CHARITY AND DRINKS: Done right, cocktails are still the rage in Austin. Curly-topped, beaming and looking like a more handsome version of Derek Waters from "Drunk History," esteemed mixologist David Alan stalked the floor of the AT&T Center. The Tipsy Texan oversaw four high cocktail bars at the Pay It Forward benefit for Lone Star Paralysis. "Pisco is the national drink of Peru," Alan explains. "Also the national drink of Chile. They both observe national pisco days." He traced the brandy-like drink’s origin to the Spanish missionaries who planted grapes for sacramental wine. (Read more of Alan’s learned findings via his regular Texas Monthly column.) This night, his bartenders made pisco punches from a Peruvian source mixed with ripe pineapples and cantelope. At other bars, they served cocktails made from mezcal, gin or whiskey. One Alan sample was enough for the lovely evening, which included hearing travel plans to the Pacific Northwest shared by smart Austin couple Christine and Terrence Moline. They hope to cover everything from the Big Sur to Vancouver, B.C. in a couple of weeks. Careful on that Pacific Coast Highway! The benefit reached its beneficent conclusion with a program led by the sweet, wonderful Daniel Curtis, the former Carillon employee whose critical needs after a dreadful accident prompted the first in this series of chef samplings — the tastiest such array in town. Curtis announced the drive to build a $3.2 million one-stop facility for those who grapple with paralysis. He should consult Marcia Levy and Susan Lubin, who just completed a similar project in tandem with Seton that’s a one-stop center for breast cancer patients.
DRINKS 2: Cocktails slowly finding a place on the draft. From Ari Auber’s story in the Statesman: "The liquid streaming out of one of the four black and white taps next to the taller, more distinctive ones advertising Thirsty Planet and Austin Beerworks brews doesn’t have the telltale white foam topping off the straw-colored stream of a light summer ale. More like a fizzy soda than a beer, the boozy river shoots into a highball glass full of of ice. At Wonderland in East Austin, early customers were at first taken aback by the sight of the bartenders pouring their cocktails from these taps, just like beer, but now many come in just to sample each of the four draft drinks and share their thoughts on the flavors with each other, head barman Jason Stevens says. It’s a welcome reaction so far to a relatively new phenomenon showing up in Austin bars. The laid-back eastside bar from La Corsha Hospitality Group (which also owns Congress, Second Bar + Kitchen and Bar Congress) has the largest selection of draft cocktails in town. That might tell you something about the fledgling nature of the trend that Stevens says is here to stay. Although still only a handful of local places have them, they’ve "taken flight pretty strongly," he says, noting that Bar Congress has had a top-selling cocktail, the Green River, on tap for about two years, and soon-to-come eateries will have them from the start." http://shar.es/LTFMN
FOOD: P. Terry’s coming to downtown. From Matthew Odam’s columin in the Statesman: "One of Austin’s best-known local chains is coming to Austin’s best-known corner. P. Terry’s plans to open its 10th location at Sixth Street and Congress Avenue by the end of 2014."We’ve been doing this for 9 1/2 years, and this is the most exciting location we’ve ever had since we opened," owner Patrick Terry said. Terry said he’s been looking for a downtown location for four years and finally found the right spot to meet the space+rent+location equation. That exact location is 515 Congress Ave. in the old Extreme Pita spot. The restaurant will offer limited seating, takeout and delivery for large groups. Terry said they will serve breakfast weekdays beginning at 7 a.m. and will be open "very late" on Thursday-Saturday nights. Exact hours will be decided as the opening date approaches. "The exciting part for us is that you’re catering to so many different crowds," Terry said of the lunch crowds, tourists and late-night eaters. "It’s the sweet spot." P. Terry’s downtown will offer the same menu items at the same prices as the other nine locations." http://shar.es/LTRi9