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Chili’s and the Shriners Team Up to Help Children’s Hospital — Plus More Restaurant Notes


Chili’s and the Shriners join forces

Chili’s and the Shriners are teaming up for a pair of fundraisers to help the Shriners Hospitals for Children.

On Nov. 4, the restaurant will donate 10 percent of all sales to the hospital. All you have to do is mention the promotion when you go in for lunch or dinner. Hours are 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. and the event is taking placce at all Chili’s across the state, Oklahoma, Louisiana and beyond.

Shriners Hospitals for Children seek to provide expert medical care for children with no financial burden to the patients or their families. Shriners Hospitals for Children are focused on maximizing a child’s quality of life regardless of the family’s ability to pay. The Alzafar Shriners are made up of more than 2,200 Central and South Texas businessmen and community leaders who are dedicated to supporting 22 Shriners Hospitals for Children in the United States, Canada and Mexico. The Shriners Hospital for Children provide services for children up to age 18 with orthopedic conditions, burns, spinal cord injuries, in addition to cleft lip and palate reconstruction.

Visit www.facebook.com/AlzafarShriners for more information.

Nostra Supreme

Nostra Supreme

Cosa Nostra Pizza opens

Cosa Nostra Pizzeria has opened at 16607 Huebner Road.

The restaurant offers pizza, of course, as well as salads, calzones and submarine sandwiches.

Specialty pizzas include a Steak Pizza with tomatos, muchrooms and onions;  an Alfredo Pizza with chicken, bacon and  a creamy sauce; a Veggie with tomatoes, spinach, mushrooms, onions, peppers, articholes, Parmesan cheese and garlic; and a Mexican Pizza with beef, bacon, onions and jalapeños. The Nostra Surpreme comes with Italian sausage, onions, mushrooms, green peppers, pepperoni and black olives.

Salads include a Caesar, a Greek, an Antipasto, a Super Steak, an Italian Chicken and a Cosa Nostra with lettuce, spinach, carrot, Mandarin oranges, almonds, tomato, feta, red onions and grilled chicken. Subs include a Steak Philly, a Chicken Green, a Chicken Ranch, a Peatball Parmesan, a Sausage with onions, and a club.

Call (210) 492-1141 or visit www.cosanostrapizzeria.com.

Open Mic Night is back at  the County Line

Open Mic Night has returned to the County Line restaurant at 10101 I-10 West every Thursday night from 6 – 9 p.m.

Held on the restaurant’s outdoor patio, Open Mic Night features some of San Antonio’s local singers/songwriters/musicians, as well as drink/food specials.

This free event is hosted by local artists The Bexar Creek Boys; sign-up each Thursday is from 6 – 7 p.m.

Reservations are accepted. Call (210) 641-1998. In the case of inclement weather, the party will move inside to the restaurant’s large banquet room.

 

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Feast Launches a Monthly Monday Guest Chef Series


Feast fans will soon be feasting on something new.

The restaurant at 1024 S. Alamo St. is launching a once-a-month guest chef-driven Monday dinners with the entire kitchen being turned over to the chef for a special meal.

The foods of Thailand will be savored in Feast's first guest chef meal.

The foods of Thailand will be savored in Feast’s first guest chef meal.

The first will be this coming Monday at 7 p.m. and will feature the work of Jenn Dobbs, a local chef who spent 6 years in Thailand. Her menu looks “frickin killer,” says executive chef Stefan Bowers. It is as follows

  • Miang Khan, translated as “eating many things in one bite”.
  • Barbecued Pork Neck with Dried Chile Sauce.
  • Green Mango Salad with Crispy Catfish
  • Barbecued Fermented Pork Ribs
  • Coconut Ice Cream with Sticky Rice and Condensed Milk on a Bun

The price is $45 a person plus tax and tip. A full bar and wine list will be available.

Call (210) 354-1024 for reservations.

“Everyone who gets in on the ground floor with this opening event will always be privately notified by email 72 hours in advance of any public notification, for all future dinners,” Bowers says. “Over the years I’ve worked with many talented people on a broad scale who are creating exciting new ideas and flavors locally, nationally and internationally. I would love to have them cook in my kitchen for an evening and even better, share the experience with you. These monthly Monday night events are here to stay!

“You won’t find anything else like this in San Antonio so join us for a great night that I hope you’ll enjoy as much as I know I will.”

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Follow the Beat to North Main Avenue


Beat Street Coffee Co. began life as a food truck. Now it’s a sit-down restaurant offering breakfast, lunch and dinner with a slightly different name: Beat Street Coffee Co. and Bistro.

The Chile Guero at Beat Street Coffee Co. and Bistro

The Chile Guero at Beat Street

That’s a good thing for those who need their first cup of joe before their eyes are fully opened. Instead of having to pry your lids apart to find out where the vehicle’s going to be parked, you can set yourself on autopilot and head for North Main Avenue, where owner and barista Henry Leman can be found dispensing his brews alongside pastries, quiches and the like that are made by his wife, who is also one of the restaurant’s pleasant servers.

Olives and almonds

Olives and almonds

It’s also a good thing for those looking for a place to go after the sun sets for a glass or two of wine while relaxing on the restaurant’s spacious patio. I haven’t had the opportunity to enjoy the place at either time yet, but I have had dinner there twice and have come away so impressed with chef Jeff Wiley’s talents that I’m looking forward to return visits.

Crispy Pig Belly

Crispy Pig Belly

Wiley, who only works in the evening, has been a fixture in kitchens around town for the more than a dozen years, working for chef Jason Dady and in various venues.

For Beat Street, he has prepared a bistro menu filled with dishes that have a European foundation with an American sensibility. Right now, the selection displays largely a Spanish/Mediterranean touch, which reflects, in part, his work at Las Ramblas on the River Walk.  But there were rumors afloat that French- and Italian-influenced dishes could be in the works, either when summer ends or when the chef feels like changing things up.

The menu is not so lengthy that you’ll get lost finding your way around. Small plates and salads slightly outnumber the large plates, though things might even out depending on the daily specials. Small or large didn’t matter to my friends and me on that first visit: We shared it all and managed to sample our way through about half before calling it quits.

Fried Branzino

Fried Branzino

It’s worth singling out a special that seems to be offered fairly regularly: fried branzino, which was presented whole, curving to fit the plate on which was dramatically situated. After a few momentary oohs and aahs, we descended on that in such haste that within minutes there was nothing left but bones — and those were picked over, too, including the cheek sockets for any moist morsel that might have been lurking. A side dish of Spanish papas bravas lingered only slightly longer.

Crab beignets with kernels of sweet corn were mighty good poppers with a spiky green mayo on the side, while a plate of crispy pig belly with apple, fennel, fried parsnip strips and an apple soda gastrique had the pork lovers (all of us, really) sighing in contentment. You can order the last dish without the protein, but why?

The sauce fan in the group was taken with the various examples Wiley employed, including the saffron- and garlic-based picada, a Catalan favorite, that was tossed with fideo or noodles with scallops and slivers of lamb on top.

Duck Breast with cherry port sauce

Duck Breast with cherry port sauce

A fresh red pepper sauce was served on favorite dish of the evening, the Chile Guero. The spicy yellow pepper was stuffed with several types of Spanish cheese and then wrapped with a thin slice of Spanish ham. It was so good, we took one taste and ordered up a second. (Interestingly enough, I had a similar cheese-stuffed chile guero later that week at Red, the restaurant in the Art Institute of San Antonio. It was OK, but it wasn’t quite up to Wiley’s example.)

On the second visit, I dined by myself, snug in one of the taller two-seat wooden tables that Leman made. I like the various heights of tables in the inviting dining space, which is covered with warm woods and bathed, during the dinner hours, in late-afternoon sunlight.

That evening began with gazpacho poured over a mound of crabmeat, avocado and tarragon. The cool soup exploded with bright, ripe tomato flavor and perhaps just a dash too much sherry vinegar, and it helped take the edge off the 100+ degrees outside.

Chocolate Pot de Creme

Chocolate Pot de Creme

The main course was practically perfection: a duck breast served medium rare with the slightest crisp edge to the skin on top. It was served over a cherry port sauce, and my first bite led me to think the dish would be too sweet for my tastes. But Wiley saw to that by serving it with a delightfully bitter mix of mustard greens in a confit seasoned with whole mustard seeds and earthy pancetta. Tart, freshly pickled Bing cherries and a velvety soubise, or onion sauce, finished off the plate. One drawback for some that I could see would be the size of the portion, which was on the smaller side and served without any bread on the side.

The two desserts — a chocolate pot de crème with strawberries and toasted coconut and an almond chai panna cotta — offer a robust ending to your meal. The chocolate had a slight edge, but only because the panna cotta we sampled on the first visit had a little too much gelatin, thereby lacking the silky sensuousness that makes it such a favorite.

To look at it one way, Beat Street Coffee Co. and Bistro is several separate places fused into one location: coffee house in the morning, soup and sandwich shop at lunch, and bistro in the evening, not to mention a late-evening place to gather. Yet, it can also be seen as a business that knows the needs of its clients at various points in the day and transforms itself into what it needs to be. For those looking for some exciting European flavors, then dinner is the time to check it out.

Beat Street Coffee Co. and Bistro
2512 N. Main Ave.
Breakfast, lunch, dinner: Tuesday-Saturday
(210) 320-2099

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210 Ceviche Offers a Coastal Taste of Mexico


A ceviche sampler at 210 Ceviche.

A ceviche sampler at 210 Ceviche.

Ceviche lovers will want to check this out: 210 Ceviche has opened at 9502 I-10 W., next to Taco Tote.

210 Ceviche serves up seafood Mazatlan-style.

210 Ceviche serves up seafood Mazatlan-style.

As the name implies, the menu features plenty of ceviches, 10 in all. A few include:

  • Al Clamato — Shrimp and fish cured in a lime and Clamato marinade with diced tomato, jalapeño, red onion, cucumber and more.
  • Ahi — Tuna cured in a lime-soy marinade with diced celery, onions, cucumber and cilantro.
  • Estilo Sierra — Minced wahoo fish cured in lime and serrano peppers with diced onion, carrots and cucumbers.
  • 3 Amigos — Shrimp, fish and octopus marinated in lime and orange juices with diced red onion and cucumber.
  • Mar Rojo — Fish cured in lime and orange juices with beet purée, diced onions, jalapeños and cucumber.

But the menu doesn’t end there. There are also seafood tacos, tostadas, soups, salads, even a shrimp burger.

210 Ceviche is next to Taco Tote on I-10.

210 Ceviche is next to Taco Tote on I-10.

The seafood is flown in fresh from the Pacific, says Ricardo Mora, one of the owners.

“We’re very excited to be opening in San Antonio,” he says. “We see a huge potential for growth with our food.”

The emphasis of the menu is the flavors of Mazatlan and the Sinaloa region, which is on the Pacific coast.

A chef’s private tasting bar is coming. A full bar is offered along with a numerous Mexican beers.

Live music is coming on weekends.

Mora knows not everyone is a seafood fan. For those who have to have some more grounded, you can always bring an order over from Taco Tote.

210 Ceviche is open 10 a.m. to midnight Sunday-Wednesday and 10 a.m.-2 a.m. Thursday-Saturday.

Call (210) 593-9300 for details. Click here for a full menu.

Andrew Weissman has opened Minnie's Tavern.

Andrew Weissman has opened Minnie’s Tavern.

In other restaurant news, Andrew Weissman has opened Minnie’s Tavern at 328 E. Josephine St. in the historic building that once housed Liberty Bar.

Minnie's tavern topThe gastropub menu includes dishes such as steak frites, moules frites, foie gras torchon, mousse and salads. A matching wine and beer list to go with the food is also offered.

Minnie’s is open Tuesday-Sunday for lunch and Tuesday-Saturday for dinner.

Call (210) 220-1890 for reservations and details.

 

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Green Moves to the Pearl, Pyles Raises a Toast to Texas


Green Vegetarian moves Sunday

Green Vegetarian Cuisine opens in its new home at the Pearl Brewery Sunday.

The city’s first 100 percent kosher vegetarian restaurant has moved from 1017 N. Flores St. Its second location is open at 10003 N.W. Military Hwy.

“We are really excited about our new venture at the Pearl,” owner Mike Behrend says. “As you know, I have always had big dreams for Green.”

And that dream has him facing “a much larger space,” he says, where “we will be able to serve hundreds more meals each day.”

Green’s extensive menu includes dishes such as chicken-fried steak made with wheat meat, neatloaf and portabella steak as well as fried pickles, fried mushrooms, nachos, salads, burgers, quesadillas, enchiladas, stir-fries and sandwiches. New at the Pearl will be French press coffee.

According to a press release, “Green strives to be a sustainable restaurant with re-purposed restaurant equipment, the use of biodegradable packaging when possible, recycling, use of fair trade organic coffee, free range eggs and the use of their self-grown vegetables in many of their dishes.”

Green offers breakfast, lunch and dinner from 7 a.m.-9 p.m. Sunday-Thursday; and 7 a.m.-8 p.m. Friday. It is closed Saturday.

Pyles raises a Toast to Texas

Stephan Pyles

Stephan Pyles

Celebrity chef Stephan Pyles will be in town on March 6 for a dinner at Sustenio in the Eilan Hotel, 17101 La Cantera Parkway. The theme is a Toast to Texas and will feature four courses served family style.

The meal will begin with spirits from two local distilleries, Rebecca Creek and Cinco Vodka, while the meal will be paired with Texan wines.

The evening is also an introduction of Sustenio’s new executive chef, Mike Spalla.

The price is $85 a person plus tax and tip. Dinner begins at 7 p.m. For reservations, call (210) 598-2950.

Corner Bakery adds turkey panini

Turkey Monterey Panini with Lemon Chicken Orzo Soup

Turkey Monterey Panini with Lemon Chicken Orzo Soup

The Corner Bakery Cafe, at 255 E. Basse Road and 18720 Stone Oak Parkway, has added the Turkey Monterey Panini with smoked turkey, fresh spinach and provolone cheese on sourdough bread with a homemade artichoke asiago spread.

Also new is a Lemon Chicken Orzo Soup, made with chicken, red and yellow peppers, carrots, celery, onions, tomatoes and orzo pasta simmered in a creamy broth with a hint of lemon.

“We have combined bold flavors in layers of fresh ingredients to craft an unexpected, delicious new panini,” said Chris Pheiffer, San Antonio Corner Bakery Cafe franchise owner. “The Turkey Monterey Panini is perfect for guests who love our panini offerings but want to shake up their routine.”

A soup and half of the panini is available for $7.99.

The Point celebrates 1st birthday

Denise Aquirre owns and operates the Point Park and Eats on Boerne Stage Road with Noel Cisneros.

Denise Aquirre owns and operates the Point Park and Eats on Boerne Stage Road with Noel Cisneros.

The Point Park and Eats, 21488 Boerne Stage Road, is celebrating its first birthday March 15-17 with three days of activities and food trucks.

On March 15, Branchline Brewery will pour their brews, Sol Surfers will perform and the food truck lineup includes Skinny Cat, MARS Mobile Kitchen, Say.She.Ate, Pork U and Lagniappe Today.

D.J. J.J. Lopez will be spinning discs on March 16 while the lineup includes Skinny Cat, MARS, Crepe Nation, Texasada, Fat Bellies and Kitchen Fusionz, the latter of which is also celebrating its first year of business.

Jonathan Alexander will perform on March 17 while the lineup features Kitchen Fusionz, Pork U, Skinny Cat, So Frito and Fork It.

Drink specials will also be available throughout the weekend. For more information, visit www.ParkAtThePoint.com.

Three words to remember: Filet and lobster

Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse, 255 E. Basse Road, is offering an off-the-menu special through April 7.

For $37.95, you can order a filet mignon and North Atlantic lobster tail, a starter and a side dish.

The only catch is that the special is not on the menu. You have to remember to ask for it.

The Hofbrau at the Rim opens

The Quarry Hofbrau at the Rim, 18403 I-10 W., has opened.

Hours are 11 a.m.-11 p.m. Monday-Tuesday; 11 a.m.-2 a.m. Wednesday-Saturday; and 11 a.m.-midnight Sunday. Call (210) 877-1500.

Coming soon

  • The French restaurant Saveurs 209, 209 Broadway, will be open any day now. Call (210) 639-3165 or click here.
  • Salaam International Food Market, 3727 Colony Drive, will open a restaurant in the near future at the back of the store, which features Middle Eastern groceries.
  • Blanco BBQ is opening at 13259 Blanco Road, which has been the home of several previous restaurants, including Matisse.

If you have restaurant news, email griffin@savorsa.com or walker@savorsa.com.

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Restaurants Want You to Savor the Season in Some Special Treats


It’s the holiday season, and that means seasonal treats in a host of traditional flavors, some with delicious twists.

RustyZipper.com has all sorts of vintage ugly sweaters.

Get out your ugly holiday sweaters

So, remember that holiday sweater some ex-friend gave you that was so ugly it made you long for fruitcake?

Well, it’s time to take it out of mothballs and wear it proudly. Both Max’s Wine Dive, 340 E. Basse Road, and Boiler House Texas Grill & Wine Garden, 312 Pearl Parkway, are having a day devoted to those ghastly knitted creations. On Dec. 14, anyone wearing an ugly sweater will receive a free dessert or small plate under $10.

So, find that sweater that puts the “err” in “merry,” and put it to the only good use there is outside of burning it for fuel.  To reach the Boiler House, call  (210) 354-4644 or visit www.boilerhousesa.com. For Max’s Wine Dive, call (210) 444-9547 or visit www.maxswinedive.com.

If you wish to invest in a vintage ugly sweater, check out RustyZipper.com. You can even find plenty that get more lit than a drunken uncle on Christmas!

Christmas concert at Boardwalk Bistro

On Dec. 20, Boardwalk Bistro, 4011 Broadway, hosts Small World, which will be performing their 20th annual Christmas Concert.

“We are serving our regular dinner menu with Christmas specials,” owner Barbara Hunt says. “The performance is 7 p.m. to 10 p.m., and there is no cover charge. This is always a wonderful event.”

For more information, call (210) 824-0100.

McDonald’s Holiday Pie

McDonald’s decorates its menu with holiday flavors

McDonald’s is offering the following treats through the end of the year:

  • Peppermint Mocha – a milder blend of espresso, steamed milk, peppermint and dark chocolate syrup, topped with whipped cream and chocolate drizzle
  • Peppermint Hot Chocolate – a blend of peppermint and dark chocolate syrup, steamed milk, topped with whipped cream and chocolate drizzle
  • Holiday Mint McFlurry – a soft serve vanilla ice cream blended with peppermint candy pieces and holiday mint flavored syrup
  • Egg Nog Shake – a delightfully creamy, egg nog flavored shake with real whipped cream and a cherry
  • Holiday Pie – a sweet custard filling baked inside a flaky pastry with colorful holiday sugar sprinkles on top

Cookie Bites and more at Corner Bakery Café

Corner Bakery Café, 18720 Stone Oak Parkway, is cooking up baked goods trays featured Cookie Bites, Bar Bites and Bundt Bites. Plus, the purchase of a large Cinnamon Creme Cake brings a $5 bonus card valid during the month of January.

Call (210) 441-4547.

EZ’s Pumpkin Latte Shake

Pumpkin treats at EZ’s through the holidays

EZ’s Brick Oven & Grill introduced two seasonal treats for October, and they proved so popular that both were held over through the holidays.

The dishes are the Pumpkin Latte Shake and the Roasted Pumpkin Pizza. both are available at all EZ’s locations.

Click here for more information.

Holiday lunches return to Ruth’s Chris

Both Ruth’s Chris Steak House locations will have holiday lunch hours this December.

The steakhouse at Concord Plaza, 7720 Jones Maltsberger Road, (210) 821-5051, is open now through Dec. 21, 11:30 a.m. – 2:30 p.m., while the Sunset Station location, 1170 E. Commercce St., (210) 227-8847, will be open Dec. 17–21, 11:30 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.

The cost is $50 per person and includes a starter, a choice of entrée, Accompaniment & Dessert

Choose an entrée from Filet & Frites, Sliced Steak Sandwich, Salmon, Chicken Caesar or Mixed Grill.

No other promotions can be used with this offer.

Black-eyed pea tamales at La Fonda Alamo Heights

La Fonda Alamo Heights, 6402 N. New Braunfels,  is combining two holiday traditions under one husk: tamales and black-eyed peas. From now through Dec. 31, you can order black-eyed pea tamales in addition to the usual pork, chicken and beef varieties.

“You are supposed to eat black-eyed peas on New Year’s Day for good luck throughout the coming year,” says owner Hans White. “We figured this was a tasty way to do it!”

These handmade tamales can be ordered by the dozen and come ready to steam and serve at your next holiday gathering. Prices range from $8.50 per dozen for pork (with or without jalapeños), chicken, and beef to $12 per dozen for black-eyed pea. Order by calling (210) 824-4231.

If you have holiday restaurant news to share, email walker@savorsa.com or griffin@savorsa.com.

 

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Griffin to Go: A Foodie Feast at First Friday


Habanero Roast Beef at the Station Cafe.

Cabin fever usually refers to people who have been cooped up in their homes for a long, hard winter and are antsy to get back in circulation. We in San Antonio have had cabin fever of the reverse order this year, with the scorching heat driving us near the air conditioner both day and night.

Now that the weather has gotten slightly cooler, however, people are anxious to get back to their former habits in the great outdoors.

That’s what they did en masse for October’s First Friday celebration. Thousands of people crowded into venues as far flung as the Arneson Theater on the river to the Friendly Spot in the heart of Southtown.

Little Rhein sits on a beautiful corner of the River Walk.

And everywhere people were, food was sure to be there, too. OK, there were also plenty of artists with their artwork, but not a one appeared to be starving.

My evening started on a great note: I found a parking space on the street in Southtown, a legal parking space — and, no, I won’t divulge the location in case I want to head there again. I will say it was only a couple of blocks from my first stop, the Station Cafe on South St. Mary’s. I had really enjoyed this place when it was the Filling Station next door, but I hadn’t been to its larger, more colorful digs next door.

The space is open, wide open, almost epically open, and it feels great, thanks to lively wall coverings, from paintings to cute cat photos.

All of the food at the Station is made from scratch, from the pizza dough to the pies. That means deciding on something can be a bit of a chore. I settled on a Habanero Roast Beef sandwich with provolone melted into the meat and sweet-hot dressing slathered on the house-made roll. The flavors were clean and delicious, with just the right amount of fat and crispy edges to give it a boost.

The not-so-small petite filet at Little Rhein.

Turns out the Station hasn’t finished its expansion. Coming this January is the Filling Station Brewing Co.

Pizza and a cold hand-crafted brew? I can hardly wait.

Then it was off to La Villita where a host of festivities were under way. Artists filled the sidewalks, while food booths lined up outside the Arneson, where the 11th annual International Accordion Festival was beginning. The three-day event kicked off with bluesqueezebox, an Austin group that performed a type of accordion blues mixed with a healthy dose of Kurt Weill, some Henry Mancini from the “Peter Gunn” years and even a little hillbilly music.

The Austin band bluesqueezebox performs at the Accordion Festival.

I decided to have another bite at the nearby Little Rhein Steakhouse and listen to the music on the restaurant’s gorgeous patio. The petite filet was more than big enough, especially with a side of mixed mushrooms and a glass of Chateau d’Esclans Whispering Angel Rosé, one of the best rosés I’ve had this year and perfect on a warm fall evening.

From there, it was on to the Equinox gallery in La Villita where Jillian Palone, the wife of a co-worker, was showing her jewelry with two other artists. Her bracelets were drawing plenty of deserved attention for their dramatic textures and colors and are worth checking out if you are in the area.

But you can’t eat a bracelet, so I headed back to Southtown. Along the way I passed a number of old favorites, such as Azuca, La Focaccia and La Frite, all of which appeared to be packed. A woman coming out of Azuca sadly told her friends that the restaurant had been booked for the entire evening with reservations and they would have to go elsewhere.

Crowds line up for a beer at the Friendly Spot.

Elsewhere for me was the Friendly Spot on South Alamo St,, the massive beer garden with some great snacks to munch on. I ordered pork tenderloin tacos and was pleasantly surprised to find welcome strands of pickled onion on top. But beer is the name of the game here, and an IPA was the perfect way to wash down the spicy tacos while navigating the enormous crowds.

I wasn’t ready to call it a night, so I made one last stop down the street at Feast, Southtown’s newest dining spot. The Art Deco building, which has been dressed to the nines, had an empty table outside where I had a nice, relaxing sit under some sparkling fiber optic lights hung from the tree overhead. A skillet soon appeared with Jack Cheese Mac, noodles bathed in cheese and saffron cream with garlic crumbs on top. It was a gooey bit of excess that worked all too well. I couldn’t stop eating it. I also tried the grilled sweetbreads, which were served with a tomato salad and cumin molasses. It was good, but it couldn’t hold a candle to the mac.

Feast is the latest addition to Southtown's restaurant roster.

That was it for me. I dragged my tired carcass past a bustling Rosario’s and back to my car. I’m sure most of the restaurateurs in the area welcomed the break in the weather and the crowds. I don’t get to First Friday often enough, but this evening left a great aftertaste that makes me hungry for more.

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Restaurant Notes & Quotes: Gallo Pizzeria Opens; Wine Tasting at Texas de Brazil; and More


Gallo spices up the San Antonio pizza scene

Gallo Pizzeria has opened at 164 Castroville Road.

The restaurant specializes in hot and spicy pizzas as well as wings. Prices range from $10.95 for a medium and $12.95 for a large. That is, except for the Diablo, a specialty pizza with diced habanero, jalapeños and ghost peppers with the house diablo sauce. It is priced at $3.95 for a small, $9.95 for a medium and $19.95 for a large.

Other specialty pizzas include the Veggie Delight (mushrooms, onions, spinach, bell pepper and olives), the Chanchi Pizza (avocado chunks, black olives, and red onions on a spicy bean sauce),  the Gallo Pizza (chicken, spinach, and sliced tomatoes with Salsa Mexicana sauce), the Mexican Margarita (fresh tomatoes garnished with dried basil served on Salsa Italiano).

It is open from noon to 8 p.m. Monday-Saturday.

For more information, call 210-264-0077 or click here.

Texas de Brazil is hosting a private label wine tasting.

Private label wine tasting at Texas de Brazil

Texas de Brazil, 313 E. Houston St., is hosting a private label wine tasting at 6:30 p.m. Aug. 23.

Though the label may be private, here are the pairings for the evening: Chardonnay matched with chicken breast wrapped in bacon and smoked salmon crostini with creme fraiche; Merlot with goat cheese crostini with asparagus, garlic picanha and Brazilian sausage; and Cabernet Sauvignon with flank steak with chimichurri and Parmesan pork.

The cost is $25 a person, including tax and tip. For reservations, call 210-229-1600 or email dainaandelmo@texasdebrazil.com.

La Mansión’s new cocktail list has a regional kick

El Colegio, the bar at the Omni La Mansión del Rio, 112 College St., has revamped its cocktail list with help from mixologists from across the country.

The lineup includes a host of new drinks made with local ingredients and featuring regional flavors. A few include the following:

  • Smokin’ Patrón — Patrón Silver Tequila shaken with hand-squeezed lime juice, Monin Agave Nectar and a splash of Del Maguey Mezcal.
  • Prickly Sangria Punch — Bacardi Limón Rum, prickly pear purée, fresh lemon juice, Monin Agave Nectar, topped off with ginger ale.
  • Grand Ole Margarita – Herradura Silver Tequila, Monin Agave Nectar, fresh lime and orange juices topped with a float of Grand Marnier.

For more information, call 210-518-1000.

It’s Back to the Pit at County Line

Blueberry-Pecan Crumble Pie is on the menu at the next County Line Pitmaster Cooking Class.

The County Line at 10101 I-10 W. is resuming its popular Pitmaster Cooking Classes with chef Garrett Stephens on the first Fridays of the month. The next two classes are scheduled for Sept. 9 and Oct. 7. Both begin at 7 p.m.

Class participants will enjoy a full serving of each of the four courses that Stephens demonstrates. He also takes questions from the guests while he cooks in an evening that is keeps everyone entertained. A recipe book with room for notes is also included.

The Sept. 9 menu will feature: Bacon-Wrapped Grilled Quail with a Maker’s Mark Jalapeño Glaze; Pit-fired Summer Vegetables with Fresh Basil and Balsamic; Herb-crusted Smoked Prime Rib with Creamed Horseradish and Lemon-Thyme Campfire Potatoes; and Blueberry-Pecan Crumble Pie with Homemade Vanilla Ice Cream.

LangeTwins Wines will be paired with each course.

Since the grill will be fired up, the cooking class will be held outside on the restaurant’s shaded patio; in case of rain, the class will be moved inside.

The cost for the evening with wines included is $50 a person plus tax and tip. Call 210-641-1998 or email garretts@countyline.com. The last two Pitmaster Classes have sold out a week before the event, so make your reservations now.

Labor Day specials at Roaring Fork, Wildfish

Wildfish Seafood Grille (above) and Roaring Fork are offering a savory Labor Day special.

Roaring Fork, 1806 N. Loop 1604 W., and its sister restaurant next door, Wildfish Seafood Grille, are dishing up some specials for Labor Day.

Buy one entrée and get a second entrée free during dinner, which begins at 4 p.m. at Roaring Fork and 5 p.m. at Wildfish. The dishes can be purchased in the dining room or bar. The complimentary entrée must be of equal or lesser-value.

For reservations at Roaring Fork, call 210-479-9700 or visit www.roaringfork.com. To reach Wildfish, call 210-493-1600 or visit www.eddiev.com.

If you have restaurant news, email walker@savorsa.com or griffin@savorsa.com.

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RoMo’s Cafe Opens on Culebra Road


RoMo’s Cafe has opened at 7627 Culebra Road, Suite 107. If the address seems familiar, it’s because the restaurant is located in the same plaza as Metro Basilica No. 2, which was reviewed on SavorSA recently.

But RoMo’s is not Mexican food.

The menu includes a host of dishes from a variety of places that the chef and owner, Rob Yoas, has lived in.

“The inspiration for the menu here at RoMo’s is mainly derived from his upbringing,” says the restaurant’s website. “As a child he moved nearly every year.” That gave him “a very keen sense of casual and contemporary American cuisine.”

So, expect the likes of slow roasted prime rib, French Cajun risotto, herb-poached sea bass and a daily frittata. Hand-cut fries with white truffle oil or fried in duck fat are among the sides. There’s also a Golden Ticket burger, which the menu says is made from three cuts of prime beef. Starters include a wedge salad with chicken breast, a soup based on New Englad boiled dinner, and arancini, or rice balls.

Nutella s’mores and boracho bread pudding are among the desserts.

The food at RoMo’s “is sourced locally and fresh to the best of our ability and availability,” the site says. “RoMo’s is a small business and supports local growers and producers. We pride ourselves in preparing everything in-house and producing with no outsourcing.”

As you might have guessed, the Ro stands for Rob, while the Mo refers to his wife, Monica Yoas, who is the restaurant’s business manager.

RoMo’s is open 11 a.m.-3 p.m. and 5-9 p.m. Tuesday-Friday; 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Saturday; and 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Sunday.

Call 210-521-ROMO (7666) for information or click here for more information.

 

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Ridiculously Good Food at Great Prices Await at Metro Basilica No. 2


Underneath all that crisp lettuce is a huarache covered with equally crispy carnitas.

OK, so the name doesn’t exactly inspire too much confidence: Tacos y Burritos Metro Basilica No. 2. It apparently refers to a Mexico City metro stop, but how many San Antonians will know that before asking? (The No. 1 store seems to be in California, so don’t look for it.)

The look of the place doesn’t exactly win too many points either. Sure, it’s ultra clean, but it’s also sterile and nondescript in an equally unnoticeable plaza along Culebra Road. The boxy layout of the dining room tables makes you feel as if you were being herded through.

All of which could explain why only two other tables were occupied the other night when we slipped in for dinner.

But the food is so unbelievably good that it will win you over at first bite. This is Mexican street fare that you usually find around here only at a taco truck, only better. Forget the chips and salsa, and concentrate on huaraches, sopes and mulitas, all with the most divinely cinnamon-laced horchata in town.

The restaurant is on Culebra Road.

It’s a small menu, but everything is choice. And the prices, most under $5, are a steal.

We tried two sopes, which were visually indistinguishable until you dug a fork into them. Each arrived with a mountain of shredded lettuce topped with avocado, slivers of tomato, sour cream and queso fresco. Underneath was a smear of lardy beans and plenty of meat — we tried both the asada and the chicken, and found plenty to enjoy in each. Everything was situated atop a handmade base made from corn. Think of your favorite tostada, only on steroids in terms of size and flavor. A squirt or two of the fiery green salsa or the smoky roasted red just carried the freshness of the dish to a whole new level.

The same sumptuous mound of lettuce covered the carnitas huarache, which also had a thick-yet-tender, oblong corn tortilla on the bottom. The succulent strands of meat had been crisped on the edges, giving a variety of textures as well as its juicy pork flavor to the dish.

I was not familiar with the mulita, so I couldn’t wait to give it a try. Two corn tortillas were stuffed with the meat of your choice (I opted for what turned out to be a spectacularly well seasoned al pastor), ripe avocado and a salty cheese that sort of melted together with just a few welcome drops of grease, which you will want to sop up with any tortilla so you don’t miss a single bite. Individually, each ingredient shone; together, they eclipsed everything else on the table, which was no mean feat.

Salty cheese and al pastor meat pack the mulita.

I just wish that a few slivers of radish had been added to each of the dishes, as they would have offered a lively little kick and a complementary crunch. I hope they’re available with the pozole, which a flier on the wall said is now offered daily. I wish I had seen that first. Or maybe not. It gives me something to go back for. With a mulita on the side.

Tacos y Burritos Metro Basilica No. 2
7627 Culebra Road
(210) 680-1412
Open 8 a.m.-10 p.m. daily

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