Texas-Vietnamese barbecue fusion spot Smokin’ Beauty celebrates grand opening

Smokin' Beauty smoked brisket banh mi
Texas barbecue and Vietnamese fusion spot Smokin' Beauty is holding its grand opening Aug. 28. The eatery features signature fusion dishes, such as its smoked brisket banh mi. (Courtesy Smokin' Beauty)

Texas barbecue and Vietnamese fusion spot Smokin' Beauty is holding its grand opening Aug. 28. The eatery features signature fusion dishes, such as its smoked brisket banh mi. (Courtesy Smokin' Beauty)

Mere weeks after Mike and Thao Roth announced their upcoming North Austin restaurant Smokin’ Beauty, the coronavirus pandemic forced all restaurants in Austin to shutter dining rooms.

The couple then pushed back their original target opening date in the spring until it was safe to open and waited. And waited. And waited.

Now, almost six months after the Roths initially teased their Texas-Vietnamese fusion menu, Smokin’ Beauty is set to hold its grand opening Aug. 28 at 11806 N. Lamar Blvd., Austin.

“Things really slowed down once COVID-19 hit,” Mike Roth said. “We’re just kind of happy to open at this point. ... We’ve been slowly working towards the opening.”

Over the Aug. 28 weekend, Smokin’ Beauty will open its patio tables to customers for the first time. Moving forward, Roth said the restaurant has a drive-thru that will be open throughout the week for customers.

The owner said that feature was not included in the restaurant’s original plans, but the Roths pivoted to respond to safety measures necessary to deal with the coronavirus.

“As a restaurant now, you have to take COVID-19 really seriously, so we're trying to cover all of our bases,” Roth said.

Smokin’ Beauty is opening with a menu full of Texas barbecue and Vietnamese cuisine fusion dishes. The Roths will dish out their signature smoked brisket banh mi but will also sell dishes including pork belly banh mis, barbecue plates and banh mi-style cheeseburgers.

The restaurant’s menu has been crafted by a combination of Mike Roth’s yearslong familiarity of running traditional Texas barbecue food trucks—the restaurateur operates Ted’s Farm food truck in East Austin—and Thao Roth’s background and experience with crafting Vietnamese cuisine.

Thao’s family has been hands on with helping to develop Smokin’ Beauty’s recipes, Mike Roth said. The restaurant’s slaw—a traditionally American barbecue staple—is styled after papaya slaw, a classic Southeast Asian side made with fish sauce and vinegar.

“Any time I want to figure out a new sauce, I'm always consulting with her family. It is becoming a whole family ordeal where we’re working on the recipes together,” Mike Roth said. “They really help me. It has been awesome.”

Smokin’ Beauty will also open with a full bar with handcrafted cocktails and “boozy” boba teas. During dine-in service, customers can order the restaurant’s smoked old fashioned, which is made by smoking the drink’s glass to infuse flavor.

Mike Roth said the restaurant will open for patio service and limited dine-in tables on the weekends for now, with the drive-thru open throughout the week.

Ahead of its grand opening, the restaurant has established safety measures to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, including frequent sanitization of tables, bathrooms and other frequently touched areas. Smokin’ Beauty has a full list of its precautions against the coronavirus on its website.
By Iain Oldman
Iain Oldman joined Community Impact Newspaper in 2017 after spending two years in Pittsburgh, Pa., where he covered Pittsburgh City Council. His byline has appeared in PublicSource, WESA-FM and Scranton-Times Tribune. Iain worked as the reporter for Community Impact Newspaper's flagship Round Rock/Pflugerville/Hutto edition and is now working as the editor for the Northwest Austin edition.


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