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Francis Bogside Gets Into the Fiesta Spirit

Francis Bogside Gets Into the Fiesta Spirit

Francis Bogside

Francis Bogside in Southtown, 803 S. St. Mary’s St., is celebrating the King William Fair with a Fiesta Meat Fest at noon Saturday.

For $12, you can visit the meat carving station for your choice of  veal leg, whole local chicken, jalapeno cheddar sausage and whole halibut as well as two side dishes. A la carte items include a Fiesta dog, Fiesta fruit salad and Fiesta funnel cake.

Cocktails and beer will also be available for purchase.

For more information, call 210-998-3063.

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The Paella Challenge Returns to the Pearl on March 13

The Paella Challenge Returns to the Pearl on March 13

Paella Gaucho mussels CanterAre you ready for some paella?

The seventh annual Paella Challenge at the Pearl is fast approaching. It will be held from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. March 13.

paella soul food half cropChefs from across the city and region as well as a few from across the country will gather to present their unique take on the dish. Some will be as classic as can be, others will feature outrageous combinations of ingredients designed to delight the palate and challenge the taster. High school culinary programs from the city will also be on hand to show what they’re learning while competing for honors.

Tickets are priced at $80.12 for those 21 or older and $27.37 for those under 21. Prices include all you can eat and drink. For tickets, click here.

If you’re not familiar with paella, it’s a Spanish dish that begins with garlic and olive oil and then builds layer upon layer of flavor. Most are made with rice, but pasta is not unheard of as the base. Then you use your choice of seafood, chicken, chorizo, meats and vegetables in flavorful combinations.

At the Paella Challenge, you’ll see chefs using large paella pans and cook stands created especially for the occasion. But you don’t need any special equipment. This recipe for French Paella, from Francoise Bernard’s “La Cuisine: Everyday French Home Cooking,” uses a casserole dish or Dutch oven that you can use on a stove top. That way, you can make some for your next special occasion.

Play with the ingredients and tailor them to suit your family’s tastes.

French Paella

1 pound mussels, scrubbed and debearded
3 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 (3 1/2-pound) chicken, cut into 8 serving pieces
5 ounces boneless bottom round veal roast, cut into 1/2-inch dice
5 ounces boneless shoulder end pork loin, cut into 1/2-inch dice
2 onions, chopped
1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced
Salt, to taste
Pepper, to taste
1 or 2 zucchini, halved lengthwise and cut into 1-inch pieces
3 tomatoes, peeled seeded and coarsely chopped
3 1/2 ounces Spanish chorizo, sliced crosswise
2 garlic cloves, crushed
2 cups rice for paella, such as Bomba or Calasparra (see note)
Pinch of saffron threads
1 cup fresh or frozen petit pois peas
1 can artichoke bottoms, drained and quartered
1 1/2 pounds langoustines or head-on prawns

Add the mussels to a large pot, cover and cook over high heat, stirring once or twice, just until they open, 3 to 5 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the mussels to a bowl and remove 1 shell from each. Pour the broth through a fine strainer lined with a moistened paper towel into a glass measuring cup.

paella traditionalIn a very large flame-proof casserole, melt the butter in the oil over medium-high heat. Add the chicken, veal and pork and cook until nicely browned. Add the onions and bell pepper and season with salt and pepper. Reduce the heat to medium, cover and cook for 10 minutes.

Stir in the zucchini, tomatoes, chorizo, garlic and reserved mussel broth. Reduce the heat to low, cover and cook for 20 minutes.

Add the rice saffron and enough water to barely cover the rice. Raise the heat to medium-high and bring to a simmer. Reduce the heat to low, cover and cook for 10 minutes. Add the peas and artichokes and cook until the rice is tender and the water is absored, 10 to 20 minutes. Add the langoustines and mussels in the half shell just long enough to cook the langoustines. Transfer to a large serving dish or a large skillet and serve.

Serve sangria as an aperitif, but no hors d’oeuvre. After the paella, you can serve a salad if you like and a light dessert such as fruit or ice cream. For wine, pour a chilled rose or light red wine.

Note: Check specialty food outlets like for paella rice.

Makes 6 to 8 servings.

From “La Cuisine: Everyday French Home Cooking” by Francoise Bernard

paella food bank

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Tamales! Returns to the Historic Pearl This Saturday

Tamales! Returns to the Historic Pearl This Saturday

Photo by Tracey Maurer

Photo by Tracey Maurer

The sixth annual Tamales! Holiday Festival returns to the Historic Pearl, 303 Pearl Parkway, in San Antonio this Saturday from noon to 6 p.m.

Guests will be able to savor the tastes, sounds, and sights of the holiday season and celebrations in the city.

The Tamales! Holiday Festival at Pearl has evolved into a regionally and nationally recognized celebration of San Antonio’s vibrant culture and cuisine associated with the holidays.

At this free event, more than 20 different tamale vendors will be showcased, ranging from traditional San Antonio classics to South American and everything in between. Culinary students, celebrated restaurants and venerated chefs will showcase a blend of innovative twists and classic techniques, all with the traditional Central American dish wrapped in corn husks or banana leaves and steamed, the tamale.

In addition to the food, there will also be live music and entertainment for the entire family. For more information, visit or follow the Pearl on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.



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San Antonio Food & Wine Festival Sets Dates in September

San Antonio Food & Wine Festival Sets Dates in September

KLRN celebrates good food and great wine in one of its largest fundraisers of the year — the San Antonio Food & Wine Festival, which is taking place over 3 days in September.

wine pourThe Wine Opener on Friday, Sept. 11, is a black-tie event featuring high quality wines and an elaborate spread of food prepared by Chef Mata at the St. Anthony Hotel. This event also features a silent auction of items such as a private condo vacation in Washington, DC, art, jewelry, catering packages, airline tickets and more.

The Champagne Brunch is a morning affair on Sunday, Sept. 13,
that features a variety of champagnes and bubbly wines alongside a beautiful spread of food also hosted by The St. Anthony Hotel. A live jazz band completes the ambience.

The Fine Wine & Cuisine Tasting on Sunday, Sept. 27,  takes the best of wine sampling and the best of local restaurants and combines it into a large event at the Pearl Stable. Fill your glass and fill your plate with a rich selection of good food and great wine. San Antonio’s best restaurants will be serving food and hundreds of wines will be available for sampling. Restaurants include: Boiler House, Citrus, Folc, Fresh Horizons, La Hacienda de los Barrios, Las Canarias, Las Ramblas at Hotel Contessa, Papouli’s Greek Grill and more.

“San Antonio is continuously growing in the food and wine industries and we thrive on bringing more attention to the local people making that happen. Our events are fundraisers for KLRN, but they also celebrate and feature the businesses that make San Antonio such a wonderful city. Events like ours bring people together as a reminder of the power of collaboration and the importance of supporting local,” said Arthur Emerson, president and CEO of KLRN.

Click on the San Antonio Food and Wine Festival link for prices and more information.

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It’s Napa Cab Time at J Prime

It’s Napa Cab Time at J Prime

J Prime Steakhouse, 1401 N. Loop 1604 W., is hosting its first horizontal wine tasting at 6 p.m.  July 8.

Inglenook“Together we will compare six Cabernets from multiple Napa Valley wineries to fulfill the ‘horizontal tasting’ experience,” the steakhouse says. “Wine enthusiasts, start planning for an evening made to enlighten and unwind – you may even find a new Cabernet favorite!”

The lineup includes:

  • Stag’s Leap, Stag’s Leap Vineyard, Cabernet Sauvignon, Stag’s Leap District 2012
  • Cade, Howell Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon, Howell Mountain Napa Valley 2011
  • Hall Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley 2012
  • Trefethen Cabernet Sauvignon, Oak Knoll District Napa Valley 2012
  • Hess Collection Cabernet Sauvignon, Mount Veeder Napa Valley 2011
  • Inglenook “Cask” Cabernet Sauvignon, Rutherford Napa Valley 2012

The price is $35 a person. Light appetizers will be served. Call (210) 764-1604 for reservations.

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How Do You Thank Dad for All He’s Given You?

How Do You Thank Dad for All He’s Given You?

Vegan cupcakes for Dad from Green Vegetarian Cuisine.

Vegan cupcakes for Dad from Green Vegetarian Cuisine.

Father‘s Day is June 21 this year, and restaurants all over town are gearing up to give Dad a treat he’ll remember.

Call for reservations, though they aren’t needed at all places. Prices do not include tax and tip.

Alamo Beer Company, 202 Lamar St. – FatherFest will run from noon to 6 p.m. Together with Kiolbassa Sausage, the brewery will offer live music, sausage cook-offs, “dad stuff” and, of course, beer. “Supporting pints for prostates,” reads the flier for the event.

Arcade Midtown Kitchen, 303 Pearl Parkway, (210) 369-9664 – The restaurant will be open for Father’s Day brunch from 10:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Ruth's Chris is one of the steakhouses open on Father's Day.

Ruth’s Chris is one of the steakhouses open on Father’s Day.

Bakery Lorraine,  306 Pearl Parkway, (210) 862-5582 – The bakery will be open on Sunday from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Boiler House Texas Grill and Wine Garden, 312 Pearl Parkway, (210) 354-4644  – The restaurant will be hosting a Special Father’s Day Brunch menu from 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. The dishes will range from $13 to $19 each.    

Crumpets, 3920 Harry Wurzbach, 210-821-5600 — Father’s Day brunch will be 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Begin brunch with an appetizer and choose from Puff Pastry with White Wine Mushroom Sauce, Scottish Smoked Salmon with Cream Cheese or Mousse Truffle Pate. For the main course, choose from an extensive selection of entrées including Chicken Breast with Champagne Sauce, Fresh Rainbow Trout or Tenderloin of Beef with Green Peppercorn Sauce. The Crumpets Trilogy will also be available on the Father’s Day Menu. A children’s menu will be available. Dinner begins at 7 p.m.

Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar, 255 E. Basse Road, (210) 824-9463 — Treat Dad to brunch beginning at 10 a.m. Guests have their choice of appetizer, entrée and dessert from our special holiday menu.  Entrées include Prime Rib, Fleming’s Signature Eggs Benedict, Baked Brioche French Toast, Blue Crab Omelet and Porcini-Crusted Filet Mignon. The price for adults is $39.95. Kids’ menu is $18.95.

Green Vegetarian Cuisine – The restaurant will be open Father’s Day from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Josephine St. Cafe is ready to treat Dad.

Josephine St. Cafe is ready to treat Dad.

Gristmill River Restaurant & Bar, 1287 Gruene Road, Gruene Historic District at New Braunfels, (830) 606-1287 – This Father’s Day, the off-menu special is Baby Back Ribs. Served with a dinner salad and side. Pair it with a cold Shiner. Opens at 11 a.m.

Josephine Street Cafe, 400 E. Josephine St., (210) 224-6169 – The restaurant is open on Father’s Day from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. The specials include a 7-ounce sirloin with shrimp for just $13.95. Shrimp can be fried, blackened or grilled.

Kirby’s Steakhouse, 123 N. Loop 1604 E., (210) 404-2221 — Father’s Day hours are 5 to 9 p.m. with the regular menu of steaks, seafood and more.

Liberty Bar, 1111 S. Alamo St., (210) 227-1887 — Brunch on Father’s Day is from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. with dinner service available until midnight. Brunch specials include sourdough waffles with bacon and Original 1984 Waldorf Eggs Benedict. Other specials for the day include Hemphill County Cowboy Salad, Short Ribs and Fettuccine, Pork and Chicken Stew Oaxacan Style, Cherry Tarts and Abuelita Ice Cream.

La Gloria, 100 E. Grayson St., (210) 267-9040 – The restaurant will be open on Sunday from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.

Local Coffee, 302 Pearl Parkway, (210) 248-9133 – The coffee house will be open Father’s Day from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Mozie’s, 1601 Hunter Road, Gruene Historic District at New Braunfels, (830) 515-1281 – Let Dad enjoy lunch with the family in air conditioning while watching sports on eight all-sports TVs. The specials include Panko Parmesan Chicken with angel hair pasta in a chipotle cream sauce. Stop in Gruene Hall for free live music all day while in Gruene. Opens at 11 a.m.

Morton’s the Steakhouse, 300 E. Crockett St., (210) 228-0700 — There’s a special three-course menu for Dad priced at $59.

Myron’s Prime Steakhouse, 136 N. Castell Ave., New Braunfels, (830) 624-1024; 10003 N.W. Military Hwy., (210) 493-3031 — Father’s Day dinner hours are 4 to 11 p.m.

Southerleigh offers Dad brews, meats and coastal seafood.

Southerleigh offers Dad brews, meats and coastal seafood.

Perry’s Steakhouse & Grille, 15900 La Cantera Parkway, (210) 558-6161 — The steakhouse will be open 4 to 9 p.m. on Father’s Day with its usual array of steaks, chops and seafood.

Ruth’s Chris Steak House, Concord Plaza, 7720 Jones Maltsberger Road, (210) 821-5051; Grand Hyatt, 600 E. Market St., (210) 227-8847 — The Concord Plaza location will be open at 4:30 p.m. Father’s Day with the full menu. The Grand Hyatt location will be open for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Southerleigh Fine Food & Brewery, 136 E. Grayson St., (210) 455-5701 – The restaurant is opening for dinner on Sunday and giving a complimentary commemorative beer glass to all fathers having dinner. 

Sustenio at Éilan Hotel and Spa, 17103 La Cantera Pkwy., (210) 598-2950 Father’s Day brunch will be from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. The buffet features Smoked Ribs plus Artisanal Cheese Selection, Antipasti Display, Charcuterie & Marinated Olives, Seasonal Fruit Display, Smoked Salmon Display, Caesar Salad with Focaccia Croutons and Garlic Vinaigrette, Caprese Salad, Classical Eggs Benedict, Brioche French Toast, Oven Roasted Salmon with Mango & Peach Chutney, Grilled Breast of Chicken with Organic Mushrooms, Chef’s Omelet Station and Carved-to-Order Prime Beef. A Bloody Mary Bar will be offered. Cost: $24.95 for adults, $12.95 for children 4 – 12.

Texas de Brazil, 313 E. Houston St., (210) 229-1600 — Service begins at 11 a.m. on Father’s Day. All Dads will receive a certificate for a free lunch or dinner on their next visit.

Whiskey Cake, 15900 La Cantera Parkway, (210) 236-8095 — Father’s Day food service is from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. with bar service until 11 p.m.

If you’d like to add your restaurant to this list, email

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Sandy Oaks Passport Adventure to a sizzling Argentine ‘Asado’

Sandy Oaks Passport Adventure to a sizzling Argentine ‘Asado’

Elmendorf, TX  – The next in a series of tastings from olive growing regions across the globe, this month’s Passport Adventure Series will showcase the olive oils, wines, cheeses and cuisine of Argentina.

Sandy Oaks Argentina_2015Join us on June 19 for an Argentine “Asado” – the national social gathering of friends, family, and locals around traditionally grilled meats and local wines.

On any given weekend in Argentina, a stroll through a neighborhood is sure to leave your belly raging and your head reeling with smoke and sizzling meat, sights and smells of asado, paired with great Argentinean wines.

Saundra (Sandy) Winokur, owner of Sandy Oaks Olive Orchard, will also present a brief history of the olive oil industry in Argentina.

The gathering starts Friday, June 19 at 6:30 p.m. Tickets are $75 per person.

For reservations, call 210.621.0044 or reserve online by clicking here. You can also view the complete menu for the event at this link.


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Growing Something Special at the Hot Wells Ruins

Growing Something Special at the Hot Wells Ruins

Planning this year's Hot Wells Harvest Feast.

Planning this year’s Hot Wells Harvest Feast.

Resurrecting the Hot Wells Hotel and Spa may seem a little crazy to some, after two fires in 1997 and 2011 destroyed much of the fabled resort. But that is somehow in keeping with the history of the place.

The "Gents" pool at the Hot Wells Hotel and Spa.

The “Gents” pool at the Hot Wells Hotel and Spa.

Its story begins in 1892, when the Southwestern Lunatic Asylum drilled a well in order to have enough water to operate, according to a history on the Edwards Aquifer website.

And it continues today as a project of the Hot Wells Conservancy, which was formed in 2013 “to preserve the vestiges of the historic hotel and provide educational, cultural, and environmental programming,” the site says.

But enough of history. What’s happening on the grounds of the spa these days?

Heirloom tomatoes known as blueberries.

Heirloom tomatoes known as blueberries.

You can take a yoga class regularly in the old ruins, if you’d like. Or you can join with hundreds of other food lovers on June 3 for Hot Wells Harvest Feast, a event in which you can tour the grounds while eating food grown on the property and sipping your choice of cocktails, wine and beer.

This is a fundraiser to benefit the conservancy that was created by Robbie Nowlin, executive chef of the Hotel Valencia, and artist Justin Parr, who lives on the grounds.

The concept is simple: The participating chefs, including the mixologists, have to include ingredients grown on the property in their dishes. That could mean one or more of several dozen heirloom tomatoes, peaches from the heavily laden trees, any of the many hot pepper varieties, hoja santa leaves, lovage, fennel pollen, garlic blossoms — you name it. Some of the booths will be set up inside the ruins, while the remainder will line the exterior, all under strands of Italian lights.

A few of the gardens at Hot Wells.

A few of the gardens at Hot Wells.

This year, Nowlin has more than 30 chefs lined up, and he had to turn away many more. He knows it has caused some hurt feelings, but he hopes they understand that there’s just not room to accommodate everyone at this point.

“I’m a chef,” he says, “not an event planner. But I’m an event planner.”

In the end, it’s the cause that’s important, and if you’d like to see this once-grandiose site restored or if you just want to have some fine food in a wholly unique setting, you can visit the Hot Wells Conservancy website for details. For a list of the participating chefs, click here.

A few tips if you’re making the trip to Hot Wells, 5503 S. Presa St., Wednesday or any time in the foreseeable future:

–Dress casually and for warm weather.

–Leave your high heels at home.

–Wear plenty of bug spray.

–Have a designated driver.

–Enjoy yourself.

Robbie Nowlin stands in the Hot Wells ruin.

Robbie Nowlin stands in the Hot Wells ruin.

The ruins of the Hot Wells Hotel and Spa.

The ruins of the Hot Wells Hotel and Spa.

Fennel grows by the ruins.

Fennel grows by the ruins.

Peppers grow amid the flowers.

Peppers grow amid the flowers.



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Lunch at Southerleigh, Basil Fest and More

Lunch at Southerleigh, Basil Fest and More

crawfish1Southerleigh opens for lunch at Historic Pearl

Southerleigh Fine Food and Brewery is now open for lunch. Beginning this week, Southerleigh will serve lunch from Monday to Friday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Chef Jeff Balfour says the lunch menu is featuring favorites from the dinner menu including the wood-fired pretzel served with beer cheese and sweet and spicy mustard, smothered and fried Parker Creek Ranch chicken breast served with red eye gravy, and the crawfish boil served with corn and red potatoes.

Southerleigh will also offer new sandwiches and salads including a pressure cooked pot roast in gravy sandwich served with shredded lettuce and tomato; Griddled 44 Farms Texas chili dog with 1015 onion, white cheddar, and hand-cut fries; and a chilled gulf shrimp roll with green goddess dressing, lettuce, and tomato.

Additionally, Southerleigh will offer the Cellarman’s Lunch Pail, which includes a choice of entrée from southern pot roast, crisp fried gulf golden tilefish, and wood-broiled oysters, served with your choice of green salad and market soup for $11.

Southerleigh offers weekday lunch from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., dinner daily from 6 p.m. to 11 p.m., and the bar is open daily from 2 p.m. to midnight. Southerleigh is located on the ground floor in the historic Pearl brewhouse at 136 East Grayson, Suite 120. For more information, please visit


Houston Street Food Community Picnic is Sunday

Support the San Antonio Food Bank by attending this Saturday’s gourmet picnic, with basket selections from Bohanan’s, Luke, the Monterey, Market on Houston, The Palm and more. Your basket purchase includes live music and unlimited wine and beer.

The picnic baskets must be reserved from participating restaurants ahead of time and picked up at the event Sunday, May 31.

picnic basketThe event will be on Houston Street between Navarro and St. Mary’s from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. The gourmet picnic baskets will be $50 each. For $25 you can pick up a “kid-friendly” basket.

Visit the Houston Street Food website by clicking here at the store to look over the menus and reserve your basket. Each dollar raised from this event helps provide seven meals for a child this summer, while school is out and children lose their daily access to school lunches and breakfast.


Basil Fest is this Saturday at Pearl

Laurel Tree Basil1The San Antonio Herb Market Association is proud to present Basil Fest 2015 Saturday, May 30
from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Historic Pearl. The event is free and open to the public and includes plants sales, cooking demonstrations, a chef’s challenge and other educational features for all ages to enjoy.

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It’s Beer and Brunch at Barbaro This Saturday

It’s Beer and Brunch at Barbaro This Saturday

On Saturday morning, you can drink your oats for breakfast.

founders-kentucky-breakfast-stoutBarbaro, 2720 McCullough Ave., and Founders Brewing are throwing a breakfast party to celebrate the release of Founders’ KBS (Kentucky Breakfast Stout), an imperial stout brewed with oats, coffee and chocolate, then cave-aged in oak bourbon barrels for an entire year to make sure bourbon undertones come through in the finish. 

Barbaro will be serving KBS along with Founders’ Curmudgeon Old Ale, brewed with molasses and a focus on the malt bill, then oak-aged. In addition to Barbaro’s regular a la carte brunch menu, the restaurant will be serving Italian sausage links and porcini mostarda seasoned with ten herbs paired with the KBS.

The breakfast party will be from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.  For more information, visit 



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