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Austin Food Beat

This week in Austin food: America's best grocery store, Dark Rye honors and more

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H-E-B Montrose Market, grocery store, January 2013
H-E-B named the best grocery store in America.  Photo courtesy of H-E-B
Peelander Yellow mural East Side King
Peelander Yellow's new mural at East Side King.  Courtesy of East Side King / Facebook
Austin Photo Set: News_Matt_live fire recap_april 2012_live fire
Live Fire! announces 2014 chef lineup.  Photo by Matt McGinnis
H-E-B Montrose Market, grocery store, January 2013
Peelander Yellow mural East Side King
Austin Photo Set: News_Matt_live fire recap_april 2012_live fire

Wonder what happened this week in food? Well, it entails free burgers, James Beard Foundation award nominations and a bourbon-spiked feast. Check out this week's under-the-radar food news.

Dark Rye up for James Beard award
By now you’ve heard that Bryce Gilmore of Barley Swine and The Odd Duck has been nominated as a finalist in the James Beard Foundation Awards’ Best Chef: Southwest category, but it turns out yet another Austinite has made it through to the final rounds. Dark Rye, Whole Foods Market’s in-house digital publication, was also nominated for two 2014 James Beard Foundation Awards, one for their humor short “A Vision of Post-Apocalyptic Cuisine: Frankenchicken” and one for Video Webcast, on Location. The online publication won a James Beard award last year in the category Best Group Food Blog. The journalism awards will be announced on May 2, three days before the culinary awards.

No ordinary grocer
Do you know where the best grocery store in America is located? Well, according to Business Insider, it’s right here in the heart of Texas. H-E-B was named the fairest grocer of them all by the media outlet for its stellar produce, packaging, booze selection, Texas-shaped tortilla chips (duh!) and more. Check out the story here

Free burgers!
Downtown Jo's Coffee is running a sweet promotion, y'all. Every Monday from 4:00 pm to close, it's buy one burger get one free. Talk about a cheap date. Check out the Downtown location for more details.

The walls are up
After years of hosting dinners outdoors, Rainey Street staple G’Raj Mahal finally has an operating brick-and-mortar space. According to Eater Austin, the long-awaited G’Raj Mahal restaurant softly opened to the Austin public this week after getting through the madness that is SXSW. The restaurant staff revealed on Monday via Facebook that they would be releasing grand opening news soon, but it looks like they’re jumping right into business.

Travels to Austin town
Huffington Post UK has sent some love to the Austin Food Trucks Tour from across the pond. Mike Gerrard, a travel writer, dotes on the local culinary scene, noting “There's been a huge boom in food trucks over the last few years, with everything from cheap street food to fine dining popping up in all kinds of locations. In Austin there are over 1,000 food trucks, and this Austin Food Trucks Tour takes in some of them, along with a chance to sample Texas barbecue, visit the farmers' market and sample a range of Austin products from chocolates to cheeses.” Check out the story on Huffington Post UK for more info.

It's easy being green
Lizz Delicious blogger Lizz Clements posted a stellar guide to eating vegan and vegetarian at various Austin food trailers and restaurants. The equally informative and thorough post features an assortment of vegetarian, vegetarian-friendly and vegan hot spots, with such places as BBQ Revolution (vegan), Candy Cart (veg-friendly) and Bananarchy (vegetarian). Check out the blog for the scoop.

East Side King marks its territory
Eclectic musician/graffiti artist Kengo Hioki — better known for his alter ego, Peelander — has created yet another East Side King mural in honor of the acclaimed Asian-fusion establishment. The vibrant artistic sign is displayed outside the new ESK Thai-Kun at Wonderland Austin for all to enjoy. If you're not a fan of neon, it's time to avert your eyes.

Bourbon-spiked feasts
Freedman’s executive chef Evan LeRoy will host a multi-course dinner on Wednesday, March 26, highlighting Maker’s 46 spirits. According to a press release, the event “is part of Freedmen’s ‘3 and 3’ monthly dining series: part culinary experience, part educational, with each event featuring a unique menu to pair perfectly with the drink.” The dinner takes place from 7-9 pm with tickets costing $35 a seat. The full menu in all its smoked-glory is as follows: Deviled Egg, mixed lettuce, radish, goat brie, smoked lemon vinaigrette; Smoked Quail, cornbread stuffing, mustard Brussels sprouts, Maker's 46 au jus; Drunken Bread Pudding, buttermilk syrup, blackberry jam. 

Live Fire! announces lineup
Austin's celebration of all-things beef has announced its 2014 lineup. The wide range of chefs participating in the event include: Aaron Franklin of Franklin Barbecue; Matt McAllister of FT33, Dallas; Jason Dady of Jason Dady Restaurants, San Antonio; and Ronnie Killen of Killen’s Barbecue, Pearland. The event takes place April 17; tickets are on sale now

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