Foodie news about town
Austin's chapter of the women's culinary service organization Les Dames d'Escoffier kicked off an innovative new fundraiser this week with a slapstick pie fight on the rooftop plaza of the Whole Foods Market Downtown. The "pie in the face" schtick was meant to symbolize the Les Dames online charity auction, Food Fight. Guests can virtually attend the Food Fight auction to bid on a dazzling array of food and wine packages, culinary travels, customized cooking classes, and great theme parties. Winning bidders will get their packages in early December, just in time for holiday giving. Proceeds from the auction will fund the annual culinary scholarships awarded by Les Dames. To bid in the auction, go to www.ldeiaustin.org between now and Nov. 20... There is no sweeter or more popular local business than Amy's Ice Creams (www.amysicecreams.com), founded 25 years ago this week by Amy Simmons. From the original store on Guadalupe to 15 stores and counting in Austin, Houston, and San Antonio, the business represented by the whimsical cows is very dear to the hearts and palates of Texas ice cream lovers. Simmons and company celebrated 25 years of "moo-mories" yesterday by serving up free scoops in most of the Austin stores. What a way to celebrate!... There's more news in the local food trailer scene. Chronicle writer Kate Thornberry and I sampled sweets from two new trailers recently. Gourdough's Big Fat Donuts (1219 S. Lamar, www.gourdoughs.com) serves up 25 different versions of enormous, decadent donuts filled or topped with everything from bacon and maple syrup icing to habanero pepper jelly and cream cheese to simple cinnamon sugar for $3.25 (add $1 for meat). It's open daily, and there's a Brevita coffee stand in the same parking lot. After that, we hit the SoCo trailer row for a delicious buttermilk pie from the colorful little Cutie Pies wagon (1600 S. Congress, www.cutiepiewagon.com). Pie maven Jaynie Buckingham offers her award-winning buttermilk pie plus a rotating selection of other $5 miniature pies Thursdays through Sundays. (Still no definite word on where all those trailers will relocate when construction begins on the new boutique hotel slated for that block some time after the first of the year; we'll keep you posted.) Check out the parking lot at Freewheeling Bicycles for the eco-trailer that is home to the Good Bike Coffee Shop (2401 San Gabriel, @thegoodbike on Twitter). Owner Charlie Drozdyk serves coffee made from Fair Trade and Direct Trade beans brewed in the "Portland-style drip method" (someone a lot more sophisticated about coffee than I am will have to explain that to you) as well as breakfast tacos, Rockstar Bagels, yogurt parfaits, and ice cream. Hola Aloha Shave Ice (2209 Manor Rd., 585-4778, www.holaaloha.com) closed for the season on Halloween but will be serving its sweet and savory waffles at some events in East Austin this month... It looks as though the Rosedale neighborhood will have plenty of wine bars. The new Apothecary Cafe & Wine Bar (4800 Burnet Rd. #450, 371-1600, www.apothecaryaustin.com) offers light fare to go with coffee, tea, and wines by the glass and bottle. It has indoor and patio seating and will offer live music. And Parind Vora's new Simplicity Wine & Eats (www.simplicitywinebar.com) will set up shop in the same block; no word yet on the exact opening date... If you're considering a farm-to-table Thanksgiving dinner, now is the time to order an all-natural, pastured turkey from Alexander Family Farm. Kim Alexander raises both heritage breed (Bourbon Reds and Narragansetts) and Broad Breasted White turkeys on his farm near Del Valle, where they live on a diet of all-natural feed supplemented by whole grain hard red wheat, which gives their meat a nutty flavor. The Broad Breasted birds range in size from 12 to 25 pounds and cost $3.99 per pound. (The heritage birds are already sold out this year.) To order a really fresh, really local turkey for your Thanksgiving table, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org, and you will receive an order form by return e-mail. A $25 deposit is required, and the turkey can be picked up Saturday, Nov. 21 or Tuesday, Nov. 24.