Food-o-File

Austinites love local, fresh foods and doing the food-truck shuffle

Hearty congratulations to Carla Jenkins and the Cedar Park Farms to Market (11200 Lake­line Mall Dr., Cedar Park, www.cedarparkfarmersmarket.org) for being voted the No. 1 farmers' market in Texas and No. 7 in the nation by voters in the annual competition held by the American Farmland Trust. Also, kudos to sisters Salila Travers and Ruth Wilmore and the Barton Creek Farmers Market (2901 Capital of TX Hwy. S., www.bartoncreekfarmersmarket.com) for their win in the 2010 "Best of Austin" Readers Poll. We couldn't help but notice that Greenling (www.greenling.com), Boggy Creek Farm (3414 Lyons, www.boggycreekfarm.com), and Wheatsville Food Co-op (3101 Guada­lupe, 478-2667, www.wheatsville.com) all received enthusiastic support from Chronicle readers. This would seem to indicate that plenty of Austinites are serious about fresh, local food, and we couldn't be happier about that!... Readers in the West Campus area are very excited about Jax Neigh­bor­hood Cafe (2828 Rio Grande, 382-1570, www.jaxjoint.com), the new pizza and live music joint that opened this summer in the former Drungo Ice House location. It's good to hear the pizza oven installed years ago by Hang Town Grill is once again in operation... Several local businesses are currently in transition. Chef/restaurateur Parind Vora reports that his lease on the historic building at 914 Congress has not been renewed after the fire that destroyed Jezebel, and he's looking for just the right location to reopen his unique fine dining concept. Fête Accompli (917 W. 12th, 478-3383, www.feteaustin.com) will no longer be open for retail sales but will continue catering and operating popular booths at both the Downtown and Sunset Valley farmers' markets on Saturdays. On the SoCo food strip, Muck-N-Dave's Texas BBQ trailer disappeared last week and was immediately replaced by Bar-B-Que-T, a trailer selling chopped beef, brisket, sausage, baby back ribs, and sides prepared by the venerable Artz Rib House. The Mambo Berry truck is also absent. Entrepren­eur Jacob Boone says he's considering a sale but may keep the truck and only work weekend farmers' markets and festivals in the future. The leasing agent for the SoCo strip assures us that more new trailer food concepts will be featured in that block this fall. In addition to good food and a busy location, an innovative theme and catchy name seem to have a lot to do with trailer success thereabouts... And speaking of food trucks, five competitors in The Great Food Truck Race rolled into Fort Worth two weeks ago, and the winners used advance planning and smart strategies to come out on top. The Nom Nom girls partnered with Central Market, and the Frenchmen from Spencer on the Go parked near the Kimbell Art Museum to maximize sales. And though Crepes Bonaparte proved to be a hard sell in Cowtown, Austin Daily Press was still hanging in as one of the four trucks headed to New Orleans. Once in the Crescent City, a rain-soaked generator and trying to cook catfish filets on a sandwich press for the truck stop challenge proved to be their undoing. The Austin team headed home, and the remaining three trucks are off to a small town in Tennes­see with no food truck scene whatsoever.

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KEYWORDS FOR THIS STORY

local food news, Cedar Park Farms to Market, American Farmland Trust, Salila Travers, Ruth Wilmore, Carla Jenkins, Barton Creek Farmers Market, Best of Austin, Greenling, Boggy Creek Farm, Wheatsville Food Co-op, Jax Neighborhood Cafe, Drungo Ice House, Hang Town Grill, Parind Vora, Jezebel, Fête Accompli, Muck-N-Dave's Texas BBQ, Bar-B-Que-T, Artz Rib House

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