'60 Minutes' digests Whole Foods; plus, St. Patrick's Day predictions by local publicans

Austin in the News

CBS newsman Dan Rather and a production team from 60 Minutes were in town last week working up a business profile on our homegrown corporate health-food behemoth, Whole Foods Markets. Rather interviewed WFM founder and CEO John Mackey and sometimes WFM produce supplier Carol Ann Sayle in the fields at Boggy Creek Farm. It was staunch vegetarian Mackey's first visit to Boggy Creek. No word yet on when the piece will air... Hungry folks in the Galleria Oaks neighborhood near Research and RR 620 have been eagerly awaiting the debut of Hoover's Cooking Northwest (13376 Research, 335-0300) since the projected opening date back around Thanksgiving. The long anticipation is now over as the new spot finally opened for dinner on Monday, March 13, with plans to add lunch service within a couple of weeks. We're sure the new Hoover's will become a neighborhood treasure in no time, just like the original on Manor Road... Stop in at Rock Dog (2801 Guadalupe, 481-8282) to wish the friendly little campus area joint a happy first anniversary, and grab a good hot dog while you're there. Our new favorite is the Verde Enchilada Dog ($2.49) with green sauce, queso, onions, and sour cream... Zax Pints & Plates (312 Barton Springs Rd., 481-0100) adds Sunday Brunch to their lineup this weekend. The menu features several egg dishes, including Zax Eggs with crab cakes topped with poached eggs and Hollandaise, plus a couple of varieties of French toast. They'll be serving from 11am to 2pm.

St. Patrick's Day

St. Patrick's Day tends to get short shrift around here for no other reason than it always falls during the maelstrom of SXSW Music. However, if you're overcome with the urge to get your Irish on this Friday, Austin boasts several fine Irish drinking establishments that will be glad to oblige. We spoke with a few of the publicans last week, and here's what they said: Fadó (214 W. Fourth, 457-0172) is hosting events all week that will culminate in their all-day Fourth Street block party on Friday, March 17. There will be plenty of free live music to enjoy while you nosh on their good fish and chips plus an array of more traditional Texas street fair food... Over at Mother Egan's Irish Pub (715 W. Sixth, 478-7747), the $5 cover charge for their St. Patty's Day Throw-Down benefits the Austin Celtic Association. Beer and live music, of course, and food booths outside the pub will be selling authentic fish and chips, Irish stew, and their signature corned beef and cabbage wrap... Though the no-frills Bull McCabe's (714 Red River, 478-4022) does not have a kitchen, the colorful publican assured me that real Irishmen will be serving real pints in actual glasses to the sounds of Irish music.

Event Menu: March 17-23

Wheatsville Co-op (3101 Guadalupe, 478-2667) celebrates the advent of spring with their annual Herb Fair. In addition to selling starter plants and herbal products, local growers will be on hand to offer tips about growing plants in this area. The lineup also includes vendors, gardening experts, live musical entertainment, Sunshine the Clown painting faces, and great food from the store deli. The family-friendly all day event is free and open to the public; 10am to 5pm, Saturday, March 18.

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