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Food Matters: West Lake gets a neighborhood butcher shop, Happy Kitchen classes, more sushi downtown, Cafe Mundi rises again, changes for Manny Hattan's

Staff Writer
Austin 360
Trey Felton, left, and George LaCava have opened a butcher shop in West Lake Hills.

In West Lake Hills, prime spot for meat

Starting from a hollowed-out bank building, the Meat House rose up in just a few short weeks for its opening last week at Walsh Tarlton Lane and Bee Cave Road, giving West Lake Hills an unlikely new feature: an old-fashioned neighborhood butcher shop.

A 36-feet-long meat case showcases Texas beef, including short ribs for $5.99 a pound, bone-in cowboy steak ($13.99), even a prime rib that's been dry-aged for 45 days ($29.99). House-stuffed specialties include chicken Cordon Bleu and something called a Wiseguy Roll: beef rolled with mozzarella, salami, capicola, pepperoni and provolone.

Other meats include chicken, turkey, lamb, veal, buffalo and a number of exotics, many of them infused with one of eight in-house marinades, among them burgundy wine, sweet barbecue and ginger teriyaki.

The Meat House also carries artisan sauces, premium cheese, Boar's Head cold cuts, beer, wine and a handful of fresh produce. Other foods include enchiladas and King Ranch casserole from Emily's Catering of Austin, plus breads from Serious Sourdough in Lampasas and New World Bakery in Kyle and pastry from Russell's Bakery in Austin.

The shop is the 21st in a group of stores based in New Hampshire, but owners George LaCava and Trey Felton have strong local ties. Friends since their service in the Air Force, they also own Rodenbeck Farm & Ranch Supply in Thorndale.

The Meat House is at 3267 Bee Cave Road. 294-2530, www.themeathouse.com. Open 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily.

- Mike Sutter

Happy Kitchen readying to spread more joy

For more than 15 years, instructors with the Sustainable Food Center have been teaching free nutrition and cooking classes to underserved areas in the community. The Happy Kitchen/La Cocina Alegre classes are usually offered in Spanish, but in the past few years, there has been a big enough demand from the community at large that the Sustainable Food Center is offering the classes for a fee, according to Susan Leibrock, community relations manager for the organization. "The fees help offset the cost of providing the classes to those who could not otherwise afford to attend," Leibrock says. The series of six, 90-minute classes costs $175 and includes cooking demonstrations, nutrition and wellness information, a copy of "The Happy Kitchen" cookbook and ingredients each week so students can try making the recipes at home. "You can go to cooking classes that are entertaining or pretty advanced, but we want to provide the in-between classes where people can find out how to cook on a budget, in season" or following certain nutritional guidelines, says Joy Casnovsky, director of the program.

The next round of classes, which are held in the early evening at various community sites around Austin, won't start until fall, but in order to get a head count and set up the classes, the Sustainable Food Center is encouraging people to sign up now. The organization is also looking for churches, schools, businesses or non-profits who would like to host classes. E-mail katy@sustainablefoodcenter.org for information on attending or hosting classes or to register.

­- Addie Broyles

Creamy Green Dressing

1 cup canola or olive oil (if using for a dip, reduce amount to 1/2 cup or less)

2 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar or fresh lemon juice

2 Tbsp. apple juice

2 Tbsp. fresh parsley, chopped

1 tsp. fresh basil, chopped

1/2 tsp. salt

1 garlic clove, pressed or minced

1 cup low-fat yogurt or buttermilk

6 spinach leaves (optional)

Put all ingredients in the blender except for the oil and blend for one minute. While the blender is running, slowly add the oil. Turn off the blender as soon as the dressing thickens and the oil is combines. Chill for 30 minutes and use as a salad dressing, dip for vegetables or as a marinade.

­- From 'The Happy Kitchen' cookbook

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Opening, closing and coming soon

• Open: How Do You Roll?, the second location of a local maki sushi-roll franchise, at 454 W. Second St. www.howdoyouroll.com.

• Open: Yumilicious, a frozen yogurt shop at 2700 W. Anderson Lane. 454-9864, www.yumi-licious.com.

• Open: The Tigress Pub, a bar at 100 North Loop Blvd, Suite G. 600-3232.

• Reopen: Cafe Mundi, the East Austin coffeeshop that closed its original location on East Fifth Street earlier this year, has reopened as a trailer next to Big Red Sun at 1102 E. Cesar Chavez St.

• Rebranded: Manny Hattan's, at 9503 Research Blvd., has been renovated and reopened as Manny's Uptown Kitchen with a new menu, including all-day breakfast, that still features some of the signature items, such as matzo ball soup and reuben sandwiches. 794-0088, www.mannysuptownkitchen.com.

• Closed: Terra Burger, the first location of the organic burger joint at 2522 Guadalupe St. The location at 10611 Research Blvd. remains open. 382-5864, www.terraburgeraustin.com.

• Opening Saturday: East Austin Trailer Park and Eatery, aka E.A.T., a collection of food trailers including Beso De Luna, Sesa Tea Cart, Treat, the Donut Queens and the Upscale Slider Guys at 2324 E. Cesar Chavez St. next to Starving Art, a new studio space and gallery for local artists. www.eastaustineat.com. - A.B., M.S.

Food briefs

• Jei Grimes, a student at the Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts in Austin (formerly Texas Culinary Academy), won the third annual $5,000 pastry scholarship from the Wine and Food Foundation of Texas. His recipes will be featured in the foundation's celebrity chef online cookbook, Plate and Vine (www.winefoodcooking.com).

• Jaynie Buckingham's buttermilk pie is just that good. The owner of Cutie Pie Wagon, the tiny pink trailer at 1600 S. Congress Ave., won a pie contest at the Driskill Hotel a few years ago with a simple but delicious Betty Lou's Buttermilk Pie that has now caught the eye of the national media. From this month's Southern Living: "Out of this small, quirky space, she serves one of world's best buttermilk pies. (Yes, best.)" On June 14, look for a story about Buckingham in Martha Stewart Living.

• The French restaurant Aquarelle, 606 Rio Grande St., will celebrate its 10th anniversary with live music and samples of food and drinks from 7 to 11 p.m. on Thursday . $10 (donated to the Sustainable Food Center). 479-8117, www.aquarellerestaurant.com.

• Saturday is the first dinner of Pitchfork Supper Club, a new supper club in Central Texas. The locally sourced, five-course dinner, prepared by chef Patrick Hieger, formerly of La Condesa and Fino, will be at the Cot-N-Coffee in Round Top, just east of Austin. Tickets cost $55, and guests are welcome to bring their own beer, wine or other alcoholic beverages. Go to www.pitchforksupperclub.blogspot.com for more information and to buy tickets.

• Theatrical ice cream scoopers from Amy's Ice Creams will compete and show off for the Trick Olympics at 7 p.m. Tuesday at the Hill Country Galleria, 13420 Galleria Circle in Bee Cave. Free.

- A.B., M.S.