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Lockhart Love / Cooks at Home / Farm to Kitchen / Seasonal Recipes No. 78 Sept/Oct 2021

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Austin Restaurant Weeks

16 Farmers Market Traveling Market

FREE GROCERY Help us turn your table for two into dinner for fifty. At participating Austin-area restaurants October 1-10, 2021.


48 P lant This/Enjoy This Now 50 S napshots Around Austin


Learn more at austinrestaurantweeks.org.

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4 / EdibleAustin.com

Bhudda Bowl with Burrata Photo by Heather Barnes





Explore the revolution


EdibleAustin.com / 5



ver the past year, some of my favorite stories we have featured in the magazine are the ones about the vibrant communities that surround Austin. We’ve made an effort to try to highlight these areas that are up-and-coming, or the communities that have grown significantly and have more to offer than what people used to think, or the parts of greater Austin that have been revitalized or reimagined through thoughtful development. This issue is no different, and we have included a story about Lockhart and how this small town is becoming known as more than just a barbecue locale (don’t get me wrong, though, there are still fantastic barbecue options that put Lockhart on the map and make Lockhart proud). But the area is also now home to big-name restaurants like Commerce Café, upscale places to stay such as the Ellison House, and a first-class wedding and event center called Two Wishes Ranch, set on over 400 acres with sweeping views of the Texas Hill Country. Lockhart is only 30 minutes from Austin and is bustling with innovative dining options, craft brews, artisan shopping and an abundance of activities — a worthwhile visit for a day or weekend getaway. In this issue, we are also excited to announce the return of Austin Restaurant Weeks in 2021, after the event had taken time off due to the pandemic. This unique event runs from October 1 through October 10, and brings chefs and foodies together to fight hunger in Central Texas. Each meal or drink purchased from a participating restaurant or bar helps the Central Texas Food Bank’s programs that provide assistance to more than 75,000 people facing food insecurity in our region each week. It’s a great way to experience some of Austin’s best restaurants while also supporting an important nonprofit organization. Read more about it on page 14 or visit austinrestaurantweeks.org. As the summer winds down, it’s also CSA (community supported agriculture) season in Central Texas — the perfect time to experience the fall harvest of farm-fresh vegetables. CSAs are the very definition of farm to table and offer produce bursting with flavor and nutrition, delivered directly to your door. For those not familiar with CSAs or wanting to give these partnerships with local farmers a try, we’ve included an article on local CSA options, costs and availability. This issue also includes a variety of recipes — some from our Cooks at Home feature on Cassy Joy Garcia and her new cookbook Cook Once Dinner Fix, and others from our fantastic Edible Austin food writer, Heather Barnes. Whether you want to prepare a meal that can be easily transformed into other meals during the week, or you want to create a fall masterpiece like the one on our cover, there are recipes in this issue for you.

PUBLISHER/EDITOR Monique Threadgill monique@edibleaustin.com


we’ll toast to that over 50 wineries & tasting rooms | unique places to stay award-winning shopping | Hill Country cuisine | art galleries parks, golf & outdoor adventure | museums & historic sites German heritage | live Texas music | peaches & wildflowers

Claire Cella Stacey Ingram Kaleh

CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Heather Barnes Ada Broussard Nathan Matisse Yolanda Nagy Addison Starr

CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHERS Heather Barnes Emma O’Grady Patty Robertson Shelby Threadgill

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producers and makers, thereby strengthening the local food economy and creating a sustainable


Edible Austin is published bimonthly by Edible Austin Magazine LLC. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be used without written permission of the publisher. ©2021. Every effort is made to avoid errors, misspellings and omissions. If, however, an error comes to your attention, please accept our apologies and notify us. Edible Austin is a member of Edible Communities.

Get it delivered right to your kitchen or find us at a local farmers market




Wholesale Clients Welcome EdibleAustin.com / 7

6 / EdibleAustin.com FCVB-113-Edible Austin-Sept Oct 2021-HPV-3_625x9_875-Wine.indd 1

8/13/21 11:47 AM

W H AT ’ S



Take a look at what we are enjoying this month:



One of our favorite new products is a must-have for everyone,

Need something to spice up a meal or drink? We suggest trying

everywhere. Really. NewBlue Bags is working to fight climate

Curcuma Kitchen’s Golden Turmeric. Made with organic

change by eliminating the use for single-use plastic bags, and

ingredients such as ginger, Ceylon cinnamon, cardamom, black

they’ve done so by creating a bag that is environmentally friendly

pepper, pink himalayan salt, MCT oil powder and Diaspora Co.

and machine-washable. We love their classic Austonian bag, which

Heirloom Turmeric, their Golden Turmeric is a new must-have

is made with plant fibers that soften over time to a leather-like

in your kitchen. It’s super easy to add to your daily routine

material. This bag is also biodegradable, vegan, recyclable and,

by mixing it into smoothies, coffee, stir-fries, soup, oats and

not to mention, super cute! These bags are guaranteed to last a

more. Curcuma Kitchen recommends using it to create golden

long time and actually get better with age. Check them out at the

milk by adding it to warmed milk for a delicious drink. Beyond

Texas Farmers Market at Mueller on Sundays or on their website.

their turmeric being delicious, it also contains curcumin — an


active ingredient that helps reduce inflammation, boost immunity, improve digestion and increase vitality. Check out Curcuma Kitchen’s website for more recipes to make with their turmeric and place an order online. In addition to their online store, find their products at Royal Blue Grocery, Tiny Grocer, and Peoples Rx. curcumakitchen.com



Coffee fans are almost always looking for their next favorite

From the cafe, The Meteor on South Congress, comes

coffee blend and we think Flat Track Coffee Roasters has one of the

¡El Meteoro! Super Green Cremosa. We highly recommend

best. Their Dogspeed Blend is fruity and densely bodied with hints

trying this sauce the next time you need something to add a kick

of ripe mango and rich and sweet butterscotch and toffee. This

of flavor to a meal. Not only is the sauce creamy and delicious,

blend is great with milk, which makes it decadent and dessert-like.

it’s also vegan. We recommend adding it on top of your tacos

Flat Track recommends this blend for people who have a more

or even just drizzling it on tortilla chips, but you can also add it

developed palate. In addition to their Dogspeed Blend, also check

to any seafood or poultry that needs a little more spice. If you

out Flat Track’s Sidepipe Blend with flavors of cola, dried cherry

haven’t been to The Meteor Cafe on Austin’s amazing

and graham cracker. No matter what you find at Flat Track Coffee

South Congress Street, make sure you stop by to pick up some of

Roasters, though, we know you’ll love it. Check out their website to

their delicious baked goods and, of course, grab a bottle of their

place an order or visit their storefront at 1619 East Cesar Chavez St.

Super Green Cremosa! It is also available on their online


store for purchase. espressochampagnechainlube.com

8 / EdibleAustin.com

EdibleAustin.com / 9

NOTABLE edibles

NOTABLE edibles

Bastrop’s Ma'Coco Adds East Austin Location

Notable Edibles

Mexican restaurant Ma’Coco recently opened in Austin on East 6th street. This is the second location for Ma’Coco after the siblings Javier and Judith Equihua relocated from California and opened their first location in Bastrop in 2018.


Chicken Salad Shoppe Opens Permanent Location After opening at a temporary location in 2020, Chicken Salad Shoppe has moved to their permanent, dine-in location within Furniture Mall of Texas in North Austin. The location has patio seating as well as indoor cafe seating. The Chicken Salad Shoppe menu features inventive takes on chicken salad including The Texan, a fried chicken salad; the James Banh, a spicy thai peanut banh mi chicken salad; the Buffalo Bleu Chicken Salad, a fruit focused chicken salad with apricots and blueberries; and the spicy Chipotle Chicken Salad. All chicken salads are served as sandwiches, wraps or on a bed of greens. The menu also offers housemade soups, sides, specialty coffee drinks, and their signature Texas-sized half-pound monster cookies in delectable flavors like Nutella-stuffed double chocolate chip, grasshopper mint, strawberry cheesecake, caramel-stuffed chocolate chip and other seasonal flavors. Visit the Chicken Salad Shoppe at 12901 North Interstate Highway 35, Building 3, Suite 300 or online at chickensaladshoppe.com.

Juliet Owners Introduce Online-Only Benvolio's


Creekhouse Debuts in Wimberley

The menu features Mexican dishes from their San Diego and Baja, California roots including chilaquiles and carne asada, along with traditional Tex-Mex favorites like tacos, enchiladas and flautas. Desserts include decadent churro donuts, buñuelos and flan. The drink menu focuses on tequila with a variety of margaritas and specialty cocktails including a copperchata, mojito and Mexican martini. Ma’Coco takes over the space formerly occupied by La Matta, the casual Italian sandwich shop that closed in March 2020 due to the pandemic, and the Equihuas are redesigning the space for this new venture. Try out their new location at 501 Comal Street in East Austin.

Set beneath a beautiful canopy of trees and overlooking Cypress Creek, the new restaurant Creekhouse is now open in Wimberley and offers elevated comfort food and craft cocktails with their all-day menu. Serving brunch, lunch and dinner, Creekhouse is adding a modern take on traditional comfort food with dishes like Roasted Creole Blue Crab Fingers, Low Country Shrimp Boil, Hot Honey Chicken Biscuit Bites, Mexican Street Tacos, Hill Country Brisket Ramen and more.

photos by BENVOLIO'S

The owners of beloved Austin restaurant Juliet Italian Kitchen have introduced a new online-only restaurant, Benvolio’s. The restaurant is available on food delivery apps including UberEats, GrubHub and DoorDash, and operates out of a ghost kitchen in north Austin.

Creekhouse offers a wide selection of Texas-brewed beers, fine wines and artfully crafted cocktails that complement the menu's robust flavors. “We created Creekhouse out of a love for our hometown, Wimberley,” says executive chef Mark Grimes. “We wanted to bring a vibrant spot for locals and out of towners to come to celebrate, relax and slow down. We believe there's no better reason to gather than for good food, friends and live music — and no better place to be than Wimberley.”

The menu features salads, sandwiches and pizza showcasing a unique take on classic Italian dishes like the Greek sub served with chicken, pepperoncini and fresh veggies or the Texas BBQ pulled pork sandwich. Benvolio’s also has build-your-own menu options for lunch and dinner.

Creekhouse features a large outdoor patio and deck overlooking Cypress Creek, along with their outdoor Silo Bar, offering visitors the perfect setting to unwind and enjoy great food while spending time with friends and family.

“We wanted the menu at Benvolio’s to represent classic Italian with a twist,” says chef and director of culinary operations Wade Guice. “Using traditional dishes as a foundation, the inspiration behind many of the dishes is rooted in the flavors our community loves combined in unexpected ways.”

Visit this great new dining option in the Wimberley Square at 14015 RR 12 or online at creekhousewtx.com.


10 / EdibleAustin.com

To place an order at Benvolio’s, visit benvolios-tx.com.

photos by MA'COCO

EdibleAustin.com / 11


NOTABLE edibles

Cheers! Tacodeli Introduces Dinner Menu and Cocktails

Higher Ground Offers Place of Worship … to Food

Story and photos by MONIQUE THREADGILL

photo by HLK FOTOS

Dripping Springs Distilling Introduces New Spaces Award-winning craft distillery, Dripping Springs Distilling, recently opened two new venues on their beautiful 10-acre property. Distillers Bar is a visitors’ center providing guests with distillery tours and tastings, allowing them to sip signature cocktails and enjoy elevated Texas comfort food all while exploring the Texas Hill Country property. Distillers Hall, a wedding and event destination, has soaring ceilings overlooking a picturesque outdoor arbor stage, making it an idyllic destination for any Texas Hill Country wedding or event. The property also features their iconic Truffle House and sought-after Airstream, which serve as complimentary day-of retreats for wedding parties with each Distillers Hall rental. The venue can accommodate a range of group sizes from intimate weddings to groups of 200. Distillers Hall welcomes guests to enjoy its craft cocktails featuring Dripping Springs Vodkas, Dripping Springs Gins and 1876 Bourbons, as well as Republic Barbados Rum, a distillery exclusive. Fine wines from Dripping Springs Cellars are also available. “With the same vision and attention to detail that has made our spirits a Texas favorite for 15 years, we have created an extraordinary space,” says Dripping Springs Distilling co-founder Gary Kelleher. Dripping Springs Distilling was the first licensed distillery in the Texas Hill Country and produces its handmade, artisanal vodkas, gins and bourbons in small batches using limestone-filtered spring water. Visit the distillery at 5330 Bell Springs Road in Dripping Springs or online at drippingspringsdistilling.com.


12 / EdibleAustin.com


Located at 8th Street and Congress in downtown Austin, Higher Ground is Austin's newest social club offering designer cocktails and delectable bites, along with music and dancing. The restaurant is located in a historic space, is themed around embracing spirituality and is filled with objects of art and eclectic decor. There are pews sourced from a decommissioned church in West Texas and an altar from a Victorian home in Louisiana, along with stained glass windows and antique wooden archways throughout the building. The Italian-inspired menu created by Chef Chris Galluccio features signature plates such as Prosciutto and Cheddar Crochette with a savory Fra Diavolo sauce; Shaved Fennel and Frisée Caesar Salad with bacon and pear; and a Crispy Porchetta Sandwich served with arugula, peach mostarda and a traditional basil pesto. Artfully crafted signature cocktails from mixologist Steven Delgado include a line of holy spirits cocktails named after the seven deadly sins, along with an extensive selection of beer and wine. “I am so excited to open this new concept and help to revitalize Congress Avenue in downtown Austin,” says Paolo Soriano, partner of the restaurant’s parent company Higher Hospitality. “Whether you are visiting the Capitol, catching a show at Paramount Theatre or looking for a destination for upscale cocktails and bites, Higher Ground will offer something to everyone.” Check out this divine new offering at 720 Congress Avenue or online at highergroundatx.com.


photo by TACODELI

acodeli, one of Austin’s favorite spots for handcrafted tacos and fresh, local fare, has launched a full alcohol and dinner menu, along with expanded dinner hours, at every Tacodeli location across Texas.

Majority partners Roberto Espinosa and Eric Wilkerson met 21 years ago after following parallel paths for years but never meeting. Both were students at the University of Texas at Austin. Then, Espinosa moved and lived in Atlanta from 1993–1998, while Wilkerson was also there from 1994–1999. Both came to find out that they shared mutual friends but it wasn’t until they were back in Austin that they were finally introduced to one another. Some may say that fate has a way of bringing people together for a reason, and for Espinosa and Wilkerson, the reason happened to be a shared passion for quality food, high-level service, working with good people ... and tacos. Tacodeli started out at the Barton Skyway location in 1999 and has expanded over the years to 11 locations in Austin, Dallas and Houston. Their typical locations are in urban, densely populated areas with enough demand to support their restaurants being open for breakfast and lunch service only. But with the onset of the pandemic in 2020, they saw an increased demand for their stores to stay open later and serve their iconic tacos, queso and salads as well as some new menu items into the dinner hours. Coupled with their newest ventures in more suburban areas — Circle C is slated to open this fall — and they decided to introduce a dinner menu at all of their locations. Scott Grossfield, who serves as Tacodeli’s chief operating officer, was brought into the group in 2011, rounding out the trio with Wilkerson and Espinosa. "We have been fortunate to be able to expand into several different areas over the past twenty years, as well as recently being able to extend our dining hours to meet customer demand,” says Grossfield.

The dinner and cocktail menus were developed by Espinosa, who also oversees the overall culinary program for Tacodeli. “As we grow as a restaurant company, we continue to focus on providing our guests the best quality sourcing and preparations,” he says. “We are thrilled to introduce new alcohol and dinner menus that we hope guests find as exciting as we do." The new dinner menu includes Mole de Pollo, a shredded chicken dish with housemade mole served with white rice and black beans; Pastor Yucatan, a pork and escabeche dish nestled on a banana leaf and served with Mexican rice and black beans; and other entrées including a Mojo-seasoned flank steak served with black beans and Mexican rice and seared scallops served with sautéed spinach, escabeche and a cauliflower puree. Tacodeli’s addition of alcohol includes a handmade cocktail menu featuring frozen margaritas, cocktails, beer and more. All cocktails are made with fresh juices and include 16 ounce to-go options. “We’ve gone through some interesting challenges over the years,” says Espinosa of working with his longtime business partners, “but in all the years we’ve worked together, we’ve never come across an issue we couldn’t resolve or a challenge we couldn’t overcome simply by talking to each other and figuring things out.” Tacodeli’s new dinner menu, cocktail menu and extended hours are just a few examples of how the owners work together to continually grow and improve their business for Central Texans to enjoy. EdibleAustin.com / 13

spotlight on LOCAL

Austin Restaurant Weeks Returns for 2021

Saturday, October 23

story by MONIQUE THREADGILL With lunch, dinner, cocktail, beer and wine options available, there are many opportunities to indulge even the most particular palates. Participating restaurants and bars will offer options including a two- or three-course lunch priced at $20; a three-or four-course dinner priced at either $35 or $50; special Tito’s Handmade Vodka-based cocktails; and the establishment’s choice of beer or wine offered at various prices.


photo by L’OCA D’ORO

fter taking an unwelcome break last year due to the pandemic, Austin Restaurant Weeks is making a return in 2021 — scheduled from Friday, October 1 through Sunday, October 10. The fundraiser will be presented by Tito’s Handmade Vodka and will benefit the Central Texas Food Bank, a local nonprofit founded in 1981 that serves food and grocery products through their network partners to more than 75,000 people every week. In 2019, Austin Restaurant Weeks featured 130 restaurants and raised enough money to provide 893,000 meals for Central Texans in need.

For 2021, many beloved and celebrated restaurants have already signed up to participate including Austin Daily Press, Austin Land and Cattle, Bar Peached, The Cavalier, Craft Pride, Gusto Italian Kitchen + Wine Bar, Intero, L'Oca d'Oro, Mandala Kitchen & Bar, The Peached Tortilla, Sala and Betty, Siena Ristorante Toscana and Wicky's Walkup. More restaurants will be added as they sign up.

DOWNTOWN | MARKET SQUARE NOON - 7:00pm - plus these fabulous events!

A full-course celebration of Texas! Saturday’s Fest Includes: • Over 20 Texas wineries • Texas Specialty Booths • Grape Expectations Cooking School • Silent Auction

Thursday October 21




Friday October 22




• Lively music • Gargantuan Grape Toss • Texas Craft Beer • Food Court

$25 admission includes: Souvenir Fest wine glass, wine carrying bag, six tickets for wine tastings (these can be used for two 2 oz. sample pours, one glass of wine or one craft beer)

Saturday October 23




www.FbgFoodAndWineFest.com Fredericksburg Texas

And it’s not too late; restaurants, bars and breweries can still join the fight against hunger by becoming an Austin Restaurant Weeks participant. For more information and to sign up, visit austinrestaurantweeks.org. For details regarding Austin Restaurant Weeks as a patron, including participating restaurants and making reservations, you can also visit austinrestaurantweeks.org.

During Austin Restaurant Weeks, participating dining and drinking establishments offer prix-fixe menus and drink specials with a portion of sales donated to the Central Texas Food Bank. To help, all you need to do is dine at a participating restaurant and a portion of the proceeds from your meal will go toward helping the one in seven Central Texans who are food insecure. It’s a fun, delicious and simple way to help fight hunger while enjoying some of the best food and drink Austin has to offer. “We are so grateful to have a food and beverage community that supports the mission of the Food Bank and wants to help the people we serve,” says Mark Jackson, chief marketing officer for the Central Texas Food Bank. “And we are also fortunate to have such great dining and drinking establishments in the Austin area for patrons to be able to support Austin Restaurant Weeks.”

Intero's Ian Thurwachter & Krystal Craig photo by RALPH YZNAGA

14 / EdibleAustin.com

EdibleAustin.com / 15

spotlight on LOCAL

Traveling Market The Savory Farmers Market by YOLANDA NAGY


ustin is beloved for its plethora of farmers markets, but

more personal farmers market with the variety often offered by a

there’s a new kid on the block. And if you haven’t yet, I highly

large market, then these are for you. All markets take place in the late

recommend checking out a Savory Farmers Market, a market

afternoon, so you can shop on your way home from work before you

with a mission to bring its goods closer to home for Central Texans. Each month, the Savory Farmers Market endeavors to bring their market to different communities, an idea that vendors and now market organizers Nathanael and Sarah Ferguson had in 2020.

head home to cook dinner with what you’ve scored. Or, if you’re not cooking that evening, you can also pick up prepared food from any of the great food trucks on site. Follow Savory Markets on Instagram at the handle @savoryfarmersmarket,

The couple jumped right in, even as COVID-19 continued to affect

where their market manager Karlien Cordier posts regular

our communities, and, interestingly, their timing seemed to be perfect.

updates, especially on the days of the markets.

Their initial markets strongly supported other vendors who needed to sell their produce as well as the local communities that were unable to get fresh goods at the grocery stores, which created partnerships that would bring them all together in this “new normal” way of shopping. Their first market hosted 17 vendors at the Travisso community clubhouse in Leander. I discovered this incredible couple through one of my Instagram foodie friends, Mariel. She told

The edible austin farmers’ market guide

me nothing but great things

is brought to you by

about the Savory Market in Leander, and so I took a ride out there one Wednesday evening to take a look. I knew it would be easy to spot the Fergusons

Here is a list of the communities where you can find the market, in addition to one-time markets they try to host every month, too:

because they are also the owners

Travisso Every Wednesday, 3–7 p.m.

and operators of Savory Alaska

2437 Travisso Parkway, Leander

— a vendor at the market selling




caught Alaskan seafood. Once I found them, we immediately hit it off. Nathanael told me he grew up fishing in Pelican, Alaska, and was a long-time friend of the

Bryson Every 2nd Friday of the month, 3–7 p.m. 1960 Pleasant Hill Road Leander Belterra Every 4th Friday of the month, 3–7 p.m. 801 Belterra Drive Austin

fishermen who supply their fish, which are flown to Texas. They gave

Ranch at Brushy Creek Every 2nd Friday of the month, 3-7 p.m.

me a tour of the rest of the market, and I met all of the vendors.

110 Church Park Road, Cedar Park

They told me that they have been very successful with their hybrid

You can find the Savory Alaska booth at all the markets and

concept — taking their market to four communities each month, twice

online at: www.savoryalaska.com IG- @savoryalaska

in Leander, once in Austin and once in Cedar Park. Each time, they bring along 15 to 30 other vendors. If you are looking for a smaller, 16 / EdibleAustin.com

photos by YOLANDA NAGY

Find Yolanda Nagy on IG: @eatin_and_sippin_locally and on Facebook: Eatin’ and Sippin Locally.

United By A Common Cause.

LAKELINE sustainably grown food from

local farmers & ranchers saturdays 9a - 1p @ Lakeline sundays 10a - 2p @ Mueller for locations, vendor lists & more info visit



combatproject.com EdibleAustin.com / 17

COOKS at home


Cassy Joy Garcia Keeps it Simple, Tasty, and Yeah, Fun


by NATHAN MATISSE assy Joy Garcia hustles. The North San Antonio-based holistic

to quickly and easily make multiple meals within a week.

nutritionist and food writer has done a lot during the last

It’s a small tweak, but it comes with big benefits, like saving

decade of running her beloved site, Fed and Fit. She created










an app. She hosted a podcast. She incorporated other elements of a healthy lifestyle that could take up someone else’s entire professional

“When folks see these recipes, I hope they say, ‘Oh yeah, I can do that. I

focus — like fitness routines and skincare recommendations — into her

can pull off a ground beef stir fry and serve it with white rice and then use

work. And this fall, on top of releasing her third cookbook and preparing

the rest of that beef in an enchilada casserole,’” Garcia says. “Explaining

to welcome her third child, she’s launching a cooking techniques

enchilada casserole to a bunch of Texans usually isn’t something you have

subscription service, preparing to increase Fed and Fit’s video recipes

to do, you know? I’m constantly trying to think of dishes for my husband,

and planning to create all of her recipes with multiple options in

who has a big appetite, to make sure he’s full and for our two little ones

order to be more inclusive of

to make sure they enjoy their meal. These two are always home runs.”

specialized diets. Phew!

“If it can be egg free, for example, I want that as an option and we need to go the extra mile to test it,” Garcia says. “This fall, if we publish a pumpkin bread, we might publish four pumpkin breads, like a Keto-friendly one or a vegan-friendly one.”

Garcia’s kitchen efficiency magic can go even further. She doesn’t hesitate to brown the ground beef during a cooking session before she’s planning to make either of these dishes. “If you’ve already got a dirty skillet, go ahead and brown the ground beef you want to use tomorrow night. Ground beef in particular can be made a few days ahead of making either meal,” she says. And smart shortcuts, like using a store-bought enchilada sauce (“Especially where we are, there are really great enchilada sauces available — embrace it and press the easy button”) or keeping an odds-and-ends bowl in your fridge to save the week’s leftover cut vegetables for swift inclusion in

After putting that much time and energy into so many different things, maybe it’s only natural that when off-the-clock in her own kitchen, Garcia is always looking for ways to simplify. It makes complete sense that the two dishes she

a stir fry, demonstrate the depths to which Garcia has experimented. “It’s a little bowl I keep in the refrigerator where I’ll toss half of an onion I didn’t use for a dish or the rest of a bell pepper my daughter didn’t want for a snack,” Garcia says of the odds-and-ends bowl. “Any kind of

recently shared with Edible Austin — a beef enchilada skillet casserole

veggie you have that’s just odds and ends, you can toss it into the stir fry.

and a teriyaki ground beef stir fry — embody one of the central

Julienned carrots are great, but use what you’ve got.”







Cook Once Dinner Fix. Rather than preparing a single dish when working in the kitchen, Garcia believes simultaneously bulk prepping a common and flexible main ingredient (like ground beef ) sets you up

photos by PATTY ROBERTSON 18 / EdibleAustin.com

COOKS at home

COOKS at home

That’s just her latest new kitchen tactic in a long history of Garcia

“Whenever I stumble upon something, I feel a responsibility to share it in

finding innovation in response to changes in her life. Her first cookbook,

case it helps someone else,” Garcia says. “[The odds-and-ends bowl] is a

and really the entire Fed and Fit ethos — to not ban yourself from foods

good example of a habit born from the last year and a half. Pre-pandemic, I

but to rather find simple ones that work for you — was born out of her

cooked a lot of one-off meals. I’d have a lot of one-off ingredients, because I

decision to adopt a healthier lifestyle and become a nutritionist in her early

could just run to the store quickly to grab one thing. Now, I find myself really

twenties. Garcia’s second book and its meal prep mantra came when she

leaning on pantry and fridge staples. That’s also the evolution of my life as a

needed to change her routines in response to the arrival of her first child.

mom and my girls getting a little older. We’re the house now where we have spaghetti and sauce once a week. And those kinds of regular routines and

Her latest book, filled with recipes like the stir fry and enchilada

staples helped simplify meal time and create a sense of home around routine

casserole, is driven by two changes. First, her website has grown to the

in the kitchen.”

point where there are so many invested readers sharing requests, she can almost literally fill a recipe book with their ideas. “There were some big wishes after book two, ‘I love it but…,’” Garcia says. “‘I wish it had more side dishes, I wish there were more vegetarian dishes or I wish these weren’t such huge meals.’ This was a challenge we got to rise to.” The second change was the same one all of us had to deal with over

And if the response to Garcia’s work over the years doesn’t already give it away, rest assured, after sampling these two quick and easy weeknight dinners, stir fry and/or casserole night would be a welcomed routine in any Edible Austin reader’s kitchen. Follow Cassy Joy Garcia at @fedandfit.

the last year-plus. In the face of a pandemic filled with unknowns and a growing family to feed at the table, Garcia adopted a simplified approach to day-to-day cooking. It helped her navigate the new reality, so she wanted to share that insight with everyone.

20 / EdibleAustin.com

EdibleAustin.com / 21

COOKS at home

COOKS at home

Two Fed and Fit Recipes That Share Ingredients


1 c.

uncooked white rice, rinsed

1 c.

coconut aminos

1 t.

ground ginger

1 t.

toasted sesame oil

1 T.

extra-virgin olive oil

2 c.

shredded carrots

8 oz.

mushrooms, diced


yellow bell pepper, sliced into thin strips


red onion, thinly sliced

4 c.

broccoli florets

3 ½ c.

cooked ground beef (reserved from Meal 1)

1 T.

white sesame seeds, for garnish

Cook the rice according to the package instructions. Meanwhile, in a medium skillet, bring the coconut aminos to a simmer over medium heat. Cook for 5 to 7 minutes, until reduced enough to coat the back of a spoon. Remove from the heat, stir in the ginger and sesame oil,


and set aside. Preheat the oven to 350°. In a large skillet, cook the ground beef


3 lbs.

ground beef

1 (15 oz)

can red enchilada sauce

over medium heat, breaking up the meat with a spoon as it cooks, until browned all over, about 10 minutes. Drain the excess fat from the cooked beef, then transfer half the beef (about 3 ½ cups) to an

the carrots, mushrooms, bell pepper, onion and broccoli and cook, stirring for 6 to 7 minutes, until the vegetables are soft.

airtight container and refrigerate, then use for Meal 2. Transfer the

Add the cooked ground beef and the coconut aminos teriyaki sauce.

remaining beef to a large bowl.

Stir to combine. Cook for 5 minutes, until the ground beef is heated

Add the enchilada sauce, broth, oregano, garlic powder, onion

1 c.

beef broth

1 t.

dried oregano

½ t.

garlic powder

½ t.

onion powder

Arrange a layer of tortillas over the bottom of an 8-inch square

½ t.

fine sea salt

baking dish (breaking them as needed to fit), then spoon about

¼ t.

ground black pepper

1 cup of the beef mixture over the tortilla layer. Top evenly with


corn tortillas

½ cup of the cheese, then repeat the layers until all of the ingredients

3 c.

shredded cheddar cheese

but the last cup of cheese are used. Top evenly with the remaining

¼ c.

sour cream, for garnish

1 cup cheese.


avocado sliced, for garnish

2 T.

chopped fresh cilantro, for garnish

22 / EdibleAustin.com

In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add

powder, salt and pepper to the bowl with the ground beef and stir

through, then remove from the heat. Garnish with the sesame seeds and serve with the rice.

to combine.

Bake for 30 minutes, or until the top is bubbling. Top with the sour cream and avocado, garnish with the cilantro, and serve.

EdibleAustin.com / 23


SEASON recipes and photography by HEATHER BARNES



1/2 c.


3/4 c.

butter (11/2 sticks), softened

1 t.


Orange Coconut Pastry Cream: 1

can (14 fl. oz.) unsweetened coconut milk

3/4 c.


Pinch Kosher salt

1 t.


2 T.



large egg yolks

2 T.

unsalted butter

1 c.

sweetened coconut flakes

1/2 c.

whipping cream

1 T.

grated orange peel


fresh figs, sliced

Preheat oven to 375°. Combine the flour and salt in a large mixing bowl. Whisk to combine. Cream the softened butter, add vanilla and slowly add the sugar for about a minute until fluffy. Add in the flour mixture until it resembles a dough. Refrigerate the dough for 30 minutes. Press the dough into the tart pan using your fingers. Prick the crust with a fork. Bake the crust for 15 minutes or until the edges are golden in color. Let the crust cool before filling it with the cream. For the cream, heat the coconut milk, sugar, salt and vanilla extract in a medium saucepan over low-to-medium heat. In a separate bowl, whisk together the cornstarch and egg yolks. Once the cream is hot, add about half of the cream to the bowl of egg yolks, slowly whisking together. Then pour the egg yolk mixture into the saucepan with the rest of the cream and continue to whisk. 24 / EdibleAustin.com

Keep whisking on medium heat until it starts to thicken. Then whisk in the butter and coconut flakes. Pour into a clean bowl, cover with plastic wrap and allow to cool in the refrigerator for an hour. Once it’s cool, add in the whipping cream and with an electric mixer, beat until stiff peaks form. Fill the crust with the cream and garnish it with sliced figs. Keep the tart in the fridge until ready to serve.

EdibleAustin.com / 25

recipes of the SEASON

recipes of the SEASON


1/2 c.

beluga lentils


garnet sweet potato

2 T.

olive oil

2 t.


Pinch of salt and pepper


bunch mustard greens

1/2 c.

pickled red onions

1/2 c.

cherry tomatoes

1/4 c.


/³ c.


Handful of micro greens to garnish

1/4 c.

candied pecans

4 T.

olive oil

2 T.

honey mustard

1/2 T.

red wine vinegar

1 T.


Pinch of salt and pepper



Preheat the oven to 350°. Cook lentils as directed on the bag or box. Slice the sweet potato into rounds and toss with olive oil, salt, paprika, and pepper. Roast with cherry tomatoes on a baking sheet for 20 minutes. While the sweet potatoes and tomatoes are roasting, sauté the mustard greens with olive oil and salt until wilted. To make the dressing, whisk together all the ingredients in a small bowl or place in a mason jar and shake. In a bowl, arrange the lentils and mustard greens on the bottom. Place the tomatoes, sweet potatoes, onions and burrata on top and garnish with micro greens and candied pecans.

26 / EdibleAustin.com

EdibleAustin.com / 27

E A T. D R I N K . T H I N K . On the following pages, we bring you the second in a series of thought leadership stories that span topics of sustainability, access to healthy foods and

local communities who are tireless champions in the battle against nutrition

Why Feeding Those in Need Must Focus on Nourishment

insecurity and hunger.

nutrition, restaurant revitalization and regenerative agriculture. These are

Dr. Frank says “the power of one can be huge,” and we could not agree

the values that Edible Communities, as an organization, has been devoted

more. One person, one organization, one community—each purpose driven,

to for the past two decades. Our work lends itself to the singular notion that

can massively impact our food system. We believe that every person should

excellent storytelling has the power to change lives, and that by exploring and

have access to a high-quality diet that is filled with nutritious foods that

elevating important conversations like these, we can effect everlasting change

are raised and grown using sustainable practices. As consumer advocates we

in our communities too.

all play a critical role in reshaping the demand for this, and we all must be

Please join us in supporting the work of our featured subjects—Michel



diligent in advancing this agenda if we are to ensure that no one is left behind.

Nischan, sustainable food advocate and co-founder of Wholesome Wave; and

Tracey Ryder

native food historian and chef, Dr. Lois Ellen Frank—two heroes from our

Co-Founder, Edible Communities

Chef Michel Nischan Photo courtesy of Wholesome Wave

When anyone in a community struggles with food

equality. Communities of color and those living in poverty

insecurity, it’s everybody’s problem. In the United States

in the U.S. got sick from COVID-19 at a rate two to three

alone, an estimated $90 billion in excess healthcare costs

times higher than the rest of the country, according to the

annually are associated with food insecurity, according to

2020 Wholesome Wave impact report. The underlying rea-

research from the Sodexo Stop Hunger Foundation’s study

sons why aren’t specific to the pandemic. “Four of the Top

conducted by researchers affiliated with Harvard’s School

5 drivers of this disparity are obesity, diabetes, hyperten-

of Public Health, Brandeis University and Loyola Univer-

sion and heart disease,” says Nischan. These are all chronic

sity. The social and emotional toll hunger takes on commu-

conditions that can be prevented and often reversed by in-

nities is harder to quantify, but no less deeply felt.

creasing access to nutritious food.

But of course, for those personally experiencing food

Yet, when the foremost experts in hunger talk about

insecurity, the problems are impossible to ignore. For

hunger in terms of food security, it drives a cultural con-

those receiving SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance

versation that leads food banks to be well-stocked, but of-

Program) benefits, getting the most calories for their dollar

ten it’s with ultra-processed food. “It has to be about more

is likely at the forefront of their mind, and sometimes that

than getting meals on the table,” Nischan says.

means families eat more processed foods than they’d like.

To that end, Nischan and Wholesome Wave co-found-

Michel Nischan, a four-time James Beard Award-winning

er Gus Schumacher worked on a SNAP “doubling” pro-

chef and sustainable food movement leader, is working to

gram that makes every $1 a participant spends worth $2

change that. And for Wholesome Wave, the nonprofit he

when they buy produce. What began as a nascent pilot

founded in 2007, it is a primary goal.

program in Columbia, Md., in 2005 has since grown into

Wholesome Wave recently reset its priorities, in fact, and

a federally funded program started by Wholesome Wave

will now squarely focus on nutrition—not food—insecurity.

that helps more than 40 million people eat more greens

The goal is to change the way people think about hunger.

and less instant ramen.

The distinction between food security and nutrition security is a critical one, according to Nischan. Most

some Wave is also ramping up its Produce Prescription Program. It’s an umbrella program that partners with lo-

hunger thanks to government programs, food banks and

cal organizations, such as hospitals and health clinics, to

hunger relief organizations. “This makes them technical-

empower doctors to write prescriptions for nutrient-dense

ly ‘food secure,’ but they’re still not getting the nutrition

fruits and vegetables, often local, that patients pick up

they need to be healthy,” says Nischan. “We aren’t solving

weekly, free of charge.

“It’s about people having the kind of diet that promotes good health and prevents disease,” he says. It’s also about



As part of Nischan’s shift to nutrition security, Whole-

North Americans have access to enough calories to avoid

the real problem.

edible Communities |

Joy Manning

“Many people visit the doctor and hear, ‘If you don’t eat better, the next time I see you you’ll have type 2 diabetes,” says Nischan. His next big goal is securing Medicaid and

Visit ediblecommunities.com for more photos and podcasts

Medicare funding for these programs so they become as common as prescriptions are for drugs. “Your insurance company will pay for a kidney transplant, but not the vegetables that can prevent the disease,” he says. Piloted in 2010, the Produce Prescription Program is ambitious, but peer-reviewed research shows that it works. A 2017 study published in Preventive Medicine Reports showed that participation in the program helped

HUNGER BY THE NUMBERS The problem of food and nutrition insecurity across North America is incalculable, but these sobering statistics show that work still must be done to ensure everyone gets the nourishment they need to live a full life and prevent disease.

bring down participants’ A1C (a number that indicates one’s average blood sugar level). A 2012 study in the journal Public Health Nutrition showed produce prescriptions improve overall well-being.


35 million Americans live in households that struggle with food and nutrition insecurity. 84 percent of households served by Feeding America, a network of food banks, say they buy cheap food instead of fresh food to ensure they’ll have enough to eat. 27.5 percent of households with kids are food and nutrition insecure. 19.1 percent of Black households and 15.6% of Hispanic households experience food and nutrition insecurity. 1 in 19 Americans relies on SNAP benefits.

Image courtesy of Wholesome Wave

This is not to say that Nischan believes Wholesome Wave has all the answers. From the beginning, Wholesome Wave has partnered with local organizations to bring ideas and funding to a collaboration that fits the specific needs of its community. “We don’t want to be the organization that rides into your town with our solution to your problem. Addressing nutrition insecurity is different in every community,” he says. And, as we know, paying attention to those differences is critical to finding solutions. Continued...

edible Communities |




1 in 8 Canadian households faces food and nutrition insecurity. 1 in 6 Canadian children experiences food and nutrition insecurity. In Ontario, 3,282,514 visits were made to food banks in 2019-2020. Black and Indigenous people are 3 times more likely to be food and nutrition insecure than white people.




edible Communities |



Dr. Lois Ellen Frank | Photo by Daphne Hougard

Indigenous communities, for example, live with some of

sauce. “These are ancestral foods that promote wellness,”

the highest rates of food and nutrition insecurity in North

she says. After the training, 32 families received the pre-

America. A study published in 2017 in the Journal of Hunger

pared dish, plus the recipe and the ingredients they’d need

& Environmental Nutrition found that from 2000 to 2010,

to make it themselves. “You think you aren’t teaching that

25% of American Indians and Alaska Natives were consis-

many people, but it’s a ripple effect,” she says. One family

tently food insecure. It’s a daunting statistic.

passes the information to another.

Dr. Lois Ellen Frank is a Santa Fe, N.M.-based chef

This passing of knowledge from one person to the next

and native food historian. She believes that the health and

can help keep food traditions alive. “It takes only one gen-

nutrition security of Indigenous communities (and all

eration for a recipe or a method of agriculture to disappear.”

communities for that matter) can best be served by put-

And preserving these recipes and traditions matters

ting attention and energy into solutions and not focusing

when it comes to solving the problem of food insecurity. A

on the problems. Frank would rather focus on concrete

2019 study published in the journal Food Security suggests

tasks she can do to help. “I’m a big advocate of the power

that tribal communities can achieve increased food secu-

of one person,” she says. She provides culinary training to

rity and better health outcomes if they have greater access

those who cook in community centers and schools to help

to their traditional foods and the ability to hunt, fish and

people reconnect with traditional foodways through native

preserve native foods.

plants and recipes. Recently, she taught cooks in one school to make refried bean enchiladas with corn and zucchini in a red chili

For some, starting a nonprofit organization is a great way to make a difference. But, as Dr. Frank also reminds us, helping just one person can have an impact too. e




ust a short drive beyond Austin’s city limits, there’s much

“Lockhart has transformed even since 2017 when I moved here,” says Lauren

charm to be found in historic downtown Lockhart. With a

Reeves, owner of Two Wishes Ranch Events. “There are a handful of locals

storied past dating back to the mid-1800s, those in search of

who are working hard to help the town be all that it’s capable of being …

delectable eats, craft brews, enchanting history-filled venues and

Lockhart is that place where you can still discover real, genuine people, artists,

bed-and-breakfast stays are sure to delight in a weekend visit. Widely known across the state for its legendary barbecue — including Black’s, Smitty’s, Kreuz Market, Chisholm Trail and others which you won’t want to miss — there’s even more to discover in Lockhart.

musicians. There’s enough things to do to make it a weekend destination.” Charge or fuel up your car and hit the road to explore all that Lockhart has to offer, beyond the barbecue.

Family-run businesses are not a thing of the past here, but are very much alive, as is the city’s entrepreneurial spirit. In Lockhart, you’ll find that downhome Texas feeling alongside an inventive local dining scene, a charming yet modern atmosphere created by respectful renovation of historic spaces and friendly artisans working diligently to curate the perfect event or overnight stay. While Dripping Springs may have claimed the title, “Wedding Capital of Texas,” for its ever-growing number of Hill Country venues and Georgetown may be a go-to for the bustling dining scene on its town square, Lockhart seems to remain a more under-the-radar gem with unique options for both special occasions and dining that range in style from elegant farmhouse to red-brick-laden speakeasy. And


it has somehow magically maintained its small town authenticity. On a hot Texas Saturday, streets are still quiet, parking is still convenient, and shop staff, bartenders and restaurant professionals still greet you with a warm smile, eager to strike up a conversation. It’s a welcome Beesforall.com change of pace from the reservation-only culture of downtown Austin.

Left: Hawkins Farmhouse Ales by RALPH YZNAGA

Ellison House photos by EMMA O'GRADY EdibleAustin.com / 37

edible ESCAPES



Try a one-of-a-kind cocktail and offbeat farmhouse brew or grab your caffeine fix.

Come hungry and ready to indulge in sophisticated Texas comfort foods.


Commerce Café On the corner of the town square, in view of the








Chaparral Coffee on the town square to re-energize. Ask for your

magnificent Caldwell County Courthouse, sits Commerce Café. Bringing

standby or try an indulgent pecan toddy or Mexican mocha (you’ll

life back to a space that once sat closed for some time, visitors walk in to

forget about pumpkin spice lattes). Not feeling coffee? They have a

a streamlined modern aesthetic and are greeted warmly by a top notch

plentiful selection of teas, Italian sodas and grab-and-go sandwiches.

waitstaff. Natural woods and stainless steel come together, creating clean

Looking for something to take home? Purchase coffee and tea to

lines and an open view of the kitchen, which allows you to watch as your

brew later or select wine or beer to pair with your next home cooked

dinner is made-to-order.

meal. Visit at 106 E. Market Street or online at chaparralcoffee.com.

Chef-owners Sarah Heard and Nathan Lemley, known for their work at

The Pearl Embodying southern cool, the Pearl is a must-visit when

Foreign and Domestic in Austin, decided to open Commerce Café in

in downtown Lockhart. Located just around the corner from the

Lockhart after passing through on their commute from Luling to Austin

historic red-brick Brock Building on the square and just blocks from

every day. Heard, who grew up in Lockhart and has family in the area, says

Black’s BBQ , this Main Street establishment is oozing with style and

of the experience Commerce Café creates, “We want to be the

history. In fact, the Pearl’s location has featured a bar for over 78 years.

quintessential small town café with a hint of extra class. The food is simple

Sit at the long bar and talk to the expert bartender, or grab a socially

on the surface with a ton of love put into the preparation and

distanced table, order a whiskey and listen to the band play among

sourcing. The menu and pricing are approachable, but the experience

Longhorn skulls and Chisholm Trail-inspired decor. It’s a whole vibe.

should leave you excited to come back, not confused. We want families

Visit at 110 N. Main Street.

to bring their kids in because they didn’t feel like cooking and also for

Hawkins Farmhouse Ales

celebration dinners.” Heard and Lemley are recognized for their farm-to-table approach, and their passion and care for their community is exemplified through the sourcing of meats for Commerce Café. They use Farm to Table and D’Artagnan for meat sourcing and are in talks with a local farmer about chicken and pigs. “We feel that meat has a certain ethical responsibility that translates to humanity and flavor,” says Heard. “Animals that are raised well taste better, they’re higher in nutrient content, and purchasing these products helps divert funds to the farms who are taking the extra step to put life back into the process of raising food animals.” When it comes to the menu, you really can’t go wrong. Try the airy popovers, made with gruyère and black pepper, for a starter the whole family is sure to enjoy. Choose from multiple farm-fresh seasonal salads, and try a different take on a classic — chicken fried steak served with red-eye cream gravy. And the unassuming fried egg BLT has become a customer favorite and a not-to-miss item. Heard describes it as “big,

Left and above: Commerce Cafe Little Trouble While you can’t miss the neon sign, you may very well walk past the entrance to Little Trouble. Venture down a steep and narrow staircase at the corner of the square, and when you see glowing red lips (a decorative sign), push through an unmarked door and into an underground sanctuary. Located in the historic 1898 Brock Building, Little Trouble serves up delicious creations from chef Casey Wilcox in a speakeasy-style, intimate space.

Opened just months ago, in June 2021,

Hawkins Farmhouse Ales sits on acreage accessible from a farm road about 10 minutes from downtown Lockhart, serving up refreshing and inventive brews








founder/owner/brewer Phillip Davis has built the tasting room and brewery from the ground up, literally with his own two hands.

Below: Birdie House

Top right: Philip Davis

Formerly an ER nurse living in California, Davis followed his passion for brewing and decided it was time to change course, change careers and move back to Texas. While Davis is originally from Dallas, he grew up on the Central coast of California and was inspired by the spirit of the independent wineries there. After studying organic chemistry and taking up a habit of home-brewing, he realized he “wanted to do something that combined agriculture and beer — to create the certain ‘je ne sais quoi’ that wine has but with beer.” Caldwell County, with its limited restrictions for entrepreneurs and its rustic beauty, ended up being Davis’ place of choice. Considering himself “a science guy with an inner artist,” Davis has created a boutique brewery that focuses on creating a sense of terroir with a house culture and dry crop farming approach. “I want to create what I can through the expression of wild microorganisms,” Davis says. He does this naturally through spontaneous fermentation in a cool room, and does not use cultured yeast. Davis recently harvested about 35,000 pounds of wheat right on his property, and hopes that visitors will see the beer’s connection to the farm and farmer. Many of the beers available to try are aged in French oak barrels or are IPAs placing emphasis on hops. Asked what he hopes visitors will get out of their experience at Hawkins Farmhouse Ales, Davis responds, “I hope it will be a beer geek place. People don’t have to go to the Hill Country for something that’s more avante-garde.” Ask to try the Feril. Dark in color, it’s surprisingly light and complex to the taste. It’s described as 100 percent spontaneous fermented beer, and is aged in oak barrels using Belgian lambic techniques with local raw hard red wheat and pilsner malt. It’s perfect for a warm Texas fall. Visit at 80 County Lane or online at hawkinsfarmhouseales.com.

A perfect spot for date night, choose from a menu of refreshing cocktails and main dishes such as pork chop schnitzel, grilled trout, miso eggplant and cowboy chili featuring ancho braised beef and pork, fried potato cake and sour cream, with a touch of cilantro. Or, share the “local chicken experience,” including a glazed half-chicken, peanut slaw, cucumber salad and two sauces to try as well as roti bread. Yum! Visit at 101 E. San Antonio Street or online at littletroublelockhart.com. La Ideal Bakery Looking to satisfy your pastry craving? Plan to stop by La Ideal Bakery for breakfast or dessert for an authentic Mexican treat. Pick out a churro, a colorful concha (Mexican sweet bread), arroz con leche (Mexican rice pudding), cookies and more. The only problem you’ll have is deciding which to eat first! La Ideal Bakery also creates beautifully decorated cakes for your next special occasion. Visit at 114 South Commerce Street.

satiating, messy and nostalgic.” The bread, sauces and side of fries are all made in-house. Visit at 118 South Commerce Street or online at commerce-lockhart.com.

38 / EdibleAustin.com

photos by RALPH YZNAGA EdibleAustin.com / 39



Support local business owners while adding to your record collection and stocking up your pantry.

Weddings, Quinceañeras, family reunions — you name it — Lockhart has you covered when it comes to creating unforgettable memories.

Bluebonnet Records You’re sure to find something unexpected and special to add to your record collection when you visit Bluebonnet Records. This independent shop sells both new and used vinyl, with an extensive selection of blues, soul and Texas music. Discover miscellaneous cassettes, creative gift items and audio accessories, too. Visit at 112. E. Market Street or online at bluebonnet-records.com.

Two Wishes Ranch Just 30 minutes from downtown Austin, brides and grooms looking to capture that elevated farmhouse and elegant barn atmosphere can create an extraordinary escape when booking Two Wishes Ranch, a modern 420-acre ranch, for their wedding. With capacity for more than 300, Two Wishes Ranch can accommodate a wide variety of events on its sprawling picturesque grounds.

The Culinary Room Any true Texan loves a great banana pudding, right? Get nostalgic with a scoop of some of the best from The Culinary Room as you browse the gourmet food market. Stock up on locally-made jams, dressings, sauces and baked goods, and pick up the ingredients for your next cheese and charcuterie board all in one place. Then, take the rest of your banana pudding and sit under a big shade tree on the grounds of the Caldwell County Courthouse across the street for a moment of relaxation. Visit at 101 E. San Antonio Street, Ste. 100 or theculinaryroom.com.

STAY AWHILE Slow down and relax at a dwelling oozing with small town charm. Ellison House Any design lover will appreciate a rejuvenating weekend at Ellison House. With four spacious idiosyncratic rooms, each overflowing with personality and charm, and a cozy light-filled living room, Ellison House is a great place to reserve with friends, family or a wedding party. Beautifully kept, the large 1880s wooden house features an expansive double wraparound porch (on the first and second floors) where you can easily pass a breezy afternoon in your favorite chair, glass of wine in hand. Eager to cool off indoors? The salon-style living area is equipped with a turntable and curated vinyl collection, as well as a piano, board games, dominoes and playing cards to keep you entertained. Visit at 434 North Blanco or make your reservation online at ellison-house.com. Birdie House A bed and breakfast housed within a historic home, Birdie House merges vintage charm with modern amenities. The gorgeous house was built in 1898 by Albion Rheiner Chew who married a local woman, Lydia “Birdie” Chiles. Named for his love, the house was home to the Chews until the 1960s. It fell into disrepair and was restored in 1991 by Ray and Wendy Ramsey before it was purchased by Kara McGregor and family, who transformed the home into the vibrant gathering place it is today.

Two Wishes Ranch photos by EMMA O'GRADY 40 / EdibleAustin.com

Discover traditional Texas charm in each intimate room, and enjoy amenities such as a peaceful heated saltwater pool, huge wraparound porches with stunning molding detail, clawfoot tubs and a library. Visit at 604 W San Antonio Street and book online at birdiehouse.com.

All spaces at the venue are designed for a seamless transition between indoor and outdoor, ceremony and reception, with great attention to detail. The Garden — one of the larger venue spaces — was designed by landscape architect and Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center staff member Adam Barbe. The venue provides beautiful wood farm tables, private dressing suites and minimalist spaces that can be easily transformed to fulfill a client’s vision. Owner Lauren Reeves, a fifth-generation Texan, worked at a product and experience design firm in Palo Alto before moving home to Texas and designed spaces that are simple yet use beautiful materials that do not require a lot of dressing up. “We love the property and venue because it is so hidden, an unexpected surprise that reveals itself as you reach the road in,” Reeves describes. “Everyone who lives at the ranch is warm and welcoming and I think the property exudes that warmth. One of the reasons I was so ready to return home to Texas is because I missed that realness and warmth from people. It means a lot to be able to tell visitors that we are a family business and not corporate owned.” The Two Wishes Ranch name and their signature wishbone symbol, seen on their door handles and embedded into the farm tables, holds a sentimental meaning for Reeves, her family and the staff. “When we were little, my sister and I used to dream of having a ranch together when we were old ladies,” Reeves recalls. “When my parents found the property in 2013, I said ‘this is our dream!’ It’s our Two Wishes! And the name stuck.” Everyone at Two Wishes Ranch is also committed to ensuring they make their clients’ dreams come true, according to Reeves. Visit the venue to get a sense of the experience during one of their Twilight Rodeo Presents outdoor concerts at 3495 Rolling Ridge Road. Book a private tour at twowishesranchevents.com. The Eldorado Located in the beautifully restored and iconic redbrick 1898 Brock Building, The Eldorado provides an upscale yet comfortable atmosphere with an unobstructed view of the Caldwell County Courthouse for your next brunch event. Treat your guests to biscuits and gravy, cornbread waffles, chicken salad sandwiches, a spread of tortilla chips and dips, soups, salads and more. Pair your brunch feast with Cowboy Coffee — an Americano with a splash of Bourbon — or a refreshing mimosa. Visit at 101 E. San Antonio Street and plan your event at theeldorado.net.

Above left: Alana Chandler Webre by RALPH YZNAGA EdibleAustin.com / 41

edible ESCAPES


Recipe courtesy of Casey Wilcox, Little Trouble




can coconut milk

1/2 c.

spicy brown mustard

1/4 c.


Dash of salt



Shaved almonds Coconut flakes Fresh Shishito Peppers Lightly oil and grill shishitos on your grill of choice or sauté over high heat on a stovetop until blistered. Salt the peppers in a bowl, then drizzle with the coconut sauce and be generous with the toppings. Serve hot.


TO PURCHASE: 512.478.4795 www.austinfilmfestival.com 42 / EdibleAustin.com

photos by LITTLE TROUBLE EdibleAustin.com / 43




by ADA BROUSSARD arm-fresh: a polite alliteration, sometimes a whisper and

This direct relationship removes the middle-man (aka a grocery store

sometimes a shout, stuck on shelves and slapped on packaging,

or delivery service) from the equation, and this is one instance when

there to conjure warm-farm-fuzzies, pastoral promises of

vegetables move quite literally from a local farm to your table, with

ethically produced and fresh tasting food. Yet terms like farm-fresh

just a quick dip in the wash-bin along the way. These vegetables are

or farm-to-table are often threadbare and are rarely as transparent

truly worthy of the farm-fresh glory that so much food marketing

as simply knowing your farmer. But how does one know a farmer?

desperately touts. Field heat only just removed, veggies in a CSA are

There is no better path to befriending a food producer than

closer to their harvest date than their grocery store counterparts and

through a CSA, or Community Supported Agriculture program.

are subsequently bursting with flavor and nutrition.

CSAs began in the United States around the 1970s, thanks to the ideas of Dr. Booker T. Whatley, a horticulturist, author and professor at Tuskegee University in Alabama. In addition to advancing the fields of regenerative agriculture, horticulture, plant breeding and cover cropping, Whatley published what he called the “10 Commandments” for a successful farming enterprise. One such commandment was the idea of a “Clientele Membership Club” in which members paid upfront for a portion of a farmer’s harvest. Many of Austin’s current CSA farms distribute their goods following this same formula. The idea is simple: consumers partner up with a farm and commit to buying a portion of that farm’s harvest throughout the growing season. Usually, customers are referred to as members, and the bountiful boxes of fresh vegetables are called shares or farm shares. Most CSAs require members to pay upfront for at least a portion of the shares — an arrangement which functions like an interest-free loan for farmers at the beginning of a growing season, a time when input costs like seeds and compost are high, and yields are still low. A carrot takes 60 days to reach maturity, after all.

Photos by NEW LEAF AGRICULTURE 44 / EdibleAustin.com

Tomato photo by EMADI ACRES

In such a simple arrangement, farmers can charge the real cost of their products and are unburdened by the complexities that steer the global supply chain. Local CSA farms are usually considered “small” farms, and because of their size, it’s arguably easier for these farms to employ growing practices that prioritize the health of the environment from the soil to the water to the wellbeing of their employees. While a Central Texas fall may lack the drama of other regions, the slow tempering of summer’s intensity creates an incredible growing climate wherein peppers and late-season tomatoes can easily give way to arugula, and then dark leafy greens, then root crops like carrots and beets, followed by cool-season brassicas including broccoli, cauliflower and cabbage. It’s a graceful parade of produce that makes seasonal eating easy and enjoyable. Most of the farms serving the Austin market are east of town, and east of the ancient Balcones fault line which separates limestone from clay, loam, silt and sand — substrates far more suitable for deep diving carrots and blanketing spinach. And lucky for you, several of these farms have filled their August days surrounded by packets of seeds and mounds of expertly mixed potting soil — each farmer planning and planting a diverse menu specifically with their future CSA members in mind. EdibleAustin.com / 45

FARMERS diary It’s CSA season, and here’s the Austin rundown: Middle Ground Farm: Utley Lorig Hawkins has been farming in the

they quickly pivoted to a CSA model. Their CSA boxes are often filled with specialty crops like colorful radicchios and delicate frisee, perfect for the adventurous foodie and wanna-be chef.

Austin area for over 10 years, and in 2020 she started Middle Ground

CSA season: Starts late September; 4-week rolling subscriptions

Farm, a name inspired by some advice she received avowing that

Small shares are $20/box; large shares are $30/box

farming has highs and lows, but the best thing you can do is to try

Weekday pickup locations and home delivery to Central Austin

and find the middle ground. Middle Ground’s certified organic fields

Rotating add-ons including bread and pasture-raised chicken

are home to diversified vegetables including plenty of crowd-favorites

To join: steelbowfarm.com

perfect for a CSA newbie. CSA season: Starts mid-October for 10 weeks

Vrdnt Farm: Bastrop Becky Hume started Vrdnt Farm (pronounced

Shares start at $30/box

“verdant”) in 2019, though she’s been farming much longer than that. Becky

Thursday pickup and home delivery options

grows using bio-intensive growing practices, meaning her system is driven by

Add-ons include fermented veggies, eggs, and (coming soon)

biological processes rather than chemical inputs. In addition to cool-weather

Middle Ground beef

dependables like carrots and kale, you can expect a bounty of greens in just

To join: middleground-farm.com

about every Vrdnt CSA share — truly a salad lover’s dream. CSA season: Year-round, open signups

New Leaf Agriculture: Elgin New Leaf Agriculture, an arm of the


Multicultural Refugee Coalition, is a 20-acre farm which uses organic

Saturday and Monday pickup options throughout Austin as well

farming to employ refugees, many of whom have agricultural backgrounds

as a flexible pick up subscription option

in their home countries. The farm crew at New Leaf is culturally diverse

To join: vrdnt.farm

which makes for an interesting and unique CSA — some crops are planted to appeal to the Texan customers, and some crops, like amaranth greens, to appeal to the refugees who come from around the world. The farm just got 200 laying hens, and if all goes well, there will be eggs, too.

Flameleaf Farm: Garfield Megan Ryan and Louie Rico are the farmers that own and operate Flameleaf Farm, a small, diversived and chemical-free vegetable farm located in Garfield, about 25 miles east of Austin. The couple

CSA season: 12 weeks from September 20–December 12

grows their vegetables with little mechanical disturbances, a practice which

Shares start at $25/box for individual-sized, $30/box for

helps maintain the ecological integrity of the soil and farmland.

full-or family-sized

CSA season: Starts in October with 4-week subscriptions

Thursday and Sunday pickup locations; weekly and bi-weekly

$20/box for a small share; $30/box for a large share

scheduling options

Pickup locations throughout Austin or home delivery to South Austin

To join: mrcaustin.org

To join: Email Megan at givememelon@gmail.com or reach out on

Montana’s Dancing Bear: East Austin When he’s not busy managing the farm at Urban Roots, Montana Stovall is tending to his own “backyard” farm, a colorful and bountiful acre of diversified vegetables, heavy on tomatoes. Montana has nearly 12 years of farming experience, and this fall will market his first ever CSA under his own Dancing Bear moniker. The vegetables are grown using organic-approved inputs only. This CSA is expected to have around 30 spots, so don’t sleep on this one.

photo by VRDNT FARMS

Instagram @flameleaf_farm Central Texas Farmers Co-op: San Marcos & Lockhart The Central Texas Farmers Co-op (CTFC) is just what it sounds like — a farmer-owned CSA and co-op business with around 20 participating members. This fall’s CSA boxes will include a diverse lineup of veggies from several small farms including The Farm at Montesino, Middle Ground Farm, Vrdnt Farm, Fagan Family Farms, Emadi Acres, Greengate, Thigh High Gardens, Little Bluestem

CSA season: 8 weeks from October 2–November 20

and Reverse Pioneers. CTFC also offers a meat CSA featuring pork from

Large shares are $35/box

Boxcar Farms and beef from Rusty Star Ranch and Behind the Oaks, as well as

Weekday farm pickups and weekend market pickups

chicken from Belle Vie. This hyper-local and hyper-special CSA is run by

To join: Email Montana at montanasdancingbearfarm@gmail.com

a board of seven growers, and the organization focuses on bringing a local food economy to the spaces between the major metroplexes of Austin and

Steelbow Farm: Austin Finegan Ferreboeuf and Jason Gold both began

San Antonio. Is that you? Get in touch if you’d like to host a new pickup.

their farming career in 2012 in Central Texas, though their farm, Steelbow,

CSA season: Late September to January

was officially born in Maine. After several seasons farming northwest of

$25/box for an individual share; $35/box for a bountiful share

Portland, the couple moved back to Austin in January 2020 and found

Pickup locations in Lockhart and San Marcos

themselves again tending to Texas soil. Their crops and business plan were

Flexible scheduling and payment options available

initially geared toward restaurant customers, but when the pandemic hit,

To join: centraltexasfarmers.com

46 / EdibleAustin.com


photo by GREEN GATE EdibleAustin.com / 47

Asian greens Beets Broccoli Brussels sprouts

Plant This Now list provide by SUSTAINABLE FOOD CENTER






White Cabbage

Swiss Chard

Savoy Cabbage



Kale Kohlrabi Onion

Enjoy This Now

Onion Beet Tops Bean

















Also, now is the time to plant


wildflower seeds!!!

Radish Rocket Scorzonera Celery Celeriac Spinach Jerusalem Artichokes Valerianella



photo by MICHEILE

48 / EdibleAustin.com

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