SXSW Free Food Alert: SouthBites adds three-day FYI BiteClub at the Driskill

"Food Porn" is a TV show on the FYI channel hosted by Michael Chernow.
“Food Porn” is a TV show on the FYI channel hosted by Michael Chernow.

SouthBites, the food extension of South by Southwest Interactive, officially launched a few years ago a pop-up food trailer park, and then it added a bunch of food programming, which is open only to badgeholders, in addition to the food trailer park, which has always been open to the public.

The open-to-the-public trailer park will return this year, and today, we learned about another free food and drink addition to SouthBites.

FYI BiteClub is a three-day pop-up inside the Driskill Hotel, 604 Brazos St., from the folks behind the FYI channel that will feature free food and drink from Austin restaurants and food trucks, as well as a SXSW extension of the “Quesoff,” a queso competition that happens every summer at the Mohawk, and portrait espressos from coffee artist Michael Breach.

Several food podcasts, including VICE’s Munchies, Food is the New Rock and Snacky Tunes, will record interviews at the BiteClub, and the event will also feature an edible wall from food typographer Danielle Evans. Michael Chernow, host of the FYI show “Food Porn,” will also be on hand for some of the activities.

Here’s a schedule of who will be serving when:

Saturday, March 12

Michael Breach Barista: 10:30 a.m. – noon
Voodoo Doughnuts: 10:30 a.m. – noon
Torchy’s Tacos & Salsa Bar: noon – 4 p.m.
“Quesoff:” 5 – 7 p.m.

Sunday, March 13

Michael Breach Barista: 8:30 a.m. – noon
Gourdough’s Doughnuts: 8:30 a.m. – noon
Salt & Time: noon – 7 p.m.

Monday, March 14

Michael Breach Barista: 8:30 a.m. – noon
Little Lucy’s Mini Donuts: 8:30 a.m. – noon
East Side King: noon – 5 p.m.


Grass-fed beef available at new Svante’s store in Round Rock

Svante's sells grass-fed beef in its Round Rock store and online. Photo from Svante's.
Svante’s Ranch Direct sells grass-fed beef in its Round Rock store and online. Photo from Svante’s.

Since October, Svante’s Ranch Direct has been slinging burgers, steaks and other cuts of grass-fed beef from a restaurant at 201 E. Main St. in Round Rock. Late last month, they opened a brick-and-mortar retail shop around the corner.

The ranch where the beef is raised is located near Abilene and was founded by the sons of Svante Magnus Swenson, the first Swedish immigrant to Texas, for whom the restaurant is named.

Customers can order ground beef, steaks, roasts, bones and beef broth online for free delivery in the Austin area, including Cedar Park and up to Georgetown, or for delivery by mail to the lower 48 states, with varied shipping rates depending on the location.

If you want to pick up the meat yourself, you can stop by the store next to the restaurant in Round Rock that is open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday, or go from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturdays to the Barton Creek Farmers Market near Barton Creek Square.

Austinite debuts HapPea chickpea fries at Wheatsville, Fresh Plus

HapPea Fries, based in Austin, are made with chickpea flour. Photo from HapPea Fries.
HapPea Fries, based in Austin, are made with chickpea flour. Photo from HapPea Fries.

We usually don’t think much about store-bought frozen french fries. In taste, they are usually a step or two down from the fast food fries that tempt us into the drive-thru on the way home, but they are perhaps slightly more healthy because we are usually baking them instead of frying them.

Austinite Suzanne Franks grew up in an isolated part of West Texas where Dairy Queen reigned. But at home, her mom was a tinkerer, making just about everything she could from scratch. Franks inherited that culinary curiosity to make foods even the slightest bit more healthy or homemade. A few years ago, Franks started working on a french fry made from chickpea flour, which has more protein and fewer carbs than regular potatoes.

She’s not the first person to make a chickpea fritter, but she decided to develop one that would freeze well and crisp up when baked in the oven. The result is HapPea Fries, a new product that is available in the freezer aisle of Wheatsville Food Co-op and Fresh Plus in Austin. The chickpea fries have 50 percent more fiber than potato fries, 150 percent more protein and two-thirds of the carbs.

The fries cost $8.49 for 16 ounces. You can find out more at

“The Jemima Code” wins Art of Eating cookbook prize

jemimacodeToni Tipton-Martin has won the 2016 Art of Eating Prize for best food book of the year.

The former Austinite, who is now based mostly in Denver, published “The Jemima Code: Two Centuries of African American Cookbooks” in 2015 with the University of Texas Press.  In 2015, she hosted a foodways conference called the Soul Summit in Austin, and in September, we chatted with Tipton-Martin about her new book, including the many years she spent researching, collecting and exploring the history of African-American cookbooks.

With this prize, she’ll take home $10,000 from the Vermont-based magazine.