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Food-o-File

Keep the state from taking a bite from cottage pies and cakes

By Virginia B. Wood, Fri., Feb. 24, 2012

Make no mistake about it, the strict and extensive food labeling rules being proposed by the Texas Department of State Health Services for the newly enacted Cottage Food Law and the proposed reclassification of farmers' markets and farm stands as food establishments are a direct assault on small, artisan businesses. Check out what Melanie Haupt has to say on our On the Range blog (see "Shut the Front Door: Proposed Rules Threaten Cottage Food Operators," Feb. 1) and make sure to let your feelings be known before the public comment period on these issues ends Feb. 26. Contact your state representatives or email Cheryl Wilson at DSHS: cheryl.wilson@dshs.state.texas.us.

Barbecue lovers from Austin to Spicewood and the surrounding Hill Country have been disappointed to learn that R.O.'s Outpost B-B-Q (22112 Hwy. 71 W.) will be closing March 9. On Feb. 1, R.O.'s owners Randy Osban and Kathy Leverett were advised that the property where they've done business for 16 years had been sold, leaving them five weeks to relocate. Since then, Randy has been busy collecting bids to build a new structure on property the couple owns a few hundred yards west of the current location. Relocating to their own property appears to be the best option, even though the process of permitting, installing a septic system, and putting up a new building could take months. In the meantime, chow down on Randy's excellent barbecue, sides, and chicken-fried steaks topped off with Kathy's marvelous pies and cobblers before March 9. We'll keep you posted on the progress of their relocation efforts.

Austin-area chefs and restaurants are receiving more national accolades. Barley Swine (2024 S. Lamar) was named one of the ten best new restaurants in the country by GQ; La Con­desa pastry chef Laura Sawicki was chosen as one of the five best new pastry chefs in the country by the editors of Food & Wine; Congress (200 Congress) tops Pat Sharpe's list of Texas' Top 10 places to eat in Texas Monthly, and Louie Mueller Barbecue (Taylor) celebrates Central Texas barbecue heritage at Food Network's South Beach Food & Wine Festival in Florida this week. Kudos to them all!

Longtime fans of Austin's only New York-style deli are mourning the recent closing of Manny's Uptown Kitchen (9503 Research #650).

On the new restaurant front, Shawn Cirkiel's Olive & June opened this week at 3411 Glen­view, offering both indoor and patio dining with an Italian menu and a full bar.

My colleagues and I are looking forward to delicious stuffed burgers and incredibly light, tempura-battered onion rings when the second location of Your Mom's Burger Bar (5001 Airport) opens between Komé and Tamale House on Airport's newly emerging restaurant row.

Ate.Cafe owners Jessica and Rodolfo Buono­core are having a busy month. They've just begun selling their packaged romesco, harissa, and chimichurri at the Sunset Valley Farmers Market and Whole Foods Downtown and also welcomed son Eliseo on Feb. 13.

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