Virginia B. Wood introduces you to the new folks in town and updates you on all of the news around town

New in Town

Some of the nicest people we've met in the restaurant business have recently relocated to Austin. Bud and Karen Royer, friendly proprietors of Royers' Round Top Cafe, (, 979/249-3611) have forsaken the bucolic wilds of Fayette County for a home in Central Austin. They still commute to operate the cafe on weekends, but want to settle in Austin full time to be nearer their children and granddaughter. After 17 years of running a 38-seat cafe in a town of 80 people, Bud and Karen (and all of their kids) have put the cafe up for sale. During the past 17 years, the Royers raised a family, built a nationally known mail-order pie business, and fed thousands of hungry Houstonians and Austinites in the cozy little frame building on the square in Round Top. "All four of our kids are grown and ready to move on to the next step in their lives," Bud Royer says, "so the very logical next step for all of us is to sell the cafe. We are blessed as a family to have lived in the country and worked together all those years. Now, it's time for someone else to raise a family there." Karen Royer is teaching at ACC, and Bud will continue to operate their successful mail-order pie business. I wouldn't be surprised if the Royer family opened a Pie Shack in Austin one of these days.

News Around Town

My crisp cookie jones got another tasty treatment with samples of a new local product called Paximadi, a traditional Greek sweet bread somewhat like biscotti – long and narrow, perfect for dunking, and with a variety of coffee-friendly flavors. Local baking entrepreneurs Pavlos Zarkas and Michael Freid (, 389-2555) are the men behind the goodies, and their products are currently available at Whole Foods, Cafe Mundi, JP's Java, Sara Dora, and some other coffee houses. My favorites were the Anise Walnut. Yum... If you're looking for a new culinary adventure this weekend, what about a bus tour to the Llano Crawfish Open with Mitch Lindsay of Texas Winery Tours (, 365-8380)? Lindsay has been offering tours of the Texas wine country for a couple of years now, and he really knows how to show folks a good time. The Llano tour departs from the GrapeVine Market (7938 Great Northern Blvd., 323-5900) parking lot this Saturday, April 17, 9am, and returns by about 6pm. The tour will visit Lost Creek Vineyards on the way to Llano, spend a couple of hours eating and enjoying music at the crawfish party, and then return to Austin via Spicewood Vineyards. The cost is $45 per person, and reservations are necessary... Here's a head start on the two great entertainment choices for next Thursday evening, April 22 ... Ciola's Italian-American Restaurant (1310 RR 620 S., 263-9936) is having another of its wildly successful Big Night dinner parties, featuring the bountiful Italian feast and festive celebration inspired by the movie Big Night. (Wes and Emily Marshall absolutely loved this party when they attended last year.) Dinner is at 7pm, Thursday, April 22, and seating is limited to 50 people with reservations in advance... That same night, revel in the quiet pastoral beauty of the Umlauf Sculpture Garden (605 Robert E. Lee Rd.) at the sixth annual Garden Party from 6:30 to 9:30pm. There will be food from some of Austin's finest restaurants, music and dancing, and the Celebrity Seeds silent auction featuring clay pots decorated by local Austin celebrities. Proceeds from the event support the Umlauf Garden and its programs throughout the year. Tickets are $65 in advance, $80 at the door, both with a $5 service charge. Tickets at Front Gate Tickets, 389-0315 or

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