September in Austin is usually pretty low key for the food community, since we’re in between the busy summer season and the Beer-Festival-Food-Day -College-Football-ACL clusterf… coming in October. The most notable thing happening in the city this month is the start of Longhorn Football and a transition towards cooler weather. Both of those things are great reasons to get out of the house, along with these food events happening throughout the month:
Austin Pride Week – September 1st-8th
There’s plenty of foodie fun squeezed into this last weekend of Austin PRIDE. The Go Go’s Jane Wieldlen is officiating a group wedding tonight on South Congress, and then the whole crowd will be marching downtown to celebrate! Yeah, marriage equality!! There is no better excuse on this earth to raid your closet for a tacky bridesmaid dress, go cheer on true love, and eat dessert downtown afterwards. I highly recommend booze and sweets at Bar Congress if you’re fancy, and at Fried and True (a trailer on 7th) if you’re fancy and and on a budget.
Ina Garten in conversation with Pat Sharpe – September 12th
Ina Garten fascinates me. In her late teens she postponed her education to marry a man she met in high school, later earning her M.B.A. while working in the White House on economic policy. By her late 20s she was flipping houses to raise capital for a specialty food store, “The Barefoot Contessa.” Of course we all know Garten by the publishing empire of that name, but there are other topics that make Garten an important figure in culinary feminism. She is a self-taught cook, her husband (the same one she married at 20!) are childless, and Garten is a vocal supporter of Planned Parenthood. I’m counting on Texas Monthly’s Pat Sharpe to explore all these things when she sits with Garten later this month. Kudos to Texas Performing Arts for continuing to program thoughtful conversations about food in addition to blockbuster Broadway performances. Tickets to the Garten’s show start at $10.
Dining for Life by Aids Services of Austin - September 16th & 17th
Over the past 21 years, Dining for Life has raised over half a million dollars for Central Texans affected by HIV and AIDS. This year over 80 restaurants in town are participating, and when you eat at one of them 10-50% of your check will fund HIV prevention outreach and care services right here in Austin. There’s really no excuse to eat elsewhere if you’re out and about on those nights– you can’t go wrong with Chuy’s, Maudie’s, Hoover’s or Mandola’s for family-friendly dining. Foreign & Domestic, ASTI, Wink, Fonda San Miguel, Restaurant Jezebel, and Olivia are best bets for grown-up fare.
Whole Foods Lamar Food Gawking - last week of September
I know, I know. Whole Foods downtown is around all year long, and it’s like Disney World for foodies. You’ve probably been there a million times. But! They’re doing a lot of construction right now, which is wrapping up throughout the month. Late September will be the best time to go explore all the new features they’ve added, before the crowds descend for the Austin City Limits music festival. Word on the street is that a new sushi bar called Kikka will be among the highlights once the store’s facelift is complete.
Photography Camp by the Austin Food Blogger Alliance - September 28th
AFBA is hosting a full day of photography classes for everyone from iPhone camera users to experienced DSLR shooters. I’m most excited about the classes by Jane Ko and Melissa Skorpil, two of my favorite food photographers in Austin. Of course, there’s going to be amazing food. Lobster rolls are being served for lunch, Zhi Tea and Better Bites bakery are presenting an afternoon iced tea social, and the day will close with tapas and a happy hour from Dinner Lab. Tickets are just $45 for AFBA members and $75 general admission– a steal when you consider similar photo classes in town carry a $250-500 price tag.