Sweetish Hill is ready to celebrate; plus, Vespaio, P. Terry's Burger Stand, and many options on the Event Menu

Arts on the Hill

Sweetish Hill Bakery (1120 W. Sixth, 472-1347) is an Austin institution set to celebrate its 30th anniversary in October. The bakery might have changed locations over the years, but regardless of the physical space it occupies, it has always been the quintessential local gathering place, a home away from home for an eclectic mix of Austin's creative community. The owners of Sweetish Hill hope that some of the "artists, writers, entrepreneurs, musicians, chefs, actors, designers, doctors, lawyers, and business people" who frequent the bakery will have fascinating, heartwarming, humorous, or bizarre stories to share about their Sweetish Hill experience. The Arts on the Hill contest encourages Austinites to share their real or imagined Sweetish Hill tales in the form of fiction or nonfiction stories, poems, art, or song lyrics. All entries must be original, unpublished, and unproduced. All genres will be considered. The contest begins now and submissions must be made by the deadline of midnight, Sept. 10. Winners will receive cash prizes, free coffee for a year, and public recognition at the anniversary gala on Oct. 30. Some contest proceeds will benefit Mobile Loaves and Fishes. For full details about entry fees, rules, and guidelines, go toÊ

South Austin Transformations

The corner of Milton and the 1600 block of South Congress is really living up to the name Vespaio (wasp's nest in Italian) these days, according to Alan Lazarus. He reports the corner is buzzing with activity even though his popular South Austin eatery has been closed for a couple of weeks while the kitchen is being enlarged. The much-needed bigger kitchen is part of an overall expansion that includes a pastry and baking area, a private dining room, a grocery, deli, and wine bar. The restaurant should reopen this weekend, and look for Enoteca Vespaio to debut sometime later in August.

Just north of the corner of South Lamar and Barton Springs Road, innovative burger entrepreneur Patrick Terry has reimagined an abandoned Short Stop outlet as the swanky new P. Terry's Burger Stand (404 S. Lamar, 473-2217, The simple menu includes handmade burgers fashioned from hormone- and antibiotic-free Harris Ranch beef; moist, flavorful Buddy's chicken ground into patties and grilled; fresh-cut fries; sodas; and milk shakes. The drive-through lane moves quickly, and there's ample parking for those who enjoy dining alfresco at picnic tables on the attractively landscaped patio. From what we hear, this new spot is only the beginning, as the 300 and 400 blocks of South Lamar are in for plenty of changes in the next two years.

Event Menu: July 28-Aug. 4

Whole Foods Gateway is staging a USA vs. the World Wine Tasting in their cafe to determine how six different varietals grown in California, Washington, and Oregon match up against their international counterparts (no Texas wines – what's up with that?). Glazer's wine representative Keith Sennikoff will moderate the tasting and provide anecdotes and information about the wine regions of origin. Tasty food and wine pairings will be available. Cost is $40 per person, $70 per couple. Make reservations at the customer service desk or contact Brent Livingston at 345-5151 x117 or; 7:30pm, Thursday, July 28.

Stomp, Squish, and Laugh during the weekend harvest festivities at Messina Hof Winery (800/736-9463 x29, Events include a grape stomp complete with souvenir T-shirts, delicious harvest feasts, food and wine pairing parties, winery tours and tastings, vintner's dinners, and murder mystery dinners. Reservations suggested; call or check the Web site for more details; July 30-31, Aug. 6-7, Aug. 13-14, Aug., 20-21.

Celebrate the release of chef Roy Yamaguchi's new book, Roy's Fish and Seafood: Recipes From the Pacific Rim (Ten Speed Press, $35) at Roy's (340 E. Second, 391-1500, The Fish, Fusion, and Fun Wine Dinner will feature an elaborate five-course menu based on recipes from the book paired with exceptional wines from Moët Hennessy USA. Reservations are necessary, and the cost of the dinner is $85 per person; cookbooks will be available for purchase; 6:30pm, Tuesday, Aug. 2.

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