On the Range

Years ago when I was working as a pantry/pastry cook at a small, charming restaurant on Kerbey Lane, it happened that both the chef and I were scheduled off on the same day and we showed up at the restaurant toward the end of a lunch shift to pick up our respective paychecks. When the harried restaurateur saw both his chef and pastry cook enjoying a glass of wine on the arbor-covered patio during lunch, he panicked and ran out yelling "Who's on the range, who's on the range??" It's an apt question in any restaurant. It's also a worthwhile question about a newspaper's food section, and that's why I've used it as an introduction to our new food news column that will run here weekly. I was encouraged to change the name of the column, to put my stamp on it and really make it my own. But I happen to like food-o-file, both for the way it describes an individual interested in and knowledgeable about food and serves as a file of food information. So, the title remains the same, but I am officially "on the range" once a week with news about what is going on in Austin restaurants, special food- and wine-related events, and occasional cookbook reviews.


With two successful locations south of the river, the ever-popular Thai Kitchen will be opening a new location at 3003 Guadalupe, just north of the University, on November 1. You can warm up a crisp fall day with one of the very affordable priced lunch specials or Toy's inimitable Pad Thai.

Several former Houston's restaurant alumni have formed The Lavaca Group and are opening Xena in the Great Hills Market at Jollyville Road and Great Hills Trail. Xena will be a casual, full-service restaurant with an eclectic American and ethnic menu, a full bar, and an extensive wine list available both by the glass and the bottle. Look for Xena in a brand new building at the end of November.

Legions of romantics will be saddened to hear that the Hyatt Regency on Lake Austin is closing the Foothills Restaurant this Sunday evening, October 29. Long a popular spot for romantic dinner and dancing a deux with a breathtaking view of Town Lake, downtown, and the Capitol, the Foothills has recorded many a marriage proposal in its day. The space occupied by the restaurant will be converted to banquet and catering facilities. Though it won't be available for romantic proposals anymore, couples can now get married with the spectacular view as a backdrop. Hyatt officials hasten to add that the La Vista restaurant downstairs remains open with their famous sizzling fajitas.

Upcoming Events

The members of MEXIC-ARTE Museum invite you to a Latin American Wine Tasting, the Noche de Vino at Serranos at Symphony Square (1111 Red River) on Saturday, October 28, 4-7 pm. For $15 per person or $25 per couple, you can sample fine wines from Chile, Argentina, and Mexico provided by Glazier's and Ambiente Distributing. Advance tickets may be purchased at MEXIC-ARTE, Fifth and Congress, and they will also be available at the door. Call 480-9373 for more info.

Eddie Wilson reports that he has just submitted the recipes and most of the manuscript for The Threadgill's Cookbook due out from Longstreet Press sometime in 1996. Negotiations to locate the Threadgill's World Headquarters at Riverside and Barton Springs Rd. are back on the front burner and heating up.

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More Food-o-File
Finding community

Virginia B. Wood, Sept. 18, 2015

Town and country

Virginia B. Wood, Sept. 4, 2015

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