SXSW 2013 Happenings: Food Events

SXSW is no longer merely about film, music, and interactive these days! Check out some food-centric events happening in the very near future worth checking out. And, of course, don’t forget to find all the latest musical happenings here.

My top pick of the week? The Food Experiments ‘Up in Smoke’ taking place this Sunday, March 10 from 1-4pm at Clive Bar. More details here. More fun after the jump!

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Foodie Happenings: Trailer Food Tuesday at the Long Center

In the market for a casual night out on the town? Then head to the Long Center tonight for the launch of Trailer Food Tuesdays!

Happening the last Tuesday of every month through November, the lawn at the Long Center for Performing Arts will play host to around 10 roving eateries with a changing lineup each month. The once-a-month event, spearheaded by Gypsy Picnic cofounder Tiffany Harelik of Trailer Food Diaries, invites Austinites to bring a blanket and the whole family to enjoy good eats, music, and fun from 5-9pm. Tonight’s line-up includes personal favorites such as Peached Tortilla, . . . → Read More: Foodie Happenings: Trailer Food Tuesday at the Long Center

May Foodie Happenings

 Join Central Market for its ongoing Passport to France event happening now until May 22. More details and events listed here.

Just in time for summer, Vino Vino will host a special wine event this Saturday, May 12 featuring heat friendly pink wines. During Saturday’s Pink Fest, join Vino Vino in tasting 50 plus pink and Rosé wines. The event runs from 12:00 – 2:00 pm and costs $20 per person.

In conjunction with the Mayor’s Fitness Council, 15 area restaurants will team up this Saturday, May 12 for healthy dish showdown. During the Taste of Heath: Austin Chef . . . → Read More: May Foodie Happenings

Restaurant Happenings: Openings & Closings, Part I

Fresa’s Chicken al Carbon is now open in the former Emerald Press location on 10th & Lamar. Fresa’s drive through chicken dinner concept is based on the traditional Mexican style of charcoal roasted chicken, served family style with rice, beans, tortillas, and more. Using only the best quality of grass fed, free range chicken is central to Fresa’s concept, so expect a higher price tag than, say, El Pollo Rico. Served family style, a whole chicken dinner costs $23.00 and a half is $14.00. Along with roasted chicken, Fresa’s menu includes seasonal salads, tortas, and sides such as grilled street corn. Big bonus points for a to-go drink menu of beers, wines, and best of all, DIY margarita kits. The new spot is the latest project from Larry Maguire and Tommy Moorman (Lambert’s, Perla’s, Elizabeth Street). Visit Fresa’s Chicken al Carbon daily for lunch and dinner beginning at 11am.

Fresa’s Chicken al Carbon. 915 North Lamar, Austin, TX 78703. 512.428.5077.

Speaking of Maguire, Jeffrey’s has officially closed for renovations with a projected reopening scheduled for this fall. Larry Maguire’s restaurant group became majority owners of the classic Austin eatery in late 2011. Original owners, Jeffery Weinberger and Ron & Peggy Weiss, maintained a small amount of equity in the sale. Maguire will reportedly serve as executive chef once the restaurant is reopened.

Red River District’s dining options are about to get much more interesting with the addition of a multifaceted new venture this summer. Parish owner Doug Gillner will open a restaurant, bar, and trailer park eatery located at 8th & Red River. Pelons, a Mexican food focused restaurant, is set to take over the former Jamie’s location (fingers crossed for Flaming Dr. Peppers). Meanwhile, the former 508 house party pad will fittingly be transformed into a bar called 508. A trailer eatery will be situated in between both. No word on the exact time frame, but the houses are currently under construction and staff is being hired as we speak.

As reported by fellow foodie friend Chris, Hopdoddy’s North Austin location is officially open for business. The always popular gourmet burger joint’s second outpost is located at 2438 West Anderson Lane, Austin, Texas 78757. A third location in Dallas is planned to open this fall.

Continue reading Restaurant Happenings: Openings & Closings, Part I

Foodie Happenings: Central Market Cooking Classes

Central Market has three fantastic upcoming cooking classes not to miss.

 All classes will take place at Central Market’s North Lamar location located at 4001 North Lamar, Austin, TX 78703. Reservations can be made online here or call 512.206.1014 for more information.

Thursday, March 22:

Take a lesson from the man who helped transform Austin’s dining scene. Chef Lou Lambert, along with his sister Liz, helped turn South Congress Avenue from the broken down paradise it once was to the quintessential Austin hub it is today. Relying on his culinary academy training and long standing Texas roots, Lambert . . . → Read More: Foodie Happenings: Central Market Cooking Classes

Olive & June

As detailed in a piece contributed to the Austinist, Olive & June is officially open in Central Austin. Shawn Cirkiel, chef/owner of the much-lauded Parkside and Backspace restaurants, announced he was expanding his operations last fall after purchasing the exquisite former home of the now closed El Arbol. Named for grandmothers on each he and his wife sides of the family, Cirkiel drew inspiration from his roots in creating Olive & June’s concept. In developing the restaurant, Cirkiel tapped into memories of family-style Italian dinners from childhood and culinary expeditions abroad. These inspirations combined with Chef Cirkiel’s rustic and refined style of cooking manifest beautifully at Olive & June. A visit during the restaurant’s soft opening showcased dishes that were comforting and homey yet unexpected and sophisticated.

Since only one dining room was open during this initial visit, I didn’t tour the space in its entirety. However, it appears the core beauty of the space is still intact with a few adjustments to reflect the Italian theme. Additionally, Olive & June addressed its predecessor’s issue of an overreliance on outdoor space by adding in more coverage and shade outdoors and focusing indoor seating towards large windows to capitalize on the outer splendor.

Olive & June’s menu consists of “piccoli piatti” small plates, antipasti, handmade pastas, and grilled meats and fish entrées. Price points begin around $5 for small plates to $15-low $20s for pastas and entrées.

Cobia Crudo at Olive & June

Our meal began with a few orders of small plates. Arriving first was a Cobia Crudo and White Bean and Prosciutto Grissini. The cobia paired with grapefruit and a mint chili puree was excellent. The simple, clean, crisp cobia against the bright fruit and mint started dinner on a high note. The creamy, rich white bean dip was addictively delicious. While beautifully presented, a Tuna Crudo was slightly fishy and needed just a splash of acid. The Suppli infused with saffron, however, was perfection. A crisp fried crust encased creamy risotto layered in flavor from the earthy saffron against the sweet mozzarella.

Grissini-at-Olive-June

An order of pork meatball antipasto followed the small plates. The meatballs were moist, tender, and good enough to make any Italian grandmother proud. The savory meatballs were paired with a sweet fig mortada and tomato sauce which was rustic, creative, and a highlight of the evening.

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SXSW Weekend Foodie Happenings: The Austin Taco Experiment

All things food certainly has taken over SXSW the past few years, and this festival is no different. Here is my top picks for the weekend, The Austin Taco Experiment presented by The Food Experiments. Addie Broyles over at the Statesman has an uber-comprehensive list of all the foodie happenings this weekend so be sure to check that out here.

  Returning to Austin after last year’s successful Pork Experiment, the Food Experiments are throwing another culinary showdown this Sunday celebrating Austin’s official dish. As part of its 16 city nationwide tour, The Food Experiments are hosting the . . . → Read More: SXSW Weekend Foodie Happenings: The Austin Taco Experiment

February Foodie Happenings, Part I

Punxsutawney Phil may have seen his shadow, but Austin is still in the midst of a winter heat wave.  The benefits of such weather may include plenty of outdoor fun, but short days and a mild sun have mostly prevented any hope of a summertime sun-kissed glow. Just in time for Valentine’s Day, local make-up brand Rae Cosmetics has released a new Bungalow Glow Mineral Bronzer with two shades of mineral powder to give your cheeks a natural glow. Stop by Rae Cosmetics Studio February 2 from 6-8pm to sample the product while enjoying a cocktail or two.

Rae . . . → Read More: February Foodie Happenings, Part I