The Austin Chronicle

Book Fest Fare 2010

By Kate Thornberry, October 15, 2010, Food

There will be lots of splendid local food available at this year's Texas Book Festival. "We've been working toward that goal for the last few years," says Mary Wilson, who's in charge of arranging the food and beverage vendors for the event. "We want to provide the kind of healthy, real food that Austinites prefer, as well as provide national exposure to some of our wonderful local businesses." The vendors will all be set up on 11th Street between Congress Avenue and Colorado Street, making it easy to grab a quick bite or cup of coffee without having to trudge a mile or lose your parking space.

Returning this year will be Ruby's B-B-Q – one of the few barbecue joints in Austin that serves all-natural brisket – serving chopped beef sandwiches and pulled pork sandwiches. "We'll also have our vinaigrette coleslaw," says Amy Marsh, "so that if people want, it can be put right on the pulled pork sandwich or be served on the side."

O's Campus Cafe will be doing a reprise of last year's popular tomato soup and grilled cheese combo. "It will be a classic tomato soup," says Jeffrey Worden from O's Catering, "and the sandwich will be made of Gruyère cheese on a toasted sourdough bread with caramelized onions."

Torchy's Tacos will be back as well, serving three of its most popular tacos: the green chile pork taco, made with slow-roasted pork carnitas and chiles, topped with queso fresco, cilantro, onions, and a lime wedge; a chicken fajita taco, made with grilled chicken breast, grilled onions and peppers, topped off with cheese and pico de gallo; and a plain bean and cheese taco.

Dog Almighty, a company that prides itself on treating vegetarians and carnivores with equal respect, will be serving all-beef hot dogs and vegetarian hot dogs, as well as beef chili and vegetarian chili. Grated cheese and onions will also be served, making classic chili-cheese dogs a lunch option for all. With all these fixin's on hand, it would be an oversight for both vegetarian and beef Frito pie to not be on the menu – so they are! For those who like their hot dogs plain, mustard, ketchup, and relish will also be provided.

Corn Dog Man will be in attendance, with his hand-dipped, freshly made corndogs. "These aren't frozen, factory corndogs!" says Corn Dog Man Bill Bland. "I dip them in batter myself and fry them up to order, the way they're supposed to be made. I'm also bringing real lemonade, the kind made with lemons, water, and sugar, and fresh-brewed iced tea."

Snowie, the shaved ice sno-cone company, will be serving healthy sno-cones made with all-natural juice concentrates and cane sugar. "We'll also have some sugar-free sno-cones, made with natural sugar substitutes," reports Snowie honcho Jason Chenoweth. "We'll also be doing some natural juices, such as mango-mint and strawberry-banana."

Local coffeehouse Caffe Medici will be serving hot regular and decaf coffee, and Amy's Ice Creams will have Mexican vanilla, Belgian chocolate, strawberry, and Oreo ice creams. "We may have a few other flavors, too," adds Carol Campbell from Amy's catering department. "If we have any ice cream at all left after ACL, that is!"

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