October is absolutely my favorite month in Austin. The weather moderates, all that college money starts generating through the local economy, and things really start happening. October's here and there is nonstop dining activity for the next two weeks. Peter and Cara O'Brien have been working on a new restaurant project all summer, designing menus and giving the former Skyline Grill location a big makeover. Look for Si Bon (801 S. Lamar, 326-8323) to open this week. The Draught Horse Pub & Brewery (4112 Medical Pkwy, 452-6258) celebrates its second Oktoberfest this weekend, October 3-5. In keeping with the fine old Munich tradition, the Draught Horse fest will feature German bands playing under a tent outdoors, offer an enormous selection (30) of German beers on tap, and serve Bavarian favorites like bratwurst, kraut, blau kraut, Bavarian Potato Salat, pomme fritt, and a signature beer sausage created especially for them by the folks at Smoky Denmark Sausage. On Monday, October 6, more than 40 local restaurants will participate in the annual Dining for Life fundraiser benefiting AIDS Services of Austin. Restaurants donate a percentage of their proceeds that day to the worthwhile local charity. Check with your favorite dining establishments to see if they're participating for breakfast, lunch, and/or dinner. Thursday, October 9, chef David Garrido is inviting chefs, vintners, and brewers from Austin and San Antonio to gather in the lobby of the Omni Hotel (700 San Jacinto) for the second annual Food for Thought culinary gala and silent auction for Communities in Schools-Central Texas, Inc. A $40 ticket entitles you to signature dishes from Jeffrey's, Fresh Planet Cafe, Shoreline Grill, Ancho's, Bertram's, Brio Vista, the Driskill Hotel, Granite Cafe, Cafe Josie, Mezzaluna, Schlotzsky's/Bread Alone, Jay's Mesteña, Jean-Luc's French Bistro, and Word of Mouth Fine Catering, plus wines and beers from Fall Creek Vineyards, St. Genevieve Winery, Cap-Rock Winery, Llano Estacado Winery, Salado Creek Brewing Co., Hill Country Brewing Co., Old City Brewing Co., Frio Brewing Co., and Live Oak Brewing Co. For ticket info, call 462-1771. It's not too late to sign up for Pamela Boyar's (280-1976) fall farm tour departing from the Westlake Farmer's Market on Saturday, October 11, at 8am. First, there's a continental breakfast at Madam Nadalini's before embarking on a tour of Oak Hill Farm, White Egret Farm, Blue Fork Farm, and Wolf Farm. Susan Fein of the Living Arts Kitchen will serve a gourmet picnic lunch at Walter E. Long Park at midday. Sign up at the Westlake Farmer's Market on Saturdays, 10am-2pm, or at the new Hyde Park Farmer's Market in the Fresh Plus parking lot on 43rd Street, Wednesdays, 3:30-6:30pm.
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