Finally, real bagels made in Austin, along with online pizza and chocolate ordering. Heck yeah!
For years, my favorite bagels came from a place on the Drag called the Bagel Manufactory, and I haven't really had a bagel I liked since that shop closed in the late Nineties – or at least until I sampled several varieties from Rockstar Bagels, a wholesale baking business right here in my Cherrywood neighborhood. Drummer/baker Joe Humel boils and bakes excellent bagels for daily delivery to stores and coffee shops all over town. Local retailers are listed online at www.rockstarbagels.com. Give them a shot – they really are the best... Kudos to barista Lorenzo Perkins of Caffe Medici (1101 West Lynn, 524-5049; 2222-B Guadalupe, 474-5730; www.caffemedici.com), who took first place in the recent South Central Regional Barista Competition and will participate in the national competition in California in April. Drop by either cafe location for skilled service of custom espresso drinks sporting elegant latte art, artisan cheese plates, and delectable homemade desserts... Viva Chocolato! (3401 Esperanza Crossing #104, 339-VIVA) celebrated the launch of its new online shopping site with a port-and-chocolate-pairing party recently. Go to www.vivachocolato.com to order both local artisan and imported chocolates... Speaking of online shopping, two local Mangia Pizza outlets now offer online ordering services. Go to www.mangiaaustin.com to place orders for the Lake Austin Boulevard and North Austin locations... Burger-loving University of Texas baseball fans will be pleased to know that the Hat Creek Burger Co. (www.hatcreekburgers.com) Airstream trailer will be serving fresh, hot, all-Angus beef cheeseburgers at UFCU Disch-Falk Field for the duration of the 2010 UT baseball season. Hat Creek owner Drew Gressett is a UT basketball alum, and his custom catering trailer served burgers to hungry Horn supporters during both football and basketball seasons last fall... Respected chef David Bull will return to the Downtown Austin cuisine scene later this year with two restaurants on the ground floor of the Austonian condominium tower. Bull is currently corporate executive chef of La Corsha Restaurant Partners and oversees the food service operations at the Stoneleigh Hotel in Dallas and the St. Anthony Hotel in San Antonio. While he will continue to oversee those facilities, Bull and his young family make their home in Manor and his primary base of operations will be the two Austonian eateries, Congress and Second on Congress, slated to open in early summer... More than 50 of Austin's top restaurants will take part in Austin Restaurant Week, providing three-course, fixed-price menus for lunch ($10-$15) or dinner ($25-$35) for eight days spread out over the next two weeks – Feb. 28-March 3 and March 7-10. Choices include everything from casual cafes to the finest in fine-dining outlets, and the prix fixe option provides the perfect opportunity to sample new places without busting the budget. See a complete list of participating restaurants, with menus, at www.restaurantweekaustin.com.