The Southern Foodways Alliance is coming to Austin this summer or a Texas Barbecue Road Trip. Virginia B. Wood reveals how to get involved.
Texas Barbecue Road Trip
If this weekend of Texas wine and food festivities whets your appetite for more, there's an event coming to Austin early this summer you really should consider. The weekend of June 14-15, the Southern Foodways Alliance will hold its second annual summer field trip in and around Austin. Over the course of a day and half, participants will have the opportunity to explore the foodways of Central Texas, a dynamic region where cultural, ethnic, geographic, and agricultural forces have converged to create a world-class barbecue culture. Activities will include a Blues & Barbecue Welcome Reception on Friday evening, June 14, at the legendary Victory Grill (1104 E. 11th, 472-8669), featuring barbecue tastings from Artz Rib House, Ben's Longbranch, Sam's, BBQ World Headquarters, Ruby's Barbecue, County Line, John Mueller's Barbecue, desserts from R.O.'s Outpost, and sides from Hoover's Cooking plus libations from Tito's Texas Vodka and an earful of blues from Mel Davis and the Blues Specialists. On Saturday morning at the Driskill Hotel, we'll feast on breakfast items that define where the South meets the Southwest, namely kolaches, hot biscuits, and barbacoa in homemade flour tortillas, while SFA expert speakers debate where the South ends and the West begins. After breakfast, we'll load up tour buses for visits to the Legends of Central Texas Barbecue. One bus will head to Taylor and Elgin for stops at Louie Mueller's, Taylor Cafe, Southside Market, Meyer's, and Crosstown Barbecue. The second bus heads down to Lockhart, Luling, and Gonzales for stops at Kreuz Market, Smitty's Market, Black's Barbecue, Luling City Market, and Gonzales Food Mart. Hosts on each bus will provide guests with history and Texas barbecue lore during the trips. After a day on the barbecue trail, Threadgill's World Headquarters (301 W. Riverside, 472-9304) will welcome participants to a Southern Hospitality Party in their beer garden with chicken fried steak and farm-fresh vegetables, beer from Live Oak Brewery, and plenty of the live music for which Austin is famous. It promises to be one great Texas food weekend. For registration information, check out the SFA Web site at www.southernfoodways.com
or pick up event brochures at Hoover's Cooking (2002 Manor Rd., 479-5006), Threadgill's World Headquarters, Texas Folklife Resources (1317 S. Congress, 441-9255), or The Austin Chronicle office (E. 40th & I-35, 454-5766). Y'all come!
Friends of Craig
Rarely does a week go by in this incredibly generous town when there's not a benefit for some nonprofit organization, worthy cause, or deserving individual. Austin's musicians, chefs and restaurateurs, retail merchants, and wholesale purveyors are always willing to step up and do their part. In the days before his debilitating stroke in September of 2001, Austin businessman Craig Thibodeau could always be counted on to support a variety of different activities meant to improve the quality of life in Austin. He's been active in the Texas Hill Country Wine & Food Festival for years, plus lending yeoman support to Project Transitions, the Human Rights Campaign, and the Austin AIDS Walk. Now the tables are turned, and Craig could use our help. With intense physical therapy, Thibodeau is making an amazing recovery from the stroke that felled him in the fall, but the same cannot be said for his financial condition. An organization known as "Friends of Craig" is asking for donations to ease the economic burdens of this very deserving member of our community. Donations made payable to the Craig Thibodeau Fund should be sent to Edward Safady, Liberty Bank, PO Box 2167, Austin, TX, 78768.