Food Matters: Monument Cafe opens market, has plans for Mexican restaurant; Austin Wine and Music Festival starts Friday
Famed Georgetown cafe goes to market
For the past 16 years, the Monument Cafe has been known for its pies and chicken-fried steak, but the Georgetown restaurant is expanding beyond a cafe off the square. Last month, the restaurant group opened Monument Market, a store open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily that sells locally grown and organic produce, meats, milk, cheese, eggs and freshly milled cornmeal and flour. Rusty Winkstern, co-owner of the Monument Cafe Group, says the market is just the first step of an expansion project that will include an interior Mexican restaurant to open early next year. "We wanted to create a stronger relationship with our local growers," Winkstern says. "We already use mostly local meats and produce in the cafe, and a lot of our guests want to purchase those items."
The market is next to the cafe in the 500 block of South Austin Avenue, and the Mexican restaurant will be in a 7,000-square-foot space three blocks north of the cafe in a building overlooking the San Gabriel River. Winkstern says they are adding a beer garden to the market that should open in the next couple of weeks with a limited menu and local beers by the bottle and by draft. The market also sells locally roasted coffee beans and grab-and-go items from the cafe including pesto, tomato basil soup and vanilla and chocolate custard.
Another change has been hiring Mark Chapman, former pastry chef at the Driskill Hotel who was previously teaching at the Austin Le Cordon Bleu cooking school, to expand the restaurant's bread program. Chapman is developing buns and breads that eventually will be available for purchase at the Monument Market. 512-930-9586, www.themonumentcafe.com .
- Addie Broyles
Austinite puts memories in winning caramel pie
Austinite Leah Tackitt's Texas Caramel Apple Crunch pie won a national pie contest hosted by Wholly Wholesome. Tackitt has competed in several baking and recipe contests, but this one was a way for her to fill her time while she was off work healing from a hand injury. "I love caramel and have fond childhood memories of it, so I developed this recipe around that," she says. "As a child, my grandpa always had caramel candies with him. We could be at the movies or camping out in the woods, and he would always have some with him, even to this day."
Texas Caramel Apple Crunch
1 frozen pre-made pie shell
1 cup sugar
2 Tbsp. water
1/2 cup (1 stick), plus 2 Tbsp. butter
1/2 cup cream
5 tart apples, peeled, cored and cut into 1-inch dice
1 tsp. nutmeg
4 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup dark brown sugar
1/4 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 cup butter, chopped in 1-inch cubes
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Pre-bake the pie crust according to directions on the package, about 10 minutes. (You can also use a homemade or refrigerated pie crust, but pre-bake before filling.)
Place sugar in a heavy-bottomed sauce pot and fill with enough water to cover, about 2 Tbsp. Use your fingers to stir the sugar, ensuring there are no dry spots. Heat the sugar on medium heat, without stirring, until a candy thermometer reads 335 degrees. Once the temperature hits 300 degrees, the temperature will rise very quickly, so be ready to pull the pot off the heat as soon as it gets close to 330 degrees to starts to smoke. There’s no saving burnt caramel, so if you cook it too long, you’ll have to start over.)
Stir in 1 stick butter and cream carefully by hand with a wooden spoon until all lumps of butter have melted. (The temperature difference may cause popping and will cause some clumping of the sugar. If this happens, just stir over low heat to melt clumps.) Set aside.
Melt 2 Tbsp. butter in medium skillet over medium heat. Mix together nutmeg and cinnamon in a small bowl. Add apples and spice mixture to pan and cook for about 3 minutes. Stir apple mixture into caramel and pour into pie shell. You might have extra filling, depending on the size of your pie shell and apples.)
To make topping, mix flour, sugars, oats, cinnamon, salt and butter together, using fingers to work butter into dry ingredients until chunks are slightly larger than pea-sized. Pile crumble on top of the filling.
Put pie on sheet pan and bake in oven until the crumb topping looks toasted on top, approximately 20 minutes.
- Adapted from a recipe by Leah Tackitt
Texas Chefs square off at conference in Austin
Five Texas chefs (Kelly Casey of Hudson's on the Bend, Patrick James Edwards of Bin 555 in San Antonio, David Garrido of Garrido's, Josh Raymer of Navajo Grill in Fredericksburg and Peter Smith of JW Marriott Hill Country Resort and Spa) will be competing to see who can best pair Texas wines with Texas food in the first Edible Texas Wine Food Match at 7 p.m. June 3 at at the AT&T Executive Education & Conference Center, but the real stars of the event are the judging panel, which includes famed chef Jacques Pépin and San Francisco Chronicle restaurant critic Michael Bauer. The event, hosted by Edible Austin and TheTexasFoodandWineGourmet.com, is one of the highlights of the International Association of Culinary Professionals' annual conference, which will be held in Austin next week. You can buy tickets ($100) at edibleaustin.com/ediblewandf .
Openings, closings and coming soon
• Open: A fifth location of Tino's Greek Cafe, 9828 Great Hills Trail. 346-3636, www.tinosgreekcafe.com .
• Open: In the Buns Burger Joint, 13776 N. U.S. 183, Suite 142. 258-1011.
• Open: Main Street Market, a farmers' market in Lockhart, located just off the northwest corner of the downtown square, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturdays.
• Grand opening party: From 5 to 9 p.m. June 4, Mundi (701 Tillery St.) will feature live music, food and drinks to celebrate the trailer reimagining of Cafe Mundi. The trailer serves coffee drinks, aguas frescas, breakfast sandwiches and daily sandwich specials. Its regular hours are 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tuesdays-Saturdays.
• Closed: Fortune Chinese Seafood Restaurant at 10901 N. Lamar Blvd. The space can be rented for events at email@example.com.
- Mike Sutter
Food and wine briefs
• The free Wine Down Wednesdays series at the Front Porch of ACL Live at the Moody Theater (310 W. Willie Nelson Blvd.) features live music from Drew Smith and food samples from How Do You Roll from 5 to 7 p.m. today. On June 1, the series will host the Austin band Nelo with food by La Condesa. Schedule at www.acl-live.com .
• World Wise Grains and Food for Life, a gluten-free restaurant in Cedar Park, are hosting the second annual Keep Austin Gluten Free Fair from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday at Food For Life, 2051 Cypress Creek Road. The free event will feature information on gluten intolerance and celiac disease and food from local companies and people from the medical industry. www.keepaustinglutenfree.com .
• Urban an American Grill (11301 Domain Drive at the Westin Hotel) will host a Farm to Urban tasting event with local farmers, brewers and winemakers from noon to 3 p.m. Saturday.
• Andiamo Ristorante (2521 Rutland Drive) will host a four-course wine dinner at 7 p.m. Tuesday. $45. Reservations at 719-3377.
- A.B., M.S.
Lone star Wineries pour it on at Domain event
More than 25 Texas wineries will be pouring their wines at the Austin Wine and Music Festival this weekend at the Domain shopping center backyard at Burnet Road and Esperanaza Crossing. The event, in its fifth year, combines live music from local bands with the state's best vintners and even local microbrewers. Starting with a vintner dinner on Friday night, the event continues Saturday and Sunday . Admission for adults 21 and older costs $35 online and $40 at the door, which includes a tasting glass and wristband with tabs for 12 1-ounce tastings. Nondrinking tickets for ages 16 and older are $12 online, $15 at the door. Ages 15 and younger free. www.austinwineandmusicfestival.com .
Correction: An earlier version of this story had an incorrect spelling for Leah Tackitt's last name. Also, the recipe for the Texas Caramel Apple Crunch Pie was printed incorrectly. Measurements for most of the ingredients have been altered from the version originally published.