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Restaurants and Reservations, an Easy, Delicious Combination for Thanksgiving Dinner


Turkey, it’s what’s for dinner at Thanksgiving. But it’s not all that restaurants are offering.

Why stress making Thanksgiving dinner when you can have the big meal served to you at a restaurant — and no dishes to wash afterward. There are plenty of options in San Antonio to meet all prices and tastes, including the following list. Reservations are required at all places, unless otherwise noted. Tax and tip are not included in the prices listed.

Achiote River Cafe & Bar at the Grand Hyatt, 600 E. Market St., (210) 451-6171 — Thanksgiving dinner will be served noon-10 p.m. The buffet starts with Forest Mushroom and Chestnut Bisque and salads: Organic Mixed Winter Greens, Waldorf, fresh fruits and compotes, whole grains and dried fruits, and select seafood. Specialties include Roast Pepper Crusted Tom Turkey and Pan Gravy, Smoked Rack of Pork with Chutneys and Relishes, Stuffed Planked Scottish Salmon, Corn Bread Stuffing with Grilled Poblanos, Crushed Garlic Scented Yukon Potatoes, Cauliflower au Gratin, Coconut Honey Sweet Potatoes, Ratatouille, and Mussels a la Cubana. Pastries and breads round out the array. Cost: $45 for adults, $22.50 for children 6-12. Menu price does not include an 18 percent tip, tax or alcoholic beverages.

Auden’s Kitchen, 700 E. Sonterra Blvd., (210) 494-0070 —Thanksgiving service will be 11 a.m.-6 p.m. The meal will be buffet style including your choice of one entrée. Appetizers and salads include antipasti, veg wrap pinwheels, stuffed mushrooms, roasted beet salad, Bibb salad with red wine vinaigrette, green lentil and marinated veg salad and Caesar salad. Entree options:  Sage roasted turkey, cornbread and Tasso ham stuffing;  Cinnamon and Harrisa roasted turkey, sweet potato hash, brussel sprouts with Spanish chorizo;  Ribeye with bacon and onion stuffed potato; and Salmon with lemon risotto and sautéed fennel.  The dessert table includes apple butter pumpkin pie bars, sweet potato bundt cake with marshmallows, peanut butter crunch chocolate bars, bourbon pecan pie, apple crumble pie bars, assortment of cookies. The price: $38.95 for adults or $18.95 for kids 12 and under.

Biga on the Banks,203 S. St. Mary’s St., (210) 225-0700 — Thanksgiving dinner hours are 11 a.m.-8 p.m. The Thanksgiving dinner includes a selection of appetizers and salads, plus a choice of of the following entrées: Herb Roasted Organic Turkey, sourdough sage and apple smoked bacon dressing, green beans; Jerk-rubbed Organic Turkey, Jamaican rice and peas, plantains; Pepper Roasted Beef Ribeye, grilled Idaho with fixings; braised pork with green chiles and white beans, mustard greens, fried egg;  Organic Nutty Brown Farms Eggs Benedict, English muffin, grilled baby romaine, Canadian bacon; Texas Brioche Toast, three berry compote, crunchy bacon, maple syrup; Crab and shrimp croquettes, basil aioli, frisee, marinated olives and beans; Guajillo-cranberry glazed Red American Snapper, butternut squash pepita risotto cake;  and a vegetarian dish. For a $5 supplement, get baked potato au gratin, Green beans with crunchy onions, garlic mashers, sourdough dressing, country potatoes, scrambled eggs, and pork braised beans. A children’s menu and a dessert station also offered. Cost is $58 for adults and $27 for children 12 and under.

Thanksgiving dinner at Antlers is one of three dining options people have at the Hyatt Hill Country this year.

Crumpets, 3920 Harry Wurzbach Road, (210) 821-5600 — Thanksgiving dinner will be served from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Chef and owner François Maeder is preparing traditional Thanksgiving dishes with his own taste of Europe. Guests can look forward to a menu with roasted turkey  and baked ham with all the trimmings ($28.50), as well as Maeder’s Veal Scaloppini with mushroom cognac sauce ($33.50) and other restaurant favorites. All entrees are served with fresh bread, salad, appetizer and dessert. A children’s menu is also available.

Earl Abel’s, 1201 Austin Hwy., (210) 822-3358 — The Thanksgiving menu will be served 11 a.m.-9 p.m., with breakfast starting at 6:30 a.m. Reservations are not accepted.  Appetizer specials include pumpkin soup, Earl’s Cream of Chicken soup and deviled eggs. Entree options: Roasted Turkey with handmade cornbread dressing, giblet gravy and cranberry relish; fried chicken with mashed potatoes; Thanksgiving pot roast with mashed potatoes and carrots; fried shrimp served with a baked potato; and a repeat of last year’s Venison Sausage from Broken Arrow Ranch in Ingram and served with German Potato Salad and Red Cabbage. Pies that day will include pumpkin pie, sweet potato pecan pie with Chantilly cream, chocolate ice box pie, pecan pie, strawberry shortcake, and chocolate and butter crème cakes. There will also be a children’s menu.

Frederick’s Restaurant, 7701 Broadway, (210) 828-9050; Frederick’s Bistro,  14439 N.W. Military Highway, (210) 888-1500 — Thanksgiving hours are from 11 a.m.-2:30 p.m. and from 5-9 p.m. A few items from the lunch menu: Butternut Squash Pumpkin Soup ($6);  Lobster Bisque ($7);  Crab Cake with Spicy Remoulade ($9.5);  Roquefort Walnut Salad ($7);    Avocado, Jumbo Lump Crab Meat Salad ($25); Frederick’s Traditional Thanksgiving Turkey served with Home-style Stuffing, Fresh Cranberries and Seasonal Vegetables ($19); Jumbo Sea Scallops with Capers and Lemon and Butter, Caper Sauce ($20); and Black Angus New York Strip with Grilled Shrimp & Béarnaise ($29). Highlights from the holiday dinner menu include Frederick’s Spring Rolls ($9);  Crispy Calamari with Spicy Marinara Sauce ($9);  Oyster Casino ($9);  Escargot Bordelaise with Mushrooms and Garlic Butter ($10);  Frederick’s Traditional Thanksgiving Turkey served with Home-style Stuffing, Fresh Cranberries & Seasonal Vegetables ($25); Norwegian Salmon with Whole Grain Mustard White Wine Sauce ($27);  Black Angus Beef Tenderloin with Grilled Shrimp & Béarnaise ($34) and Parmesan Crusted Rainbow Trout with Avocado Relish ($28). Children’s menu available at both meals.

Green Vegetarian Downtown location only; 1017 N. Flores;  210-320-5865, $15 per person. Prix Fixe menu: Roast Turkey; Glazed Wham; Sausage and Apple Stuffing; Glazed Yams; Green Bean Casserole; Mashed Potatoes; Cranberry Salad; Tea. Please RSVP to marketing@GreenSanAntonio.com. www.GreenbSanAntonio.com

Hilton Palacio del Rio, 200 S. Alamo St., (210) 224-3357 — Seating times are at 10 a.m., noon and 2 p.m. The lavish buffet includes fresh salads, bread display, an omelet station, entrées, traditional turkey and dressing, and a delicious dessert display. Price: Adults $34.95, Seniors/Military $31.95, Children 6-10 $16.95, Free for children 5 and under. Includes complimentary valet parking.

Hyatt Hill Country Resort,9800 Hyatt Resort Drive, (210) 767-7999 — The resort is offering two dining options for all tastes:

  • The Hill Country Ballroom will be offering a brunch from 10:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m. Features include a rustic soup station with butternut squash soup, onion soup with Gruyère crouton, roasted tomato soup with smoked cheddar crostini, chicken tomatillo soup, and posole with cilantro and diced onion. The salad bar includes a selection of local greens, composed salads, and a specialty apple and pear tasting accompanied by warm mulled cider, Seafood: jumbo shrimp and cascabel chile cocktail sauce, hand-shucked oysters with jalapeño mignonette, smoked salmon with traditional garnish and mini bagels, smoked garlic mussels. Cheese kiosk and artisan breads will include locally made cheeses and crusty breads, warm, smoked-cheddar green chile biscuits with agave butter, Leaning Oaks Vineyard wine conserves and chipotle-pomegranate jam, and a marinated vegetable and olive bar. On the Butcher Block: citrus-coriander basted tom turkey with house-made gravy, maple-glazed honey baked ham with spicy mustard, and roasted beef steamship with horseradish. There will also be a Cranberry Bar, Pasta and specialties, including sweet potato with marshmallow gratin, corn bread stuffing, mashed garlic potatoes, baked “fresh catch” with lime butter cream sauce, roasted acorn squash with sherry and chestnuts, haricot vert and pancetta. Breakfast items, pastries and a children’s buffet also included. Cost: $49.95 for adults, $39.95 for seniors, and $23 for children 5-12 years.
  • Thanksgiving dinner in Antlers will be served 3-9 p.m. The special menu begins with soup and salad: Spanish Chorizo and Kale Soup with Leeks, Carrots, Celery, and Potato plus Chopped Salad with Romaine and Radicchio, Apple Bacon, Bleu Cheese, Pecans and Maple Vinaigrette. Main Dishes and Accompaniments include Sage Butter Roasted Turkey and Kettle Gravy, Lavender Honey-Glazed Ham, Wild Mushroom and Chorizo Stuffing, Tequila-Jalapeño and Traditional Cranberry Sauce, Smoked Cheddar Whipped Potatoes, Autumn Vegetable Hash, Parmesan Broccolini with Smoked Paprika, and fresh baked breads and butter. Dessert is your choice of Caramelized Pumpkin Tart with White Chocolate Whipped Cream, Roasted Apple-Cranberry Cobbler or Bourbon Chocolate Pecan Pie. Sommelier-recommended specialty wines available. Cost: $53 adults, $42 seniors, and $22 children 6-12.
  • The Springhouse Café will serve dinner from 5 to 10 p.m. The meal will include the traditional Thanksgiving favorites with a carving station for turkey and ham. Cost: $23 for adults, $11.50 for children 6-12. Reservations are not required.

JW Marriott, 23808 Resort Parkway, (210) 483-6622 — The Grand Oaks Ballroom will be the scene of a Thanksgiving buffet from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Options start with breakfast items, including Omelet Station, Fresh Fruit and Berries, Warm Breakfast Pastries, House Smoked Salmon, Mini Bagels, Farm Fresh Scrambled Eggs, Applewood Smoked Bacon and Elgin Hot Links Sausage. Salads, breads, sides and soups will be served along with seafood: Shrimp, Snow Crab Claws, Clams, and Oysters. At the carving station: Maple Brined Tom Turkey, Peach and Cranberry Relish, Prime Rib, Natural Pan Jus, Potato Sea Salt Rolls, and Bourbon Glazed Smoked Pork Loin. A dessert buffet and a children’s buffet are also included. Price: $54.95 for adults, $46.95 for seniors, and $25.95 for children 4 and older.

Las Canarias at La Mansion del Rio, 112 College St., (210) 518-1177 —The Thanksgiving buffet is served from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. The buffet includes complimentary parking and choice of champagne, mimosas and Bloody Mary. The cost is $72 for adults, $36 for children 6-12 and free for children 5 and younger. Regular a la carte dinner service with featured themed specials will resume at 6 p.m.

Las Ramblas, Hotel Contessa, 306 W. Market St., (210) 298-3040 — Seatings are at 10:30 a.m., 12:30 p.m., 2:30 p.m. and 3:45 p.m. The meal will include two carving stations at the main buffet, a waffle and omelet station, a chilled seafood display, a pastry chef’s table and a children’s buffet. Price: Adults, $41 (with bottomless mimosas and sangria, add $9); children 7-16, $16.

Expect to find all sorts of pies among the dessert offerings.

Luce Ristorante e Enoteca, 11255 Huebner Road, (210) 561-9700 — The restaurant will be open noon-4 p.m. Thanksgiving Day. A traditional turkey dinner will be served for $21.95 per person. The a la carte dinner menu will also be served.

Lüke, 125 E. Houston St.,  (210) 227-5853 — The Thanksgiving dinner will be served 11 a.m.-11 p.m. The five-course family-style Thanksgiving feast will be served to all, including service men and women from Fort Sam Houston, who will be honored guests that day. Starters include Crab Deviled Eggs, Southern Caviar and Cornmeal Pancakes, Hogs Head Cheese and Grilled Bread, and Boudin Balls, followed by Shrimp Maison, Braune Farms Beet Salad, Young Spinach Salad, Creole Seafood Gumbo, Turducken, Dirty Rice, Texas Yam Souffle, Mirliton and Shrimp Stuffing and more. Dessert is a choice of Mascarpone and Pumpkin Pie with White Chocolate Croustillant, Wild Turkey Pecan Pie with Vanilla Pot de Creme, Walnut and Apple Strudel with Creole Cream Cheese Ice Cream, or Brendan’s Bread Pudding, Candied Pecans, Vanilla Ice Cream. The cost is $45 for adults, $20 for children, plus tax and gratuity. A limited a la carte menu will be available as well.

Mike’s in the Village, 2355-3 Bulverde Road, Bulverde, (830) 438-2747— Thanksgiving dinner with will be served 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Start with a choice of Butternut Squash Soup, Chicken & Sausage Gumbo, Caesar Salad or Mixed Greens with Raspberry Vinegrette, followed by an entree of Cranberry Glazed Carrots; Green Beans & Mushroom Casserole; Creamy Goat Cheese Mashed Potatoes; Roasted Turkey Breast with Chorizo, Andouille, Walnut & Cornbread Stuffing; Giblet Gravy and Whole Fruit Cranberry Relish. Dessert is a choice of Pecan Pie with White and Dark Chocolate Sauce, Pumpkin Pie with Fresh Whipped Cream or White Chocolate Bread Pudding with Rum Sauce. The cost is $24.95 for adults, $9.99 for children under 10.

The Omni San Antonio at the Colonnade, 9821 Colonnade Blvd., (210) 691-8888 — The Thanksgiving brunch buffet will be from 10:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. with a turkey bar featuring several types of turkey, from Cajun and rotisserie to roasted and smoked, and a stuffing/dressing bar with fixings that include shrimp, chicken, chorizo, oysters, prosciutto, dried fruit and nuts. Rosemary steamship of beef and herb-crusted pork loin will also be offered in addition to soups, salads, desserts and breakfast items. The price is $39.95 per adult plus tax and a 21 percent service charge. Children ages 6-11 cost $16.95. You can also sponsor a wounded warrior to a Thanksgiving dinner when you make your reservation.

Candied yams are a seasonal favorite.

Oro at the Emily Morgan Hotel, 705 E. Houston St., (210) 224-0146 — Thanksgiving dinner will be served 10 a.m.-3 p.m. The seafood selection includes a variety of East Coast Oysters, Ahi Tuna, Gulf Redfish, Gulf Shrimp Ceviche, Gulf Cocktail Shrimp with Pickled Onion and Cilantro Cocktail and Littleneck Clams.  Chilled items include Bluebonnet Farms Heirloom Tomato and Roasted Mushrooms, local lettuces and salads, and assorted seasonal fruit and cheeses. Vegetables include Caramelized Brussels Sprouts and Steamed Wild Rice with Cranberries and Huckleberries, Roasted Cherry and Butternut Squash Puree, and Sweet Potato and Braised Cabbage Hash. Hot favorites: Carved Rosemary and Cardamon Scented Turkey, with Classic Dressing, Alamo Beer and Citrus Braised Berkshire Pork Shank, Mesquite Smoked Garlic Studded Beef Sirloin and Natural Jus, and Pan Seared Mahi Mahi with Passion Fruit Butter and Charred Bell Peppers. Dessert options: Petit Fours, Classic Seasonal Berry Cheesecake, Caramelized Texas Pecan Pie with Chantilly Cream, and Decadent Pumpkin Pie with Golden Raisin Caramel. Cost: $39.95 plus tax and tip; $19.95 for kids 12 and under. Complimentary Valet Parking.

Ostra at the Mokara Hotel, 212 W. Crockett St., (210) 396-5817 — Ostra will have its regular à la carte menu available all day. Featured themed specials are available during dinner service, beginning at 5:30 p.m.

Q on the Riverwalk at the Downtown Hyatt, 123 Losoya St., (210) 222-1234 — Thanksgiving dinner will be served 11:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m. Start with shrimp and crab claw shooters, prosciutto, capicola, Genoa salami, mortadella, marinated vegetables and Brazos Valley cheeses, season produce and salads, breads and soup as well as herb-roasted turkey breast or molasses-glazed bone-in ham, both carved to order. The Wall of Fire includes pistachio-encrusted salmon, brussels sprouts with bacon and caramelized onions, Brazos Valley White Cheddar mashed potatoes, Haricot Vert Casserole, and Bruleed Sweet Potatoes. Desserts include pumpkin cheesecake, bourbon pecan pie, Calvados apple cobbler, maple creme brulee, clementine fruit tarts, banana pudding cones and cinnamon roll French toast. Cost is $44 for adults or $22 for children. Price includes a glass of champagne and parking in the garage across the street.

Sustenio at Eilan Hotel Resort and Spa, 17103 La Cantera Parkway, (210) 598-2950 — On Thanksgiving Day, Sustenio is hosting a 3-course family style Thanksgiving Day meal from 11 a.m. – 3 p.m.  Start with a choice of two of the following: Apple and Pear Salad, Pumpkin Soup, Truffle Chantilly, Traditional San Antonio Smoked Pork Tamales, Caesar Salad, Double Diamond Texas Quail, Smoked Chicken Deviled Eggs, Crab Salad and Goat Cheese Dip ($5 per person for an additional appetizer.) Choose two entrée selections: Wood Grilled Beef with Wild Mushroom Ragout; Heritage Turkey Breast; Texas Oak-Wood Smoked Ham; Bacon Wrapped Pork Loin; Leg of Lamb; Pan Seared Stripe Bass; Pressed Confit Duck; and Vegetarian Pasta ($7 per person for additional entrée). Choose three side dishes: Grandma’s Corn Bread, Sautéed Green Beans, Savory Pumpkin-Anise Bread Pudding, Roasted Fingerling Potatoes, Caramelized Root Vegetables, Smoky-Cheddar Stone Ground Grits, White Bean and Grilled Vegetable Salad, Braised Red Cabbage, Honey Glazed Carrots, Sweet Potato Soufflé and Yukon Gold Potato Puree ($4 per Person for an additional side.) Choose two desserts: Peppermint Cheesecake, Spiced Orange-Cranberry Cake, Pumpkin Panna Cotta, Pecan Whiskey Tart, Fruit Tart and Apple Cobbler ($5 per person for additional dessert.)  The cost is $42 for adults, $16 for children.

Many restaurants will serve Thanksgiving favorites family-style.

The Terrace Grill at Riven Rock Ranch, 390 Hermann Sons Road, Comfort, (830) 995-4045 — Chef Brantley is serving Thanksgiving dinner from noon to 5 p.m. The cost will be $49.95 for adults and $29.95 for children under 10, plus beverage, tax and tip.  A salad precedes the meal featuring the following sides: Fresh baked sweet corn muffins with whipped butter; Four Cheese Broccoli Casserole-with Romano, Fontina, Provolone and mozzarella cheese, topped with toasted bread crumbs; Orange Scented Haricots Verts with sun dried cranberries and toasted almonds; Sweet Corn, Water Chestnut and Texas Mushroom Cornbread Stuffing; and Agave Syrup Infused Sweet Potatoes and Spiced Apples with a Whiskey Glaze. You can choose two of the three meats from the carving station: Oven Roasted Turkey Breast, Center Cut Pork Loin and Amaretto, Pecan & Peach Glazed Smoked Ham. Dessert choices: Warm Coconut Milk Hot Chocolate-served with Chantilly whipped cream, grated chocolate and marshmallows; Caramel Jonagold Apple Cheesecake Bars with ginger snap cookie crust and streusel topping; and Traditional Pumpkin Pie-creamy custard based pumpkin pie sprinkled with candied pecans and spiced whipped cream.

Texas de Brazil, 313 E. Houston St., (210) 299-1600 — The Brazilian steakhouse opens at noon  Thanksgiving Day with a few traditional items, such as roast turkey, sweet potato casserole and cranberry sauce in addition to the regular array of meats.

Vegeria Vegan Restaurant, 8407 Broadway, (210) 826-4223 — Vegeria’s Thanksgiving buffet will be 100 percent vegan and gluten free. It will also be completely local and organic.  The cost is $20 and includes drinks and dessert, but not tax or tip.  Seating choices are Slot A: 10:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.; Slot B: 12:30 – 2:30 p.m.; Slot C: 2:30 – 4:30 p.m. On the menu: Corn Cheddar Bread Pudding, Quinoa and Corn Bread Stuffing, Harvest Kale Salad with Candied Pecans and Walnuts, House Salad, Green Bean Casserole, Herbed Mashed Potatoes, Pumpkin and Butter Nut Squash Curry, Fresh Cranberry Sauce, Baked Herb Tofu with Creamy Portabella Gravy, fresh vegetables with homemade vegan cheese, Fresh Corn Bread and Jalepeño Cheddar Corn Bread, Pumpkin Spice Tamales, Spinach and Cream Cheese Tamales, Thanksgiving Stuffed Tamales, Raw Pumpkin Cheesecake, Raw Pecan Pie, Apple Spice Cupcakes, and Pumpkin Spice with Bavarian Cream Cupcakes. The raw menu includes raw savory pumpkin seed loaf with cranberry sauce, raw marinated kale and mushrooms, raw apple and sweet potato casserole, house salad, Raw Pumpkin Cheesecake and Raw Pecan Pie.

The Westin La Cantera, 16641 La Cantera Parkway, (210) 558-2439 — The Thanksgiving meal will be offered during seatings that run ever half hour from 10:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.  The brunch will include soup, salads, and carving stations with roast tom turkey, pineapple-glazed ham and prime rib au jus. Entrees include tomato-mozzarella stuffed chicken roulade, Provençal-style salt cod, and chile-rubbed pork loin. Breakfast specials, an array of side dishes and desserts, and a children’s menu are all offered.  Cost is $49 for adults, $25 for children.

If you would like to add another restaurant to the list, email walker@savorsa.com or griffin@savorsa.com.

 

 

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Restaurant Notes & Quotes: Biga, Kirby’s and Sea Island


Kirby’s Alaskan King Crab Cake part of their Restaurant Week menu.

Restaurant Week extensions

Culinaria’s Restaurant Week last week was a hit — and at least three restaurants will be extending their Restaurant Week offerings. These include Biga on the Banks, 203 S. Saint Mary’s St.; Auden’s Kitchen, 700 E. Sonterra Blvd;  and Kirby’s Prime Steakhouse, 123 N. Loop 1604 E.

Restaurant Week featured special menus at lunch, for $15 and dinner, for $35. You can check out their menus by clicking here.

“A to Zealand” at Rock San Thai and Sushi Restaurant

Chef Rocky Niravong has planned a great four-course dinner to accent wines from
Argentina and New Zealand. Dinner begins with a Pinot Gris from New Zealand and move to two great reds from Argentina.  The finish will be a Late Harvest Sauvignon Blanc from Marlborough.  Cecil Flentge will be there to discuss the wines as you enjoy the special dishes Niravong has for the night.

Event is Saturday, September 15, 7 p.m., $39.95 per person, not including tax or tip. For reservations call: 210-561-0011. Rock San Thai and Sushi Restaurant is at 5238 De Zavala Road.

Kids Eat Free, Mondays at Sea Island

Check out Sea Island Shrimp House’ new promotion, kids eat free every Monday, now through through Sept. 30. The promotion, which is valid every Monday all day, includes one free kid’s meal with the purchase of one adult entrée.  The kid’s meals feature one of four entrées and include a hush puppy, a choice of a side dish or Mott’s Applesauce and a free fountain drink. The entrees are Shrimp Bites, Fish Bites, Hamburger and Chicken Tenders.

Each Kid’s Meal costs $4.95 when ordered off of the menu, so a family of four ordering two adult entrées dining with two children 12 or under could save $9.90.

Mango Pork Carnitas Tacos at Barriba Cantina.

Music, Mexican street food on the River Walk

Barriba Cantina on the San Antonio River Walk is open from 11 a.m. to 2 a.m., seven days a week, and features Mexican street food that is available until closing time.  Happy hour specials are available every Monday through Friday between 3 – 6 p.m. ($4 drafts, $4 wells and $2 off all Barriba Cantina signature cocktails).

Barriba also offers live music seven days a week, and during the day on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays.  There is no cover charge for the music. Music schedules are updated regularly on Barriba Cantina’s website. See what’s coming up!

The Hangar introduces new Smoked Meat Sandwich

The Hangar, a local bar and restaurant in the Alamo Heights area, at 8203 Broadway, introduced a new Smoked Meat Sandwich this month. Their cooks season a slab of brisket, then it is rubbed and cured for five days, then slow-cooked for five hours. It is served on rye bread with mustard, a pickle spear and home-cut fries. The sandwich is available Fridays through Sundays until they run out.

 

 

 

 

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Auden’s Kitchen Conjures Welcome Comparisons of Home


Marinated grape tomato and watermelon salad

Sampling the menus around the city for the past few days during Culinaria’s Restaurant Week has been a great way to taste the wide variety we have here. By Friday evening, I was hankering for a bit of comfort food, so I headed off for Auden’s Kitchen for three courses of food that reminded me of home.

The menu was perhaps a little bit fancier than Mom would have made, but the spirit in the approach of Bruce Auden’s staff was similar.

Take the salad that started the meal as a perfect example. It was made of marinated grape tomatoes and watermelon tossed with greens  (and reds, if you count the radicchio), feta cheese and bits of crisp pancetta. The greens  were so fresh that they reminded me of the lettuce we would pick from our backyard garden. The balsamic in the dressing added a sweet touch, which also echoed Mom’s. Several slices of ripe avocado on top added a creamy touch.

Smoked pork tenderloin with braised red cabbage

Two thickly cut slabs of pork tenderloin arrived atop a bed of braised red cabbage flavored with applewood-smoked bacon, providing an appealing pair of ways to enjoy pork. As good as the smoked pork was, tender and moist, with a demi-glace adding flavor, the cabbage was the real star of the plate, upstaging even the crispy potatoes, which were good, if not memorable. The size of the vegetable servings were also generous, prompting another memory of home.

A ginger peach cobbler arrived warm and showcasing a harvest of fresh peach slices. Dumplings swimming in a thick, sweet, buttery sauce held it all together. This dish was perhaps the closest to Mom’s, though I could have wished for a little more ginger in the mix. I doubt anyone would have even remembered the ginger, however, when spooning up that first taste of firm peach and silky sauce.

Ginger peach cobbler

A glass of house wine was included with the Restaurant Week price. I chose the Sauvignon Blanc and was rewarded with a New Zealand-style explosion of passion fruit flavor with a brightly acidic base. The food may have been a little sweet for the wine, but it was a treat on its own.

Auden’s Kitchen offered an extra bit of comfort Friday night by showing a movie in its courtyard. Those not afraid of the heat, and that included a few kids, enjoyed “Labyrinth.” The series continues next week just after dark.

“Labyrinth” on the patio screen.

Culinaria’s Restaurant Week, however, continues only through this evening. That leaves you with one last chance to try a multi-course lunch for $15 or dinner for $35. For a list of participating restaurants, click on the Culinaria ad above.

Auden’s Kitchen
700 E. Sonterra Blvd.
(210) 494-0070
www.audenskitchen.com

 

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Have Visions of Honey-Glazed Hams and Christmas Treats Dancing in Your Heads


Book your reservations for Christmas Eve or Christmas Day.

Christmas falls on a weekend this year, which means a great many restaurants will be closed on Dec. 25 and many are closing earlier than usual on Dec. 24. But the following will be open for special meals. Make sure you make reservations. Prices do not include tax and tip.

And have a merry Christmas.

Achiote at the Grand Hyatt, 600 E. Market St., 210-224-1234 —At Achiote, you’ll find:

  • A Christmas Eve buffet from 5 to 10 p.m. with a salad station, Carved Smoked Prime Rib with Yellow Tomato Chimichurri, Horseradish Sauce and Salsa Verde as well as Pollo Verde Tomatillo Salsa, Grilled Salmon with Ancho Ginger Jus, Roasted Rosemary Red Potatoes, Rice Pilaf/Black Bean and Corn, Pork Posole, Roasted Calabasas, Shrimp and Roasted Corn Chowder, Homemade Tortilla Chips and Queso. A bread display and assorted desserts are also available. Cost: $20 a person plus tax and 18-percent tip.
  • The Christmas Day buffet will be served noon-9 p.m. Highlights include: a salad station, Slow Roasted Strip Loin, Roasted Pork Loin, medley of roasted potatoes, wild rice pilaf, Roasted Carrot and Kabocha Soup, Togarashi Seared Mahi Mahi, Chimichurri Chicken Breast, roasted local harvest vegetables and Poblano-Garlic Creamed Corn. A bread display and assorted desserts are also available. Cost: $20 a person plus tax and 18-percent tip.

Auden’s Kitchen, 700 E. Sonterra Blvd., 210-494-0070 — Christmas Eve hours are 11 a.m.-8 p.m. with lunch from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. and dinner from 3-8 p.m. The appetizer special will be  Crispy Lobster Wontons with a sweet chili dipping sauce. For  $36.95, a three-course prix-fixe will include choice of  Frisee and Apple Salad with cherries and walnuts or a cup of soup;  choice of Lamb Stroganoff with local mushrooms over peppered spaetzle  or  Cioppino with mahi mahi, shrimp, mussels, and scallops; and choice of  Beignets with three sauces: Mexican chocolate, caramel with pink sea salt and clementine marmalade. All specials will be available a la carte.  Closed Dec. 25-26.  www.audenskitchen.com.

Biga on the Banks, 203 S. St. Mary’s St., 210-225-0722 — Christmas Eve hours are 5-8 p.m. The special menu includes the following starters:   Shrimp Spring Rolls, Duck Dumpling with foie grass apples and braised cabbage, Steamed PEI Mussels with Spanish chorizo, Chicken-Fried Oysters, House Apple-Smoked Salmon Nachos, and Farmed-Raised American Transmontanous Caviar. Soups and salads include  Turkey Chowder, Pear and Tangerine Salad, Warm Spinach Salad, and Baby Iceberg Lettuce. Entrees include Seared Natural Scallops,  fresh catches for the day,  Close-to-Bouillabaisse,  Braised Veal Osso Buco, Grilled Beef Tenderloin,  Roasted Game Hen with Boudin sausage risotto,  11-Spiced Texas Sika Venison and Grilled Texas Quail, and Smoky Pork Loin Chops. Dessert options include  Christmas Pudding, Eggnog Creme Brulee with Santa’s favorite cookies, Chocolate Bouche de Noel, Chocolate Soufflé with candy cane anglaise, and Apple Pie with vanilla ice cream and walnuts.

Boudro’s on the River Walk, 421 E. Commerce St., 210-224-8484 — Boudro’s will be open Christmas Eve and Christmas Day from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. The holiday special includes a Christmas Salad with sour apples, spice almonds and smoked tomato piloncillo vinaigrette, black Angus rib-eye with Bordelaise, Yukon gold scalloped potato and Parmesan and cream spinach flan. Dessert is winter spiced molten chocolate cake with sugard raspberries. The cost is $38 a person. The regular dinner menu is also available. www.boudros.com

Crumpets, 3920 Harry Wurzbach, 210-821-5454 — On Christmas Eve, dinner will be served from 5:30 to 11 p.m. Chef François Maeder will be serving a holiday menu beginning with appetizer choices such as Mousse Truffle Pâté, Stuffed Artichoke or Nova Scotia Smoked Salmon and Cream of Mushroom or New England Clam Chowder soups. Entrée choices include Breast of Chicken with Montrachet Sauce, Fresh Rainbow Trout, Shrimp Lyonnaise with Wild Rice Blend, Tenderloin of Beef Savoy or Veal with Chanterelles Mushrooms and Cognac Sauce. Or try the Trilogy, which includes an appetizer, soup and house salad, Lobster Tail with Garlic Butter, Rack of Lamb and Tenderloin of Beef Rossini. www.crumpetsa.com.

Santa's helpers know what they want for dinner. Use our list to help make your plans.

Earl Abel’s, 1201 Austin Hwy., 210-822-3358 — Earl Abel’s has a busy holiday schedule:

  • Christmas Eve hours will be 6:30 a.m.-11 p.m. with Christmas wassail and a series of seasonal specials, including Christmas Ham Steak, traditional roasted turkey, Rosemary and Lemon Roasted Chicken, pot roast, fried chicken, fried shrimp and Niman Ranch Top Sirloin, plus a limited menu of regular favorites.
  • Earl Abel’s will be open on Christmas Day for the first time since 1965 and only the second time in its 78-year history. Hours are from 9 a.m. to noon for breakfast with the special menu served from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Only the special menu will be served and will include the following entrées: Christmas Ham Steak, traditional roasted turkey, pot roast, fried chicken, fried shrimp and Niman Ranch Top Sirloin. The To Go window will be closed but to-go fried chicken orders can come into the main dining room with the cashier.
  • There is a takeout menu with your choice of an 11-pound Honey-Glazed Country Ham ($160) or 23-pound Oven-Roasted Turkey ($145) with cornbread dressing, giblet gravy, cranberry relish and dinner rolls for $145. Or get half a turkey with sides ($95) and just a turkey for $90.

Frederick’s Restaurant, 7701 Broadway, 210-828-9050, and Frederick’s Bistro, 14439 N.W. Military Hwy, 210-888-1500 — The restaurants will be open for dinner only on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. The special Christmas menu will include, but will not be limited to, some of the following starters: Mussel and Crab Chowder, Cherry Wine Infused Beef Consomme, Duck Foie Gras Mousse and traditional escargot. Main course options include Frederick’s Traditional Turkey, Apple Cider and Maple Syrup Glazed Christmas Ham, Beef Tenderloin, Norwegian Salmon, Gratinated Fresh Maine Lobster Thermidor and Curried Lamb Chop.

Hyatt Hill Country, 9800 Hyatt Resort Drive — The resort has two options for Christmas Day:

  • Flavors of Christmas buffet in the Hill Country Ballroom will be offered Christmas Day from 10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Breakfast items will include  eggs Benedict, an omelet station, blintzes, pecan-smoked sausage, rosemary bacon and fresh Danish. The seafood bar will have pickling, spiced and chilled shrimp, hand-shucked oysters and smoked salmon and mussels. A rustic soup and salad station  will feature lobster bisque, chicken noodle, and French onion. On the butcher block:  oak-smoked prime rib, espresso and maple glazed ham and citrus coriander basted tom turkey. Pasta bar, tamales with green chile sauce, pecan crusted chicken, roasted pork loin and brown buttered apples, maple roasted sweet potatoes, butter whipped potatoes, green beans and pancetta, and wild rice with dried fruit are among the other dishes.  Desserts and drinks include  white hot chocolate, eggnog with fresh grated nutmeg, mulled apple cider, chocolate dipped strawberry trees, chocolate croissant, spiced poached pears, ice cream and gingerbread cake, spiced chocolate truffles, pecan chocolate pie, cranberry tarts and pumpkin pie. There will be a children’s buffet, and the Joe Posada band will play light jazz. Cost is $49.95 for adults, $39.95 for seniors over 60, and $23 for children ages 5-12. Call 210-767-7999 for reservations.
  • Christmas dinner in Antlers will be from 3 to 9 p.m. December 25th 3-9 p.m. The prix fixe dinner will begin with  Lobster Bisque and spinach and arugala salad with red onion, walnuts, locally sourced feta, warm green apple and jalapeño bacon vinaigrette, followed by your choice of two of the following: English cut, oak smoked prime rib, Roasted Turkey Roulade with a chorizo and dried fruit stuffing, grilled Texas quail with cornbread stuffing and pan seared seasonal catch with a locally sourced honey BBQ glaze. Sides include   herb roasted red potato, Hill Country grits casserole with Homestead Gristmill grits, smoked cheddar and chorizo and Roasted Brussels sprouts jalapeño bacon and roasted chestnuts. Dessert is baked “hot chocolate” with mint ice cream and Bailey’s cookie. Cost is $52 for adults, $40 for seniors over 60, and $20 for children ages 5-12. Call (210) 647-1234, ext. 51, for reservations.

Las Canarias at the Omni La Mansion del Rio, 112 College St., 210-518-1063 — The Christmas Day buffet will be served from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. with omelets made to order, Applewood Smoked Bacon, country breakfast sausage,  Belgian Waffles, Classic Mushroom and Gruyere Quiche, Olive Oil Fried Egg on Smoked Salmon Benedict, blintzes, Roasted Chestnut and Butternut Squash Bisque, chilled jumbo prawns, Louisiana Gulf oysters and cocktail crab claws, Smoked Trout Salad, Seared No. 1  Tuna, carving board of French charcuteriere and cheeses, handmade tortillas and gorditas, tamales, prime rib, Guinness and Honey Roasted Turkey Breast, leg of lamb, Grilled Shrimp and Texas Sausages with Shiner Bock BBQ, artisan hearth-baked breads, Chocolate Sponge Cake, Cream Cheese Cake Brulee, Lemon Shortbread Tarts and more. The cost is $68.95 a person.

Las Ramblas at the Hotel Contessa, 306 W. Market St., 210-229-9222 — The Christmas Day buffet will be 10:30 a.m.-4 p.m. Carving stations will feature Fruita Mustarda Rotisserie Prime Rib, Whole Roasted Duck with Orange Cognac Glaze, Rosemary Peppercorn Leg of Lamb with Cranberry Pinot Reduction and Valencian Paella Station. The main buffet will include artisan cheeses and fruit, country breads, lobster bisque, couscous salad, organic greens, Waldorf Salad, Apricot Brie Stuffed Pork Loin with Butterscotch Glaze, Kalamata Olive Bread Pudding with Asiago, roasted broccoli, shallots and cauliflower, roasted garlic mashed potatoes, apple fennel crisp, candied yams, eggs, waffles and omelets, boiled shrimp, snow crab claws, oysters, crawfish, ceviche shooters, mussel salad, and salmon, and the Pastry Chef’s Table, There will be a children’s buffet, and Santa is supposed to make an appearance. Cost: Adults, $39.95; children ages 7-16, $17.95 and children 6 and under, free.

The Lion and Rose, various locations — The locations will be open on Christmas Day with the regular menu.

Lüke on the River Walk, 125 E. Houston St., (210) 227-LUKE (5853) — Lüke will be open Christmas Day from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. The full menu and special à la carte holiday entrées will be available. lukesanantonio.com.

Morton’s the Steakhouse, 300 E. Crockett St., 210-228-0700 — Morton’s is open for lunch, 11:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m., on the following dates: Thursday, Friday and Dec. 20-22. There will be a limited menu plus a special prix fixe option with choice of soup or salad and entree for $35 per person. Christmas Eve hours are 5-10 p.m.

Oro at the Emily Morgan, 705 E. Houston St., 210-225-5100 — On Christmas Day, a family-style dinner will be served 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Salad will feature baby spinach with strawberries and goat cheese. The main course will be a family-style serving of chicken confit, buffalo sausage, and petite filet and sauces alongside seasonal vegetables and cranberry-studded wild rice with bacon and onions. The dessert assortment will include Tahitian vanilla bean creme brulee, bittersweet chocolate cake, tres leches with seasonal berries and cheesecake with chantilly cream. The cost is $44.95 per couple or $79.95 per four people.

Have yourself a merry Christmas dinner.

Q on the Riverwalk, Hyatt, 123 Losoya St., 210-382-6325 — At Q, two buffets are offered on Christmas Day:

  • From 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m., the menu will include such options as roasted peppercorn strip loin, crusted white fish, prime rib and bone-in ham, an antipasti display, baby Yukon potato salad, and more in addition to mini-chocolate pot de cremes, muesle breads, winter spiced carrot cake and eggnog shooters.
  • From 5 to 10 p.m., the Christmas dinner menu will feature roasted peppercorn strip loin, crusted white fish, and achiote-roasted pork shoulder as well as antipasti display, baby Yukon potato salad, and more in addition to muesle breads, baguettes, Texas berry buckles, spiced carrot cake and eggnog shooters.

Scenic Loop Cafe, 25615 Boerne Stage Road, 210-687-1818 — Christmas Eve hours will be 11 a.m.-8 p.m. with a limited menu. Christmas Day brings a holiday buffet from 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

The Westin La Cantera, 16641 La Cantera Parkway, 210-558-2439 — A host of holiday happenings are going on at the Westin. At 5 p.m. daily, guests are guided around the property by the storyteller, Bandera Cowboy Makin’ Dust, who sings and tells holiday stories while introducing the lores and legends of La Cantera. The program concludes with snow magically falling from the sky as the choir begins to sing a holiday song at the top of Plaza San Saba.  Santa’s Workshop, which runs through Dec. 24, is a place where guests can take a photo with Santa, make a holiday toy or decorate cookies with the elves. Some charges may apply.  Brannon’s Holiday Feast is served family style from 5 to 10 p.m. each evening. Lunch beginning at 11 a.m. will be added Dec. 17 and continue day and night through Dec. 25. Entrees include honey-glazed ham and grilled top sirloin with buttermilk biscuits, rosemary-roasted red bliss potatoes and sautéed green beans, plus warm chocolate molten cakes for dessert. Cost: $18 for adults; $12 for children. free for children 5 and younger. Minimum two people required.  For more on holidays at the resort, visit www.westinlacantera.com/holidays.html

Restaurateurs, if your restaurant is not included in this list, please email details to griffin@savorsa.com or walker@savorsa.com, and we will update the file as soon as we can.

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Rather Sweet to Become Sugar and Smoke; Auden’s Kitchen Updates Menu


Sugar and Smoke to open in Fredericksburg

Rebecca Rather

The Pastry Queen, Rebecca Rather, is planning a new restaurant. Her original place, Rather Sweet, has been closed for renovations and will reopen in January as Sugar and Smoke.

She will be teaming up with award-winning Wagyu brisket and steak chef Nicole Davenport on the venture.  “Our mission at Sugar & Smoke is to create dishes sourcing fresh, locally grown products that represent the best Texas flavors and styles!” the website says.

Nicole Davenport

Breakfast foods will include quiche, French toast and omelets, while lunch will bring a half-smoked chicken, pork-stuffed loin and pecan-smoked brisket.

The dessert list will include  pocket-sized key lime pies, tuxedo cake, Italian cream cake, hot chocolate cake, red velvet cupcakes, Big Haired Lemon Tarts, Garrison Bourbon apple pies and tiramisú.

Sugar & Smoke will also serve all of your favorite Beer and Wines as well as a selection of grab and go lunches including wraps, chicken salad, chips, and drinks.

The bakery/cafe will be open from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday with a Sunday Brunch each week from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

For more information visit www.sugarandsmoke.com.

New items at Auden’s Kitchen

In time for fall: Tomato Chipotle Goat Cheese Soup at Auden's Kitchen.

Auden’s Kitchen, 700 E. Sonterra Blvd., has introduced a new menu for the fall and winter seasons.

Tamarind-glazed quail with an Asian sesame slaw, mussels steamed with a local brew and served with fries, garlicky white bean dip with flat bread, and tomato chipotle goat cheese soup are among the small plates on the menu. Large plates include pan-seared salmon with feta polenta cake, Texas antelope and quail, and a seasonal ravioli.

Happy hour is from 3 to 7 p.m. daily with a new bar/patio menu. Snacks start at $4, while house cocktails are $5 and select wines and beers are $4.

For more information call (210) 494-0070 or click here.

Celebrate a new Texas bourbon

.36 Texas Bourbon Whiskey

Ranger Creek Brewing & Distilling, 4834 Whirlwind Drive, is celebrating the release of .36 Texas Bourbon Whiskey with a launch party from 7 to 9 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 26, just after Thanksgiving.

The event will featuring food from Lüke, 125 E. Houston St., including cochon du lait jambalaya, house-made sausages, Ranger Creek OPA-fried chicken, traditional Southern sides and bourbon pecan pie.

You can meet the distiller and have your bottle signed.

The cost is $60 a person, plus tax and gratuity. To make your prepaid reservation, call 210-227-LUKE or email jsoloman@chefjohnbesh.com.

Dady, Rather part of Pyles’ Celebrity Chef Dinner

Jason Dady

Lodge Restaurant of Castle Hills chef Jason Dady and Rebecca Rather are among the six chefs who’ll be part of the lineup for the 12th annual Stephan Pyles Celebrity Chef Dinner & Live Wine Auction, which is set for Dec. 4 at Pyles’ flagship restaurant in Dallas.

The event, presented under the auspices of the Wine & Food Foundation of Texas, raises money for the Stephan Pyles Culinary Scholarship.

Pyles will be cooking as well as Renee Morgan from Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts in Austin, who was the 2011 scholarship winner, David Garrido of Garrido’s in Austin and Nick Badovinus of Neighborhood Services Bar & Grill in Dallas. this is the second time Dady has participated in the event.

A Champagne reception kicks off the evening at 6 p.m. with dinner at 7 p.m. Seating is limited and reservations are required. The price is $150 a person (tax and gratuity included). Reservations can be made by calling the Foundation at (512) 327-7555 or by visiting www.winefoodfoundation.org.

According to a press release about the dinner, “The Stephan Pyles Culinary Scholarship is based upon an “Iron-Chef”-style cook-off each spring. Numerous students apply from across the state, and the top three applicants are selected for the challenge; the students must create a three-course menu utilizing a predetermined list of Texas ingredients.”

County Line class canceled

The County Line, 10101 I-10 W., has canceled its November cooking class. The class, which was set for this Friday, was too close to Thanksgiving for so many of the regulars, pitmaster Garrett Stephens said.

We’ll announce the next class as soon as it is scheduled.

 

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Give Thanks, and Don’t Forget to Make Reservations!


A traditional Thanksgiving dinner can be yours at many area restaurants.

Thanksgiving is approaching and there are numerous options if you want to dine out. Reservations are required at all places, unless otherwise marked. Tax and tip are not included  in the prices.

Achiote at the Grand Hyatt, 600 E. Market St., (210) 224-1234 — The buffet will be from noon to 9 p.m. Highlights include a salad station with organic mixed greens, Waldorf salad, tortilla slaw, shrimp pasta salad and fruit salad; a main area with  roasted tom turkey, Virginia bone-in ham, roasted garlic mashed potatoes, candied yams, corn and roasted poblano stuffing, giblet gravy, greens beans, miso-glazed salmon, cauliflower au gratin and roasted carrot kabocha soup with  horseradish yogurt, peach-apple chutney, cranberry-orange relish and whole grain mustard; and assorted desserts.  Cost is $30 a person, plus tax and 18 percent tip.

Antlers at the Hyatt Hill Country Resort & Spa; 9800 Hyatt Resort Drive (210) 647-1234 — Family style Thanksgiving dinner is 3-9 p.m. First course: Caldo verde with chorizo, leek, potato and kale; Fall harvest salad with locally sourced greens, shaved apple and green pear, toasted almonds, Brazos Valley blue cheese, cranberry jalapeño vinaigrette. Second course: Smoked turkey and kettle gravy; Lavender honey glazed ham; Chorizo stuffing; Tequila-jalapeno and traditional cranberry sauce; Butter whipped potatoes; Scalloped sweet potatoes with homemade marshmallow crust; Creamy baked green beans with mushroom and fried onions; Fresh baked breads and butter. Third course: Individual dessert selections; choice of one: Caramelized pumpkin tart with white chocolate whipped cream; Roasted apple-cranberry cobbler; Bourbon chocolate pecan pie. Cost: adults, $51; seniors, $40; children 5-12 years, $20; children 4 and under, free.

Auden’s Kitchen,700 E. Sonterra Blvd., (210) 494-0070 — Thanksgiving dinner will be served 11 a.m.-5 p.m. The special includes a salad, the dessert buffet and choice of entrée.   Appetizers, served a la carte, include  sizzling mushrooms, meat and cheese plate, roasted garlic white bean dip, and steamed mussels and fries. Entrées include sage-roasted turkey, pork sausage and apple dressing, creamy green bean with crispy shallots, skin-on mashers, pan jus, cherry cranberry sauce;  ancho-rubbed roasted turkey, charred poblano and sweet potato au gratin, brussel sprouts with Spanish chorizo, ancho jus;  14-ounce rib-eye, horseradish mashers, rosemary grilled asparagus, sautéed mushrooms, Auden’s Kitchen zinfandel steak sauce;  and whole roasted trout with potato galette, sautéed Swiss chard (if available), pine nut brown butter, cured lemon.  The dessert table will include pumpkin éclairs, pecan pie bars, walnut brownies, snickerdoodles and chocolate chip cookies. Cost is $38.95 for adults or $18.95 for children. The kids menu includes a traditional turkey plate, fish and chips, a burger and fettucine with marinara sauce.

Biga on the Banks,203 S. St. Mary’s St., (210) 225-0722 — The special Thanksgiving meal is 11 a.m.-8 p.m. There will be a buffet of appetizers and salads, followed by your choice of seated entrée: herb-roasted free range turkey with sourdough sage and applewood-smoked bacon dressing;  free-range turkey mole poblano; garlic-rubbed prime rib of beef rib-eye; braised lamb with tomatoes, coconut and curry flavors;  organic Eggs Benedict; and several fish options. Children’s options include chicken or turkey pasta, a child’s turkey plate and a child’s beef plate. The dessert buffet includes Chocolate Pecan Tart, Butternut Cheesecake with Gingersnap Crust, Sweet Potato Pie, Maple Vanilla Crème Brûlée, and Pumpkin Tartlette with Sweet Whip Cream. There is also a kids table with desserts, including dried fruit studded Rice Krispie treats, rocky road brownies and mini pumpkin cupcakes. Cost is $55 for adults, $27 for children ages 12 and under.

Boudro’s, 421 E Commerce St., (210) 224-8484 — The special dinner will be 11 a.m.1 p.m. The special menu includes a choice of butternut squash or green apple soup or spinach salad with pears, pickled red onions and almonds. Entree choices are Black Angus Rib-eye with chipotle bordelaise or achiote butter-basted turkey breast with savory dressing. Dessert options: Sweet potato pecan pie, pumpkin crème brûlée or a regular dessert off the menu. The cost is $38 for adults or $15 for a children’s turkey dinner. The regular dinner menu is also available.

Crumpets, 3920 Harry Wurzbach Road, (210) 821-5600 —The special Thanksgiving menu will be from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. All adult entrées are served with appetizer, bread, house salad and dessert. Appetizer options include  Mousse Truffle Pâté, Smoked Salmon with Cream Cheese, and Puff Pastry with White Wine Mushroom Sauce. Entrée options: Roasted Turkey and Baked Ham with stuffing, mashed potatoes and gravy ($28.50); Tenderloin of Beef ($35.50) ; Veal Scaloppini ($33.50)  Fresh Rainbow Trout Amandine or Meunière ($28.50). Children under 10 can have a turkey and ham plate with salad or dessert for $12.

Earl Abel’s,1201 Austin Hwy., (210) 822-3358 — The restaurant will open at 6:30 a.m. with Thanksgiving dinner from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. No reservations accepted. Among the appetizers will be pumpkin soup and deviled eggs. Roasted turkey with handmade cornbread dressing, giblet gravy and cranberry relish; fried chicken with mashed potatoes; Thanksgiving pot roast; fried shrimp; and venison sausage with German potato salad and red cabbage will be among the specials served that day. Pies, of course, will be available, including pu mpkin, chocolate iced box, pecan and maple as well as strawberry shortcake and chocolate and butter crème cakes. A children’s menu is also available.

The Emily Morgan,  705 E. Houston St., (210) 225-5100 — The Thanksgiving buffet is 10 a.m.-3 p.m.  Omelet station with all the fixings; Assortment of dim sum and spring rolls, dipping sauces, ancho chile shrimp, jicama slaw, ceviche with avocado, mango, and fresno pepper, assortment of fruit and berries, selection of imported and domestic cheeses. Salads: Marinated wild mushroom, with pickled onion; seasonal field greens, marinated tomato and pecans; baby spinach. strawberries, spiked almonds; fresh mozzarella and local tomato, aged balsamic vinegar, caramelized sweet potato puree, green bean casserole with blackened breadcrumbs, roasted new potatoes with garlic oil, honey-glazed carrots with pink peppercorns. Main dishes: Braised turkey with smoked apple dressing; Shiner Bock braised beef pot roast with carrots and potatoes; Blackened catfish with braised collard greens. Desserts: Chef’s selection of pies, tortes, and cakes.  $39.95 per person; Kids 10 and under eat free.

Frederick’s Resaturant, 7701 Broadway, (210) 828-9050, and Frederick’s Bistro,14432 N.W. Military Hwy., (210) 888-1500 — Lunch and dinner will be served at both locations. Frederick’s traditional Thanksgiving turkey will home-style stuffing, fresh cranberries and seasonal vegetables will be available for $25 a person in addition to other specials (Black Angus beef tenderloin with Gulf shrimp, jumbo sea scallops, lamb with garlic red wine sauce) and regular menu items.

Hyatt Hill Country Resort & Spa in the Springhouse Café: 9800 Hyatt Resort Drive, (210) 520-4000 for parties of 12 or more — The Thanksgiving meal is from 10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Reservations are not required. Rustic Soup Station: Butternut squash soup, pozole with cilantro and diced onion; Salad Bar: A selection of local greens, dressings and salad accompaniments prepared to order, composed salads derived from the fall harvest; Seafood: Jumbo shrimp and cascabel chile cocktail sauce, smoked salmon with traditional garnish and mini bagels, Cheese kiosk and artisinal breads, locally made cheeses and crusty breads; the Butcher Block: Citrus coriander basted tom turkey with homemade gravy, maple glazed honey-baked ham spicy mustard, Roasted beef steamship with horseradish, Traditional cranberry sauce; Pasta: Bourbon Barbecue ribbon pasta with red onion and local sausage, brisket with egg noodles with smoked paprika sauce, sweet potato with marshmallow gratin, corn bread stuffing, mashed garlic potatoes, baked “fresh catch” with lime butter cream sauce, roasted acorn squash with sherry and chestnuts, haricot vert and pancetta; breakfast:waffles, pancakes with assorted toppings; omelet bar, bacon and country sausage, biscuits and gravy, pastry, tarts, traditional pies, Black Forest Cheesecake, Red Velvet Cake, Warm Fig Bread Pudding with Bourbon Hard Sauce, White hot chocolate. Cost for adults, $38.95; seniors, $28.95;  children ages 5-12, $19.50; and children 4 and under, free.

Butternut squash and other fall vegetables are many Thanksgiving menus.

JW Marriott, 23808 Resort Parkway, (210) 483-6622 — The Thanksgiving buffet is from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. The feast includes a Hill Country salad bar; cold seafood including shrimp and slipper lobster; carving stations with slow-roasted tom turkey, prime rib and bourbon-glazed boneless ham; side dishes of roasted carrots, asparagus and parsnips, cornbread stuffing, buttermilk whipped potatoes, country-style candied yams, green bean casserole. The extensive dessert lineup includes Spiced Pumpkin Pie, Spiced Mincemeat Pie, Chocolate Bourbon Pecan Pie, Cinnamon Crumb Apple Pie, Red Velvet Cake, Fuji Apple Cider Cake, Chocolate Hazelnut Cake, Almond Caramel Cream Cake, Sweet Potato Roasted Marshmallow Tart, Orange Cardamom Truffle Tart, Key Lime Curd, Milk Chocolate Fudge, Pecan Caramel Swirl Cheesecake, Myers Lemon Vanilla Cream Cake, pralines, truffles, chocolate candies, and almond and coconut macaroons. There is a kids buffet, too. Cost is $52.95 for adults, $45.95 for seniors, $25.95 for children, and free for children ages 3 and under.

Las Canarias, Omni La Mansión del Rio, 112 College St., (210) 518-1063 — The Thanksgiving buffet will be 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Highlights include omelets made to order, applewood-smoked Wisconsin bacon, country-style pork sausage, maple blueberry sausages, sweet potato waffle station, Eggs Benedict, quiche, Meyer lemon and beet cured salmon and smoked halibut, charcuterie, salads, colossal shrimp, lobster and crab claws, fresh shucked oysters, heirloom tomatoes with Sandy Oaks Texas Olive Oil, smoked prime rib, roasted suckling pig, Texas citrus and sage roasted turkey breast, grilled Texas sausages from Elgin, grilled shrimp with Spanish chorizo. Pastry choices include Bourbon Texas Pecan Pie, Brown Butter Pumpkin Cheesecake, Caramelized Pineapple Cheesecake, Valrhona Chocolate Mousse Cakes, Pumpkin Pie Mousse Verrines, Rum Raisin Bread Pudding with Vanilla Anglaise, Warm Toffee Puddings with Toffee Sauce and more. Cost is $68.95 for adults, $34.95 for children ages 6-12.

Las Ramblas, Hotel Contessa,  306 W. Market St., (210) 298-8040 — The Thanksgiving buffet will be 10:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Carving stations include slow applewood-smoked prime rib, roasted turkey with giblet gravy, salt-crusted striped bass and Valencian paella station. The main buffet will feature artisan cheese and fruit, roasted butternut squash bisque, roasted beet mélange, Waldorf salad, roasted chicken breast with spinach and sun-dried tomato ragout, honey-glazed spiral cut ham, baked orrechiette with brie fondue, roasted garlic mashed potatoes, spicy corn bread pudding, candied acorn squash, boiled shrimp, snow crab claws, oysters, crawfish, ceviche shooters, mussel salad, and whole poached and chilled salmon. Breakfast items include a waffle station and omelet station. A children’s buffet is also offered. Cost: adults, $38.95; children ages 7-16, $16.95; and children 6 nd under, free. Sangria and mimosas: $9.

The Lodge Restaurant of Castle Hills, 1746 Lockhill Selma, 210-349-8466 — The restaurant is not open Thanksgiving Day, but chef Jason Dady is offering a Maine Lobster Thanksgiving Dinner Menu during Thanksgiving week, Nov. 22, 23 and 25, 26. Live Maine lobster will be the star of this four-course menu for $40. Reservations are required and may be made by phone or emailing  info@thelodgerestaurant.com.

Luby’s, various locations — The cafeteria is open from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. with a Thanksgiving special that’s available whether you want to dine in or take dinner to go. The cost is $10.99 per person.

Luce Ristorante e Enoteca, 11255 Huebner Road,  (210) 561-9700 — Thanksgiving dinner will be served 12:30-4 p.m. There will be a special three-course dinner, starting with a choice of Zuppa di Zucca (butternut squash soup)  or  Insalate Misto (salad with goat cheese truffle), followed by a main course of  Tacchino (slow-roasted tom turkey with pine nut stuffing, vegetables and cranberry sauce). Dessert is a choice of pumpkin pie  or vanilla ice cream with berries. The cost for the special is $23.95 for adults or $7.95 for children under 12. The entire menu will also be available. Complimentary mimosa for all adults.

Lüke on the River Walk, 125 E. Houston St., (210) 227-LUKE — Lüke has invited 50 servicemen and women stationed at Fort Sam Houston to take part in a traditional Thanksgiving meal with a New Orleans twist at 2 p.m., and the public can show up to support the troops by joining them in the meal. The cost is $45 for adults and $20 for children 12 and under. The meal includes a fall greens salad, followed by Pumpkin Soup with Crab Meat. Whole roasted turkey will be served over mirliton and shrimp dressing with Bourbon Pecan Pie for dessert.

Mike’s in the Village, 2355-3 Bulverde Road, Bulverde, (830) 438-2747— The restaurant will be serving turkey and all of the fixings from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Thanksgiving Day.

Sweet Potato Pie is one of the many seasonal desserts you'll find.

Ostra at the Mokara Hotel & Spa, 212 W. Crockett St., (210) 396-5817 — Ostra will have its regular à la carte menu available all day. Featured specials will be available during dinner service after 5:30 p.m.

Q on the Riverwalk, 123 Losoya, Downtown Hyatt, (210) 222-1234 — The restaurant is having one buffet from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. and another from 5 to 10 p.m. The first will feature chimichurri-based Angus strip sirloin, pan-seared salmon, oak-smoked tom turkey, an antipasti display, salad bar and assorted desserts. The cost is $42.50 for adults, $12.50 for children ages 7-12 and free for children 6 and under. The evening meal will feature roast pork loin with apples and onions, smoked tom turkey, a salad bar, and dessert. Cost is $28 for adults, $12.50 for children ages 7-12 and free for children 6 and under.

Ruth’s Chris Steak House, 7720 Jones Maltsberger Road, (210) 821-5051 — The Thanksgiving menu will be served 2-8 p.m. The special includes a choice of starter, including the soup of the day, Steak House Salad or Caesar Salad; followed by an entrée of sizzling turkey and dressing with gravy and cranberry relish plus your choice of side dish. Dessert options: Warm Apple Crumb Tart, Chocolate Chunk Bread Pudding, ice cream or sorbet. The cost is $49 a person.

Texas de Brazil, 313 E. Houston St., (210) 229-1600 — Dinner on Thanksgiving begins at noon. In addition to the usual array of meats and sides, roast turkey and gravy, sweet potato casserole and cranberry sauce will be available. 

Westin La Cantera Resort, 16641 La Cantera Parkway, (210) 558-2439 —  In the Grand Ballroom, the buffet begins at 10:30 a.m. and will include Sweet Potato, Corn and Jalapeño Soup and harvest greens that can be dressed with smoked duck, spiced pecans, pear, celery and cider vinaigrette. Carving stations will have Sage, Rosemary and Thyme Roast Turkey, Garlic Studded Roast Beef and Honey-glazed Ham, all with  whipped potatoes, turkey gravy, sausage and cornbread stuffing. An American artisan cheese display, chilled Gulf shrimp, chicken breast,  autumn squash, Potato-encrusted Fresh Cod and a chef’s selection of pies including pumpkin, pecan, apple and cherry. Breakfast specialties include Cinnamon Belgian Waffles, made-to-order omelets, smoked  bacon and country sausage and more. There will also be a children’s buffet.  The cost is $42 for adults, $221 or children ages 6-12, and free for children under 6 with a paying adult. Activities include balloon artistry for the kids, live entertainment and ice skating for all ages.

Zocca at the Downtown Westin, 420 W. Market St., (210) 444-6070 — Thanksgiving lunch and dinner will include free-range, hickory-smoked turkey with chestnut dressing, cranberry-citrus relish, and maple-glazed carrots. The three-course sprecial ends with a sweet potato and pecan tartlet with cinnamon-infused cream and warm mulled cider. The cost is $32 for adults and $16 for children.

If your Thanksgiving dinner was not included, email the details to griffin@savorsa.com or walker@savorsa.com.

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Treat Dad to a Father’s Day Dinner He’ll Love


End your Father's Day dinner at Morton's with the Legendary Chocolate Cake.

Father’s Day is June 19 this year, which is just around the corner. Don’t make Dad grill in this sweltering heat. Take him out for brunch or dinner. Several of the restaurants featured below are offering gifts in addition to the meals.

Reservations are appreciated unless otherwise stated. Prices do not include tax or tip.

Auden’s Kitchen, 700 E. Sonterra Blvd., 210-494-0070 — Father’s Day brunch will be from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. with dinner from 3 to 9 p.m. The regular menus will be offered along with the following specials: Venison Sausage Pizza with roasted red peppers, grilled fennel and more; and a Beer-marinated 16-ounce Bone-in New York Strip with Horseradish Mashers and Grilled Asparagus. The cocktail of the day will be Lynchburg Lemonade while the beer special is the Black & Tan.

Bohanan’s Prime Steaks and Seafood, 219 E. Houston St.,  (210) 472-2600 — On Father’s Day, Bohanan’s will feature its full menu, starting at 5 p.m. In addition, all dads will receive a package of golf balls. www.bohanans.com

Crumpets, 3920 Harry Wurzbach Road, 210-821-5600 — Chef Francois Maeder is giving Dad a brunch with live music and a host of options during brunch from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Start with an appetizer, such as puff pastry with wine mushroom sauce, Scottish smoked salmon or mousse truffle pâté. Main course options include shrimp salad on avocado, eggs Benedict, chicken breast with Champagne sauce, veal scaloppini with mushroom cognac sauce, fresh rainbow trout amandine, or tenderloin of beef with green peppercorn sauce. The Trilogy, a combination featuring tenderloin of beef Rossini, lobster tail and rack of lamb Provençal, will also be available. All entrées are served with an appetizer, house salad, vegetables, breads, dessert, coffee or iced tea and wine or Champagne. A children’s menu is available for those under 10 years of age. Crumpets will also be open 5-9 p.m. that day for dinner.  www.crumpetsa.com

Earl Abel’s, 1201 Austin Hwy., 210-822-3358 — Two breakfast specials are offered on Father’s Day: Blueberry Pancakes (three thins or two buttermilk), one egg, hash browns, and two slices of bacon or two house-made sausage patties ($10) and an Orange or Cranberry Mimosa ($7). Lunch and dinner specials  include Fried Buffalo Wings, usually reserved for special events or private dining, will be an appetizer; Baby Back Ribs with Earl Abel’s own homemade barbecue sauce; and a Fisherman’s Platter with fried shrimp, fried catfish and homemade hush puppies.  Boston Crème and the Coconut Cream pie are among the special desserts of the day. The lunch and dinner specials will be available after the end of breakfast service, which is 11 a.m. The breakfast specials are available all day, 6:30 a.m.-11 p.m.

Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse, 255 E. Basse Road, 210-824-9463 — A three-course brunch special will be offered from 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Father’s Day in addition to the regular menu. Dad will receive a $25 dining card for a future return visit to the restaurant.

Las Canarias, La Mansion del Rio, 112 College St., 210-518-1063 — On Father’s Day, Las Canarias will serve its Champagne Brunch from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Among the items on the buffet: Applewood-smoked Bacon, country breakfast sausage, chilaquiles, eggs Benedict, Canadian bacon, Vanilla Malt Pancakes and Waffles, chef-prepared omelets, European charcutiere, Ricotta Cheese Tortellini, Bluebonnet Heirloom Tomatoes, Grass-fed Beef Tartare, Green Melon Gazpacho, and Blackened Chicken Penne Pasta. Cost: $49.95 for adults and $24.95 for children ages 6-12. Regular dining will begin at 5:30 p.m.

The Lion and Rose, various locations — Father’s Day brunch is from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.  Some of the favorites from the menu include eggs Benedict, Irish Hash and Eggs, the Breakfast Burger and Wimbledon French Toast. Drink specials include:  Mimosa, $3.49; Bloody Mary, $3; Irish Bulldog $5; Pimm’s Royal, $4.99; and Pimm’s Punch $4.99. thelionandrose.com

Lüke, 175 E. Houston St., 210-227-5853 — The restaurant is offering a three-course tasting menu for Father’s Day. It will be available during brunch and dinner. Each course is paired with a 5-ounce beer.  Appetizer choices are either Spicy Crawfish Pies and the Alamo Golden Ale or Potato Gnocchi with ham hock, local beans and mustard with Ranger Creek South Texas Lager. Entrée options are Potato-crusted Stuffed Soft Shell Crab over Pearl Market vegetables with Breckenridge Agave Wheat or South Texas Heritage Pork Shoulder Steak and frites with Ranger Creek La Bestia Amiable Strong Ale. Dessert is Rhew Orchards Peach Upside-down Cake with sour cream ice cream and Tripel Karmeliet Abbey Ale. Cost: $40.

Mariposa Restaurant, Nieman-Marcus in the Shops at La Cantera, 15900 La Cantera Pkwy., 210-694-3550 — Brunch will be served on Father’s Day from noon to 4 p.m. In addition to the regular menu, specials will include Ranchero Steak and Eggs ($20), Braised Short Ribs with grits and roasted chipotle sauce ($20) and Crab Cake Eggs Benedict with avocado ($20).

Texas de Brazil is ready to serve a host of meats for Father's Day.

Max’s Wine Dive, 340 East Basse Road, Suite 101, 210-444-9547 — Celebrate Father’s Day with the Ultimate Baconator (braised pork belly, applewood smoked bacon, white cheddar cheese, and garlic aioli with heirloom tomatoes and more sandwiched between grilled New World bakery sourdough bread for $15), Roasted Garlic-Studded Prime Rib with bone marrow au jus for $25 and Max’s Giant Smore for $9. Plenty of wine specials for Dad are also offered. maxswinedive.com

Morton’s the Steakhouse, 300 E. Crockett St., 210-228-0700 — The Father’s Day special begins with choice of a soup or salad: Baked Five Onion Soup Crusted with Swiss Cheese, Caesar Salad or Center-cut Iceberg. Main course choices include  Double Cut Filet Mignon with Béarnaise Sauce, New York Strip Steak, Cajun Ribeye Steak, Broiled Salmon Fillet with Beurre Blanc Sauce and Chicken Christopher with Garlic Beurre Blanc Sauce. Choose a vegetable or potato side dish and end with either Carrot Cake or Legendary Hot Chocolate Cake. Cost: $69 a person. Full menu also available.

Ostra, Mokara Hotel and Spa, 212 W. Crockett St., 210-396-5817 — Ostra’s regular à la carte menu will be available during breakfast and lunch on Father’s Day. Featured specials will be offered during dinner service beginning at 5:30 p.m.

Texas de Brazil, 313 East Houston St., 210-299-1600 — In celebration of Father’s Day, Texas de Brazil will open at 11 a.m. with its full dinner menu and will showcase a display of unique motorcycles and exotic cars for Dad to view along with his meal. The traditional cuts beef, pork, chicken and Brazilian sausage will be offered alongside the salad bar with more than 50 items.

Tre Trattoria Downtown 401 S. Alamo St. 210-223-0401. Dad will love the $5 Bloody Marys and hearty brunch items like Tuscan Steak and Eggs or Breakfast Pizza with roasted potato, red pepper, cilantro, red onion and scrambled eggs at Tre Trattoria Downtown.  Located in the historic Fairmount hotel across from Hemisfair Park, Chef Jason Dady’s Tuscan Italian restaurant will be open this Father’s Day at 10 a.m. for brunch and will begin dinner service at 5 p.m. Reservations are recommended by calling the phone number above; walk-ins are also welcome.

Two Bros BBQ Market 12650 West Ave. 210-496-0222 — Celebrate Father’s Day with beef ribs and specials for buckets of beer, in addition to the full menu of classic Texas barbecue featuring slow smoked brisket and homemade sides.  Open 11 a.m. – 7 p.m.

Wildfish Seafood Grille, 1834 N. Loop 1604 W.,  (210) 493-1600 — Wildfish has several specials for Father’s Day beginning at 5 p.m. The steak and lobster specials start at $44 for an 8-ounce filet and a half broiled and stuffed Maine lobster.  Wines on the cellar list will be offered at 25 percent off.  Plus, all fathers will receive a $25 gift card for a future visit. www.wildfishseafoodgrille.com

Z’Tejas Southwestern Grill, 15900 La Cantera Parkway, Suite 25100. 210-690-3334 — Z’Tejas will offer $5 bonus cards for every $25 gift card purchase through June 19. Bonus cards, up to two per visit, may be redeemed June 20 -July 31. Father’s Day brunch will be served from 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. The weekend fun bar, featuring make-your-own Bloody Marys and mimosas for $3.50, will be available. Reservations not required. sanantonio.ztejas.com.

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Refreshing Watermelon a Trendy Ingredient This Season


Watermelon with strawberries, cilantro pearls and black sesame sponge bread from the RK Group.

What’s not to love about watermelon, especially when it is in season and bursting with refreshing flavor? It’s perfect for a picnic or great alongside a plate of just-grilled meats.

This year, more and more local chefs are using watermelon in salads and entrêes in ways that go far beyond the norm. Chef John Brand of La Mansión del Rio and Ostra on the River Walk served slabs of watermelon alongside hamachi sashimi during a recent Culinaria luncheon at Becker Vineyards, while The Monterey served it in a salad with feta cheese, dried olive and heirloom tomatoes.

The great thing about most of these recipes is that you can make them at home, layering the ingredients mentioned to your taste. Think about a watermelon margarita with a touch of lime, tequila and just a hint of orange liqueur mixed with watermelon juice and ice to your taste.

At a recent fundraiser for HeartGift, five chefs from around the city made various dishes pairing watermelon with everything from jumbo shrimp cocktail with watermelon from Cabo Seafood to a watermelon pavé with cilantro pearls and black sesame sponge cake from the RK Group. Heather Nañez of Bohanan’s seared hamachi and topped with a watermelon salsa, while Patricia Wenckus of Auden’s Kitchen crisped up prosciutto, adding a little salty flavor that the fruit seems to love.

Damien Watel of Bistro Vatel offered up an elegant, easy salad, the recipe for which appears below.

Watermelon margaritas

HeartGift is a San Antonio charity that flies children with congenital heart defects from around the world here so that they can be operated on for free. The event raised $23,000. According to HeartGift executive director Cathy Siegel, “Our spring season of events offered guests an opportunity to participate in a series of fine dining adventures while providing the gift of life-saving heart surgery to a child from a country where treatment is unavailable or inaccessible. With the success of this series of events, we are now able to bring another child to San Antonio for heart surgery.”

For more on HeartGift, click here.

What do you like to do with watermelon? Add a cube or two to a vodka martini? Serve it with fried shrimp? Smoke it in your barbecue pit? (It has been done.) Post your favorite ideas below.

Damien Watel’s Watermelon, Tomato and Feta Salad

Watermelon cubes, to taste
Ripe tomatoes, cut into pieces similar in size to the watermelon, to taste

Damien Watel's Watermelon, Tomato and Feta Salad

Crumbled feta cheese, to taste
Olive oil, to taste
Rice wine vinegar, to taste
Basil or flat-leaf parsley, to taste
Salt, to taste (optional)

Mix watermelon and tomatoes. Sprinkle feta on top. Drizzle olive oil and a touch of rice wine vinegar. Garnish with some microgreen herbs, such as basil, or finely chopped basil or parsley, to taste. Salt, if desired.

Adapted from Damien Watel

 

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The Texas Version of the Three B’s: Burgers, BBQ and Beer


Esquire Bar owner Chris Hill looks on while guests sample a burger.

The tangy aromas of smoke and meat were in the air, as the sun shone brightly on Burgers, BBQ and Beer, Culinaria’s last event of a highly popular 2011 festival.

How popular? Many events sold out and, at Saturday night’s Grand Tasting the Culinaria store was bought out. “No more T-shirts, nothing left. That’s amazing,” said Suzanne Taranto Etheredge, president and CEO of the festival.

By noon Sunday, the parking lot at the back of the Pearl Brewery was filling up with people drawn in by the scents of smoke, bacon frying and just-opened bottles of beer. As part of the ticket price, hundreds of festival-goers were able to pick up some of the city’s most innovative, chef-cooked burgers and not-your-everyday ‘cue. The perfect weather was thrown in at no added cost.

You could even shop. Melissa Guerra’s stand offered a few items from her store, including $69 leather huaraches in a startling shade of purple.  Her Tienda de Cocina offers Mexican cooking supplies, ingredients, dishes, cookbooks and more.

Or, you could stop at Al’s Gourmet Nuts where author Travis Poling was signing his book on Texas brews, “Beer Across Texas.” The event also  marked the beginning of the first ever San Antonio Beer Week. Click here for information on this series of events.

Oyster barbecuer "Moose" offers bivalves in a spicy sauce on the half shell.

Stephen McHugh, chef at Lüke on East Houston Street, and his crew, served barbecued oysters on the half shell accompanied by an herb-buttered crouton. The bivalve, simmering in spicy juices, went down easily with sips of cold beer. The Two Bros. team of Jason Dady and Jake Dady offered their spicy pork deshabrada, or pulled pork. Ben E. Keith invited one and all to sample conventionally pit-smoked fajitas, bacon-wrapped jalapeños, beef tenderloin and chicken, with all the trimmings. Jesse Perez brought out his smoker and prepared meaty chicken drumsticks in what he called an “old school” barbecue with chipotle and a touch of habanero, another recipe that called for the clean, refreshing taste of an icy beer.

Patricia Wenckus, chef at Auden's Kitchen, with Perny Shea, catering and sales manager.

Patricia Wenckus, chef at Auden’s Kitchen in Stone Oak, and Perny Shea, catering and sales manager for chef Bruce Auden at Biga on the Bank, put up a good fight against smoke pouring off the grill. “It doesn’t matter where I go, it’s coming after me,” said Wenkus, laughing. Her offering of the day was a lamb burger with handmade potato chips on the side.  Chef John Brand from Las Canarias at La Mansion del Rio was grilling Wagyu beef sliders, with toppings that ranged from yellow cheese and pickles to black truffle mayo and foie gras mousse.

Jeff Balfour of Citrus created this pork boudin burger with pickled shrimp slaw.

Beef and lamb weren’t the red meats of choice for burgers at the event, however. Shrimp and pork burgers were passed out. Two of the most popular burgers were pork, including Jeff Balfour’s pork boudin sausage burger topped with pickled shrimp in a tangy coleslaw mix.  Another grilled pork burger was topped with brisket bacon, a smoky-beefy-chewy and delicious creation from the JW Marriott.

Brian West of Las Ramblas in the Hotel Contessa served up a mixed seafood burger with crispy salmon skin.

Timbo’s, located next to the Pearl Brewery complex, is known for its big burgers. But that wasn’t on its menu Sunday. The restaurant offered its delectable Shypoke Eggs with tomato melted under the cheese.

Max, a standard poodle, waits for a treat at the Pearl amphitheater.

Next to the parking lot, the amphitheater overlooking the Museum Extension of the River Walk was a comfortable resting place for weary moms and dads or anyone wanting to get out of the sun while sipping on an icy mix of locally made Dripping Springs vodka and cranberry juice. A few even got up to dance to the music of Ken Little and Rodeo Ho Ho, and even the pooches on leashes got a few tastes of some of the festival fare — if they were lucky.

Though the festival ended Sunday, more stand-alone Culinaria events will be happening later this year. For a look at what is coming up, go to www.culinariasa.com.

Photographs by Bonnie Walker

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You Gotta Help HeartGift


Jordan Asiimwe, a child helped by HeartGift San Antonio (center), is joined by Joseph Baker (from left), Deborah Miller, Rodrigo Ugartechea and Heather Nanez.

Five San Antonio chefs are getting together Thursday to prepare a multi-course dinner to benefit HeartGift San Antonio, a charity that helps children with heart defects.

Each of the chefs will be preparing a course with watermelon as an ingredient.

The chefs and their dishes include:

  • Heather Nañez of Bohanan’s with Yucatan-style Seared Hamachi and an assorted melon salsa and sour orange vinaigrette
  • Damien Watel of Bistro Vatel with Watermelon, Grape Tomato and Feta Salad.
  • Rodrigo Ugartechea of Cabo Seafood + Bar with Jumbo Shrimp Cocktail plus watermelon tartare, passion fruit with cilantro sauce and crispy rice noodles
  • Patricia Wenckus of Auden’s Kitchen with Watermelon and Prosciutto Salad with goat cheese and basil
  • Joseph Baker of the RK Group with Watermelon Pavé, strawberry dice, cilantro caviar, black sesame micro-sponge cake.

Jordan Asiimwe, a 1-year-old heart surgery patient from Uganda, will be the special guest of the evening. He underwent heart surgery last week, thanks to HeartGift and will be on hand to receive a special cake from Baker.

HeartGift San Antonio brings children from around the world to San Antonio for free surgery to correct life-threatening heart defects.

Tickets for the event are $125 a person. The event is at the home of Deborah and Morris Miller, 777 East Olmos Drive.  For reservations, call Cathy at HeartGift, 210-299-7666.

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