The Factory Cafe on Burnet Road goes laptop-free

In a unique move, Austin’s The Factory Cafe decided this week to ban customers from using laptops in the space.

Image via The Factory Cafe
Image via The Factory Cafe

The cafe, which calls itself a “creative sanctuary,” announced the decision on its social media channels on Tuesday with a graphic saying, “No laptops! Talk to each other” and the caption, “Starting tomorrow, Dec 7th [sic], we are going laptop-free! Make new friends, be inspired, find your muse.”

The Factory Cafe, which opened in the former Saladworks space on Burnet Road earlier this year, is one of Austin’s few coffee shops that doesn’t have a WiFi connection (Cuvee Coffee is another, and Radio Coffee and Beer turns its WiFi off at 5 p.m. when the happy hour crowd begins to show up).

The decision is an interesting one for a coffee shop in a city brimming with bloggers, freelancers, creatives and technology workers. U.S. News and World Report ranked Austin as the top metro area for working remotely, with 6.77 percent of the city’s nearly 1 million workers telecommuting at least half the time they are working. Austin is also home to four universities, a community college and various other institutes of higher education, with more than 70,000 total students who use spaces like Factory Cafe to study and work.

The cafe is open from 9 a.m. to 2 a.m. and serves beer and wine, as well as a variety of decked-out waffles and snacks.

We’ve reached out to Factory Cafe for comment on their decision to go laptop-free.

RELATED:

A plea to Central Texans from a Czech girl: Please stop referring to sausage-filled pastries as ‘kolaches’

OK, Central Texas, we need to talk about kolaches.

130914 CALDWELL, TEXAS: A selection of just-judged entries in the kolache baking competition are pictured at Caldwell's annual Kolache Festival on Saturday, September 14, 2013. The streets were crowded with entertainment and vendors. Andy Sharp / For the American-Statesman.
CALDWELL, TEXAS: A selection of just-judged entries in the kolache baking competition are pictured at Caldwell’s annual Kolache Festival on Saturday, September 14, 2013. The streets were crowded with entertainment and vendors. Andy Sharp / For the American-Statesman.

Before we get started, take a peek at my last name. It’s as Czech as they come. The name Pšencík is actually a nickname for a peasant (I know, I know). It comes from the Czech word meaning “wheat.” I grew up in the heart of the “Texas Czech Belt.” So, trust me, I know a thing or two about doughy Bohemian pastries.

Texas is a pretty heavily Czech region, with immigrants from Bohemia settling in the Texas Czech Belt in the early 1800s. They brought with them one of the best pastries known to mankind, and even now kolaches are a pretty big deal around these parts. A “kolach” (that’s the singular form of the word, though colloquially people use “kolache” as singular and “kolaches” as plural, so that’s how I’m referring to it here) is a round or square-ish pastry made with sweet yeast dough and filled with fruit or cheese.

Notice I said fruit or cheese — not meat. The traditional kolache fillings include things like plums, prunes, poppy seeds, apricots and just plain farmer’s cheese, due to the availability of those tasty flavors in poor immigrant families in the 19th century. Later, those fillings were expanded to include cream cheese, blueberries, pineapples, nuts, cottage cheese, cherries…you name the fruit or cheese, and you could put it in a kolache. Notice, again, I haven’t mentioned meat.

At some point over the course of history, somebody started taking that sweet yeast dough and stuffing it with sausage, sometimes with cheese and jalapeno. Don’t get me wrong, these little pastries are delicious. But they are not kolaches, although many people refer to them as such. Kolache, for those of Czech descent, contain only fruit or cheese, never meat.

A little Czech lesson: Those sausage-filled pastries you’ve been calling kolaches for years actually were never brought over from the motherland. They’re called klobasniky, and they were invented by Czech families settled in Texas (The Village Bakery in West, Texas takes credit for the delicious treat). You may have heard of one of these delights referred to as a “pig in the blanket,” which is what I grew up calling them, although pigs in a blanket can include hot dogs wrapped in croissant rolls, which, let’s face it, isn’t exactly Czech. Slight difference there.

So now that we’ve had a little history lesson, I call upon you, people of Central Texas, to stop referring to these meat-filled delicacies as kolaches, and call them by their rightful name: Klobasniky, or klobasnek in the singular. The Czech community will thank you.

Whataburger’s Sweet and Spicy Bacon Burger is back

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It’s an exciting time to be alive if you’re a Whataburger lover — the Sweet & Spicy Bacon Burger is back.

The fast-food restaurant announced Monday that at 3 p.m. the burger would be available once again — but only for a limited time. The burger, which debuted last summer, is made up of  two beef patties, bacon, grilled onions, Monterey Jack and American cheese, Whataburger’s Original Mustard and its Sweet & Spicy Pepper Sauce.

It’s unknown how long the burger will be available but people are already going crazy on Twitter.

https://twitter.com/fonzo_osorio/status/747520508732727296

 

Where did the ‘Ugly Betty’ cast party in Austin? (No really, where?)

The cast of "Ugly Betty" at the Ugly Betty Reunion After Party presented with Entertainment Weekly sponsored by Toyota at the ATX Television Festival in Austin, TX on Saturday, June 11, 2016. (Photo by Rick Kern/Getty Images for Entertainment Weekly)
The cast of “Ugly Betty” at the Ugly Betty Reunion After Party presented with Entertainment Weekly sponsored by Toyota at the ATX Television Festival in Austin, TX on Saturday, June 11, 2016. (Photo by Rick Kern/Getty Images for Entertainment Weekly)

Update: One reader, who was there to see the photo taken, says the “Ugly Betty” cast is eating at Roaring Fork in America Ferrera’s tweet. Cheers!

Earlier: Austin welcomed more than a hundred television actors, writers, directors and producers this weekend for the annual ATX Television Festival, which celebrates the medium, its history and where its headed. But even in the midst of all that celebration, a star’s got to eat.

Couldn’t they do us a favor and at least tag what Austin restaurant they visited, though? The cast of “Ugly Betty” were reunited this weekend and, going by their numerous posts on social media, they had a great time. Yet none of them marked where they were. Going off of photos, we’re almost certain they took this picture at Parkside.

And maybe we just don’t dine at the same places as the rich and famous, but we couldn’t figure out where they were in these photos either.

While the “Ugly Betty” cast’s Austin adventure remains a bit of a mystery, more courteous stars shared the names of where they ate on social media. The cast of FX’s show “Rescue Me,” which includes Denis Leary, Michael Lombardi and Andrea Roth, dined at the upscale Jeffrey’s.

“State of Grace” actress Mae Whitman sipped on a Bloody Mary downtown at South Congress Cafe. 

Comedian Jim Gaffigan and the cast of “Night Shift” dove into the Austin barbecue scene. 

And following President Obama’s lead, “Everybody Loves Raymond” creator Phil Rosenthal made his first stop at Torchy’s Tacos.