Food

Food
2:04 pm
Sat November 17, 2012

If The Pretzel Chicken Isn't Awesome, Why Review It?

Food Network star Guy Fieri just opened a new restaurant in Times Square. New York Times restaurant critic Pete Wells isn't a fan, so why did he eat there in the first place?
Jeff Christensen AP

Originally published on Sat November 17, 2012 12:38 pm

In a week in which the news has been filled with a fiscal cliff, rockets, sex and security, a restaurant review also raised a ruckus.

Pete Wells, the restaurant critic of The New York Times, reviewed the new restaurant Guy Fieri has opened in Times Square with a string of rhetorical questions that began by asking Mr. Fieri if he's ever eaten at his own place.

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Austin City Limits
4:30 pm
Thu October 11, 2012

Need ACL Info on Bands, Food and Aftershows? We've Got You Covered

Another ACL festival is dawning - and we've got you covered.
flickr.com/kevharb

The 2012 Austin City Limits Festival is less than 24 hours away.

Thousands of ACL attendees are probably compiling lists of bands to see, foods to eat, and places to go. But it's going to be a challenge: There's over 100 different acts performing at the festival, close to 40 different vendors serving all types of food and drink, and tons of events and parties going on all over downtown Austin.

While we can’t put your list together for you, maybe we can help you get started.

Here's some picks compiled by KUT's Austin Music Matters team: 

From Susan Castle, KUT Music Host:

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Arts and Culture
9:05 am
Fri September 28, 2012

It's Mediterranean Festival This Weekend

Mediterranean food and drink will be offered at this year's MedFest.
flickr.com/winemegup

Rain or shine, the annual St. Elias Mediterranean Festival is kicking off this weekend.

The festival, now in its 80th year, promises Mediterranean delights from Lebanon, Palestine, Greece, Eritrea and Romania. According to the festival, “Gyros, Kibbee, Baklava, Spanakopita and Mici are only the beginning as you feast outdoors on delicacies from the Orthodox world.”

Along with a feast of foods, the festival will offer shopping in a festival marketplace, dance demonstrations and children’s activities at the Kid’s Oasis. Music and live dancing will be provided by Laand Greek Ensemble.

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Austin
2:54 pm
Mon September 24, 2012

On Restaurant Week, Austin Shows Off Its Culinary Chops

The Backspace is offering a three-course dinner for $27 as a part of Austin Restaurant Week.
facebook.com/backspaceaustin

Dozens of Austin restaurants are highlighting their best this week, offering deals on three-course prix fixe dinners. It’s all part of Austin Restaurant Week, a biannual event that raises awareness of Austin’s culinary scene and money for charities.

Restaurant Week is a bit of a misnomer, however: it’s actually made up of two half-weeks. The good eats kicked off yesterday, Sept. 23, take a break on the 26th, resume Sept. 30, and come to an end on Oct. 3.

Taylor Perkins is with Austin Restaurant Week. He says the festival is a testament to Austin’s burgeoning culinary standing. “The event has grown hand-in-hand with the Austin culinary scene,” he says. This installment marks Austin Restaurant Week's fourth year.

Where foodie influences were previously imported into Austin, Perkins says local chefs have evolved to create their own styles. “The scene in Austin has really come into its own,” he says. The majority of participating restaurants are found only in Austin, and Restaurant Week increasingly focuses on restaurants that source locally and offer a unique experience.

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Texas
10:00 am
Wed September 19, 2012

Houston Wants to Follow Austin's Food Truck Lead

Food trucks are a popular stop along South Congress. Houston food truck owners want more lenient rules for operation.
flickr.com/Matt Peoples

While food trucks have been embraced in Austin and can be found clustered throughout the city, Houston food truck owners are struggling to change city ordinances that impose limits on their operations. 

Yesterday, dozens of food truck operators and enthusiasts came before the Houston City Council to petition for changes in mobile food unit ordinance, which bans food trucks that use propane stoves and grills from operating in the busy downtown area.

The Houston Mobile Food Unit Collective has proposed that the mobile food unit ordinances be amended to allow trucks with propane tanks under 40 pounds to operate downtown, eliminate the required 60 feet of space between trucks and permit food trucks to provide up to three tables and six chairs for patrons.

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Politics
8:00 am
Wed September 19, 2012

So What Happens If the Farm Bill Expires? Not Much, Right Away

Sens. Jeanne Shaheen, D-N.H., and Pat Toomey, R-Pa., talk to reporters about the farm bill at the U.S. Capitol in June.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

Originally published on Wed September 19, 2012 3:53 pm

Congress is set to make a brief appearance in Washington this week, then recess until after Election Day. That means a farm bill is likely to be left undone, just one of the many items on lawmakers' "to-do" lists that won't happen anytime soon.

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Texas
11:57 am
Wed September 5, 2012

USDA: One in Five Texas Households At Risk of Hunger

Food benefits are at stake as the U.S. Congress debates the nation's farm bill.
KUT News

Almost one out of five Texas households is at risk of hunger, according to a new report by the United States Department of Agriculture.

The USDA says 18.5 percent of Texans households experienced “low or very low food security” from 2009 to 2011. The Texas rate exceeds the national average by almost four percent and is the third highest rate of “food insecurity” in the country.

The USDA considers a family “food secure” if it has enough nutritious food to eat without having to rely on emergency food supplies, scavenging or stealing food. The USDA has used food insecurity as a measure since 2006 because it says “hunger is an individual-level physiological condition” which is more difficult to track.

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Health
4:42 pm
Tue September 4, 2012

Is Buying Organic Worth It?

A study argues organic produce doesn't have higher vitamin content over non-organic foods. Detractors argue the study's missing the point.
KUT News

A Stanford University study published today doubting the health benefits of organic fruits, vegetables and meats has some Texas farmers raising questions.

The study, authored by Dena Bravata, MD, MS, was published in today’s issue of Annals of Internal Medicine. It found no consistent differences in the vitamin content of organic food versus the cost-cutting, conventionally grown alternative.

“That study doesn’t really look at a lot of very important factors,” says Judith McGeary, founder of the Texas-based Farm and Ranch Freedom Alliance. “Vitamin content isn’t the only issue, even for adults. One issue is the exposure to pesticides, which are to be blunt, poison. And the study did show that there was significantly less exposure to pesticides from organic produce than from conventional."

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Texas
11:36 am
Thu June 21, 2012

Advocates Worry Food Aid Cuts Could Hurt Texas Families

Todd Wiseman / Julie Jordan Scott, Texas Tribune

As Congress debates proposed cuts to programs that help feed needy families and school children, some school officials and advocates for low-income families are concerned about how the changes could affect Texans who rely on food stamps and reduced price school lunches.

The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, also known as food stamps, provides food for 3.6 million Texans each year. But some lawmakers argue that the program has grown too large and become too expensive, and they are looking for ways to cut SNAP in the 2012 Farm Bill.

"A lot of Texas families rely on SNAP, especially now," said Jonathan Lewis, food policy specialist for the Center for Public Policy Priorities, an Austin-based liberal think tank. "Families that already are having trouble paying for their electrical bill, rent and the gas in their car could struggle even more." 

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Education
9:00 am
Mon June 4, 2012

AISD's Free Summer Meal Program Underway

28 AISD schools are offering free breakfast and lunch throughout the summer.
Photo courtesy flickr.com/USDAgov

The Austin Independent School District will be feeding free breakfast and lunch to children starting today. The summer food service program is in place at more than two dozen campuses.

Students don’t have to apply for the program. The free meals are open to any child ages one through 18 regardless of family income.

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Food
3:09 pm
Fri June 1, 2012

Street Foods Go Upscale, But is Something Lost in Translation?

An El Pollo Rico location on East Riverside Drive was recently demolished.
Photo by Mose Buchele for KUT News

Traditional chicken al carbon – chicken grilled over a charcoal-fired flame – has gotten a makeover. 

Austin-owned Fresa's Chicken al Carbon – an upscale take on the Mexican street-food staple found at modest establishments like El Pollo Rico – opened this April.

"I'm a big fan of El Pollo Rico, which is an existing concept in East Austin, and I thought it would be really wonderful to provide a similar product," said Margaret Vera, one of the restaurant's three partners. 

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Health
8:55 am
Thu May 31, 2012

FDA Rules Corn Syrup Can't Change its Name to Corn Sugar

A sweetener by any other name ...
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Wed May 30, 2012 5:41 pm

Corn-based-sweetener manufacturers may be singing a sour tune today. The Food and Drug Administration just ruled that the ubiquitous high fructose corn syrup that sweetens many of our candies, sodas and snacks cannot be called "corn sugar." But much like Arnold Schwarzenegger's Terminator character, they'll probably be baaack.

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Austin
1:22 pm
Tue May 29, 2012

Cheap Dining Till Thursday For Bike-to-Eat Week

KUT News

Biking this week will save you more than just gas money. Bike-to-Eat Week (BTEW) is a project giving cyclists discounts at certain locally owned restaurants in Austin. All you have to do is show up on a bike to automatically receive a 10 percent discount on any of these restaurants.

“The idea is to bring restaurants which are part of the local community, the Austin community, on the radar of the cycling community,” says Christopher Stanton, executive director and founder of the Ghisallo Foundation, which created Bike-to-Eat Week. “This will as a result bring the idea of engaging with that cycling community at large to the restaurant.”

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Business
1:41 pm
Tue May 22, 2012

The Last Slice: Campus Gatti's Pizza Closing After 40 Years

This time next week the Gatti's Pizza buffet will be no more.
Filipa Rodrigues for KUT News

After four decades in business, local pizza purveyor Gatti’s Pizza is closing its campus location on Martin Luther King Boulevard this Monday, May 28.

The location is currently Austin’s oldest continuously running pizza place. The restaurant is closing its doors after it lost its lease with the landlord of the property.

The restaurant is somewhat of a fixture in the campus area, it’s buffet having filled untold numbers of undergraduate bellies since its founding in 1972. When KUT News visited this afternoon, the line was stretching out the door. (It doesn’t hurt that from now until closing, all buffet customers pay the “kid’s price” of $5.49.)

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AM Update
8:43 am
Tue May 22, 2012

AM Update: Travis County Vote Centers, Fixing Food Insecurity, Top Austin High Schools

Vote centers would allow Travis County voters to cast a ballot anywhere during the November Presidential elections; Lamakers are talking about ways to elimate 'food deserts' in Texas; New list ranks 10 Austin area high schools in America's top 1,000.
Photos by KUT News

Vote Anywhere During November's Presidential Election?

The Travis County Commissioners are meeting this morning to talk about using vote centers for the November 2012 Presidential election.

Travis County Clerk Dana DeBeauvoir says vote centers, or countywide polling places, give all registered Travis County voters the option to vote at any polling location in the county on election day. Right now, that’s only allowed during early voting.

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Food
3:39 pm
Thu May 17, 2012

A History of Human Fingers Found in Fast Food

Ryan Hart, 14, found a severed finger in his junior roast beef sandwich.
Danielle Salisbury AP

Originally published on Thu May 17, 2012 2:07 pm

A Michigan teen says he got a taste of more than just roast beef when he bit into his Arby's sandwich last week. Ryan Hart was nearly finished with his meal when he tasted something chewy — an employee's finger.

The Jackson Citizen Patriot reports:

"'I was about to puke... It was just nasty.'

"The piece appeared to be the back of a finger, including the pad and extending beyond the first knuckle. ...

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Food
9:39 am
Thu May 17, 2012

How To Make Healthy Eating Easier On The Wallet? Change The Calculation

Dried beans and legumes are healthy and cheap.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Mon March 24, 2014 6:56 pm

If you're already a kale and lentils kind of person (we know there are a lot of frugal foodies out there) — you won't be surprised by this finding: According to a new study from some economists at the USDA, eating a healthy diet isn't necessarily more expensive than a diet loaded with sugar and fat. In fact, fruits and vegetables are often cheaper when you calculate the cost in a smarter way.

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Arts and Culture
9:59 am
Tue May 1, 2012

What Makes Austin's Food Scene Great: A Conversation with Andrew Zimmern

Andrew Zimmern says the best part of Austin's food scene is the diners.
Photo courtesy of Austin Food & Wine Festival

Andrew Zimmern, the host of Travel Channel's Bizarre Foods (where he's made a name for himself eating exotic things like fermented beetle anus), heaped some praise on the local food scene at the Austin Food Festival this weekend. But while Zimmern is fond of many Austin chefs, farmers and restaurants, he saves the highest praise for Austinites themselves.

KUT: So tell us why you're here at this food festival in Austin.

Andrew Zimmern: "I think Austin has a very special food community in terms of diners. It's the diners and the Austinites that have created the atmosphere for all this amazing food here to flourish.

Every single person I've spoken to here at this festival, I think, gets it all wrong about Austin. Everybody puts the food and chefs first, and I think it's not chicken or egg, it's very matter-of-fact: the audience here in Austin is unique. They are willing to be experimented at, and they do not hold grudges against chefs that make mistakes or have failures, as long as that chef is willing to get back on their bicycle and start pedaling again.

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Austin
12:13 pm
Mon April 30, 2012

Love and Dust: Scenes From the Austin Food and Wine Fest

The scene at Auditorium Shores this weekend.
Photo by Filipa Rodrigues for KUT News

Thousands of gourmets and tipplers gathered at the Austin Food and Wine Festival this weekend. 

There was, of course, wine, but there was also sushi, macaroons and even Frito pie. And there was a scene you’ll have a hard time finding again: 200 charcoal grills all fired up at once on the shores of Lady Bird Lake. The coals were burning for Fort Worth chef Tim Love's "Grills Gone Wild" hands-on demo, where attendees learned the art of searing, resting and slicing a steak.

"Now I cook them medium rare. Cause I’m an American. Not only am I an American, I’m a ... Texan. So remember that," Love said as he whipped up the crowd. 

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Austin
2:29 pm
Wed April 18, 2012

ABIA Makes List of Best Airport Restaurants

Austin-Bergstrom International Airport's The Salt Lick is included on a list of top airport restaurants.
KUT News

Austin has made yet another “best of” list. This time, it’s Austin-Bergstrom International Airport that’s getting the accolades — or more precisely, the ABIA outpost of The Salt Lick.

That’s right — the website Food Republic ranks The Salt Lick at ABIA as Number Four on its list of “The World’s Best Airport Restaurants.”

The website says:

Texas barbecue doesn’t get much better than Salt Lick BBQ and an outpost of the preternaturally popular 800-seat restaurant in Driftwood is located in the West Terminal (but fills the entire airport with the bewitching scent of brisket). Try a sloppy, but satisfying, pulled pork sandwich topped with slaw and Original Recipe barbecue sauce for a taste of Hill Country on the tarmac.

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