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Food Matters: Bona Dea bread, Austin Restaurant Week, the fridge of Frank co-owner Geoff Peveto, Old Alligator Grill closes, a new Newflower and more

Addie Broyles
abroyles@statesman.com
Bona Dea breads bakes and delivers an assortment of breads, including challah roles, artisanal whole grain varieties, scones and sourdough.

Finding bread's spirit, one loaf at a time

Lauren Hubele moved to Austin in 2008 with the goal of enrolling in a doctoral program, but before she'd completed a single class, she started another venture: a bread delivery company called Bona Dea. Hubele, who spent the last 15 years teaching high school in Germany, has always been a baker. "My mom was a horrible cook," she says. "So I was cooking for my whole family by the time I was 8." She quickly found a spiritual connection to baking bread but didn't take the plunge to make it a full-time job until after a career in education.

As a cancer survivor, she's always trying to find ways to work in as many whole grains and antioxidant-rich ingredients into her fragrant and tender breads, including Lauren's loaf ($5.50), a sourdough whole wheat baton made with flaxseed and oats, and scones ($7 for 4). Challah ($5.50 for a loaf or $6 for six rolls) is made with local organic eggs. Through the Web site, www.bonadeabread.com, you can order by the loaf or sign up for a monthly subscription for challah, scones or sourdough. Place orders by Wednesday for Friday delivery. The delivery area includes much of Central and South Austin, but Hubele says she'll be expanding as orders come in.

What's in your fridge? Geoff Peveto, co-owner of Frank

Too bad butter isn't a popular condiment for hot dogs.

Geoff Peveto, co-owner of Frank, the hot dog eatery in the Warehouse District, is a butter freak (just look in the top right corner of that fridge), but he's just as obsessed with the encyclopedia of condiments he and wife Yancy keep in their fridge.

Peveto, who is also one of the sharp-eyed design geeks behind Decoder Ring Design Concern, opened Frank last summer with Daniel Northcutt, and the restaurant has already won over people who doubted that hâute dogs, paired with creative cocktails served in Mason jars, could fly in a town like Austin.

(For Mike Sutter's reviews of Frank and three other Austin hot-dog shops, see the Austin360 magazine Thursday.)

What three things are always in your fridge? The Holy Trinity - butter, bacon, beer. Everything goes better with them.

What is your favorite condiment? I guess mayonesa or any kind of aïoli, but our fridge is pretty much half full of condiments and jams, so picking one is tough. We may have a condiment problem.

What's the first thing you pull out of your fridge in the morning? I rarely eat breakfast, so I bet the only consistent thing for me is ice for water. My wife, Yancy, grabs a Naked Juice.

Austin Restaurant Week starts this month

Restaurants are gearing up for the spring edition of Austin Restaurant Week, an eight-day dining expedition that starts Feb. 28. More than 50 participating restaurants will feature old favorites and new dishes on fixed-price menus ranging from $10-$15 for lunch and $25-$35 for dinner. Diners can choose from a variety of styles, from seafood at Eddie V's to barbecue at the County Line to artisan tacos at Garrido's. This year, the event has grown to include more lunch options and casual restaurants such as Bagpipes Irish Pub, Cuatro's and Cannoli Joe's, along with high-end spots like Parkside, the Driskill Grill and the Carillon. Austin Restaurant Week, sponsored by Rare magazine, actually spans eight days in two Sunday-Wednesday bursts, from Feb. 28 to March 3 and March 7-10. Menus and a full list of participating restaurants, searchable by type of cuisine, are available at www.restaurantweekaustin.com.

Openings, closings and coming soon

• Open: Town Market, an upscale convenience store featuring gourmet sandwiches, snacks, beer, wine and coffee that also offers limited delivery at 43 Rainey St. 499-8696, www.townmarketaustin.com.

• Open: Rio's Brazilian Cafe, a restaurant at 408 N. Pleasant Valley Road with a drive-through for coffee and to-go orders. Owners Ben Googins and Elias Martins have been selling their cheese breads, pastries and sauces at area farmers markets since 2006. 828-6617. www.howdoyourio.com.

• Open: Gloria's Restaurant and Bar, the first Austin location of the Texas-based Salvadoran restaurant chain at 3309 Esperanza Crossing in the Domain. 833-6400, www.gloriasrestaurants.com.

• Coming soon: Newflower Farmers Market, the second Austin-area location of the Colorado-based natural foods grocery store chain at 12700 Shops Parkway at the Shops at the Galleria, will hold a grand opening event at 7 a.m. Feb. 10. www.sfmarkets.com/grand-openings .

• Closed: The Old Alligator Grill at 3003 S. Lamar Blvd.

• Closed: Taste No Evil Muffins trailer at 2531 S. Lamar Blvd.

Bon Appétit, Austin sustainable food spots

In the February edition of Bon Appétit, Austin is a star. The capital city is featured in a two-page spread in the magazine's travel column, Navigator. The article includes recommendations on where to stay, and perhaps most important, what to eat while you're here. A wide variety of restaurants are represented, from trailer-park star Mighty Cone to the urban-organic garden at Eastside Cafe. Whole Foods Market is listed as a sort of supermarket pilgrimage for tourists. House Pizzeria and Thai Fresh also are recommended. The common thread tying the restaurants together is a focus on Texas-made ingredients. The column says locals and first-time visitors alike are flocking to sustainable, eco-conscious Austin restaurants. Big steaks and barbecue are not a thing of the past but don't be surprised if your slab is organic, all-natural Texas meat.

Food and wine briefs

• If you're itching to get out of town this weekend, the Way Out Wineries, a group of wineries northwest of Austin, is hosting a Mardi Gras Road Trip Friday through Sunday. Eat Cajun food, pick up a few beads and sample wines at Barking Rocks, Bluff Dale Vineyards, Brennan Vineyards, Rising Star Vineyards, Alamosa Wine Cellars, Pillar Bluff Vineyards, Texas Legato and Red Caboose wineries. $20. Details at www.wayoutwineries.org.

• At noon on Saturday , Sagra Italian restaurant will host a fashion brunch with Megan Sommerville of Sew Sister Lingerie. $20 (swag bag included), plus $1 bellinis and mimosas. 1610 San Antonio St. 535-5988, www.sagrarestaurant.net.

• At 6 p.m. Tuesday, the Texas Culinary Academy will offer a pre-Valentine's cooking (and eating) class with TCA chef Kevin Quinn and wine instructor Jane Nickles. 11140 Burnet Road. $65/$75. 327-7555, www.winefoodfoundation.org.