edible AUSTIN No. 87 Summer 2023 SUMMER FUN SUMMER 2023 | Issue 87
edibleaustin.com 1 CONTENTS 2 FROM THE PUBLISHER 4 WHAT'S ON OUR COUNTER 6 NOTABLE EDIBLES What's Happening Around Austin 12 EDIBLE ENDEAVOR Ashraf Khan 14 LOCAL LEGENDS Joe's Bakery 20 FARMERS MARKETS Hutto Silos Farmers Market 22 SPOTLIGHT ON LOCAL 1417 French Bistro 32 EDIBLE VARIETAL Texas Viognier is Summer in a Bottle 36 FARMER'S DIARY Lavender Fields COVER Watermelon, cucumber and mint agua fresca (photo by Pauline Stevens) THIS PAGE Panzanella Salad (photo by Pauline Stevens) Becker Lavender Farm (photo by Baylie Beebe) RECIPES IN THIS ISSUE 13 PERI PERI CHICKEN 26 PANZANELLA SALAD 28 WATERMELON, CUCUMBER AND MINT AGUA FRESCA Summer 36 26 . 100% Locally Raised and Fed in the Texas Hill Country 100% Black Angus . 100% Locally Processed . NO Antibiotics and NO Added Hormones . Quarters, Halves and Griller Packages Beef for the Serious Beef Eater ORDER TODAY: WindyBarBeef.com 512-474-2855
Summer is in full swing, and we couldn't be more excited to bring you the latest edition of Edible Austin! This season, we delve into the vibrant tapestry of our local food scene, celebrating the stories, flavors, and experiences that make our community so special.
In this issue, we shine a spotlight on the timeless charm of a beloved institution, Joe's Bakery. For decades, Joe's has been serving up delectable treats and warm memories to generations of Austinites. We explore the history behind this Local Legend, uncovering the secret ingredients that have made it a cherished gathering place for friends and families. From their mouthwatering pan dulce to their famous breakfast tacos, Joe's Bakery has undoubtedly earned its place in Austin's culinary heart.
If you're a wine enthusiast, our Edible Varietal story will transport you to the sun-drenched vineyards of Texas. This summer, we invite you to discover the beauty and complexity of Texas Viognier wines. Our passionate wine expert has scoured the Hill Country and beyond, unearthing the best vineyards and winemakers who have perfected the art of crafting this unique varietal. Uncork a bottle, savor the delicate aromas, and join us on a journey through the flourishing wine culture of our great state.
As the sun paints the landscape in golden hues, we turn our attention to the enchanting Hill Country lavender farms in our Farmer's Diary story. From the rolling fields to the soothing fragrance, these farms offer a sensory escape from the hustle and bustle of city life. We delve into the lives of the dedicated farmers who cultivate these fragrant blooms, revealing the secrets behind their sustainable practices and their commitment to preserving the beauty of this cherished plant. Get ready to immerse yourself in the world of lavender and discover the diverse array of products and experiences that these farms have to offer, including a recipe for a festive summer lavender gin paloma.
You'll also find great seasonal recipes, spotlighting the abundance of fresh produce available during the summer months, including a summer panzanella salad and refreshing watermelon agua fresca.
As always, we extend our heartfelt gratitude to our readers, contributors, and advertisers who make Edible Austin possible. Your support allows us to continue sharing the stories that celebrate our local food culture and the people behind it.
So, grab a copy, find a shady spot, and immerse yourself in the vibrant pages of our Summer 2023 edition. We hope it inspires you to explore, savor, and connect with the incredible food community that surrounds us.
Monique Threadgill firstname.lastname@example.org
ASSOCIATE PUBLISHER/ CREATIVE DIRECTOR
Ralph Yznaga email@example.com
Stacey Ingram Kaleh
Stacey Ingram Kaleh
Amy Lockhart firstname.lastname@example.org
Grace McCormick email@example.com
Stephanie Walsh firstname.lastname@example.org
CONTACT US: 512-441-3971 email@example.com edibleaustin.com
2 Summer 2023
FROM THE PUBLISHER
Edible Austin is published by ATX Publications LLC. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be used without written permission of the publisher. ©2023. 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 Communities James Beard Foundation's Publication of the Year, 2011 for $35 /year SUBSCRIBE TO THE MAGAZINE AT edibleAUSTIN.com local farmers & ranchers shop sustainably grown food from for locations, vendor lists & more info visit texasfarmersmarket.org saturdays 9a - 1p @ Lakeline sundays 10a - 2p @ Mueller double your benefits to spend on fresh fruits & vegetables with Snap (year-round) and WIC (April - October) THE LEANI NG PEAR ill C ountry - i nspired C uisine Unique. Well Crafted . Delicious. 111 W imberley 512-847- pear leaningpear . C om 111 River Road Wimberley TX 512-847-PEAR leaningpear.com Unique. Well-crafted. Delicious. Hill Country-Inspired Cuisine schitzcreek.com thirstymule.com
J-4 Austin, TX 78746
Cinful Sweets artisanal bonbons are like tiny pieces of heaven, melting in your mouth with every bite. Each bonbon is meticulously crafted with the finest ingredients and filled with luscious flavors that transport you to a world of indulgence. From classic favorites like dark chocolate ganache to exotic combinations like lavender and sea salt, these bonbons are a true delight for any chocolate lover. Cinful Sweets has also introduced a whimsical creation called the "breakable" that looks exactly like a cupcake. This sweet treat is not meant to be eaten whole but rather "broken" into smaller, shareable pieces. The breakable is made with layers of chocolate and a surprise center that will leave you craving for more. It's a delightful twist on traditional cupcakes and perfect for special occasions or simply indulging in a moment of bliss. cinfulsweets.com
Summer is here, and our kitchen counter is adorned with an array of delectable treats that are sure to make your taste buds dance with joy. Join us as we explore the culinary wonders that grace our countertop this season, featuring Cinful Sweets, Eat Up First Jams, and the tantalizing recipes from Judd Servidio's Salt & Vanilla cookbook.
Eat Up First Artisanal Jams & Jellies
If you’re looking for a spread with a burst of flavors that will transport you to a tropical paradise, pick up a jar of Eat Up First’s pineapple Thai chili jam. Imagine the sweet tanginess of pineapple infused with the warmth of Thai chili, all captured in a jar. This tantalizing creation even carries a delightful twist — it tastes like a pineapple upside-down cake! The jam is a perfect accompaniment to toast, scones, or even as a glaze for grilled meats. With a hint of heat, it adds an exciting kick to your culinary adventures. Eat Up First offers an array of different jams, jellies and other artisanal products that are made with local, quality ingredients right here in Austin. eatupfirst.com
Salt & Vanilla Cookbook
To round off our countertop treasures, we have the Salt & Vanilla cookbook by chef Judd Servidio. After serving as a private chef for Austinites John Paul DeJoria, co-founder of Paul Mitchell and Patron Tequila, and his wife Eloise for more than 10 years, Servidio developed his own cookbook featuring over 100 recipes he has prepared for the family and their friends, business associates and guests. This culinary masterpiece is a celebration of two fundamental ingredients that elevate dishes to new heights. With a focus on exploring the delicate balance between salt and vanilla, Servidio's recipes guide you through a culinary journey like no other. From savory dishes that play with salt's ability to enhance flavors to sweet creations that embrace the aromatic allure of vanilla, this cookbook is a treasure trove of inspiration for every home cook and food enthusiast.
edibleaustin.com 5 4 Summer 2023
WHAT'S ON OUR COUNTER
WORDS AND PHOTOS BY MONIQUE THREADGILL
Warm and Friendly Neighborhood Restaurant Happy Hour Indoor and Outdoor Dining Private Parking Lot Open Seven Days a Week Weekend Brunch 1417 South 1st St. Austin, TX 78704 512-551-2430 1417frenchbistro.com firstname.lastname@example.org
Monique Threadgill is publisher of Edible Austin and loves to travel and explore new places, foods and cultures. She also enjoys discovering and sharing new products with Edible Austin readers.
LEE’S KITCHEN + COCKTAILS OPENS IN WESTLAKE
Now serving up Asian cuisine and mixed drinks in the Westlake Hills neighborhood is Lee’s Kitchen + Cocktails, the latest restaurant venture from the family behind PhoNatic. Similar to their other counter-service Vietnamese spot, Lee’s pays homage to the Vietnamese and Taiwanese comfort dishes that the Lee family regularly serves in their home kitchen. With a sleek sun-lit space in the Village at Westlake shopping center, Lee’s delivers classics like hainan chicken, bò lúc loc, fried rice vermicelli and beef broth pho in a comfortable family-friendly atmosphere.
With a background in the grocery and food service industry, the Lee family prides themselves on only using the freshest ingredients in their dishes and drinks. Their full bar features bright cocktail pairings like a passion fruit margarita, hibiscus gin and tonic and lychee martini. They also offer a selection of local and imported beers and an extensive wine list.
Visit Lee’s at 701 S Capital of Texas Hwy Suite G700. Takeout orders can also be placed online at leeskitchenatx.com.
AARON FRANKLIN REINVENTS UPTOWN SPORTS CLUB
Paying homage to old East Austin is Uptown Sports Club, a former Eastside watering hole that has found a second life in its original location. Uptown Sports Club first opened in 1949 as a neighborhood spot to drink and socialize. Now, the bar and restaurant is heralded by Aaron Franklin with the hope of honoring its original spirit with a reimagined New Orleans-style menu.
Nick Lin and their mother Jin Lin, who ran several successful San Diego restaurants before relocating to Austin.
EMMER & RYE OPENS MEDITERRANEAN CONCEPT EZOV
Ezov, a new Mediterranean concept from Emmer & Rye, is now open in the former Pitchfork Pretty space. Named after the Hebrew word for hyssop, one of the main ingredients in the Middle Eastern spice blend za’atar, Ezov celebrates the markets of Tel Aviv with a Texan bent. The restaurant is headed up by Berty Richter, an Israeli native who has been cooking in Texas for seven years at Fareground stall TLV and San Antonio’s Ladino. With a seasonal menu, Ezov incorporates the freshest local ingredients into Israeli favorites like falafel, hummus, sabich and chicken shawarma. Highlights from the menu include seasonal crudo with pistachio, tahini and pomegranate; halloumi with date molasses and dukkah; and smashed cucumber with labne and sumac. For dessert, customers can enjoy classics like Baklava, which is served with Texas pecans.
Ezov also offers Mediterranean wines from Greece, Lebanon, Israel and Italy, as well as fresh and bold cocktails inspired by Tel Aviv nightlife. The family-friendly restaurant is located at 2708 E Cesar Chavez St. For more information, visit ezovatx.com.
The standout on the Uptown Sports Club menu is its selection of Po’Boys, which are made with French bread from Leidenheimer Baking Company — the gold standard in authentic New Orleans restaurants. Although Uptown doesn’t serve Franklin’s lauded barbecue, it offers gumbo (which takes three days to prepare with its oven-cooked roux of sunflower oil and flour), and seafood dishes like Crab Louie, oysters and a trout dip. Franklin says the seafood offerings will continue to expand in the coming months alongside the restaurant’s dinner menu.
Uptown is a walk-in-only restaurant, and has a comfortable dog-friendly outdoor patio, televisions to keep up with sports and a relaxed social atmosphere much like the Uptown of decades past.
Check out the new Uptown at 1200 E 6th St or visit uptownsports.club.
SOUPLEAF OFFERS ALL-YOU-CAN-EAT HOT POT
Hungry hot pot lovers will rave about Soupleaf Hot Pot, a new all-you-can-eat restaurant in the Highland neighborhood.
Focusing on Chinese-style hot pot, Soupleaf offers made-from-scratch soup bases like spicy Chinese mala, vegetable and tomato, which customers can then top with a range of buffet ingredients — including vegetables, noodles and fish balls. The restaurant also offers meats and seafood like brisket, pork belly, clams and scallops that can be added at a la carte prices.
Lunch at Soupleaf is $18.99 per person and dinner is $23.99 per person with unlimited refills. However, the family-friendly spot also offers discounts for children between the ages of four and 10 who are sharing pots. Soupleaf is co-owned by siblings Nelson Lin, Nicole Lin,
Soupleaf is at 6929 Airport Boulevard. To learn more about Soupleaf, visit soupleafhotpot.com.
VERACRUZ FONDA INTRODUCES STOREFRONT IN MUELLER
Fans of Veracruz All Natural, one of Austin’s top taco trucks, can now enjoy their famed Mexican fare in a new table-service setting at Veracruz Fonda & Bar. Located in the Mueller neighborhood, Veracruz Fonda offers breakfast, lunch and dinner inspired by the flavors of Veracruz, Mexico — the hometown of co-owners and sisters Reyna and Maritza Vazquez.
The Vazquez sisters debuted their first Mexican food truck on East Cesar Chavez in 2008, and have since opened several other locations around the city. Now, with their new brick-and-mortar venture, they have the opportunity to serve an expanded menu.
Breakfast at Veracruz Fonda includes conchas and picadas — the open-face tacos that are a signature in Veracruz, Mexico — as well as a juice bar and coffee from Desnudo, which currently operates out of Veracruz’s food truck court on Webberville Road. For lunch and dinner, Veracruz Fonda offers
moles, antojitos and entrees like Calabacitas
Con Queso. And, of course, the authentic tacos that made Veracruz a local favorite are also available.
Veracruz Fonda & Bar is now open at 1905 Aldrich St #125 in the former JT Youngbloods space. To learn more, visit veracruzfonda.com.
edibleaustin.com 7 6 Summer 2023
Left Page, Top: Photo by Lee's Kithcen + Cocktails
Right Page, Top: Photo by Uptown Sports Club Right Page, Middle: Photo by Veracruz Fonda Right Page, Bottom Right: Photo by Soupleaf Hot Pot Right Page, Bottom Left: Photo by Ezov
WORDS BY AVA MOTES
FLO’S WINE BAR & BOTTLE SHOP OPENS IN TARRYTOWN
New in Tarrytown is Flo’s Wine Bar & Bottle Shop, a neighborhood-friendly bar and store accompanied by New York-style pizzeria Allday Pizza. The space includes a patio for leisurely hangouts and a counterservice window serving up whole pies and slices for lunch and dinner. Standout pizzas include the classic pepperoni topped with fresh mozzarella, the four cheese with homemade stracciatella and the broccolini pizza with roasted garlic and lemon pepper. They also serve gourmet meatballs, salads and gelato available to enjoy alongside Flo’s wine selection, which includes 250 labels available
VIA 313 ADDS LOCATION IN BEE CAVE
Now serving up a taste of Detroit in Bee Cave is Via 313, a deep dish pizza joint that has had Austinites raving since it first opened in 2011. Dubbed “Pizzeria of the Year” by Pizza Today and named as one of the “Top 10 Pizzas in America” by Food Network, Via 313 has built a reputation for its signature deep dish pies — which are sure to have mouths watering at their newest location.
“We’ve had our sights set on Bee Cave for a while now and we’re excited to finally bring our Detroit-style pizza to this community,” said Co-Founder Zane Hunt. “The Austin area has shown its support for our awardwinning pizza, so it made perfect sense to give it even more.”
Via 313’s new home in Bee Cave will serve its signature Motor City pizza — with pillowy deep dish crust, Wisconsin cheese, and tomato sauce that is laid on after the bake — which made the pizzeria a local favorite. Via 313 has everything from unique pizzas like The Cadillac (which is topped with gorgonzola, fig preserves, prosciutto, parmesan, and balsamic glaze), to the double-pepperoni classic The Detroiter. The menu also features vegan and vegetarian options, as well as an alternative gluten free pizza crust, offering something for every pizza fanatic.
whimsical edge, featuring everything from an apple foam drink to a flaming rose honoring the restaurant’s namesake.
Rosé Gosé is owned by Belarus natives Veronika Hurynava and Igor Drypsiak, who describe the cuisine as “comfort food”-based. The restaurant’s menu selection is upscale and varied, with cheese boards, poke bowls and a raw bar with beef tartare paired with smoked mozzarella mousse and fries or caviar.
and croissant sandwiches — including the lox ’n found croissant, which is a French take on a typical bagel and lox. In the evenings, The Scarborough offers their Bonsoir Menu, which includes snacks like crostini and both sweet and savory entree crepes. This is paired with an expanded wine list, local craft beer offerings, and summery cocktails like a hibiscus mule and passionfruit mojito.
To try a taste of The Scarborough’s crepes and more, visit 101 W. Sixth Street. Learn more at thescarbrough.com.
HUCKLEBERRY FEATURES CEVICHE SUMMER
Austin’s beloved sustainable seafood truck, Huckleberry, is launching “Ceviche Summer”: a rotating ceviche special that will last all summer long. Inspired by co-owner Melinda Reese’s upbringing in Florida, where ceviche was a staple after summer fishing trips, this coastal staple is prepared like a home cooked meal. And, with the help of Chef Davis Turner, the new ceviche menu inspires unique creations with fresh black drum, shrimp, oysters, and more.
by the glass or bottle for on-site drinking as well as to-go.
Flo’s is co-founded and co-owned by childhood friends Flo Clemons and Adair Belisle, who said they long dreamed of opening a local hangout. The pair has partnered with Townsend Smith and Daniel Sorg (two of the founders formerly of Sammataro), who run Allday Pizza to create a well-rounded pairing of food and drink.
Visit Flo’s at 3111 W 35th St. For more information, see floswinebar.com and allday.pizza.
To try Via 313 for yourself, visit their newest location at 3944 S. FM 620 Road or order online at via313.com.
ROSÉ GOSÉ DEBUTS ON AIRPORT BLVD.
With the closure of ATX Grill (which had a brief stint in the former Sala and Betty space) comes a New European and New American spot: Rosé Gosé. The restaurant and bar boasts more than 250 wines, 50 craft beers and a mysterious list of numbered cocktails — No. 1 is a gin martini with sparkling wine, lychees and bergamot oranges, while No. 3 is a rum punch with passionfruit and pineapple. These cocktails, though inconspicuous, have a
To try Rosé Gosé yourself, visit 201 Airport Boulevard. For more information follow IG: @rose_gose_austin.
ZE CREPES RELAUNCHES AS THE SCARBROUGH
Downtown eatery Ze Crepes has relaunched as The Scarbrough — a name inspired by the restaurant’s home in the lobby of the historic Scarbrough Building. The new concept continues to serve up the sweet and savory crepes that made Ze Crepes a local favorite, but also offers an expanded dinner menu with more health-conscious options.
The Scarbrough’s Bonjour Menu features brunch fare like healthy fruit and parfait bowls, a croque madame, breakfast crepes,
Launched in 2020 and located in the backyard at Still Austin Whiskey Co, Huckleberry is the go-to for ethically sourced gulf coast comfort foods. Their so-called “smart food truck,” utilizes 5G and IoT technologies to provide insight on food storage, temperature, and humidity — guaranteeing the highest quality fish in every meal. In addition to their ceviche specials, Huckleberry continues to offer their fan-favorite seafood platters, Po’Boys, and shrimp rolls.
Find Huckleberry at 440 East Saint Elmo Rd. and visit huckleberrytx.com for more.
edibleaustin.com 9 8 Summer 2023
Left Page, Top: Photo by Via 313 Left Page, Bottom: Flo's Wine Bar photo by Mackenzie Smith Kelley Right Page, Top Left: Photo by Rosé Gosé Right Page, Bottom Left: Photo by Ze Crepes Right Page, Top Right: Photo by Ze Crepes Right Page, Bottom Right: Photo by Huckleberry
Ava Motes is an Austin native who follows the city's expanding food scene with an eye for the people and stories behind beloved menus. In her spare time, she loves trying new restaurants, exploring farmers markets, and relaxing in cafes with a good book in hand.
edibleaustin.com 11 10 Summer 2023 it’s all in the details Find an agent & request a quote at societyinsurance.com/Texas . TRIED-AND-TRUE RESTAURANT & BAR COVERAGE WITH NO SURPRISES. SMALL DETAILS. BIG DIFFERENCE. Long-standing industry expertise means that nobody understands the unique challenges of protecting your hospitality business better than Society Insurance. Offering tried-and-true specialized programs for every type of restaurant and bar establishment, we are proud to provide our comprehensive coverage to the Lone Star State. T HE LONE S TAR STAT E N OW S E R VIN G
EVOLUTION OF AN ENTREPRENEUR CHEF
CHEF ASHRAF KHAN GOES FROM CATERING PAKISTANI CUISINE AT THE STATE CAPITOL TO OPENING PERI PERI REPUBLIC
When entrepreneur-chef Ashraf Khan took on a catering order for lawmakers and guests at the Texas State Capitol building in March of this year, he was already committed to catering for about 500 people for other clients. He knew it was going to be tough to take this on too, but he did not want to miss the opportunity. He also did not know that by doing so he was making history — it would be the first iftar dinner to take place in the Texas State Capitol.
Newly elected State Representative Suleman Lalani, who is also Muslim, was hosting the iftar meal for his fellow lawmakers. An iftar is a dinner served at sunset when Muslims break their fast in the lunar month of Ramadan.
For Khan to be the caterer for this event was no surprise. He had been well known in Pakistani American circles in Central Texas since 2014 for his professional yet personal approach to these large-scale dinners and banquets. He also uses locally sourced Zabiha-Halal* meat, similar to Kosher, in his cooking, which makes his business desirable for South Asian clients who have guests with dietary restrictions.
The iftar meal for the lawmakers was a simple one: vegetable samosas and fried chickpea pakoras for appetizers, beef and potato biryani and chicken seekh kabab for the main course and gulab jamun — golden-brown dough dipped in a sugar syrup — for dessert.
The dinner at the Capitol was a success and since then, Lalani's office has contacted Khan for more orders. Some of the attendees have also contacted Khan wanting to know when the restaurant at Lakeline Mall is opening.
Catering Pakistani cuisine for large groups is only one part of Khan’s business, however.
Alongside two other partners, he’ll soon open Peri Peri Republic, a South African-Portuguese casual fast food restaurant inside Lakeline Mall.
Khan said he wanted to make Peri Peri Republic into a place where customers with Zabiha Halal restrictions were being offered the same menus as those without restrictions. It will be a casual, affordable dining space for the whole family, and offer healthy dishes like Portuguese-style grilled chicken and a host of his own Peri Peri sauces, from garlic to American barbecue to mango and lime.
took the opportunity and has never looked back. He set up his Pakistani restaurant, Desi Cuisine, and ran it for a year.
By the time he sold Desi Cuisine, word was out that Khan’s food was as good as it was authentic, mastering popular Pakistani comfort foods like meat korma and nihari.
Before Desi Cuisine sold, one of Khan's clients from the restaurant had requested Khan cater a dinner in South Austin for about 200 people. Although Khan informed the client about the business selling in advance, the client still wanted Khan to cater it. That opened the doors to more orders in Austin, also Khan's home city. From 2014 to 2017 Khan’s catering business flourished. When clients wanted Texas brisket alongside biryani, he was able to make arrangements for that and continued to add diverse clientele to his list, from Arab and Indian to Bangladeshi and Mexican.
In 2018, Khan opened BBQ Inn on North Lamar Boulevard in Austin, which he ran until COVID-19 hit, and he switched back to catering.
For Peri Peri Republic, Khan is excited to see all of his various clients and their tastes come together. It will be a place where people who eat kosher, or Zabiha-Halal, or vegetarian, or those who don’t, can all try the same items on the menu.
This time around, Khan plans to keep his catering business going and also run Peri Peri Republic. He also has plans for opening Peri Peri Republic in San Antonio this August — and depending on how it goes, perhaps make it a franchise in Houston and Dallas.
No matter what, Khan is committed to taking care of his catering clients. “I will continue to meet their orders with or without a restaurant,” he says.
Peri Peri Chicken
Recipe from Peri Peri Republic
One chicken cut into 4 pieces
2½ T. medium Peri Peri sauce
2½ T. hot Peri Peri sauce
1 T. crushed garlic
2 T. lemon juice
1t smoked paprika powder
Khan hails from Karachi, Pakistan. While cooking has always been a passion of his, he did not come into it initially, graduating from Texas State with a business degree and investing in Dollar Stores in Austin, San Marcos, New Braunfels and Seguin. At the time, his dad owned wedding banquet halls in Karachi and he was starting to learn from him what catering entailed.
In 2013, while browsing Craigslist, Khan came across a restaurant-for-sale listing that was too good to be true — a woman who wanted to retire wanted to sell her San Antonio restaurant and only wanted a transfer of the lease. Khan
For meat to be called Halal, it has to be from animals slaughtered in a specific way with the blood of the animal drained out—kind of like Kosher meats. Many Muslims only eat Halal meat. So, when it comes to larger catering events even those who eat regular meats on a daily basis turn to Khan to be mindful of those who adhere to the stricter norms.
There is no difference in taste between meat with or without the Halal certification, but the style of slaughtering the animal is slightly different with the Halal process making sure the blood drains out. Zabiha, a second label in addition to the Halal adds a process of reading out a dedication of the meat by a live person and not a recording, as the animal is being slaughtered.
Left Page: Chef Ashraf Khan
Right Page, Top Left: Pani Puri
Right Page, Top Right: Tawa Chicken
Right Page, Lower Right: Colorful dessert table
Right Page, Middle: Fresh fruit arrangements
Right Page, Bottom: Fruit and custard trifle
Aside from writing about what is happening in Austin and in the food industry, reporter and editor Sumaiya Malik enjoys entertaining friends and finding new places to eat. Follow her on Instagram @SumaiyaSaidThis.
1t crushed black pepper
½ T. olive oil
½ t. salt
Marinate chicken with medium Peri Peri sauce, hot Peri Peri sauce, crushed garlic, lemon juice, paprika powder, black pepper and salt for 4 hours. Bake marinated chicken in a large pan in the oven for 30 minutes and grill for 10 minutes when chicken is fully done. Serve with coleslaw, French fries, corn and Peri Peri sauces.
edibleaustin.com 13 12 Summer 2023
WORDS BY SUMAIYA MALIK | PHOTOS COURTESY OF ASHRAF KHAN
THIS EAST AUSTIN BORN-AND-BRED RESTAURANT IS BOTH A “UNICORN” AND A 2023 JAMES BEARD AWARD WINNER
WORDS BY STACEY INGRAM KALEH | PHOTOS BY RALPH YZNAGA
In the Local Legends series, we shine the spotlight on a restaurant that’s been serving the community for more than three decades. These iconic spots have become part of the fabric of our shared culture, with multiple generations of Central Texans able to fondly reflect upon memories made at these beloved eateries. In a rapidly growing and changing region, they’ve stood the test of time. Yet, they still need our support so that they can be enjoyed by future generations. It’s time to rediscover the restaurants that keep our communities authentic, vibrant and resilient.
For 61 years, Joe’s Bakery & Coffee Shop has been serving the East Austin community with passion and intention. When you step into Joe’s, you’re welcomed into the Avila family’s home, surrounded by the aroma of fresh tortillas, Mexican spices and baked goods, but also by that inviting and instantly familiar feeling of belonging.
Don’t be misled by the name — Joe’s Bakery is a women-led family business.
“People come in looking for Joe, or a man behind the business, but it’s the women who are steering the ship,” says Regina Estrada, general manager and director of operations.
Joe and Paula Avila opened Joe’s Bakery & Coffee Shop in 1962, but it’s now their daughters — Rose Ann and Carolina — and granddaughter — Regina — who manage the restaurant.
Joe’s started as a small neighborhood bakery anchored by family values, welcoming people of all backgrounds to pull up a chair and grab a delicious, traditional Mexican American style breakfast, lunch or afternoon treat. It wasn’t long before they were known for their tortillas, tacos, cookies and numerous other specialties and baked goods. Beyond the can’t-help-yourself-but-have-one-more food, they’re also known for their devotion to community service and for upholding authentic East Austin tradition. “When people walk in, it’s a little glimpse of what East Austin used to be,” says Estrada. “We’re a testament and a looking glass into what made people fall in love with East Austin.”
It's by staying true to their values, honoring their grandparents’ wishes and grandfather’s legacy and embracing a tight-knit, small family dynamic that Estrada credits for Joe’s long history as a well-loved community gathering place. “We stay true to our roots and there’s a lot of intent that goes into everything we do,” she says.
This summer, Joe’s Bakery will receive the prestigious America’s Classic Award from the James Beard Foundation, an honor bestowed upon just six locally-owned restaurants across the U.S. each year that are, according to the awards website, “… beloved regionally for quality food that reflects the character of the community.” The aforementioned approach to values-driven business has helped lead them here.
Although she refers to herself as director of operations, Estrada takes on a multitude of responsibilities from PR and community outreach to product orders, quality control and menu design. The way she approaches the business seems fairly organic — she lets her curiosity and passion drive her from one area of focus to the next.
Like her mother, aunt and grandparents, Estrada was born and raised in East Austin. She grew up around the restaurant, but didn’t necessarily have her sights set on running the family business. Estrada went to college at Texas State University, studying political science and minoring in business. After graduating, she moved back home from San Marcos to figure out what she wanted to do next. She started dabbling in the family business, designing the restaurant’s first website and t-shirt.
Estrada became more involved as she followed her creativity, “I was able to explore my ideas and move forward with them. It was ingrained in me to just get involved and start small, and it just kinda grew from there.” She’s been able to grow and evolve in her more than 20 years
working at the restaurant, infusing some of her political science background into community engagement efforts such as Joe’s’ “Eat Tacos and Vote!” event. Estrada is passionate about voter registration, education and drives, which customers may notice as the restaurant sometimes serves as a venue for these initiatives. She’s also opened the restaurant as a platform for neighborhood church groups and Girl Scout troops. “One of the simplest things businesses can do,” she says, “is welcome the community and stay connected with community groups.”
While Estrada oversees much of the business side of the restaurant, her mom, Rose Ann, oversees all of the financials and numbers, and her aunt, Carolina, who has worked at the restaurant the longest, manages the kitchen. Estrada’s grandmother and Joe’s co-founder Paula has been retired for several years. In talking to Estrada, one gets a sense that they are all very close. “I put everything into my work — for my aunt, my mother and my grandmother,” she shares. “We find joy
in each day.” Estrada has two daughters of her own, and also appreciates that working in a family business has provided her with the flexibility to put her daughters first.
What motivates them to continue opening their doors after 61 years? “It’s important to us to honor my grandparents. We know who we are and where we come from. We’re a Mexican American family and a Mexican American restaurant born and raised in Austin.” Estrada speaks with a contagious passion, “We’re a unicorn.” She says she feels it is a blessing to work with family and be part of a family business with such a longstanding history, and feels a responsibility to continue to represent East Austin heritage. One can’t help but think also of how the term “unicorn” is used to refer to native Austinites, or even the mythical creature. Like a unicorn, Joe’s is rare, magical and uniquely Austin.
Something Savory: If you want the tried-and-true customer favorites, Regina Estrada recommends the carne guisada tacos, migas, bean and egg tacos, menudo — beef tripe and hominy cooked in spices and served with flour and corn tortillas, lemon and onion — and really anything involving their house-made tortillas or bacon-infused beans. Breakfast is served all day.
Something Sweet: Don’t walk away before visiting the bakery to choose from a vibrant array of conchas, “pink cake” (yellow cake with pink icing), a customer favorite pumpkin empanada or classic yellow and red sugar cookies, packed with nostalgia in each bite. Joe’s spends each afternoon baking treats to serve fresh the next morning.
Visit Joe’s Bakery at 2305 E. 7th Street. Learn more about their history, and see their “Memory Gallery” featuring family photos through the years, at joesbakery.com.
Left Page, Top: The famous facade
Left Page, Bottom: Breakfast all day
Right Page, Top: Happy diners
Right Page, Bottom: Regina and Rose Ann
Stacey Ingram Kaleh is a native Texan and writer and editor for Edible publications When she’s not eating at local restaurants and drinking Texas wine, she’s spending time outdoors in the Hill Country with her husband and two young daughters and soaking up as much live music and art as possible.
edibleaustin.com 15 14 Summer 2023 LOCAL LEGENDS
“We’re a testament and a looking glass into what made people fall in love with East Austin.”
PRAIRIE FARM COMPANION
REP PROVISIONS USES REGENERATIVE FARMING TECHNIQUES THAT BENEFIT ANIMALS, PEOPLE AND THE PLANET
With Americans growing increasingly conscious of the impact of their food choices, there is more demand for ethically sourced, sustainable options. REP Provisions, a renowned provider of high-quality meats epitomizes the movement today to deliver regeneratively-farmed, sustainable offerings. By raising animals on regenerative farms, prioritizing hormonefree, antibiotic-free practices, and emphasizing grass-fed diets, REP Provisions not only delivers delicious, healthier meat but also supports a healthier planet. Regenerative farming is an agricultural practice that focuses on restoring and revitalizing the soil, biodiversity, and ecosystems. By implementing rotational grazing, managed intensively to mimic natural patterns, REP Provisions ensures that animals have access to fresh, nutritious pasture while promoting the long-term health of the land. Choosing meat from regenerative farms supports a system that actively reduces soil erosion, improves water quality, and increases overall biodiversity — a win for both the plate and the planet.
Co-founder of REP and rancher Eric Perner understands the importance of delivering meat products that are free from added hormones and unnecessary antibiotics. By avoiding the use of these substances, he ensures that his animals grow and develop naturally, without the interference of synthetic growth enhancers or antibiotics used as a preventive measure. This commitment to responsible farming practices translates into meat products that are not only better for our bodies but also contribute to reducing the risk of antibiotic resistance — a growing concern in the global health landscape.
“Rep really started as an acronym about what our mission is,” says Perner. “The R in REP is regenerate the grassland. The E is energize local communities, family farms, things of that nature, and the P is Preserve it for all of humanity. Our goal is to convert as many family farms to regenerative farms as possible and take what we’re doing here with our surrounding regenerative farms and ranches and do this all across the nation and perhaps the world.”
Regenerative farming is an agricultural practice that focuses on restoring and revitalizing the soil, biodiversity, and ecosystems. By implementing rotational grazing, managed intensively to mimic natural patterns, REP Provisions ensures that animals have access to fresh, nutritious pasture while promoting the long-term health of the land.
Choosing meat from regenerative farms supports a system that actively reduces soil erosion, improves water quality, and increases overall biodiversity — a win for both the plate and the planet.
Perner went on to say, “The earth has plenty of resources to feed a growing population. However, our management of these resources are going to be the limiting factor. And I think it’s nonsense that we can’t feed the world using regenerative methods.”
One of the hallmarks of REP Provisions' commitment to quality is the emphasis on grass-fed diets for their animals. Grass-fed meat has gained popularity due to its exceptional taste and improved nutritional profile. Animals raised on a diet primarily consisting of grass naturally develop a richer flavor and more tender meat. Moreover, grass-fed meat is generally leaner, with higher levels of antioxidants.
Conventional animal farming often relies on the use of synthetic fertilizers, pesticides, and antibiotics. These chemicals can accumulate in the animals' tissues and subsequently transfer to humans through the consumption of meat products. In contrast, regenerative farming minimizes or eliminates the use of such chemicals, thereby reducing the potential exposure to harmful substances. This can contribute to improved human health by limiting the intake of potentially harmful residues.
Regenerative farming generally emphasizes animal welfare and ethical treatment. Animals raised on regenerative farms are typically allowed to graze and move freely, mirroring their natural behaviors. This approach not only promotes better animal welfare but can also contribute to healthier meat. Stress and confinement can negatively impact an animal's physiology, leading to suboptimal meat quality. By providing animals with a more natural and low-stress environment, regenerative farming can result in meat that is more tender, flavorful, and nutrient-rich.
Left Page, Top: Rich soil from Perner's regenerative farm
Left Page, Bottom: REP Provisions shipping box
RIght Page, Top: Cattle with room to roam
Right Page, Bottom Right: David Hale from Windy Meadows Farm
Right Page, Bottom Left: Perner on his ranch
REP also goes the goes the extra mile by sowing the seeds of milkweed plants to extend a helping hand to the majestic Monarch butterflies on their remarkable journey. Monarchs hold a pivotal role in nourishing our food system. Currently, their existence is under threat because of industrial farming, urban expansion, and the utilization of pesticides and herbicides, which has ravaged their habitat. Milkweed stands as the sole sanctuary where Monarchs lay their delicate eggs, and it serves as the primary nourishment for their larvae. Through the ONE for 100 Monarch Butterfly Initiative, REP Provisions plants 100 milkweed seeds on their ranches and prairie lands to restore monarchs’ migration corridors for every verified regenerative meat box sold.
One partner of REP’s farmer network, Windy Meadows Farm, focuses on healthy and humane chicken practices.
“We hatch the chicks on the farm,” says David Hale. “And we keep the chickens healthy without using artificial means. We don’t use antibiotics or hormones and we don’t use vaccinations. All of the things we do make sure that we have the correct management practices for cleanliness and for health, and that we don’t have to use artificial means.”
By selecting REP Provisions, people become an active participant in a larger movement toward a more sustainable and resilient food system. REP Provisions partners with local farmers and ranchers who share their vision of responsible farming practices, ensuring that your food dollars support those who prioritize the wellbeing of animals, the environment, and the communities they serve. By directly supporting regenerative farms through REP Provisions, you contribute to a positive cycle that promotes biodiversity, soil health, and the preservation of traditional agricultural practices.
To learn more and place an order, go to reprovisions.com
edibleaustin.com 17 16 Summer 2023
"The R in REP is regenerate the grassland.
The E is energize local communities, family farms, things of that nature, and the P is Preserve it for all of humanity."
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August 6-8 San Marcos, Texas
FINDING OUT ABOUT FOOD CO-OPS
WHAT ARE THEY AND HOW DO THEY WORK?
From cotton gins and grain elevators to dairy co-ops like Organic Valley and juice co-ops like Ocean Spray, food co-ops have been around for hundreds of years, but they started to take shape more formally in the late 18th century. Yet, as our economic system has matured and people have moved from farms to cities and cities have expanded to suburbs and metroplexes, co-ops have not proliferated at the rate of other food businesses. The Austin Economic Development Department and its partners are working to change that dynamic.
Food co-ops are values-focused food businesses that practice cooperative principles, and they are powerful tools for building a more resilient and equitable food system. By providing benefits to consumers, autonomy and fair wages for workers, investment returns for owners and markets for local producers, co-ops can create sustainable businesses that benefit a variety of stakeholders within the communities they serve. Austin is home to several successful food system co-ops, each operating under a slightly different model.
The Central Texas Farmers Co-op is a producerowned and operated multi-farm community supported agriculture program. CSAs provide farmers with a more reliable revenue stream through subscription purchase, and consumers get the fresh, local produce and meat. There is a cost savings to the consumer given the direct-to-consumer nature of this type of arrangement, fewer fossil fuels are needed to get the product to the consumer and the consumer benefits from high quality produce from a small farmer focused on regenerative practices and seasonal produce.
Black Star Co-op is a consumer-owned brew pub with democratic worker-management. This means that the workers at Black Star Co-op have a say in how the business is run. The resulting autonomy incentivizes workers to pay greater attention to all aspects of the business instead of limiting their focus to the one position they occupy. Among other benefits, this model provides a training ground for employees to learn entrepreneurship. The consumer ownership aspect of this model means that customers are more likely to support the business because they have an equity stake, which offers a small investor the opportunity to own a business with less risk and fewer downsides.
Wheatsville Food Co-op is a consumer-owned grocery and deli that has been a fixture in Austin for more than 40 years. Grocery co-ops provide a
wide variety of locally sourced products, including produce, meats, dairy, grocery items and baked goods. By supporting local producers, grocery co-ops help to build a more sustainable food system in a given place. Food deserts are a real and persistent problem for both urban and rural areas of our country: co-ops can be a solution in those places making them indispensable to the people they serve. Not only are they a source of food, a basic need, but they become a mechanism for keeping dollars circulating in those communities and provide good paying jobs to residents.
For a deeper dive into the benefits of food co-ops, the Austin Co-ops Project is hosting a webinar on July 19 titled "Co-ops and the Food System." Presented by Annelies Lottmann from the University of Texas Rio Grand Valley Texas Rural Cooperative Center and Drew De Los Santos from the Austin Cooperative
lists upcoming trainings and bilingual webinars on all types of co-ops.
In the meantime, visit a local co-op today and get to know the people who are keeping it local!
Business Association, their knowledge on the topic is both broad and deep. Lottmann exudes passion for co-ops that coexists with a deep understanding of the business end, “Co-ops offer a people-centered alternative to traditional business models. When we work together, we can create strong, resilient Austin food businesses that are great places to work and serve the needs of our community.”
If you’re ready to jump into the world of food co-ops and want more information, be sure to take advantage of the resources included here. The webinar, which is free of charge, also offers additional no-cost resources for class participants who are ready for the next step: launching a co-op. Additional training and consulting will be made available by UTRGV as the lead organization, Austin Cooperative Business Association and Nill Consulting. For more about co-ops of all kinds, visit Austin Cooperative Business Association’s website at acba.coop. Their events page
City of Austin & Texas Rural Cooperative Center
Present July Virtual Community Class
• Introduction to the cooperative movement and economy
• Deep dive into food system co-op success stories
• Practical tools to make even traditional food businesses more fair, democratic, and just
• Basics to starting a food system co-op
Class attendees will have the opportunity to schedule FREE coaching and consulting with the instructor and other co-op experts. Este webinar es gratuito y se presentará en inglés con interpretación al español. This webinar is free and will be presented in English with Spanish language interpretation. To register for the class, visit acba.coop/events.
For more information on organizations that support co-op businesses visit:
To register, scan the code:
edibleaustin.com 19 18 Summer 2023 LET’S GO! LET’S COME TOGETHER. Experience real family fun and adventure in the city that has something for everyone. Plan your trip at visitplano.com.
www southern am yfarmerscon erence org USDA NRCS Southe n SARE Amer can Nat ona nsu ance Su ta nab e Food Cen e TOFGA NCAT Pro ect Seed Founda on Texas Fa me s Ma ket SAVE 15% CODE: EDIBLE15 EATREP.COM Regeneratively-raised meats delivered to your doorstep. NO ANTIBIOTICS NO MRNA VACCINES NO HORMONES NO FEEDLOTS
Presented by Farm & Ranch Freedom A l ance Counc l for Hea thy Food Systems & Texas State University s Smal Producers Init at ve
Left: photo courtesy of Austin Cooperative Business Association
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Above: photo courtesy Annelies Lottmann
HUTTO SILO FARMERS MARKET
Summertime in Austin is the best! If you live in Williamson County, you will find the locals on a Sunday morning behind the Cotton Gin in the Hutto Co-Op District at the Hutto Silo Farmers Market. On July 24, 2022, the Boone/ Schwendel family (Emylee, sister Amy, and mother, Gina) opened the first market, wanting a Sunday outdoor market that the Round Rock, Taylor and surrounding areas would have a place to buy fresh local produce and other wonderful products close to home.
There are so many things that l admire about this market. First, it’s easy to find because it's right off U.S. Highway 79 — if you pass the silos, you know you’ve gone too far. When I met Emylee, she mentioned that she grew up on a farm in South Georgia and her grandparents had three silos on their property.
“Seeing them in Hutto brought back childhood memories. When they were looking for a name for the market, it was only fitting to add silo” she says.
As you drive under the big blue and grey steel sign that reads “The Co-Op,” you will find plenty of complimentary parking.
My first market tip: Stop by the information booth and sign up to become a VIP member. This will get you advance access to giveaways, sales announcements, birthday celebrations and you’ll receive a free reusable Hutto Silo shopping bag to use that day. Emylee, who is the market manager, is also a vendor. She sells freshly baked, all-natural dog treats at the information booth.
One of my biggest rules for shopping at any market is to explore the whole market before you buy. The best way to start your adventure at Hutto Silo is with a glass of Texas wine at the Texas Exits Wine booth. Shari Lee and Sherrill Erwin, a mother and daughter team, named their wines after the exits off of Texas highways that lead to historic towns. You are welcome to sample all four of their varietals and purchase a cup for $8 to enjoy as you walk around the market. On the hot summer day I visited, I enjoyed a chilled cup of their sweet white Exit 284.
If you prefer something other than wine to start your shopping experience, stop by Nick Pierce's booth for a good cup of hot or iced coffee. Mossy Rock Coffee is a specialty coffee roasting company based in Hutto.
Pierce has five flavors, plus one named Nick, which is a Sumatra Mandheling and Bali Blue Moon blend. Like at any great market, you will find heaps of fresh produce to peruse, so I stopped by Big Blue Sky Farm and met Charles and Jennifer Bannister and their dog Fiona, who never misses a market. What a beautiful display of fresh produce and eggs! They also sell beef, pork and chicken. The next stop was the No Label Mushroom booth. Travis French, the owner, quickly approached me and shared his wealth of knowledge and love for the wild mushrooms he grows. French’s tip for storing mushrooms: Once you get them home, wrap
Hutto Silo FM
Located behind the Cotton Gin at the Hutto Co-Op 420 US-79, Hutto
11 a.m.-3 p.m.
25 + Vendors
Market Manager: Emylee Boone Amy and Gina Schwendel huttosilosfarmersmarket.com
Facebook: Hutto Silo Farmers Market
them in parchment paper and place them in the fridge. He said to never store them inside a plastic bag because they will quickly rot. Another tip? Vendors are always eager to share their knowledge. Just ask.
I also stopped by and chatted with Christina Hernandez, owner of Moon Heart Apothecary, who uses family recipes passed down from her Lipan/ Apache grandmothers. I sampled Dapper Goat Dairy cheeses and hung out with a wizard named John Lacaze, who sells wood-engraved signs. Allow him to use his magic to create a unique sign for you at his WizardsBeard Company booth. What a fun day!
Hutto Silo is a great place to shop. Join their group of VIPs and spend Sundays behind the Cotton Gin.
See you at the market!
Yolanda Nagy travels throughout Texas highlighting farmers markets to share easy recipes and shopping tips. Follow her on Instagram @eatin_and_sippin_locally
edibleaustin.com 21 20 Summer 2023
WORDS BY YOLANDA NAGY | PHOTOS BY BARBARA ELOISA
Find Kvarøy’s salmon hot dogs in the frozen section of the ﬁsh and seafood department at Whole Foods Market. Find a store near you OUR SALMON HOT DOGS ARE DELICIOUS, HEALTHY, AND SUSTAINABLE IN EVERY BITE! Proud supporter of Can a HOT DOG CHANGE the World?
1417 FRENCH BISTRO DELIVERS ELEVATED CUISINE IN A WARM AND FRIENDLY SETTING
WORDS BY CLAIRE CELLA
When most people think of French dining, they usually associate it with the hallmarks of fine dining: highly orchestrated and exceptional service, cloth-lined tables, an air of sophistication, delicate and divine food. But eating French food is not solely relegated to these formal scenes. The French — and Austinites — can relax, too, while still enjoying authentic, passionate French cooking. That’s where 1417 French Bistro off South First in Bouldin Creek comes in.
A bistro by definition is a smaller, more intimate, sometimes even rustic, restaurant that carries a warmth and conviviality to its vibe. And Allison Welsh, part-owner and operator of 1417 French Bistro, is all about the careful curation of her bistro’s vibe. On a Sunday, you’ll be ushered in by Beyoncé and blue cheese beignets and coaxed to stay for hours in the cozy soft seats of thrifted chairs and the muted, almost antique tones of dried pastel flowers, warm wood and vintage carpets. On a Monday night, the vibrant local neighborhood is there, perched at the bar, savoring the $25 steak-frites that are kept coming all night long.
“This is us hitting our stride,” Welsh says, “this is the best we’ve ever been.”
It’s taken a few years for 1417 French Bistro to get here, and Welsh isn’t shy to say so. She understands that, as a restaurant and a business,
sometimes she and her business partner “don’t do things in the necessary order of operations that other people do.”
The restaurant first opened as simply 1417 in mid-June of 2021 in the former space of the Thai restaurant Sway. It was a time when Austin and much of the rest of the country was still under restricted dining service due to the pandemic. Because all Welsh could do was run the kitchen and serve people on the back deck, that’s what she did. Later that year, in October, they opened for indoor dining amidst a furniture shortage also caused by the pandemic. “Our MO has always been that ‘We’re getting there,’” she says with a laugh. “Opening things when maybe we’re not 100 percent ready — but I love that we do that.”
That initial indoor opening on barely-dry tile floors turned out to be pivotal in creating the restaurant that 1417 French Bistro is today — and its now widely popular vibe. Because Welsh and her partner were having trouble sourcing furniture in time for the opening, she decided to scrap their original plans and just make do. That meant they did — and still do — a lot of thrifting
for the restaurant, sourcing everything from rugs, to chairs, to mishmashed silverware from vintage stores in the Central Texas area.
“We literally did what we thought was cool,” she says. And it seems to have worked. Since late last fall and after their re-brand, 1417 French Bistro has appeared on some of Austin’s top brunch lists. The re-brand, which came with a change of name, also came with a new, “less-tweezered” menu and an even further relaxation into their warm, casual, neighborhood identity that Welsh has been after. Now on the dinner menu you can find duck confit and a half roasted chicken. Their tasteful and timeless drink menu was developed by general manager Anise Broussard and features a cucumber gimlet and a smoked gin and tonic. The drink menu is one thing that Welsh is adamant won’t change in the near future.
This summer, however, the 1417 French Bistro team has a few exciting changes up their sleeves. At the time of this interview, Welsh had just hosted a soft launch of an outdoor, cafe-lit, 46-seat-back-deck caviar bar — one of the only of its kind in Austin. The menu features six to seven types of caviar, ranging from a $275 tin of elite reserve osetra to a couple of $50 jars of truffle pearls and ghost pepper. All of the caviar is sourced from San Francisco-based Caviar & Caviar. Alongside the caviar options are four to five cold plates such as moody blue beignets and goat cheese mousse as well as bubbles, wine and shots of vodka.
The menu also features a bump of caviar and a shot of vodka, labeled a “Bump + Shot,” for $15. The term “bump” refers to a way in which caviar can be eaten, spooned onto the back of the hand between the index finger and thumb. It was the traditional way in which roe buyers sampled caviar before they purchased it — and is becoming an emerging dining trend among caviar connoisseurs at restaurants across the county.
Welsh’s idea was to make the back deck experience something that makes caviar approachable, fun and young — just like the team has managed to do with French food.
Welsh is also looking into creating some sort of space on the 10,000 sq. ft. of land they own that sits along East Bouldin Creek. She’s envisioning a private outdoor event space for weddings, showers and wellness retreats, but is also open to it becoming somewhere that people can come hang
out, drink a beer and be by the water — a refreshing option, as we all know, in Austin’s heat.
At the end of her very long days — Welsh is at the restaurant almost every day — she’s proud of all the work that’s been accomplished and what they’ve been building and piecing together over the years. When they started two years ago, she and her partner had never owned a restaurant before and had no name recognition. Now they’re seating upwards of 250 covers a night in a place where everyone walks in and starts talking about the ambiance, the atmosphere and the vibes.
“That’s the cool stuff,” she says. “When I get those texts from friends that say, ‘People can’t stop talking about the Monday steak-frites nights, or the oysters, or the vibe.’ The story is: we’ve got a cool story. I’m really proud of what we’ve built.”
To learn more, visit 1417frenchbistro.com.
Claire Cella has been working for Edible Austin, in some capacity, for over 10 years—since first interning as an undergraduate at St. Edward’s University. Although she works remotely, she’s always looking for the next reason to visit Austin again—especially for the food.
edibleaustin.com 23 22 Summer 2023
SPOTLIGHT ON LOCAL
Left Page: Photo by Monique Threadgill All other photos by Carl Johanesen Right Page, Top Left: Trio Sorbet RIght Page, Top Right: French Margarita Right Page, Middle Right: Frites Right Page, RIght Bottom: Allison Welsh Right Page, Bottom Left: Duck Confit
LIVING THE SWEET LIFE IN DRIPPING SPRINGS LIVING THE SWEET LIFE IN DRIPPING SPRINGS
Dripping Springs, a charming town nestled in the heart of Texas Hill Country, is quickly evolving into a hub of cultural and culinary delights. With its picturesque landscapes and warm community spirit, it has become an irresistible destination for those seeking a taste of the good life. From delectable pastries to craft beers and serene ranch retreats, Dripping Springs offers a range of experiences that are sure to delight visitors and locals alike. Here are a few you can check out next time you visit:
Mystic Sky Ranch
It’s a tranquil environment that’s about disconnecting. Escaping. Owners Sandie & Joe Ward are dedicated to creating a unique Hill Country experience at their secluded, stylish ranch. Take advantage of the on-site amenities: poolside kitchen pavilion area, bocce ball court, rainwater showers, hammocks for mid-day snoozing, sauna and infinity edge pool. The accommodations have a refined rustic feel. Each of the four private guest casitas offers something unique: countryside views, tranquil water features and restful sleeping space.
Mystic Sky Ranch is a retreat for romantic getaways as well as reunions, girls weekend, yoga retreats, bridal/baby showers, rehearsal dinners, weddings, concerts in spacious event barn and family gatherings. Enjoy interactive cooking classes taught by expert chefs in a spacious professional kitchen. At Mystic Sky Ranch you’ll find warm and welcoming hospitality nestled under the most amazing star-lit sky you’ve ever seen! Visit them at 5818 RR 165, Dripping Springs, TX 78620 or mysticskyranch.com
Acopon Brewing Company
Located on historic Mercer Street in downtown Dripping Springs, you’ll find Acopon Brewing Company. Quench your thirst with one of Acopon’s English style beers served from the cask using traditional hand pumps. Or try one of the many other beers Acopon has to offer. There are 12 varieties on tap, including both ales and lagers, all of which are brewed on site. Go for the beer, stay for the weekly events like live music and trivia. The good folks at Acopon are people and dog friendly, so you can bring your four-legged friend, too. Indoor A/C, outdoor patio; they’ve got you covered.
Acopon is open 7 days per week. Visit them at 211 W. Mercer St, Dripping Springs, TX 78620 For more information, go to acoponbrewing.com.
Enjoy the Best Kept Secret of Austin’s Hill Country!
The Great British Baking Company
Founded in 2022 by the father and son team of Andy and Jonty Scriven, The Great British Baking Company, located in the heart of Dripping Springs, proudly displays the heritage of its owners. The bakery offers a menu that rotates with the seasons, but you can count on British classics like sausage rolls which have become quite popular. Or try the scotch eggs or cottage pie; either way, you can’t go wrong. Looking for a sweet treat, you’ll find an array of offerings prepared from scratch every day.
For more information, visit thegreatbritishbakingco.com, or stop in at 104 W Mercer Street for some UK favorites.
Hill Country Ranch Sweet Shop
From cakes to cookies, pies to chocolates and everything in between, Mark Sewell opened a true sweet shop you can visit every day! You’ll never tire of the variety of sweets on offer at this sweet shop. Your special event needs are also important to Mark and Co., too. They’ll whip up custom cakes, breakfast trays and dessert table goodies, and they’re just a phone call away. If you’re out running errands, drop by the shop for an afternoon snack. Can’t get away, no problem; DoorDash delivers.
Be sure to visit the sweet shop to celebrate National Fudge Day on June 16th! You’ll find Hill Country Ranch Sweet Shop at 2001 W US-290, Suite 101, Dripping Springs, TX 78620 or at hcrsweetshop.com.
If you’re looking for a delicious treat that will make your mouth water and your heart happy, you’ve come to the right place! Tootie Pie is a Hill Country bakery that handcrafts sweets and savory eats with quality Texas ingredients and tender loving care. Tootie Pie was started as a home-based business by Tootie herself, who became famous for her six-pound apple pies. They continue her tradition today at locations in Dripping Springs and Boerne. Drop by and try Tootie’s Huge Apple Pie, our Razzle Dazzle emPIEnada, or their summery Strawberries and Cream Cake, and lots more! Or order online and have them shipped to your door. Visit Tootie Pie today and taste some of the best handcrafted treats in Texas!
3992 US-290 Bldg 200, Dripping Springs, TX 78620, Tootiepieco.com.
For more information about the many fabulous things to see and do in Dripping Springs, check out destinationdrippingsprings.com
edibleaustin.com 25 24 Summer 2023
mysticskyranch.com 5818 Ranch Road 165 Dripping Springs, TX 78620 The perfect place to call ‘home’ for a night or a week. Perfect for weddings, special occasions or just weekend getaways! Locally owned & operated After school snacks . Parties . Celebrations . Desserts for any occasion Cupcakes. Brownies . Candy charcuterie boards & SO MUCH MORE Catering services available for parties and weddings. 2001 W. US HWY 290 Suite 101 Dripping Springs, TX 78620 hcrsweetshop.com (512) 963-9630 email@example.com 104 West Mercer Street, Dripping Springs, 78620 thegreatbritishbakingco.com firstname.lastname@example.org 737-336-0725 Fresh Baked Every Day Savoury Hand Pies Sausage Rolls Scotch Eggs Sweet Treats Sticky Toffee Pudding Chicken Pot Pie Cottage Pie Chocolate Croissants Rotational Muffins Breakfast Slice Cakes & Sweets
ENJOY A PINT FRESH FROM THE CASK ON HISTORIC MERCER STREET Specializing in English ales served from a cask Dog & kid friendly, bring the family Indoor taproom or outdoor patio seating We sell beer to go! Open 7 days a week 211 W. Mercer St. acoponbrewing.com
Summer may be sweltering hot but delicious sun-kissed fruits and colorful vegetables are begging to be bagged at your local farmers market even at the height of the heat. Summer is for different varieties of eggplant, not to mention okra and, of course, bountiful hot, hot peppers
From the Gulf
Brown Shrimp (from mid-July)
For more information on farmers markets, seasonal recipes and what’s in season, visit edibleaustin.com
Panzanella Salad with roasted corn and queso fresco
Recipe and photos by Pauline Stevens
3 c. roma tomatoes, cut in quarters
1 c. cherry tomatoes cut in half
½ c. roasted corn kernels
10 basil leaves chopped, plus a few whole for decoration
2 garlic cloves smashed
½ small shallot chopped
½ baguette cut in cubes
½ c. queso fresco or añejo cheese for a more salty taste
½ c. olive oil
1 large lemon
Toast baguette cubes in the oven until slightly brown. Mix garlic, shallot, olive oil and lemon in a bowl. Add tomatoes and stir until well mixed. Add corn, cheese and bread, and mix lightly. Add basil, salt and pepper to taste.
Keep in refrigerator until ready to serve.
26 Summer 2023
What's In Season
Watermelon, cucumber and mint agua fresca
Recipe and photos by Pauline Stevens Serves 4
8 watermelon slices
1 medium cucumber peeled, half cut into cubes and half cut into slices for decoration
1/3 c mint leaves
Cut watermelon slices into cubes and blend in a blender with ½ cup of water. Add the cubed cucumber and blend with watermelon mix. In a large pitcher, add mint leaves and slightly press. Strain watermelon and cucumber mix into pitcher. Serve with ice. Decorate with cucumber, watermelon and mint for an extra fresh look. Add lemonade for a delicious option.
Beside her passion for photography, Pauline Stevens enjoys traveling and baking. She also visits every possible farmers market, even between frequent visits to NYC where her quadruplet sons live. Follow her store on IG @redbirdshouse.
Historic Charm, Southern Hospitality
Family-owned castle, Lambermont provides unique San Antonio experience for life's most special occasions
Historic, breathtaking venue Full range of customizable packages Spacious, timeless interiors Brunch & lunch packages
• Immaculate & intimate lodging
• Brunch & lunch packages
• Elevates any occasion
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Sunshine in a Bottle: Texas Viognier
TRY THE GO-TO WHITE WINE FOR HOT TEXAS SUMMERS
WORDS BY STACEY INGRAM KALEH | PHOTOS BY MONIQUE THREADGILL
It ’s a hot, slightly humid day in the Texas Hill Country as the sun beams down on my back porch. My daughters are playing in the yard, a neighbor down the street is mowing their lawn and I listen to the sounds of late spring — a mixture of giggles, buzzing lawn equipment, birds chirping, airplanes flying overhead and a gentle wind rustling the tree branches. I’ve found a little moment of mindful meditation while I take it all in and sip from a glass of Texas-grown, Texas-made Viognier (pronounced “vee-own-yay”). With its enchanting aroma of freshly-picked wildflowers; buttery mouthfeel; juicy notes of peach, tangerine and mango and crisp finish, it feels like the perfect drink choice for the transition to summer. It’s dry and refreshing but has enough fullness to keep things interesting. I stretch out my bare feet, feeling the grated texture of my weather-worn deck, and look down to notice the sunlight dancing through my wine glass, illuminating the nearly transparent, yellow-tinged color of the wine as if it were full of sunshine itself.
I’m not the only Texan captivated by Viognier. The dry white wine varietal, which has somewhat mysterious origins but is often thought to be an ancient grape dating back to Roman times, originally rose to popularity via the Château-Grillet AOC, a small appellation of the Northern Rhône valley of France.
Viognier’s long been sought out by connoisseurs, but, according to Texas winemakers, is only recently becoming one of Texas wine drinkers’ most-requested white wines.
Nichole Bendele, a Wine & Spirit Education Trust (WSET) Certified Level II Sommelier and the director of marketing, public relations and outreach for Becker Vineyards, located between Stonewall and Fredericksburg, shared that co-founder Dr. Richard Becker was the first to grow Viognier in Texas. “He nicknamed it the ‘red wine drinker’s white wine’ because of its fullness on the palate like a red wine. His first experience with Viognier was Château-Grillet’s Viognier from the Northern Rhône region of France,” she says. “He fell in love with the wine! It’s his favorite white wine.” Bendele says that Becker Vineyards planted Viognier in 1993, just one year after the winery was established, and first harvested Viognier in 1996. In her 26 years working at Becker Vineyards, she’s seen their production grow from 2,500 cases to almost 100,000 cases annually.
Although the varietal was not familiar to customers in Texas at the time, and despite its tricky-to-pronounce name, Dr. Becker and his late wife and vineyard co-founder Bunny bet that their customers would grow to love Viognier as much as they did. “The Beckers and staff encouraged guests to try Viognier. If someone is a red wine
drinker, it is a white wine they are open to. It is a dry-style wine but because of the fruit notes, some people who enjoy off dry wines enjoy it, too,” she says. “The Viognier is our number one selling white wine and a flagship wine for us.”
For fellow Texas wine lovers and those of you who have been visiting Texas Wine Country through the years as I have, you may have observed Viognier popping
up as a staple on tasting menus and wine lists as our state’s wine scene continues to grow and evolve.
There seems to be an ever-increasing number of wineries and vineyards in Texas, with more than 50 in the Texas Hill Country alone — from Austin to Fredericksburg and Lampasas to New Braunfels — according to the nonprofit trade association Texas Hill Country Wineries. A significant portion of these Texas wineries are choosing to grow, make or serve Viognier.
“About 10-15 years ago, there were just a few wineries making Viognier here in the Hill Country or even growing it across the state,” says January Wiese, executive director of Texas Hill Country Wineries.
“Now, Viognier is in the top five varieties grown in Texas and we estimate 80 percent of Texas Hill Country Wineries members produce one.” Since wine drinkers may be more familiar with mass-distributed white wine varietals like chardonnay and pinot grigio, wineries have banded together to help spread the word about Viognier and share information with their customers. “With the success of Viognier in Texas, it's been a focus for the industry to share and educate consumers about the varietal and we've noticed it's taken the place of more popular white wines for many guests,” says Wiese.
Beyond its delicious taste and luxurious mouthfeel, what’s helped Viognier stand out across the plethora of wine options available to us in Texas? Especially when it was described to me by several local winemakers as “finicky” and “unpredictable” to grow?
Kyle Johnston, co-owner and head of wine production at Haak Wines in Sante Fe, Texas, located between Houston and Galveston, is excited to be pouring a newly released 2022 vintage of Viognier this summer. “When you have something great, you almost don’t want to talk about it because you don’t want to jinx it,” he says. He shares that Haak’s 2022 Viognier is his favorite in Texas — the grapes for the wine came from Reddy Vineyards in the High Plains and were harvested early to help retain freshness and acidity. “On a good year,” Johnston says, “Texas Viognier can match any Viognier in the country.” He warns, however, that it’s not consistent or reliable. “It still feels like a longshot when you plant vines here in Texas. We’re in the infancy of Texas viticulture.” For this reason, he says Haak Wines tends to plant hybrid grape varieties that are more disease resistant and drought tolerant. But it's been a great year for Viognier, and I can read in his voice that the risk of working with this lowyield, tricky varietal must have paid off. Johnston describes Haak’s 2022 Texas High Plains Viognier as “having a thickness that lasts, and aromatics that are just beautiful.”
“[Viognier is] not at the top of my list for being resilient to our weather extremes,” says Dave Reilly, winemaker at Duchman Family Winery in Driftwood. Like Haak Wines, Duchman chooses to source its Viognier grapes from the Texas High Plains because he appreciates the quality. Duchman sources its Viognier from Bingham Family Vineyards and then makes the wine in Driftwood. Why go through the effort to produce a wine like Viognier when there are varietals that do well at their estate vineyard? Reilly explains, “I think wines should pair with climate and food. Texas is hot and Texas has seafood, our Viognier pairs nicely with both of those.”
Duchman’s first vintage of Viognier is from 2007, and Reilly shares that their customers have come to request their Viognier over time. “As with any varietal that isn’t as well known as chardonnay or cab, it takes time to introduce it to people. After they are introduced, they fall in love with it.”
Reilly touched on another element that makes Viognier popular across the state — it pairs well with food, from seafood to red meat to spicy dishes. It’s a sentiment that sommelier Bendele shares, “It is a food friendly wine. Pork is not an easy meat to pair wines with but Viognier goes beautifully with a peppered pork loin! You can serve it with spicy fare … it is a popular pairing with Asian cuisine. It does have a light acidity that works well with cream-based dishes.”
This dynamic quality that allows Viognier to be paired with so many different foods is also something that makes it appealing to Texas winemakers who like to innovate. With a versatility that lends itself to both fermentation in stainless steel or aging in oak barrels, Texas winemakers are putting their own stamp on Viognier to express the flavors and acidity levels they prefer. You can taste your way through several Texas wineries and find Viognier wines that are vastly distinct from one another, which makes the varietal all the more exciting.
For example, Reilly describes Duchman’s Viognier, which is 100 percent stainless steel fermented and never oak aged, as having “aromas of white flowers, lemon and lime,” and “mandarin oranges and citrus on the palate.” Bendele describes Becker’s Viognier Reserve, which is aged 10 months, 95 percent in French oak barrels (70 percent of which are new), and 5 percent in a stainless steel tank. “When you give a gentle swirl to the Viognier, you notice the nectar-like nose with a zest of lime and hint of Gardenia flower. Taking a sip of it, you continue tasting citrus notes on the palate along with pear and light vanilla.” While they describe the nose in a similar way, they describe the palate differently. The variety makes a fun experience for wine lovers who enjoy comparing notes and exploring subtleties and also for anyone just looking for a bottle to keep on hand to fit any meal or occasion.
From the perspective of this native Texan and wine drinker, Viognier is bold and versatile like Texas. It’s a wine that’s complex yet approachable, as unpredictable as our weather, fragrant like our wildflowers in the spring and vibrant like a bright summer day by the river. It’s easy to drink in the heat and to pair with the foods we love. It’s dynamic enough for Texas entrepreneurs to make it their own. All of this and more is what makes it a great Texas wine.
I invite you to drink local and support Texas businesses this summer! Whether you’re new to wine or an absolute maven, Texas wineries have something for you. Grab a glass of Texas Viognier and you’ll see why so many Texas winemakers and wine drinkers have fallen in love with this varietal.
edibleaustin.com 33 32 Summer 2023
Stacey Ingram Kaleh is a native Texan and writer and editor for Edible publications When she’s not eating at local restaurants and drinking Texas wine, she’s spending time outdoors in the Hill Country with her husband and two young daughters and soaking up as much live music and art as possible.
Left Page: Becker Vineyards Texas Viognier
Right Page: Pedernales Texas Viognier
464 Becker Farms Rd.
Bell Springs Winery
3700 Bell Springs Rd.
Dripping Springs 78620
a glass of Viognier or take home a bottle from these Texas wineries:
Messina Hof Winery
Bryan Estate Winery
4545 Old Reliance Rd. Bryan 77808
Harvest Green 8921 Harlem Rd. Richmond 77406
Hill Country 9996 US Hwy. 290
Ron Yates 6676 Hwy. 290 W. Hye 78635
Solaro Estate Vineyards & Winery
13111 Silver Creek Rd. Dripping Springs 78620
Introducing The Grand Lady
WHERE HISTORY MEETS MODERN MAGIC
Historic Home, Modern Event Venue and Floral Farm seamlessly blend historic charm, natural beauty and intentional design to make your wedding a true gift
Duchman Family Winery
13308 FM 150 West Driftwood 78619
Grape Creek Vineyards
10587 US Hwy. 290
6310 Avenue T Santa Fe, TX 77510
Pedernales Cellars 2916 Upper Albert Road Stonewall, TX 78671
Perissos Vineyard and Winery 7214 Park Rd. 4 W. Burnet 78611
Texas Heritage Vineyard 3245 US Hwy. 290 E. Fredericksburg 78624
The Grand Lady team believes weddings can be more than an event. For us, weddings are about people, partnership, and community. The space where this happens should be both beautiful and intentional, to facilitate these experiences is a gift and a privilege. Every detail of the property has been diligently created with the help of industry professionals, to provide seamless spaces for your wedding day. To support that experience, we insist on personal and professional hospitality that prioritizes relationships while creating ease, and joy as you prepare for your event with us.
Once a Wedding Gift, Always a Wedding Gift
Imbued with a rich history, The Grand Lady was originally built as a wedding gift for Mrs. Walton in 1881. For this gift, no expense was spared, and the evidence of that lies in the ornate details throughout the home. Set on 20 acres of Oak Trees "The Grand Lady" is a mansion built in 1881 in Bartlett, Texas and moved to Manor in 1970, where it was given yet again as a wedding gift! Cared for by various families through each phase of her life, she serves as a grand backdrop for wedding celebrations that embrace modern traditions of love, friendship and family. By taking something old and something new and blending it with Texas' natural beauty, we have created a unique wedding experience for you.
Grand Lady 19704
Her Modern Updates
While preserving its elegant charm, The Grand Lady has been thoughtfully updated to seamlessly blend the past with the present. The ornamental woodwork and stained glass windows have been meticulously maintained, while the furnishings now embrace modern style and function. In 2021, a contemporary 3,600 sq ft event hall was completed, offering floor-to-ceiling windows that showcase the natural beauty of the surroundings and comfortably hosting up to 250 guests for dinner and dancing.
Florals Grown On-Site
On the back of the property, we tend to over a half acre of specialty cut flowers. Grown for the express purpose of serving our wedding clients and reducing the carbon footprint of your wedding florals. Providing your wedding day florals is a responsibility and privilege we hope deepens your connection with The Grand Lady.
AMENITIES AND FEATURES
- 3400 sq ft historic home designed for all your wedding day preparation
- 3600 sq ft modern event venue designed for dinner and dancing
- ½ acre sustainable, cut-flower farm w/ wedding florals for Grand Lady clients
- Full service floral and bartending available with every booking
- Full day rental of entire property
edibleaustin.com 35 34 Summer 2023
PHOTO BY BILL PEARY COURTESY OF TEXAS HILL COUNTRY WINERIES
SPECIAL ADVERTISING FEATURE
Hogeye Rd, Manor, TX 78653 737.210.1519 / grandladyaustin.com /
LAVENDER FIELDS Forever
Back in the 70s, travels to southern France inspired some of the early Texas Hill Country winemakers who imagined that if grape vines thrive in the French climate, they would here, too. Some of the first Texan lavender growers had that same epiphany. Dr. Richard Becker and his late wife Bunny, co-founders of Becker Vineyards, fell in love with lavender while traveling through Provence. Recognizing the climate was similar to that of Fredericksburg, they decided to plant lavender in addition to growing grapes and making wine.
In 1999, Robb Kendrick and Jeannie Ralston opened one of Texas’ first lavender farms in Blanco. Same story: On a trip to Provence for Kendrick’s work as a National Geographic photographer, he was struck by the similarities between the landscape and his home. He figured lavender would grow just as well in Blanco’s rocky terrain and smoldering summers. They came home and started Hill Country Lavender.
While lavender farming hasn’t exploded on the Texas scene with the same boom that winemaking has (nothing can compete, nor does it need to, with wine), it has become a thriving industry in Central Texas. Those early growers were right about the climate being perfect for lavender. It’s also healthy for our ecosystem as it’s a great source of pollen and nectar for bees and other pollinators. And the plant’s beauty, hardiness and soothing fragrance have made it popular with residents and tourists alike.
“It’s not just your grandmother’s scent anymore,” says Tasha Brieger Corradini, current owner of Hill Country Lavender. As people have become more educated about holistic living and essential oils, lavender’s appeal is blossoming. Not only is it calming — helping with stress, anxiety and sleep — it may also alleviate headaches; soothe sunburns, cuts and scrapes; and repel bugs (place some in your closets and drawers to keep out moths and scorpions). Mixed with other oils, it can be enjoyed without making you too sleepy. Lavender also has many culinary uses; it’s especially delicious in cocktails!
While lavender isn’t a needy plant, and does rather well in droughtprone Texas, the one thing it does require is the right soil: alkaline and
well-drained. The plants are normally dormant between October and April, but the exact timing of the blooms can be affected by abnormal weather (like “Snowmegeddons” or ice storms). There are 490 varieties that come from France, Spain and England, so for those who may want to try their hand at growing lavender at home, there are many options to choose from.
“I always tell people to plant eight or ten different varieties and give it two to three years to see what happens and which ones are happy,” says Corradini. Baby plants do need a good drink of water every few days for the first six months of their life. After they’re established, they need very little. “They’re actually a stress-driven plant. If you’re too nice to them, they won’t bloom!”
Once lavender is cut, typically over a six-week period in May and June, it’s hung to dry and the oil is extracted to use in various products, or the buds are stripped and then used in food and drink recipes. Whether you’re interested in learning about growing or cooking with your own lavender, finding some delightful home and health products or taking a day trip to a beautiful farm in the country, check out what these Texas farms have to offer!
Becker Vineyards is arguably one of the most beautiful in Fredericksburg with its fields of vines, flowers and lavender nestled on 308 acres, a mile or so off the well-worn path of U.S. Highway 290. In addition to its award-winning wines, it was one of the first lavender growers in Texas — starting in 1998 after that trip to Provence. The lavender plants have occasionally succumbed to drought, flash flooding and snow storms, but the family has always replanted, and they’re now sticking with the Stoechas (Spanish) varietal that seems to tolerate these weather events the best.
Visitors to Becker Vineyards enjoy sipping on delicious wines while gazing upon, or strolling through, Clementine’s Garden, the fields of flowers named in honor of the late Clementine “Bunny” Becker. They offer a variety of lavender products, sold both at the estate tasting room and their Main Street tasting room location. The products include handmade lavender soap, eye pillows, sachets, lotion, shower gel, grape seed scrub, lip balm, candles and much more.
The Beckers started Lavender Fest in 1998 as well. The festival features vendors, mostly with the theme of gardening and cooking, a “Meet Your Maker” bar for wine tastings and live music, all in the serene setting of the stone pavilion right next to the gardens. They also have a Lavender Bites and Wine Pairing so guests can learn more about cooking with lavender, as well as a Lavender Luncheon.
In addition to the annual festival, Becker Vineyards has a flourishing all-inclusive events program, including an Estate Chef and partnership with Hill Country Catering, allowing customers to host whatever type of private event — from corporate dinners to birthdays and rehearsal dinners — in as easy a manner as possible. beckervineyards.com
CHAPPELL HILL LAVENDER FARM
Jim and Debbie McDowell moved from Houston to their 23-acre farm in Brenham in 2001 with no intention of growing lavender. When they decided they wanted to make use of their land, they did a lot of research into what would thrive, and planted 20 lavender plants. They now grow thousands of Sweet and Provence hybrids that do well in heat and humidity. The oil from the plants is used in all of their products, which are handmade — mostly by Debbie. They offer a line of products called Nature’s Remedies that includes teas and spices, soaps, candles and other handmade crafts in their gift shop.
Unlike fields in the middle of the Hill Country, the lavender fields at Chappell Hill require a lot more maintenance because they don’t like the wetter conditions. Because of that challenge, they’re one of only a few lavender farms in the area that remain open to the public regularly. Visitors to the farm can enjoy strolling around the fields; picnicking at the gazebo by a pond; feeding Fonzie, Oreo and Moon Shine — the resident miniature goats; stocking up at the gift shop; and picking blackberries, peaches, pears, persimmons and more when the fruit is ripe. They also offer a variety of plants for sale and free tours.
The lavender cutting season is typically May–June and August–October, during which visitors can cut their own bundles of lavender for $5. On the outdoor deck, Chappell Hill provides seminars, yoga, painting classes, educational classes and private parties when the weather is nice.
Annually, they host "Celebrating Mom's Spring Fling Event" on the day before Mother's Day, and they participate with The Art Walk (in conjunction with the Chappell Hill Chamber of Commerce) each May and The Airing of the Quilts each September.
edibleaustin.com 37 36 Summer 2023
WORDS BY ASHLEY BROWN | PHOTOS BY BAYLIE BEEBE
Left Page: Becker Vineyards
Top Left: Becker Vineyards
Do-Re-Mi Lavender Farm
Bottom: Patrick Hamilton, Nichole Bendele and Eddie Cruz from Becker Vineyards Middle: Becker Vineyards
DOE-RE-MI LAVENDER FARM
Ann and Rob Karns moved to their farm about 40 miles southwest of San Antonio in 2009, and they set out to transform the land from cactus and mesquite to a working farm. They started out with a vegetable garden, chickens and goats and native grasses. Ann came across a story in a gardening magazine about a lavender farm in Virginia, and she thought, “I have a lavender plant growing in my vegetable garden and it’s surviving without any care. Maybe we could grow lavender.” That’s when, in 2016, the couple went to work clearing mesquite and preparing the land for 1,500 lavender plants.
The Doe-Re-Mi Lavender Farm is always evolving, and the couple loves every minute of farm life. Visitors are able to experience a lovely, peaceful day in the country — picnicking; tasting herbs in the greenhouse and gardens; feeding the goats, alpacas and Donkers, the guard donkey; and shopping for lavender products, propagated lavender plants and garden and gift items. Customers can also cut their own lavender bundles or take a tour and experience the distillation of essential lavender oil. You can leave the farm with not only lavender products, but also eggs from their chickens and yarn made from alpaca wool.
Ann is a talented cook, and the farm also offers cooking classes in which she shares her lavender baking secrets. A unique addition, the new Farm Café serves up her homemade treats — including scones, shortbread, cakes and coffees — as well as their son William’s gelato made with the farm’s eggs, mint and lemon balm. The farm is a great place for private
Lavender Gin Paloma
Recipe by Tasha Corradini
2 oz. gin (such as Dripping Springs)
1 oz. fresh grapefruit
½ oz. fresh lime
½ lavender simple syrup
2 oz. club soda (optional)
Add all ingredients except club soda to a cocktail mixing glass. Stir and strain into glass. Top with club soda and add fresh ice cubes. Garnish with a grapefruit wedge and a sprig of lavender.
parties, school groups, garden club gatherings and more. The Karns family has made it a truly special place that they love to share with others. doeremilavender.com
HILL COUNTRY LAVENDER
Tasha Brieger Corradini, Blanco Chamber of Commerce president, had been working at Hill Country Lavender since she was 16. Founder Robb Kendrick convinced her to buy the farm when she was still in college, in 2005. She thought it’d be a fun, temporary thing until interest in lavender waned, which it never did. Instead, Blanco became the Lavender Capital of Texas and is host to the annual Blanco Lavender Festival each June. For a fun-filled weekend, the downtown square comes alive with music, shopping, beer, wine and food, and special events take place out at the farm. Visitors are welcome at the farm any time they’re open to cut lavender when it’s blooming or to just enjoy a picnic among the plants.
While breathing in the plant’s aroma or cooking with lavender are the best DIY uses, Hill Country Lavender distills the buds to create the essential oil that is the key ingredient for their bevy of products — from soaps and aromatherapy sticks to bug sprays and dog shampoos — all handmade by Corradini’s husband RG and available at the farm’s shop and on their website. Also on their website, you’ll find enticing cocktail photos and recipes, all created by Corradini too.
LAVENDER SIMPLE SYRUP
2T. culinary lavender
In a small saucepan, combine water and sugar and bring to a light simmer. Stir until sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat and stir in lavender. Allow to cool to room temperature. Strain to remove lavender and set syrup aside to cool. Keep refrigerated until needed.
For more recipes, visit hillcountrylavender.com/recipes. Writer and editor Ashley Brown lives in Wimberley with her family of rescues: a dog, two cats, and two donkeys. In addition to animal welfare, her passion is exploring the Hill Country's natural beauty, small farms, eateries and drinkeries.
edibleaustin.com 39 38 Summer 2023
“It’s not just your grandmother's scent anymore."
Left Page: Tasha and RG Corradini and bubble bath from Hill Country Lavender
Right Page: Debbie McDowell and the store at Chappell Hill Lavender Farm
JUNE 1 Prime to Wine at The League on Lake Travis laketravis.com 2 WilCo A&M Club fish fry Fundraiser wcamc.com/fishfry 10 Fredericksburg Lobster Festival thebestoftexas.org 9-10 2nd Annual Fredericksburg Craft Beer Festival fbgcraftbeerfestival.com 10 Plant Swap at Pflugerville Public Library pflugervilletx.gov 11 Brunch at the Cherrywood Coffeehouse in Downtown Austin cherrywoodcoffeehouse.com 18 Diaspora Food Festival in Austin armadillodenaustin.com 24 Local Fresh Produce at the Round Rock Farmers Market Farmergeorge.market 24-Early July Sunflower Fest at Sweet Eats Fruit Farms in Georgetown sweeteats.com JULY 1,2 Fresh Sunflowers in Marble Falls sweetberryfarm.com 3 Liberty Fest 2023 in Leander leandertx.gov 4 H-E-B Austin Symphony July 4th Concert and Fireworks at Auditorium Shores my.austinsymphony.org 4 50th anniversary of Willie Nelson's 4th of July Picnic at Q2 Stadium Q2stadium.com 4 Fourth of July Parade and Frontier Days in Round Rock Roundrocktexas.gov 4 4th of July Family Celebration at San Gabriel Park in Georgetown gtxsertoma.org 12 Simpson's BBQ @ The Park at Walnut Creek simpsonsbbq.com 20 Fredericksburg Farmers Market and Live Music fredericksburgtxfarmersmarket.com 28 Driftwood Nights at Vista Brewing Dinner and live music vistabrewingtx.com
5 Blazin’ Beer Crawl in Georgetown Mainstreet.georgetown.org 11 Epic 8-Course Dinner and Show at the Sylver Spoon Dinner Theater in New Braunfels sylverspoon.com 12 Kyle Market Days Cityofkyle.com 19 Wimberley Market Day wimberleymarketday.com 19 Summer Table at Juniper Hills Farm in Blanco Juniperhillsfarm.com 27 Sunday Jazz Brunch at Geraldine’s in Austin geraldinesaustin.com To submit your event to our online calendar, go to edibleaustin.com/events EDIBLE EVENTS
Manners Matter with Sarah Aynesworth Class at Central Market centralmarket.com/cooking-school