We heaped praise on the brisket pastrami from Mum Foods a couple years back, so I was excited to visit the new brick-and-mortar Mum Foods Deli, in Austin. Geoffrey “Geo” Ellis and Mattison “Matti” Bills opened the place on Manor Road in April to expand upon their popular but limited menu of smoked meats, which they still serve at three area farmers’ markets on the weekends.
Mum Foods describe themselves as a farm-to-table BBQ and delicatessen, and every bit of that comes together in the outrageous pastrami sandwiches they put together (made, of course, from local Akaushi beef). Besides their wonderful shop, Mum’s brisket, whole chicken, sausages and house-made mustard are available at the Barton Creek, Cedar Park, and Mueller farmers’ markets.
Best Pop-Up: Mum Foods Delicatessen. Situated inside the former home of Elaine’s Pork and Pie (now owned by Suerte chef Sam Hellman-Mass), this temporary lunch spot from Geoffrey Ellis features one of the most ambitious deli programs in the city. Using meats sourced from local ranches and farms, Ellis cures killer Paris-style ham, deeply flavorful turkey, and his already-famous pastrami.
First look: Mum Foods opens on Manor Road with acclaimed pastrami, more - AUSTIN BUSINESS JOURNAL, 2019
The deal involves a farmers market favorite and one of the hottest restaurateurs in town. [PAYWALL]
Mum Foods owners Geoffrey Ellis and Mattison Bills made their name over the last several years selling exceptional pastrami (and Wagyu brisket) at farmers markets around town. You buy the brined and smoked pastrami by the pound, if you’re wise enough to make it to one of the three markets before they sell out. The jiggly meat at the farmers market, rubbed with a generous amount of black pepper and enough coriander to leave a floral tingle, has for years longed for a place to lay its head. Until now.
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Mum Foods, which makes Texas Monthly barbecue editor Daniel Vaughn’s favorite pastrami, has officially expanded from farmers markets to its own shop at 2113 Manor Road in Cherrywood, which is now open starting today, Tuesday, April 23. Mum Foods Deli moved into the former home of Elaine’s Pork and Pie (next to the now-closed East Side Cafe that was bought by Suerte owner Sam Hellman-Mass, which is completely separate). It is serving a larger menu of sandwiches, pastries, sides, and salads.
Pastrami-Slinging Deli Is Taking Over Eastside Cafe’s Old Pie Shop - EATER AUSTIN, 2019
Farmers market staple Mum Foods, most known for its pastrami, is taking over what had been the side shop Elaine’s Pork and Pie of longtime Cherrywood restaurant Eastside Cafe on 2113 Manor Road. The entire space is now run by new owner Sam Hellman-Mass, who bought the address from previous owner Elaine Martin earlier this year. It’s opening on Tuesday, April 23 and will remain open only for a year.
If there is an unofficial flavor of the state of Texas, it’s brisket; perfectly smoked with a crush of spice on the outside giving way to a soft, savory inside. It seems scientifically impossible for meat to melt in the mouth, but the best-cooked briskets dissolve the minute they hit the tongue.
You’ll find the best pastrami in the state on weekends only at three Austin farmers markets. Getting to the next great Texas barbecue dish as quickly as possible is always a goal in my job. But, when it comes to pastrami, it has taken me five years to find the best in the state. My favorite pastrami is being served at weekend-only farmers markets in Austin by Mum Foods. They set up their cutting board to slice off hunks of smoked Wagyu brisket, beef short ribs, and pastrami that’ll make a Brooklynite take notice
It is time to let you in on the best kept secret in Texas barbecue. Quite possibly the least sung and most amazing place in Texas to get fantastic brisket, beef ribs, sausage, chicken and, most importantly and uniquely, pastrami, has no places to sit and dine, offers no side dishes, and has rarely, if ever, had a line. People who know about it do not share their knowledge with many, perhaps to make sure that their order can get filled whenever they need.
Most people shop at farmers market to buy ingredients that they will cook with later, but the local markets have become a hotbed for chefs to try out new concepts, some of which have led to food trucks or brick-and-mortar restaurants. Michelle Cheng (@foodieisthenewforty) and Lisa Goodgame (@thereallisag) both recently posted photos from Mum Foods, a new food stall at the Cedar Park and Mueller Farmers Markets on Saturdays and Sundays, respectively.
Last Sunday, I had the great pleasure of sampling the wares of mum foods, a fledgling farmer's market business run by Geoff Ellis and Matti Bills. I like to think of Geoff and Matti as the next generation of passionate chefs - who care deeply about the food they're serving and about supporting their own food community through local sourcing.