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Food-o-File

A German street-food fave makes its way to Austin

By Virginia B. Wood, Fri., Nov. 18, 2011

JMueller BBQ (1502 S. First) is now open Tuesdays through Saturdays from 11am until it runs out of meat, and I finally managed to get there in time to try it a couple of weeks back. A friend and I shared the crispy ends of the last brisket, some sausage, and a short rib with sides of pinto beans and potato salad just before the meat ran out at 1:30pm on a Friday. The sides could have used more seasoning for me, but the beef was divine: The crispy brisket ends were spiced with a black-pepper rub with a layer of perfectly caramelized fat just underneath the crunchy exterior, and the meat on the short rib was moist and succulent, pulling away from the bone with the slightest pressure. Make call-in orders (229-7366) to avoid the disappointment of being caught in line when the kitchen runs out of meat. My suggestion: Call ahead or go early, and don't pass up those short ribs.

The UT campus area is bustling with the opening of several new chain outlets, some national or regional, and a few homegrown. The old Varsity Theater (24th & Guadalupe) is now home to the second Austin locations of both Qdoba Mexican Grill and Noodles & Com­pany. Qdoba offers California-influenced Mexi­can dishes made fresh when ordered; Noodles & Com­pany features Asian, Mediter­ranean, and Ameri­can noodle-based dishes, plus salads, sandwiches, and some local wines and beers... Look for the new breakfast, brunch, and lunch spot called Another Broken Egg Cafe (3016 Guadalupe), a Southern-based chain known for delicious, affordable breakfasts. Also on Guadalupe: two outlets of the homegrown Verts (Dobie Mall; 2530 Guadalupe) featuring Turkish-inspired döner kebap – a beef, chicken, or lamb wrap that's a popular street food in Germany. A Verts food cart built on a tiny Smart car made its debut at last month's Gypsy Picnic and now works the Downtown area... And finally, on Red River north of the law school, Jalapeno Joe's Tex-Mex Bar & Grill (3211 Red River) is now serving affordable Tex-Mex and burgers in the former Streat location.

Kudos to members of the Austin chapter of Les Dames d'Escoffier, who raised $13,518 during their recent Food Fight! online fundraiser. The money will fund culinary scholarships for women and local farm-to-table initiatives.

The folks at Casa Brasil (415 E. St. Elmo Ste. 4-A) now offer bike delivery of their fresh-roasted, direct-trade coffees in the Downtown area on Mondays and Tuesdays. To set up a delivery schedule, call 407-9887.

Although the water continues to vanish from Lake Travis, Oasis Texas (6550 Comanche Trail) offers a new water-based attraction with a 1,700-square-foot ice skating rink, open Saturday, Nov. 19, through Jan. 1. Sign up for now for ice skating lessons (761-5302) during the holiday season.

In addition to H-E-B's annual Feast of Sharing to feed the those in need – 4-8pm, Tuesday, Nov. 22, at the Palmer Events Center on Lady Bird Lake – chef Jack Gilmore will team with Mobile Loaves & Fishes to provide a free Thanksgiving meal for Austin's homeless at the First Baptist Church (901 Trinity) at 5pm the same day.

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