Food-o-File: Friday Lagniappe
A little extra Austin food news
By Virginia B. Wood,
11:00AM, Fri. Jan. 16, 2015
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.
• Jimmy Kimmel Live returns to Austin. ABC announced this week that the late-night comedian and big Austin booster will air five live shows from the Dell Hall at the Long Center March 16-20. Kimmel's return engagement could be great news for the local restaurant scene again this year. In addition to dining out around town and making use of off-premise catering services, last year Kimmel served up a veritable video travelogue of local barbecue hot spots and encouraged on-air guests to point out their favorite Austin restaurants.
• Weekend events you won't want to miss now that the weather's warmed up.
Whole Foods Market at the Domain celebrates their first anniversary with a store wide beer bash on Friday, Jan. 16 from 5-8pm; a local supplier fair with food samples on Saturday, Jan. 17 from noon-3pm; and a Kid's Club with face painting, crafts, live music, and tasty snacks on Sunday, Jan. 18 from noon-3pm.
Put on some sequins, spangles, and big bazooms before you head down to the High Road on Dawson (700 Dawson Rd.) for Dolly Parton's Birthday Bash to benefit Dolly's Imagination Library. Enjoy live roots music, a Dolly look-alike contest, and a silent auction – plus drinks, barbecue, side dishes, and birthday cake. $25 at the door. Friday, Jan. 16, 7pm.
Bake a difference by bringing a pie to the seventh annual Peace Through Pie Social at the 143-year-old Sweet Home Baptist Church (1725 W. 11th) in honor of the Martin Luther King holiday. The Bells of Joy will sing and Rev. Steve Manning will read Dr. King's stirring “I Have a Dream” speech before the crowd enjoys homemade pie and Blue Bell ice cream during the silent pie auction. Proceeds benefit the church building fund. Saturday, Jan. 17, 1:30-4:30pm.
Gardner (1914 E. Sixth) hosts their first guest chef dinner when chef Andrew Wiseheart welcomes chef Aaron Meneghelli from Napa Valley's Calistoga Ranch for a multi-course, vegetable-forward dinner. Dinner is $60, with optional wine pairings for $35. Make necessary reservations at email@example.com. Sunday, Jan. 18, 6pm.
Green Gate Farms (8310 Canoga Ln) hosts a farm tour and volunteer work day to build an enclosure for their Snubian goats who are about to bear kids. Come dressed to work and feel free to bring a snack, but please leave pets at home. Details here. Sunday, Jan. 18, 9am-noon
Ray Benson's Rattle Inn (610 Nueces) is throwing a third birthday bash with a DJ, drink specials, and a chef from Ranch 616 grilling up burgers and brats on the deck for $3 each. Sunday, Jan. 18, 3pm.
• The fourth annual Austin Food and Wine Festival is coming up April 24-26 but before tickets go on sale this coming week, register to win a perk-packed "All-In Pass" for four guests that includes passes to all festival events, four round trip flights, and a four night stay at the W Hotel with spa treatments and personal concierge services. For complete details, go here. Enter before 10am on Wednesday, Jan. 21.
• The Official Drink of Austin contest isn't until Thursday, Feb. 26 at Fair Market (1100 E. Fifth), but $45 early bird tickets to the cocktail competition and Texas spirits showcase are on sale now through Feb. 1 online.
• Kebabalicious (1311 E. Seventh) owner Chris Childre advises us there are new Peruvian-Turkish fusion menu items at his first brick-and-mortar outlet: Arie's cheese and meat board that can be paired with Turkish wines or beer; Boss Fries seasoned with zatar spices, topped with savory steak strips, spicy red and roasted poblano-avocado sauces: and the Hutspa Wrap, which is a new take on their vegetarian classic falafel. In addition to the new eat-in restaurant, Kebabalicious has recently added a catering truck for special events and continues to operate trailers at Seventh and Congress, and the Picnic (1720 Barton Springs Rd.)
• The Peached Tortilla (5520 Burnet Rd.) is now offering a social hour in their bar with $5 deals on local beer and wine as well as two of their most popular signature cocktails, the Kentucky Mule and the Margarita de Peached. Also look for several mouth-watering $5 appetizer items. Drop by daily between 5-6pm.
• Fresh off her recent win at the Good Food Awards, Confituras owner Stephanie McClenny will proudly roll out the new jar and label design for her line of custom local jams, jellies, and preserves at all her farmers' market stalls this weekend. The redesign was paid for by the Austin Food and Wine Alliance culinary innovation grant McClenny was awarded in 2013. McClenny also reports she's looking for a new supplier for her distinctive line of flavored Texas salts because the salt dome where her product was harvested collapsed in the Texas Gulf.
• Restaurant openings this week:
Lucky's Puccias & Pizzeria (1611 W. Fifth) After four years in a trailer, Lucky Sibilla has moved up to a brick-and-mortar spot with a comfortable dining room that showcases his built-in wood fired oven. He's serving the signature puccia sandwiches from his Southern Italian region of Puglia, Neapolitan-style pizzas, salads, desserts, gelato from Dolce Neve, plus beer and wine. Starting Saturday, Jan 17, hours of operation are Monday – Saturday 11am-10pm, and noon to 8pm on Sundays.
The first brick-and-mortar outlet of Chi'Lantro BBQ (1509 S. Lamar) opens officially on Monday, Jan. 19 in the spot recently vacated by A-OK Chinese, though they've announced soft openings this weekend via social media. In addition to their legendary kimchi fries, look for a full menu of the Mexican-Korean fusion dishes in addition to the items that made their food truck one of the most popular in town. Monday-Thursday, 7am-12am; Fridays, 7am-12am; Saturdays, 9am-12am; Sundays, 9am-10pm
Fuzzy's Taco Shop, a Ft. Worth based, Baja-style chain of casual eateries opens their third Austin location this Monday in the Mid-Town Commons development at 7020 Easy Wind Dr., #100. Fuzzy's is known for serving breakfast all day, fish tacos, hearty sandwiches, a full bar with a selection of frozen margaritas and plenty of craft beers on tap, plus big screen TVs and a dining patio. Fuzzy's is open Sunday – Thursday from 7am to midnight, Friday-Saturdays from 7am-1am
• Executive chef Lawrence Kocurek and owner Eric Earthman have announced three more additions to the Counter 3 . FIVE . VII team – chef de cuisine Damien Brockaway (Uchiko, qui, One Market Restaurant in San Francisco), floor manager Allison Welsh (24 Diner, Arro), and sommelier Jason Huerta (Pappas Brothers Steakhouse, 2010 TEXSOM winner).
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