Sweet news from Panaderia Chuy, Sticky Toffee Pudding Co., and Treat
When Mandola's Italian Market (4700 Guadalupe #12, 419-9700, www.mandolasmarket.com) opened in the Triangle in 2006, one of the things that impressed me most was the quality of the rustic artisan breads. Those products were the handiwork of baker Jesus "Chuy" Guevara, a native of the Mexican colonial city of Puebla. Guevara began learning his trade in his family's small bakery there and later honed his skills at the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, N.Y. He was baking bread at Central Market in Houston when he was tapped by chef/entrepreneur Damian Mandola to help open Mandola's signature grocery and eatery here in Austin. Earlier this year, Guevara struck out on his own with Panaderia Chuy (8716 Research #290, 374-9910), a large wholesale and retail operation that is open daily from 6am to 9pm. The bakery offers a large assortment of Mexican pan dulces, galletas, tortas, and breakfast tacos, plus European-inspired artisan breads and desserts, espresso and cappuccino, and several flavors of gelato. Nearby Hispanic neighbors have embraced the new store, and the wholesale operation is also very busy providing Guevara's excellent breads for Mandola's and many other restaurants and sandwich shops... The small, attractive restaurant space that until recently was home to Gypsy Italian Bistro (1025 Barton Springs Rd.) was a hot property pursued by several local restaurant groups during the few weeks it was on the open market. Manor Road entrepreneur Carlos Rivero has secured the lease and will open a second El Chilito location at the corner of Barton Springs and Dawson within the next few weeks. "The space is great – we'll have indoor seating for a change and a nice little patio out back," Rivero told us last week. And speaking of South Austin, Treat (1311 S. First, www.austintreat.com) has added a drive-up window for anyone who wants to feed his or her sweet tooth with cupcakes from Sugar Mama's, yummy Love Puppies brownies, or a refreshing cone of shaved ice. No more standing in line in the heat!... The Steele family has been ranching and farming in Central Texas for 150 years, and members of the current generation have been selling fresh produce from their farm near Seguin at area farmers' markets recently. They have now expanded their offerings to include FieldFresh, a new service that combines aspects of traditional community-supported agriculture subscriptions with a boutique home-produce-delivery business. Customers can join for a year, a season, or a month and have the option to customize their weekly share of the available Steele produce to suit their families' tastes, all for about $30 a week. The Steeles are currently delivering in Southwest and Central Austin, with plans to increase the delivery area to include East and North Austin within the year. For more info on FieldFresh, go to www.freshtexasproduce.com... Chef John Bullington loves to offer special tie-ins that enhance the movie dining experience at the Alamo Drafthouse South Lamar, Ritz, and Village, and to that end, he's added authentic English sticky toffee pudding from Austin's own Sticky Toffee Pudding Co. to the menu during the run of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince.