Food news for your four-legged friends and more
Austin's reputation as a pet-friendly city is attracting some national attention this weekend. The first local outlet of pet-care chain Woof Gang Bakery (1204 N. Lamar, 391-9663, www.woofgangbakery.com) opens Saturday, March 12, under the ownership of Austinite Tom Morris. Woof Gang specializes in healthy, natural pet foods and treats, toys, fashion accessories, and pet-grooming products. Look for the store to offer pet-friendly events and Yappy Hours for customers and their animals... Also this weekend, the folks from Friskies will be promoting the launch of Tasty Treasures, a new cheese-flavored cat food. As part of the promotion, Friskies is bringing a 640-pound block of cheese carved to represent several famous cats that have been featured in popular YouTube videos. Check out the sculpture at Short Bus Subs' temporary location for South by Southwest at Fifth and Brazos. This Sunday beginning at 11am, Short Bus will be giving away free grilled-cheese sandwiches to the first 500 guests courtesy of Friskies. Meow!
Austin chefs are in the news. Chez Zee (5406 Balcones) announced last week that Ben Nathan, formerly of the Belmont, is the new executive chef at the popular Northwest Austin bistro. Brad Sorenson, chef contestant on the last season of The Next Food Network Star, recently took some time off from his job at Asti (408-C E. 43rd) to compete in a new round of Chopped All-Stars on the Food Network. Sorenson cooked his way to the dessert round before being eliminated during a segment that aired March 6. Chef James Holmes, owner of Olivia (2043 S. Lamar), will take part in a South by Southwest Interactive panel discussion titled Bite Me – Are Ethics Gone From Food Criticism? at the Hyatt (208 Barton Springs Rd.) at 11am Monday, March 14. And in the off-with-our-heads department, sincere apologies to Austin chef Jesse Griffiths, who was one of the four local nominees in the recent online regional chef competitions held by Food & Wine magazine and CNN's Eatocracy.com. We regret having left him out of a notice about that competition. Tim Byres of Smoke restaurant in Dallas was named People's Best New Chef in the Southwest.
The hippest new happy hour in town has to be the Social Interactive Playtime at Trace at the W Hotel (200 Lavaca). Guests can enjoy a variety of custom cocktails, Texas wines, and savory and sweet menu items for $5 each from 4 to 6:30pm every day.
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