Gluten-free at Mr. Gatti's, a smorgasbord of food fundraisers, and pastries fit for royalty

Once again, national magazines have their fingers on the pulse of the Austin food scene. Chef and owner Shawn Cirkiel appears in the current issue of Food Arts, presenting the spring specialties at parkside (301 E. Sixth). A crew from Better Homes & Gardens recently finished a photo shoot for an upcoming summer spread about Green Gate Farms (8310 Canoga), the organic farm, weekly farm stand, and teaching facility just east of the city. Over in Hutto, owners of the Texan Cafe & Pie Shop (207 East St.) are proud their pie happy hour (Tuesday-Saturday, 3-5pm) garnered a mention in the current issue of Southern Living.

Austin's oldest homegrown pizza chain, Mr. Gatti's, has added gluten-free pizza crust to the menu at six of its local outlets. The 10- and 12-inch crusts are prepared locally by Gluten Free Kneads and are available on pies to eat in or take out at participating locations... Speaking of pizza, the friendly folks of Spartan Pizza (1104 E. Sixth at Waller) announced the relocation of their vintage trailer to an East Austin trailer park by dropping off some of their wonderful pies at the office recently. Too bad Mick Vann and I don't work in the office!... Kate Bel­lin­ger has moved her Kate's Southern Comfort trailer into the spot vacated by Spartan in the parking lot at the Red Shed Tavern (8504 S. Congress). Kate's serves exemplary Louisiana-style fried meat pies and other Cajun specialties.

An estimated 350 people enjoyed Sunday's all-volunteer East Austin Urban Farm Tour, checking out spring crops, visiting chicken coops, noshing on dishes created from farm-fresh produce, and sipping local brews and spirits. Ticket sales generated more than $10,000 to benefit the Farm & Ranch Free­dom Alliance – although FARFA's Judith McGeary said Monday she is concerned that some of the proceeds would have to cover the costs of last-minute inspection fines levied at Rain Lily Farm by a sanitarian from the Austin/Travis County Health Department... In other benefit news, owners and employees of the local outlets of the Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf recently turned over a check for $4,100 to the Health Alliance for Austin Musicians. The check represented funds generated by a wristband donation campaign held by the coffee retailer during February. Good for them!

The newest Downtown destination for excellent coffee drinks in a sophisticated European atmosphere is the third outlet of popular local shop Caffe Medici (200 Con­gress Ste. 2-B), on the street level of the swank new Auston­ian. (See "Destination Dining Downtown" for reviews of the Austonian's eateries.)

Just in time for your royal-wedding-watching parties, the bakers at La Pâtisserie by Luxe Sweets (602 W. Annie, 912-0033) have come up with a special $75 Royal Wedding pastry package that includes a dozen each of two flavors of its exquisite macaroons, a dozen cucumber finger sandwiches, and a dozen miniature French pastries. Preorder your goodies by Wednesday, April 27, for pickup Friday, April 29. You'll have to brew your own tea.

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