Texas summer perks: peaches, wine, and Lockhart barbecue
The Central Texas barbecue world has been buzzing since the bombshell announcement that the third generation of one of Lockhart's venerable barbecue dynasties will create a new restaurant west of Austin. Edgar Schmidt's grandchildren, John Fullilove (Smitty's Market) and Keith Schmidt (Kreuz Market); their cousin Susie Schmidt-Franks; and her husband, Chad Franks, will honor their birthright and showcase their considerable barbecue expertise at Schmidt Family Barbecue near Bee Cave within the coming year. I just hope they're ready in time to headline the BBQ Crash Course 2013 that kicks off South by Southwest Interactive in March!
In response to the announcement that Terry Lickona's new Downtown eatery will feature New Orleans-inspired cuisine and serve breakfast, lunch, and dinner, I have only one suggestion: beignets. Dedicate some fryers in the kitchen reorganization plan right now and I'll even throw in a foolproof recipe. There isn't a decent beignet in this town and Lickona's would be the perfect spot for them. Seriously, cher.
The remodel of the campus-area Kerbey Lane Cafe (2606 Guadalupe) is now complete and the restaurant has reopened for business. In other Kerbey news, the homegrown chain's annual summer food drive benefiting the Capital Area Food Bank is in full swing because summer is the peak time for needs at local food pantries. Donate nonperishable food items for deductions on your tab at any Kerbey Lane restaurant.
Austin's dog-friendliness quotient is getting a boost with Sunday Yappy Hours on the patio at EZ's Brick Oven & Grill (3918 N. Lamar). Enjoy happy hour with your pet 4-7pm, drop your receipt in a box designated Austin Humane Society, and EZ's will donate 10% of sales to AHS... And keep an eye out for Austin's first mobile food truck for dogs: We're told Bow Wow Chow should hit the streets some time this month.
Juice man Matt Shook reports that his newest Juiceland outlet (7329 Burnet Rd.) is doing great business in the former Cutie Pies location. Also, he and David Ansel have just opened a second Juicebox & Soup Peddler retail outlet in the Bouldin Creek neighborhood (501 W. Mary), offering fresh juices, smoothies, soups, salads, and grilled cheese sandwiches.
Last week, we failed to list Make It Sweet and Argus Cidery among those who'd applied for Mission: Small Business grants; at press time, all the Austin companies who applied were closing in on enough votes of support to be in contention. We wish them all the best of luck.
If you're headed out to the Hill Country during this holiday week, peach stands along US 290 West will be doing a brisk business, and so will the wineries. Check out the award-winning vintages at Becker Vineyards (www.beckerwines.com) and stop in at the new winery and tasting room of 4.0 Cellars (www.fourpointwine.com), a collaboration of award-winning Texas vintners Brennan Vineyards of Comanche, Lost Oak Winery in Burleson, and McPherson Cellars of Lubbock... I might be headed out to the Hill Country myself, so be sure to follow me on Twitter @ACFood.
Burger aficionados and California transplants are gleeful at the announcement that California's wildly popular In-n-Out Burger is negotiating for a space on I-35 in Round Rock. Should be interesting to see if they're as good as their reputation.