Food films for you to chew on
Austin filmmaker Christian Remde has just released his latest documentary, "Local," which addresses the evolution of the local food scene in America, the meaning of the word "organic," and the challenges involved in sourcing food locally. Check "Local" out at www.vimeo.com/32845880, and then read what Chronicle contributor Melanie Haupt has to say about it on our blog... In other local documentary news, filmmaker Mark Hall recently signed a distribution deal with New York's Kino Lorber Inc. that calls for theatrical distribution of his film Sushi: The Global Catch in major markets around the country, including Austin, in 2012.
And now for a lightning round of local restaurant news: Austinite Matthew DeLeon has brought the first franchise outlet of Muscle Maker Grill to Downtown (906 Congress). The quick-casual restaurant is open daily, offering healthy alternatives to fast-food dishes from a variety of international cuisines, with vegetarian and gluten-free options, smoothies, and protein drinks in various flavors... Austin's newest family- and dog-friendly eatery is Austin Terrier (3435 Greystone) in Northwest Hills. The casual spot features a menu of appetizers, salads, and hearty sandwiches, as well as a play area with coloring activities, a chalkboard, and books for kids; flat-screen TVs for sports-minded adults; and a comfortable outdoor patio for families with dogs. See the menu at www.austinterrier.com... The new West Campus Fricano's Deli (2405 Nueces) boasts a much bigger kitchen and dining area than the popular North Campus outlet, plus a beer and wine menu, Thursday movie nights, and an outdoor dining patio... One of Lake Travis' most popular seasonal dining spots is opening a year-round second location in the Hill Country Galleria. Look for Cafe Blue to debut in December featuring steaks, seafood, and contemporary coastal cuisine developed by Executive Chef Ben Nathan... Tacos and Tequila (507 Pressler) has added a Saturday brunch buffet ($17.95, 10am-3pm) to its weekend lineup, including both Christmas and New Year's weeks, with free parking in the convenient garage... Bistrot Mirabelle (8127 Mesa Ste. A-100) has added a weekend brunch (10am-3pm) with a Provençal-inspired menu and a house signature cocktail, La Vie en Rose, made with Rosé Champagne and rose water... Red House Pizzeria (1917 Manor Rd.) has added daily lunch to its lineup, offering half-priced pizzas 11am-2pm (for a short time only) plus a menu of salads, sandwiches, entrées, and full bar service. Red House also offers delivery in a selected area, live music Monday nights, and trivia games on Tuesday nights... Maudie's Tex-Mex (six locations, www.maudies.com) has added a special Give Back Plate to the menu through Dec. 20. A third of the proceeds from every plate sold will go to local housing nonprofit Foundation Communities... And Santa Rita Tex-Mex Cantina (1206 W. 38th; 5900 W. Slaughter) brings back its delicious roasted chicken and pulled-pork tamales with signature sauces for two weeks, Dec. 8-24. Enjoy them by the plate or order them by the dozen (with two days' notice) to take home.