Interview with Rene Ortiz, Laura Sawicki, and Margaret Vera of JBF Award–Nominated Launderette

Photo: Giant Noise

 

Rene Ortiz and pastry chef Laura Sawicki had already won over Austinites with their Mexican and Thai-inspired eateries La Condesa and Sway, so it should come as no surprise that their latest venture, Launderette, was a roaring success since its opening last year. With its far-ranging menu featuring “feel-good food” from across the globe, the Launderette team has created a neighborhood joint that extends far beyond East Austin. Read on for our conversation with Ortiz, Sawicki, and co-owner Margaret Vera about the restaurant’s genesis and how the menu reflects their overall philosophy.

 

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JBF: Can you tell us the story behind your restaurant's name?

 

Launderette Team: The property had been a laundromat for 50 years, and we wanted to carry on the tradition of neighbors and friends coming together. “Launderette... Read more >

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Eat this Word: Sangrita

sangritaWHAT? A bloody chaser. Not to be confused with fruity sangria, this fiery combination of citrus and chili sauce is the traditional chaser for tequila in Mexico, particularly in Oaxaca and Jalisco. Literally "little bloody thing," sangrita is a red concoction made from the juice of freshly squeezed sour oranges, sweet grenadine, spicy puya chile salsa, and salt. According to Lucinda Hutson, author of ¡Tequila! (Ten Speed), the red color should come from the grenadine and chile sauce, not from tomato juice, but alas, most of the sangritas served in the United States and increasingly in Mexico are little more than doctored bloody mary mix. In Authentic Mexican (William Morrow and Company), James Beard Foundation Award-winning chef and Mexican food authority Rick Bayless notes that the better the tequila, the less important the chaser. WHERE? Rene Ortiz,

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JBF Kitchen Cam