Austin Foodie Bits: September 28

Image courtesy of GO TEXAN

Image courtesy of GO TEXAN

Happy Monday! I’m fresh from the BlogHer Food 09 conference in San Francisco. I had a wonderful two days filled with food, learning, and networking. I find myself inspired and re-energized and I already have some fun and interesting things for the blog brewing in my mind. But, first things first on this rainy Monday – it’s time for this week’s edition of the Austin Foodie Bits.

There are many fun foodie adventures waiting for us all this week, but I’d like to call your attention to one that’s been listed in this post for the last several weeks: the GO TEXAN Restaurant Round-Up. This event starts today and runs through Friday, and gives you a chance to experience Texas’ best food and wine at restaurants around the state. Now I know we’re all fresh off of not one but two weeks of Austin’s awesome restaurant week, but I encourage you to loosen your belt another notch and go out to the participating restaurants around the state for yet another set of great meals. No will you have an opportunity to taste the best of Texas, but in many cases you’ll be supporting local food banks like Austin’s own Capital Area Food Bank. If you’re not sure what restaurant to choose, my good friend Jodi at Tasty Touring just put together a preview of some of the Central Texas menus for this event, so take gander and get out and celebrate the goodness that is Texas food and wine.

Be Spontaneous: This Week’s Events

  • September 28 – 30: Flavors of Austin Kickoff at Frank – Isn’t restaurant week a wonderful thing? Don’t you wish it could go on all year long? Flavors, a project put together by Launch787, will allow us to do just that, with a focus each week on a different Austin restaurant. Starting on September 28 with flights of hotdogs at Frank and then moving in weekly succession to Austin greats like Cipollina and Primizie, Flavors will highlight a single with a special menu and portions of the proceeds benefiting the Sustainable Food Center. Try a new restaurant each week of the year and expand your Austin culinary horizons.
  • September 29: Pasta Workshop – When I was little I remember my grandmother buying a pasta machine and making her own pasta on Sundays. While I’ve bought pre-made pasta for most of my adult life, I think there’s something soothing and slowing about making your own pasta from scratch. If you’ve ever want to know how to mix your own dough and craft your own pasta, this class will get you started. You’ll make linguini, fettuccini, and filled ravioli, along with a collection of sauces. 6:30 pm – 9:30 pm. $65. Reserve online.
  • [NEW] September 30: Slow Food Drink Happy Hour at Annie’s – Join Slow Food Austin in their inaugural Happy Hour hosted by Annie’s Cafe and Bar on Congress. You’ll have a chance to meet the fine folks who make this important organization tick and you can take this last opportunity to join Slow Food Austin for any donation you can afford instead of the usual $60 annual fee. Drink specials include $3 drafts, $6 carafes of house wine, and $6 “Snail-tails” (a menu of three locally and sustainably sourced cocktails created by the Tipsy Texan). A portion of the event proceeds will help support Slow Food Austin.
  • [NEW] October 1: The Best Chicken You’ve Never Had – Hot on the heels of their Happy Hour, Slow Food Austin will present their October Slow Session, devoted entirely to helping you find a really great chicken. Jules Assata and Sue Beckwith of Shades of Green Farm will talk about what makes a chicken really amazing (here’s a hint, it’s not being raised in a factory and fed to bulk up quickly). The session is free and there will be light refreshments, but please do bring something to share as well. 7 pm – 9 pm. Habitat Suites. RSVP online.
  • October 2-4: Fall Creek Vineyards 5th Annual Texas Fall Fest and Auction – Join the Aulers, some of the nicest people you’ll ever meet, and the cultivators of Fall Creek Vinyards, in a three day festival of food and wine. Some of Texas best chefs will join in a celebration of Texas food and wine in the lovely hill country. The weather looks to be beautiful and the experience will be memorable, so hop online to learn more about the event and procure your tickets.
  • October 2-4: Oktoberfest in Fredericksburg – Food and drink, arts and crafts, shopping, and more, all in celebration of German culture and Fall. Take a day trip out to Fredericksburg to enjoy this annual event with friends and family. $6 for adults, $1 for children, or buy a two-day pass for $10 or a three-day pass for $15. Hours vary by day.

Plan Ahead: Events in the Next 3 Weeks

  • [NEW] October 7: FINO Chef’s Table Maker’s Mark – Maker’s Mark Diplomat Adam Harris joins Executive Chef Jason Donoho and award-winning bartender Bill Norris for the next Chef’s Table. You can look forward to an evening of fabulous food paired with Maker’s Mark Cocktails and other surprises from the distillery. If you enjoy great food and spirits, this event is perfect for you. $100 per person. 6:30 pm. Call 474-2905 to reserve your spot.
  • [DO GOOD] [NEW] October 7: Food For Thought Benefit – I’ve found that one of the best ways to sample a collection of Austin’s best food all at once is to attend a benefit featuring many Austin restaurants. You can taste a nibble or two from each restaurant and get a great feel for what to expect when you dine there. At this week’s Food for Thought Benefit you’ll get to nosh on food from the likes of Aquarelle, Chez Zee, Jeffrey’s, Truluck’s, and more. You’ll also support the great work done by the Communities in Schools organization. $75/person. Call 464-9761 for more information on times and tickets.
  • [DO GOOD] October 8: Tour de Vin at Whole Foods – This event is easily Fall’s preeminent Austin food event. Benefiting The Wine & Food Foundation of Texas, Tour de Vin is a get-your-passport-stamped style wine and food tasting featuring the best domestic and internationally-inspired cuisine in Central Texas. Aquarelle, Buenos Aires Café, Primizie Osteria, Satay, Z’Tejas are just a few of the restaurants who will be sharing sweet and savory nibbles. To top it all off, the event will be held on the Whole Foods Rooftop Plaze during one of our most beautiful months of the year. Enjoy food, wine, and good company – all under the beautiful starry Texas sky. $50 for Foundation Members, $75 for the general public. 6:30 pm – 9:00 pm. Purchase tickets online.
  • October 10: Dai Due Supper Club Herb DinnerAfter a bit of a hiatus, the Dai Due crew is back and opening the October supper club season with an herb dinner at the American Botanical Council’s hidden garden off of Manor road. Take a tour of the grounds then enjoy a 7 course dinner that will highlight a specific herb grown on the grounds. 5:30 pm. $75. BYOB. E-mail to reserve.
  • October 10: International Wine and Food North America – Chefs Robert and Paul from the Central Market cooking school are joining forces again to take you on a tour of the food and wine of North America. Drink wins from New Mexico, Texas, California, and more as you taste dishes created just for the occasion. I’ve attended several of their classes in the past and highly recommend them not only for great food and wine, but for a fun evening during which you’re sure to learn many things. 6:30 pm – 9:00 pm. $60. Reserve online.
  • October 14: TRIO Pancake Dinner – The Four Season’s newest fundraising event will resurrect the popular “breakfast-for-dinner” concept with a Pancake Dinner at TRIO. The special menu will feature four different pancake options for the evening’s dinner, in addition to their regular a la carte menu. 50 percent of the proceeds from pancake sales will benefit Seton. For $15 for adults and $7.50 for children, this event is a fantastic deal. I’ll be there – will you?
  • October 17: Dai Due Venison Workshop – Deer hunting is a popular past time here in Central Texas, yet many hunters turn to a deer processor when it’s time to turn their prize into dinner. This workshop will show you how to process the entire deer and utilize every single bit of it with no waste. Co-taught by “…Tink Pinkard, a professional hunting guide and bona fide East Texas good ol’ boy that knows his way around firearms and food..” it promises to be not only educational but fun. $225 which includes dinner at the Venison Feast on Sunday at Montesino Farm in Wimberley. 2 pm – 6 pm. E-mail to reserve.

Eat Well, Do Good

  • October 8: Parkside 1st Annual Pink Party – Parkside is one of Austin’s best restaurants and they are supporting the community by hosting a fund raiser in support of the Susan G. Komen foundation. They will have pink bubbles and cocktails, lovely nibbles from Chef Shawn Cirkiel, music, and schwag bags. This event screams “Girls Night Out!” if ever one has – although I bet the guys would have a blast too. Either way, grab a group of friends and plan to support this important cause. Tickets for this event are now $50. Buy one today!
  • October 21: Slow Food Austin Fund RaiserSlow Food Austin is hosting their first fund raiser and it promises to be a fun and tasty event. Learn all about raw milk cheeses from Whole Foods’ Global Cheese Buyer Cathy Strange. You’ll get to taste complimentary beers from Austin’s (512) Brewery and honey from Round Rock Honey. The lovely Barr Mansion is hosting the event, so it will be a feast for the eyes as well as the tastebuds. For only $50 ($40 for members) you’ll learn a lot, taste some great food, and support an important cause. 6:30 pm – 8:30 pm.
  • October 21: 7th Annual Film & Food – The Austin Film Festival is hosting its yearly fundraiser in support of the Young Filmmakers Program designed to help kids ages 9-18 explore creativity and build literacy skills via filmmaking and screenwriting. A host of local restaurants including the Blemont, Eddie V’s, Jezebel, Roaring Fork, and Ranch 616 will provide great food while attendees enjoy music and bid on items in a silent auction. The Driskill is a beautiful venue and the cause is a great one, so get out your fancy clothes and come out for a fun and tasty evening. $85. 7:00 pm – 10:00 pm.