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In the news: Art Blondin dies, Abbott chimes in on bag ban and more

Addie Broyles
abroyles@statesman.com

Art Blondin, who ran Artz Rib House for more than twenty years and was known as much for his support for local music as his barbecue, was found dead on Saturday at his new restaurant in Florence.

The owners of Kreuz Market in Lockhart are taking legal action against a former employee whom they say stole trade secrets this summer before abruptly resigning.

Over the weekend, State Fair of Texas officials named the winners of its annual food contest: fried shrimp boil and a funnel cake beer. The fair runs Sept. 26 to Oct. 19 in Dallas.

Airport officials in Houston discovered cocaine inside some of about 200 tamales that a man from El Salvador had packed in his suitcase.

Matthew Odam’s most recent review took him to Little Barrel and Brown, where the food was fine but the noise was too much to handle. The week before, Odam uncovered seven of his favorite salads, including the Caesar salad with grilled trout at Jack Allen’s and the spicy grilled beef salad from Thai Fresh.

Patrick Beach had a fun story over the weekend about Ed Frazier, a longtime bartender at Eddie V’s at the Arboretum, who has traveled all over the world on his bartending money, including two trips to India for hip replacements.

As a Meals on Wheel volunteer, I really enjoyed this touching story from op-ed contributor Mary Lou Gibson about a relationship she developed with one of her elderly clients. Even though he passed away in 1997, she remembers Robert Anderson’s birthday every August.

Austin musician Michael Fracasso is hosting an intimate dinner and performance this weekend at The Plant in Kyle, and Dripping Springs’ Dripping With Taste event returns on Sept. 13.

If you want in on the second (and final) round of peaches from the Northwest Austin Kiwanis club, place your order by this weekend.

Before her internship ended last month, Christine Ayala wrote about three local church community gardens, whose produce is tended by members of each church’s congregation.

The fight over Austin’s bag ban isn’t over yet. Attorney General (and gubernatorial candidate) Greg Abbott filed a long-awaited opinion of the legality of the nine bag bans in effect across the state. His verdict? They might be a violation of state law.

Michael Barnes profiled chef Shawn Cirkiel, whose roots in Austin go way back and whose love of telling stories about the historical Austin is rivaled perhaps only by Barnes. In that profile, we also learn the Cirkiel is planning a Spanish tapas restaurant called Bullfight.

Olamaie, Dai Due and Jacoby’s have all opened their doors to the public. Little Thailand has closed.

If you’re driving through Albuquerque and see an owl-shaped cafe, you best pull in and have a green chile hamburger, says travel and fitness writer Pam LeBlanc.

Arianna Auber has the scoop on a new gin from the folks who make Dripping Springs Vodka and a soon-to-open second location of North by Northwest, as well as a roundup of September’s drinking events. She also had a story in today’s Statesman about the many pet (har har) projects of the dog-loving folks at Tito’s Vodka.