Austin Foodie Bits ~ Memorial Day 2010 Special Edition

Cutting board with summer ingredients, cheese, and wineThere’s just something about Memorial Day weekend that screams “SUMMER IS HERE”. It’s not that we haven’t already been enjoying summer heat of course, but this long weekend full of gatherings, grilling, boating, and more just helps us all move full swing into the fun of summer. In this special edition of Foodie Bits, you’ll not only get the usual run down of Austin food and wine events, but I’ve included some holiday-specific information on restaurant specials and great sources for ingredients for your weekend cooking fun. The big foodie event on tap for the long weekend is the Austin Wine and Music Festival at the Domain that runs Saturday – Monday. It will feature food and drinks from around the state along with artisan crafts and of course live music. Tickets range in price from $29 – $79 for adults who plan to drink and $10-$30 for those who don’t. Kids get in free. And of course, you can always do a bit of shopping while you’re at the Domain. The coming week also features two different farm tours and fun cooking classes if you’d like to beat the heat and stay inside.

Also, at the end of the post you’ll also find I’ve begun a Father’s Day preview section because our day for celebrating the Dads in our lives is just three weeks away so now’s a good time to start planning.

If your summer includes one or more kidlets who are out of school and need a bit of enrichment in a fun camp, consider the Central Market cooking classes for kids summer camps. Kids are grouped by age (5-6, 7-8, or 9-12) and can attend a single class or several over the course of a few weeks. My daughter has always enjoyed the classes she’s attended

Finally, if you like, you can listen to an overview of my highlights of this week’s events in my Foodie Bits podcast, or skip right to the full listing of foodie fun to be had by all.

Holiday Wine and Dine Deals

If you’re thinking of going out on Memorial Day, these local spots have some fun planned.

  • Cho Sushi up in Steiner Ranch celebrates all weekend long with a rainbow sushi combo that includes tuna, salmon, shrimp, albacore, white fish sushi and a rainbow roll plus miso soup for $12.95. They also have a NY strip with spicy ponzu, shitake mash potatoes and crispy petite sea bass spring rolls served with miso soup for $15.95 in case you’re not in the raw fish mood. I’m the mayor of Cho on Foursquare which tells you how much my family likes this spot. I’m sure we’ll be there at some point to take advantage of the specials.
  • Eddie V’s Memorial Day all night happy hour will be featuring $1 off all drinks and $5 martinis, mojitos, margaritas, and wines by the glass. Select half priced appetizers including the popular Tartare of Pacific Ahi and Kung Pao style calamari. Both the downtown and Arboretum locations open at 4:30 pm.
  • Gibson Bar Memorial Sunday Crawfish Boil will feature all you can eat crawfish for $15 with cold beer specials starting at 4 pm.
  • Manny’s Uptown Kitchen, formerly known as Manny Hatten’s, opens this weekend with a completely remodeled look and menu. Their new concept “serves fresh flavor combinations that are ‘outside the deli box’ but still pay tribute to the legacies of the culture, all presented in a newly remodeled, elegantly comfortable atmosphere.” If you visit them this holiday weekend, take a photo while you are there and upload it to their Facebook page you’ll get a free First Bites appetizer on your next visit.
  • Roaring Fork will be featuring an all day, all night happy hour on Memorial Day. Drink specials include $5 martinis, mojitos, and wines by the glass, margaritas starting at $4, and select $3 beers. Specially priced appetizers will include Green Chili Pork and the Fried Avocado with crab remoulade. The “Big Ass” Burger will feed one if not two for only $7. The downtown location will open at 4pm and the Stonelake opens at 11am.

If you’re grilling or cooking, these local favorites have all you need for a fun and easy menu.

  • Antonelli’s Cheese is going out of their way to make it easy to enjoy this holiday. You can rent a stocked picnic basket, complete with cheese, meats, wine or beer, and accoutrements for $75, or pick up an arranged ready-to-eat cheese plate. They also have all the cheeses you need to compliment burgers, wings, steaks, and more.
  • Central Market’s
    holiday specials are chock-full of summer menu goodness. Baby back ribs are only $4.99/lb and house-made sausages are $3.99/lb. You can also grab pre-made brownies for a quick dessert and of course their wine department will have all sorts of summer beer and wine options.
  • Both Dai Due and Kocurek Family Artisanal Charcuterie will be at the farmers markets this weekend with amazing meats and condiments for your grill. Dai Due’s sausage selection includes bratwurst, kielbasa, venison Chaurice, and Boarizo. They also have homemade Worcestershire, corn relish, agarita and peach chutney, and blackberry and red wine jam. The Kocurek’s will offer Texas beef hot sausage, venison sausage, green chili pork sausage, jalapeno pork boudin, bacon, and a whole host of charcuterie. Both are committed to using local ingredients and artisanal methods, so the quality is unsurpassed.

Be Spontaneous: This Week’s Events

  • May 29: Coyote Creek Farm Tour Take a tour of the Coyote Creek Farm/Texas Best Organic Feed Mill in Elgin and support the Texas Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association. For a $10 donation you’ll tour the farms and learn all about the local producers who make local agriculture possible. RSVP to
  • [NEW] [FREE] May 29: Sex and the City 2 Moet & Chandon Celebration – Celebrate the opening of this much anticipated movie with a glass of Champagne at the Twin Liquor’s Galleria Marketplace. Bring your girlfriends before or after the movie. 2:00 pm – 6:00 pm.
  • [NEW] [FREE] May 29: Summer’s On at Whole Foods –Whole Foods North Lamar is celebrating the start of summer with a Memorial Day Bundle deal which will save you up to $26, a “Party in a Box” throughout the wine department and a slew of demos. 12:00 pm – 3:00 pm.
  • May 30: Fried Chicken and Bubbly – Join Chef Scott Loranc and Central Market wine expert Michael McGovern in a fun class centered on fun wine and food pairings. In addition fried chicken and champagne, try chicken wings, chicken confit, and chocolate semifreddo with their paired wines. $60/person. 6:30 pm – 9:00 pm. Reserve online.
  • June 2: Super Foods in the Heat of Summer – Join Chef Jonathan Gelman of the Driskill Hotesl to for a class that focuses on locally grown products, seasonal ingredients, impeccable presentation and cutting-edge menu choices to create a truly memorable dining experience. The menu includes Local Texas Red and Yellow Tomatoes, Quinoa and Feta with a Red Wine Pomegranate Vinaigrette; Grilled Wild Salmon with Avocado, Black Beans, Oranges, Tarragon, Cucumber and Lemon; Frozen Banana Soufflé Glace. $65/person. Whole Foods Culinary Center. 6:30 pm – 9:00 pm. Reserve online.
  • June 3: Slow Session – The Breakdown on Composting – If you’re interested in starting or improving a home composting system, this slow session is for you. You’ll get the scoop on all things related to composting in your own backyard from Jeff Paine. You’ll also get take home some worms to give your composting efforts a boost. 7:00 pm 8:30 pm. Habitat Suites. RSVP online.
  • June 3: Aquarell’s 10th Anniversary Festival – Aquarell is celebrating their 10th anniversary and helping out the Sustainable Food Center at the same time. For a $10 donation you’ll enjoy nibbles of Aquarell’s fantastic food as well as sips of wine and live music to go along with it. 7:00pm – 11:00 pm.
  • [NEW] June 6: Green Gate Farms Tour – Tour local favorite Green Gate Farms to learn all about urban farming and CSAs. This event will be kid-friendly and family focused, so pile everyone into the car for a fun Sunday afternoon adventure. The $16 ticket includes a collection of Green Gate’s produce to take home and enjoy. 12:30 pm – 2:30 pm. Buy tickets online.

Eat Well, Do Good

  • Roaring Fork’s Cocktails for a Cause – The Roaring Fork at Stonelake Blvd is teaming up with KGSR-FM for this special summer promotion designed to raise awareness and funds for three local charities: Capitol Area Food Bank in June, Lone Star Paralysis Foundation in July and Breast Cancer Resource Center in August. Each month Roaring Fork will feature a signature cocktail and everyone who enjoys said cocktail will have the opportunity to enter a raffle for a grand prize given away at the end of each month. June’s cocktail is Hot Summer Nights – tequila, lime juice, raspberries, and red chile pepper. July features Ginger Melon Fresca – vodka, lime juice, watermelon, raspberries, and ginger ale. And the August cocktail is a Guava Strawberry Margarita – tequila, jumex guava nectar, lime juice, and strawberries. Cocktail prices are $8 and $6 during the nightly 4-7 pm happy hour. The donation is part of the purchase and entitles recipients to one raffle entry. The grand prizes include A VIP pass to Blues on the Green, concert tickets and a Roaring Fork gift card.
  • [NEW] June 26: Texas Artisan Showcase – Presented by Slow Food Austin, this special event will feature “good, clean, and fair” artisan foods from around the state. This family-friendly event will feature live music, a marketplace, silent auction, educational producer demos and a live auction finale by Dai Due Butcher Shop’s Jesse Griffiths. For $60 ($55 for Slow Food members), you’ll get to enjoy 12 tasting stations, plus 6 more chances to revisit your favorites! Each station will serve a small “flight” of samples. Budget-conscious Slow Foodies have the option of a 12-punch ticket for $40 ($35 for Slow Food members). 4:00 pm – 8:00 pm. Space 12. Buy tickets online.

Plan Ahead: Events in the Next 3 Weeks

Just about everything on this list is [NEW] so I’ll spare you a slew of tags.

Father’s Day Preview

1 Comment

  1. chef jonathan gelman /

    missed you at the “super foods” class last week 🙁