Locally Grown Grub


It’s just about impossible to throw a shovel and hoe in Austin without hitting a hungry homo in search of fresh, local food. And while it’s not easy to eat exclusively at restaurants that serve exclusively local menu fare, Austin’s restaurateurs and caterers are increasingly embracing relationships with Austin-area purveyors, or even growing their own fresh produce. G Style food critic Sam Armstrong highlights several great opportunities to bite into some fantastic food that’s, well, from here.

34th Street Café

Chef Justin Raiford doesn’t fit the early-20s slacker mold. Armed with a degree from Texas Culinary Academy, the evening chef de cuisine at Eddie Bernal’s 34th Street Café has traveled across America, Asia and the Middle East, which opened up a world of culinary experiences most chefs don’t claim until much later in life. Lucky for diners, though, a love for local products shines through in his food, which showcases, in addition to hormone- free meats, a bounty of local organic vegetables. Try the Boggy Creek Farms vegetable plate.

1005 W. 34th St., 371-3400 www.34thstreetcafe.com

Pink Avocado Catering

A few years ago, Chef Brenton Schumacher was part of the engine driving the success of Central Market. Fast-forward past a brave step on to the notoriously tricky racetrack of a self-owned catering business and the executive chef of Pink Avocado Catering has pulled out in front of the other horses. Perfectly at home with both the punkiest and the poshest of events, it’s common to find Schumacher and his team trolling fresh markets, finding the perfect produce for the pickiest of patrons.

401 Sabine Suite B, 656-4348 www.pinkavocadocatering.com

Wink Wine Bar

For many, fresh and local equates to a sort of patchouli-plated bourgeois bohemian stereotype. Not at Wink. Fresh, local and seasonally immediate menus rule the school at Wink, where even the pissiest of patricians can enjoy thoughtfully sourced foodstuffs from area markets and dairies along with flights of wine created by Wink’s trustworthy alcohol know-it-alls.

1014 N. Lamar Blvd., 482-8868 www.winkrestaurant.com

Eastside Café

Owners Elaine Martin and Dorsey Barger have proudly offered upscale (but not fussy) local fare at Eastside Café since 1988. It’s hard to get much more local than Eastside Café; securely planted on an acre of east Austin real estate, Eastside Café features food and flowers from its gardens in a cozy and charming converted home that’s perfect for first dates or family affairs.

2113 Manor Rd., 476-5858 www.eastsidecafeaustin.com

Taste Select Wines

Chef Bill McGroy takes pleasure in highlighting local ingredients whenever possible – come Taste! They select finest available from Boggy Creek Farms, Country Side Farms, Angel Farms Stoopf & Son Farms and others!

202 W. Cesar Chavez St., 478-2783 www.tasteselectwines.com

Whole Foods Market

It’s a bit of a no-brainer, but breakfast, lunch or dinner from any number of Whole Foods Market’s food stations features – you guessed it – any number of fresh local ingredients. Whether you’re exploring the tremendous salad bar or sinking into a made-to-order sandwich, you can bet the ingredients in your food weren’t chosen without care, and probably feature a fine local product.

525 N. Lamar Blvd., 476-1206 www.wholefoodsmarket.com/stores/lamar

Trattoria Lisina

Just outside of town, people are humming about Trattoria Lisina, adjacent to Mandola Estate Winery. Locally celebrated chef Damian Mandola’s food is as delicious as ever – especially paired with the unlikely collection of delicious Texas wines from the winery next door, which include every- thing from Sangiovese to Syrah to Viognier.

13308 FM 150 W. in Driftwood, 894-3111 www.trattorialisina.com

Cissi’s Market

Owner Victoria Lynden created the Cissi’s Market concept as an omage to her mother Cissi Malliot and a place to unwind, dine and sip on some wine. A place to enjoy the local fare and embrace what local farmers like Boggy Creek bring the chefs for daily preparation. Nestled in the heart of South Congress.

1400 South Congress, 225-0521 www.cissismarket.com