Food-o-File

Virginia B. Wood revs up with all the restaurant news you can read

Correction!

In the off-with-my-head department, in a recent item lamenting the closing of Austin's last independently owned bagel store, I mistakenly identified Hot Jumbo Bagel manager Chris Wing as the owner of the business. Hot Jumbo is owned by Lee and Lisa Wallace and will continue to distribute bagels to wholesale accounts all over the city. We apologize for the confusion.

Plenty O' News

Austin food has invaded talk radio! Culinary Academy of Austin owners Glenn Mack and chef Steve Mannion, along with chef educator Andrew Brooks, have taken to the airwaves from 9-10am on Saturday mornings with the Austin Cooking Hour, a call-in show for kitchen tips, tales, and tricks on 1370AM. Give them a listen... The pasture-raised poultry business is really taking hold in Central Texas. For more information about purchasing antibiotic-free, pasture-raised chicken and farm-fresh eggs, contact Austin-area farmer Kevin Roberts (281-1021, www.foodyoucantrust.com). I've sampled both the chicken (very flavorful) and the eggs (brilliant orange yolks) and was favorably impressed with both items... If you're like me and got hooked on Bravo's recent Celebrity Poker Showdown, here's an appealing evening of entertainment. On the last Tuesday of every month, Crimson (407 Colorado, 473-7700, www.crimsonaustin.com) hosts the Cards & Cocktails party, a monthly celebrity poker game in which 35 guests pay $10 each to play Texas hold 'em for items such as dinner gift certificates, hotel stays, etc. Make your reservations now for March 30... 34th Street Cafe (1005 W. 34th, 371-3400) owner Eddie Bernal is busy renovating the former Tres Amigos space in 26 Doors Shopping Center. Look for Bernal to open Santa Rita, a Tex-Mex and margarita spot, there sometime this summer... The Flores family of Habana (2728 S. Congress, 443-4252) has taken over the former Mad Birds space down the block and turned it into Copa Cabana Coffeehouse (2810 S. Congress, 462-2473). The colorful new eatery will serve Cuban coffee, pastries, breakfast dishes, and sandwiches... In other Latin food news, Doña Emilia's has forsaken the small East Austin spot where they introduced Austinites to dishes from several South American cuisines and moved seriously uptown. The new Doña Emilia's South American Bar & Grill (101 San Jacinto, 478-2520, www.donaemilias.com) is owned by restaurateurs Ruben Cuero, Emilia Hurtado, and local businessman Howard P. Kells, and they have imported Colombian-born chef Juan Pablo Sarmiento from Florida to direct the kitchen. The attractive, upscale new restaurant features an expanded concept, which will include an "array of traditional and New Latin dishes" and a bar that spotlights famous tropical cocktails and fine South American wines. Located at the corner of Cesar Chavez and San Jacinto, the new Doña Emilia's should be in the thick of downtown action when they open in early March... Here's a bit of news for sushi lovers. Cooking by Design (431-8571, www.cookingbydesign.com), a new avocational cooking school run by popular local cooking instructor Beth Pav, debuts tonight, Thursday, March 4, at 6:30pm, in the Village of Bee Cave. The first offering is a hands-on cooking class, Sushi 101, designed to "take an in-depth look at the age-old techniques of cooking rice and rolling sushi while learning about the unique Japanese pantry." Call or visit the Web site to register for classes, get directions, or check out other offerings.

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