Thursday, December 10, 2009

More Eat Local Week Goodness

Eat Local Week has been a great time so far - there are so many great events, and I'm really impressed with the number of people who have been turning out.

Last night, I went to City Hall for the Better Bites of Austin Edible Local Holiday Gift Fair. Better Bites of Austin, a trade organization that links small natural food businesses in Austin, had representatives from many of its vendors.

The highlight of the night for me was the Mary Louise Butters Brownies booth. I've been a fan of the sweets since moving to Austin, and I love giving them to out-of-town guests and sending them out in gift packages to my family and friends in Chicago.

Mary Louise Butters and her brownies

Last night, I tried the Fara, a swirled blend of a brownie and blondie, and I've got to say, that even with half of it being a non-brownie, it quickly became my favorite. I think I even took a couple steps back after tasting it - it was rich with chocolate and molasses, moist and chewy. I bought one for myself, and a couple more for gifts (we'll see if they make it into the packages).

The brownies (the Fara variety are in the tan and black packaging)

Zhi Tea also had samples of their Sweet Desert Delight, a caffeine-free sweet tea. We bought a few teas for gifts, as well.

Tasty teas

Also at the fair were:
  • Rio's Brazilian, where we got a package of Pao de Quiejo with basil.
  • Jake's Granola, where I tried a cranberry-pistachio biscotti and the man bought a package of the gingerbread biscotti.
  • Bona Dea Bread, who had a deliciously rich challah, and whose chocolate challah rolls are high on my list of things to try
  • World Wise Grains, who gave out little cookies made with Arzu, their multi-grain blend
  • SASS Fresh Dressings, with plenty of dressings to try with fresh bread
  • Pie Fixes Everything, who had fruit pies and quiches (and who delivers them!)
And a whole lot more that I didn't get to try. I hope they do this again during Eat Local Week next winter. It's just in time for the holidays.

Tonight? I'm heading to the Wally Workman Gallery for their Fine Art Food Night to taste bites from Les Dames d'Escoffier, Hosteria Verde, Portabla and Fete Accompli while checking out Feast, the exhibit featuring images of food and cooking.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Eat Local Week

Edible Austin's Eat Local Week kicked off last weekend with some great events that I was lucky enough to attend. (In the interest of disclosure, I work with Edible Austin on their editorial team.)

All of this week's events benefit Urban Roots, an amazing program that teaches local teens sustainable farming, and all it encompasses including planting and harvesting, selling, marketing and how local food benefits the community. Urban Roots donates a portion of their harvest to local hunger relief efforts and is working hard to bring fresh, local food to East Austin. So go out and give them some money!

Friday night, Book People had a multi-media night, hosting authors Pamela Walker, author of Growing Good Things to Eat in Texas, and Chef Alain Braux of People's Pharmacy, along with Ana-Sofia Joanes, director and producer of the documentary FRESH. Food tastings were provided by Thai Fresh and FoodSmarty, and drinks by St. Arnold Brewing.

Saturday, I attended the Tea Festival at Zhi Tea and got to try lots of delicious teas from several local tea purveyors, and attended a screening of FRESH at the Paramount downtown.

Sunday, I checked out the Drink Local Coffee Festival and Drink Local Night.

There are still lots of great events going on all week, from the Julie & Julia Feast tonight at the Alamo Drafthouse, the Gulf Coast Sampler tomorrow at AMOA, a Meet Your Local Brewers Happy Hour at the Whip In, and lots more. I'm going to try to pack as much in as I can.

Check out Edible Austin's Eat Local Week events page to find an event (or events!) that appeal to you.