Food-o-File

Tracking recent restaurant openings and closings; plus upcoming events in Austin that cater to chileheads.


More Hot Fun

They're always hooked on the hot stuff at Chuy's (1728 Barton Springs Rd., 474-4452; 10520 N. Lamar, 836-3218; 11680 Research, 342-0011), where the annual Green Chile Festival is underway until September 26. Festivities include the roasting of fresh Hatch chiles, roasted chiles for sale by the pound, special green chile menu items in all Chuy's locations, and a Green Chile Recipe Contest with a $500 grand prize. Check with your favorite Chuy's outlet for contest rules and turn your recipe in by September 26... This Sunday, September 12, join chili cooks and ice cream crankers at the Sixth Annual Bee Caves Chili Cook-Off at the Backyard (13101 Hwy71 W., 263-4146) from 11am-6pm. There will be plenty of chili and homemade ice cream, live music by the Gourds, armadillo races with Jalapeño Sam, and plenty of activities for kids. The first three places receive trophies and cash and the first-place winner automatically qualifies for Terlingua. Entry fees benefit Austin Habitat for Humanity, and tickets are available at the door.


Openings and Closings

BBQ World Headquarters (6701 Burnet, 323-9112) owners won't have any problem establishing a smoky aroma in their newest outlet; they're taking over a building that's housed one BBQ joint or another for more than 30 years. Look for the Bischoffs at the new BBQ World HQ & Deli (1519 W. Anderson Lane) ... Original Rhythm House owners Stephanie Ware and Shellie Graham took on third partner Kim Price and formed a new business called Corporate Concierge (146111 Burnet, #104, 255-8474) this summer. The new venture caters to corporate needs, providing an errand and personal cooking service, corporate gift baskets, full-service party catering, plus party and event planning... Readers alerted us to the closing of the wine and tapas bar The Grape Escape (314 Congress) in midsummer. Based on our experience and reader feedback, the problem was that the food and wine selections were not perceived as being worth the hefty prices. Here's hoping the landlord and the owners of Manuel's can finally reach an agreement that would allow the popular downtown Mexican restaurant to turn the often-rented space into a successful venture... After years of operating a retail equipment business and a custom wedding cake bakery, master cake decorator Janette Pfertner has closed the retail section of Miss Janette's (900 Rutland, 836-4826). She will now limit her business to the preparation of custom wedding and special occasion cakes.


Growing Concerns

Oasis Gardens is looking for new members to participate in a local organic farm. Members join the group for a fee based on a sliding scale, work the land, and share in the harvest. The garden is located in East Austin, and for more information, contact Lyndon Felps at 448-0717... The Americal Botanical Council (926-4900x132, http://www.herbalgram.org) has scheduled three classes for this fall. The first class on Herbal Soaps and Shampoos takes place this Saturday, September 11 from 10am-12:30 pm, and will be taught by Jane Madrigal. Check with Ginger Webb for registration information.

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