Food-o-File: Weekend Lagniappe

A little extra Austin food news

Austin Tour Company guide (and Director of Operations) Nicole Jensen on the way back from Deep Eddy (courtesy of Austin Tour Company)

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 newest venture from Doug Guller's ATX Brands is the Austin Tour Company which debuts this weekend with an inaugural tour and crawfish boil to the Deep Eddy Vodka distillery in Dripping Springs. Event planner extraordinaire Nicole Jensen is in charge of the tours, which run the gamut from floats on the San Marcos River to secret bar walking tours of Downtown Austin, plus getaways to wineries in Driftwood and Fredericksberg, or Cuvee Coffee and Willie Nelson's Cut N Putt in Spicewood. The beauty of all this is that Jensen and her team do all the advance planning; all guests have to do is register, show up, and have a great time. New in town and curious about just how Austin got so weird? There's a tour for that and a chance to meet some new people. Need some special entertainment for visiting family members, bridesmaids, or groomsmen? Nicole can customize an existing tour or create one to suit your needs. For complete details, call 512/ ATC-TOUR or go here.

The Cakery at Quack's 43rd Street Bakery (4224-B Duval) is officially open for business. This weekend, general manager Heather O'Connor and pastry chef Rachel Larsen are hosting an open house to show off the bakery's new cake decorating salon, where they'll be serving coffee, sweet treats, and tastings of cake samples. Saturday & Sunday, May 2-3, 1-4pm.

• Lemonade Day Austin gives pint-sized entrepreneurs the opportunity to develop some culinary and business skills in a fun and supportive environment. This Saturday, more than 6,000 kids in the Austin metro area will create lemonade stands in their neighborhoods. "In our research, we found that many successful entrepreneurs of today also started entrepreneurial endeavors when they were young," said Eugene Sepulveda, CEO of the Entrepreneurs Foundation. "Lemonade Day Austin makes it possible for kids throughout the Austin area to develop the skills to make their dreams a reality." For complete details, go here.

• The annual CelebrASIA Austin - the Asian Pacific American Food & Heritage Festival takes place at the Asian American Resource Center (8401 Cameron Rd.). Contestants in this year's food truck battle will create a coconut dish for competition and guests who purchase $20 tickets can sample and vote for a people's choice winner in addition to the winner chosen by a panel of expert judges. There will also be cooking demonstrations as well as cultural entertainment with music and dancing. The event is free but food and drinks will be available for purchase. Saturday, May 2, 11am-3pm.

Joel Shuler's Kickstarter efforts to relaunch well-loved local coffee brand Little City Coffee Roasters have been the subject of several events over the past month. The final Kickstarter party will be held at the South Austin Brewery (415 E. St. Elmo Rd.) with live music, complimentary appetizers, Little City coffee, and beers from the brewery, including their new Crossroads Coffee Stout. Kickstarter donors will receive Little City branded merchandise and restaurant gift cards. Tickets for the party are $30 per person. Saturday, May 2, 7-9pm.

Spanish Lavender at Becker Vineyards (photo by Becker Vineyards/Facebook)

• The Provençal landscape of the Texas Hill Country is alive with the fragrance of lavender and Becker Vineyards (464 Becker Farms Rd., near Stonewall) is hosting their annual Lavender Festival. Look for vendors selling all manner of lavender items, everything from plants to skin care products. There will be presentations on the various uses of lavender as well as lavender cooking demonstrations and lavender luncheons. The winery will also be offering tours and tastings. The event is free, but parking is $5 and reservations are necessary for the $85 Sunday luncheon. For complete details, go here. Saturday, May 2, 10am-6pm; Sunday, May 3, noon-6pm.

• Kick off rose season with the Pink Mahal celebration at the Whip In (1950 S. IH 25) The rose selection will be curated by sommelier Rae Wilson of Wine for the People. Guests can enjoy three glasses of wine and appetizers from a bar of rose-friendly pairings for $25, with additional glasses of wine for $5. Saturday, May 2, 1-4:30pm.

J. Black's Feel Good Kitchen & Lounge (710 -B W. Sixth) hosts their annual Hats & Horses Derby Day Party with Woodford Reserve mint juleps, Kentucky Hot Brown sliders, games, prizes, and a fancy hat contest. Saturday, May 2; doors open at 11am, post time is just after 5pm.

Jessica Sanders and the team at Drink.Well 207 East 53rd) host their annual Julep Jubilee with two original mint juleps, authentic Kentucky Hot Brown sandwiches, and bourbon brown butter twinkies for dessert. Be sure to wear your floppy hat and attempt to win prizes by predicting the trifecta. Saturday, May 2, doors open at 2pm.

• Show up dressed all in white for Derby Day at Peche (208 W. Fourth) and drink absinthe juleps for only $5. Saturday, May 2.

• Bartenders at the Mean-Eyed Cat (1621 W. Fifth) will be slinging Derby-inspired mint juleps and offering giveaways featuring Mean-Eyed Cat t-shirts and gift cards. Saturday, May 2, 11am-2am

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