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Food Matters: Competitive eater Joey Chestnut, Farmers' market reopens, Potato Salad from Stubb's Bar-B-Q

Staff Writer
Austin 360
Competitive eater Joey Chestnut has won the annual hot dog eating contest hosted at Coney Island by Nathan's Famous four times. He will compete in the Austin Ice Cream Festival.

Chestnut is the eater to beat on Saturday

Competitive eater Joey Chestnut might hold the world record for the most hot dogs eaten in 12 minutes (68 dogs and buns, set in 2009), but Saturday, he will have his sights set on ice cream at the fourth annual Austin Ice Cream Festival at Waterloo Park.

The four-time Nathan's Famous Hot Dog Eating Contest champion, who also holds world records in eating pork ribs, chicken wings, steak and asparagus, will compete against ice-cream loving Austinites in an ice cream eating contest at 3 p.m.

But be forewarned: Chestnut has been practicing. "I've done over a gallon" in 61/2 minutes, he says. "If I can do a gallon and a half, I'll be happy."

Sponsor Pepto-Bismol will select five random challengers from people who've entered their names to compete against Chestnut. Other festival contests include a Popsicle stick sculpture contest, a screaming contest and a homemade ice cream contest. (Contestants making their own ice cream have to bring their own machines and ingredients to make the ice cream on-site.)

Entry to the festival, which is open from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., costs $5 and is free for children 8 years old and younger. Vendors including Amy's Ice Creams and Austin Scoops will be selling ice cream and other foods.

Chestnut, who has a day job in construction management in San Jose, Calif., knows that brain freeze this weekend is almost inevitable, but as long as the ice cream is good, he doesn't mind. "If it's good food, I'm going to put it down," he says, "no matter if it's tamales or matzo balls."

Even though it's only a weekend hobby, Chestnut is serious in how he prepares his body for the onslaught of calories. "I fast for several days and then recover by eating really healthy," he says. "And I hate it, but I do run."

How does Chestnut plan to recover after Saturday's contest? A trip to the Salt Lick for his favorite barbecue. For more information, go to www.icecreamfestival.org .

- Addie Broyles

Farmers' market reopens on Burnet Road

The Travis County Farmers' Market, which was one of the first farmers markets in Austin, closed in 2007, but Lexington farmer Eric Snethkamp reopened it last weekend as a Wednesday-through-Sunday farmstand market at 6701 Burnet Road.

"We signed the lease to be the only produce vendors," he says, "but whatever we don't grow, we'll co-op with other local farmers in the area." Snethkamp says he's built a dedicated customer base, especially with his tomatoes and watermelons, by selling at smaller locations around town.

The market, outdoors but under shade, will be open from noon to dark Wednesday through Sunday, starting with a grand opening this Saturday.

- A.B.

Restaurant recipes: Potato Salad from Stubb's Bar-B-Q

At first, we were angling for a chili recipe from these guys, but the season being what it is, they offered potato salad instead. How could we refuse? Try it for yourself at 801 Red River St. 480-8341, www.stubbsaustin.com .

- Mike Sutter

Stubb's Potato Salad

3 lbs. small red potatoes

Kosher salt

1 cup mayonnaise

1/4 cup brown mustard

1/2 cup onion, grated using a cheese grater

1 tsp. garlic

1 tsp. seasoned rice wine vinegar

Salt and pepper to taste

Put the potatoes in a large saucepan and cover with cold water. Add 2 tablespoons of salt to the water. Bring the water to a boil and allow potatoes to cook until they are tender. Be careful to not overcook. Drain the potatoes and set aside.

Mix the mayonnaise, mustard, onion, garlic and vinegar to thoroughly combine. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Once cooled, mix the potatoes and dressing together. Refrigerate until chilled completely. Serve with Stubb's brisket and barbecue sauce.

Openings, closings and coming soon

• Open: Zandunga Mexican Bistro, a sister restaurant to the Manor Road restaurant Mi Madre, at 1000 E. 11th St. 473-4199.

• Open: Don Juan's, a Mexican restaurant at the former site of La Feria at 3595 RM 620 S., Bee Cave. 263-8888, www.don-juans.com .

• Coming soon: Arpeggio Grill, a second location of the Middle Eastern Cafe, in the former TerraBurger location at 2522 Guadalupe St.

• Closed: The Trailer, the Airstream-based food operation next to the Gibson bar on South Lamar Boulevard.

- M.S., A.B.

Food and wine briefs

• The Mexican restaurant Maria Maria will host a four-course dinner paired with drinks using Dulce Vida tequila at 7 p.m. Sunday . $30. 415 Colorado St. 687-6800, www.mariamariarestaurants.com .

• The Italian restaurant Sagra will host a free two-course meal featuring the boneless pork roast called porchetta Aug. 18 from 5 to 10 p.m. or until the food runs out. Free, with drinks available for purchase. 1610 San Antonio St. 535-5988, www.sagraaustin.com .

• The Alamo Drafthouse at the Ritz will throw a four-course garlic feast to accompany the Les Blank film `Garlic Is as Good as 10 Mothers' at 7 p.m. Aug. 18. $60. 320 E. Sixth St. Tickets at www.originalalamo.com .

- M.S.