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Exclusive: Houston's Local Foods brings pop-up to Austin ahead of new downtown restaurant

Eric Webb
Austin 360
The crunchy chicken sandwich will be on the menu at Local Foods' Austin pop-up this summer.

Austin diners will get an early taste of Local Foods before its downtown restaurant opens.

The Houston-based eatery, founded in 2011, will launch a pop-up in mid-June on Burnet Road. It's Local Foods' first expansion outside of its hometown, where the brand operates five locations.

The Austin pop-up will offer only takeout and delivery, featuring a menu of sandwiches, salads and sides that spotlight local ingredients. The offerings include a crunchy chicken sandwich, a truffled egg salad sandwich and a spring harvest salad with Texas goat cheese. Also be on the lookout down the line for a bánh mì with Falcon Lake Farms pork, a vegan taco salad, a chicken Cobb salad with local blue cheese, a chicken posole and desserts like a vegan carrot cupcake.

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"Local Foods’ mission is centered around supporting local farmers, ranchers, fishmongers, artisans, and vendors local to Texas with intentionality around sourcing from vendors in the immediate vicinity," according to a news release. "The team is currently building its Austin, Hill Country, and Central Texas sourcing list including Georgetown Pecan Company, Fresh Tofu, Pure Luck Dairy and Farm to Table. The team always welcomes introductions to other local farmers and vendors in order to continue growing its partnership base."

The pop-up will be located at 5350 Burnet Road. When it opens "in the coming months," the Michael Hsu-designed brick-and-mortar location will be at 454 W. Second St. The restaurant's owners have Austin ties: founder Benjy Levit, chef/co-founder Dylan Murray and partner Martin Berson graduated from the University of Texas. Berson has lived in Austin since 2008. 

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“Venturing back into Austin for me is full circle," Murray said in a statement. "I cut my teeth in the restaurant business working for Jack Allen and Larry Perdido in the '90s, so to get the opportunity to rejoin the Austin restaurant community is thrilling and a longtime goal realized."

Once it opens this summer, the Local Foods pop-up will be open from 10:45 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Tuesday-Sunday. For more information, go to localfoodstexas.com.