A big fan of Twitter for my local San Antonio foodie news, I started following the @TheGranarySA to make sure I was in the loop and saw this tweet:
Tweeps… Our 1st soft open lunch 1130 today, invite only; first 15 ppl to reply will receive a confirmation to attend… See u soon!
— TheGranarySA (@TheGranarySA) November 6, 2012
Brothers Tim and Alex (pictured below) Rattray are bringing back brewing to The Pearl (and some Central Texas ‘cue!) Set to open next Tuesday, November 13th, the soft opening today was a tasty lunch break treat! Unfortunately, it will be a couple more weeks before The Granary is open regularly for lunch…they plan to focus on their dinner crowd at first. The informal lunch was ordered at the counter and delivered to me through a window from the kitchen on a metal tray chuck full of more traditional Central Texas BBQ. Dinner will differ with plans including full-service, sit down dining, and a more modern spin on a frequently changing menu. Jealously looking at past tweets, the smoked lamb shoulder with African spices looks especially tempting.
I got to meet and enjoyed talking to the chef and the brewmaster behind this new venture. Brothers for life (literally…) Alex talked about how this dream has been in the works formally for the past two years and on their minds for much longer. An enthusiastic home brewer, Alex knew he couldn’t just multiple the portions to meet craft brewing proportions. So he did what any serious brewmaster would do. Headed to Colorado to participate in one of the only micro-brewing internships in the country to learn everything he could from the people who knew what they were doing. With the taps only installed a couple weeks ago, Alex offered me an awesome Blonde Ale craft brew at a $3, for an 8 ounce pour. He had another craft brew on tap with an additional Ranger Creek and Austin brewed options.
The beautifully restored house (practically underneath 281 and Pearl Brewery Parkway) was previously owned by a family who lived in the house for generations. And they paid tribute to that family by respecting the history and inviting the grandchildren to be a part of the renovation process. As I was coming into the restaurant, the grandchildren were actually just finishing up their meal.
The quality of the food and produce is especially important to Chef Tim who searched local and far to make sure it all met his high expectations, sourcing local whenever possible. With everything made in-house, their white bread had an awesome crust and makes it impossible to eat ‘cue on anything but! The beans had a smoky, sweet flavor and you could tell they’d been cooked to perfection.
The food was great, large portions and once permanently opened for lunch it will be the perfect, quick recharge during the work week or after a visit to the farmers market on Saturdays. It sounds like the evening service is going to be a hip date night, with a modern interpretation and none of the pretentiousness.
Make sure you follow them, subscribe to their blog, and become a Fan on Facebook. Find out about their special soft launch events and learn when you can visit them next! I appreciated them taking the time to tell me their story and even getting to meet Nicole, Tim’s wife who also works at this family affair.