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Food Matters: East Side King food trailer, Bad to the Bone, Rio Grande and Yu Sushi close, Ski Shores plans to reopen, Dream Pie Social and more

Addie Broyles
abroyles@statesman.com
Chefs will find ways to use achiote seeds, left, goat's milk and tangerines Friday.

Who's bad to the bone? You can be the judge

Chefs are always trying to outdo one another. In preparation for the Bad to the Bone chef contest on Friday at Stubb's, chefs David Bull, Paul Petersen and Shawn Cirkiel each picked an ingredient that they'll all have to incorporate into a dish that both judges and the audience will be voting on.

Bull, a Manor resident and executive chef of the Stoneleigh Hotel in Dallas, picked goat's milk, and Parkside chef Cirkiel chose tangerines. Petersen, whose run on TLC reality show "BBQ Pitmasters" ends in a few weeks, wanted to see what his fellow chefs would do with achiote seeds. Starting at 6 p.m. on the outdoor stage, the chefs will demonstrate their dishes onstage, and members of the audience can taste each and then vote via text message for their favorite. After the winner is announced, Latin band Charanga Cakewalk will perform.

Tickets cost $35, and proceeds benefit the Sustainable Food Center. To buy tickets or find out more, go to http://bit.ly/badbone.

Trailer Treasure: East Side King

The backyard of the Liberty Bar at 1618 1/2 E. Sixth St. is not the prettiest place, especially when it's cold and wet. But the Liberty's popular with the lean and adventurous set and bound to become more so, as word circulates that a heavyweight food trailer is open on its humble back lot six nights a week. It's called East Side King, the manic brainchild of three chefs whose other night jobs are cooking at the South Austin Asian-fusion phenom Uchi. Take note: This is not a mobile extension of Tyson Cole's Uchi brand. It's a separate enterprise from sous-chef Paul Qui and sushi chefs Moto Utsonomaya and Ek Timrek. The menu defies easy description. What do you call a place with pork belly and cucumber kimchee on steamed buns with the portability of tortillas and the fluff of a debutante's pillow? Or deep-fried beets with kewpie mayo? Or a spicy salad with cabbage, herbs and nuggets of fried Brussels sprouts? Call that place Asian-eclectic, delicious and about $4 to $8 per dish, because it's all those things, plus Thai fried chicken and a bowl of ginger-garlic-jasmine rice. East Side King opened in November and operates from a trailer painted by Bradley Oliver Wilkinson in the same colorful graphic style as the Liberty Bar. The hours are 7 p.m. to 12:30 a.m. Mondays through Wednesdays and 7 p.m. to 2 a.m. Thursday through Saturdays.

Three days of pie raise money for restoration

Pie socials once were a way for members of a community to get together and often to raise money for a neighborhood project. In honor of Martin Luther King Jr. Day on Monday, several organizations have teamed up to host a Dream Pie Social, a series of events over three days this weekend. From 2 to 4 p.m. on Saturday at Sweet Home Baptist Church, 1725 W. 11th St., enjoy a performance by the Sweet Home choir, a recitation of King's "I Have a Dream" speech by Austin schoolchildren and, of course, pie. Guests are invited to bring two pies before the event starts: one to share and one to donate to the silent auction or to enter in a pie contest. The auction will raise money for the church restoration project.

After the MLK Day Community March on Monday, stop by the Pie 4 All tent at the Cultural Festival at Huston-Tillotson University until 3 p.m. to buy a slice of pie donated by local restaurants, bakeries and culinary students. Money raised from pie sales will go to the restoration of the 134-year-old Limerick-Frazier House in East Austin. If you want to donate a pie or find more info on these events, go to www.serveadream.org.

Group celebrates local food with new events

The Austin Slow Food chapter got new wind in its sails in 2009, and the group is kicking off 2010 with two new regular events. The group, whose goal is to support and encourage the sustainable, local food movement, is hosting monthly farm tours and happy hours. The happy hours will take place on the third Thursday of the month at an Austin restaurant that specializes in using local food. The first is from 5 to 7 p.m. Jan. 21 at Cipollina, 1213 West Lynn St. The first farm tour is from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday at Yonder Way Farm in Brenham, where farmer Jason Kramer will talk about efforts to raise pastured pork, beef, poultry and eggs and will include a taste of the farm's fare. Tickets cost $25 per person or $40 per family. A carpool will leave Austin at 9 a.m. E-mail education@slowfoodaustin.org.

Openings, closings and coming soon

  • Open: Sprouts Farmers Market, a grocery store specializing in natural foods at 10225 Research Blvd. 225-9101, www.sprouts.com.
  • Open: Orange Cup, a frozen yogurt store at 3400 Esperanza Crossing, Suite 100, at the Domain. 973-3819, www.myorangecup.com.
  • Open, closed and relocating: Lucky J's Chicken and Waffles, a food trailer serving fried chicken and fresh waffles, has begun serving at Sixth and Waller streets. It's open from 10 p.m. to 4 a.m. Thursdays through Saturdays. The trailer's original location on Burnet Road has closed in preparation for a scheduled move in February to Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard and Rio Grande St.
  • On the way: Another location of Wahoo's Fish Taco is going in at the former Texas French Bread site at 1722 S. Congress Ave. www.wahoos.com.
  • Coming soon: Torchy's Tacos, the fifth location of the restaurant. 4211 Spicewood Springs Road. www.torchystacos.com.
  • Closed: Rio Grande Mexican Restaurant at 301 San Jacinto Blvd.
  • Closed: Yu Sushi Izagaya, a sushi bar and robata grill at 206 Colorado St.

Another eatery planned for Ski Shores site

When news broke in late December that Ski Shores Waterfront Cafe on Lake Austin was closing, groans of disappointment could be heard on Internet food forums: "Major bummer. Another unique Austin place bites the dust," one Yelp commenter said.

The good news for fans of dockside dining is that another restaurant will open at the Ski Shores site at 2905 Pearce Road, reports Austinite Brad Fowler, whose family owns the property.

The restaurant building is closed for repairs and maintenance until a new tenant takes over, likely in the early spring, said Fowler, whose father, Marion Fowler, first built a restaurant at Ski Shores in 1954.

We reported the closing of Ski Shores Waterfront Cafe in Food Matters after an e-mail from George and Dianne Levy, who leased the Ski Shores building from the Fowlers. "After a 13-year presence on Lake Austin, the Levy family has decided to close its doors," the e-mail said. "It was a wonderful run."

Food briefs

  • While scientists continue to debate how high-fructose corn syrup affects your heath, Pepsi has revived its Pepsi and Mountain Dew products made with sugar. The so-called Throwback line was first released last year for a limited time, and now the products, which contain the same number of calories as regular Pepsi and Mountain Dew, are back until Feb. 22.
  • The move of the Austin Farmers' Market into Republic Square Park has been delayed until Saturday. The "Market in the Park" celebration is now slated for Jan. 23.

Favorite food apps? Tell us

Just a few weeks into life with an iPhone, I've already found it to be an indispensable tool in the kitchen. Over the next month, I'll be diving into this world of food apps for an upcoming story, and I'd love to hear your favorite ways to use mobile technology to be a better cook and a better eater. Comment online at bit.ly/addiesapps.