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. ūüôā

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

Seaworld Texas: Discovery Point

Seaworld Texas: Discovery Point

DISCLAIMER: Although SeaWorld San Antonio let me play with the dolphins for free, the delight elicited from the interactive experience is my own.

After thirteen months, Discovery Point at Seaworld Texas opens Saturday, May 21, 2016 @ 10am!  I had the incredible opportunity for a one on one behind the scenes tour of not only the new Discovery Point area but also swim with two dolphins which was a lifelong goal! (and got to meet three super star bloggers: @AFrugalFriend  )

Guests are invited to observe dolphins from all-new underwater viewing areas, and can also easily connect to the newly renovated Explorer’s Reef aquarium. Discovery Point can be explored by all guests as part of their admission. For a deeper interactive experience, signature swims with Atlantic bottlenose dolphins, belugas and sea lions are available with a paid reservation.

Discovery Point can be explored by all guests as part of their SeaWorld San Antonio park admission. ¬†I’ll be updating this blog post with more content, pictures, and video soon too!

Swim with Dolphins

Guests can also make reservations for an additional fee to swim with dolphins, belugas, and sea lions.

  • Swim participants must be at least 6 years old and children ages 6 to 12 must be accompanied by a paying adult who is also participating in the swim experience.
  • Prices range from $125 to $155 per person.
  • 600,000-gallon Dolphin Lagoon is twice the size of the previous dolphin habitat.

SeaWorld San Antonio is home to:

  • 21 Atlantic Bottlenose dolphins ‚Äď 15 females and six males, ranging in age from 1 to 43 years old.
  • Most of the dolphins were born at SeaWorld, four made SeaWorld their home after being rescued by the Texas Marine Mammal Stranding Network and deemed non-releasable by the National Marine Fisheries Service.
  • More than 7,100 plants comprised of 80 different species ranging from native trees and palms to tropical ferns and bamboo create Discovery Point‚Äôs tropical oasis.
  • A variety of shells, natural materials, recycled glass and stone were used as building materials throughout Discovery Point, including the rockwork shapes created to resemble dolphins.

Explorer‚Äôs Reef is home to more than 350 species of fish, invertebrates and amphibians, as well as five different species of sharks, ranging in age from seven to 27 years old ‚Äď all of which are considered vulnerable and well on their way toward endangered status.

The majority of Caribbean coral on display in Explorer’s Reef was grown by SeaWorld San Antonio’s Aquarium Department.

Visit www.seaworlddiscoverypoint.com, and be sure to follow SeaWorld on Facebook or @SeaWorld on Twitter and Instagram @SeaWorldTexas, using #DiscoveryPoint like I did.here.

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!

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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 ‚Äď $85

Back to Bubbles

WHEN:  

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 ‚Äď 10:00PM
$75 in advance, $100 at the door
La Cantera Resort & Spa ‚Äď Adult Pool

Tacos And Talk (And Tasting)

WHEN:  

  • 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) ‚Äď Ages 21 & Older
$10 ‚Äď Under 21, free ‚Äď 5 & Under
La Cantera Resort & Spa ‚Äď 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) ‚Äď Ages 21 & Older
La Cantera Resort & Spa ‚Äď San Antonio Ballroom

WHEN:  

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 ‚Äď Under 21, free ‚Äď 5 & Under
La Cantera Resort & Spa ‚Äď West Lot

WHEN:  

Follow on Social

Facebook: facebook.com/CulinariaSanAntonio

Twitter: @culinariasa

Instagram: @culinariasa

@CULINARIASA  #EatDrinkGive  #Culinariasa  

Staycation!

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!

Transportation

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: https://www.uber.com/invite/5d8mv
Festival Fotos Over the Years

GIVEAWAY: San Antonio Symphony Patriotic Pops

GIVEAWAY: San Antonio Symphony Patriotic Pops

In honor of National Military Appreciation Month, the San Antonio Symphony will be offering a 50 percent discount off tickets for all current and former members of the military and their family to attend the Patriotic Pops concerts on May 13-14 at 8 p.m. and May 15 at 2 p.m. at the Tobin Center.

The Symphony is proud to honor, remember and appreciate those who have served and those who are now serving in the military.

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Military can use “THANKS” promo code by visiting¬†TobinCenter.org¬†or by going in person to the Tobin Center Box Office with their military ID to skip processing fees.

Learn more and buy tickets here.

When:  May 13 & 14, 2016, 8:00 p.m. | May 15, 2016, 2:00 p.m.

What:  Patriotic Pops H-E-B Performance Hall at The Tobin Center for the Performing Arts

Who: Stuart Chafetz, conductor, Ron Nirenberg, narrator

Don’t miss the final Pops concert of the season as we honor our veterans and armed service members with a tribute featuring some of your favorite patriotic selections including music from John Williams, Aaron Copland, Gershwin, Sousa, and some great radio hits from the ’50s.

  • John Williams‚Äô Midway March and his theme from the movie J.F.K.
  • Sousa‚Äôs Liberty Bell March
  • Music from the movie Gardens of Stone
  • Armed Forces Salute
  • Music from Tchaikovsky‚Äôs powerfully stunning 1812 Overture

Concert is sponsored by Cavender Audi

Ways to Enter and Win

You could be randomly selected to win FOUR tickets to the San Antonio Symphony performance of “Patriotic Pops“, especially if you take advantage of all these ways to enter!

I want to win tix to #PatrioticPops & @sasym @TobinCenterSA @geekettebits! #NationalMilitaryAppreciation http://geekettebits.com/san-antonio/giveaway-san-antonio-symphony-patriotic-pops/

2016 Big Give San Antonio

2016 Big Give San Antonio


The Big Give S.A. is a 24-hour day of giving that brings donors and nonprofits together by creating a shared region-wide experience and connecting people to the causes that matter to them the most. Last year YOU came together to raise $4.3 million dollars for 882 charitable causes in 24 hours.

This year, with a goal of $6,000,000, we are hoping to do even more for South Central Texas.

Watch the Leaderboard to see all the organizations you can donate to including (just a fraction are shown below):

  1. Air Force Village Рlove supporting our military!
  2. Culinaria Рlove supporting this not-for-profit organization for foodies and future foodies. They are doing amazing things working with MIT to develop new sustainable farming practices, learn where your food comes from from the chefs making it.
  3. San Antonio Museum of Art Рamazing exhibits and helped my best friend have a fabulous engagement!
  4. San Antonio Lighthouse for the Blind & Vision Impaired Рlove supporting this local organization that employs and rehabs visually disabled.
  5. San Antonio Food Bank¬†– one in four children in San Antonio go to bed hungry…SA Food Bank is working hard to help reduce this number.
  6. Leukemia & Lymphoma Society Рfor Cured chef Steve McHugh.
  7. San Antonio Conservation Society Рsupporting the conservation of local historical landmarks
  8. Locke Hill PTA Рfor my book club ladies!
  9. SAMMinistries¬†– amazing presence on social media during this drive, helping to¬†provide for those that don’t have things.
  10. Sunshine Cottage School for Deaf Children Рmy mom was a sign language interpreter makes me smile for this organization
  11. ChildSafe Рhelping to end child abuse in San Antonio through awareness and options
  12. TEDxSanAntonio Рshoutout Chris Sandoval and Kathy Babb and TEDxSanAntonio speaker Wayne Hartman!
  13. Girls Incorporated of San Antonio Рhelping to raise strong, smart, and bold girls, all over the city and beyond
  14. Hemisfair Conservancy Рmy BFF is a big part of the Conservancy and they valant efforts to revitilize downtown San Antonio
  15. The Magik Theatre Рwonderful memories watching plays with season passes and Jaden.
  16. Honor Veterans Now¬†– y’all know I love¬†veterans
  17. Association of the United States Army Рespecially Army Vets like my dad
  18. NOWCastSA Рproviding non-partisan news for the city
  19. Tobin Center for the Performing Arts Рbeautiful performance art center of international caliber.

For up-to-date information on the event and how you can get involved, follow us on Facebook and Twitter @BigGiveSA.

Hashtag: #BGSA2016

Learn about the results from 2015!

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

When:

  • 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 ]

http://oysterbake.com/index.html

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: http://oysterbake.com/about/key-volunteers.html

 

GIVEAWAY

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

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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‚Äôs top chefs to win the title and a donation to the charity of their choice. A panel of ‚Äúcelebrity judges‚ÄĚ 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! http://geekettebits.com/giveaway-san-antonio-cocktail-conference-event-tickets

The Competition is HOT!

JASON DADY

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

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‚Äôs 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 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

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.

 

FREE Taco Cabana Tacos Delivered by Uber

Forget kittens at work!  Get the Uber App and get FREE tacos (1 dozen!) delivered to you tomorrow for FREE courtesy of Uber!

Taco Screenshot

On Random Acts of Kindness Day, Feb. 17, Taco Cabana will partner with Uber to deliver free breakfast tacos to lucky users in areas throughout San Antonio from 9 to 11 a.m., including downtown and the medical center.

taco_cabana_uber_random_acts_of_kindness_day

Participants can simply select ‚ÄúTaco Cabana‚ÄĚ within the Uber app for a chance to get a complimentary dozen breakfast taco box delivered to their current location. Fans are encouraged to share their experience via #RandomActsofTacos on their social channels.

‚ÄúWe had so much fun last year surprising people with our ‚Äėrandom acts of tacos‚Äô that we decided to step it up this year by partnering with Uber,‚ÄĚ said Taco Cabana Chief Operating Officer Todd Coerver. ‚ÄúWe look forward to seeing pictures and videos from those who get a special Taco Cabana delivery on this day.‚ÄĚ

Where is San Antonio

Geo 2

SA_KITTENS_V2

Additionally, all guests who dine at a Taco Cabana restaurant the morning of Feb. 17 will receive a coupon for a free breakfast taco on their next visit, while supplies last.

To connect with Taco Cabana via social media, visit: https://www.facebook.com/TacoCabana, https://twitter.com/TacoCabana and http://instagram.com/taco_cabana.

Other Texas Locations

Taco Cabana will also give away free breakfast tacos randomly on the streets of Dallas/Fort Worth, Houston, Austin and El Paso on Feb. 17 to inspire people to commit random acts of kindness. The company plans to hand out about 50,000 breakfast tacos.

GIVEAWAY: Indiana Jones and San Antonio Symphony

On February 19, 2016 at 8 p.m. and February 20, 2016 at 7:00 p.m. at the Majestic Theatre, audiences of all ages can experience¬†Raiders of the Lost Ark, a classic film from master director Steve Spielberg, starring Harrison Ford as Indiana Jones. John Williams’ Academy Award-winning score will be performed live by the San Antonio Symphony in sync with the full feature film projected on a huge HD screen.
Indiana Jones Raiders premiere 2 - credit 21st Century Productions & KKL Lucerne
‚ÄúRaiders of the Lost Ark‚ÄĚ ‚Äď Special 35th¬†Anniversary Celebration
The film that gave the world one of its greatest movie heroes, Indiana Jones, starring Harrison Ford, is celebrating its special 35th anniversary.  Come along for the ride on February 19, 2016 at 8 p.m. and February 20, 2016 at 7 p.m., and relive the magic on the silver screen with the original great adventure Raiders of the Lost Ark with John Williams’ epic score performed live to picture by the San Antonio Symphony!
The year is 1936, and professor of archeology and ‚Äúobtainer of rare antiquities‚ÄĚ Indiana Jones (Harrison Ford) is tasked by U.S. Army Intelligence to recover the legendary Ark of the Covenant before it falls into the hands of the Nazis.¬† Indy‚Äôs quest takes him to Nepal and Egypt, reuniting him with an old friend (John Rhys-Davies), an old foe (Paul Freeman), and an ex-flame (Karen Allen) who falls somewhere in between.¬† Armed with his hat, whip and wits, our intrepid hero must face formidable enemies ‚Äď and impossible odds ‚Äď to save the day and the world.

Giveaway: Enter and Win!

You could be randomly selected to win TWO FREE tickets to the ‚ÄúRaiders of the Lost Ark‚ÄĚ ‚Äď Special 35th Anniversary Celebration event for this Friday night, Feb. 16, 2016. Giveaway¬†entry for each action:

I want to win @SASym @MajesticEmpire #SASymphonyRaiders @geekettebits! http://geekettebits.com/san-antonio/giveaway-indiana-jones-and-san-antonio-symphony/

Indiana Jones Raiders premiere 1 - credit 21st Century Productions & KKL Lucerne

Tickets Now On Sale
Adult tickets start from $25 and children are half off.  Moviegoers can purchase tickets online at Ticketmaster.com or by calling(800) 745-3000, or visiting their nearest Ticketmaster location or the Majestic Theatre Box Office located at 224 East Houston Street.
Follow The San Antonio Symphony on Twitter at @sasym, Instagram @sasymphony and Facebook San Antonio Symphony for updated news and information. Hashtag #SASymphonyRaiders

2016 Bexar County Primary Election

I feel¬†passionately about empowering people to understand¬†when Bexar County Elections are going on so that people can perform their civic duties and vote. It doesn’t just end with voting either. Encourage your friends, co-workers, and family to vote. ¬†Remember that apathy does not fix the system. Complaining on social media does not change the political landscape. ¬†Action and accountability does!

YES there is a lot of information below but I have tried to frame things in context with the content so that you don’t feel overwhelmed when you look at the sample ballots. ¬†I try to link/describe what different words/positions mean so that you have all the information in one place. ¬†Please¬†let me know what you think and share with your friends and family!

Texas Primary Elections – What’s On the Ballot?

In Texas, a voter must vote in the Primary for candidates on either the Republican or Democratic ballot. However, the voter may not vote for both Republicans and Democrats during the Primary. If the voter does not tell the judge whether they wish to vote Democratic or Republican, then the judge will be unable to provide a ballot for the voter.

The Primary elections are a political party event and the party may choose to put a proposition on their Party’s ballot or not.

Additionally:

During this election you’ll be voting for not only the presidential nominee for each party but¬†also some county commissioner, sheriff, constable, and other offices.

Federal

  • Presidential nomination
  • Texas has TWO Senators (John Cornyn and Ted Cruz) but¬†neither are up for re-election.
  • All¬†U.S. House¬†positions are up for¬†voting and most districts¬†have challengers. ¬†By using the sample ballot by address¬†you can see what district you’re in and which House candidates you’ll be voting on so you can do some homework ahead of time.

Additional Information:

State

  • Railroad Commissioner¬†¬†(one of many State Offices like Governor) –¬†state agency that regulates the oil and gas industry, gas utilities, pipeline safety, safety in the liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) industry, and surface coal and uranium mining.
  • Justice, Supreme Court¬†–¬†hears appeals involving civil matters and does not hear any appeals involving criminal matters except when the defendant is a juvenile. ¬†The court of last resort for civil matters (including juvenile delinquency which the law considers to be a civil matter and not criminal)
  • State Board of Education¬†– more information here.
    • Setting curriculum standards
    • Reviewing and adopting instructional materials
    • Establishing graduation requirements
    • Overseeing the Texas Permanent School Fund
    • Appoint board members to military reservation and special school districts
  • Texas State¬†Representatives¬†–¬†consists of 150 members who are elected from single-member districts for a term of 2 years work on writing bills into Texas laws.
  • Court of Criminal Appeals¬†–¬†hears appeals on criminal cases excluding those involving juvenile proceedings.
  • Court of Appeals¬†–¬†All cases are heard by a three-justice panel.¬†Texas has 14 Courts of Appeals, which have intermediate appellate jurisdiction in both civil and criminal cases. Bexar County is the Fourth Court of Appeals.
  • District Courts¬†–¬†Texas has 14 Courts of Appeals, which have intermediate appellate jurisdiction in both civil and criminal cases including¬†felony criminal cases, divorce cases, land title disputes, election contests, civil matters in which at least $200 is disputed or claimed in damages, as well as other matters. Most district courts consider both criminal and civil cases but, in counties with many courts, each may specialize in civil, criminal, juvenile, or family law matters. [Wikipedia]

Additional Information:

  • Citizen’s¬†Handbook¬†has some great definitions, flow diagrams, etc. on how Texas Legislature works.
  • Learn about Texas Legislature here¬†(including who makes up the Texas House and Senate, how bills become laws, etc.)
  • Texas Court System
  • Supreme Court of Texas

County

  • County Tax Assessor- Collector – assess and collect taxes on property in the county for the county
  • Judge –¬†The county judge is both presiding officer of the commissioners court and judge of the county court. As such, the judge is often thought of as the chief executive officer of the county.
  • Sheriff –¬†chief law enforcement officer for the county and is responsible for operating the county jails, investigating crimes, enforcing judgments, and maintaining communications with other law enforcement organizations.
  • County Offices including:
    • Commissioner
    • County Chairman
  • County Administrators
  • County Courts¬†–¬† exclusive jurisdiction over “Class A” and “Class B” misdemeanors (these offenses can involve jail time), concurrent jurisdiction over civil cases where the amount in controversy is moderately sized, and appellate jurisdiction over JP and municipal court cases.
  • Constable¬†–¬†The constable is an authorized peace officer and is the chief process server of the justice court. The constable has statewide jurisdiction to execute any criminal process, and countywide jurisdiction to execute any civil process.

Great county position document here details out all the positions and line by line explanations of the roles and responsibilities.

Ballot Referenda

A referendum is a proposed law placed on the ballot for citizens to either approve or reject. Referenda (plural of referendum) are proposed by the legislature or by local governing bodies like city councils.

Ballot Propositions

Basically, our elected state legislature want Texas voters to vote so th

Can You Vote???

You are eligible to register and vote if you are:

A) a citizen of the United States,
B) a resident of Bexar County,
C) at least 17 years and 10 months of age and you must be 18 years of age by election day
D) not declared mentally incompetent by a court of law.
E) not a convicted felon, or, if so convicted you have:

1) fully discharged your sentence, including any term of incarceration, parole, supervision, or completed a period of probation ordered by any court; or,
2) been pardoned or otherwise release from the resulting disability to vote.

Check if you’re registered to vote, here.

Helpful Bexar County Links

Social Media

What Else Can You Do?

  • Help Register People to Vote! Learn more here¬†but you can help accept voter registration forms (i.e. hand out registration forms to friends and family) so they can register to vote (must be registered 30 days before election!)¬†Please call (210) 335-6625 for information regarding available training dates, times and location.

Additional information from my friends at NowcastSA! http://nowcastsa.com/2016-elections 

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 Proven√ßal 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, ‚ÄúWomen of Tin‚ÄĚ, 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.

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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

‚ÄúGirls cannot become what they don‚Äôt 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,‚ÄĚ said Lea Rosenauer, President/CEO of Girls Inc. of San Antonio. ‚ÄúWe are proud to be partners during the San Antonio Cocktail Conference‚Äôs inaugural ‚ÄėWomen Shaking It Up‚Äô event!‚ÄĚ

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!

girls_inc_san_antonio_geekettebits_panel_discussion

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, MySA.com 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_san_antonio_geekettebits
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! http://geekettebits.com/giveaway-san-antonio-cocktail-conference-event-tickets

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‚Äôs, 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‚Äôs charities. Visit www.sacocktailconference.com.

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¬†2015bestnine.com, 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 instragram.com/geekettebits!

2015 Best 9 Instagram Posts of San Antonio Chefs

instagram.com/chefjasondady

chefjasondady_full

http://2015bestnine.com/chefjasondady

instagram.com/cheftimmyr

cheftimmyr_full

http://2015bestnine.com/cheftimmyr

instagram.com/stefanbowers

stefanbowers_full

http://2015bestnine.com/stefanbowers

instagram.com/mixtlicloud

mixtlicloud_full

http://2015bestnine.com/mixtlicloud

instagram.com/mezcaleriamixtli

mezcaleriamixtli_full

http://2015bestnine.com/mezcaleriamixtli

instagram.com/sacocktailconf

sacocktailconf_full

http://2015bestnine.com/sacocktailconf

instagram.com/mingsthing

mingsthing_full

http://2015bestnine.com/mingsthing

 

https://www.instagram.com/chef_rudy_martinez/

chef_rudy_martinez_fullchef_rudy_martinez_full

http://2015bestnine.com/chef_rudy_martinez

https://www.instagram.com/alchemy_sa/

alchemy_sa_full

http://2015bestnine.com/alchemy_sa

https://www.instagram.com/sabarbaro/

sabarbaro_full

http://2015bestnine.com/sabarbaro?c=1&t=360

https://www.instagram.com/zacharrisofsatx/

zacharrisofsatx_full

http://2015bestnine.com/zacharrisofsatx?c=1&t=360

a_cody_clarke_full

http://2015bestnine.com/a_cody_clarke?c=1&t=360

https://www.instagram.com/pharmtable/

pharmtable_full

http://2015bestnine.com/pharmtable

https://www.instagram.com/folcsa/

folcsa_full

http://2015bestnine.com/folcsa

https://www.instagram.com/southerleigh/

http://2015bestnine.com/southerleigh?c=1&t=360

https://www.instagram.com/chefjohnbrand/

chefjohnbrand_full

http://2015bestnine.com/chefjohnbrand?c=1&t=360

https://www.instagram.com/johnny_russ/

johnny_russ_full

http://2015bestnine.com/johnny_russ?c=1&t=360

https://www.instagram.com/whereyatsa/

whereyatsa_full

http://2015bestnine.com/whereyatsa?c=1&t=360

https://www.instagram.com/chef_driven/

chef_driven_full

http://2015bestnine.com/chef_driven?c=1&t=360

https://www.instagram.com/chefstevemchugh/

chefstevemchugh_full

http://2015bestnine.com/chefstevemchugh?c=1&t=360

https://www.instagram.com/restgwen/

restgwen_full

http://2015bestnine.com/restgwen?c=1&t=360

https://www.instagram.com/beyondthekitchen/

beyondthekitchen_full

http://2015bestnine.com/beyondthekitchen?c=1&t=360

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.

Website: http://www.supperatemma.com/

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:

GIVEAWAY: Christmas Light Fest at the Don Strange Ranch

GIVEAWAY: Christmas Light Fest at the Don Strange Ranch

    
    
 Santa‚Äôs Village includes Santa ready to hear Christmas wishes and take pictures‚ÄĒno charge for the pictures, just bring your camera and snap away‚ÄĒas well as Longhorns to give your holiday a true Texas spin‚ÄĒafter all, in Texas, Santa needs a bit more than reindeer to pull his sleigh! The fun also includes holiday flavors including s‚Äômores, hot chocolate, sausage on a stick and more. Weekends offer a larger holiday menu selection with signature food from caterer Don Strange of Texas, including their famous Grilled White Wings and Christmas Bacon, and adults can enjoy a full bar. Special performances from local bands and choirs will fill the night air with holiday magic and for those in need of a unique holiday gifts, Santa‚Äôs Village includes fantastic finds and fun shopping from an array of vendors each weekend.

Ways to Enter and Win

You could be randomly selected to win a FREE ticket for your family with each entry:

  

  

La Cantera Resort Sweet Fire Thanksgiving Menu

La Cantera Hill Country Resort invited me to preview the new Thanksgiving menu at their SweetFire Restaurant on Tuesday, November 17! For anyone that wants a traditional Thanksgiving meal without the muss and fuss of slaving away in front of your kitchen so that you can spend more time with your friends and family. The meal is delicious and available to guests and locals! The La Cantera Resort has been on a refresh journey for the past year and this is culminating towards the end of the renovations (Though look forward to the newly renovated spa that is coming in March 2016!)

Learn all about the La Cantera Resort Thanksgiving festivities: https://www.destinationhotels.com/la-cantera-resort-and-spa/dining/thanksgiving-celebration 

Thanksgiving Buffet | 11:00am Р8:00pm

Reservations 210.558.6500 | Online | 8 or More Call 210.558.2479

$65 Adult | $25 Children ages 5-12 | 4 & Under Free

Some of the delicious things I enjoyed were:
  • Slow roasted free range turkey
  • IPA brined & smoked prime rib
  • House made Tasso ham, duck pastrami & country terrine with pickled vegetables, grain mustard, seasonal preserves
  • House made Tasso ham, duck pastrami & country terrine
  • Ranger Creek Porter poached Gulf Shrimp with¬†Horseradish cocktail sauce, cucumber- tequila mignonette & brown butter aioli
  • Pumpkin pie

Sweetfire Kitchen Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato