Italy

Author Archives | John

Have Dinner and a Drink at H-E-B’s New 3009

Have Dinner and a Drink at H-E-B’s New 3009

The staff at 3009, including general manager Josh Stager (right).

The staff at 3009, including general manager Josh Stager (right).

H-E-B doesn’t sell hard liquor, but you can get a cocktail as well as dinner at the supermarket chain’s new restaurant and bar, 3009 (that’s 3 Double-0 Nine, if you’re pronouncing it). It’s opening today next to the H-E-B Plus at 17460 I-35 and FM 3009 in Schertz.

3009's Korean Fried Chicken

3009’s Korean Fried Chicken

H-E-B has lavished a lot of attention on the 3009 menu, which includes street tacos, pizzas, small plates, sandwiches, salads and small plates. The burger lineup includes several variations on the classic, with or without cheese, made with prime beef as well as turkey, garden, ahi tuna and brisket burgers.

The Texas Creamsicle

The Texas Creamsicle

Houston chef Randy Evans, formerly of Haven and Brennan’s, was brought in to consult on the project and help create the food, which also includes a series of entrees ranging from Korean Fried Chicken and Creole Shrimp and Grits to Ricotta and Spinach Ravioli with Creamy Pesto Sauce and Penne with Spicy Sausage and Goat Cheese.

Central Texas-style post oak-smoked barbecue, including brisket, spare ribs, turkey, chicken and sausage, will be available by the plate or by the pound.

The exterior of 3009

The exterior of 3009

But it’s the cocktail menu that will likely intrigue first-time visitors because of the novelty of having a Texas Creamsicle made with rum or an Avocado Pineapple Martini before picking up that week’s groceries. A dozen Texas beers are on tap. Wines will be available by the glass or bottle. And cocktails made with an array of spirits, including many from Texas’s growing number of distilleries are featured.

In addition to the food, live music will be offered at 3009 on the weekends. There is also a large outdoor children’s play area.

This is the third H-E-B restaurant. The first was Oaks Crossing in Stone Oak, and the second is in Houston. Josh Stager, who helped open Oaks Crossing last year, is the general manager of the new 3009. He has been working for H-E-B for five years, and his previous experience includes managing military dining facilities in Afghanistan.

3009 Restaurant & Bar, 17460 I-35, is open daily. Hours are 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday with brunch service until 2 p.m. For to-go orders, call (210) 651-0415.

The 3009 bar area

The 3009 bar area

Posted in Featured, Restaurants0 Comments

Check Out These Easy Appetizers for Fiesta

Check Out These Easy Appetizers for Fiesta

If you’re looking for a few savory appetizer ideas to serve up during Fiesta, look no further than the opening pages of Gabrielle Hamilton’s new cookbook, “Prune” (Random House, $45).

Radishes with Sweet Butter and Kosher Salt

Radishes with Sweet Butter and Kosher Salt

This enticing collection from the author of the bestselling food memoir, “Blood, Bones & Butter,” begins with some easily assembled plates that would be welcome any time of year. And they use ingredients that are special without being too difficult to find — with the exception of seasonal fresh figs, that is.

Hamilton pairs fresh figs with serrano ham and fried pistachios. When trying this dish out, I couldn’t find figs, which won’t be ripe for a few more weeks, so I used blueberries and a kiwi, both of which worked with the meat and the nuts. I also decided to see which people liked better, serrano ham or prosciutto, so I used both on the plate. (Serrano easily won out.)

But that’s the fun thing about these recipes. You can build your version of each, using the ingredients that you like.  I can’t wait to dig in and cook up some more fun in “Prune.”

Radishes with Sweet Butter and Kosher Salt

“There is nothing to this, but still … I have seen it go out looking less than stellar — and that’s embarrassing considering it’s been on the menu since we opened and is kind of ‘signature,’  if Prune had such a thing as signature dishes,” Hamilton writes.

Red globe or French breakfast radishes, well washed to remove any sand, but left whole with a few stems intact
Unsalted butter, waxy and cool but not cold
Kosher salt

Keep the radishes fresh with ice and clean kitchen towels.

Cull out any overgrown, cottony, spongy radishes; keep your butter at the perfect temperature; and be graceful on the plate, please.

Split bigger ones in half. Leave the tails.

Canned Sardines with Triscuits, Dijon Mustard and Cornichons

1 can sardines in oil (preferably Ruby brand, boneless and skinless in oil, from Morocco)
1 dollop Dijon mustard
Small handful of cornichons
Small handful of Triscuit crackers
1 parsley branch

Buckle the can after you open it to make it easier to life the sardines out of the oil without breaking them.

Stack the sardines on the plate the same way they looked in the can — more or less. Don’t crisscoss or zigzag or otherwise make “restauranty.”

Commit to the full stem of parsley, not just the leaf. Chewing the stems freshens the breath.

Marinated White Anchovies with Shaved Celery and Marcona Almonds

Per plate:
Scant 1/2 cup thinly sliced, sweet, tender inner branches of celery, leaves left whole
1 short dozen marinated white anchovies
1/4 cup Marcona almonds
Good drizzle extra-virgin olive oil
Brief squeeze lemon juice
Lemon cheek
Few grinds of black pepper
Big pinch of parsley leaves, mixed into celery and celery leaves

A variation on Prune's Serrano Ham, Fried Pistachios and Figs

A variation on Prune’s Serrano Ham, Fried Pistachios and Figs

Serrano Ham, Fried Pistachios and Fresh Figs

Properly sliced serrano ham, at room temperature
Perfect ripe figs, halved
Sicilian pistachios, fried in extra-virgin olive oil
Lime cheek
Drizzle of frying oil over whole plate, sparingly
Few grinds of black pepper

Grated Radish with Trout Roe and Brown Butter

8 red globe radishes, top and tail removed
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
4 ounces trout roe

With very sharp knife, make fine slices — as thin as potato chips — of the radish. (Don’t use the mandoline. Keep your knife skills in shape.)

Stack the slices and make a fine julienne.

Store radishes covered with damp paper towel to keep fresh and lively.

Make casual nests in the bowl with the radishes.

Top each radish salad with a heaping tablespoon of trout roe.

To serve: Brown unsalted butter to fragrant and nutty.

Immediately spoon hot browned butter around and over the radishes, but avoid the roe so you don’t “fry” or collapse the fish eggs with the hot butter.

Serve immediately.

From “Prune” by Gabrielle Hamilton

 

Posted in Featured, Recipes0 Comments

Andrew Goodman Has a Lot on His Plate

Andrew Goodman Has a Lot on His Plate

Andrew Goodman was having fun Monday night. His restaurant, Feast, was hosting the second of Texas Monthly’s Fire & Smoke dinners, which brought together chefs Stefan Bowers and Jason Dady. He recently won a year-long lawsuit that will let Feast stay at 1024 S. Alamo St.

Andrew Goodman talks with patrons at Feast.

Andrew Goodman talks with patrons at Feast.

And he has plans for more in the works.

First up is a new bar called Haunt at the St. Anthony Hotel, which he hopes to open in the next two weeks. It will have some light bar food as well as drinks. It’s named after the ghosts said to

Shortly after that, Goodman and chef Bowers will open a restaurant in the luxury hotel at 300 E. Travis St. Goodman, a San Antonio native, says the place will be ready in about three weeks, but Bowers wasn’t sure. A kitchen is being added, and that might cause more time to make sure everything is ready.

There’s also a question about the name. Goodman referred to it as Rebelle, but Bowers said that could change. Regardless of the name, it will be a nice dining addition to the area near the Tobin Performing Arts Center and the Majestic.

After that, Goodman will be turning his attention to a proposed project for the old Fire Station No. 7 at 604 S. Alamo St., across from the Alamo Street Eat Bar.

A full plate perhaps, but great news for those us who know the power of Bowers’ food and Goodman’s flair.

Posted in Restaurants0 Comments

Jason Dady Opens Tre Enoteca in the Alley

Jason Dady Opens Tre Enoteca in the Alley

Jason Dady has opened his latest restaurant venture: Tre Enoteca in the Alley at 555 W. Bitters.

Jason Dady

Jason Dady

The Italian restaurant is akin to the original Tre Trattoria on Broadway, but there are differences, Dady says.

Like the original, the pasta is made in-house, but at the new restaurant, there’s “a fancy extruder,” he says, and it allows the kitchen to use semolina flour to make a denser pasta.

Plus, there’s a wood-burning oven for the pizzas and large lounge that will feature a series of Old and New World wines as well as signature cocktails.

Tre Enoteca is only open for dinner at present, but more hours will be added soon.

Dady, who also owns Two Bros. BBQ Market, the Duk Truck and B&D Ice House, is always busy. So, though he has just opened Tre Enoteca, he’s hard at work on another project, the Shuck Shack, an oyster bar set for Grayson Street. That plan was to have the Shuck Shack opened by now, but work on the property and work with city officials have delayed that.

At Shuck Shack, expect at least three oysters from the Northeast and three more from the Pacific Northwest.

Dady got some shucking practice on Monday night. He served up oysters on the half shell during a special dinner at Feast that brought the chef and his team together with chef Stefan Bowers, who once worked for Dady.

 

 

 

Posted in Restaurants0 Comments

Apricot Congealed Salad Adds a Refreshing Touch to a Fiesta Party

Congealed salads have had a lengthy history that dates back to the first days of commercial gelatin. Serving them was once a sign of prosperity because you had to have a refrigerator into to let them sit and congeal in a cool environment.

Apricot Congealed Salad

Apricot Congealed Salad

As soon as refrigerators became a common fixture in homes, so did gelatin and molded salads in both sweet and savory forms.

Back in 1957, “Helen Corbett’s Cookbook” offered Texans the following advice for making a savory congealed salad: “A molded salad with a different twist to serve with shrimp or any seafood dish is made with Lemon Jell-O, using half hot water and half hot chili sauce and served with mayonnaise, to which has been added a dash of hot mustard.” This would later give way to the barbecue Jell-O salad in which you mix your favorite barbecue sauce with Lemon Jell-O.

Corbett, who wrote the Kitchen Klatter column for the Houston Post, goes on to offer recipes for molded salads that range from a Ginger Ale Salad to a Roquefort Cheese Ring, a Tomato Jelly Salad and Prune Aspic.

Times have changed, and our tastes for congealed salads have evolved, as have the flavors of gelatin available. But many of us still enjoy congealed salads, especially those with fruit in them, though they may seem more like desserts than salads. The following version would make a refreshing addition to your Fiesta parties.

Apricot Congealed Salad

1 (3-ounce) package apricot-flavored gelatin
1 (3-ounce) package lemon-flavored gelatin
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
1 cup mayonnaise, preferably Duke’s or any brand without sugar
2 or 3 drops orange blossom water (optional)
1/2 cup pecans or almonds, finely chopped
1 (15-ounce) can apricots, drained and coarsely chopped
1 pound small curd cottage cheese
1/2 cup maraschino cherries, chopped (optional)

Note: The filling for this dish is large, so make sure your bowls are big enough to handle the combined ingredients.

Boil 2 1/2 cups of water. Stir it into the gelatin until dissolved.

In a separate bowl, whisk the heavy cream and mayonnaise for 2 to 3 minutes to get some air into the mixture. Add the orange blossom water, if using. (Do not overdo.)

In a large bowl, set up an ice water bath. In it, set the smaller bowl with the gelatin. Add the milk-mayonnaise mixture. Let sit but stir occasionally until the gelatin is half set, about 5 to 7 minutes. Add pecans, apricots, cottage cheese and cherries, if using. Pour into a lightly greased mold or dishes. Cover and refrigerate overnight.

Makes 15 to 20 servings.

Posted in Recipes0 Comments

A Few Specials Can Help Take the Bite Out of Tax Day

A Few Specials Can Help Take the Bite Out of Tax Day

You’re taxes are due Wednesday.

taxesIf that depresses you, then news of these Tax Day specials might cheer you up.

Stone Werks is offering a special $2 appetizer and drink menu from 3 to 6:30 p.m. Drink specials include all regular size draft beer, well drinks and frozen margaritas. Chips & queso, spinach and artichoke dip, and 10-inch one-topping pizzas will be available. These specials are available at all three locations — Lincoln Heights, The Rim and The
Vineyard.

At Hard Rock Cafe, 111 W. Crockett St., guests can get a free Local Legendary™ Burger if they sing for their supper from 5 to 7 p.m. Wednesday. Henry Brun, a Latin Grammy musician, will kick off Sing For Your Supper, and Paseo del Rio River Walk Royalty will be onsite to encourage guests’ participation. “The Sing for Your Supper campaign is an enjoyable way for the brand to give back to our guests and help ease the burden of Tax Day,” said John Galloway, vice president and chief marketing officer of Hard Rock International.  “We hope to see many loyal fans of the brand, as well as new guests, come out to their local cafe, take the stage and try one of our unique local burger offerings.”

IHOP Restaurants are offering a stack of three buttermilk pancakes for $1 from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Butter and syrup included.

Posted in Events, Restaurants0 Comments

Alton Brown Has Them Eating Out of His Hands

Alton Brown Has Them Eating Out of His Hands

“Don’t negotiate with terrorists.”

In four simple words, Alton Brown laid out his approach to parenting when it comes to picky eaters. It’s not the terrorists – er, children – who get to decide what to eat, the celebrity chef told a sold-out crowd at the Tobin Center for the Performing Arts recently.

But even Brown, the host of such Food Network shows as “Good Eats” and “Cutthroat Kitchen,” knows that pint-sized willpower can be formidable. So, when faced with a request like serving chicken fingers at his daughter’s slumber party, it’s best to remember one basic fact:

“Chickens don’t have fingers.”

Ask any ornithologist. You’ll hear the same thing. Chicken and fingers are not part of the same equation, Brown said, to the great amusement of an audience made up of plenty of parents and more than a few kids.

Alton Brown

Alton Brown (Photo: David Allen)

Brown’s way of dealing with the chicken finger request was to give his daughter the closest approximation he could come up with: He fried up some chicken feet, which he served to her gaggle of girlfriends, much to their shrieking horror.

It was a classic Alton Brown story, filled with the trademark humor and storytelling skills that he has displayed for the past 15 years on his TV shows. But the surprise for some of us was that Brown so easily transcended the limitations imposed by the formats of his various shows and shaped an evening of more than two hours that was consistently engaging, even when he was rapping or singing about the dire consequences of eating a bad shrimp in an airport restaurant.

The evening started with a list of culinary truths that Brown has been able to discern in his career. They included the grotesque: “Trout don’t belong in ice cream” And they covered the sensible: “Don’t leave out the NaCl (salt).” Each was accompanied by a story from some point in the chef’s life and career.

The salt story stemmed from the time that Brown left the salt out of a batch of bread he was making for a restaurant where he worked. Bread without salt? “Two words,” he said. “Communion wafers. … Nobody asks for seconds.”

That would be too short to be the whole story, of course. So, Brown went on to tell of how his salt-less dough, which he tried to hide in a dumpster, soon became a blob that kept expanding and “burping and farting” as it grew, he said.

“It’s alive!” he screamed, echoing Dr. Frankenstein.

An Alton Brown show wouldn’t be complete without some of the chef’s outlandish gadgetry, which appeared complete with audience participation and a cameraman who followed close on his trail. One was an ice cream maker that produced frozen chocolate fun in a matter of seconds. The second was Brown’s adult response to the Easy Bake oven that he had as a child and melted when he swapped out the 100-watt light bulb for a 150-watt beauty. Brown’s Mega Bake was so bright it could reach a brilliance level of more than 1 million lumens. It was so bright, it could be “seen from outer space,” he boasted.

Brown took the Mega Bake and showed how you could cook pizza in 3.5 minutes. But first he and audience member Millie demonstrated how to toss pizza dough while enjoying margaritas. The chef also decided the two would use salsa instead of pizza sauce as a base, which gave the final product a great kick and proved to be the best time-saving cooking tip of the evening.

Brown closed out his show with some questions from the audience.

What is the chef’s single most important kitchen tool? Spring-loaded tongs.

What was his favorite “Good Eats” episode? The garlic show from season five.

What is his favorite guilty pleasure? “Bourbon,” he quipped, before explaining that he loved Fritos dipped in caramel sauce. “Freaking awesome,” he cried. That discovery came about when he was once again trying to make something for his daughter and her friends.

What would his Final 4 of pastries be? Brown started with two savory choices: buttermilk biscuits and croissants. Then he chose two sweets: strawberry-rhubarb pie and glazed doughnuts. After settling on biscuits and doughnuts as the finalists, he crowned doughnuts the winner.

The real winner was the audience, though, for Alton Brown confirmed why he and his shows have remained popular in a cutthroat industry and attention-deficit market. He even throws in a few devastating comments about or impersonations of fellow hosts like Sandra Lee and, of course, his “Food Network Star” co-star Giada De Laurentiis at no extra charge.

Posted in Featured, Griffin to Go4 Comments

Need an Easy Dairy-Free Dessert? Try This Greek Walnut Cake.

Need an Easy Dairy-Free Dessert? Try This Greek Walnut Cake.

Orthodox Easter is Sunday, the perfect time to serve the Greek dessert known as Karidopita (kah-ree-THOH-pee-tah), a light, moist walnut cake flavored with cinnamon, cloves and orange juice. Topped with powdered sugar and served in squares, this dessert is ideal for holiday gatherings or for a tasty treat any day of the year.

Karidopita

Karidopita

The following, dairy-free version of Karidopita comes from the Kontos family, owners of Kontos Foods, a New Jersey-based provider of traditional Mediterranean foods.

“This easy-to-make recipe has been in our family for generations. With fresh squeezed orange juice, fragrant spices and a sprinkling of powdered sugar, it’s festive for the holidays and also great for special meals or coffee get-togethers,” said Steve Kontos, vice president of Kontos Foods.

Karidopita

4 cups flour
2 cups sugar
1-1/2 cups water
1-1/2 cups vegetable oil
1 cup chopped walnuts
1 tbsp. baking soda
1 tbsp. baking powder
½ tsp. ground cloves
½ tsp. cinnamon
Juice from one orange – strained
Powdered sugar, for topping

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Blend flour, baking powder, ground cloves and cinnamon in a bowl.

Add vegetable oil to flour mix and blend.

Add sugar, water, baking soda and juice to mix.

Blend walnuts into batter.

Grease 9-x-12-inch baking pan and pour in batter.

Bake for at least 1 hour or until toothpick comes out clean. (If you use a 9-by-13-inch pan, cook for less time.)

Let cool, sprinkle powdered sugar on top and cut into squares. 

Makes 1 cake.

From Kontos Foods

Posted in Recipes0 Comments

Take the Family out for Some Fiesta Fun

Take the Family out for Some Fiesta Fun

The San Antonio Tourism Council is hosting its first Family Fiesta 101.

The penguins are coming -- to Viola's Ventanas.

The penguins are coming — to Viola’s Ventanas.

It’s happening this Sunday at Viola’s Ventanas, 9660 Westover Hills Blvd. It runs from 4 to 8 p.m.

Part of the fun is that the San Antonio Zoo is bringing an eagle, a large boa plus frogs. Fiesta Texas will have their Looney Tunes characters. Schlitterbahn is bringing games for the kids and their mascot. The Buckhorn is sending a roper, and Sea World will have their penguins there from 5 to 7 p.m.

Henry Brun will also be on hand to perform.

“Have your camera ready,” says Diana Barrios Treviño, owner of the restaurant. “It is going to be a blast!”

The price of the event is $25 and includes a chicken fajita buffet with a non-alcoholic beverage. Kids 6 and younger are free. A cash bar will be available.

This event benefits the San Antonio Food Bank. Donations of non-perishable food will  also be accepted.

For tickets, click here.

 

Posted in Restaurants0 Comments

Two Chefs Team Up for Toro Taco Bar

Two Chefs Team Up for Toro Taco Bar

Chefs Josh Cross and Rick Frame first met back in the 1990s while working for Bruce Auden at Biga. Both have had plenty of high-end dining experience under their belts since, such as Cross’s Olorosa.

The pickup window at Toro Taco Bar

The pickup window at Toro Taco Bar

So, naturally, they’ve teamed up for a taco bar.

Toro Taco Bar at 114 Brooklyn Ave. is an east side, open air patio with street tacos and quesadillas served up alongside an icy Carta Blanca with salt encrusting its long neck and a slice of lime perched on the rim.

“Rick had the spot and has been doing improvements for about 1 1/2 years,” Cross says. “And one evening at Robbie Nowlin’s Wicked Nights supper club series, Rick told me his idea of Toro and half jokingly asked me if I’d like to come aboard. This version of food and drink was exactly what I wanted to do back here in San Antonio. Basically, we’re two chefs making drinks and snacks.”

toro carta blancaIt’s not really as simple as that, though both Frame and Cross appear to be enjoying the laid-back atmosphere of the place — and the attention the place has received in the two weeks or so that Toro has been opened. Old friends in the restaurant business, curious restaurateurs and hungry diners alike have kept the place busy since it’s been open.

Cabrito guisada tacos

Cabrito guisada tacos

Frame and Cross have kept up with the demand, while settling into their business routine. In the evenings, you can find music, sometimes live and sometimes from a DJ, filling the night air while you savor the likes of cabrito guisada tacos or campechana filled with fresh shrimp, oysters and more.

Cross described the menu as “playful  and interesting” as well as “ever-changing and evolving.” “Our ‘empanadas’ so far have been poblano and mushroom pop tarts and cabrito hot pockets. Our quesadillas are nopales, corn, goat and calabaza with huitlacoche,” he says. “I’m toying around with the idea of chicarrone poutine.”

Toro's bar area

Toro’s bar area

What this all means is that “we have a high standard of quality, but aren’t taking ourselves too seriously,” Cross says. “The drink program mirrors the food. We have a ton of tequilas, mescal and sotols. Our beers will encompass all of Mexico and Central America. I’m still working out the wine list.”

Both chefs take pride in the fact that everything is made in house. Everything, that is except for the tortillas. “I couldn’t do as good of a job as Adelita’s,” Cross admits.

Toro Taco Bar is the latest hot spot to open on the east side. It’s near the new Alamo Brewing Co. and not too far from Amaya’s Tacos, Dignowity Meats and the revitalized Tucker’s Kozy Korner, all of which are making the neighborhood and exciting area for really good food and drink.

Toro Taco Bar is open from 5 p.m. to 1 a.m. Thursday through Monday. Closed Tuesday and Wednesday. For more information, click here.

 

Posted in Featured, Restaurants0 Comments

Ad
Advert
Ad

Articles by Date

April 2015
M T W T F S S
« Mar    
 12345
6789101112
13141516171819
20212223242526
27282930