Food 'O File

Talk about your win-win situations. It's time for the fourth annual Dining for Life AIDS fundraiser, benefiting AIDS Services of Austin and several other AIDS-related organizations. On Monday, October 7, over 100 local restaurants will donate a portion of their receipts to support AIDS care, education, and related services. "Imagine being able to donate to an important cause just by eating out at your favorite restaurant," said Lew Aldridge, co-owner of City Grill and one of the spokespersons for Dining for Life. Dining for Life postcards containing the dining ticket and list of participating restaurants can be obtained by calling 406-MEAL or check the ad on page 75. While some restaurants may designate only one meal, many are participating for the entire day. "This is our fourth year," says Eastside Cafe co-owner and Dining for Life coordinator Dorsey Barger. "I feel that it is just one of the many ways that we can give back to our community."... Still feeling hungry and generous? On October 10, top Central Texas restaurants, caterers, wineries and brewpubs will host a culinary festival called Food for Thought in the atrium at the Omni Hotel, 5:30-8pm. This new event is the brainchild of Jeffrey's executive chef David Garrido and benefits Communities in Schools, a non-profit agency providing social services and assistance to help at-risk students overcome barriers to the completion of their education. A former Austin elementary school librarian herself, Texas First Lady Laura Bush is the Honorary Chairwoman of the event. Tickets are $40 and can be purchased by calling Communities in Schools at 462-1771 or STAR Tickets at 469-SHOW... The good news from Houston is that Saint Arnold Brewing Co. will begin doubling its brewing capacity in early October. Only two years old, Houston's only microbrewery is straining to meet the demand for its beer in Houston and Austin. The increased capacity will enable them to satisfy beer lovers in Houston, Austin, Dallas, Ft. Worth and San Antonio. Fans of their Amber Ale, Kristall Weizen, and Brown Ale can take free tasting tours of the brewery every Saturday at 1pm in northwest Houston at 2522 Fairway Park Drive, just west of Loop 610 and south of Hwy290... The most interesting chicken fried steak I've had in a while was a hand-breaded, tenderized boar flank steak at Coyote Cafe, where they've newly re-opened for lunch. The new lunch menu offers several soup, salad and appetizer options at or under $5 plus sandwiches and entrées in the $7-$10 range. Inside tip: Lisa's Espresso Ice Cream Sandwich ($4.50) is plenty for two to share. Coyote serves lunch 11:30am-2pm with parking available across from and behind the restaurant at 612 W. Sixth... A new competitor in the local Southwestern cuisine sweepstakes is Canyon Cafe in the Village at Westlake, Bee Caves Road & Hwy360. The Dallas-based chain opened an Austin outlet of their Southwestern grill in late September. The restaurant serves continuously 11am-10pm on weekdays; until 11pm on weekends. The kitchen is in the hands of chef Laura Dossat, formerly of Cafe Spiazzo. The large menu ranges in price from $3.95 (soups) to $19.95 (20oz Porterhouse steak) with most entrées priced in the middle between $8 to $12. The Sunday brunch menu looks especially interesting and affordable. Reports are that the Southwest Chicken Sandwich ($7.95), an adobo-marinated grilled chicken breast served on jalapeño cheese bread with Navajo fries and chipotle mayo is the early best seller.

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