Food-o-File

In this week's edition of Food-o-File, Austin Chronicle Cuisines editor Virginia B. Wood credits the Austin-based owners of Z'Tejas Grill for their inclusion on Gourmet magazine's list of best restaurants for fun in the Phoenix / Scottsdale area and details several upcoming food events.


Z'Tejas for Fun

Gourmet magazine's annual Restaurant Issue includes a reader's poll of the top restaurants in major cities around the country. The poll results point to a surge in the popularity of upscale chain restaurants, particularly steakhouses. While the only Texas cities polled were Dallas and Houston, the Arizona outlet of a popular Austin-based Southwestern chain was named "Top Moderately Priced" restaurant in the Phoenix/Scottsdale area. Congratulations to Z'Tejas Grill on the well-deserved national recognition.


Buffy Paints Your Tongue

Hip trick-or-treaters of all ages will be looking for Chupa Chups' Buffy the Vampire Slayer lollipops that paint the tongue ghoulish colors. Large tins of the black cherry, green apple, and grape candies are for sale at Sam's, and small 20-count tins should be available in mall stores such as Limited Too and Spencer's Gifts. Speaking of Halloween treats, Rhonda Dizney of Rhonda's Montessori Garden (4300 Mt. Vernon,707-8635) dropped us a line suggesting some candy alternatives for little goblins: raisins or other dried fruit; bags of nuts, nut mixes, popcorn, pumpkin, or sunflower seeds; bags of chips or homemade healthy cookies.


Treats for Teachers & Nurses

Working on the theory that no one has a tougher time finding a delicious meal during the work day than teachers and nurses, the folks at the original Threadgill's (6416 N. Lamar, 451-5440) have come up with an ingenious promotion. During the special Teachers and Nurses Happy Hour (Mon-Tue, 2-8pm; Wed-Fri, 2-7pm), bearers of the teacher/nurse discount card will receive a 30% discount on all menu items and a 50% discount on any bar order. Teachers (aides, librarians, principals, custodians) and nurses (RN's, LVN's, health care workers, phlebotomists) need only sign up for their card at the original historic Threadgill's location. In case of difficulty finding the restaurant, potential customers can look for the new giant clock erected there this week by sign-meister extraordinaire Todd Sanders.


Bocaditos

Herbalist and author Lucinda Hutson will sign copies of The Herb Garden Cookbook (Gulf Press, $21.95 paper) and lead a tour of the organic culinary garden she designed at The Natural Gardener (formerly Garden-Ville, 288-6113) this Sunday, October 24 from 1-3pm... Check out Czech foods at the fifth annual Celebration of Czech Culture this Saturday, October 23 from 7-12pm at the Ragsdale Center on the St. Edward's University campus. Call 345-9630 to purchase $30 tickets... Dress up like Mexican artist and cult figure Frida Kahlo to attend the Mexic-Arte Museum 15th Anniversary and benefit this Sunday, October 24 at 6pm at Fonda San Miguel (2330 W. North Loop, 459-4121). Frida's Fiestas V will feature a menu inspired by gala dinner parties in the home of Kahlo and famed muralist Diego Rivera, Fonda chef Roberto Santibanez and his talented staff will prepare the sumptuous meal, and prizes will be awarded in the Frida look-alike contest. Tickets are $100 and can be purchased at the museum (Fifth & Congress, 480-9373) or the restaurant.

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KEYWORDS FOR THIS STORY

Gourmet magazine, Z'Tejas, Threadgill's, Rhonda Dizney, Chupa Chups, Todd Sanders, Lucinda Hutson, The Natural Gardener, Frida Kahlo, Mexic-Arte Museum

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