We'll take the drumstick
Mongers Market & Kitchen (2401 E. Cesar Chavez) is now open. The new spot from longtime Austin wholesale fishmonger Roberto San Miguel and well-known chef Shane Stark will continue to offer fish wholesale to restaurants while selling fresh Gulf seafood from the fish market counter. The kitchen menu offers an inviting handful of soups, salads, appetizers, sandwiches, and plates, plus a raw bar. Selections will rotate seasonally, based on seafood availability. I've got my eye on the barbecued Gulf shrimp, the grouper and grits, and a crab cake "sammy" with fried green tomatoes. Mongers will be open Tuesday-Saturday, 11am-7pm (kitchen open until 10pm), and Sunday, 11am-3pm.
Chef James Holmes is expanding his Lucy's Fried Chicken empire to include an outlet overlooking Lake Travis. "We came close to signing a lease on a space in Round Rock, but then my buddy Scott Hentschel mentioned the Waterloo Group was about to close the Iguana Grill and put that property up for lease. My wife Christina's family has a cabin at the lake, and we've spent plenty of time enjoying margaritas on the Iguana patio. I jumped at the chance to do a Lucy's out there," Holmes told us. After signing a lease, Holmes discovered there's a streamlined permit process in the lake area and preliminary demolition begins this week. Michael Hsu's company will remodel the space, and Holmes says having a bigger kitchen will make it possible for the third Lucy's outlet to offer a more expanded menu with a pull-out-all-the-stops brunch, one of his favorite meals. There will also be a separate building for special events and possibly even a playscape. "I'm hoping we can do a restaurant that will serve the community out there and then any seasonal business can be gravy," Holmes said. He hopes to have the new outlet open by the end of the summer.
Edible Austin has announced their list of Local Hero Awards for 2015, as voted by the readers of the magazine. Winners include: Restaurant/Chef – Dai Due chef-owner Jesse Griffiths; Food Shop – Antonelli's Cheese Shop; Farm/Farmer – Springdale Farm, Glenn and Paula Foore; Food Artisan – Confituras; Beverage Artisan – Tipsy Texan; and Nonprofit – Sustainable Food Center. Congratulations to them all for the well-deserved recognition.
As part of Bacon Fest, Central Market is holding a recipe contest for both sweet and savory bacon dishes. Submit your favorite bacon recipe at www.centralmarket.com/contest by Tuesday, March 17. Finalists will be notified to bring a prepared recipe for judging at a specific date and time. Winners get a year's supply of bacon.
Live Fire Tickets are now on sale. The annual party hosted by the Austin Food & Wine Alliance features chefs from Austin, Houston, Dallas, and San Antonio demonstrating their mastery of beef cookery over live fires along the banks of Onion Creek at the Salt Lick Pavilion on Thursday, April 9, 6:30-9:30pm. For tickets and complete details, go to www.austinfoodwinealliance.org.