The Austin Chronicle


By Virginia B. Wood, March 6, 2009, Food

A fire in a deep fryer caused some midday excitement at the Belmont (305 W. Sixth, 457-0300, on Friday, according to general manager Donnie Johnson, who says quick-thinking sous chef Chelsea Burchiester was getting the blaze under control with an extinguisher when the fire trucks arrived. "We had a big mess, black smoke on the vent hood and all that fire retardant ruined some food, but nobody was hurt, which is the best thing. We were open again by happy hour with a limited menu and a fire sale on some beers," a relieved John­son reports... Austin restaurant veteran Steve Chaney is back in business, running the newly reopened kitchen at the venerable Drag landmark Hole in the Wall (2538 Guad­a­lupe, 477-4747, Chaney's pub-grub menu has been available in the evenings for a few weeks. He began offering lunch this week with plans to add weekend brunches in the near future. Fans of Chaney's Cajun specialties can expect to find them on the Hole's eclectic, affordable menu from time to time... One of Austin's top chefs, Will Packwood, is back in the kitchen with a new venture. Although Packwood will continue to represent the gourmet food line for Hardie's Fruit & Vegetable Co., he has a new business called La Tavola (294-7734), which is Italian for "dining table." Through La Tavola, the chef will offer personal cooking classes, catering for small dinner parties, and home meal-replacement delivery services. Packwood and business partner Darrell Joseph are already growing some of the produce and raising small livestock that will appear in many of the La Tavola dishes at Joseph's Bella Verdi Farms near Dripping Springs... Contributing writer MM Pack reported on the opening party for the new Ate Cafe (2127 Lohman's Crossing, 300-4252, – the Lakeway-area brick-and-mortar expansion of the meal-delivery business owned by chef couple Jessica and Rodolfo Buonocore. The cafe is currently open 7:30am-4pm six days a week with indoor and outdoor seating. The menu features breakfast pastries and Fair Trade organic coffee drinks, sandwiches on locally baked bread, soups and salads, and weekly delivery of the Buonocore's popular three-course dinners... One of the most popular street-food items from the annual Austin City Limits Music Festival is now available on one of Austin's busiest streets. Hudson's on the Bend chef/owner Jeff Blank and Executive Chef Robert Rhoades are the proprietors of the Mighty Cone (1600 S. Congress at Monroe) food trailer, where they will serve their famous Hot and Crunchy Cones – battered and sautéed shrimp, chicken, or avocados in a tortilla cone topped with jalapeño-mango slaw – along with venison-sausage Cone Dogs and all-natural beef sliders. "This is the only time you can eat at Hudson's for less than $10," Blank jokes. The grand opening for the new food trailer is scheduled for Thursday, March 12, 11am-11pm. Look for promotional events throughout the week. A percentage of profits from Cone sales will benefit the Sustainable Food Center and Communities in Schools.

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