Lake Travis gets more Interior Mexican; plus, the Bitter End bounces back, and Jo's and Threadgill's expand

News Around Town

Mirabelle chef David Apthorpe e-mailed with a tip about the best new Interior Mexican restaurant in the Lake Travis area, which just happens to be owned by former Mirabelle sous chef Margarito Maldonado and his wife, Maria. Los Pinos (4919 Hudson Bend Rd., 266-3231) is the newest tenant in a lake-area building that has housed many a restaurant. The Maldonados are serving authentic Mexican specialties at breakfast, lunch, and dinner and offer a full bar. Though they've been open for several months now, their grand opening celebration is this Sunday, Sept. 4, from 6-8pm. Drop by for good food and mariachi music... Former Austin chef Lou Lambert was through town recently checking on the early progress of the second generation of Jo's Hot Coffee (242 W. Second) being built in the new AMLI building. According to Lambert, the new facility will feature both indoor and outdoor seating and house a bigger commissary kitchen for both outlets. The downtown Jo's will offer hot food items for breakfast, lunch, and dinner plus coffee drinks, beer, and wine when it opens later this fall. Lambert also said he would be relocating to New Orleans soon to develop a restaurant and bar concept for a new hotel scheduled to be built in a historic building on Canal Street in the French Quarter – those plans were pre-hurricane, however... I was pleased to encounter pastry chef Philip Speer at one of the soft opening dinners at Starlite (407 Colorado, 374-9012), where his desserts were the highlight of a very fine meal. The sour apple sorbet, fresh cherry fried pie, and s'mores crème brûlée with rocky road ice cream were marvelous. It should be interesting to see what he comes up with every season... Starting this week, G&M Steakhouse (626 N. Lamar, 236-9887) will be open 24/7. New manager Nick Vagias takes over in the afternoons and evenings when the menu will offer Mexican, American, and Greek dishes at affordable prices... Eddie Wilson reports that construction has just begun on the new Threadgill's in Cedar Park. Wilson estimates the new restaurant should be ready in six to eight months... In the aftermath of the kitchen fire at the Bitter End Bistro & Brewery (311 Colorado, 478-2337), employees were able to save much of the beer, kegging it up for future sale in the quickly re-opened B-Side Lounge. Meanwhile, chefs Reggie Ferguson and Andy Sasser packed up the undamaged food from the kitchen and donated it to Caritas. Regular Chronicle contributor and Mexico City native Claudia Alarcón presents a class titled A Summer Supper in Mexico City at the Central Market Cooking School (458-3068) on Wednesday, Sept. 7, from 6:30 to 9pm. Call for reservations... Thursday, Sept. 15, marks the 10th anniversary of one of our favorite rural restaurants, RO's Outpost (22112 Hwy. 71 W., 264-1169) where we love the barbecue, the chicken-fried steaks, and the great pies and cobblers. Proprietors Kathy Leverett and Randy Osban invite all their friends to join them as they tap a keg to celebrate the milestone. The cooking couple met at the famous Clark's Outpost in Tioga, north of Dallas, and discovered their own restaurant space on a Hill Country vacation 10 years ago. We are very glad they did.

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Los Pinos, Threadgill's, Jo's, Phillip Speer, Starlite, Bitter End

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