Wheatsville Co-op celebrates its 33rd anniversary, and Zoot reopens at its new location

The fact that I remember all of this firsthand really dates me as the old hippie that I am, but hey, what the hell? Before the establishment of the Whole Foods Market empire or our wonderful local farmers' markets, there was Wheatsville Co-op (3101 Guadalupe, 478-2667, Wheatsville's roots go all the way back to the Woody Hills Co-op, itself an outgrowth of a student vegetable-buying cooperative among UT campus-area co-op houses in the early 1970s. Austin's venerable natural-foods cooperative celebrates its 33rd anniversary next week with the debut of some of the key elements of its ongoing expansion project. Look for a new coffee bar serving a full assortment of coffee beverages with organic milk, soy milk, and syrups at reasonable prices; bread baked fresh in the store; plus larger selections of frozen food items and meats ready to cook. Happy birthday!... The Zagat Texas Restaurants 2009 guide was released last week, offering reviews of 1,600 Texas eateries in five major cities. Frequent Chronicle contributor Claudia Alarcón edited the section on Austin restaurants. The printed guide is small and slim, just the right size for your purse, briefcase, or glove compartment, but if that's still too cumbersome for you, Zagat to Go information is available for BlackBerrys, smartphones, or iPhones at Cyclist Lance Armstrong and his cancer-fighting organization are household names around our town, but I'll bet you didn't know Armstrong and pals John Korioth, Bill Stapleton, Bart Knaggs, and Gary Seghi created the foundation around a table at Austin's original Z'Tejas Grill (1110 W. Sixth, 478-5355, in 1996. The restaurant recently donated a table and personalized chairs for the lobby at the nonprofit's new offices, and it will dedicate a portion of the proceeds from its 20th anniversary bash this fall to benefit the Lance Armstrong Foundation... Eating more salads just got easier for Downtown dwellers because Leaf (419 W. Second, 474-5323, has extended its hours into the evening three nights a week – Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday, 11am-9pm – and added delivery services in the neighborhood. In that same block, the new La Condesa (400-A W. Second, 499-0300, is now open for lunch weekdays from 11am to 3pm and weekend brunches from 11am to 2pm... Chronicle writer Wes Marshall and wife Emily were among the guests Saturday at the preopening party for the new Zoot location (11715 Bee Caves Rd., 477-6535,, where owners Stewart Scruggs and Mark Paul began serving dinner nightly March 9... We've received word that nationally renowned herbalist and author Madalene Hill passed away on March 5 at the age of 95. For most of the last 20 years, Hill and her daughter, Gwen Barclay, operated a restaurant and extensive herb gardens at the International Festival-Institute at Round Top ( The knowledgeable mother-daughter team presented regular seminars and forums on growing and cooking with herbs and wrote several books on those subjects. Hill was founder of the Hilltop Herb Farm Restaurant in Cleveland, Texas, and a past president of the Herb Society of America. She was widely respected as an educator and mentor. After the conclusion of Festival Hill's annual Spring Herbal Forum, a memorial service for Hill will be held in the Festival Concert Hall at 2pm on Sunday, March 22, followed by a reception hosted by the Herb Society in the Menke House.

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Wheatsville Co-op, Zagat Texas Restaurants 2009 guide, Z'Tejas, Lance Armstrong Foundation, Leaf, La Condesa, Zoot, Madalene Hill

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