Lineup announced for November Wine & Swine event

Co-executive chefs Michael Fojtasek, left and Grae Nonas of Olamaie are two chefs who will participate in Wine & Swine. (RICARDO B. BRAZZIELL / AMERICAN- STATESMAN)
Co-executive chefs Michael Fojtasek, left and Grae Nonas of Olamaie are two chefs who will participate in Wine & Swine. (RICARDO B. BRAZZIELL / AMERICAN- STATESMAN)

Aaron Franklin, Michael Fojtasek and Grae Nonas of Olamaie, and Launderette’s Rene Ortiz are among the Texas chefs who will participate in the fifth annual Wine & Swine event on November 8 at Star Hill Ranch. The pork-centric event, which features more than two dozen chefs preparing whole Berkshire pigs in a multitude of styles, is one of the main fundraisers for the Austin Food and Wine Alliance grant program.

Tickets are now on sale at austinfoodwinealliance.org, with the first 125 tickets sold for $75. After those are sold, the price rises to $95. Tickets will be sold at the door for $100. Round-trip shuttles, which includes sparkling wine and snacks, will be available for $20. More information at austinfoodwinealliance.org.

 

 

 

 

Best veggie burger in Austin

My Best Hamburgers in Austin list comes out Thursday online and Friday in print. But, as a sneak peek, I’m gonna let you in on a Special Mention category.

 Bouldin Creek (wisely) keeps its veggie burger recipe a close secret.

Bouldin Creek (wisely) keeps its veggie burger recipe a close secret.

All of the 15 burgers are made with meat, but I also named my favorite veggie burger in town

Veggie Royale at Bouldin Creek Café

1900 S. First St. 512-416-1601, bouldincreek.com

People have different ideas in what they want from a veggie burger. Should it texturally recreate the beef experience? Should it taste like a hamburger?

I dig the Veggie Royale ($8.25) not for any resemblance to a beefy burger but for its own considerable merits. Stuffed with grains, bound by peanut butter and humming with warm red spices, the secret-recipe patty crackles between soft ciabatta bread. I sometimes add feta cheese for creamy, salty tang and choose the citrus and heat of housemade barbecue sauce, though the smoky chipotle-pecan pesto and bright basil aioli both make their own solid condiment cases.

While I only named one the best, I also want to give a shout-out to Jo’s Coffee, Arlo’s, P. Terry’s and Mr. Natural.

ACL Fest announces food and beverage vendors

A collection of food from ACL Eats at the 2013 ACL Fest. (Tina Phan AMERICAN-STATESMAN)
A collection of food from ACL Eats at the 2013 ACL Fest. (Tina Phan AMERICAN-STATESMAN)

Zilker Park transforms into the biggest food court in Texas for two weekends in October. The ACL Eats section of the north end of the park will be home to 30 local food and beverage vendors. Some of my highlights include Amy’s Ice Creams, Burro Cheese Kitchen, East Side King, Frank, JuiceLand, Lonesome Dove Western Bistro, Maine Root Beverages, and P. Terry’s.

For a complete list of vendors, and to see what they will be serving, click here. ACL Fest takes place October 2-4 and October 9-11. Single tickets and three-day passes are sold out.

 

 

 

St. Philip closing bakeshop to focus on pizza parlor

St. Philip Pizza Parlor and Bake Shop 4715 South Lamar Blvd. Tuesday, Dec. 30. 2014. (Stephen Spillman / AMERICAN-STATESMAN)
St. Philip Pizza Parlor and Bake Shop 4715 South Lamar Blvd. Tuesday, Dec. 30. 2014. (Stephen Spillman / AMERICAN-STATESMAN)

St. Philip Pizza Parlor and Bakeshop has narrowed its focus, and will close the bakeshop aspect of the operation to focus on lunch, dinner and brunch. The restaurant from the Uchi Restaurant Group will simply called St. Philip Pizza Parlor. The restaurant’s specials menu will feature a few fan favorites from the bakery.

“We’ve recognized over the past few months at St. Philip that when we narrow our focus, we do our best work,” Uchi Restaurant Group President John Baydale said. “The bakeshop, while delicious and inventive, diverted our attention from our menu in the restaurant and now we can really devote our full energies to the pizza and small plate offerings for lunch, dinner and brunch.”

(stpaustin.com)

Arro adjusting concept to match West Sixth Street vibe

IMG_2113The Elm Restaurant Group is shifting gears at Arro (601 W. Sixth St.). The French bistro that opened in 2013 is adding a 100-seat outdoor patio area along its western wall, refocusing its food offerings, and greatly increasing its beverage options in order to better fit the exuberant nightlife scene on West Sixth Street.

The patio on the western side of the building will feature umbrella-shaded tables, festooned lights, and an outdoor bar. The eastern exterior wall will showcase a mural of a Marseilles-inspired scene by local artist and designer Xavier Schipani. Changes coming to the interior will also promote the communal and “convivial spirit,” according to a restaurant rep.

Under the guidance of Master Sommelier Craig Collins, award-winning manager Scott Otta and service director Mark Devin Sayre (formerly of the Four Seasons), Arro will expand beyond its French-wine focus, doubling the wine list to feature international, boutique labels and adding more spirits and draft beer to the slate of offerings.

Several of the entrees at Arro will disappear with the shift in approach to more casual offerings. Crowd favorites like lobster bisque, crispy quail, bone marrow, steak frites, and profiteroles will remain. The kitchen, under the guidance of executive chef Andrew Curren and chef de cuisine Richard Tomlinson, plans to offer more shareable plates and snack food, including a rotating selection of oysters and a burger with bacon jam. Despite the shift, diners will still be able to order traditional three-course dinners as in the past.

Arro will close for construction on Sunday and reopen on September 18. New operating hours will be Tuesday–Wednesday, 5 pm to midnight; Thursday–Saturday, 5 pm to 2 am; and Sunday Brunch Service, 11 am to 3 pm.

All guests at the new Arro will receive a complimentary glass of bubbles and an order of frites from September 23 to October 7.

As for parking, with the new western patio, the valet stand will be moved to Sixth Street. There will not be a lot at Arro available for guest self-parking.

This post was corrected to clarify that the patio will be on Arro’s western side.

Salt Lick teams with Favor to offer barbecue delivery to Austin this Saturday only

(Credit: Kenny Braun)
(Credit: Kenny Braun)

Central Texas barbecue icons Salt Lick will team with locally based app service Favor to offer delivery to Austin residents on Saturday. The service, which coincides with the first University of Texas home football game of the season, will be available to those living within Favor’s delivery area (see map). This is the first time Salt Lick has ever offered same-day delivery of its barbecue.

Favor will offer delivery of all Salt Lick’s signature menu items from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Saturday. Favor says they expect deliveries to arrive “usually within 35 minutes” of placing an order, which customers can do on the Favor app (download here). All orders have a $5 delivery fee, plus five percent of the cost of items, and a tip to the runner. Favor FAQs here.

How will Favor and Salt Lick be able to come even close to the 35-minute window within which it usually operates?

The Salt Lick has rented out a space kitchen space in downtown Austin to help with all of the driving,” a rep for Salt Lick said. “I don’t think Favor can necessarily guarantee a 35-minute delivery, but with the nearby downtown space, I think this delivery time is much more doable.”