Edible Austin March April 2022

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Local Heroes / Wonderous Wimberley / Kai-Simone Winery / Seasonal Recipes No. 81 March/April 2022

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EDIBLE ENDEAVOR Dr. Sheila Adams &


Kai-Simone Winery

Explore this emerging town

On the Cover



Southern Fried Chicken Sandwich at Creekhouse in Wimberley Photo by Ralph Yznaga



Whipped Goat Cheese &

favorite F&B heroes

What’s On Our Counter

10 N otable Edibles

24 M astering the Markets Dripping Springs Farmers Market

29 P lant This/Enjoy This Now 42 E dible Ink Seeds


43 S napshots Around Austin


B e e f for the S e riou s B e e f E a te r



We salute some of Austin's

Roasted Beet Salad

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EdibleAustin.com / 5



love this time of year — when the cold is over (what little we had of it), the flowers and trees are beginning to bloom, and the temperatures are just right for getting outside and enjoying the mild Texas weather. It’s a perfect time to take a road trip and have an adventure in the Hill Country. In this issue we feature the town of Wimberley, which has long been a favorite Hill Country destination for many but is now becoming an even more vibrant community with restaurants offering creative menus and outdoor patios to take in the natural scenery; inventive and unique places to stay; inspired shopping and invigorating outdoor adventures. Be sure to read all about wonderous Wimberley and set aside a day or two to visit and take it all in. Also in this issue, we are delighted to share the winners of our Local Heroes poll, voted on by you — Edible Austin readers, subscribers and followers. These are great examples of people and businesses that contribute to the fabric of our community in so many ways. They provide great service and experiences, create and share delectable meals and offer unique food products for your enjoyment. Our Edible Endeavor highlights the story of local vintner Dr. Sheila Adams and her Kai-Simone Winery in Spring Branch. Armed with a tenacity she gained after serving in the military for 26 years and working in behavioral and mental health, Adams was uniquely prepared to tackle the challenge of starting a new career and opening a winery. But nothing quite prepared her for what happened next — a worldwide pandemic and a brutal winter storm that was devastating to agriculture in the area. Through it all, she persevered, and is looking forward to a bright future for Kai-Simone. Within these pages, you’ll also find delicious recipes that incorporate fresh vegetables that are available at your local farmers market or grocery store. Whether you want to bake a beautiful tart made with rhubarb and decorated with rose petals or assemble a flavorful salad of roasted beets and whipped goat cheese, these recipes are great for a luncheon with friends or taking to a dinner party. Best wishes for a happy and healthy spring in Central Texas, and we hope you enjoy reading this issue as much as we enjoyed putting it together!

PUBLISHER/EDITOR Monique Threadgill monique@edibleaustin.com

ASSOCIATE PUBLISHER/ CREATIVE DIRECTOR Ralph Yznaga ralph@edibleaustin.com

COPY EDITORS Claire Cella Stacey Ingram Kaleh

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ADVERTISING SALES Liz Reingold Advertising Director liz@edibleaustin.com Stephanie Walsh stephanie@edibleaustin.com


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Edible Austin Mission To transform the way Central Texans eat by connecting them to the local food growers, producers and makers, thereby strengthening the local food economy and creating a sustainable local food system. Edible Austin is a locally owned media company and the authority on the local food scene as captured in print and digital and through our community events.

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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.

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W H AT ’ S




Who doesn’t love a little sweet treat now and then? We love to try

If you are a kombucha connoisseur, you will love ETB’s small-

and share new things we’ve discovered — this time we happened

batch, handcrafted kombucha made in Austin that our friends at

upon Uncle Ray’s Pecan Brittle and we must confess we finished a

Tiny Grocer turned us onto. Using only three ingredients ­— organic

whole bag in one sitting (don’t worry, there were four of us). With

black tea, organic cane sugar, and scoby ­— ETB creates bubbly,

a healthy portion of nuts for protein, and naturally gluten free and

refreshing kombucha packed with flavor and probiotics. Flavors

vegan, this is a treat you can feel good about eating. The

include original, cherry, raspberry, mango, or lemon and come

combination of pecans mixed with Uncle Ray’s brittle sauce

in single bottles or as shareable half-gallon growlers. They

is delightful. They also offer other flavors of brittle, from original

also offer a subscription service with free delivery. Pick up

to inventive options like hatch chile pecan brittle and

a bottle at Tiny Grocer or order online.

homemade bacon pecan. You can pick up a bag in the candy aisle


at your local H-E-B, Central Market or online. unclerayspeanutbrittle.com

DAYSMITH COFFEE We recently discovered Daysmith Coffee, a ready-to-drink coffee

Take a look at what we are enjoying this month:


that you can grab and enjoy on the go. These plant-based lattes and cold brews are an easy way to get your caffeine fix, but they are low in sugar and infused with vitamins, making them both delicious and nutritious. All varieties are dairy-free, soy-free, gluten-free, non-GMO, nut-free, and plant-based. Daysmith comes in three

Our friends at H-E-B are always good at making recommendations

flavors, including Focus Vanilla Oat Milk Latte; Immunity

for products made right here in Texas. On a recent visit, they

Mocha Oat Milk Latte; and Multi Straight Black Coffee Brew.

recommended we try Texas Brew Kale Salsa and it did not

All the flavors range from 15-70 calories each and have only

disappoint. It is a medium salsa made with fresh blanched kale,

0-5 grams of sugar. You can pick up a single flavor or variety pack

fire-roasted tomatoes, smoky chipotle peppers, roasted vegetables,

locally at Wheatsville Food Co-op, Fresh Market, Thom's Market,

and smoked spices. There are no artificial ingredients, and it is

or order online.

gluten free and low in sodium. It was delicious with simple tortilla


chips, but it can also be used in soups, dips and for sautéing vegetables. Pick up a jar of this scrumptious salsa next time you are at H-E-B. texasbrewproducts.com

8 / EdibleAustin.com

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NOTABLE edibles

NOTABLE edibles

Taqueria Mi Trailita Opens Sister Restaurant, Mi Trailita Y Mas

Notable Edibles by AVA MOTES

photos by GRETA KOEHN

Rosen’s Bagels Debuts Store-front Location on Burnet Road Austinites have been hungry for more of Rosen's Bagels ever since their successful pop-up launch in 2017. Lucky for them, after vending pre-made bagels at Whole Foods and local coffee shops for years, founder Rom Rosen has decided to expand his operations to a brick-and-mortar location near the Domain on Burnet Road. Now, Rosen’s fans can enjoy a wide array of schmears and bagels fresh from the kitchen. “There is something special, borderline magical, about eating a bagel that has just come out of the oven,” says Rosen. “Seeing steam escape the bagel as it is sliced open adds to that element of wonder, and our brick and mortar allows us to share this experience with our customers.” With a classic display of bagels behind a penny-and-subway tiled counter, the restaurant has a distinctly New York feel that is reminiscent of Rosen’s East Coast roots. Rosen’s has also partnered with Austin-based Tiny House Coffee Roasters to infuse their authentic bagel store with local flavor. With a classic display of bagels behind a penny-and-subway tiled counter, the restaurant has a distinctly New York feel that is reminiscent of Rosen’s East Coast roots. Rosen’s has also partnered with Austin-based Tiny House Coffee Roasters to infuse their authentic bagel store with local flavor. Visit their new location at 11101 Burnet Rd. Suite A100 or rosensbagels.com.

Canje Brings a Taste of the Caribbean to East Austin New to East Austin is Canje, a Caribbean restaurant conceptualized by the renowned hospitality group Emmer & Rye. Canje is led by Executive Chef Tavel Bristol-Joseph, Food & Wine’s 2020 Best New Chef, seeking to honor his Caribbean roots. The restaurant’s logo pays homage to the Canje pheasant, the national bird of Bristol-Joseph's homeland Guyana. photo by MONIQUE THREADGILL

Trudy’s Transforms South Congress Cafe into Seafood Restaurant Trudy’s Del Mar New to South Austin is Trudy’s Del Mar, a seafood restaurant concept from local Tex-Mex company Trudy’s. Trudy’s Del Mar has taken over the previous South Congress Cafe location, reviving the space with innovative dishes inspired by Mexican coastal living. However, to preserve the legacy of the historical restaurant that came before, Trudy’s Del Mar is committed to delivering the unique brunch and hand-crafted cocktails that made South Congress Cafe a classic. Trudy’s CEO Dan Smith spearheaded the move to reimagine the Trudy’s brand in this historic space. “Trudy’s Del Mar offers Mexican-inspired seafood dishes, while honoring South Congress Cafe’s classic specialties in a beautiful ambiance,” says Smith. Trudy’s Del Mar is blending their Tex-Mex roots with a uniquely coastal flavor through new menu items such as Daily Catch Veracruzana — a seared fish topped with traditional Veracruz sauce — and Surf & Turf Fajitas. After dark, the restaurant offers a late-night menu, featuring elevated cocktails such as a Smokey Mezcal Margarita and Trudy’s staple Mexican Martinis.

Canje’s menu is heavily influenced by the cuisine of mainland Guyana and other regional island nations. With standout items such as Guyanese style rote, bone-in jerk chicken and ambrosia, Canje provides Austinites with a rare taste of Caribbean culture. With a bar featuring creative beverages such as the Curry Wata with canje-curry gin, Plantation 3 Star, mango-apple chutney, lemon and orange, Canje provides a complete Caribbean experience. “We’re excited to introduce a cuisine to Austin that is special to my heart, and that I believe Austin has been yearning for,” says Bristol-Joseph. “At Canje, you’ll see Caribbean food that’s elevated in a way that bridges cultural boundaries. To experience this elevated Caribbean food, visit Canje at 1914 E. 6th St. or online at canjeatx.com.


Taqueria Mi Trailita, a beloved family-owned taco truck in Windsor Park, got its start in a Gulf gas station parking lot. After years of humbly serving up marinated meats at impossible-to-beat prices, they have opened their first physical location: Mi Trailita Y Mas. The new restaurant, which launched in late January, is just down the street from the original food truck on Manor Road. Taqueria Mi Trailita was started by Maria Santos Rodriguez and her son, David Salinas. According to Salinas, they had always planned to someday open a restaurant with dine-in capabilities near the food truck. “The Windsor Park community has been loyal to us since day one and we wouldn’t see ourselves opening a restaurant anywhere else in Austin,” Salinas says. So, when a space opened in a nearby Manor Road shopping center, they seized the opportunity. The new brick-and-mortar location features many of the same mouth-watering menu items — including tacos, tortas, gorditos and quesadillas — that made the taco truck a local treasure. And with the advantage of a larger kitchen space, Mi Trailita Y Mas is able to offer new dishes such as enchiladas and chile rellenos. Check out Mi Trailita Y Mas at 5706 Manor Road, Suite E or online at mitrailitaymas.com.

To try out the new Trudy’s Del Mar, visit them at 1600 S. Congress Ave. or online at trudys.com.

photos by ROSEN'S BAGELS

10 / EdibleAustin.com

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NOTABLE edibles

NOTABLE edibles

Tiki Tatsu-ya Offers Immersive Tiki Bar Experience


Kitchen Del Mar Seafood Grill Opens near Lake Travis Kitchen Del Mar Seafood recently splashed onto the Lake Travis area dining scene. The new restaurant infuses traditional seafood bistro cuisine with a uniquely southern flair — using locally-sourced ingredients and touting a selection of cajun-inspired menu items. The restaurant also features a patio with live music, a game room and a wine bar, making it the perfect place to enjoy a soulful dinner and drink in a variety of atmospheres.

New to the South Lamar nightlife scene is Tiki Tatsu-ya, an innovative tiki bar concept from local restaurateurs Tatsu and Shion Aikawa. The Aikawas are known for pioneering popular Austin Japanese restaurants Ramen Tatsu-ya and Kemuri Tatsu-ya. However, their newest and most creative venture breaks the mold by showcasing a “melding of Hawaiian, Polynesian and Asian influences.” Tiki Tatsu-ya is designed as a mythical island nation, complete with a fictional backstory and paradisiacal decor. Each booth in the space has its own theme, making for a unique — albeit kitschy — night on the town. “I think it’s totally something different than anything that’s Austin,” says chef Tatsu Aikawa, who likened the process of developing the restaurant to creating a theme park. Tiki Tatsu-ya provides Austinites with a craft cocktail experience and fusion dining like no other. The menu features Polynesian dishes with a Japanese spin, such as a pupu platter complete with mochiko wings and yokozuna ribs. To join in on the fun, visit Tiki Tatsu-ya at 1300 S. Lamar Blvd or online at tiki-tatsuya.com.

Kitchen Del Mar is proudly “guided by flavors and what’s in season,” so their menu is subject to rotation in order to incorporate the highest-quality ingredients at every time of year. The restaurant is currently in a soft opening phase, so they are serving a limited menu of appetizers — such as Texas Gulf oysters — flatbreads and fried seafood at this time.

Lavaca St. Bar at Rock Rose - photo by RALPH YZNAGA photo by MONIQUE THREADGILL

Troy Aikman Launches New Eight Elite Light Lager Austin-based EIGHT Brewing Co. has made its debut on the beer playing field with the launch of EIGHT Elite Light Lager. Founded by former Cowboys Quarterback Troy Aikman, EIGHT Brewing Co. was designed by and for athletes. Their namesake light lager features all-organic grains in place of fillers, adjuncts and sugars. At only 90 calories in a 12 oz. serving, this beer is fit for helping the health-conscious unwind. “EIGHT is for the drinker who consistently puts in the hard work. These folks, myself included, are conscious of what we put in our bodies, and options for a light, refreshing beer that’s brewed with organic ingredients are virtually nonexistent,” says Aikman. EIGHT exclusively partners with Texas restaurants and bars, and will be available at local grocery stores in March. Aikman is committed to supporting the Texas community, so he has announced that EIGHT will give 1 percent of all revenue to projects that make healthy living more accessible to Texans.

Zest Indian Kitchen + Bar Brings Authentic Flavors to Lakeway Lovers of Indian cuisine can rejoice in the recent opening of Zest Indian Kitchen + Bar, one of the first locally-owned Indian restaurants in Lakeway. Zest is dedicated to offering Northern Indian cuisine in a modern and comfortable space. As its name suggests, Zest brings an extra dash of flavor to each dish on their menu. Everything, from their classic chicken tikka masala to their shareable biryanis, is seasoned to perfection with quintessential Indian spices. They also have a tandoor clay oven on site, where tandoori dishes and kebabs are authentically prepared. Customers can dine at private tables or sit in front of Zest’s full bar for a more social atmosphere. Zest is located at 2011 Main St. Ste. 400 in the Oaks at Lakeway shopping center. To learn more, visit zestindiankitchen.com.

For more information on Eight, visit eightbeer.com.

Visit this exciting new dining option at 3519 RR 620 N. or online at kitchen-delmar.com.

photos by JODY HORTON photo by EIGHT

12 / EdibleAustin.com


EdibleAustin.com / 13



Dr. Sheila Adams Pours Her Heart into Kai-Simone Winery


Story by NATHAN MATISSE Photos by PATTY ROBERTSON r. Sheila Adams is no stranger to challenges. She was a

Adams can draw a direct line from that time of self-guided study to

Behavioral Health Officer with the U.S. Army who served

Kai-Simone’s initial success. Her cellar is a prime example. Adams initially

for more than two decades. She also spent time in academia,

envisioned a highly designed space accented by striking floor tile. “[My

earning her Ph.D. from the University of Texas at Austin with a

consultant, Payette] waited ‘til I was done and then said, ‘Sheila, look. I can

social science research focus. But when Adams retired from the military

see your vision and it’d probably look great. But it’s not practical,’” Adams

in 2016 ready to start her next act, she never could have predicted

recalls. “‘In the process of winemaking, the erosion that will come, the

the challenges ahead. Going from long hours and the emotional toll

constant water on the floor, the chemicals used for cleaning ... it’s just not

of mental health and military work virtually anything else had to be

going to work.’”

easier — especially if that anything else involved wine, right?

Being the thorough professional she is, Adams didn’t immediately take this

“Well, they drove me to drink in the military,” jokes Adams, who is now the

at face value. But Payette suggested she visit San Antonio’s Freetail Brewery

founder, CEO and manager of Kai-Simone Winery alongside her husband,

to see the chiller system she’d be using, and Adams noticed an unexpected

Donald, and which they named after their two children. “No, I’d been in

detail at the brewery — tile floors. When she asked the head brewer about

the military 28 years, but truth be told I always wanted my own business.

the tile, he said, “It’s the worst decision we made. It was so nice when we put

I loved what I did in the military, but sometimes you feel it’s time to try

it down, but it sucks — the grout lines can’t stay clean, the acid eats at it.”

something different. And it was time.” As you might imagine, shifting from mental health work and military life to wine isn’t the most natural career transition. Adams put in nearly three years of work between retiring from the military and opening Kai-Simone Winery in Spring Branch in Fall 2019. Luckily, she was not afraid of intensive training. Breaking into wine without any industry background might seem daunting. But the specialty knowledge

Adams' trip to Freetail also uncovered another of her strengths developed from her previous career. Having worked so long in behavioral and mental health, Adams has a high-level people focus. This strength not only lends itself to quality customer service at the winery (she preaches engagement, being transparent and treating everyone like a VIP), but, also, behind the scenes, Adams excels at finding collaborators.

required — from understanding grape agriculture to the winemaking

While chatting at Freetail, for instance, Adams learned that the head brewer

process to the logistics of operating a vineyard — sent Adams into a

had gone to school to be a winemaker. More than a year later, she brought

familiar place: a period of extensive research and learning.

him on as the head winemaker at Kai-Simone. Over the past two years, as

“I’m a retired Lt. Colonel. I was obviously very high up and had been in leadership a majority of the time I was in the military,” she says. “Well in my field I might be an 8 or 9 or 9.5 out of 10 in terms of my experience, but in the wine industry I was a 0.5. I had to go back to school so to speak. And if I don’t feel like I’m adept or knowledgeable about something, I don't mind reaching out.” Adams read plenty as part of her preparation, but reaching out to experts is exactly what she credits for helping to get Kai-Simone off the ground. Back in 2017, one of her first decisions was hiring wine consultant Tom Payette. “He was like my private tutor,” Adams says, recalling how they’d spend five to six hours per week talking through details as granular as what building materials to use at the winery. On top of that, Adams visited roughly 40 wineries across the U.S., allowing her to see both what other wine professionals were doing as well as connect with them to ask about business and procedures.

14 / EdibleAustin.com

businesses of all kinds have had to pivot due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Adams found nearby partners outside of wine, like a soy candle maker, who could collaborate on small scale events at the winery. And, in 2021, when a local farmer came by the winery to offer microgreens, Adams again saw potential. She ended up partnering with the farmer to send him for training and to industry conferences to help her grow grapes at Kai-Simone. But perhaps the greatest skill Adams has transferred over from her previous career is resiliency, a way of facing problems head on and searching for attainable solutions over time. As if opening a business in a new field isn’t difficult enough, Adams and Kai-Simone Winery got started just months before the pandemic took hold and barely a year before Texas’ historic winter storm that was particularly hard for those in agriculture.

Back when she first chose wine as her next act, one of Adams’

were to her when she was getting started. When possible, she’s made

biggest motivations was the industry’s lack of diversity, something

a point to hire a diverse staff and partner with diverse professionals.

she saw firsthand during her research trips. At the time, the city of

That microgreen farmer now turned vigneron, for instance, is a Black,

Spring Branch, where Kai-Simone is located, didn’t have any nearby

military veteran like Adams.

Black-owned wineries.

Seeing this, Adams set a long-term goal

“It’s been horrible, I’m not going to say otherwise,” Adams says regarding

to do what she could to make it easier for Black professionals

those challenges. “When I look at what I expected to make, it’s not close.

interested to enter the wine industry. While the challenges of day-to-

But we’re not sinking, we can pay the bills.” When normal operations

day business in the COVID-19 era have kept her from holding the

weren’t feasible, Adams looked for creative alternatives and the winery

trainings and workshops she envisions, she’s naturally started to make

leaned heavily into building up wine clubs, hosting outdoor activities and

progress. Adams consistently responds to people seeking professional

offering intimate private event space.

advice on site or through social media, given how helpful other winemakers

“I’m not yet an expert in the field, but I now probably know more than most people,” she says. “If you really look at this industry, there are many different models for a winery.” And so far, for this small winery outside of the Fredericksburg strip with big ambitions, the model Adams created looks like a winner.

EdibleAustin.com / 15


WIMBERLEY New and Longtime Favorites in this Hill Country Haven Story by Stacey Ingram Kaleh Photos by Ralph Yznaga

Creekhouse owner Molly Bowen Far left: Catch of the Day And, although some of the new businesses embrace a more contemporary design aesthetic, it’s evident that businesses both old and new draw inspiration from the surrounding natural landscape. “We want to make sure that we grow thoughtfully and that we’re staying true to Wimberley and the natural beauty that surrounds us,” says Molly Bowen, a local business owner who serves on the city’s economic


development council. “Wimberley is exploding, and it’s exciting and also important to us to remain authentic.” Bowen and her family moved to arch marks the start of spring, bringing an air of excitement

Wimberley from Houston in 2015, looking for a slower pace and a better

and adventure after our (thankfully) brief Texas winter. It’s

life balance. An attorney, she’s also exploring her passions for design and

almost prime time for patio sittin’ and margarita sippin’.

entrepreneurship as a partner at the new Creekhouse restaurant and

We’ve been back in the rhythm of our post-holiday routines just long

Jacob’s Well Vineyard vacation rental and wedding venue among other

enough to need a short break to relax and rediscover what we love about

ventures. Her story is one of many that showcases the area’s growth and

living in Central Texas. There’s no better time to plan an overnight

potential, as more creatives, chefs and professionals are drawn to build

getaway to Wimberley.

businesses in the Hill Country.

Nestled in the hills and centered around the beautiful, cool waters of

I learned that, in Wimberley, a day trip will only get you so far. This awe-

Cypress Creek and the Blanco River, Wimberley has long been a favorite

inspiring Hill Country gem is certainly worth a longer look, a stay that allows

Hill Country destination. With beginnings as a trading post settlement

you to slow your pace and take in the natural beauty, creative spirit and

in the mid-1800s, Wimberley is a thriving and vibrant community that still prides itself on a rich exchange of goods and ideas. More than ever, Wimberley Inn + Bar

it seems like tourism is booming in this charmingly idiosyncratic town and more and more people are deciding to make Wimberley their home.

delicious eats the town has to offer. It’s easy to fall in love under the towering Cypress trees and next to the calm creek with live music nearby and friendly neighbors all around. Wimberley is sure to capture your heart and call you back time and again.

Growing up in the Hill Country, I’ve visited Wimberley many times — often for an eventful day trip that involves a dip at Blue Hole, a quick walk around the town square and maybe a stop at a winery along the way. Returning for the first time in two years, I was welcomed by the same charm and warmth the community has long been known for as well as many exciting new restaurants, breweries, shops and vacation rentals. In just a short time, the town has transformed while retaining its heart. The new businesses provide more options for the local community and tourists all while still celebrating the town’s eccentric qualities. One doesn’t have to look hard to find a unique and delicious locally-sourced meal, a thoughtfully curated shop or a well-designed

Beesforall.com space to rest and play. 16 / EdibleAustin.com

Matthew Buchanan & cuisine from The Leaning Pear

The Leaning Pear EdibleAustin.com / 17

edible ESCAPES

a cozy, not stuffy, environment, Roosevelt Supper Club features tableside

The Leaning Pear Devoted to creating special moments through

service, two sommelier-curated wine cellars with over 130 wines and an

thoughtful meals, The Leaning Pear is certainly a go-to destination

extensive bourbon, scotch and whiskey collection (over 50 varieties).

in Wimberley. Formerly located in the historic Lowery House, one

Incredible eats range from escargot and seared scallops for starters to lobster

of the oldest structures in Wimberley Valley, The Leaning Pear

Wimberley is fast becoming a foodie’s dream! Discover fresh takes on

and salmon, pasta and dry aged prime and heritage steaks for the main

moved to a new building designed by renowned architects

classic Hill Country dishes, patio-friendly appetizers, chef-curated and

course. The supper club’s menu will be updated each season at a minimum

Overland Partners in 2013. Set back closer to the creek atop a bluff,

locally-sourced creations, a modern spin on the traditional supper club

to take advantage of locally-sourced seasonal ingredients and the restaurant

the “New Pear” celebrates Wimberley’s eclectic identity by focusing

and more!

will also feature a “pop up menu” with cuisines from around the world.

on the beautiful landscape and merging inventive design and

Hildee’s Dine Inn Set to open this month, Hildee’s Dine Inn is a hill

“Our goal is to create a memorable experience for our guests,” says

country kitchen from Chef Ryan Hildebrand that highlights seasonal

founder and Executive Chef Mark Grimes. “Our thought on the design

ingredients from local ranches and farms as well as sources

was to create something elegant, yet not pretentious. Just envision


Lady Gaga meets Tony Bennett for a martini.”









smokehouse with barbecue pits and a live-fire table, seafood and vegetarian options, and a menu of cocktails designed to be the perfect companion to a day in the sun.

Grimes, who has over 35 years of experience at a number of wellknown businesses, including Banger’s in Austin, partnered with Phil and Peggy Collins and their sons, to bring their dream of a supper

Chef and owner Hildebrand had frequented Wimberley with his

club to fruition in their ideal location. “Wimberley is just our little

wife, Mollye Hildebrand, for about 12 years, often visiting her family’s

piece of heaven. We have lived here over two years and contributing

river house. The couple fell in love with the community and wanted to

to the economy in our small town is important to us. Being able

establish a business that showcases what they admire about the area

to bring such a special, near-and-dear-to-our-hearts restaurant

as well as the growers and ranchers they’ve come to know. “We are

like the Roosevelt Supper Club here is truly a dream come true.”

excited to be part of the community here in Wimberley and to


celebrate the local growers, ranchers and business owners,” says Hildebrand. To bring his vision to life, he partnered with lifelong friends Clay Camp and Cullen Hay.

cuisine. Owned and operated by native Texans Rachel and Matthew Buchanan, The Leaning Pear embraces fresh, seasonal and local food, and reflects the Buchanans’ commitment to sustainability. The Leaning Pear is a must-visit on any Wimberley itinerary, its menu featuring a true taste of the Hill Country. It’s the perfect place to sit down for lunch with a loved one over a glass of iced tea and enjoy a soup, salad, or sandwich, or bring a date to enjoy a more indulgent entrée and glass of wine. Start with appetizers like fried brussels sprouts or queso fundido, enjoy lunchtime favorite sandwiches like the roasted poblano pimento cheese and pecan-black currant tuna dishes range from a fried avocado tostada to Bavarian pork roast. Save room for dessert! Mouth-watering options include steamed toffee pudding with molasses sauce, lemon panna cotta with

Creekhouse Clean lines and floor-to-ceiling, garage-door style

blueberry compote, ancho dark chocolate terrine with cinnamon

windows allow indoor and outdoor to flow seamlessly together

crème anglaise and more! leaningpear.com

at Creekhouse. Located on prime real estate owned by musician

The Hildee’s menu will likely feature specialty dishes such as

Kevin Fowler, the restaurant sits on the edge of Wimberley Square,

confit tomato pie, brisket burnt end rangoon with sorghum sweet

its wraparound patio extending over Cypress Creek. Good food,

and sour, smoked salmon

drinks and live music are all integral parts of the experience at

with black pepper scones,

Creekhouse, which opened in the spring of 2021 after a group of friends

Unwind with a tasty craft beer or locally-brewed coffee.

brisket and mushrooms with

got together to create their ideal hangout space. “It was really

smoked pecan salsa macha

important for us, as locals, to create a place that offers more options

and malted walnut pie. When

for locals,” says restaurant partner Molly Bowen. “We wanted to make

we spoke with the Hildee’s

a spot where we could gather and appreciate the beauty of Cypress

team, the menu was still in

Creek, and enjoy good food and live music with good friends.”

Ghost Note Brewing Inspired by the intangible qualities that add texture and richness to a craft brew, Ghost Note is named after the musical notes that have rhythmic value but no perceptible pitch when played. Like their name suggests, Ghost Note is dedicated to creating dynamic and harmonious beers that offer complexity between their more prominent notes.

the works, but these ideas have us more than excited! hildeeswimberley.com

Bowen emphasizes the restaurant was built on the idea of southern is more modern than the Wimberley community may be accustomed to. “I wanted the restaurant to feel laid-back and casual but also

Opening this spring, The

elevated and fresh.”

be a destination restaurant catering to both locals and

visitors. In a city where many restaurants are closed on Monday and Tuesday after busy weekend days, Roosevelt Supper Club will host a “Social Club” on Tuesday evenings to provide unique experiences for members only. Club members will also be invited to dine on holidays and enjoy special events like trips to local wineries and distilleries. Wednesday through Saturday, Roosevelt Supper Club will be open to all. Building on the nostalgia of the traditional American supper club concept, the restaurant is located in a restored historic bungalow on the town


hospitality and is meant to be welcoming and casual while the design

The Roosevelt Supper Club Roosevelt Supper Club will


Roosevelt Supper Club photo by WHITE LIGHT EXPOSURE

salad, or choose from a wide variety of wood-fired pizzas. Dinner

The menu features new takes on southern favorites like a fried chicken sandwich and burger, includes waterfront favorites like blackened fish tacos and innovative appetizers like roasted and pickled beets with goat cheese as well as more health-conscious choices like the WTX Power Bowl. The cocktail menu includes refreshing creations like the Wimberley Way, a hibiscus margarita with a gorgeous edible flower, and CH Paloma. All produce on the menu comes from local farms. No reservations are needed at Creekhouse. All are welcome to walk up, grab a seat and enjoy the view and tunes. When a line forms on busier days, visit the bar for a drink and take a stroll around Wimberley Square while you wait. creekhousewtx.com

Blanco Brew Coffee

If you head to Wimberley on Ranch Road 12 from Dripping Springs, be sure to plan a stop here to soak up some sun at one of Ghost Note’s plentiful picnic tables and enjoy a brew from their wide-ranging selection. A fun, casual, walk-up establishment, you can also opt for shade under their covered porch or spread out under an oak tree on their spacious property. Enjoy the refreshing “Hilco” Hill Country Common brew or the Harvest Hopper Pale Ale. If you’ve worked up an appetite, the brewery also offers a selection of snacks like beer pretzels and tasty jerky. ghostnotebrewing.com


Lamb Pops by local restaurant JOBELL CAFE & BISTRO

square and designed to transport guests back in time. Dedicated to offering 18 / EdibleAustin.com

EdibleAustin.com / 19

edible ESCAPES

edible ESCAPES

Blanco Brew Coffee “Come for the coffee, stay for the community,” Blanco Brew invites its customers to refuel and connect with a cup of 100 percent organic, shade-grown, fair trade and locally roasted coffee.

Creekhaven Inn & Spa Looking for a romantic escape? The Creekhaven Inn & Spa is a family-owned and operated bed and breakfast tucked beneath the dazzling tree canopy on Cypress Creek. It sits on a historic property, formerly the site of a mill, where natural beauty abounds. While you take in the comforts of an establishment devoted to service and feel like you’re in your own tranquil space away from the hustle and bustle of daily life, you’ll be within walking distance to Wimberley Square and popular shopping and dining spots.

Just north of Wimberley Square, Blanco Brew serves up a selection of coffees from across the globe all roasted by Texas artisan roasters. While its menu options rotate, customers can always count on their house Guatemalan roast sourced directly from farmers. It’s coffee you can feel good about! You’re sure to be delighted whether you try a classic drip coffee, a latte or a specialty drink like their bourbon barrel cold brew. Take a seat at the Cypress Bar and pair your coffee with a warm cinnamon roll, or grab your coffee to go as you head out to seize a beautiful day in the Hill Country. Blanco Brew also offers real fruit smoothies like the “Fredericksburg” featuring peach, banana, milk, yogurt and honey, pastries and a lunch menu of delicious soups, salads and sandwiches. blancobrew.com

ENJOY UNIQUE SHOPPING Whether you’re searching for a handmade gift or a forever pair of boots, Wimberley’s got you covered! Wild West Store Home of Central Texas’ legendary “Boot Whisperer,” the Wild West Store just off of Wimberley Square has long been a go-to for those on the hunt for the perfect pair of boots or unique piece of western décor. Call ahead and make an appointment to find your perfect match from a selection of over 500 pairs of vintage cowboy boots or explore saddles, chaps, jackets, jewelry and collectibles. wildweststore.com Brazos Market Located next to The Leaning Pear in a new modern shopping complex, Brazos Market offers a thoughtfully curated array of gifts, clothing and novelty items for women and children. The boutique is a long-held dream come to fruition for a mom and daughter duo who are passionate about fashion and inspired by an “eclectic southern” aesthetic. They say their Texas roots are “as deep as the Brazos River runs long and wide,” and you can feel that authentic Texan spirit throughout the shop. This Wimberley shop opened during the pandemic and has been a vibrant addition to the Wimberley shopping scene. Find cute tops, adorable baby gifts, on-trend accessories, refreshing bath and body luxuries and more. shopbrazosmarket.com

photo by WILD WEST STORE 20 / EdibleAustin.com

Breakfast is prepared and served each morning. Delivery to your room will include coffee, juice, fruit, an egg dish, breakfast meat and a scratch-made baked good.

Brazos Market

UNWIND AND STAY AWHILE Unpack at one of these thoughtfully-designed spaces known for their customer service and scenic views to take in the beauty of the Texas Hill Country.

Wimberley Inn + Bar

Creekhaven Inn is the largest and longest-running bed and breakfast in Wimberley, operating from the early 1980s. In 2018, Don and Helena Hauk purchased the property and are dedicated to continuing its special history. creekhaveninn.com

Wimberley Inn + Bar Elevated and artful design merges with casual comfort to make for a relaxing Hill Country getaway with modern amenities at Wimberley Inn + Bar. The 21-room (including six suites) modern take on a roadside inn is the perfect place for a weekend getaway. Renovated and redesigned after new ownership took over the Wimberley Inn in 2020, the Wimberley Inn + Bar opened in April 2021. While respectful of Wimberley’s laid-back vibe and the history of its location as a community gathering spot, they offer an Instagramworthy retreat where you can immerse yourself in the natural scenery and also partake in a lively scene at their bar.

Jacob’s Well Vineyard Planning a celebration with friends and family? Jacob’s Well Vineyard is a newly renovated, five-bedroom estate set on 11 private acres with a working vineyard, making for a great destination for your next family reunion, wedding event or Texas wine trail adventure. You’ll feel secluded but be within easy access to Hill Country hotspots, including wineries, breweries and natural swimming holes — including none other than Jacob’s Well!


Guest rooms entice with an exterior-entry and elevated Hill Country style, and include walk-in showers, Parachute linens, high speed Wi-Fi, outdoor seating areas and plenty of intentional photo opportunities. Enjoy a wooded walk to the pool (expected to open around Memorial Day) to take in a slice of authentic Wimberley. And, check out a curated selection of works by local artists, paying tribute to Wimberley’s artist community, throughout the property.

The property, which also serves as a wedding and events venue, features spacious decks, a patio courtyard with sunset views over the vineyard, a wood-burning fireplace, grand dining table, sun-room and den with a large TV for kicking back after a day outdoors. Book on VRBO.com/2054101

AMPLIFY YOUR ADVENTURE No visit to Wimberley is complete without an outdoor adventure!

If you're staying at the Wimberley Inn + Bar, it has the added advantage of including a place where you can begin or end your evening out. You can’t go wrong with their well-designed menu of creative cocktails and shareable bites highlighting simple, delicious ingredients. Go for the “Fancy Ass Ranch Water,” a refreshing combination of Lunazul Blanco tequila, lime, muddled cucumber, cilantro, jalapeño and Topo Chico with a salt and pepper rim or the “Little Sip of Heaven,” with Deep Eddy’s lemon vodka, blackberry and mint shrub and Topo Chico. If you’re coming hungry, don’t miss out on the pimento cheese served either with crostini and veggies or in the pimento mac and cheese. Opting for a glass of wine? Try a Texas red from the list and pair with the cheese and charcuterie board that includes standout cheeses from Antonelli’s in Austin. You don’t have to be an overnight guest to enjoy Wimberley Inn + Bar. The cocktail bar is open to everyone, and pool passes will be available when the pool opens later this spring. wimberleyinn.com

The 16-room inn boasts over 600 feet of gorgeous private creek front under a canopy of bald cypress (the most prominent of which is estimated to be 1,000 years old!), sycamore and pecan trees where you can relax or play on the grassy grounds. If you’re planning a romantic weekend, be sure to book time at the spa, which offers couples massages. Live in the area? Plan a staycation to focus on self-care.

Relax in the shade of the majestic Cypress trees on Cypress Creek. Bring your own tube and float away your worries, or bring the family along for a picnic and a dip in the cool spring-fed waters of Blue Hole! The 126-acre park features miles of trails, picnic areas, a playscape and basketball court, sand volleyball court and the iconic Blue Hole swimming area, which is open Memorial Day through Labor Day. Looking for more of a thrill? Dive into Jacob’s Well, a fully submerged natural cave and artesian spring with depths up to 140 feet, or catch a bird’s eye view of the Hill Country with Wimberley Zipline. With 10 ziplines ranging in length from 150 to 900 feet, you’re in for a fun time and can enjoy sweeping views of surrounding canyons, hills and meadows led by your friendly expert adventure guide. cityofwimberley.com and wimberleyzipline.com.

photo by CREEKHAVEN INN EdibleAustin.com / 21





ruus st itci c r






W imberley’s Top Rated Bed & Breakfast WHERE YOU BELONG


512.847.5700 JOBELLCAFE.COM



Wimberley f r ef rsehs h


13900 RR 12 Wimberley, TX 78676 / 737.344.1473 / supperclubstx.com

10:30-2:30 BRUNCH BRUNCH SUNDAY SUNDAY 10:30 - 2:30 16920 RANCH ROAD 12 WIMBERLEY, TX 10:30-2:30

@ rooseveltsupperclubwimberley


creekhaveninn.com TEXAS 512-847-9344 WIMBERLEY

111 River Road Wimberley TX 512-847-PEAR leaningpear.com


Unique. Well-crafted. Delicious. Hill Country-Inspired Cuisine

111 River Road Wimberley TX 512-847-PEAR leaningpear.com

Jacob's Well

22 / EdibleAustin.com

EdibleAustin.com / 23

Mastering the Markets Dripping Springs Farmers Market by YOLANDA NAGY photos by MICHAEL MALY With Mardi Gras celebrations in full swing,

The next booth I visited was Fran's Pies. If it wasn’t clear, Frances Nash,

one might be wondering where can you find

or Fran, is known for her pies. She collaborates with Orion Weldon, the

authentic New Orleans-style gumbo in Austin?

owner of TerraPurezza Farm, for his heritage pork lard. On this day, she

The answer? At a local farmers market,

baked an organic mixed berry pie, so you know I took one to go.

of course!

And if you have cute four-legged babies as I do, I highly recommend you

As it turns out, there is more to our local

stop by to see Ray Rangel. Rangel works for Jake and Blue, a high-quality,

markets than fresh vegetables and eggs. While

raw dog food company. He is knowledgeable about all the products and

farmers may be the heart of the market, there

suggests the raw meatballs for the dogs.

are other vendors that help keep the market alive. Together, all types of vendors come together to create the community you see at a farmers market. In the January/February 2022 issue of Edible Austin, I challenged you to explore Austin’s markets, engage with the vendors and try new products. This month I’m going to join you in that challenge and step out of my comfort zone. I typically love the fast pace of a weekend market, but have you tried a weekday market? You can find a farmers market seven days a week in Central Texas, so if you want to take it slow and avoid crowds and long lines, then these markets are for you. One of my favorite weekday markets is the Wednesday afternoon Dripping Springs Farmers Market. Last year, American Farmland Trust voted this market number one in the Southwest for the third time in four years. The market, which has over 50 vendors and great musicians, is

At my last two stops that day, I picked up a great bottle of Tempranillo wine from Solaro Estate and some keto snacks from the Go 2 Bites booth. By the time I returned to the market entrance, my bags were full with ready-made meals that I could take home to enjoy with the family. If you’re in a rush because it’s the weekday, you can even order ahead from the vendors for faster pick up. The Dripping Springs market seems committed to bringing its customers the best. Sign up for their newsletter to stay updated. They will be operating out of their new location at Founders Memorial Park, with better parking and even more vendors, beginning March 23. I can see why they were voted number one so many times, so why not make Wednesday your day to shop at the Dripping Spring Farmers Market? I'll see you there.

located at The Veterans Memorial Park, also known as "The Triangle." As you enter, you are always greeted with big hellos and smiles from Charlie and Johnna, the two managers.

Dripping Springs Farmers Market

The Wednesday I went to explore, the sun was warm, but the air was

Veterans Memorial Park

chilly. My first stop was at the Crescent City Flavor booth for a little

Hwy 290 & RR 12 Dripping Springs

taste of New Orleans. Craig Anderson, the owner, was standing over his

Wednesday 3 p.m. to dusk

outdoor stove with a friendly smile, stirring up something in a big silver pot. I soon discovered that Anderson makes a mean Louisiana seafood

New Address as of March 23:

gumbo, loaded with shrimp, crab and sausage poured over rice. It is his

Founders Memorial Park

family recipe and he makes it fresh each week for the market.

419-B Founders Park Road Dripping Springs

After Crescent City Flavor, I headed over to see Jack Holt, owner of Jinx Bread.


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

Holt bakes espresso-flavored cookies and sourdough bread. I went for his wood-fired oak-smoked sourdough. The outside of the bread is almost as dark as smoke with a crunchy crust that smells like smoked brisket, while the inside is white, airy and full of flavor. A tip for this vendor is to order ahead of time because you won't find Holt’s specialty bread at the market every week.

24 / EdibleAustin.com

EdibleAustin.com / 25


SEASON recipe and photo by STEPHANIE CAMERON


Pastry: 1 c.

all-purpose flour

3/4 c.


1/2 t.

baking powder

1/2 t.

sea salt

4 T.

unsalted butter, cut into several pieces


large egg


large egg yolks

2 c.

fresh rhubarb, diced into 1/2-inch pieces

2 T.


1 t.

rose water

1/4 c.

fresh rose petals

1/2 t.



26 / EdibleAustin.com

Preheat oven to 375°. Heavily butter a 10-inch removable bottom tart pan. Be sure to also butter between the 2 parts, where the bottom lip touches the insert, because this is where the crust most often sticks when the rhubarb juices seep through the pastry and onto the pan. Combine flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and butter in a food processor. Pulse to cut the butter into the dry ingredients; the mixture will be the consistency of coarse sand. Add the egg and egg yolks, and pulse briefly, until the egg is evenly distributed and the pastry clumps together. Gather the pastry together with your hands and press it evenly onto the bottom — but not the sides — of the prepared tart pan. In a medium bowl, combine diced rhubarb, sugar, cardamom, rose water and rose petals. Let sit for 10–15 minutes, until juices begin to form and mix well. Spoon rhubarb with juices onto the center of the pastry, and then distribute evenly to within 3/4-inch of the edges. The edges must remain clear so that they can rise. Place the tart pan on an edged baking sheet in the top third of the oven. Bake for 50–55 minutes, until pastry is dark golden brown at the edges and golden brown at the center. Remove from oven. Let cool for 10 minutes only; removing the outer edge of the tart pan while it’s still warm keeps it from sticking. Let tart cool or serve while still warm.

EdibleAustin.com / 27

Plant This Now


Beans, snap and lima Cantaloupe (muskmelon) Corn Cucumber Eggplant (transplants) Greens, warm season Okra Peas, Southern Pepper (transplants) Potato, sweet (slips) Pumpkin Squash, summer Squash, winter Tomatoes (transplants) Turnip


Watermelon photo by RALPH YZNAGA


Enjoy This Now

Courtesy of Creekhouse Chef Josh Palumbo Makes 4 servings Total time: 15-20 minutes

Whipped goat cheese:

Preheat oven to 350° degrees.

4 oz.

cream cheese

4 oz.

goat cheese

1 T.

chives, chopped

1 T.

parsley, chopped

Roasted beets: 6

oz. fresh beets

4 T.

olive oil Salt and pepper, to taste

Salad: 2 oz.

spring mix

1 oz.

wild greens

Combine the cream cheese, goat cheese, chives and parsley in a mixing bowl and whisk until smooth. Set aside. Peel and dice the beets, and toss them in 2 tablespoons of olive oil, and salt and pepper. Spread on a baking tray and roast in the oven for 35 minutes or until tender. Set aside and let cool. Combine spring mix, wild greens and chopped pecans in a bowl. Toss together with 2 tablespoons of olive oil, and salt and pepper. Spread the whipped goat cheese mixture across the bottom of a serving dish. Top with the salad mix, followed by the beets.








Green Beans

Bok Choy




Brussels Sprouts












1 oz.

chopped pecans

Corn, Sweet


2 T.

olive oil

Cow Peas

Sweet Potatoes


Tomatoes (Hot House)

Salt and pepper, to taste 1

28 / EdibleAustin.com

small tomato

Turnips photo by EATERS COLLECTIVE



Urban Roots

story by MADELEINE CARALUZZI photos by TISHY BRYANT As Julia Child wrote, “people who love to eat are always the best people,” which is why we trust the opinion of our readers here. Each year, we ask our readers and social media followers to nominate their absolute favorite restaurants, chefs, breweries, farmers, food trucks and more, and we’re delighted to showcase the 2022 winners. Read up on and be sure to check out these local heroes.



A true farmers market success story, brothers Benjamin and David Weaver began bottling their ginger beer in 2017 and selling it at farmers markets in Austin and Dallas. Every batch is made from fresh and simple ingredients — ginger, lemon, organic cane sugar and sparkling water — and they never use chemicals, preservatives or high fructose corn syrup which in itself could explain this success story. From that basic concoction comes 17 different flavors including hibiscus, beet carrot and seasonal flavors like pomegranate, grapefruit and honey orange. Known for their generous growler refill program, be sure to look for SoCo at the next Farmers Market in Republic Square, Mueller, Dripping Springs or Cedar Park. Luckily, this homemade version of everybody's favorite nonalcoholic mixer is also sold in 24+ locations around Austin and can even be found on tap in a select few. Whether you’re mixing cocktails, mocktails or just sipping by the greenbelt you’re in for a sweet treat. socogingerbeer.com


Undeniably romantic, this French-style brasserie is located in a remodeled 1930s cottage on East Fifth Street and is well-known for its enchanting ambience and brasserie staples. Craving caviar and a glass of Billecart-Salmon late on a Monday night? This is the place. Revered for its late-night hours, Justine’s menu of onion soup and escargot embraces first dates and late-nights alike. Its courtyard and outdoor seating area sparkles with string lights, chandeliers and disco balls. Feel free to mosey through their herb garden and various art installations to fully take in the atmosphere. Justine’s magic springs directly from the imaginations of husband-andwife team Justine Gilcrease and Pierre Pelegrin. After spotting a for-sale sign on an overgrown lot on the East Side in 2006, Gilcrease and Pelegrin quickly bought it up and turned it into a spot they themselves would hang out at — one with great music, great food, great people and a secluded location that invites intimacy. Somehow they were able to mesh old Austin with new Austin seamlessly and their brainchild has, of course, become a city staple. Justines1937.com 30 / EdibleAustin.com

Alex Amaro

Chef Alex Amaro is master of Southern cooking — a "Southern" that stretches far beyond Texas. Currently, he is the executive chef at Sawyer & Co (S&C), a retro Louisiana-inspired diner, where he began working as a line cook in 2015. Amaro also helped conceptualize the kitchen and menu at De Nada Cantina, a cantina-style taqueria that opened in May 2021 and is located next to S&C. Introduced to cooking by his mother and older brother, and inspired by his grandmother who owned a restaurant in Mexico City, Amaro realized he wanted a culinary career while in boarding school in Kingsville where he worked in the cafeteria to supplement tuition payments. After graduating in 2009, Amaro ventured to Monterrey, Mexico, and earned a Bachelor of Business degree in Restaurant Management before securing a coveted line cook position in the kitchen at The Greenbriar in West Virginia, a five-star hotel and one of the first luxury resorts in America. A unique challenge for someone who had never worked in fine dining, the pace of The Greenbriar set Amaro up with the skills needed to survive the militaristic quality of a full-service kitchen (and also brought him together with his wife, Karen). The pair moved to Austin to work for the Four Seasons but quickly pivoted to the restaurant scene when Amaro met Stephen Shallcross, S&C’s owner. He started as a line cook in January 2015 and, after just four months, was

photo by URBAN ROOTS

Chef Alex Amaro promoted by the kitchen manager to sous chef then chef de cuisine and eventually executive chef. The rest is history. sawyerand.co


Anthony Alejandro

Chef Anthony Alejandro vividly remembers the exact day he began working in a restaurant. It was June 22, 1988, just days after his high school graduation, and he was out to lunch with friends when he was approached by the restaurant’s owner and offered a job. Fast forward to today, and Alejandro is the executive chef at Frog & the Bull, an Iberian steakhouse. As a fresh high school graduate in 1988, however, he didn’t have much kitchen experience. His grandmother, a phenomenal cook, had been his sole influence and had relied on (read: prefered) a wood oven that his grandfather had procured from a converted Santa Fe train and given to her as a wedding gift. Her know-how, which she passed down to Alejandro as he grew up, instilled in him the confidence to accept his first restaurant job and begin down a path he’s been following since.

It’s a large task to describe all the ways Urban Roots enriches the Austin community. Established in 2008 with just "15 teenagers and one field," Urban Roots grew into an independent nonprofit in 2011 and has helped address hunger and food access issues in Austin since its inception. Their farm internship program is one of the best in America. Each year, they provide paid internships to 75 people between the ages of 17 and 23 who will learn to seed, harvest and reset fecund land and grow more than 25,000 pounds of fresh food. They have two farms, one in East Austin and one in South Austin. They set aside 75 percent of their harvest annually for donation to local food banks, community kitchens and other organizations supporting food justice in Austin. Some of their partners include Street Youth Ministry, Keep Austin Fed and Manos de Cristo among many others. Community volunteers are, of course, welcome and necessary to the organization and currently there are over 1,000 Austinites on their volunteer list. Those who contribute get to take home a healthy bounty. It’s a win-win. Those working and volunteering at Urban Roots are truly local heroes. urbanrootsatx.org

Alejandro’s initial fine dining experience was in El Paso at the Hotel Paso Del Norte. Here, he worked under executive chef Mark Spelman, a member of the American Academy of Chefs, who Alejandro now considers his “culinary father” and credits with encouraging him to attend culinary school at the Scottsdale Culinary Institute. The two worked together for many years, with Alejandro acting as Spelman’s chef tournant (or relief cook) due to Spelman’s insistence that he shouldn’t have a specialty, but rather a limitless understanding of the kitchen. Alejandro has since spent time cooking in establishments such as the Camino Real Polanco in Mexico City, as well as for the Yavapai-Apache Nation at the Cliff Castle Casino in Camp Verde, Arizona. His wealth of experience and knowledge has sculpted him into an incredibly proficient chef and one of Edible Austin’s local heroes. frogandthebull.com

Chef Anthony Alejandro photo by RALPH YZNAGA EdibleAustin.com / 31

FOOD SHOP: Antonelli's Cheese Shop


Apolonia Catering

Apolonia Catering opened in 2015 and has maintained its quality and gravitas even when Covid-19 halted the service industry. Owner and Executive Chef Joanna Asia Gonczar believes that food tastes better when you put love into it, and this enthusiasm has bolstered her business into the local favorite it is now. A Polish emigrant, Gonczar pursued a career in IT for many years before pivoting to her passion: providing healthy and delicious Polish food for Texans and homesick Slavs alike. When Covid led to the cancellation of most catered events, as well as the departure of her business partner, this compelled Gonczar to try something different. In early 2021, she qualified for a government loan and recently opened a 2,000-square-foot commissary kitchen in Pflugerville. The catering menu includes elaborate charcuterie boards and Polish classics like sour bread soup (zurek) and classic polish borscht (barszcz), but their specialty is pierogi handmade with love and fresh ingredients that mirror the flavors Gonczar grew up loving. Apolonia caters anything from business lunches to dinner parties, weddings and small family events and their pierogi can be found every weekend at both the Mueller and Cedar Park farmers markets. apoloniacatering.com

Founder Will Jaquiss photo by MEANWHILE BREWING CO


Central Market

Meanwhile Brewing Co.

Located in an industrial block of South Austin and sandwiched between supply stores, Meanwhile Brewing Co. is an oak-tree filled oasis where you can drink a masterfully-crafted beer and catch a live show. This multifaceted space sits on nearly four acres of land and is designed to provide respite for adults who come to play. The space includes an outdoor stage, four food trucks (Pueblo Viejo, Distant Relatives, Dough Boys, and Bésame), a 45-yard long soccer field, and a playground for the kiddos as well as an events venue. They are not currently offering brewhouse tours, but the building itself houses a 3-vessel, 15 barrel system. Brewers are constantly experimenting with peculiar flavors, tinkering with yeast and hop varieties and testing barrel-methods to ensure that Meanwhile’s selection remains one of the most diverse in ATX. Opened in October of 2020, it’s a testament to Meanwhile’s innovative environment and extensive tap wall to have thrived in the midst of the pandemic. meanwhilebeer.com


Patrizi’s Italian

H-E-B’s specialty grovery store Central Market feels more like Central Europe with its specialty products and fresh produce laid out like an open-air market; imported hams from France, exotic fruits, imported fromage and a mushroom array to delight any mycophile are just a few of the gourmet goodies one might find in any given Central Market (there are two in Austin, one on South Lamar and one on North Lamar). Their tagline “Really into food” certainly rings true. In-house bakers make bread from scratch daily and the aisles are packed with local, organic, imported and gourmet brands rather than standard supermarket products. It’s floor plan, albeit large, is organized so that customers flow in the same direction which makes for an almost leisurely shopping experience. They have a cooking school, they cater and they make a vegan chicken pot pie that’s to die for. Central Market is one of those supermarkets that makes you love to go grocery shopping. centralmarket.com

John and Kendall Antonelli love cheese, so much so that they both quit their jobs to focus on it. This husband-and-wife duo have nurtured countless relationships with local Texas farms, restaurants, breweries and chefs to create a one-of-a-kind Austin establishment. Visiting the store in person is necessary. Enthusiastic cheesemongers meet you at the door and guide you through this twee establishment, offering cut-to-order service and sage advice. Not ready for in-person shopping? Try online cheese shopping. Antonelli’s website has high quality photographs and descriptions of their inventory and you can even have your order delivered straight to your door. Antonelli's has been a staple of North Austin since 2010. They offer over 200 different classes and private events per year, both virtual and inperson. Their events support local businesses and are both informational and yummy. Some even include a field trip; Experience farmstead cheeses of Spain, Italy and France or take an actual trip to Bee Tree Farm in Manor and meet the superstar goats who make the cheese. With over 50 varieties of cheese, it’s no wonder Antonelli’s is a local hero. antonellischeese.com


32 / EdibleAustin.com


If you’ve never been to the hybrid bar/restaurant/black box theater that is the East Side’s Butterfly Bar, the smell of Patrizi’s alone should entice you. Owned by brothers Matt and Nic Patrizi, Patrizi’s has got to be the most authentic Italian fare in ATX. Pasta is freshly rolled each day using local eggs, sauces are scratch-made and everything tastes like Nonna whipped it up that day. The plates are shareable and reasonably priced and the service is fast-paced and friendly. Servers guide you through their ordering process and Butterfly Bar provides the spirits. Patrizi’s has plenty of vegetarian and even vegan options, like garlic bread or roasted beets, and they’re currently working to perfect a gluten-free pasta recipe. Butterfly Bar’s quaint garden patio doubles as the “dining room” and chandeliers line the trees making this the perfect place for a friend-date or a date-date. patrizis.com

Bent Oak Winery

Bent Oak Winery has proven that you don’t have to go all the way to the Hill Country to drink great Texas wine. You also don’t need to break the bank. Tastings start at just $15 and include samples of five wines and a Bent Oak wine glass that’s yours to keep. Currently, they’re spotlighting three Texas wines: a roussanne, a 2019 cabernet sauvignon and a petit verdot all vinified onsite and made from grapes grown in the East Texas Range and the Texas High Plains. The winery is located just west of Austin in Cedar Park and reservations are recommended for the tasting room. The space itself is cozy and rustic. On Fridays, they have live music and they’re currently gearing up to launch their 2022 events calendar with a wine and painting class. Uniquely, they welcome volunteers so, if you’ve ever wondered about the grape-to-bottle process, they’d love your help. Whether you’re there to learn or to relax, the wine connoisseurs at Bent Oak are eager to share their knowledge with you (over a glass of wine, naturally). bentoakwinery.com

Local Heroes 2022 brought to you by Deli/Cheese ADM Brittney Roberts & Foodie Lead Roland Gonzales


EdibleAustin.com / 33


How food certification labels, seals and standards can help eaters make better choices




S E E L E Y,





Danielle Nierenberg, Food Tank president, contributed to this article.

Even before the pandemic, choosing what to eat was difficult. What’s healthy? What’s not? Do workers get a fair wage? What’s

In 2020, the World Economic Forum/Ipsos found that 86

better for the planet? For eaters looking to purchase products that

percent of people want a significant change towards a more equi-

are fairly traded or BIPOC owned, it can feel exhausting to find

table and sustainable world post-pandemic.

The trademarks and certification marks displayed are the property of their respective owners and are displayed herein for demonstration and informational purposes. Edible Communities and these entities are not affiliated.

delicious foods from producers they believe in.

edible Communities |




Standards from the food sector are working to eliminate

Certification labels and standards can be useful and neces-

forced and child labor, improve workers’ conditions, promote

sary ways to help consumers, but they’re often confusing. “Un-

gender equity and ensure better pay. Many fair-trade companies

fortunately, the burden is always on the consumer in terms of

are helping growers shift to environmentally sustainable practices.

evaluating the veracity of the label, doing the research to see

“While not a silver bullet, the Rainforest Alliance certification

whether the information on these labels is properly supported

is designed to provide methods and a shared standard for creat-

and accurate,” Brian Ronholm, director of food policy at Con-

ing a more transparent, data-driven, risk-based supply chain…to

sumer Reports, says.

make responsible business the new normal,” says Alex Morgan

Focusing on one issue helps, says Jerusha Klemperer of FoodPrint, an organization that educates consumers about food production practices. Decide which issue you’re most passionate

from the Rainforest Alliance. For foods from the United States, it’s more difficult to find companies upholding fair working conditions.

about and look for a label that upholds those standards. Labels

“Farm employees are still not equally protected under the Fair

can help increase transparency and provide insight into how food

Labor Standards Act and do not have a federally protected right

was produced. They can help eaters vote with their wallets for

to a weekly day of rest, overtime pay, sick time, collective bar-

food choices that support the environment, climate solutions,

gaining rights or even the right to a federal minimum wage on

animal welfare, workers’ rights, and healthy and sustainable diets.

small farms,” says Leah Penniman of Soul Fire Farm, an Afro-

But even conscientious eaters can get overwhelmed by the num-

Indigenous centered community farm in New York.

ber of choices they face.

Rosalinda Guillen, founder of Community to Community,

Choosing certified labels is a way to avoid empty claims, Klem-

says the Food Justice Certified label by the Agricultural Justice

perer says. But not all certification processes are created equal.

Project (AJP) is the most comprehensive label for protecting

Klemperer advises consumers to “do the research before you get

workers. “We call it the gold standard,” says Guillen, who has

to the store.”

provided input on AJP’s certification since 2000. Her BIPOC-


led organization fights for better farm working conditions. She trusts the

mals suffer unnecessarily,” says Ben Goldsmith of Farm Forward, a non-

label because farm workers were deeply involved in setting the standards

profit striving to improve farm animal welfare. It can be easy for us to

from the beginning.

imagine ideal scenarios—healthy animals that are free to roam in open

Soul Fire is one of just six farms using Food Justice Certified. And it's advocating for the Fairness for Farm Workers Act. “The exploitation of farm labor is so deeply entrenched in the DNA of this nation that it can feel daunting to confront it, and yet we must,” says Penniman.

pastures—but unfortunately, Goldsmith explains, few animals are raised this way. According to the nongovernmental organization, Food and Water Watch, 1.6 billion farm animals live on 25,000 factory farms, or concentrated animal feeding operations, in the U.S. These animals face over-


crowded and stressful conditions and are regularly subject to physical

One of the most familiar labels is all natural. It sounds good—even healthy—but it’s an empty marketing tool.

alterations like tail docking and beak clipping. To avoid meats from animals subject to inhumane practices, look for

Klemperer says, “Ignore it.” Look for labels like USDA Certified

the Certified Animal Welfare Approved (AWA) label. Farmers and ranch-

Organic, which is two decades old. According to the Economic Re-

ers qualifying for certification cannot use cages, must provide access to

search Service of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, organic foods can

pastures and must ensure animals are treated humanely when they are

be found in almost three out of every four conventional supermarkets.

bred, transported and slaughtered. Producers may also add a Certified

To meet USDA standards, foods must be grown in soils that have

Grass-fed label to this certification, meaning animals were fed a 100 per-

not been treated with artificial fertilizers and pesticides for at least three

cent grass and forage diet. Goldsmith says he appreciates the AWA label

years. And organic farmers cannot plant genetically modified organisms

because it helps to “support and encourage small producers.”


Another label is Certified Humane from Humane Farm Animal Care.

Newer labels, like the Regenerative Organic Certified (ROC) label,

Minimum space allowances and environmental enrichment must be pro-

encourage farmers to further improve animal welfare, fairness for farm

vided for animals raised under Certified Humane standards. That encom-

workers and soil health. The label’s three-tiered system allows producers

passes the treatment of breeding animals, animals during transport and

to earn bronze, silver or gold certification to incentivize action.

animals at slaughter.

This label is also designed to be adaptable. “As science and culture

These labels are better for animals—and farmers can find them more

morph and change, we can incorporate that into a flexible or dynamic stan-

rewarding. “You get to see animals exhibit natural behaviors,” says Ron

dard that can adjust at that level,” explains Jeff Moyer, CEO of the Rodale

Mardesen, a livestock farmer for Niman Ranch, a beef, pork and lamb

Institute, a nonprofit group dedicated to growing the organic movement.

company with Certified Humane products. For products like eggs, terms like humane raised, free range and hor-


mone free sound good, but lack a clear definition. The U.S. prohibits the

Many growers avoid GMOs without using USDA Certified Organic practices. GMO products are derived from plants and animals, the genetic makeup of which has been altered, often to create resistance to pesticides, herbicides and pests.

use of hormones in all poultry, veal, eggs, bison and pork production, so claims of hormone free don’t mean much. AWA, Certified Humane and USDA Certified Organic labeling standards prohibit the use of antibiotics and synthetic hormones in animal

Consumers can look for the Non-GMO Project Verified label, which indicates that produce or products containing fruits and vegetables are not

production. Consumers looking to buy meat products raised without these inputs should buy certified labels.

produced with GMOs. For meat and dairy products, this label means that S O ME T H ING FIS H Y

animals were fed a non-GMO diet. In 2022, products containing GMOs must use a new Bio-Engineered

The seafood sector is rife with labor exploitation, overfishing, eco-

label from the USDA. But some non-GMO advocates argue this label

system damage, fraud and intentional mislabeling. Mark Kaplan, of the

doesn’t go far enough. Many products derived from new modification

company Envisible, calls the challenges in the industry “appalling.”

techniques, including those having undergone CRISPR gene editing and crops meant for animal feed, will be exempt from the label.

Envisible works to make supply chains more transparent and equitable. Using blockchain, the company can trace a product from a fishing vessel all the way to the supermarket. Data entered at every point along


the supply chain cannot be changed, helping eliminate fraud.

“I think everybody cares about animals and nobody wants to see ani-

Kaplan recommends consumers look for the Global Seafood continued

edible Communities |




EdibleAustin.com / 37




Go from farm to table and beyond with Made in San Francisco


To advertise in Edible Communities' Marketplace contact: tracey@ediblecommunities.com EdibleAustin.com / 39

Niman Ranch and our network of U.S. family farmers and ranchers raise livestock HUMANELY and SUSTAINABLY to deliver the

finest tasting meat in the world.

Alliance’s Best Aquaculture Practices label, a third-party certification that

Numi prefers this approach. She believes that allowing companies to la-

addresses environmental health, social wellbeing, food safety and animal

bel individual products as carbon neutral “can give a green halo to that

welfare along the aquaculture supply chain.

company without necessarily committing to or investing in enterprise

The Fair-Trade Certified seal, a label given to various species of fish

level change.”

that meet certification requirements, is also helpful. Certification focuses

Numi plans to print on each tea box the precise estimate of green-

on supporting economies, improving working conditions and protecting

house gas emissions associated with it—something Oatly and Quorn are


currently also doing with their packaging.

The Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch is a tool to help guide more sustainable choices on a case-by-case basis. Its website allows users


to search by species to understand the best options and alternatives, and

Emily Moose, executive director of the nonprofit A Greener World,

which species to avoid.

argues that it’s important for consumers to continually ask for sustainable


whelming, it might not matter.’ But that’s really not true,” says Moose.

products. “It can be easy to just say, ‘Oh, there’s too much, it’s too overAccording to Nature Food, more than one-third of greenhouse gas emissions can be traced to the food system. Many eaters are seeing this


@nimanranch | nimanranch.com

Committed to the preservation of 1,000,000 acres of native U.S. grasslands

Scan to learn more.


connection between global agriculture and the climate crisis, and they

If you care about workers, speak with store managers about carrying

want to purchase more climate-friendly food. Some businesses are seeing

products with AJP’s label. For environmental concerns, email store buy-

labels as part of the solution.

ers to let them know you’re happy they purchase organic or local products

Numi Organic Tea has Climate Neutral Certification. It helps com-

Learn more about our partnership with the National Audubon Society and our commitment to regenerative agriculture.

“That only benefits an opaque food system and practices that will never

but wish they had more.

panies measure, offset and reduce their carbon emissions to reach carbon

And eaters don’t always need labels to do the right thing. BIPOC

neutrality—a balance between the amount of carbon emitted into and

and women-owned businesses have been disproportionately impacted by

absorbed by the atmosphere. Climate Neutral also tries to account for the

the pandemic. Consumers can look to local farmers’ markets or Yelp and

entirety of the supply chain—emissions caused by on-site facilities, pur-

Google for businesses with a Black-owned or women-led badge.

chased electricity, employee transit, shipping and transporting materials.

Ultimately, labels and certifications are helpful tools, but don’t tell us

Instead of specific products, Climate Neutral certifies entire brands

everything about how food is produced. As eaters, though, we have the op-

once they achieve zero net carbon emissions for one year and requires

portunity, every time we pick up a fork, chopsticks or a spoon, to choose

them to commit to emission reduction targets annually. Jane Franch of

more economically, socially and environmentally just food systems.

Closing Thoughts From Our Founder Thank you for joining us on these pages, the fourth in a series of thought leadership pieces from Edible Communities. We would like to send a special thanks to our partners for this issue, Elena Seeley, Danielle Nierenberg and the team at Food Tank, who made this story possible. Exploring, investigating and changing our food system have been guiding principles of Edible Communities since we first began. And while I know our work has impact and is valued, there is still a lot more to do! In the case of labeling, for instance, it would be so easy if there were one label, one certification, one set of guidelines, one choice to make when it comes to our food, but alas, only one option would allow a broken food system

• Truly Grass-fed and Grass-finished Beef

to stay broken. Therefore, we hope you find this thought-provoking and thorough coverage on the topic informative and useful. As you are reading this, Edible Communities is fully into our 20th anniversary year as a media company. We are approaching 100 titles through-

• Always Organic

out North America and reach over 20 million readers each year. Those are statistics we don’t take lightly. We are grateful for you, dear readers, who help guide and sustain us. And if you’re an Edible reader, we feel you will enjoy being a Food Tank reader as well. Part of its mission statement says:

• Restoring important bird habitats through responsible grazing methods

“We aim to educate, inspire, advocate and create change,” and it certainly does that. I encourage you to visit foodtank.com, to listen, learn, join and be part of the conversation. Tracey Ryder, Co-Founder & CEO

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and you could be featured in our next issue! Thanks for being part of Austin's amazing food community.

Growing your own vegetables from seeds can be as satisfying as it is delicious. It’s not as difficult as you may think—but it does require some planning. Choose your seeds based on what you like to eat, and be sure to follow the directions on the packet. Some should be soaked, scratched or chilled before planting, so read before you seed!

A GOOD RULE OF (GREEN) THUMB Plant seeds at a depth of 2 –3 times the width of the seed. Tiny seeds can be sprinkled on top of the soil.

Some seeds can be direct sown, which means they are planted directly in the garden, and more delicate varieties can be started indoors before the weather warms up. Check the directions on your seed packet, as some plants don’t like to be disturbed once they are planted, while some are much more amenable to being relocated.




by Bambi Edlund bambiedlund.com

Get in the

ZONE Be sure to select seeds that prefer your climate. Hardiness zones are based on the average monthly temperature in each area. Seed packets will specify which zone the plants will be hardiest in, so select those best suited to your area.


can be planted directly into the garden, causing far less shock to the tender seedlings.

SOW EARLY These seeds can be planted directly into the ground, even before the last frost.

beets • carrots • turnips radishes • lettuce • peas

SOW POST-FROST After all danger of frost has passed, these seeds can be direct sown in your garden.

beans • corn • cucumbers pumpkins & squash • Swiss chard

START INSIDE Check the best planting dates before you start seeds indoors, and be sure not to plant them too early! Most vegetables can be planted about 6 weeks before the last frost.

artichokes • broccoli Brussels sprouts • cabbage cauliflower • eggplant leeks • onions • tomatoes

Store seeds in an airtight container in a cool, dark spot.

@blackfoodieclub and @pedrospizza



small spaces

You can still have a productive garden in a small area, by selecting plants that grow up and not out, like beans, tomatoes, peas and cucumbers.



@birana.adiesa EdibleAustin.com / 43

It’s time to fire up the grill and char a new course from burgers and brats to delicious worlds of tomahawk steaks, lobster tails, Gulf shrimp, veggies, and juicy watermelon. (Yes, watermelon!) Venture outside the ordinary this spring and let our aisles inspire exciting new grilling adventures!

NORTH LAMAR 4001 N. LAMAR | 512-206-1000 WESTGATE 4477 S. LAMAR | 512-899-4300