Food-o-File

The Chronicle archives are historical snapshots, Faraday's announces Holiday Baking Contest winners, and more

A couple of things happened last week that have The Austin Chronicle online archives very much on my mind. First off, distressed managers from the Hyatt Regency's new SWB Southwest Bistro (208 Barton Springs Rd., 477-1234, www.austin.hyatt.com) called to report that several potential diners had tried to make reservations for Thanks­giving dinner based on information and prices they had found on the Chronicle's website – specifically, an article from 2001 about a previous Hyatt restaurant called La Vista. A word to the wise here: Unless you're looking at a current or very recent issue of the Chronicle (or any other publication, for that matter) online, there is a good possibility that some of the information provided may have changed. No publication can guarantee that the menu prices at any restaurant will remain the same over a period of years. Archives are by definition repositories of historical information. We don't change or update archived reviews – they are a snapshot of the restaurant at the specific time the review was written… And that brings me to my next point – some of the reactions in the online forums to our recent "Indie Pizzas" feature (Nov. 14). Some readers feel that we're obligated to write about all pizza restaurants when we write about any and that if we don't, there is some kind of nefarious, discriminatory agenda at work. The most recent story focused on six relatively new, independently owned pizza restaurants that feature East Coast-style, thin-crust pies. One of the restaurants has been around for years but recently opened a popular new suburban location, three of them have been open less than a year, and the other two opened in 2006. They are all new to us in the sense that we had never reviewed them before – that was the criteria for inclusion in the story. For those of you who wrote or called about your favorite East Coast-style pizza restaurant that wasn't covered in this particular feature, please check our online archives for the rave reviews of those eateries – I promise they have not been slighted, forgotten, or overlooked. They've gotten well-earned recognition in the past. Wow – I feel so much better getting all that off my chest!… The owners of the ZuZu outlet in West Lake (6317 Bee Caves Rd., 732-2117, www.zuzuaustin.com) continue their tailgating tradition this week at a big potluck dinner for 200 to 300 family members of the UT football team before the Horns play the Aggies Thanks­giving night. The families will bring side dishes and desserts to complement the turkeys prepared by the ZuZu staff. Sysco is providing the turkeys… Look for the new Russell's Bistro (1 Jef­fer­son Square, 467-7877) to open Dec. 5 in the former Vin Bistro location on Kerbey Lane. The new spot will feature morning coffee and pastries just like its sibling, Russell's Bakery & Coffee Bar (3339 Hancock Dr., 419-7877, www.russellsbakery.com), plus a menu of sandwiches, soups, and salads for lunch. Long-range plans call for adding weekend brunches and eventual dinner service… More than 50 area cooks entered dessert recipes in the recent Holiday Baking Contest at Fara­day's Kitchen Store (1501 RR 620 N., 266-5666, www.faradayskitchenstore.com), and winners took home prizes such as store gift cards and kitchen equipment provided by vendors. Linda Adams took home the Grand Prize plus the Cakes and Cupcakes category with her fresh pear cake; Katy Fran­ces­chi­ni's Osgood Pie won in Pies, Tarts and Torts; Holiday Ribbons from Sue Raye was the Light and Healthy Favorite; and Joe Lowke's Margherita Semifreddo won the Other category. For some winning recipes and a story about my surprising connection to one of the contest winners, be sure to check out my blog, Virginia's On the Range. Happy Thanksgiving!

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KEYWORDS FOR THIS STORY

Chronicle archives, Hyatt Regency, SWB Southwest Bistro, Indie Pizzas, ZuZu, Thanksgiving, Russell's Bistro, Russell's Bakery & Coffee Bar, Faraday's Kitchen Store, Holiday Baking Contest, Linda Adams

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