In this week's edition of Food-o-file, Austin Chronicle Food editor Virginia B. Wood congratulates Grape Vine Market's selection as Food and Wine's Retailer of the Year and mentions several upcoming food events and changes in the local restaurant scene.

National Contender From Austin

The guv isn't the only guy in Austin getting national press these days. The intrepid owners of Grape Vine Market (7938 Great Northern Blvd., 323-5900) are thrilled that the October issue of Food & Wine magazine recognizes the innovative superstore as its national "Retailer of the Year." The 18,000-sq.-ft. store has plenty of good ideas under one roof: Austin's largest wine, liquor, and beer selection, a gourmet area with a selection of imported foods and prepared meals to go, a rare wine room, a tasting bar, and a classroom, among others. The award salutes "the breadth of selection and the myriad services offered" at Grape Vine Market, an impressive accomplishment for a new business. Salud! Prosit! L'Chaim! Kampai! Za Vashe Zdorov'e! Cheers!

Austin's Newest Boulanger

Chefs and restaurateurs nibbled PB&J smeared on luscious chocolate bread squares last week when the owners of Word of Mouth Catering (919 W.12th, 472-9500) and Jeffrey's (1204 West Lynn, 477-5584) hosted a tasting soirée to introduce boulanger Sam Dickey's wonderful selection of artisan breads and pastries to Austin. Dickey's wholesale baking company, TapRoot Breads (917 W. 12th, 478-0887), will provide a complete line of artisan breads and pastries for the new Italian gourmet take-out shop Cippolina (1213 West Lynn, 477-5211) opening this month. Look for TapRoot's signature baked goods at catered events and in restaurant bread baskets immediately.


After more than 30,000 pies, Pam Murray is hanging up her apron. Murray's popular downtown Pflugerville bakery and takeout shop, Pam Made Pies (103-B West Pecan, 990-7230), is up for sale and comes equipped with recipes and a very loyal clientele... Patrons of the Arboretum location of Z'Tejas Grill (9400 Arboretum Blvd., 346-3506) will be pleased to know the owners have added a climate-controlled patio dining area featuring natural wood detailing, Texas limestone, and a great view of the Hill Country as a backdrop... Taco Shack (4412 Medical Parkway, 467-8533) owners Orlando and Yoli Arriaga announce the expansion of their busy breakfast and lunch business in to the Northwest Hills area. Taco Shack II (3801-C Spicewood Springs, 418-8900) opens in early October with the Arriagas' in-laws, Katie and Greg Ward, at the helm... Racing legend Mario Andretti traded in his racing stripes for vineyard rows and will attend two Austin events next week promoting his wines. Block Distributing will hold an Andretti Vineyards tasting at the Bitter End (311 Colorado, 478-2337) on Tuesday, October 5 from 2-5pm, and there will be a five-course vintner dinner at 7pm that evening at Ray's Steakhouse (3010 Guadalupe, 478-0000)... Sunset Canyon Pottery (4002 E. Hwy 290, 894-0938) hosts its second annual Empty Bowl Project benefiting Helping Hands of Dripping Springs this Sunday, October 3 from 11am-5pm. A $10 donation gets you a keepsake handmade pottery bowl full of delicious soup and bread donated by Dripping Springs-area restaurants and George Ekrich of Whole Foods Bakehouse. If a similar event held last year at Clayways in Austin is any indication, plan to go early.

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