If you're like me, Cuisines editor Virginia B. Wood writes in this week's Food-o-File, and wondered why April came and went without the usual anti-hunger fundraising dinner, here's the scoop on what's happening.
Share Our Strength
If you're like me and wondered why April came and went without the usual anti-hunger fundraising dinner, here's the scoop on what's happening. Event chairwoman Paula Biehler and a new group of organizers took responsibility for the local Share Our Strength -- Taste of the Nation program this spring and are making an effort to dramatically increase the amount of money raised in Austin to fight hunger locally and nationally. They've created a trio of mouthwatering events, so just pick the party that fits both your palate and your pocketbook and do your part to beef up Austin's total donation. On Tuesday, June 19, from 6-9pm, Malaga Wine & Tapas Bar (208 W. 4th) will host Lucinda Hutson's Tequila Fiesta. For $40, taste the local tequila expert's favorite Herradura tequilas paired with delicious tapas from the Iberian peninsula. Find out what all the buzz is about at the Emilia's Wine Dinner (600 E. 3rd) on Wednesday, June 20, from 6-9pm, when nationally recognized chef Will Packwood presents a luxurious $200 dinner complemented by fine wines from Emilia's spectacular wine cellar. Or celebrate Austin's Taste of the Nation in the ballroom at the historic Driskill Hotel (604 Brazos) on Thursday evening, June 21, from 7-10pm. Many of Austin's finest chefs and wine purveyors will present signature dishes and fine wines at this gala $75 tasting event. Reservations can be made by calling 899-9290. Space is limited for the first two events, so call now to secure a place. Seventy percent of the funds raised by these events stays in the Austin area. This year's local beneficiaries are Caritas and the Sustainable Food Center/ Austin Community Gardens.
In many responses to the recent Chronicle Restaurant Poll (May 25), readers and critics alike wished for their favorite restaurants to reopen and it looks like wishing has made it so in a couple of cases. Here's a hearty welcome back to both Little Bombay (9616 N. Lamar #195, 339-0808), where Depak and his crew are back at work creating great South Indian vegan and vegetarian specialties, and Flo's Country Kitchen (1311 Chesnut, 236-8236), where the East Austin legend is once again serving downhome country favorites from 11am-5pm, Tuesdays through Sundays Austin's only Puerto Rican restaurant, Borinquen (2728 S. Congress, 443-4252), recently reopened under new management with an expanded menu that will also feature Cuban and Caribbean food from 2-10pm, Wednesdays through Sundays Way down south, the longtime Austin landmark Hill's Cafe (4700 S. Congress, 851-9300) has been completely refurbished and reopened under the ownership of radio talk show host "Barbecue Bob" Cole. The menu, written in hokey hillybilly-ese, features popular Texas cafe classics as well as barbecue. The opening has been welcomed by huge crowds On the expansion front, those culinary wizards the Garcia brothers have invaded north-central Austin with a new Curra's Grill (6801 Burnet Rd., 451-2560) in the old Good Eats location The owners of Vespaio (1610 S. Congress, 441-6100) have finally made the deal to develop the vacant lot just north of the restaurant so look for them to break ground on an outdoor courtyard any day now. The new courtyard will be a great place to enjoy drinks and antipasti Also in the 1600 block of S. Congress, contractors working for the Trudy's outfit have stripped the former Shaggy's location down to the bare walls in a total restoration. It's rumored the new eatery will have a Southwestern menu with Mike Barnes as the chef.
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