Food-o-File

Toni Tipton-Martin gets a move on up to the White House as Austin wades deeper into trailer mania

Austin food and nutrition journalist Toni Tipton-Mar­tin (www.thejemimacode.com) is at the White House this week participating in the launch of first lady Michelle Obama's new program Chefs Move to Schools (www.letsmove.gov). The new community initiative, administered by the U.S. Department of Agricult­ure, is designed to pair chefs and culinary professionals with interested local schools to assist in educating students about better nutritional choices. Selected chefs from around the country were invited to the White House program launch based on proposals sent in May. Tipton-Martin received the prestigious invitation because of her work here in Austin founding the nonprofit SANDE Youth Project that is dedicated to "combating childhood hunger, obesity, and disease by teaching basic cooking skills to at-risk youth and their families." Tipton-Martin first told Chronicle readers about the SANDE project and her goal to restore the historic Limerick-Frazier House in East Austin to serve as its home in a Jan. 15 feature ("Peace Through Pie") about a pie social celebrating the Martin Luther King day. We expect to hear more about her involvement in Chefs Move to Schools when she returns from Washing­ton... A TV producer asked me recently what was driving the expansion of Austin's trailer cuisine scene. I told her it's a case of culinary entrepreneurship meeting the enlightened self-interest of property owners who can't develop real estate to its highest potential just now because of the economy. As proof, look at four new food trailer courts that have sprung up in recent weeks. You can get everything from Sugarstar cupcakes to Lucky J's fried chicken and Elotes Locos Mexican corn to Mexican/Korean fusion dishes from TaKorea at the Longhorn Food Court, at the corner of MLK and Rio Grande where there was once a convenience store. At 801 Barton Springs Rd., where the Filling Station restaurant once stood, you'll find Sushi-a-Go-Go, Sno-Beach sno-cones, Elixir Coffee Solutions, and Cajun/Italian specialties from Osmo's Kitchen. Farther south, on a corner lot at Live Oak and South First formerly slated for condos, look for Kary Austin's Bagels & Smoothies, NOA Snow Cones, Pick-Up Sticks Kebabs & More, and tacos at the SoFi Food Court. And this weekend, Austin's newest trailer court debuts when EAT – the East Austin Trailer Park & Eatery (2326 E. Cesar Chavez, www.eastaustineat.com) opens in what was until recently an empty lot between two warehouses. Trailers: Beso de Luna with tamales, tacos, aguas frescas, and Mexican coffee; Mexican burgers and hot dogs from the Tex-Mex Man; hot and cold tea beverages at the Sesi Tea Cart; classy little burgers from the Upscale Slider Guys; tiny doughnuts from A Little Dippy Donut Company; and designer s'mores around the campfire at TREAT. Speaking of trailers, Hola Aloha Fresh Treats has relocated and is now serving delicious shaved-ice concoctions prepared with organic fruits and fruit syrups at 2113 S. Lamar, near LuLu B's... The owners of Dazzle Coffee (100 N. Second St., Pfluger­ville, 670-1100, www.dazzlecoffee.com) are celebrating their fourth anniversary by giving away a $1,000 gift card to the 250,000th customer to order coffee in their shop. The actual anniversary is June 9, and they expect to reach the sales milestone by midmonth. Coffee road trip, anyone? ... Perry's Steak­house & Grille (114 W. Seventh, 474-6300, www.perryssteakhouse.com) debuts 10 new signature cocktails paired with an upscale "meat and potatoes" menu at a public tasting on Thursday, June 10, from 6:30 to 8:30pm... Restaurateur Kelly Chappell and his partners in the Galaxy Cafes and Zocalo are the new owners and operators of the venerable Top Notch (7525 Burnet Rd., 452-2181). A manager assured me last week that the beloved Top Notch menu and longtime staff will remain in place at the eatery renowned for its burgers and fried chicken. Long live the Top Notch!

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KEYWORDS FOR THIS STORY

food trailers, Toni Tipton-Martin, Chefs Move to Schools, U.S. Department of Agricult­ure, SANDE Youth Project, Limerick-Frazier House, Sugarstar Desserts, Lucky J's, Elotes Locos, TaKorea, Longhorn Food Court, 801 Barton Springs Rd., Filling Station, Sushi-a-Go-Go, Sno-Beach, Osmo's Kitchen, Kary Austin's Bagels & Smoothies, East Austin Trailer Park & Eatery, Beso de Luna, Tex-Mex Man

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