What two local farmers have done to make the best of the dismal growing season in Central Texas this year, and local restaurant changes in the works, as well as an update on the sale of Pam Made Pies.
Lemons Into Lemonade
Weather the last few months has been hell for Central Texas farmers: the hottest August in recorded history, little of the necessary fall rain so that they could prepare the soil for fall crops, and an early November freeze. Boggy Creek Farm (3414 Lyons Road, 926-4650) took a beating but in keeping with the old adage about turning life's lemons into lemonade, farmers Larry Butler and Carol Ann Sayle have bounced right back. Larry turned several hundred pounds of frost-damaged green tomatoes into Green Tomato & Wild Persimmon Salsa ($4.50) and it's flying off the shelf at the farmstand and the Westlake Farmers' Market. Carol used the cyclical downtime in August and September to put the finishing touches on her self-published farmstand cookbook, Eating in Season: Recipes From Boggy Creek Farm (Morgan Printing, $12.95, paper). Check out both new products when you stop by the farm for fresh spinach and salad mix.
Look for the owners of Cafe Spiazzo (5416 Parkcrest, 459-9960) to open their new Westlake outlet in the former Madam Nadalini location at 3663 Bee Caves Road within a matter of days... Business sections all over town have been buzzing with the news that Ted Karam's Igloo Group bought the homegrown Austin Java Company, extending a list of restaurants that already includes the Waterloo Ice Houses, the Iguana Grill, La Zona Rosa, and food service at the Backyard... Sources inside the City Grill (Fourth & Sabine, 479-0817) report that the long-anticipated sale of the popular downtown restaurant should be finalized after the first of the year... Readers have tipped us about an interesting new restaurant in Pflugerville called Caribbean Way (14735 Bratton Lane, 989-7588) in the former Gumbo's space, and we're eager to check it out. Meanwhile, plans still call for Gumbo's to open a downtown outlet in the ground floor of the renovated Brown Building (Eighth & Colorado) sometime next year... The folks at Texadelphia have been busy this fall, opening two new Austin outlets. The new southwest home of those ever-popular cheesesteaks is in Sunset Valley at Hwy. 290 W. & Brodie Lane (891-6464), and the far northwest location is adjacent to Lakeline Mall at Hwy. 183 N. and RR 620 (249-0249) . They've also added a Web site where it's possible to place orders and arrange for payment and delivery from both the Round Rock and Great Hills Texadelphia locations. Look for the e-commerce services at http://www.texadelphia.com to be extended to all six Austin locations soon.
Pam Still Makes Pies
Pam Murray put her thriving Pflugerville company, Pam Made Pies (103-B W. Pecan, 990-7230), up for sale earlier this fall but, as of yet, she's had no takers. So she's hard at work making more of her award-winning pies for the holidays. For Thanksgiving, she's baking traditional pumpkin and six -- count 'em -- six varieties of pecan: Creamy Pecan, Bourbon Pecan ("that holiday spirit added to the filling," she says), Mocha Pecan, Chocolate Pecan, Derby Pecan, and German Chocolate Pecan. Pam Made Pies will be open Mon-Tue, Nov. 22-23, 2:30-6:30pm; Wed, Nov. 24, 1:30-6:30pm; and on Thanksgiving from 9am-noon. If you miss her for Thanksgiving, don't forget to order early for Christmas.