The Austin Chronicle


In Spite of the Heat

By Virginia B. Wood, June 12, 1998, Food

Even the murderous heat can't slow the local restaurant boom! Childhood friends Kevin Williamson and Sharon Gerhardt have realized their dream of opening a small restaurant in their hometown. Ella's Restaurant & Bar (#1 Jefferson Square, 458-2148) opened quietly the last week of May, replacing Baby Louie's. The third partner in the venture is chef Darryl Sneary, who will be Williamson's co-chef while Gerhardt ably handles front-of-the house duties. The new owners have added a full bar, and they'll be serving lunch and dinner six days a week and brunch on Sundays. Based on a recent visit, Ella's is a classy, comfortable room with a very inviting menu...

Mother and son restaurateur team Janie and Carter Breed have opened the third location of The Kitchen Door (2504 Lake Austin Blvd., 236-9200) and are once again selling their signature sandwiches, chicken salad, entrees, and cinnamon rolls to the delight of their longtime West Austin fans. The new store is open from 7am 'til 7pm, and its just-off-MoPac location makes it the perfect place to grab a quick bite on the way into or out of downtown...

There will soon be another Rudy's Country Store & Barbecue at the corner of Stoneridge and 360 South, just north of Barton Creek Mall. The country-store style meat market serves fresh-sliced meats on butcher paper with traditional side dishes and will also offer the only gasoline stop on 360 between Barton Creek and the Arboretum. The new Rudy's should be open by the end of June.

Farmer's Market News

Though the hot, dry weather cut the blackberry season short, tomatoes and peaches should both be showing up at all your favorite farmer's markets this weekend. The Travis County Farmer's Market (6701 Burnet Road, 454-1002) hosts their annual Sweet Peach Festival all day this Saturday, June 13. Admission is free, and there will be peach cobblers, peach ice cream, and all kinds of peach condiments for sale at various places in the market in addition to plenty of good Texas peaches...

Last week's visit to the Westlake Farmer's Market (Westlake High Parking Lot, 280-1976) found Dan Wolf's McDade blackberries, plums, and peaches, Suzanne de Unger's Bastrop blueberries, rust-colored sunflowers from Boggy Creek Farm, and organic playdough and organic basil from the very young farmers at Rhonda's Montessori Garden. The 6-year-olds who just graduated from Rhonda's have four solid years of organic gardening experience. Evidently, the graduation party was such a hit the departing class was replaced with new students in one afternoon.

Very Civilized Dining

Kudos to Jean-Luc and Denise Salle and the staff at Jean-Luc's Bistro (705 Colorado, 494-0033) for the stellar job they did re-creating the first class meal from the last night on the Titanic. The only thing missing was a walk on the promenade in the North Atlantic breeze.


Do organic foods really taste better? Stop by the Organic Taste Fair at both Sun Harvest locations (2917 W. Anderson Lane, 4006 S. Lamar) this Saturday, June 13 from 11am until 5pm to find out. Sample organic white grape juice, coffee, yogurt, dried fruits, cookies, and cheddar and Monterey jack cheeses...

Though this summers Thursday wine tastings at Whole Foods Gateway (345-5003) were generously listed as free events, they actually cost $10 and the monthly Sierra Club tastings are $20. Wine buyer April Lowe has more details...

SASSy sisters Lauri and Carol Raymond celebrated the 10th anniversary of Sisters & Company (326-3304) last week with a party where they officially launched two new salad dressing flavors. Look for Lemon-Song SASS, with exotic herbs and fresh lemon juice, and Rancho-Grande SASS, a low-fat ranch dressing with the zing of chipotle pepper anywhere you purchase your favorite SASS.

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