20100616-finds-01011. GOING GREEN, AGAIN
I’ve just rediscovered an old favorite restaurant I used to frequent in another publishing life, and once again I find myself craving its baked kibbe on a weekly basis — especially now that I can get baked kibbe three ways. There’s the traditional kibbe with meat, and the potato kibbe lined with spinach and onions, but I have to say the family-run business, Green Olive Restaurant and Market on Congress Street, has hooked me with the pumpkin kibbe. George Merhej and his sister, Renee, combine pumpkin with the spiced bulgur wheat — which creates a tasty and beautiful deep orange version of the Lebanese favorite — and then stuff it with a mixture of spinach and onions. George and Renee have been serving authentic Lebanese food for 18 years and just recently began opening on Friday and Saturday nights from 5-8 p.m.; they’re open every day from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. for lunch and also offer catering. Call 234-0004. — Leslie Turk

2. TRUE BREW
According to Gaylen Delcambre, we’ve been drinking stale coffee all our lives. Those vacuum packed bricks of our favorite local blends are a marketing strategy. Delcambre says after coffee is roasted and ground, it gives off a gas that will explode the package if it’s not dissipated before the shrink wrap goes on. Unfortunately, once degassed, the coffee goes stale in a matter of minutes. Oh well, we drink it for the rush, who cares anyway? Delcambre, that’s who. A few years ago she began experimenting with roasting green coffee beans in a popcorn popper. Loving the rich results, she graduated to a larger outdoor propane model, and is now offering different roasts from all the great coffee regions of the world — Guatemala, Columbia, Mexico, Sumatra, Yemen, Brazil and New Guinea. She sells her bags of beans, dated and roasted only the Friday before the Saturday morning Oil Center Farmers Market. Dark roasts, like her Guatemala Antigua Bella Carmona go for $12 a bag, and will drip about 45 cups of fragrant fresh coffee. Catch her at the market, or call 394-9417 for more info. — Mary Tutwiler

3. WENDY WEATHER
Austin soul-pop singer-songwriter Wendy Colonna, a Lake Charles native whose music is soaked in the Gulf Coast, shines on her latest record, We Are One, a dozen swooning, sweltering tracks that prove Colonna’s beauty — to borrow from the lexicon of randy frat guys, she’s a “hottie” — is more than skin deep. A hint of Stax Records registers in the swelling orchestration and reverberant congas of “Love Comes Once,” while Colona goes back even further in time and farther south on the jazzy, saucy, bossa nova-inspired “The One That You’ve Been Waiting For,” two in a succession of songs that make subtle reference to the mainly Southern pop, soul and blues music of a bygone era without ever being derivative. It’s smart, sassy, well-assembled, and mixed together in a buttery, warm analog sauce by producer and fellow trans Texas-Louisiana musician Papa Mali, a Dr. John acolyte who also performs on We Are One ($10.99 at CD Baby and elsewhere) and co-wrote one of the tracks. Colonna’s voice shows influences from 20th century heroines like Etta James and Mavis Staples, but you can also hear a little Norah Jones in the pipes. And it’s either a coincidence or a masterstroke of timing, but the fifth track — a 41-second interlude titled, “Pelican Waltz” — comes off as (or actually is) an elegy for the Gulf Coast. Wendy Colonna and band will host a CD-release party Saturday, June 19, at The Blue Moon Saloon. We should probably go. — Walter Pierce

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