been sold in the past week.

“They aren’t selling as much as Texas jerseys have in the past.” 

Printed Thursday, September 29, 2011 as: Co-op sells Gilbert jerseys at discount