Food-o-File

Join in for another Artz Rib House fundraiser, and get involved in making Fat Tuesday official

René Britt told me the public response to the impromptu benefit for Artz Rib House (2330 S. Lamar, 442-8283, www.artzribhouse.com) a couple of weeks back reminded her of the scene in Frank Capra's classic film It's a Wonderful Life in which the citizens of Bedford Falls realize their friends George and Mary Bailey are in trouble, and everyone pitches in to help: "The waitresses worked for free and donated their tips; the musicians who played passed the hat and donated that; musicians who make their living as electricians, plumbers, and carpenters volunteered their time to make some (long-neglected and much-needed) repairs around the restaurant; and even though they wanted to hang around, people who were eating and listening to music let us turn the tables as soon as they were done eating so more people could eat. The folks who couldn't park in the lot or on the side streets dropped off cash and checks in the parking lot. It was a beautiful thing." In case you missed that event, the Britts are putting together another big party with an all-star musical lineup to benefit Art Blondin and his wife, Zenobia Sutton, at Scholz Garten (1607 San Jacinto) this Sunday, 4-10pm, for a mere $10 donation. Organizers are still taking donations for the live and silent auctions and can use everything from music memorabilia, CDs, and house concert pledges to restaurant gift packages and whole pies for the pie auction (that's what I'll be donating – you know I do love a good pie auction). Contact Pam Golightly (477-1178, saveartz@gmail.com) or Linda Branson (371-3550) to donate... With Mardi Gras coming up this week, there's news about the initiative to have Fat Tuesday declared a national holiday. New Orleans resident Olivia Man­ning (wife of Archie and mom of Peyton and Eli) has joined forces with the Greater New Orleans Foundation and Zatarain's to petition Congress to proclaim the final day of the Carnival season a national holiday. French settlers held the first impromptu Mardi Gras party on this continent in 1699, and official annual celebrations began in New Orleans about 20 years later. Today, Mardi Gras is celebrated in cities all over America, including Austin. Sign the online petition at www.motionformardigras.com... Over dinner last week, I found out the new tenant in the former El Sol y la Luna space in SoCo will be a diner/lounge called Snack Bar (1224 S. Con­gress). Personal chef/caterer Gina Burchenal is consulting on the menu for owner Bethany Andree. The new spot will serve diner-style breakfast and lunch (with special attention paid to a variety of dietary concerns) and offer a small-plate lounge atmosphere in the evenings with beer and wine. They're hoping to be open in the spring... Toward the end of the research on our garden story, we discovered another cool garden that certainly belongs in the discussion. The prosperity/victory garden at the outdoor music venue known as Kenny Dorham's Back­yard (1106 E. 11th, 477-9438, www.diversearts.org) was installed last fall by Brandi Clark and Dick Pierce and students of an organization called Citizen Gardener (www.citizengardener.ning.com). The garden location next to the historic Victory Grill (1104 E. 11th) was chosen because the old club has been there since victory gardens were in vogue the first time and also to harken back to the days when much of the rich river bottomland and Blackland Prairie of East Austin was cultivated in vegetable patches, specifically lots of spinach. We'll have more on these folks next week.

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KEYWORDS FOR THIS STORY

Artz Rib House, Mardi Gras, Kenny Dorham's Back­yard, gardening, Fat Tuesday

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