Food-o-File

Central Texas barbecue hits the big time (again), 2 Dine 4 hits Pebble Beach (again), and Pato's is open (again)


We're on TV!

When the television crew from the Travel Channel program Epicurious was here last summer, it shot one episode about the variety of Central Texas barbecue and another about the annual Chronicle Hot Sauce Festival. Both segments aired last week, barbecue on Tuesday and hot sauce on Thursday. The hot sauce segment should rerun on Feb. 6 and 26, as well as March 12. It was obvious that genial host chef Michael Lomonaco enjoyed the barbecue and all the salsas, giving Austin high praise for both food and hospitality. And, by the way, to the reader/caller who has such a big burr under her saddle because of my recent mentions of Cooper's Old Time Pit Bar-B-Que in Llano in relation to the Epicurious story: I got your messages about Laird's and Inman's and have nothing against either eatery. However, you might have better luck promoting the barbecue joints you prefer if you didn't do so by insisting that Cooper's is just a tourist trap for folks who don't know good food. I've been eating at Cooper's as long as it has been open, from the time when Tommy Cooper ran it through the era when Kenneth Laird was the operator, right up through Terry's ownership. I'll be glad to give Laird's and Inman's a try the next time I'm through Llano, but I like the barbecue at Cooper's just fine, thanks.


2 Dine 4

2 Dine 4 Catering partners Kathyrn Mathis and Steven Shallcross and a big crew of Austinites are spending this week in tents along one of the greens at the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am Golf Tournament, catering to hundreds of hungry golf fans every day. Executives of IMI, an international golf-course development outfit, were impressed with the work that Shallcross and company did catering for their Georgetown property and invited the crew to tackle the big California party last year. Their work was so well received, they're back in California again this month. 2 Dine 4 is really on a roll these days, considering they also catered the opening preview party for the 2003 A Christmas Affair, always a watershed event of top local caterers.


Opening News

The master confectioners from Dr. Chocolate (1715 W. 35th, 454-0555) have moved their sweet operation to "a beautiful new store with lots of parking," according to owner Glen Scott. The new store, just across the street from 35th at Jefferson, features their signature designer chocolates, chocolate-dipped strawberries, and award-winning ice creams. Maplewood residents are pleased about the reopening of Pato's La Super Rica Taco Lounge (1400 E. 381/2, 476-7286). The menu is limited to a selection of tacos at the moment, but the bar is open, and a bigger menu is promised in a few weeks.

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