Lambert's Barbecue's big debut and, yeah, more gingerbread
We're told that hungry guests thoroughly enjoyed two nights of mouthwatering contemporary Texas cuisine at the soft-opening parties for the long-awaited Lambert's Downtown (401 W. Second, 374-9194) last weekend. Fans of chef/owner Lou Lambert's cooking are glad to have him back home in the Austin market. Lambert and chef Larry McGuire have designed a very inviting menu that includes such distinctive items as brown-sugar-and-coffee-rubbed brisket, homemade jalapeño hot links, Asian barbecue wild boar chops, Waygu short ribs, and Bandera quail. Lambert's is located in the lovingly renovated historic Schneider Store. They serve lunch, dinner, and late-night food in the bar and will also be featuring live music... The Escarpment Village Shopping Center has quickly become a much-needed dining destination for folks in Circle C and points southwest. The most recent Austin eatery to locate there is the newest outlet of Waterloo Ice House (9600 Escarpment Blvd., 301-1007). The Waterloo folks report they are already serving breakfast, lunch, and dinner to enthusiastic crowds and plan to add a weekend live-music lineup soon... National chain outfit Houlihan's recently vacated their location across from the Convention Center. It appears that even a long-established brand identity coupled with their enthusiasm for booking local music didn't generate the kind of numbers needed to support the large Downtown space with the swank rooftop bar. It's not the first time the distinctively quirky Austin market has proved to be a difficult challenge for chains that are accustomed to predictable success in other cities... We've also heard from the young local entrepreneurs who own Gelato's, who report they've just closed a campus-area store on Guadalupe but may reopen in another nearby space after the first of the year... Folks involved in the Central Texas wine business are all abuzz with the news that award-winning Aussie winemaker Craig Parker has left his position at Flat Creek Estates (www.flatcreekestate.com). The sophisticated Travis Peak wines Parker created at Flat Creek, along with those produced under his own personal Parker label, are some of the most highly regarded wines to come out of Texas in recent years. For example, his Parker 2003 Sangiovese was recently named one of the Top 100 wines in the world in Tom Stevenson's annual global wine report. No word yet on Parker's immediate plans. We can only hope they include continuing to make wine in Texas... Young patients and their families at the Children's Hospital of Austin will have visions of gingerbread dancing in their heads to help them get into the holiday spirit, thanks to a volunteer effort by the graduating pastry class of the Culinary Academy of Austin (6020-B Dillard Circle, 451-5743). Under the direction of pastry chef instructor Alain Braux, the students created a complete Victorian gingerbread village that will be on display in the first-floor lobby of the hospital through the end of the year. They also prepared bags of gingerbread cookies and other sweets for each child who is spending the holidays in the hospital... The other elaborate gingerbread village on display this holiday season is in the lobby of the Four Seasons Hotel (98 San Jacinto, 478-4500). Drop in for a festive holiday drink, and admire the excellent handiwork of executive pastry chef Judy Marts and her staff... It's not too late to stop by BookPeople (Sixth & Lamar, 472-5050) and snap up a copy of the third annual Soupie Cookbook (self-published, $12). This year's spiral-bound recipe collection contains recipes for such items as Toni Price's Dew Drop Biscuits and David Ansel's Chopped Liver. These charming, homemade books raise thousands of dollars every year for Austin's Mobile Loaves & Fishes, as well as Paballo Ya Batho in Johannesburg, South Africa, and they make a truly Austintatious stocking stuffer... Bud the Pieman e-mailed with the news that in addition to shopping at Whole Foods, there are three convenient drive-through pickup locations for those Royer's Cafe holiday pies. Visit the following locations from 11am to 4pm on Thursday, Dec. 21, and Friday, Dec. 22, and from 11am to 2pm on Saturday, Dec. 23: American YouthWorks campus at Fourth and Brazos; 4400 Marathon (one block west of North Lamar and 44th); and at the northeast corner of Highway 71 West and William Cannon.
Wes Marshall, Fri., May 17, 2013
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Virginia B. Wood, Fri., May 17, 2013
MM Pack, Fri., May 17, 2013
Virginia B. Wood, Fri., May 17, 2013
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