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, 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





Austin-based Cabo Bob’s joins Changos on annual America’s best burritos list

Austin is largely a taco town, but that doesn’t mean we don’t know our way around a good burrito.

Chango's Taqueria. Alex Jones/For American-Statesman
Chango’s Taqueria. Alex Jones/For American-Statesman

In fact, two of the the 35 burritos on the food and drink website The Daily Meal’s third annual “Best Burritos in America” list are Austin-made.

California still lays claim to the title of “Land of the Burrito” with 12 mentions, but the Lone Star State nabbed the third most spots of any state with three Texas burritos on the list.

West campus favorite Changos Taqueria, home of the $7.95 “Maximo” burrito, made a dramatic jump from No. 30 in 2014 to No. 19 this year.

The Daily Meal also praised the No. 5 on the menu at Austin-based Cabo Bob’s Burrito’s menu this year. If you order this item off as is off the menu, it’s comprised off of a made-fresh-when-you-order ancho chili tortilla, pork, brown rice, pinto beans, grilled onions and peppers, queso, lettuce, cilantro and Cabo’s signature hot sauce, called “66 Red Sauce.”

Cabo Bob’s Burritos, No. 25 on Daily Meal’s list, was also included on FiveThirtyEight‘s epic best burrito quest last year.

The “best of” list was compiled by a combination of Daily Meal editor input and crowd sourcing from readers.

What do you think, Austin? Did they miss anything?

La Barbecue moving further east on Monday, will offer night hours

A tray full of food at La Barbecue in Austin, Texas. Matthew Odam's Top 10 barbecue restaurants in Austin.  05.07 2014 LAURA SKELDING/AMERICAN-STATESMAN 052314 xl cover

Sunday will be the final day at the I-35 adjacent Good Life Food Park for La Barbecue. The stellar barbecue trailer owned by LeAnn Mueller will move to 1906 E. Cesar Chavez St. next to the bar Stay Gold next week.

The move will mean later hours and more menu items.  Once they staff their night crew (they hope to do that within the next week or so), the trailer will be open from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Thursday-Saturday. Starting at 6 p.m., in addition to any regular menu items that remain unsold, La Barbecue will serve nightly specials like smoked quail, lamb, and duck. The trailer will be open from 11 a.m. until sold out on Wednesday and Sunday.

Barbecue doc ‘For the Love of Meat’ screens at Violet Crown Cinema

trailer still
Still from trailer, “For the Love of Meat”

Central Texas barbecue is having a moment and is ready for its close-up. The documentary “For the Love of Meat”  screens at 7:15 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. on October 8 at the Violet Crown Cinema.

The film tracks the history and preparation of Texas’ national meal, spotlighting renowned Central Texas pit masters Aaron Franklin, Tootsie Tomanetz of Snows BBQ in Lexington, and Wayne Mueller of Louie Mueller BBQ in Taylor.

Purchase tickets here.

Now open: Rebel Pizza Bar in North Austin

12042636_896453357114212_974711805847900466_nRebel Pizza Bar opened at 7858 Shoal Creek Blvd. The counter-service restaurant, owned by the partners at neighboring Suzi’s China Grill, serves appetizers, salads, pizza and desserts, and offers a full-service bar and rooftop seating. View the full menu, which includes pizzas like the Goldenpye (olive oil, spicy sausage, caramelized onion, farm egg, crispy potato, rosemary, goat cheese, and parmesan), here.

Rebel Pizza Bar is open Monday-Thursday from 4 p.m. to 11 p.m., Friday from 4 p.m. to midnight, Saturday from 11 a.m. to midnight, and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.

How to get a free croissant on Wednesday

Credit: La Madeline French Country Cafe

It’s still over 90 degrees in Austin but technically, Wednesday is the first day of fall.

To mark the occasion, a special day for Texans who crave cooler temperatures, La Madeleine Country French Café is offering free butter croissants on Wednesday, Sept. 23.

The Dallas-based chain, which has five locations in the Austin area, will be offering the croissants all day.

Bon appétit and have a happy fall.

Brunch news: Gardner introduces brunch, La V adds Saturday brunch

LaV-dining room

Two of East Austin’s best restaurants are making brunch moves. Veggie-centric Gardner (1914 E. Sixth St.) launched Sunday brunch, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. The menu includes a vegetarian omelet ($14), beet hash ($16), and ricotta pancake with peaches, pecans, and sorghum ($11). Nearby French-inspired LaV (1501 E. Seventh St.) added Saturday brunch to its hours of operation. The brunch, which runs from 10:30 a.m. to 2 p.m., includes a spectacular burger, doughnuts, crepes, and more. Select bottles of rose are served for $15.


Staffing news: Callie Speer leaves Swift’s Attic, joins Geraldine’s

(Credit: Deborah Cannon AMERICAN-STATESMAN)
(Credit: Deborah Cannon AMERICAN-STATESMAN)

Callie Speer left Swift’s Attic to take the position of executive pastry chef at the forthcoming Geraldine’s at the Hotel Van Zandt (605 Davis St.).

Speer’s career in Austin includes time at Jeffrey’s and Parkside, and her desserts have won her accolades including a Food & Wine’s People’s Best New Chef nomination in 2013.

Known for her whimsical desserts at Swift’s Attic, Speer will bring nostalgia-inspiring desserts to Geraldine’s, such as lemon buttermilk pie with apple butter and cornflake crunch.

Geraldine’s will be open daily for breakfast and dinner service seven days a week, in addition to Sunday brunch. Named after the popular guinea fowl that used to roam, Rainey Street the restaurant is slated to open in October on the fourth floor of the hotel from the Kimpton Hotels group. (

All the ways you can burger in Austin

First off, happy National Cheeseburger Day!

Second, happy end to the most burger-filled week Austin360 has likely ever had!


If you missed it, don’t worry: We’re recapping all the burger madness from this week so you can get your hamburger on if you haven’t already:

It started with a poll. On Monday, we put the call out and asked Austin to tell us their favorite burger in Austin. After more than 2,000 votes in just a few days, the winners were Hopdoddy’s, Luke’s Inside Out and Mighty Fine Burgers. Dan’s Hamburgers, Casino El Camino and Hut’s Hamburgers also all received more than five percent of Austin’s vote.

At left, a Buffalo Bill burger with bison, blue cheese, bacon and hot sauce. In the background is an ahi tuna burger. Photo by Mike Sutter
At left, a Buffalo Bill burger with bison, blue cheese, bacon and hot sauce. In the background is an ahi tuna burger. Photo by Mike Sutter

But there’s more…

On Tuesday, Relish Austin’s Addie Broyles walked us through how to make hamburgers at home. Check out her full article for how to avoid under-seasoning and overmixing and when and how much to smash.

Photo by Addie Broyles
Photo by Addie Broyles

September 16 was a meatless Wednesday as Matthew Odam took a step back from a largely carnivorous week to take note of Austin’s many worthy vegetarian burgers. His absolute favorite: the veggie royale at Bouldin Creek.

Before the denizens of the print world were treated to the burger week finale on Friday, Matthew Odam’s Top 15 hamburgers in Austin went online on Thursday. We won’t spoil it for you if you haven’t seen the list yet, except to tell you that Austin readers’ favorite burger is not Odam’s.


And today? As we already said, today is National Cheeseburger Day! If you’re on a budget for this unexpected holiday, Odam also put together a “Six classic burgers for about $6” list you might enjoy.

The cheeseburger from Luke's Inside Out trailer next to the Gibson.

Burger on, Austin.

We apologize if you have strong feelings about made-up verbs. 

Austin business wins $10,000 to ‘soup up’ their food truck

Just a few days before hearing about “Flo’s Fabulous Food Truck” $10,000 competition, Mike Wood and his wife Danielle were at a local bank asking for a $10,000 loan to keep their business, The Vegan Yacht, afloat.

Photo by Addie Broyles. Before Vegan Yacht landed at Spider House Cafe, it served up vegan food at Cheer Up Charlie's.
Photo by Addie Broyles. Before Vegan Yacht landed at Spider House Cafe, it served up vegan food at Cheer Up Charlie’s.

Three rounds of the nationwide competition put on by Progressive Commercial Auto Insurance later, they’ve won the money they were looking for.

“Winning exactly what we needed exactly when we needed is like reassurance that you’re doing the right thing with your life,” Wood said in an email a few days before Progressive was set to deliver the $10,000 check.

The Vegan Yacht, home of the “freeto burrito,” has faced a number of challenges since first opening in 2010. After a couple temporary set ups in East Austin, the Airstream trailer finally found a home at Spider House Cafe’s property off of Guadalupe Street in 2014, according to the Austin Chronicle. In June, their generator was stolen while they were serving those watching the Austin Civic Orchestra at Zilker Park.

In turning to “Flo’s Fabulous Food Truck” competition as well as a GoFundMe in June, the couple was looking for money to save and keep their family business growing in lieu of all the setbacks.

“A lot of people told us they just loved our family business and thought we deserved it,” Wood said, whose trailer won the most votes out of dozens of other food trucks around the country for the grand prize, geared towards helping food trucks “jazz up” their set ups. 

The couple is planning on buying a used food truck for a new mobile operation and turning their original Airstream into a “whole new vegan food business concept for Austin to enjoy.”

Progressive is set to award the Vegan Yacht with the $10,000 check late Thursday afternoon. According to a Progressive spokesperson, Flo, of Progressive commercial fame, will not be in attendance.