National media still eating up Austin's food scene; and other edible news to chew on
Speaking of good ice cream, Cincinnati-based Graeter's ice cream, made nationally famous as one of Oprah Winfrey's favorite things, is now available in Austin. A recent sample pack of pints was a huge hit with my colleagues at the Chronicle office – they raved about the luscious vanilla and refreshing mint chocolate chip. Graeter's ice creams are now at H-E-B stores.
Former Austin chef Paul Petersen announced his return to town last week. He's teamed with fellow San Antonio native Roger Diaz in an overhaul of the Lake Creek Shopping Center outlet of Diaz's Vivo restaurant (12233 RR 620 N.). Petersen's new menu will still focus on San Antonio-style Tex-Mex with some added upscale touches, and the bar now has a tequila club for special cocktail events. Look for Petersen to present a salsa demonstration in the cooking tent at the upcoming Austin Chronicle Hot Sauce Festival, Aug. 28.
In other local restaurant news, Magna Sampaio is a partner in the newly opened Hugo's Restaurant & Tequila Bar (300 S. Lamar) on the ground floor of a mixed-use development a few blocks south of the river. Hugo's presents a South American/Latin menu with some Tex-Mex dishes and large selections of both tequila and beer. It's open Monday through Saturday for lunch and dinner... And Austin fans of chef Parind Vora's Restaurant Jezebel will be pleased to know that the eclectic fine dining venue will return as one of three restaurants planned for the Cirrus Logic building being built at 800 W. Sixth by former Jezebel regular and Cirrus CEO Jason Rhode. Look for Vora to open Jezebel, Cafe Ziño, and Bar Ziño some time in 2012.
In the off-with-my-head department: Sauced Pizza owners Annette Rhode and Carson Nunez are both graduates of the ACC Culinary Arts program rather than Le Cordon Bleu. My sincere apologies to the young entrepreneurs and their culinary instructors.
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