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Pop-Up Alert: Austin’s East Side King at Toki Underground

Plus Ripple previews its new spot, Roofers Union.

Thai-style fried chicken and beef tongue steamed buns hit Toki Underground next week. Photograph courtesy of East Side King.

We’ve already seen a wave of restaurant openings in 2014, and now the pop-ups have begun—though with fried chicken and corn dogs on the table, we’re not complaining. Start planning next week’s meals around two new temporary restaurants-within-restaurants: Austin’s East Side King at Toki Underground, and a preview of the Ripple team’s upcoming project, Roofers Union, in the Cleveland Park eatery.

You may remember Paul Qui from the Texas-set ninth season of Top Chef (he won), or visited one of the four funky locations of East Side King in Austin. Even if neither rings a bell, the menu Qui and partners Moto Utsunomiya and Jorge Luis Hernandez—a former executive sous chef at Minibar—have planned for their Toki takeover on Friday, January 24, looks oh so tempting: Thai-style fried chicken, jalapeño-spiked crispy Brussels sprouts, beef-tongue steamed buns, and more. Seats will be first come, first served as usual, starting at 11:30, so you may want to line up early.

Over at Ripple, chef Marjorie Meek-Bradley prepares a sample menu of what you’ll eat when the new restaurant, Roofers Union, debuts in Adams Morgan at the end of the month. A three-course menu gives a sneak peak of some of the sausages, burgers, snacks, and throwback desserts you’ll find at the casual eatery; options include pork-trotter arancini, an andouille-sausage corn dog with house “whiz,” and a pretzel hot fudge sundae. The $25 lineup also includes cold ones from 3 Stars Brewery. Make reservations for the pop-up menu (as well as the normal one) during regular hours on January 22 and 23. It’s true: You can have Roofers’ Boston-cream layer cake and eat East Side’s fried chicken, too.

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