by Virginia B. Wood

This time of year, most folks are content just to make resolutions about health and fitness, but my full mailbox indicates that there are plenty of courageous souls who have resolved to open new restaurants and seek new jobs. A brave way to start the new year. Bob Russell is no longer the general manager's at Austin's first Carrabba's. A renaissance man like Russell (restaurateur, artist, musician) probably won't be on the market long. Chef Mary Morris and partner Shane Widner opened The Boarding House Cafe for holiday catering in the Hang 'Em High Saloon at 201 E. Sixth. Soon, the Boarding House Cafe opens to the public, serving what Morris describes as "gourmet cowboy food." The name was chosen because historical research during the building renovation revealed that the sight once housed a 19th century boarding house. Call chef Morris at 499-8292 for more details. At 1600 S. Congress, Pete Udemi and a group of Tivoli computer whizzes are opening Shaggy's Caribbean Grill. Shaggy's features a Jamaican menu, complete with several jerk dishes and plenty of vegetarian and vegan fare. They also have a full bar and 22 different kinds of beer on tap. Udemi says they plan to be open until midnight and hope to showcase various Caribbean musical genres at least two nights a week. Look for the new Suzi's Chinese Kitchen to open at 7858 Shoal Creek at Anderson Lane this week. Capitalizing on the popularity of her original South Lamar spot, Suzi and restaurant contractor par excellence Frank Seely are converting a former Coco's outlet into her newest location, with woks in full view. Greg Hammons and Steve McCullough of Maynard's Deli now have the far north and south areas of the city covered. Their second outlet is at 10205 N. Lamar, between Rundberg and Braker. The new Maynard's serves deli sandwiches, burgers, soups, and salads to folks who want to dine in and their delivery area includes much of far north Austin. Port Arthur native Robbie Greig has been cooking cajun food in Austin since Antone's was on Sixth Street. Cajun food lovers may be familiar with Greig's cooking from the long-ago Mamma's Money or more recently from the popular cajun dishes he's added to the menu at Ruby's BBQ. Currently, Greig is serving up his personal bayou specialties at Hoody's Sandwich Shop, 7210

Hwy71 West, just past the "Y" in Oak Hill, every Friday and Saturday night from 4pm till 8pm. If driving to LakeLine Mall is out of the question, there is a new L'Opera Cafe at Entrance D in Barton Creek Square, 2901 Capital of Texas Hwy. The new outlet, like the original in LakeLine Mall, offers a full wine selection, daily specials, rotisserie-cooked meats, rustic pizzas from the wood-burning oven, homemade pastas and a special menu just for kids. Many dishes are available to go and there is a take-out deli complete with deli items, fresh breads and pastries.

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