The Austin Chronicle

Food-o-File: Friday Lagniappe

By Virginia B. Wood, December 12, 2014, 2:40pm, On the Range

Sometimes there is too much Austin food news to squeeze into the print edition of the Chronicle. Rather than wait a week, we've decided to give our readers a little bite of something extra.

• The folks at Sway (1417 S. First) are celebrating their second anniversary with special new menu items that will be available during dinner hours only through Saturday, Dec. 13, 6pm-closing.

• Though the new lemon vodka from Deep Eddy Distillery won't hit store shelves until sometime in January 2015, bottles of the new spirit are for sale at the new distillery at 2250 Hwy 290 East in Dripping Springs starting Friday, Dec. 12. Like their award-winning Ruby Red grapefruit and festive cranberry flavors, the lemon vodka is also made with fresh juice. Stop in for a bottle and grab some recipe cards with cocktail suggestions.

• The new El Chilito (1623 E. Seventh) outlet hosts a Día de la Virgen de Guadalupe fiesta with live music from DJ Boyfriends and a team from Google Fiber offering on-site connections for party-goers. Dress in festive holiday attire and bring a candle or offering to honor la Virgen, the patron saint of Mexico. Traditional Mexican holiday items such as tamales, atole, and Abuelita's hot chocolate will be served and the regular menu will be available for purchase. Saturday, Dec. 13, 2-5pm.

• UT alums and franchise partners Janie Stephens, Emily Stephens, and Stewart Geyer invite you to the opening of their first outlet of Uncle Maddio's Pizza Joint (5601 Brodie Ln, #1200A) this weekend when a portion of the proceeds will be donated to the Green Tables initiative of the Sustainable Food Center. One patron in line will be chosen to receive free pizza for a year and they'll be giving away free 9-inch, three topping fully customized pizzas on Saturday, Dec. 13 from 11am-2pm.

• If visions of double axles dance in your head, lace up those ice skates and head out to one of these area rinks during the the holiday season.

Whole Foods Market Downtown (525 N. Lamar) The rink on the upstairs deck will be open daily through Sunday, Jan. 11 from 11am-8pm.
Lost Pine Christmas in Bastrop (921 Main in Downtown Bastrop) Prices vary for individuals and families. Saturday, Dec. 13, 10am-10pm and Sunday, Dec. 14,10am-4pm
Omni Barton Creek Resort & Spa (8212 Barton Club Dr.) The Holiday Lights & Ice rink is once again in the hotel's pavilion and tickets can be purchased at the coffee market in the hotel lobby, $20 for kids, $25 for adults. A portion of the ticket proceeds will benefit the Make-a-Wish Foundation. Friday, Dec. 19 through Sunday, Jan. 4; hours vary daily.

• The two new restaurants slated to open in January 2015 on the ground floor of the new IBC Bank Tower (500 W. Fifth) promoted their eagerly-awaited debuts earlier this week. Wu Chow co-owner C.K. Chin gave away hot soup dumplings at a very well-attended lunchtime pop-up outside Swift's Attic on Tuesday. On Thursday, members of the media were given a hardhat tour of the new Fixe, the southern-inspired eatery from chef James Robert and business partner Keith House.

• Culinary offerings in the "Foodpalooza" at this weekend's Cherrywood Arts Fair at Maplewood Elementary (3808 Maplewood Ave.) will include Pueblo Viejo, Wunder Pig BBQ, Mmmmpanadas, Bake Austin, Chaat Shop, Jack Hates Coffee, and Nothing Bundt Cakes. Saturday & Sunday, Dec. 13-14, 10am-5pm.

• After feeding legions of devoted fans healthy and affordable vegetarian cuisine near the UT campus for 16 years, the venerable Mrs. Chen of Veggie Heaven (1914-A Guadalupe) will retire and close her restaurant on Monday, Dec. 22. Daughter Stacy Chen advises us that she and her mom have decided against selling the restaurant's recipes to another operator in case she decides to open a restaurant herself in the future.

• The second outlet of Fall Creek Vineyards (18059-A FM 1826) officially opens to the public on Tuesday, Dec. 16. The 17-acre winery property on the banks of Onion Creek is directly across the road from Salt Lick Barbecue and Salt Lick Vineyards, growers of many of the grapes destined to become Fall Creek wines. The tasting room offers a wide range of Fall Creek wines by the glass, bottle, or case. On opening weekend, guests can enjoy complementary wine-friendly bites prepared by chef David Garrido. The winery will be open Monday through Saturday from 11am-7pm and on Sundays from noon to 5pm

• Representatives of Blanco's Real Ale Brewing Co. will stop in at the Hopdoddy Burger Bar (2438 W. Anderson Ln) this coming week to tap a cask of their Cafe de Olla Porter. The first 72 guests will receive a free souvenir glass with the purchase of a beer ($8) Tuesday, Dec. 16, 7pm

• Put on your ugliest holiday sweater and hustle on down to Banger's Sausage House & Beer Garden (79 Rainey) where chef Ted Prater will suggest menu pairings to go with the 10 different beers from Austin Beerworks featured at the party. Wednesday, Dec. 17, 6pm

• Running short on baking time this holiday season? Bakers at these places have you covered.

Coco Paloma Desserts (8711 Burnet Rd by appointment only; Pastry chef Paloma Efron is turning out some of the loveliest Buche de Noel we've ever seen.
Texas French Bread (2900 Rio Grande) has bountiful supplies of fresh cranberry loaves for holiday breakfasts and tea time.
Mandola's Italian Markets (multiple locations) are selling gift tins of Christmas cookies that harken back to their Sicilian roots.

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