Food editor Virginia B. Wood makes corrections on the Chronicle's recent "Barbecue Dynasties" article and updates readers on local goings-on.
There are plenty of local food lovers who would put Boggy Creek Farm (2414 Lyons Road, 926-4650) near the top of the list of things they're thankful for in this and every season. Friends and customers of the little urban farm in the city were disappointed to hear that the homestead suffered severe damage during last Thursday's frightening storm. Farmers Larry Butler and Carol Ann Sayle are fine, but the winds uprooted a large pecan tree east of the historic farmhouse and crashed it into their bedroom, doing serious damage to the wall and the roof. Half the chicken house is gone, though the chickens all survived. The greenhouse is destroyed, and the magnificent oak tree in the driveway has lost much of its majestic canopy. The bountiful fall crops are waterlogged and beaten down by hail.
But because the historic old farm and its current stewards hold such a special place in the hearts of so many Austinites, help is on the way. By early Friday morning, friends manning a chain-saw brigade were busy clearing branches and debris. Local chefs Wm Emmett Fox and Jean-Luc Salles were delivering food and calling on fellow chefs and restaurateurs who patronize the farm to help with a fundraiser. Barr Mansion owners Mark and Melanie McAfee generously offered their facilities for the fete, so watch this space for information about dates, chef line-ups, and prices for a benefit. In the meantime, the Boggy Creek farmstand will be open at regular times on Wednesdays and Saturdays, selling Larry's signature canned goods, Carol Ann's books, new farm logo aprons, vegetables from the farm in Gause, and those that survived the storm here. Go early, shop generously, and show Larry and Carol Ann how thankful we are they're there.
More About BBQ
First up, in the off-with-my-head department, there were some glitches in our recent cover story on Central Texas barbecue, and I'm here to iron them out. Where the Cooper dynasty is concerned, Gary Cooper's restaurant is located at 403 N. Mayes in Round Rock, rather than on Main Street. Cooper's Old Time Pit Bar-B-Q is located in Llano; the original family restaurant on Hwy. 87 in Mason is known as Cooper's Pit Bar-B-Q; and the newest joint in Junction is called Cooper's Bar-B-Q & Grill. We also made an error in the "Second Helpings" listing about the three Rudy's Country Store & Bar-B-Q outfits around the area. Please note that their wide selection of quality smoked meats are only available by the pound. Boy, do we regret the errors.
A reader called to let us know we'd unfortunately skipped over an important link in the family history of the Southside Market & Barbecue in Elgin. It seems that brothers Jerry and Edwin Stach purchased the old Moon family sausage concern before World War II and helped create an identity for Elgin sausage in their long tenure as owners of Southside. Current owner Ernest Bracewell Sr. bought the business from Jerry Stach in 1968, and his family has maintained and enhanced the tradition of quality for more than 30 years now.
No sooner had our BBQ issue hit the streets than Editor Louis Black reported to me he had tried the brand new John Mueller's Bar-B-Q (1907 Manor Rd., 236-0283) and found it to be first-rate. Friends in Southwest Austin alerted me to the opening of Mr. Earl's B-B-Q (3421 West William Cannon, 891-6933), Austin's only Kansas City-style barbecue joint and naturally, I rushed right down to check it out. The pork ribs and rib tips are fall-apart tender and moist, the sweet, smoky sauce comes in three degrees of spiciness, and the portions are very ample. Nice folks, too.
Texas barbecue is also a hot topic nationally these days. Roving columnists Jane and Michael Stern have a story on Central Texas barbecue joints in the newest issue of Gourmet magazine, the writers of a feature on Austin restaurants in the most recent Wine Spectator rave about their trip to Ruby's Barbecue (512 W. 29th, 477-1651), although Ruby's doesn't even serve wine, and President Bush invited globe-trotting pit master Tom Perini of Buffalo Gap to present a Texas-style barbecue bash last weekend at the Bush ranch in Crawford for rootin' tootin' Vladimir Putin.
Southern Comfort and Austin360.com will host a "cocktail clinic" from 6-9pm on Thursday, Nov. 29, at the Driskill Hotel. Guests (over 21, of course) will get tips about how to host a sophisticated holiday party, complete with trendy appetizer ideas and hip new seasonal drinks. The event is free, with an invitation, and there will be a raffle and silent auction to benefit the Capital Area Food Bank. Get an invitation at www.austin360.com, or e-mail email@example.com.
Treat yourself to Christmas at the Vineyard, a special joint venture presentation from Fall Creek Vineyards and the Austin Steam Train on Dec. 1 and 2. Board the historic train in Cedar Park for a trip to Burnet, and then enjoy a bus ride through the scenic Hill Country to Fall Creek's vineyards near Tow. Enjoy a delectable box supper created by chef Jason Felton followed by a tour of the facilities and a wine tasting. Price for the bus trip and picnic is $45, and reservations are required; call the winery at 915/379-5361. For the Steam Train from Cedar Park, you need separate reservations at an additional cost; call 477-8468.