Friday, January 23, 2015

Bits and Bites -- Austin Food News

LOTS of stuff coming up!

-- I Knead That pop up bakery at Metier, January 24th and 31st, 10 am until sold out, cash and credit cards now accepted; Flat Track Cold Brew will also be available.
-- Bacon and Beer Fest  is this Sunday, January 25th, but it's sold out! Hope you got your tickets for this tasty annual event.
-- January 27th, 6 pm, Jack Allen's Kitchen (Oak Hill)  hosts a Gulf seafood cookout benefiting the Lone Star Paralysis Foundation,$150/person, tickets here.
-- Chavez will host a 5-course Folio Fine Wine Dinner on February 3rd; $100/person.
-- Central Market's (all locations) annual chocolate festival will be February 4 - 17. This year's event, A Chocolate Affair, will also include a store wide chocolate tasting on February 6th from 5 - 8 pm.    
-- Leading up to their 5th anniversary, Antonelli's Cheese Shop has a couple different events going on: Feb 9th -- Pig Crawl with La Quercia charcuterie maker Herb Eckhouse; Feb 10th -- pizza party with special pies at ABGB; Feb 11th (their actual anniversary) -- a house party at their shop. Check their events page for more details on all of these!
 -- Sit Stay Day from Emancipet is coming up on February 13th. For $175, you purchase a box of locally curated items donated by area restaurants and food smiths; the various items are gathered in a basket, which can be delivered to your Valentine on the 13th. Some South Austin favorites such as Sugar Mama's, Bouldin Creek Cafe and the Soup Peddler are amongst the donors, and the full list can be found on their website.
--  Lamb Jam will be February 22nd,  at Barr Mansion, brought to you by the American Lamb Board, with 16 local chefs making great use of lamb. $60/person.  From the press release:
Competing for the titles of “Best in Show,” “People’s Choice” and “Best Mediterranean, Asian, Latin and Middle Eastern inspired dishes,” chefs will prepare and serve their most flavorful American lamb fare to be voted on by lamb-loving attendees and judged by Austin’s top food media. 
Austin Lamb Jam
 -- February 26th, is the Official Drink of Austin event, where the local bartending community gets the spotlight, as the Austin Food and Wine Alliance partners with the Tipsy Texan. Tickets $45 before February 1st, $55 after. 
-- The Gluten Free Food Allergy Fest will be February 28 - March 1 at the Austin Convention Center. Attendees will be able to sample hundreds of gluten-free and allergy friendly foods, learn new cooking techniques and sit in on lectures from leading researchers in the field.  
-- The third annual Austin Oyster Festival will be February 28th, 12 - 6 pm at Carson Creek Ranch, $45-75/person, benefiting the Capital Area Food Bank. East and west coast oysters, bloody Mary bar, games, live music and more!
-- Tickets now on sale for the Austin Food and Wine Festival, April 24 - 25; restructured pricing from last year.
Super Bowl specials Austin

Super Bowl -- February 1st 
-- Did you know that chicken wings have surpassed pizza as the "must have food" for Americans watching the Super Bowl? Pluckers will make 5,000 wings an hour for the 4-5 hours surrounding the big game, but you can place your order now!
-- Fresa's will have special offerings for the game, including wood-grilled wings, jalapeno poppers and 7-layer dip.
-- Salty Sow and Roaring Fork present "Dinner On Us" (or, buy one entree get one free) throughout Super Bowl Sunday.
Valentine's specials Austin

Valentine's -- February 14th, duh! ** make reservations now!**
--Three course luncheon at Fall Creek Vineyards, $39/person (includes wines); strawberry and goat cheese salad, choice of chicken, pasta or spinach tart, chocolate raspberry mousse
-- Five course dinner at Olamaie, $80/person with optional $45 wine pairings; Olamaie Biscuit, Venison Heart & Sunchoke Tartare, Day Boat Fish, Rutabega Spoonbread, Biscuit Wellington, and Chocolate Cremeux
-- Four course dinner at Finn + Porter, $75/person, with optional wine parings. Different offerings for each course, which include oysters, smoked duck, sea bass, and hazelnut pot de creme. 
-- Five course dinner at The Carillon, $80/person, with optional $65 wine pairings; beef tartare, grilled romaine, blue prawns, beef tenderloin, and chocolate in black and white. (They're serving on both Feb 13 and 14.)
-- Four courses at Lenoir, $65/person. No further menu info available at this time.
-- Four courses at Sagra, $50/person, with optional $15 wine pairings; different offerings for each course, including saffron bisque, pistachio crusted scallops, and creme brulee; vegan options also available.
-- Odd Duck and Peche will offer plate specials as well.  
-- Dai Due offers three savory courses plus dessert. 
-- Due Forni: dinner for two for $60. 
 -- Epicerie, four courses for $45/person with scallops.
-- NXNW has four courses for $49/person with beef tenderloin or snapper. 
-- Daily Grill, three courses with choice of lamb, scallops, or filet + lobster as an entree.  
-- The Preserve at Travaasa offers four courses for $75/person with optional $45 wine pairings. Entree choices include halibut, prime rib, or vegetable melange. Couples massages also available. 
-- And a "Love Hangover" brunch at drink.well on February 15th.

Now Open/New Offerings
-- Barley Swine's Hour of Snacks and Drinks (aka Happy Hour) is now a thing, every Monday through Friday from 5:30 - 6:30 pm.
-- Eastside Cafe is now offering their homemade soups ($3.95/12 oz and $4.95/16 oz) to go next door at Elaine's Pork and Pie. Check their Facebook page for daily varieties.
-- Chi'lantro, a 1509 South Lamar -- Korean/Mexican fusion food.  I attended the media preview last week, and found the k-pop chicken wings to be particularly tasty! Excited to have them in South Austin!
Chi'lantro brick and mortar k-pops
-- Lucky's Puccias at 1611 W. 5th Street
-- Delysia Chocolatier and Tito's Vodka have paired up for three new limited edition truffles.
-- Ramen Tatsu-ya is holding soft openings at their new south location (1234 South Lamar) through January 24th, with their official grand opening on the 25th.

In Progress...
-- The old Fran's at Mary and South Congress was demolished this week to make room for the new flagship Torchy's Tacos.

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Bits and Bites -- Austin Food News

Greetings food lovers! Hope you all survived the holidays and are keeping up with at least some of your new year's resolutions. Here's my first Bits and Bites of 2015.

The year has started out on a very good note for yours truly: South Austin Foodie has been named one of the top 10 best food blogs by the Austin Chronicle for the second year running. THANK YOU, Kate Thornberry and AusChron for the distinction; I am honored to be mentioned with this group of excellent bloggers, and will point out that my blog is really the only one of the bunch that posts regular restaurant reviews.

-- Indie Chefs Week has started at Foreign + Domestic with up and coming chefs from across the country coming together to cook in pop-up dinners. Check their website, but I believe they are already sold out.
-- Casa Brasil Coffee and South Austin Brewery are holding their Up + Down tours of their respective facilities, where you can get an in depth look at their raw materials, production, and tastings. Two upcoming dates: January 10th and February 7th, 10 am - 2 pm, $35/person; to register go here.
-- The Hightower will be hosting a bloody mary brunch on January 11th; for $5, diners can create their own drink with Dickel Corn Whiskey, and proceeds benefit the Flatwater Foundation, which provides support for families with cancer.
-- Lenoir and Jester King Brewery are holding a 5 course dinner on January 15th, $95/person. 
-- The second annual Bacon and Beer Fest, hosted by Edible Austin will be Sunday, January 25th at Fair Market (1100 E. 5th St.) from 2:30 - 5 pm. Tickets are $45, and serves as a fundraiser for the Capital Area Food Bank.  Thirty area restaurants (including Barley Swine, Cafe Josie, Frank, Jack Allen's, Noble Sandwich and Snack Bar to name a few) and 12 local craft breweries (Austin Beerworks, Pedernales, St. Arnold.....) will be on hand. I don't know much about this new venue, Fair Market, but it looks gorgeous. Get your tickets, this one is sure to sell out fast!
Bacon and Beer Fest 2015
-- The 9th Annual Jo's Chili Cook-off will be February 1st at their South Congress location. $20 to try all the chili contest submissions! The event benefits the 100 Club, which raises money for the families of fallen firefighters and law enforcement officers.

Openings + Updates
-- Irene's, the latest from the ELM Restaurant Group (Easy Tiger, Arro, 24 Diner) will open at 506 West Avenue in April.
-- In the job openings department, Dinner Lab is searching for a local Brand Ambassador.
-- Kebabalicious has new menu offerings as well as a new catering truck. Check out the full menu at the brick and mortar at 7th and Navasota; the two trucks will offer some of the new items.
-- The humongous new JW Marriott hotel downtown (on Congress between 2nd & 3rd) will be the largest Marriott in the US with over 1,000 rooms across 34 floors when it opens February 13th. Three new restaurants will be a part of the hotel: Osteria Pronto (regional Italian), Corner (Texas food and tequila bar), and Burger Bar, a walk-up window.