Big changes for two local favorites; plus, Bistro le Marseillais, feeling and eating the heat, and more.


Reader e-mails prompted us to look into recent changes at some popular local restaurants. In June, chef/co-owner Melba Garcia bought out partner Magna Sampaio and changed the name of their campus-area restaurant to Sao Paulo's (2809 San Jacinto, 473-9988). The menu continues to feature the same mixture of Mexican and Brazilian dishes as before, although Garcia plans to add some new things in the fall. Magna Sampaio has leased space in the new Rosedale Village development at 47th and Burnet Road and expects to open the new Sampaio's Restaurant, specializing in Brazilian cuisine, sometime in the next few months... After a 15-year run at the corner of West Lynn and 12th, partners Cameron Alexander, Anne Daniels, and John Silberberg sold their West Austin vegetarian eatery in July and are now concentrating all their attention on the 25-year old Mother's Cafe & Garden (4215 Duval St., 451-3994). Dallas-based Cosmic Cafe (1110 West Lynn, 482-0950, wanted to expand into this market and "though we were sorry to disappoint our customers, they just made us an offer we couldn't refuse," Alexander says. In addition to maintaining a vegetarian menu, the new owners agreed to retain the staff members, as well. Alexander invites West Lynn Cafe fans to visit Mother's, where they are likely to find some of their favorite dishes as specials and new menu items.

Bistro le Marseillais

Hungry fans of the delectable French charcuterie and other fine comestibles prepared by Eric and Martine Pelegrin will be pleased to hear about their newest venture. Bistro le Marseillais ( is an online store where shoppers in specific ZIP codes (78703, 04, 46, with more to be added later) can order selected items for delivery. Entrée, pâté, and condiment choices change weekly, but it's also possible to download an entire catalog and make special orders from that list. The talented Pelegrins built a big fan base in weekly appearances at the (Westlake) Sunset Valley Farmers Market, a supper club, and a spring stint in the Soup Peddler's busy West Austin kitchen operation. The very attractive new Web store is now the main focus of their business. A selection of their products is also available at the new Farm to Market Grocery (1718 S. Congress, 462-7220).


We've always got salsa on our minds in August, and it turns out the folks at Wheatsville Co-op (3101 Guadalupe, 478-2667, do, as well. Their popular salsa of the month promotion continues with a black bean and corn salsa with fresh cilantro, chopped tomatoes, and a touch of lime, which is available in the deli for the entire month of August. Stop in there and take some home. Meanwhile, if you've got a great salsa recipe you're eager to share, check out our Web site for an entry form and show up in Waterloo Park on Aug. 28 for the annual Chronicle Hot Sauce Festival.

Event Menu: Aug. 11-18

Chronicle wine writer Wes Marshall will moderate the Rambling Rosé and Summer Wine Tasting at Becker Vineyards (830/644-2681, near Stonewall this weekend. The annual event is sponsored by the San Antonio New World Wine & Food Festival (210/223-2881) and features a selection of fine rosés and summer wines paired with sausages made in Fredericksburg. Live music and bocce ball will be available for entertainment. Tickets are $15 and can be purchased by phone or at the gate. Tastings are scheduled at noon, 1:30pm, 3pm, and 4:30pm, Sat., Aug. 13.

The National Association of Catering Executives invites you to the Eat the Heat Progressive Cocktail Party benefiting the Center for Child Protection (472-1164, The event kicks off at 5pm with appetizers and entertainment at the Omni Hotel (700 San Jacinto) downtown, progresses to several venues in the entertainment district, and winds up at the new Hilton Austin (500 E. Fourth). Fine cuisine and cocktails from some of Austin's most talented chefs, caterers, and restaurants will be featured along the way. Tickets are $55 in advance and $65 at the door. Buy tickets online at; 5-10:30pm, Thu., Aug. 18.

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