Food-o-File

Romeo's sold; a new Quack's in a new spot; and you should really try Reido's; plus, Roberto Santibanez returns


New Year, New Operations

After more than 11 years, Jas and Kristine Lemert have sold Romeo's (1500 Barton Springs Rd., 476-1090) to Bernard "Bernie" Brozek. The Italian restaurant will continue to operate in its original location with the same atmosphere – including the cupid mural – and affordable menu that have made it a favorite with Chronicle readers over the years. Brozek expects to upgrade the wine list, add live piano music on Saturday evenings and at Sunday brunch, and build up Romeo's catering operation. His investment group is also on the lookout for other Austin restaurants for sale... We've heard some downtown sandwich lovers actually welcomed the new Texadelphia (619 Congress, 236-1700) with big hugs. Now that they've replaced the Wendy's on Austin's main thoroughfare, the homegrown sandwich chain boasts nine outlets in the capital area... Look for the popular central Austin bistro Starlite (624 W. 34th, 374-9012) to relocate to the Warehouse District some time this spring. Their destination is the building at 407 Colorado that formerly housed Gilligan's and Crimson, where construction is currently under way. They hope to be up and running there in time to welcome SXSW crowds. No definite word yet on what Starlite's owners have planned for the cottage that is their current home... According to our sources among restaurant and bar employees, the hottest new afterhours dining spot is Reido's (626 Lamar, 236-9887), where attorney/actor/entrepreneur Reid Nelson is serving up Midwestern-style sliders, chili, and hot dogs. Turns out Nelson had harbored restaurant fantasies for years and is now "living his nightmare" in the G/M Steakhouse location six nights a week. Check out Reido's between 6pm and midnight on Mondays and Tuesdays, and 6pm-3am, Wednesday through Saturday... The best food news in my east central neighborhood is the impending arrival of Quack's Maplewood Bakery (1400 E. 38½), scheduled for sometime in March in the former Pato's Tacos location. Quack's owner Art Silver is very excited about the new outlet. He plans to move Quack's wholesale bakery production to the much larger building, where he can also offer patio seating and create an outdoor playscape for kids. Hyde Park residents need not worry, however, because Quack's on 43rd will stay right where it is, providing pastries and coffee at the community heartbeat corner of 43rd and Duval... Former Austin chef Roberto Santibanez is the corporate chef for the Rosa Mexicano restaurant chain in New York City, but he was back in Austin in the fall, arranging for a local company to produce Rosa Mexicano's new line of gourmet salsas. Turns out no one on the East Coast knew enough about chiles to prepare the products to his specifications, so the chef returned to Austin and contacted Gail Calder at Austin Kitchens Inc. to solve his problem. Look for the scoop on the new sauce products at www.rosamexicano.com/shop/index.html.

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KEYWORDS FOR THIS STORY

Rosa Mexicano, Roberto Santibanez, Gail Calder, Austin Kitchens Inc. Art Silver, Quack's, Starlite, Reido's, Texadelphia, Romeo's, Bernard Brozek, Jas Lemert, Kristine Lemert

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