What's cooking in the Central Texas food scene.

Thai One On

Austin's fast-growing Thai community invites you to join them this Sunday, April 14, at Fiesta Gardens from 10:30am-5pm for the fifth annual Thai Cultural Day. The day's events will open with a Buddhist Ceremony and admission is free. Throughout the day, enjoy classes and demonstrations in Thai cooking, fruit and vegetable carving, Thai language, kickboxing, traditional Thai costumes, music, and dancing. Food booths offering delicious Thai specialties will be available and several cooks will compete in preparing their versions of the Thai national dish, Pad Thai. The contest will be judged by local Thai restaurateurs. For more information on this festive event, contact 423-4217 or

Sustain This!

The Sustainable Food Center (326-0074) is the recipient of a 5% Day, today, Thursday, April 11. This means that both Whole Foods Markets (Sixth & Lamar, 476-1206; 9607 Research Blvd., 345-5003) will donate 5% of their sales for that particular day to the SFC, so stop on by and do some serious shopping. There will be live music, cooking demonstrations, culinary tastings, and children's activities at both stores. Workers from the SFC will have information booths. The SFC works to create food security in our community by improving access to local, healthy, and affordable food for children and adults in Central Texas. They are sure busy this month. The very successful Foodshares fundraising campaign is about to reach its goal and they're in the midst of a spring membership drive. If you're interested in becoming a member of SFC, April is the month to join because for every $25 membership they receive this month, the funds will be matched by the Feinstein Foundation's Challenge to End Hunger. This is one hunger-fighting program that works and is very worthy of community support.


In celebration of their 27th anniversary, Sweetish Hill Bakery (1120 W. Sixth, 472-7370; 98 San Jacinto, 472-2411) has added some new savory items to their breakfast menu. "More and more customers are looking for a more substantial, non-sweet breakfast," reports Sweetish Hill founder Patricia Bauer-Slate, and she and business partner Jim Murphy were only too happy to oblige. The new items include a Bialy sandwich with herbed cream cheese and tomato or ham and Swiss cheese; focaccia topped with bacon, tomatoes, and herbs; or focaccia topped with tomato, cheese, and herbs. What a way to start the day... Despite rumors of their demise, the City Grill (401 Sabine, 479-0817) is alive and kicking under new ownership and management. El Paso restaurateur Ronda Karam has purchased the longtime downtown casual fine dining mainstay from the Igloo Group and is busy putting her personal stamp on the restaurant. City Grill now offers a half-price happy hour from 5-7pm on weekdays with an appetizer menu including the ever-popular Besotes Calientes as well as some new items such as beef tenderloin bits with chipotle horseradish dipping sauce, crab and artichoke dip, and a chicken gumbo pot pie. They're also open for weekday lunches from 11am-2pm starting this week with many items under $10... The owners of The Great Outdoors Nursery (2730 S. Congress, 448-2992) invite you to the grand opening of their new venture, the Mad Bird Juice Bar & Java Hut (2810 S. Congress, 462-2473) on Wednesday, April 17 from 3-6pm. Slip away to this lush tropical oasis and sample the exotic fruit nectars of the South Pacific or sip a cool frappuccino and tantalize your taste buds with a Tiki Sandwich. Mad Bird will be open from 6am-6pm daily with smoothies, juice drinks, espresso, sandwiches, salads, and pastries... In an effort to create the atmosphere of a fine supper club, the Cafe at the Four Seasons (98 San Jacinto, 685-8300) will feature the sophisticated stylings of the Rich Harney Duo from 7-11pm on Friday and Saturday nights, beginning in April.

The Best of Austin: Restaurants ballot is here! Nominations can be made now through Monday, August 22, at midnight. Vote now at

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