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Event Menu, July 9-15

Saturday, July 10: The Westlake Farmers Market (4100 Westbank Dr.) celebrates summer's bounty with a Peach Jamboree from 10am to 1pm. There will be plenty of fresh peaches, as well as everything you can imagine made with them, from scones to cobbler to salsa.

Wednesday, July 14, is Bastille Day, and the folks at Chez Nous (510 Neches, 473-2413) will commemorate the Revolution with special seasonal a la carte items not usually found on their everyday menu.

Restaurant Reality

In case you missed it, keep an eye out for a truly fine HBO original movie called Everyday People. It's about the potential demise of an authentic longtime neighborhood diner in New York City. The small movie delivers a genuine sense of the employees' connection to the restaurant as well as the significant role the business plays in the surrounding community. The script evolved from improvisations among the (mostly unknown) actors, and the performances are uniformly excellent. It shows NBC's obnoxious "reality" show The Restaurant for the tortured, phony, American Express advertisement it actually is.

Lamar Turnabout

While the "quick casual" chain restaurant explosion can be seen in shopping centers all over the city, things are a little different along one of Austin's main thoroughfares. Within a matter of months, two abandoned fast-food outlet buildings across from Central Market on North Lamar have been taken over by homegrown small-restaurant operators. The newest Taco Shack (4002 N. Lamar, 467-8533) opened in late March in a colorfully refurbished former Long John Silver's spot, complete with a drive-through lane for immediate satisfaction of your breakfast taco jones. Just down the block, an old KFC outlet is being transformed into a new Banzai Japanese restaurant as we speak. No word yet on when they'll be open. And FYI, when we spoke with the Taco Shack folks, they assured us their original Rosedale location on Medical Arts is being remodeled and will reopen in August for breakfast, much to the delight of hungry neighbors.

Food and Wine Travels

This is a busy travel month for Dorsey Barger and Elaine Martin, owners of Eastside Cafe (2113 Manor Rd., 476-5858). Known to all as a serious oenophile, Barger's idea of a great summer vacation was a very long weekend at Pinot Camp in the vineyards of Washington and Oregon. Sponsored by pinot noir producers in the Northwest, the camp is only open to commercial wine buyers and offers them a crash course in everything they could possibly want to know about growing the grape and making the wine. Our Wes Marshall will be talking to Dorsey when she returns. And this coming week, Martin sets off to celebrate her 50th birthday with a two-week trip to Portugal, accompanied by buddies Janet Chaykin and Susan Sisco. When asked if she'd be visiting wineries while in Portugal, Martin said that while she certainly intended to drink some wine, what she really planned to do was hang out on the beach and eat as much seafood as possible. Happy Birthday, Elaine!

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Westlake Farmers Market, Chez Nous, Susan Sisco, Janet Chaykin, Dorsey Barger, Eastside Cafe, Banzai, Taco Shack

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