Food-o-File

Shake-ups on Sixth

Last week marked some sudden changes in the local restaurant scene with three high-profile restaurants closing. The Sixth Street entertainment district's first fern bar, the Paradise Cafe (401 E. Sixth), closed after 30 years of weathering changes in a constantly evolving neighborhood. Farther west, upscale restaurant and lounge the Belmont (305 W. Sixth) closed abruptly, causing local event planners to scramble to relocate scheduled events. And in West Austin, the architecturally unique pan-Latin eatery El Arbol (3411 Glen­view) also shuttered in the middle of the week with no advance notice. Word on the street is that interested parties were already looking at all three properties by week's end. We'll keep you posted when or if new operators set up shop in any of the three buildings.

And speaking of Sixth Street, a well-established business in that neighborhood has something new and different to offer. After years of serving up hot slices of pizza to late-night bar patrons out of a storefront, Roppolo's Pizzeria owner Marc Roppolo has expanded his operation to include the three-story St. Charles House (316 E. Sixth). Roppolo's now includes a comfortable patio and deck, plus air-conditioned indoor seating for 140 and flat-screen TVs in every room. Patrons can order pizza, calzones, pasta, and salads with a glass of wine or a cold beer and relax in the newly renovated space.

Kudos to Austin Slow Burn owners Jill and Kevin Lewis, who recently returned from the annual Houston Hot Sauce Festival with the Best in Show trophy for the second year in a row. The prestigious trophy is awarded to the contestant with wins in the most categories, and Austin Slow Burn swept the competition with three first-place and two second-place ribbons. Look for their award-winning products at Central Market, Whole Foods Market, Royal Blue Grocery, Thom's Market, the Meat House, the Market at Steiner Ranch, Paleface Grocery, Brodie Park Market, and select H-E-Bs.

If you're looking for a way to eat a healthier plant-based diet on a budget but don't know where to start, Austin's newest meal delivery service wants to come to your rescue. Chef Veronica Chapa of Veggytopia (www.veggytopia.com) offers a week's worth of chef-prepared, vegan meals for just under $100. The new company provides organic and gluten-free options as well and charges no delivery fees.

Congratulations to Marla Camp and Terry Thompson-Anderson on the success of the first Edible Texas Wine & Food Match competition (won by Austin chef David Garrido), which generated a $10,000 donation to the Texas Center for Wine and Culinary Arts in Fredericksburg. Well done, ladies.

Austin Restaurant Week (www.restaurantweekaustin.com) continues with participating restaurants offering fixed-price meals for lunch, dinner, or brunch, Sunday through Wednesday, Oct. 2-5.

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KEYWORDS FOR THIS STORY

Paradise Cafe, the Belmont, El Arbol, Roppolo's, Austin Slow Burn, Veggytopia, Edible Texas Wine & Food Match, David Garrido, Austin Restaurant Week

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