Culinaria Burgers, BBQ, and Beer Tips

Burgers, BBQ & Beer
La Cantera Resort & Spa

Price: $35 (General Admission) / $50 (At the Door) (Tickets are inclusive; unless otherwise noted)

1:00 PM


This is my families favorite event and it’s a wonderful way to end Festival Week. It’s outside, you’re walking around, and eating some of the best foods our chefs have to offer. They’re all a little competitive and Texas prides itself on what it can do to meet (both burger and bbq-wise!) Enjoy refreshing drinks and find a shady spot (or bring an umbrella!) there are tables and chairs but feel free to bring your own, tailgate style. (In the past we have bumped elbows with some pro-athletes too!) dress is casual but people will wear bright colors and cool clothes. I normally bring some Tupperware or ziplock baggies! The food is fabulous but filling. Whatever I can’t eat at the festival I bring home to enjoy later!

Rarely has the statement, “I don’t like burgers,” been made in Texas. So, Burger & BBQ lovers you need to be here! Whether you are a traditionalist, love food adventure, or prefer the slower cooking of barbecue – Burgers, BBQ & Beer has something for your taste buds. Leave the fancy duds at home and prepare to dig in to some of the juiciest cuts of meat. It might seem as though you’re at a backyard barbecue, but, this is way more than your typical smoky affair with some of San Antonio’s best chefs manning the grills. It also includes additional perks such as plenty of ice cold beverages. Beer is in the event name after all. Wear your boots and cowboy hats, it’s a Texas extravaganza.

Parking: Parking is available at the North Parking Lot of The Shops at La Cantera with shuttle transportation to the event.

Culinaria’s Grand Tasting

Grand Tasting
La Cantera Resort & Spa
Price: $100 (General Admission) / $125 (At the Door)  (Tickets are inclusive; unless otherwise noted)
7:00 PM


It’s the mouthwatering, jaw dropping gourmet event of the week. The sights, sounds, and tastes of the Grand Tasting show it’s more than just in the name. Varieties of cuisines paired with equally varied beverage choices will enamor even the most veteran of food lovers. There is live entertainment, music, a silent auction, and all you can eat to make it the best Saturday night you’ve had since last year’s festival.

New this year – the VIP Chefs’ Tables – a limited-seating VIP Dining Experience within the Grand Tasting! ($150 per seat; includes entrance into the Grand Tasting) More details at

Parking: Self-Parking at The Shops at La Cantera (North Lot) only, and Valet parking on a first come first served basis for $20 per car. The Valet stand will be set up in the Grille Lot, as this is the closest spot to the Ballroom event. Once Valet is full, all parking will be Self and at The Shops at La Cantera (North Lot).

Learn more about the festival week:

Silent Auction

So much of Culinaria is the support they bring to local chefs, culinary scholarships, and elevating San Antonio as a culinary destination.

San Antonio Downtown Happy Hours

San Antonio Downtown Happy Hours

People always ask me about my favorite happy hour places and of course places to eat.  Check out some that I put together.  Click on the images to be taken directly to their websites.


1012S Presa St, San Antonio, TX 78210


Happy hours: TuesdayFriday: 5:00pm – 7:00pm

Happy hour specials: Waited all day to get lucky? Patience pays off! Bite’s Happy Hour menu has seven delicious dishes for only $7 each, including octopus carpaccio, goat cheese ravioli and lobster spring rolls. There also are half-price cocktails!

Il Forno

122 Nogalitos St, San Antonio, TX 78204


Happy hours: MondaySaturday 3:30pm – 6:30pm

Happy hour specials: Pizza is always a good idea, especially when you can find a brick oven margarita one for only $6. Not only is the basil fresh and local, but the mozzarella is made fresh daily. Il Forno also offers $2 Lone Star beers, perfect to accompany any wood-fired pie.


152 E Pecan St #102, San Antonio, TX 78205


Happy hours: MondayFriday: 4:00pm – 7:00pm

Happy hour specials: Besides specialty cocktails for $6, house wines for $5, and draft beer for $4, you can also find a variety of delicious half-off appetizers. Whether you enjoy grilled chicken skewers, a plate of pork dumplings or charred Shishito peppers, Kimura has anything you need to satisfy a post-work craving.


1420 S Alamo St, San Antonio, TX 78204


Happy hours:  TuesdayFriday: 3:00pm – 6:00pm

Happy hour Specials: Sukeban’s happy hour is going to make you want to order the whole menu. With its great cocktail options priced at only $6, and $1 – 2 off any select sushi, you will make this your go-to happy hour ASAP.

Zinc Bistro & Bar

207 N Presa St, San Antonio, TX 78205


Happy hours: MondayFriday: 3:00pm – 7:00pm

Happy hour specials: Nothing sounds better than a half-off prickly pear frozen margarita after work. Well, Zinc Bistro and Bar has that and much more during its happy hour. Whether you’re feeling romantic with Zinc’s $5 house red or white wine, or hungry for its famous 2-alarm hummus with crispy garlic salted pita bread, you can definitely find everything delicious in this hidden gem.

Map of Downtown San Antonio Restaurants

Map of Downtown San Antonio Restaurants

Some of my favorite San Antonio restaurants are located downtown right off the Riverwalk, The Pearl, Southtown, and Blue Star. A lot of people ask me where they should check out or bring visitors, check out my list below.

What are some of your favorites?

Hear All the Specials

Wanna see what they’re posting on Facebook?  Subscribe to this list to see all the posts (and tasty dishes) they’re socializing!

Ácenar Mexican Restaurant
Alamo Street Eat Bar
Armadillo’s Texas Style Burgers
B&D Ice House
Bakery Lorraine
Bella on the River
Biga on the Banks
Bite San Antonio
Bohanan’s Prime Steaks & Seafood
Botika Restaurant
Boudro’s Texas Bistro
Bustro Bistro
Candy’s Old Fashion
Cheesy Jane’s
Citrus at Hotel Valencia Riverwalk
Cousins Maine Lobster (San Antonio)
Cruisin Coffee
Cured at Pearl
Fig Tree Restaurant
Francis Bogside
Halcyon Southtown
Iron Cactus (San Antonio)
Jerry’s Chicago Style Hot Dogs
La Frite Belgian Bistro
La Gloria
La Tuna Grill
Lady Picoza
Las Canarias
Little Rhein Steak House
Lone Star Cafe
Lüke San Antonio River Walk
Market on Houston
Nao Latin Gastro Bar
Nectar Wine Bar & Ale House
Oasis Cafe
Ocho at Hotel Havana
Paesanos Riverwalk
Pharm Table
Potbelly Sandwich Shop (San Antonio)
PUMP Cafe’ Station
Q Bar&Kitchen
Restaurant Gwendolyn
Rickshaw Stop
RockerDogz “Gourmet Street Dogz”
Rosario’s Mexican Cafe y Cantina
Saltgrass Steak House Riverwalk
Saveurs 209
Say.She.Ate TX
Schilos Delicatessen
Shuck Shack
Sip Brew Bar & Eatery
So Bro Pizza Co
SoHo Wine & Martini Bar
Southerleigh Fine Food & Brewery
Stella Public House
Texas de Brazil (San Antonio)
The Boiler House SA
The County Line Riverwalk
The Cove
The Esquire Tavern
The Filling Station Cafe
The Friendly Spot Ice House
The Frutería – Botanero by Chef Johnny Hernandez
The Granary ‘Cue & Brew
The Guenther House
The Historic Pearl
The Luxury
The Palm Restaurant
Travis Park
Truck N’ Taco
Tucker’s Kozy Korner
Zinc Bistro & Wine Bar
Zocca Cuisine d’Italia

2016 Culinaria Summer Restaurant Week

2016 Culinaria Summer Restaurant Week

It is my favorite time of year! (Besides in January when it is also Restaurant Week!)

What: San Antonio Restaurant Week benefits all of Culinaria’s Hope for Hospitality Programs including The Farm, making each dining experience a charitable one. It is truly a masterful culinary adventure, as well as an opportunity to try new restaurants and support many local favorites. With each meal ordered for San Antonio Restaurant Week, participating restaurants will donate $1 from each lunch menu and $2 from each dinner menu ordered to benefit Culinaria.

2016 Culinaria Summer Restaurant Week2

The Menus: Participating restaurants will offer an array of prix-fixe menus— encompassing three-course lunch and/or dinner menus within two different pricing tiers.

* Tier 1 establishments will offer a three-course menu at a $15 price for lunch or $35 for dinner.

* Tier 2 establishments will offer a three-course menu for a $10 price for lunch or $25 for dinner.

Who: San Antonio Restaurant Week highlights a wide array of dining establishments. Our list will be updated constantly. Please visit our website for more and more fabulous restaurants you will be enjoying during restaurant week.

How to Participate:
 Reservations are encouraged and you can contact each establishment directly.

When: August 13-27, 2016

Location, Location, Location

There are over 100 restaurants, check all of them out on this map to find the one nearest you, when you’re ready to eat!

Enter to Win!

San Antonio Diners, you still have a chance to win next week! Conveniently enough, today is national picture day so dine out Restaurant Week style, share it on Instagram or Facebook with one of the hashtags: #farm #eatrepeat #SARW (or all of them!) and tag us @culinariasa in your pictures for a chance to be featured in our newsletter and win tickets to our Food Truck Event. We’ll share the winner in our next newsletter!

Instagram: @culinariasa
Twitter: @culinariasa
2016 Culinaria Summer Restaurant Week

Participating Restaurants (and their menus!)


Acenar Mexican Restaurant, 146 E. Houston St., San Antonio, TX 78205 P 210-222-2362 W – Make a Reservation
Acenar’s Lunch and Dinner Menu

Alberico Fine Wine, 5221 McCullough Ave, San Antonio, TX 78212 P 210-320-8466 W – Make a Reservation

Aldaco’s (Dominion Ridge), 22211 Interstate 10 Frontage Rd, San Antonio, TX 78257 P 210-698-9700 W
Aldaco’s Lunch and Dinner Menu

Aldaco’s (Stone Oak Pkwy), 20079 Stone Oak Pkwy, San Antonio, TX 78258 P 210-494-0561 W
Aldaco’s Lunch and Dinner Menu 

Antlers Lodge, 9800 Hyatt Resort Drive, San Antonio, TX 78251 P 210-520-4001 W – Make a Reservation
Antlers Lodge’s Dinner Menu

Asado Seafood & Grill, 611 NW Loop 410, San Antonio, TX 78216 P 210-377-4640 W –Make a Reservation

Asado Urban Grill, 3233 NW Loop 410, San Antonio, TX 78213 P 210-377-3900 W
Asado Urban Grill’s Lunch Menu / Asado Urban Grill’s Dinner Menu

Bella On the River, 106 River Walk St, San Antonio, TX 78205 P 210-404-2355 W – Make a Reservation
Bella on The River’s Dinner Menu

Betos Alt-Mex, 8142 Broadway St, San Antonio, TX 78209 P 210-930-9393 W
Beto’s Lunch and Dinner Menu

Biga on the Banks, 203 S. St. Mary’s St., Suite 100, San Antonio, TX 78205 P 210-225-0722 W – Make a Reservation
Biga on The Banks’ Dinner Menu

Bite, 1012 S Presa, San Antonio, TX 78210 P 210-532-2551 W – Make a Reservation
Bite’s Dinner Menu

Bliss, 926 S. Presa Street, San Antonio, TX 78210 P 210-225-2547 W – Make a Reservation
Bliss’ Dinner Menu 

Bob’s Steak and Chop House, 5815 Rim Pass Dr., San Antonio, TX 78257 P 210-222-2627 W – Make a Reservation
Bob’s Dinner Menu

Boiler House Texas Grill & Wine Garden, 312 Pearl Pkwy, Building 3, San Antonio, TX 78215 P 210-354-4644 W – Make a Reservation
Boiler House’s Lunch Menu (Mon-Fri 11am – 2:30pm) / Boiler House’s Dinner Menu (5pm – 9:30pm)

Botika, 301 Pearl Pkwy #111, San Antonio, TX 78215 P 210-670-7684 W – Make a Reservation
Botika’s Dinner Menu

Boudro’s Texas Bistro, 421 E. Commerce St. San Antonio, TX 78205 P 210-224-8484 W
Boudro’s Lunch and Dinner Menu (Week 1)

Brigid, 803 S. St. Mary’s Street, San Antonio, TX 78205 P 210-263-7885 W – Make a Reservation
Brigid’s Dinner Menu

Chart House, 739 E Cesar Chavez, San Antonio, TX 78205 P 210 223-3101 W – Make a Reservation

Chez Vatel Bistro, 218 E Olmos Dr, San Antonio, TX 78212 P 210-828-3141 W
Chez Vatel Bistro’s Dinner Menu

Cooper’s Meat Market, 6002 Broadway, San Antonio, TX 78209 P 210-820-3838 W
Cooper’s Lunch Menu (to-go only) / Cooper’s Dinner Menu (to-go only)

Citrus, 150 E Houston Street, San Antonio, TX 78205 P 210-230-8412 W – Make a Reservation
Citrus’ Lunch Menu / Citrus’ Dinner Menu

Cover 3, 1806 North Loop 1604 W, San Antonio, TX 78212 P 210-479-9700 W
Cover 3’s Lunch Menu / Cover 3’s Dinner Menu

Cypress Grille, 170 S. Main, Boerne, TX 78006 P (830) 248-1353 W – Make a Reservation
Cypress Grille’s Lunch Menu / Cypress Grille’s Dinner Menu

Fogo de Chao Brazilian Steakhouse, 849 E Commerce St, San Antonio, TX 78205 P 210-227-1700 W – Make a Reservation
Fogo de Chao Dinner Menu

Folc, 226 E Olmos Dr, San Antonio, TX 78212 P 210-822-0100 W – Make a Reservation
Folc’s Lunch Menu / Folc’s Dinner Menu

Frank, 1150 S. Alamo, San Antonio, TX 78210 P (210) 265-5292 W

Grayze, 521 East Grayson Street, San Antonio TX 78215 P 210-481-8776 W – Make a Reservation
Grayze’s Lunch and Dinner Menu

Grey Moss Inn, 19010 Scenic Loop Road, San Antonio, TX 78023 P 210-695-8301 W
Grey Moss Inn’s Dinner Menu

Hop and Vine, 5619 W. Loop 1604 N #109, San Antonio, TX 78253 P 210-878-4071 W
Hop and Vine’s Brunch Menu / Hop and Vine’s Dinner Menu

Hotel Havana – Ocho, 1015 Navarro St, San Antonio, TX 78205 P 210-222-2008 W 

Houlihan’s – Blanco , 938 N Loop 1604 West, San Antonio, TX 78232 P 210-494-3371 W
Houlihan’s Lunch and Dinner Menu

Houlihan’s – Live Oak, 14601 IH 35 North, San Antonio, TX 78154 P 210-651-4744 W
Houlihan’s Lunch and Dinner Menu 

J-Prime Steakhouse, 18838 Stone Oak Pkwy, San Antonio, TX 78258 P 210-764-1604 W
J-Prime’s Lunch and Dinner Menu (Lunch is served on Fridays only)

Kimura Ramen Shop, 152 E Pecan St #102, San Antonio, TX 78205 P 210-444-0702 W
Kimura’s Lunch and Dinner Menu

Kirby’s Steakhouse, 123 N. Loop 1604 E., San Antonio, TX 78232 P 210-404-2221 W – Make a Reservation
Kirby’s Steakhouse Dinner Menu

Kona Grill, 15900 La Cantera Pkwy, San Antonio, TX 78256 P 210-877-8355 W – Make a Reservation
Kona Grill’s Lunch Menu / Kona Grill’s Dinner Menu

La Cantera Resort & Spa – Primero Cantina, 16641 La Cantera Pkwy, San Antonio, TX 78256 P 210-558-6500 W – Make a Reservation
Primero’s Lunch and Dinner Menu

La Cantera Resort & Spa – SweetFire Kitchen, 16641 La Cantera Pkwy, San Antonio, TX 78256 P 210-558-6500 W – Make a Reservation
SweetFire Kitchen’s Lunch and Dinner Menu

La Fogata, 2427 Vance Jackson Rd, San Antonio, TX 78213 P 210-340-1337 W
La Fogata’s Lunch and Dinner Menu

La Frite Belgian Bistro, 728 S Alamo St, San Antonio, TX 78209 P 210-224-7555 W
La Frite Belgian Bistro’s Lunch Menu / La Frite Belgian Bistro’s Dinner Menu

Landry’s Seafood, 517 N Presa St, San Antonio, TX 78205 P 210-229-1010 W – Make a Reservation
Landry’s Lunch Menu / Landry’s Dinner Menu

Las Ramblas at Hotel Contessa, 306 West Market Street, San Antonio, TX 78205 P 210-298-8040 – Make a Reservation
Las Ramblas’ Dinner Menu

Liberty Bar, 1111 S Alamo St, San Antonio, TX 78210 P 210-227-1187 W
Liberty Bar’s Lunch and Dinner Menu

Luke, 125 E Houston St, San Antonio, TX 78205 P 210-227-5853 W – Make a Reservation
Luke’s Dinner Menu

Mariposa at Neiman Marcus, 15900 La Cantera Parkway, San Antonio, TX 78256 P 210-694-3550 W – Make a Reservation
Mariposa’s Lunch Menu

Market on Houston, 205 E Houston St, San Antonio, TX 78205 P 210-554-1721 W – Make a Reservation
Market on Houston’s Lunch and Dinner Menu

Max’s Wine Dive, 340 E Basse Road, Suite 101, San Antonio, TX 78209 P 210-444-9547 W – Make a Reservation
Max’s Wine Dive’s Lunch Menu / Max’s Wine Dive’s Dinner Menu

Mimosa Restaurant and Lounge, 14415 Blanco Rd, San Antonio, TX 78216 P 210 408-2670 W
Mimosa’s Dinner Menu

Mokara Hotel & Spa – Ostra, 212 W Crockett Street, San Antonio, TX 78205 P 210-396-5817 W Make a Reservation
Ostra’s Lunch and Dinner Menu

Morton’s Steakhouse, 300 E Crockett St, San Antonio, TX 78205 P 210-228-0700 W – Make a Reservation
Morton’s Dinner Menu

Nao: Latin Gastro Bar, 312 Pearl Parkway, San Antonio, TX 78215 P 210-554-6484 W
Nao’s Dinner Menu 

Nectar Wine Bar and Ale House, 214 Broadway, San Antonio, TX 78205 P 210-375-4082 W
Nectar’s Dinner Menu (Week 2)

Omni Colonnade – Bolo’s Rotisserie Grille, 9821 Colonnade Blvd, San Antonio, TX 78230 P 210-699-5864 W
Bolo’s Lunch Menu / Bolo’s Dinner Menu

Omni La Mansion del Rio Riverwalk – Las Canarias, 112 College St. San Antonio, TX 78205 P 210-518-1063 W – Make a Reservation
Las Canarias’ Lunch and Dinner Menu

Paesanos Riverwalk, 111 W Crockett St #101, San Antonio, TX 78205 P 210-227-2782 W – Make a Reservation
Paesanos Riverwalk’s Lunch and Dinner Menu

Perry’s Steakhouse, 15900 La Cantera Pkwy #2200, San Antonio, TX 78256 P 210-558-6161 W – Make a Reservation
Perry’s Dinner Menu

Piranha Killer Sushi, 260 E Basse Rd #101, San Antonio, TX 78209 P 210-822-1088 W
Piranha Killer Sushi’s Lunch and Dinner Menu

Restaurant Gwendolyn, 152 E Pecan Street, #100 San Antonio, TX 78205 P 210-222-1849 W – Make a Reservation

Rossini Italian Bistro, 2195 NW Military Hwy, San Antonio, TX 78213 P 210-615-7270 W
Rossini Bistro’s Lunch and Dinner Menu

Ruth’s Chris Steak House – Concord Plaza, 7720 Jones Maltsberger, San Antonio, TX 78216 P 210-821-5051 W – Make a Reservation
Ruth’s Chris Lunch Menu (Fridays only) / Ruth’s Chris Dinner Menu

Ruth’s Chris Steak House – La Cantera, 17803 La Cantera Pkwy #8110, San Antonio, TX 78256 P 210-538-8792 W – Make a Reservation
Ruth’s Chris Lunch Menu (Fridays only) / Ruth’s Chris Dinner Menu

Ruth’s Chris Steak House – Riverwalk, 600 E Market St, San Antonio, TX 78205 P 210-227-8847 W – Make a Reservation
Ruth’s Chris Lunch Menu / Ruth’s Chris Dinner Menu

Saveurs 209/La Boulangerie, 209 Broadway St, San Antonio, TX 78205 P 210-639-3165 W

Scuzzi’s Italian Grill, 4035 North Loop 1604 W, San Antonio, TX 78257 P 210-493-8884 W – Make a Reservation
Scuzzi’s Lunch Menu / Scuzzi’s Dinner Menu

Shuck Shack, 520 E Grayson St, San Antonio, TX 78215 P (210) 236-7422 W
Shuck Shack’s Lunch Menu / Shuck Shack’s Dinner Menu

Silo (Alamo Heights), 1133 Austin Hwy, San Antonio, TX 78209 P 210-824-8686 W – Make a Reservation

Silo (Terrace Oyster Bar), 22211 IH-10 West, San Antonio, TX 78257 P 210-698-2002 W – Make a Reservation

Silo (1604), 434 N. Loop 1604 W, San Antonio, TX 78232 P 210-483-8989 W – Make a Reservation

Southerleigh, 136 E Grayson St, Suite 120, San Antonio, TX 78215 P 210- 455-5701 W – Make a Reservation
Southerleigh’s Lunch and Dinner Menu

Sukeban, 1420 S. Alamo St, San Antonio, TX 78204 P (210) 562-3231 W
Sukeban’s Dinner Menu

Sustenio, 17103 La Cantera Pkwy, San Antonio, TX 78256 P 210-598-2950 W – Make a Reservation
Sustenio’s Lunch and Dinner Menu

Tacos and Tequila, 1915 Broadway St, San Antonio, TX 78215 P 210-314-8226 W
Tacos and Tequila’s Lunch and Dinner Menu

Texas de Brazil, 313 E Houston Street, San Antonio, TX 78205 P 210-299-1600 W – Make a Reservation
Texas de Brazil’s Dinner Menu

The Clean Plate, 1022 N. Main Ave, San Antonio, TX 78212 P (210) 229-9866 W
The Clean Plate’s Dinner Menu

The Melting Pot, 14855 Blanco Road, Suite #110, San Antonio, TX P 210-479-6358 W – Make a Reservation
The Melting Pot’s Dinner Menu

The Well, 5539 UTSA Blvd, San Antonio, TX 78249 P (210) 877-9099 W
The Well’s Lunch and Dinner Menu 

The Hoppy Monk, 1010 N Loop 1604 E, San Antonio, TX 78232 P 210-545-3330 W
The Hoppy Monk’s Lunch and Dinner Menu

Tiu Steppi’s Osteria – Braun, 9910 W Loop 1604 #123, San Antonio, TX 78254 P 210-688-9885 W

Tiu Steppi’s Osteria – Bulverde, 17230 Bulverde Rd Suite 110, San Antonio, TX 78247 P 210-592-8645 W

Tony Roma’s – Rivercenter Mall, 849 E Commerce St, San Antonio, TX 78205 P 210-225-7662 W
Tony Roma’s Lunch Menu / Tony Roma’s Dinner Menu

Tre Enoteca, 555 W Bitters Road, San Antonio, TX 78216 P 210-496-0555 W – Make a Reservation
Tre Enoteca’s Dinner Menu

Tre Trattoria, 4003 Broadway, San Antonio, TX 78209 P 210-805-0333 W – Make a Reservation
Tre Trattoria’s Lunch Menu / Tre Trattoria’s Dinner Menu

Westin Riverwalk – Zocca Cusine de Italia, 420 W Market St, San Antonio, TX 78205 P 210-444-6070 W – Make a Reservation
Zocca’s Lunch and Dinner Menu

Wildfish Seafood Grille, 1834 North Loop 1604, San Antonio, TX 78205 P 210-493-1600 W – Make a Reservation
WildFish Seafood Grille’s Dinner Menu

Zinc, 207 N Presa, San Antonio, TX 78205 P 210-224-2900 W – Make a Reservation
Zinc’s Lunch and Dinner Menu (Week 1)


Alchemy Kombucha and Culture, 1123 N Flores St, San Antonio, TX 78212 P 210-320-1168 W
Alchemy’s Dinner Menu

Chris Madrid’s, 1900 Blanco Road, San Antonio, TX 78212 P 210-735-3552 W
Chris Madrid’s Lunch Menu / Chris Madrid’s Dinner Menu

Dough Pizzeria Napoletana, 6989 Blanco Rd, San Antonio, TX 78216 P 210-979-6565 W – Dough seats on a walk-in basis only.  No reservations are necessary.
Dough’s Lunch Menu / Dough’s Dinner Menu (Please note: Menus are subject to change based upon availability of items)

El Jarro de Arturo, 13421 San Pedro, San Antonio, TX 78216 P 210-494-5084 W
El Jarro de Arturo’s Lunch and Dinner Menu

El Machito, 7300 Jones Maltsberger, San Antonio, TX 78209 P 210-314-3971 W
El Machito’s Lunch and Dinner Menu

Francis Bogside, 803 S. St. Mary’s Street, San Antonio, TX 78205 P 210-988-3093 W
Francis Bogside’s Lunch and Dinner Menu

Garbanzo Mediterranean Grill, 11075 IH10 West, Suite #306, San Antonio, TX 78230 P 210-572-4382 W
Garbanzo’s Lunch Menu 

Il Forno, 122 Nogalitos, San Antonio, TX 78214 P 210-616-2198 W
Il Forno’s Lunch and Dinner Menu

La Botanica, 2911 N St Mary’s St, San Antonio, TX 78212 P 619-886-2594 W
La Botanica’s Dinner Menu

La Marginal, 2447 Nacogdoches Rd, San Antonio, TX 78217 P (844) 663-6646 W

Larder at Hotel Emma, 136 E. Grayson, San Antonio, TX 78215 P (210) 448-8355 W
Larder’s Lunch Menu

Nosh, 1133 Austin Hwy, San Antonio, TX 78209 P 210-826-6674 W

Paloma Blanca, 5800 Broadway St #300, San Antonio, TX 78209 P 210 822-6151 W – Make a Reservation
Paloma Blanca’s Lunch and Dinner Menu

Red at The Art Institute of San Antonio, 10000 IH10 W Suite #200, San Antonio, TX 78230 P 210-338-7445 W
Red’s Lunch Menu / Red’s Dinner Menu

SA Fresh, 1015 Rittiman Rd., San Antonio, TX 78218 P 210-829-4446 W
SA Fresh’s Lunch Menu

Smoke, 700 E Sonterra Blvd, San Antonio, TX 78258 P 210-474-0175 W – Make a Reservation
Smoke’s Lunch and Dinner Menu

Smoke (Sunset Station), 1170 E Commerce St, San Antonio, TX 78205 P (210) 253-9919 W – Make a Reservation
Smoke’s Lunch and Dinner Menu 

Thai Topaz, 2177 NW Military Hwy, San Antonio, TX 78213 P 210-290-9833 W – Make a Reservation
Thai Topaz’s Lunch and Dinner Menu

The Fruteria, 1401 S. Flores, San Antonio, TX 78204 P 210-251-3104 W
The Fruteria’s Lunch and Dinner Menu

Urban Taco, 290 E Basse Rd Ste 105, San Antonio, TX 78209 P 210-332-5149 W – Make a Reservation
Urban Taco Lunch and Dinner Menu 

5 Points Local, 1017 N. Flores St, San Antonio, TX 78201 P 210-529-0830 W
5 Points Local’s Lunch and Dinner Menu


About Culinaria 
Culinaria is an independent, not-for-profit organization, committed to promoting San Antonio as a premier food and wine destination while fostering community growth and enrichment within the city we call home. Culinaria is a registered 501 c (3) tax-exempt organization. A valued volunteer Board of Directors who represents the community guides the organization in this mission.

2016 Culinaria Burgers, BBQ, & Beer

2016 Culinaria Burgers, BBQ, & Beer

Literally on top of the Hill Country, event attendees had an almost 360 view of the beautiful Hill Country below while they explored Burgers, BBQ, and Beer from many different local restaurants including the Jason Dady brothers (Shuck Shack), John Brand (Supper at Hotel Emma), and many more that I tried for the first time. This outdoors, family friendly event is a nice, casual note to end an intense Culinaria Festival week of non-stop gourmet events.

I love running into favorite chefs, foodie friends, and letting my daughter and husband expertly share their opinions on which unofficial winners stood out. My husband likes it because I think it represents what Texas means to him – beefy burgers, cold beer, and talking to friendly strangers. So much so that Priest Holmes, 90s Longhorn football player empathized the point by adding football to the mix.

This year was the first time for the event to be hosted at LaCantera Resort and the space really opened up the event. Y’all know how much I love the Pearl and downtime but the parking lot of the resort afforded much more room and space to stand in line, wander with friends and family 4 deep, and not be on top of each other.  They probably had enough space for twice the amount of booths. 🙂

Congratulations to the amazing Culinaria team for putting together another amazing Culinaria Festival Week!  Remember that the money raised is invested in the San Antonio community through culinary scholarships and contributions to the new Culinaria community garden. The chefs dedicate their time and money and product to these events and don’t forget to tell them how much you appreciate them too.

Audible Football Moment

Although the focus of this blog post is on Culinaria and the celebration of food in San Antonio, my husband wanted to make sure we did not under play (get it??) Priest Holmes and his contributions to football both at UT Austin and as a Super Bowl champion and 3x Pro Bowl Selection,ranks 15th in all-time rushing touchdowns in the NFL. One of the words my husband used to describe his career achievements(who started ahead of Ricky Williams) were “bad ass.”  Holmes was gracious when Jonathan thanked him for his contributions to football and making my husband’s year.

Jonathan has always been the biggest fan of Geekette Bits and one day I connected the way I feel for chefs, with the passion and ability to recount dishes served by year and event is the same way he feels about UT Football players (and their post Longhorn careers.)  Check out Priest Holmes Foundation and learn about his contributions to the kids of San Antonio focusing on Encouraging education, Enhancing the lives of children, and Empowering our youth. (My kind of guy!)

My husband, Horns Up w/ Priest Holmes. The way I feel for chefs, Jonathan feels for UT Longhorn Football players.
My husband, Horns Up w/ Priest Holmes. The way I feel for chefs, Jonathan feels for UT Longhorn Football players.

Experience like a Pro

Having attended this event for almost a decade now (at least five years???) I have learned a few recommendations:

  • It is HOT!
    • Wear cool clothes
    • Dump water on yourself
    • Wear a hat, bring an umbrella to shield from sun
    • Bring sunscreen or borrow some from registration
  • Bring tupperware!
    • You will never be able to eat every single thing and you’ll want to. Give yourself a fair chance by bringing tupperware, ziplock baggies, and a bag to carry your goodies in. Chefs will appreciate you not wasting their food
  • Think Tailgating
    • There will be chairs, etc but you could also easily bring your own
  • Use shuttle to event, easy parking
    • If you don’t like lines and are willing to chance chefs running out of food, don’t try to go in the first hour.
  • Truly kid friendly
    • I think Jaden was in elementary school when we first started
    • Tickets great price $10 for <21 years olds…great way to introduce them to a lot of different foods, starting with something they’re familiar with
  • Military discount

What We Tried

As it is impossible to try them all, (looking forward to leftovers in my tupperware for dinner tonight!)

  • Dady brothers were trying out some Korean inspired short ribs with sesame seeds that were perfectly crusted. As a Korean foodie, I feel confident in my endorsement
  • Supper chef John Brand’s team had a roasted corn chilled salad that complimented their wagyu beef burger delightfully
  • Francis Bogside offered two choices, a pastrami sandwich that they sous vide for 3 days after brining meat for a month!
  • Zinc chef Robbie Nowlin had a burger with a parmasean chip inside deepening the umami

There were probably over 20 restaurants represented in addition to the ice-cold free flowing beer, wine, and cocktails.

What did you try?  What were your favorites?

Tasty Photos

2016 Culinaria Food Festival

2016 Culinaria Food Festival

Festival Week, Culinaria’s popular gustatory get-together, features multiple events over the course of four days! From food trucks to haute cuisine, beer to champagne, Festival Week truly offers something for everyone! The 2016 lineup is shaking out to be the best yet!

As one of Culinaria’s featured bloggers this year, I am very proud to partner with one of my favorite not for profit organizations! You will never meet more passionate people running Culinaria who partner with local chefs and schools to not only elevate San Antonio, TX as a foodie destination nationally, they also are focused on scholarships and education for the community from kids on up!


Check out the video to get an idea of past festivals.

Festival Events

The Farm Dinner

Be one of the first to dine in Magnolia Halle for a sampling of what’s in store for the upcoming Culinaria Farm. Chef Jeff White (Boiler House), Chef Robert Fleming and the Magnolia Pancake Haus team along with a few friends including Chef Luis Colon (Folc), Chef Josh Cross and Chef Robbie Nowlin (Boudro’s and Zinc) will create a multiple-course dinner.

The Culinaria Farm – $85

Back to Bubbles


High end and fabulous, this event is all that sparkles. With a secluded setting at La Cantera Resort and Spa, our guests will have the opportunity to enjoy an intimate evening with local chefs and vineyards paired with a beautiful setting. We’ve resurrected a favorite that will prove to be elegance defined.

May 20, 2016 7:00 PM – 10:00PM
$75 in advance, $100 at the door
La Cantera Resort & Spa – Adult Pool

Tacos And Talk (And Tasting)


  • 11:00 AM – Tempranillos of Texas
    11:30 AM – Taco Town
    11:30 AM – American Whiskey
    12:30 AM – Speak Like a Somm
    1:00 PM – Coffee & Booze
    2:00 PM – Texas Fine Wine Seminar
    2:45 PM – Demo with Chef Rowan
    4:00 PM – Mixology at home

$50 ($75 at the door) – Ages 21 & Older
$10 – Under 21, free – 5 & Under
La Cantera Resort & Spa – Plaza San Saba

The Grand Tasting (Reimagined)

The re-imagined Grand Tasting: creations by talented local and guest chefs along with wine as well as spirits brought to you at one spectacular event. This long-running event of Culinaria will feature some spectacular elements and all of the sights and sounds that make such a celebration complete.

$100 ($125 at the door) – Ages 21 & Older
La Cantera Resort & Spa – San Antonio Ballroom


Burgers, BBQ & Beer

The smoke and smells will lead you to your favorite chefs; you’re in charge of paring their creations with a beer, cocktail or glass of wine. A recipe for the perfect afternoon event, pick your favorite creation and we’ll award the chef who brings it home. Roll up your sleeves and dig in, the bib is optional.

$50 ($75 at the door)
$10 – Under 21, free – 5 & Under
La Cantera Resort & Spa – West Lot


Follow on Social


Twitter: @culinariasa

Instagram: @culinariasa

@CULINARIASA  #EatDrinkGive  #Culinariasa  


Our venue host is offering a special rate for Culinaria guests! Click here to view La Cantera Resort & Spa’s room availability and rates during May 19-23, 2016!


Sign up for Uber and insert the promo code CULINARIAFEST16 to receive a free ride on us, up to $20 off.
You can also use MY code for a FREE ride any other time too here:
Festival Fotos Over the Years

GIVEAWAY: 2016 Fiesta Oyster Bake Tickets

2016 Giveaway Fiesta Oyster Bake

The Fiesta Oyster Bake Committee and the St. Mary’s University Alumni Association thank the 7,000 volunteers for their 50,000 volunteer hours, our numerous corporate sponsors, especially Bud Light, and the 60,000+ patrons who help make the Fiesta Oyster Bake a great success every year!

(From the Fiesta Oyster Bake website:)

The Fiesta Oyster Bake proceeds fund the following:

  • 70+ St. Mary’s University students receive full or partial tuition scholarships or other financial assistance
  • Payment for $3.1 million gift for the Alumni Athletics and Convocation Center
  • Programs benefiting the St. Mary’s University faculty and academic schools
  • Programs benefiting the St. Mary’s University student organizations
  • Programs benefiting the St. Mary’s University alumni worldwide
  • Programs benefiting the San Antonio area community

The Fiesta Oyster Bake is coordinated by the following:

  • 7,000 Volunteers contributing 50,000 Volunteer Hours
  • 13 Member Executive Committee
  • 2 Full-Time Staff members
  • Several part-time/contract employees

The Fiesta Oyster Bake offers a wide variety of the following foods, beverages and entertainment:

  • 100,000 Oysters (baked, fried and raw)
  • 32,000 Chicken on a Stick (Fried Chicken Breasts w/jalapeno)
  • 8,500 Steak on a Stick
  • 7,000 Egg Rolls
  • 6,000 Fried Cheesecakes
  • 5,000 Turkey Legs
  • 5,000 Hamburgers
  • 4,000 Ears of Corn
  • 4,000 Slices of Pizza
  • 3,500 lbs. Sausage
  • 3,000 lbs. Beef and Chicken Fajitas
  • 2,000 Chocolate Covered Strawberries
  • 22,000 gal. Beverages (beer, soda, water, lemonade, etc.)
  • 375,000 Napkins
  • 10,000 lbs of recycled Oyster Shells
  • 10,000 lbs of recycled material (aluminum, plastic, cardboard, paper, etc.)
  • 35 Bands / Entertainers


  • Friday, April 15, 2016 5:00 PM to 11:00 PM
  • Saturday, April 16, 2016 11:00 AM to 11:00 PM

Campus of St. Mary’s University
One Camino Santa Maria
San Antonio, TX  78228
[ map | parking map ]

Ticket prices

  • One-day Pre-sale: $20 (Available March 1 to March 31, 2016, at all participating HEB Stores)
  • One-day Pre-sale: $25 (Available April 1 to April 16, 2016, at all participating HEB Stores)
  • Two-day Pre-sale: $35
    (present your two-day pre-sale ticket at an entrance gate on Friday to receive your two-day admission wristband)
  • Friday at the gate: $25
  • Saturday at the gate: $25
  • Children 12 and under are admitted FREE!

Think about volunteering in the future!  Look how long some volunteers have been working with the group:



You could be randomly selected to win TWO FREE tickets to the 2016 Fiesta Oyster Bake event, giveaway entry for each action:

I want to win tickets to


GIVEAWAY: San Antonio Flavor Event

GIVEAWAY: San Antonio Flavor Event

When/Where:  Thursday, March 24 at 7:00pm at San Antonio Museum of Art

San Antonio’s ultimate dining event returns and this time, San Antonio Flavor is bigger and more delicious than ever, serving up sample bites from 30+ local restaurants, beer, wine and cocktail samples, live entertainment and the coveted Culinary Showdown! Guests will enjoy samples from restaurants in a variety of cuisine types, from participating restaurants such as Bite, Boudro’s Texas Bistro, Botika, Shuck Shack, Smoke Shack BBQ, The Old Main Association, Feast, Folc, Nectar, Friendly Spot, Grayze, Grimaldi’s, Via Mia, Thai Topaz, Lily’s Cookies, Rosella Coffee, Fairview Coffee, Sweet Chela’s, Salata, La Frite, and many others.

The highly anticipated and deliciously entertaining Culinary Showdown returns, this time, with a San Antonio twist: notable San Antonians compete with the city’s top chefs to win the title and a donation to the charity of their choice. A panel of “celebrity judges” choose the winning team.

Tickets are $60 and include food, dessert, coffee, beer, wine and cocktail samples plus a CAM art exhibit, live music and a live culinary showdown.

Purchase Tickets: Here

(Photos and Bios from SA Current Flavor)

GIVEAWAY: Enter and Win!

You could be randomly selected to win TWO FREE tickets to the 2016 3rd Annual San Antonio Flavor and Culinary Showdown event, giveaway entry for each action:

I want to win @SACurrent #SAFlavor2016 tix @SAMAart @geekettebits!

The Competition is HOT!


Jason Dady

Chef & Owner, Tre Trattoria, Tre Enoteca, Shuck Shack, Two Bros. BBQ Market, The DUK Truck, B&D Icehouse and Dady Premier Catering

Chef Jason Dady is an innovative pioneer of the culinary culture in San Antonio and developed a reputation of top quality, excellence and professionalism in food, service and hospitality. Chef Dady is the Executive Chef and Owner of Tre Enoteca, Tre Trattoria, Shuck Shack, Two Bros. BBQ Market, The DUK Truck, B&D Icehouse and Dady Premier Catering. Dady’s palate pleasing concepts have resonated with clients and critics alike on a local and national scale.


Robbie Nowlin

Executive Chef, Boudro’s Texas Bistro on the Riverwalk and Zinc Bistro & Bar

Executive Chef of Boudro’s Texas Bistro and Zinc Bistro & Bar, Robbie Nowlin is a leader in today’s culinary scene. Chef Nowlin draws upon both his culinary and life experiences; most notably his time at the three Michelin Star restaurant The French Laundry. His dishes for Citrus demonstrate his precision and creativity in the kitchen and include seasonal adaptations of luxury items. Chef Nowlin has elevated Boudro’s and Zinc and taken the cuisine to a new level.


Stefan Bowers

Stefan is the Executive Chef at Feast Restaurant in Southtown, Rebelle at the St. Anthony Hotel, and the famous #7 Fire House in the Lavaca district, which will open later in 2016.

After a five year career as a Naval Search and Rescue Helicopter Crewman Stefan Bowers began his culinary career with stints working in La Jolla, CA and Houston, TX. In 2005 he set his roots in San Antonio. Stefan was the Chef de Cuisine at The Lodge of Castle Hills under Chef Jason Dady for three years and Executive Chef of 20nine Wine Bar for another three. In 2011 he signed on as the Chef of FEAST Restaurant in Southtown which has become a San Antonio pioneer within the independent dining scene.


Lisa Astorga-Watel

Chef/Owner Lisa Astorga-Watel, is proud to present her new restaurant, Bite.

Chef Lisa Astorga-Watel grew up in Santiago, Chile before moving to Houston, Texas where she attended The Culinary Art Institute. She went on to have a successful career as a private chef for celebrities before meeting her husband, Chef Damien Watel. The couple is now married with one son named Enzo. Bite’s menu is eclectic with a “70’s modern twist” taste and portions are directly influenced by Chef Astorga-Watel’s travels around the globe.


Rebelle St. Anthony Hotel

Rebelle St. Anthony Hotel

Make sure you become a fan on Facebook to get updates and follow Chef Stefan Bowers on Instagram so he can further entice you in! Find their lunch menu here and their dinner menu here.

For lunch, Rebelle will be open for lunch M-F from 11~ 2. FREE VALET PARKING is included.

We have been excitedly awaiting the opening of Rebelle for a little over a year now, we are big fans of her sister, Feast in Southtown. The two story restaurant is over 5,000 square feet and has a beautiful staircase and vaulted ceilings.  The dinner menu is divided into five different sections:

  1. Chilled:  from this section we enjoyed the beautiful potted Iowa white cheddar
  2. Cast Iron Seared: If you want to impress the table and everyone is into beef (like my table was), order the Cote de Bouef bone in ribeye that is shareable among 2-4 people (I would say 4-6!)
  3. Off-Shore:  The Diver sea scallops also cannot be missed, served with carrots, saffron, and goat butter
  4. Hot:  Char-grilled spainish Octopus is the can’t miss dish from this section! Braised perfectly, accompanied by a pistou sauce, which is a Provençal cold sauce made from cloves of garlic, fresh basil, and olive oil. The goat kabobs were tasty too!
  5. Slow and Low:  The duck confit had perfectly crispy duck skin and the cabbage compote was so good we wanted to order an additional order of just that!

Chef Stefan Bowers is one of my favorite San Antonio chefs (of course I love them all!) He has such a big heart for the people he cooks for, with, and the products he uses. He cares so much about the quality and the enjoyment of the diners. He teaches his staff to have the utmost respect for the producers and products they work with.  The ambiance is perfect, a great place to celebrate a special occasion or simply treat yourself to a great meal.  Bring friends because you’ll want to have it all.

GIVEAWAY: San Antonio Cocktail Conference Event Tickets

I am very excited to highlight one of MANY San Antonio Cocktail Conference events that is happening next week!  “Women Shaking it Up” is an event that takes place on Wednesday, January 13, 2016 at the Arneson River Theater.  I’ll be giving away TWO PREMIUM tickets to this amazing event that includes reserved seating and in-seat beverage service.

Join San Antonio Cocktail Conference for the premiere of the mini-documentary, “Women of Tin”, and then stick around for the BEST OF THE BEST in food and drink from female chefs and bartenders as we celebrate the POWER OF WOMEN in San Antonio.

100% of the proceeds from this event goes to Girls Inc San Antonio!

What:  Women Shaking it Up

When: Wed., Jan. 13, 2016 @ 7pm-11pm

How Much:  $65 General Admission, $85 Premium Tickets (all the proceeds go DIRECTLY to Girls Inc!)

Remember, you’re investing in local San Antonio charities. 100% of the proceeds from San Antonio Cocktail Conference go back to the community.

Some of the most talented chefs in San Antonio are included:

  • Heather Nanez (Bohanan’s)
  • Brooke Smith (Esquire)
  • Lisa Watel (Bite)
  • Diana Barrios (Los Barrios)
  • Margeaux Alcorta (Tre)
  • Carino Cortez (Viva Villa)

Equally impressive is the lineup of bartenders, including some featured in the “Women of Tin – Official Trailer”:

  • Hillary Woodhouse
  • Karah Carmack
  • Elizabeth Forsyth

Girls Inc of San Antonio Partnership

“Girls cannot become what they don’t see. Seeing female leaders in male-dominated industries across our community come together to empower each other is just what San Antonio and our girls need,” said Lea Rosenauer, President/CEO of Girls Inc. of San Antonio. “We are proud to be partners during the San Antonio Cocktail Conference’s inaugural ‘Women Shaking It Up’ event!”

I am a BIG fan and local support of our San Antonio chapter of the Girls Inc. I love their motto of growing strong, smart, and bold girls and my daughter has gone to many of their events! They have hosted in the past many STEM related events like Made with Code!  Click the link to learn about how I keep my daughter interested in STEM too!


Panelist at a Girls Inc Town Hall with Dr. Karen Bierman, Child Clinical Psychologist, Heather Hernandez, Blogger of Geekette Bits, Dr. Sarah Gould, Curator for the Institute of Texan Cultures and Sarah Szuminski, Blogger on Women’s Issues.

Girls Inc. of San Antonio delivers life-changing programs that inspire girls to be strong, smart and bold. Research based curricula, delivered by trained professionals, equip girls to achieve academically; lead healthy and physically active lives; manage money; navigate media messages; and discover an interest in science, technology, engineering and math. The network of local Girls Inc. nonprofit organizations serves more than 140,000 girls ages 6 – 18 annually at over 1,400 sites in 350 cities across the United States and Canada.

Girls Inc. of San Antonio and KIPP Aspire Academy Partner to Discuss Holiday Ads and Hypersexualized Toys Targeted to Tween and Teen Girls

GIVEAWAY: Enter and Win!

You could be randomly selected to win TWO FREE tickets to the 2016 San Antonio Cocktail Conference Women Shaking It UP event, giveaway entry for each action:

I want to win @SACocktailConf tix to @GirlsIncSATX #WomenShakingItUp #SACC2016 @geekettebits!

About San Antonio Cocktail Conference

San Antonio Cocktail Conference is a Houston Street Charities event. Houston Street Charities is a non-profit organization created by Bohanan’s Prime Steaks & Seafood and Mark Bohanan. It was founded to oversee the San Antonio Cocktail Conference and other charitable endeavors of Bohanan’s, in an effort to make sure that giving back to community remains at the forefront of all of the events. San Antonio Cocktail Conference is a community partnership that donates 100 percent of conference profits to children’s charities. Visit

2015 Best 9 Instagram Posts of San Antonio Chefs

2015 Top 9 Instagram Posts of San Antonio Chefs

In no particular order, I have collected the Best Nine Instagram photos (based on number if likes) that were posted in 2015 by our local San Antonio chefs.  Using the, you can look up anyone’s public instagram account and I included the direct links for each post in case you want to see for yourself. You’ll have the option to download the photo with the stats or just the 9 grid of photos.

Let me just say there were some delicious looking dinners served up in 2015!

Click on any of the images to be taken directly to the chef’s instagram page.  And don’t forget to follow me on!

2015 Best 9 Instagram Posts of San Antonio Chefs






















Supper at Hotel Emma with Chef John Brand

Supper at Hotel Emma

I have not so patiently been waiting for Supper to open for a while now! Although the restaurant has been open for probably more than a month this is the first chance we had to go in and visit. No longer can San Antonio foodies depends on making same-day reservations even on a Monday night! For those that like a special culinary treat. I recommend asking to be seated at the chefs’ table a beautiful row of bar stools that overlook the kitchen. If that’s too warm though there’s plenty of seating in the dining room as well as a private dining room that seats 24 of your closest friends and family.


Supper, the Hotel Emma restaurant led by Chef John Brand, will focus on comforting and seasonally fresh greenmarket cuisine. The eatery will embody the sensibilities of both the farm table and bistro table. The cuisine will represent Brand’s elemental Midwestern approach in the kitchen peppered with South Texas’ multicultural food ways and the unique bounty of San Antonio’s year-round producers. Supper is open for breakfast from 7 to 10 a.m.; lunch, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.; and dinner, 5 to 10 p.m. For reservations, call (210) 448-8351.

Here’s a quick video so you can know what you have to look forward to!

Reasons to Love Chef John Brand

When I started to write this blog post, I realized that to truly appreciate your Supper experience, it helps to know a little bit about the chef.

Chef John Brand grew up in the Midwest spending most of his time on a farm in the Nebraska. He began his career washing dishes as a teenager in Green Bay Wisconsin and progressed to stay in the kitchen for the past 25+ years. Mr. Brand has cooked his way around the country for fine dining restaurants and resorts, most notably in Beaver Creek Colorado, Scottsdale Arizona, The Little Nell in Aspen Colorado, Keswick Hall in Charlottesville Virginia, and the Broadmoor in Colorado Springs Colorado. In 2008, he arrived in San Antonio Texas as Executive Chef La Mansion del Rio and Mokara Hotel and Spa. In 2011, he was also asked to be the Area Executive Chef for Omni Hotels and Resorts.

People who know me personally know that I take my chef fandom to rockstar groupie levels.  In October 2011 (had to check emails from Culinaria to remember the date/event)…was when I met Chef John Brand for the first time. He was quietly nestled in a slight corner at the Quarry Golf Clubhouse. On the table were slightly tiered trays of some kind of mousse or pate jarred in miniature glass containers. (Looking for picture.) It was Culinaria’s Golf Tournament and I’m not embarrassed to admit I ate several. Over the years his attendance to community events is an expected pleasure. I seek his tables out. Sometimes his son helps him (like at Culinaria’s Burgers and Beer event or at the Becker Luncheon.) I’ll also never forget the braised lamb neck he did at the first SA Chef Coalition dinner!

Here’s a great article Chef Brand wrote for what Chef looks for in hiring candidates. Some favorite quotes:

  • A chef that exudes themselves outside of the kitchen will most often be respected in the community and will have a well trained staff to support the operation.
  • …active in the community and has a sense of giving time, talent and treasure.
  • Look up the chef, know their back story and their menus as well as food philosophy. Every restaurant has an identity…
  • If you can research the chef’s history and their previous experience you can also understand their management style. Is this a mercenary operation or a healthy sustainable place with loyal and local people working there?
  • Cooking should be your oxygen, food your religion. There must be a pursuit of excellence, as you apply for this job whichever one it is, have a goal to reach

Another article that demonstrates the type of chef he is is about in-room dining exceeding customers expectation:

  • Cook – It is a verb, chef is an attitude, a goal, a direction, a purpose.
  • Treat room service food without respect and your career will follow the same path.
  • Seasonal vegetables – This is the responsibility of the chef to determine the fresh market vegetables for the day, a minimum of three and describe them for the service team and dispatcher. Hopefully, armed with the knowledge of the vegetable, farmer, seasonality and possibly nutrient value, the guest can be informed by the dispatcher.
  • We should be able to provide the best the season and markets have to offer for that moment. We cannot underestimate the guest experience.
  • The guest loves to hear and see the smile in the voice of the person servicing them.
  • Food brings closure to those that travel, and closure to the day, hence the pedestrian items on the menu. We appeal to all those who want comfort food.
  • I am still trying to find the love in this food, the warm, crispy, fresh flavors that will make me feel good as I go to sleep in this strange place.
  • let us think of the guest and the guest experience and build a lasting relationship on the tools we have to create a loyal customer.

So what I hear is I need to stay at Hotel Emma and order room service!

Our Supper at Supper

With help from many chefs from his former restaurant Las Canarias, Supper dinner service was tight and well paced. We enjoyed the Sorghum and Rosemary Roasted Carrots with Pomegranate and Goat Cheese and the White Anchovy Beignets with Dandelion Salsa Verde as a special treat from the kitchen. Both of them savory and warm on a cold winter day (actually I think it was in the 70s but we were pretending.) After staring at the menu for a long time, I finally committed to the Bronzini with Crispy Potato Salad and Poppyseed Crema which had a wonderful taste and textures. My husband ordered the Venison Loin with Juniper Parsnip Mousse and Blueberry Mustard and we watched it prepared on their custom made grill.  While we were there the grill fire began to die down and we watched someone hoist the grill up so that wood could be added below.  Plenty of non-meat options, we also tasted the Brussels Sprouts which we enjoyed the complimentary flavors of salt and vinegar!

Other can’t miss items on the menu:

  • Smoked Crispy Quail, Pickled Corn Relish and Gold Potato Puree – below our minds the flavors coaxed from the corn with the quail!
  • Braised Oxtail Stew with Mushrooms, Cipollini and Walnuts – rich, savory broth, exactly what you want.

Wow, working on this post, I’m unsurprisingly hungry to try lunch next time at Supper!

More posts about Supper:

Best Asian Market Houston: H Mart

H Mart is a fantastic Asian shopping market that specializes in Korean foods that my Houston foodie friends turned me onto. Angela, the first, recommended when my family was driving back home from a visit to Florida on 1-10. We wanted something good, not too far from the highway. Not only is this huge super market but the right side is lined with little restaurants, food court style. Each one looks fantastic but we beelined to the last one. You’ll want to make time to eat there, everything comes out on sizzling hot pots that permeate the flavor and crisp the meal.