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Food Matters: Say It With Cookie Cake; Houndstooth Coffee opens; Central Market's Passport to Argentina; a new Tacodeli and more

Staff Writer
Austin 360

Let icing say what you're really thinking

Snarky doesn't even begin to describe the cookie cakes that Say It With Cookie Cake owners Adam Avramescu and Kristin Kahlich create.

"We've all had the temptation to write something obscene, negative, mean-spirited or passive-aggressive on a cake," but we're too afraid to ask the nice cake decorator at the grocery store, Avramescu says. "We wanted to lift that taboo." Avramescu and Kahlich, who met at a software company after graduating from UT, have posted dozens of suggestions (Stop Spoiling `Lost,' U Have My Stapler, It's Not You: It's Me) on their website (sayitwithcookiecake.com ). They also consulted customers who need help coming up with the perfect message, whether it's in response to a break-up, a failed test or a reference to South Park. "We get a lot of inside jokes, too," says Kahlich, who is the primary baker of the 8-inch-by-12-inch chocolate cookie cakes.

Delivery, for now, is included in the cost of a cake ($25). If you want Avramescu to sing a song or Kahlich to flash jazz hands upon delivery, it'll cost you extra.

­- Addie Broyles

Tastings and tangos celebrate Argentina

From today through May 25, Central Market is hosting Passport Argentina, a two-week celebration of the country's food, wine, music and dance, at both locations: North, at 4001 N. Lamar Blvd., and Westgate, at 4477 S. Lamar Blvd.

Events from the Westgate celebration include:

• Opening ceremonies (6 to 9 p.m. Friday): Fire pit lighting and Argentine street food, wine, live music and dancing.

• Argentine Film, Food and Wine (6:30 to 9:30 p.m. Monday): Food, wine and a free screening of the film "Maradona: La Mano de Dios."

• Afternoon of Dance ( noon to 6 p.m. May 22): Live music, food, wine and tango dance instruction.

• Closing ceremonies ( noon to 6:30 p.m. May 23): Street food, wine, live music and tango dance instruction.

For a full schedule of events and cooking classes, visit www.centralmarket.com .

- Emily Macrander

Now open: Houndstooth Coffee

Even if you like your coffee straight-up black, Sean Henry has a few choices to run past you at Houndstooth Coffee (4200 N. Lamar Blvd., www.houndstoothcoffee.com ), which opened last week . With beans from one of three roasters (Cuvee, Intelligentsia or Counter Culture), Henry - who's worked at Thunderbird and Caffe Medici - can do a simple cone-filter pour-over, a classic French press or the double-pot science experiment known as a coffee siphon. Water in a glass pot is brought to a boil by a miniature gas burner, then travels to a second glass pot on top, where ground coffee is added. As the water cools, a natural siphoning action pulls the water through a filter back to the bottom pot for a smooth, less-acidic brew. Houndstooth also pours wine and offers four beers from the tap, plus pastries from Bakerman's. Sunday hours are still being worked out, but the plan is to open from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily.

- Mike Sutter

Food Briefs

• Larry Kocurek of Kocurek Family Charcuterie is teaching two classes in coming weeks. From 1 to 4 p.m. Sunday, learn how to break down a deer into various cuts of meat and what to do with the finished product, including how to make venison sausage ($85). On May 23, Kocurek will teach a class on how to make charcuterie products from Texas Gulf seafood ($75). Call 291-4461 or e-mail kocurekfamilycharcuterie@yahoo.com to register.

• From 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday , the Domain shopping center will host Taste North Austin, showcasing food from Daily Grill, Fleming's Jasper's, Maggiano's Little Italy and other restaurants, plus music from the Biscuit Brothers and Joe McDermott. From 5 to 7 p.m., a Domain afterparty will feature music by T-Bird and the Breaks. $20 for 10 tastings. Tickets at Simon Guest Services at the Domain.

• The third edition of the `Fearless Critic Austin Restaurant Guide' (Fearless Critic Media, $15.95) is out, with reviews of 500 restaurants and food trailers. The guide's top five restaurants, ranked by food, are Uchi, City Market, Smitty's Market, Fino and Jeffrey's. Top margaritas? Fonda San Miguel, Matt's El Rancho, Güero's, La Condesa and El Chile. Updates are available during the year at www.fearlesscritic.com/austin .

• The Hill Country Wine & Music Festival will take place from 10 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Saturday at the Gillespie County Fairgrounds at 2000 S. Texas 16 in Fredericksburg. The fest will feature Texas wine tastings, live music and cooking demonstrations from August E's, Navajo Grill and other Hill Country restaurants. $25 in advance at www.hillcountrywineandmusic.com , $30 at the gate. Includes wine glass, cooking demos and three wine-tasting tickets.

- A.B., M.S.

Opening, closing and coming soon

• Open: A third location of My Fit Foods, specializing in chef-prepared, prepackaged carryout foods focusing on health and nutrition, at 4200 N. Lamar Blvd., Suite 110. 323-2738, www.myfitfoods.com .

• Open: The Jalopy Rotisserie and Press, a trailer serving (mostly rotisserie chicken-based) sandwiches, handmade potato chips and drinks, at 18th and Guadalupe streets. 814-8557, www.jalopyaustin.com .

• Scheduled to open this week: A third location of the locally owned Tacodeli at 4200 N. Lamar Blvd., Suite 100. 419-1900, www.tacodeli.com .

• Opening May 20: Foreign & Domestic Food & Drink, a chef-driven restaurant with an eclectic menu of dishes such as bone marrow croquettes, venison spare ribs and griddled chicken with corn pudding from Ned and Jodi Elliott, at 306 E. 53rd St. 459-1010, www.foodanddrinkaustin.com .

• Closed: Drungo Ice House at 2828 Rio Grande St.

- M.S., Matthew Odam