Mix it up with spices or with real lime juice
Whether you're celebrating a student graduating from college or just making it to the weekend, two new local drink mixes will make it easier to whip up two Austin favorites.
Opal Divine's has released Divine Mary, a "chunky-chewy" bloody Mary mix that Opal Divine's owner Michael Parker says is based on the mix that's the base for the best-selling drink at his three Austin restaurants. "It's got some spice, but not necessarily heat," says Parker, who in his early days as a bartender used to make every bloody Mary mix a glass at a time. "I'm a big fan of gazpacho, and it reminds me of a hearty gazpacho." The mix ($7 for 32 ounces) is available at each of the restaurants as well as local Twin Liquors, Spec's Wine, Spirits and Finer Foods, Whip In, Wiggy's and Farm to Market Grocery.
And with margarita weather upon us, a new Austin company is selling an all-natural, organic mix at the Barton Creek Farmers Market. Homegrown Margarita Mix ($12 for 750 milliliters) is made with freshly squeezed lime juice, Valencia oranges and agave nectar, and Joseph Kurth says that he has several new flavors, including strawberry, that he'll be debuting soon. "Kids love it straight by itself," Kurth says. "In fact, that's why I got into this business. When I was growing up, my parents who were margarita lovers would make my sister and I virgin margaritas and we loved them. This is a much healthier version of what you'd get in a store."
- Addie Broyles
Restaurant Recipes: Macaroni and Cheese from Hyde Park Bar & Grill
On Monday and Tuesday nights, when Hyde Park Bar & Grill is serving Tony's Southern Comfort fried chicken, nothing beats a side of macaroni and cheese. Here's the recipe from Hyde Park's Keith Pennington, followed by a bonus: a reprint of the recipe the American-Statesman published in 1992 for Hyde Park's battered french fries.
Bonus No. 2: For a reprint of Hyde Park's recipe for the dipping sauce to go with the fries, see austin360.com/forklore .
Try these dishes for yourself at 4206 Duval St. (458-3168) and 4521 West Gate Blvd. (289-2700). www.hydeparkbarandgrill.com .
- Mike Sutter
Hyde Park Bar & Grill Mac and Cheese
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
5 cups whole milk
1/2 lb. Kraft Deluxe Slices (yellow), cut into small cubes *
1/2 lb. Kraft Deluxe Slices (white), cut into small cubes *
(*These cheeses are substitutes for commercial products not available in your store.)
1/4 lb. smoked gouda cheese, shredded
1/2 cup vegetable stock
1 lb. macaroni cooked al dente
Shredded cheddar cheese for topping
Heat cream and milk in a double boiler. Add remaining ingredients (except macaroni). Heat until cheese is fully melted. Salt to taste. Fold mixture into macaroni and chill in shallow dishes. Mixture may seem thin, but it will thicken as it cools.
Serving instructions: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Heat desired amount of mac and cheese in microwave. Top with shredded Cheddar cheese. Heat in oven until cheese is melted.
Hyde Park Bar & Grill's Fries
1 large Idaho potato
2 cups buttermilk
2 cups flour
2 to 3 Tbsp. black pepper
Canola oil to fill frying pan
Salt to taste
Scrub to clean the skin of a large Idaho potato. Do not peel. Slice into large fries. Place into bowl filled with buttermilk. Toss a few slices at a time in flour mixed with black pepper. Fry in hot canola oil 2 to 3 minutes or until golden brown and crunchy on the outside. Serves 2.
Openings, closings and coming soon
• Open: Royito's, a breakfast taco trailer featuring hot sauce by GSD&M ad agency founder Roy Spence. Open 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. Monday-Friday outside the agency's Idea City at West Sixth and Wood streets.
• Open: Da Swamp Shak, a Cajun restaurant specializing in crawfish at 2061 Texas 71 in Cedar Creek. (713) 514-5078, www.daswampshak.com .
• Open: Streat, a pan-ethnic `street food' cafe from the Mirabelle team, at 3211 Red River St. 628-0288.
• Open: Sushi A-Go-Go, the second location of the sushi trailer at 801 Barton Springs Road. 423-7170, www.sushi-a-go-go-austin.com .
• Open: Down Under Deli and Eatery, a restaurant serving meat pies, pizza, breakfast, salads and sandwiches at 21209 W. Texas 71 in Spicewood. 512-264-8000, www.downunderdeli.com .
• Open: Newk's Express Cafe, the Arboretum location of a chain of fast-casual cafes with salads, pizza, soups and sandwiches. 9722 Great Hills Trail, Suite 130. 795-7507, www.newks.com .
• Open: El Mesón, the second location of the Burleson Road interior Mexican restaurant at 2038 S. Lamar Blvd. 442-4441
• Reopen: Baby Greens. After closing three stores late last year, Baby Greens owner Sharon Mays has reopened her salad and wrap company by offering delivery service, and she says several sit-down and drive-through outlets are in the works. Mays says that delivery is free downtown all summer, and there is a minimum order of $25 required for delivery outside that area. 554-6353, www.ilovesalads.com .
• Opening soon: EastSide Pies, Too, the second location of the East Austin pizzeria, at 53rd Street and Airport Boulevard. www.eastsidepies.com .
• Open: The Meat House, a butcher shop at Walsh Tarlton Lane and Bee Cave Road in West Lake Hills.
- M.S., A.B.
Food and wine briefs
• Update: This event has been postponed. Chef Kent Rathbun will host a dinner using his new line of cooking products at 7 p.m. Thursday at Jasper's at the Domain. 11506 Century Oaks Terrace, Suite 128. $65. Reservations required at 832-8012. www.jaspers-restaurant.com .
• Saturday through Monday , the Austin Wine and Music Festival will take place at Burnet Road and Esperanza Crossing at the Domain shopping center in North Austin. The event will feature more than 20 Texas wineries and breweries, 15 bands and musicians, food and Texas artisans. Single-day adult tickets are $29.99 online or $35 at the gate and include a wine glass and 10 tabs for wine samples. Admission for non-drinking adults and children 16 and older is $10/$12. Free for children 15 and younger. Three-day passes available. 1 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. Saturday. 2 p.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday. 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. Monday. www.austinwineandmusicfestival.com .
• The new South Austin bar Gibson will host an all-you-can-eat crawfish boil starting at 4 p.m. on Sunday . 1109 S. Lamar Blvd. $15. 386-1345.
• Charcuterie maker Ben Runkle of Salt and Time will be serving a four-course local dinner at the historic Victory Grill in East Austin at 7 p.m. Friday . Runkle says he'll be serving everything from homemade pancetta-wrapped mortadella sausages to fresh chicharrones at the restaurant-turned-event space at 1104 E. 11th St. Tickets cost $30, $100 for a table for four or $175 for a table of eight. Wines will be provided from East End Wines, a new wine shop at 1209 Rosewood Ave. For tickets and information, go to www.historicvictorygrill.org .
• The Italian restaurant Sagra will host a fashion brunch at 11 a.m. Saturday featuring products from BuyDefinition. 1610 San Antonio St. $20. 535-5988, www.sagrarestaurant.net .
• May is National Celiac Awareness Month, and two local companies are hosting a Keep Austin Gluten Free Fair from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday . Learn about celiac disease and gluten intolerance at Food for Life, a gluten-free restaurant at 2051 Cypress Creek Road, while trying products such as those made by World Wise Grains, which makes gluten-free grain mixes. For more information, go to www.keepaustinglutenfree.com or call 512-331-0096.
• Crawfish season isn't over yet, and on Friday and Saturday, mudbugs will outnumber citizens in Fredericksburg at the annual crawfish festival that takes place at Marketplatz, 100 W. Main St. Enjoy music and Cajun and Creole fare from 6 p.m. to midnight on Friday and 11 a.m. to midnight on Saturday , and on Saturday, throw rings in a washer tournament or help pick the winner of a gumbo cook-off. Tickets cost $6 person or $10 for a two-day pass. Admission for children 12 and younger is $1. Go to www.Tex-Fest.com or call 830-997-8515 for tickets and information.
• Stories Fine Dining Establishment at Hyatt Regency Lost Pines will host a four-course Italian-themed dinner with wines by Jermann at 6:30 p.m. Monday . 575 Hyatt Lost Pines Road. $75. 308-4882, www.lostpines.hyatt.com ,
- M.S., A.B.