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

Uber San Antonio Ice Cream

Uber San Antonio Ice Cream

No matter where you are in the world, nothing captures the sweetness of a sunny afternoon better than ice cream. Friday, July 18th, Uber San Antonio will be serving up cold treats on demand in 144 cities, in 38 countries, on 6 continents. You can use the Uber mobile app to either order a delivery of ice cream or a ride or both! I have personally used the Uber car service in San Deigo, CA and Chicago, IL and both times have been a very easy experience. Within the app you select or enter your pick up location and Uber will let you know how long it will take for your ride to arrive and how much it will cost to take you to your destination. Make sure you use my promotional code below!

Uber San Antonio Ice Cream

Who: Uber

When: Friday, July 18th, 11am- 5pm

How: Download the iPhone app here and the Android app here. You can use the promotional code for $20 off your first discounted ride: IceCreamSA

What: Classic ice cream trucks and uberX partner vehicles will be delivering ice cream on-demand across San Antonio

Delivery Includes:

  • (5) icy treats + Uber swag to users for just $25

Additional Discount:

We have a special promo code ‘IceCreamSA’ which provides new users $20 off their first uberX ride

Uber San Antonio Ice Cream

THE INSIDE SCOOP

  • Ice Cream will be available on Friday, July 18th.
  • To request, choose the Ice Cream option in the app. If a vehicle is available, you’ll be enjoying your desserts in minutes.
  • No cash needed‚ÄĒyour order will be billed to your Uber account.

See what everyone is saying about #UberIceCream on Twitter (@Uber_SanAntonio) and Instagram.

World Peace:

Uber will also be doing a few special drop-offs and surprising some kiddos at the Ronald McDonald House with ice cream, as well as a special visit by Miss San Antonio 2014, Deidra Angulo. Very sweet indeed Uber, thanks for sharing!

Uber

Uber is evolving the way the world moves. By seamlessly connecting riders to drivers through our apps, we make cities more accessible, opening up more possibilities for riders and more business for drivers. From our founding in 2009 to our launches in over 70 cities today, Uber’s rapidly expanding global presence continues to bring people and their cities closer.

For more details about Uber’s insurance policy, check it out here.

Uber San Antonio Ice Cream

Uber San Antonio Ice Cream

 

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2014 Culinaria’s San Antonio Restaurant Week

2014 Culinaria’s San Antonio Restaurant Week

My favorite time of the year is here and that’s Culinaria’s Restaurant Week! ¬†Although we are a month out (almost exactly!), Culinaria is a local non-profit culinary organization that works towards creating opportunities to share food among friends, neighbors, and those in need. ¬†It has helped put San Antonio on the map as a culinary destination not just layover.

Restaurant Week is Culinaria’s¬†celebration of amazing San Antonio restaurants and this year there are almost 70 different restaurants and food trucks participating! ¬†The participating restaurants and their amazing chefs¬†have a set menu that you can take advantage of (much less expensive than ordering items a la carte). ¬†I love it, this is literally my favorite time of year (besides the middle of May when Culinaria’s Festival Week occurs.)

When: Saturday, August 16 through Saturday, 23, 2014

Why?

San Antonio Restaurant Week benefits Culinaria, so your dining experience during Restaurant Week will be a charitable one. With each meal ordered specifically for San Antonio Restaurant Week, restaurants will donate $1 for lunch and $2 for dinner to Culinaria and the programs it supports.

2014 Culinaria San Antonio Restaurant Week

How much for a fantastic meal supporting your local non-profit organization?

Participating restaurants will offer a prix-fixe menu ‚Äď encompassing a three-course lunch and dinner for three different tiers:

  • $15 lunch and $35 dinner.
  • $10 lunch and $25 dinner
  • Restaurant Week on The Move: $8 lunch and $15 dinner

*Reservations are not required to participate ‚Äď but, are a good idea ‚Äď and can be booked directly with the restaurants.

Where

Here are the restaurants participating with an easy map to all of them to optimize your trip!

Make sure you follow Culinaria on Twitter here:  https://twitter.com/culinariasa and Facebook here:  https://www.facebook.com/CulinariaSanAntonio

Culinaria Becker Vineyard Luncheon

The weekend of the Culinaria Festival starts with the incredibly popular Culinaria Becker Vineyard Luncheon. The Beckers play host to four local chefs each taking one course of the meal and pairing it with the Culinaria’s guest winemakers for the week. The result is an afternoon that is tasty, informative and the perfect way to kick off the weekend. This year’s featured chefs and restaurants include: Chef Cullen Holle, Tre Trattoria Downtown, Chef Michael Mata, the St. Anthony, Chef Jeff White, the Boiler House and Elaine Bicknell, Elaine’s Table. This year’s featured wineries include: Becker Vineyards, Bending Branch, Brennan Vineyards and Messina Hof.

Learn more about Culinaria San Antonio.

Becker Vineyards on Social Media:

Becker Vineyards Lavender Haus Reception Hall
May 16, 2014
11:30 AM-2PM
Pricing: $75/person
Attire: business casual

2014 Menu

Begins around 11:30
Smoked Meats and Cheeses and wine

1st Course
Spring Love Salad
Cherry Balsamic Tomatoes-Citrus Oil Olives-Pearl Mozzarella-Fig Vinaigrette-Fresh Salad Greens Bouquet-Parmesan Ribbons-Freshly Grated Pink Salt Garnished With Chicken
Mike Mota St. Anthony Hotel

2nd Course
Pan Fried Soft Shell Crab, Smoked Apple Cider Beets, Sour Goat Cheese Crema and Pickled Red Grapes
Jeff White The Boiler House

3rd Course
Comfit of Lamb Belly with a Ragu of Shoulder, Cacio Pepe Sauce con Burrata , Spring Carrots, Peas, radish, and Goat Milk Biscott.
Cullen Holle Tre Tattoria Downtown

Dessert
Elaine’s Famous Carrot Cake Elaine’s Table Kerrville

Culinaria Becker Vineyard Luncheon Culinaria Becker Vineyard Luncheon Culinaria Becker Vineyard Luncheon Culinaria Becker Vineyard Luncheon Culinaria Becker Vineyard Luncheon Culinaria Becker Vineyard Luncheon Culinaria Becker Vineyard Luncheon Culinaria Becker Vineyard Luncheon Culinaria Becker Vineyard Luncheon Culinaria Becker Vineyard Luncheon Culinaria Becker Vineyard Luncheon Culinaria Becker Vineyard Luncheon Culinaria Becker Vineyard Luncheon Culinaria Becker Vineyard Luncheon Culinaria Becker Vineyard Luncheon Culinaria Becker Vineyard Luncheon

2014 Culinaria San Antonio

2014 Culinaria San Antonio

Since my favorite things in life¬†involve food, it’s no surprise that my favorite month in San Antonio, TX is May. Not only was my daughter born in this month, but Culinaria also conducts its annual festival of culinary events! This year Culinaria will run from Wednesday, May 14 through Sunday, May 18, 2014. During this time there will be TWELVE amazing chances to understand why San Antonio is a wine and food destination! Not only does the not-for-profit organization pronounced “COO-linaria” showcase our local chefs that make San Antonio a city on the rise where food is concerned, Culinaria also helps support the local community by providing culinary scholarships and aid to local chefs enduring personal hardships (through their “Chefs 4 Chefs” program.)

Culinaria’s fabulous weeklong festival of food isn’t just for 21+. I bring my daughter to the Food Truck event where we sample food from tons of different local food trucks, wines and beers from both local and out of state purveyors (a lot of time the family owners pouring you a glass at the booth), play games in the field, and cool off with free ice cream being passed out by HEB. Another family friend event that she personally requests is the Burgers, BBQ, and Beer at the Pearl where we enjoy going from restaurant booth to restaurant booth, sampling the over the top dishes, comparing notes, and then sitting at a table to enjoy our food. I won’t spoil the surprise for a future post but just like a good family meal, Culinaria brings people together over great food, great chefs, and great times.

2014 Culinaria San Antonio  Food Truck Event Presented by H-E-B, Domingo at Casa Hernan "The Sunday Morning Brunch", Taste Test Education by Chris Ware at Arcade, barrels in Becker Vineyard wine room.
From left going clockwise: Food Truck Event Presented by H-E-B, Domingo at Casa Hernan “The Sunday Morning Brunch”, Taste Test Education by Chris Ware at Arcade, barrels in Becker Vineyard wine room.

These events will sell out. They will be more expensive at the door.

Check out all the events here, the hyperlinks below take you directly to purchase tickets and learn more about this awesome experience!

2014 Culinaria San Antonio
From left going clockwise: Becker Luncheon, Tequila tasting at Johnny Hernandez’s brunch, Becker Luncheon, Chef Jesse Perez with Bunny Becker at Becker Vineyards.

Social Media:

2014 Culinaria San Antonio Wine glasses needed for Becker Vineyard wine tasting, Burgers, BBQ, and Beer event at the Pearl, White wine tasting with Beckers and Sommelier Steven, Where Y'at Po Boy at Food Truck event
From left going clockwise: Wine glasses needed for Becker Vineyard wine tasting, Burgers, BBQ, and Beer event at the Pearl, White wine tasting with Beckers and Sommelier Steven, Where Y’at Po Boy at Food Truck event

TexaSweet Citrus Grapefruit 101

Disclosure: TexaSweet provided me with a Central Market gift card to purchase the ingredients for the recipes featured in this article. I received no further compensation, and all opinions expressed are my own.

TexaSweet Citrus Grapefruit 101

(Photo courtesy of TexaSweet)

Texas Citrus is sweet, juicy, delicious and, most important, at the peak of the season! So peel that outer skin of the Rio Star or Ruby-Sweet and reveal the sweet, juicy, red interior for yourself.

  • Texas produces approximately 27,000 acres of citrus every year.
  • In 1993, Texas Red Grapefruit was named the State Fruit of Texas.

How do you pick a good grapefruit? The grapefruit should blush different shades of pink and orange for the best flavors. Make sure you don’t judge a grapefruit by its cover either! Even though there might be blemishes, scratches, or scars on the exterior skin, the meaty fruit is unharmed inside. The harvesting of Texas Grapefruit and Oranges takes place October-May of each year. Grapefruit tastes the sweetest December-February, also known as peak time.

Nutritional Value of a Texas Grapefruit:

  • Fat free
  • Saturated fat free
  • Sodium free
  • Cholesterol free
  • Contain dietary fiber
  • High in vitamin A
  • High in vitamin C
  • Contains Lycopene
  • Contains dietary fiber

Nutritional Value of a Texas Grapefruit:

(Photo courtesy of TexaSweet)

Follow TexaSweet on Social Media:

  • Facebook page here
  • YouTube videos here
  • Beautiful Pinterest page here

Ever wanted to learn how to section a grapefruit?

learn how to section a grapefruit

(Photo courtesy of TexaSweet)

TexaSweet Grapefruit Margarita

Especially on a hot Texas day, what hits the spot better than Texas grapefruit margarita? (Don’t cut citrus more than 30 minutes before making/serving for optimal citrus flavors.)

Ingredients

  • salt
  • lime wedges
  • 1 cup tequila
  • 1 to 1.5 cup fresh grapefruit juice (mix to taste)
  • 1/3 cup fresh lime juice
  • 1/2 cup Cointreau
  • 1 to 2 tsp agave (optional)
  • ice cubes

Instructions

  • Use lime to moisten rim of glasses and dip into salt
  • Combine tequila, grapefruit juice, agave if using, lime juice and Cointreau.
  • Serve margarita mixture over ice
  • Garnish with citrus geneously

(Photo courtesy of TexaSweet)

Texas Rio Star Grapefruit Frozen Yogurt

Ingredients

  • 4 Texas Rio Star Grapefruit (about 4 cups)
  • 2 (6 oz.) containers greek yogurt
  • 1/3 to ¬Ĺ cup 0-calorie sweetener

Directions

  1. Section grapefruit and place sections on a sheet pan,cover with plastic wrap and freeze for at least 30 minutes.
  2. Combine frozen grapefruit sections, yogurt, and sweetener in a food processor and process 30seconds or until smooth and creamy.
  3. Scoop into dishes and freeze until ready to serve.

Head over to some of my favorite blogs to learn about more grapefruit starring recipes!

Cured At Pearl | Chef Steven McHugh

Cured at Pearl may have opened at the end of December 2013 but it has been a dream of Chef Steven McHugh for many years (and even before.) I remember meeting the chef at the opening preview of Luke San Antonio and thinking how personable he was. That it was crazy busy but took a second to patiently take a picture with me! It was easy to follow his career (and food) since he moved here towards the end of 2010 because he supports so many local events and organizations. Understanding that commitment to quality, taste, and locally sourced food led to my ridiculous excitement for Cured at Pearl opening.

Cured At Pearl | Chef Steven McHugh and chef ashby

Food Highlights from our 12/30/2013 visit (pictured):

  • Charcuterie board selection of apple jalapeno pork rillettes, jalapeno sausage, country style pork pate, chicken liver mousse, hunters sausage, tarragon sausage accompanied by pickled okra, cauliflower, mustards, jams, and crispy flatbreads
  • Griddle burger with onion jam, cheddar, and crispy fresh cut fries (make it a double!)
  • Crabmeat ravigote so fresh with avocado, tomato, citrus, and beets
  • Cabrito Sliders (which we first enjoyed a couple of months previously at a chef demo during the farmers market) on local bread, fresh pickles, and onion sprout
  • Intense desserts during our first visit included:
    • Chocolate Donut Bread Pudding #NOLA
    • Texas Citrus Tarte with deliciously sweet Meyer Lemons
    • Carrot and Cardamom Cheesecake accompanied by an amazing stuffed Lady Apple

Cured At Pearl | Chef Steven McHugh lunch

I’m sure a lot of restaurants say, “locally sourced”, but Chef Steven McHugh takes it to the next level. When we received our charcuterie plate, I immediately recognized the beautiful, yellow Oak Hills Farm cauliflower (that I just purchased at the Pearl Farmers Market) and he grinned that I noticed. When they were starting to open I remember seeing him walk his kitchen staff (shout out Ashby!!) around the market where I’m sure he was pointing out the importance of basing the menu off what was offered seasonally. As someone who has been there for lunch twice, brunch twice, and dinner once (in the past two and a half months), I can definitely attest to how frequently the menu updates. There are staple dishes of course but the desserts have changed completely already.

Cured At Pearl | Chef Steven McHugh dessert

Going to Cured for the first time?

Here are my suggestions:

  • Call ahead and make dinner reservations 210-314-3929 (if you use Open Table, make reservations from Cured’s website)
  • Go with a group so you don’t have to be as limited in your choices
  • Bring your phone charger for easy use in the USB outlets for leisurely dining and electronically charging (take foodie pictures without fear of battery drain!)
  • Thank your waiter, chefs, and bartender for the love they drench their food and service in
  • Try cocktails at the bar while you wait for a table if you don’t make reservations ahead of time
  • Perfect place to celebrate anything

Architecture

Always dedicated to the environment, Cured was sustainably restored around its walls that have stood for 110 years!

Cured At Pearl | Chef Steven McHugh architecture

  • Original building built in 1904 as Pearl’s Administration Building which included the president’s office
  • Includes interior fashioned with reclaimed or original materials
  • Beautiful exposed brick with layers of history
  • Look DOWN at the beautiful floors, especially by the open kitchen
  • Look UP at the ceilings that match the original pressed patterns
  • Visit the men’s water closet and see the original desk repurposed into a sink and trash can
  • Look at the vault turned walk in fridge by the bar (ask the waiter to peek in, they’re cool)
  • The antique meat slicer at the bar, check out what the bottle of waters are beautifully stored in

Cured At Pearl | Chef Steven McHugh bathroom and architecture

 

Cocktails

“We tried to design cocktails we could put our philosophies into, which are being local and handcrafted. Our biggest seller was developed by my wife’s creative suggestion – the Cured Cocktail – meyer lemon, thyme and moonshine infused with ginger that’s mixed with house-made citrus bitters, topped off with Champagne. People can be afraid of moonshine, but then they try it and end up having two or three because it’s just smooth and it’s got that lemon in there. The Champagne adds effervescence. It’s really refreshing.”

Cured at Pearl

Cured on Urbanspoon

Charcuterie for a Good Cause

One of the driving philosophies of Cured is an appreciation of life, in gratitude and celebration. Chef Steve McHugh survived non-Hodgkins lymphoma and since opening Cured, found a way to give back while doing what he loves ‚Äď by donating $1 from every Charcuterie Board ordered to a different charitable organization every quarter. From now through March, each dollar from an order will go straight to the Leukkemia and Lymphoma Society.

  • Already nearly $2,000 from char boards has been donated to LLS to fund much-needed research that has helped millions, including Chef Steve, live strong.

Cured At Pearl | Chef Steven McHugh charcuterie board

 

Feast SA Guest Chef Series Mardi Gras

Come celebrate Mardi Gras with Chef Stefan Bowers as he throws the 4th dinner in his series of guest chefs (without the traditional brick and mortar kitchen) taking over his kitchen to bring their own unique style. Perfectly timed is Chef Pieter Sypesteyn’s (WhereYAtSA.com), New Orleans’ native and food truck owner extraordinaire. His food is as big as his heart and you can feel the love he puts into his cuisine (as well as the legit crawfish from Crowley, LA that are driven in during crawfish season.)

Cost: $55/person if you call in and reserve your slot with your credit card!

When: Monday, March 3, 2014 (Cocktail Hour from 6-730, Family-style Dinner to follow.

Facebook Event here (you still have to physically call to reserve a slot!!!)

Call Feast at 210-354-1024 to confirm your slot, they’re going fast!

Address: 1024 S Alamo St, San Antonio, TX78210

Phone: (210) 354-1024

Website: http://www.feastsa.com/

Click to add a blog post for Feast on Zomato

Feast SA Guest Chef Series Mardi Gras restaurant guest series san antonio

2013 Tamales Festival | Pearl Brewery

The 4th Annual Tamales! Holiday Festival returns to Pearl on this upcoming Saturday, December 7th, from 12:00 to 6:00 pm. Sponsored by Cadillac, Corona and White Wings La Paloma, guests will be invited to explore a Mexican streetscape full of the sounds, sights and tastes of the holiday season.

Website:  http://atpearl.com/projects/tamales_at_pearl

2013 Tamales Festival | Pearl Brewery

“We’re so excited to invite all of San Antonio to come celebrate the holidays at our fourth annual Tamales! Festival,” said Pearl’s Chief Marketing Officer Elizabeth Fauerso. “This event has become a real San Antonio tradition and it’s so great to see people from near and far get together to enjoy great food, music and to honor our San Antonio culinary traditions.”

2013 Tamales Festival | Pearl Brewery

Tamales! is a celebration of family, food and fun that so many San Antonians associate with the holidays. With more than 40 different tamale vendors, guests can explore the full range of tamales from traditional San Antonio classics to South American to sweet, vegetarian and many more. Regional amateurs, culinary students, popular restaurants and esteemed chefs will showcase a blend of innovation, experimentation and classic tamales.

Tickets: The event is free and open to the public, no ticket necessary.

COST: Food and beverage prices range from $1 to $5 per vendor and there will be ATMs available on site.

2013 Tamales Festival | Pearl Brewery

Christmas Gifts: The Pearl Farmers market will celebrate the holidays during their normal hours in a temporary location in the West Parking lot of the Full Goods building. Pearl shops along Pearl Parkway will offer special selections, trunk shows and holiday ready gifts, apparel, food and fashions for you and your home.

2013 Tamales Festival | Pearl Brewery

Pearl is located at 303 Pearl Parkway in San Antonio, Texas. For more information about events at Pearl please visit www.atpearl.com. Take advantage of easy parking in their parking garage!

Borgne New Orleans Restaurant

Chef John Besh (@ChefJohnBesh) and Executive Chef Brian Landry (@ChefBrianLandry) serve up memories of summer fishing at Lake Borgne at Borgne New Orleans while they feature coastal Louisana Seafood on 80% of their menu items. ¬†Excited to try after enjoying Besh’s Luke San Antonio¬†frequently as Chef Johnny Russ¬†has most recently taken the Executive Chef helm, when I found out we were going to be celebrating our anniversary in NOLA, I knew the trip would not be complete without a visit to at least one of his notable restaurants (i.e. August, Domenica, etc.)

When offered the opportunity to enjoy Borgne, we of course jumped at the chance.  Nestled in the Hyatt Regency New Orleans, this restaurant is conveniently located in the sports and entertainment district of NOLA as it is LITERALLY adjacent to the Mercedes-Benz Superdome.  The diverse menu is perfect for a quick snack before a game or a bright and open meal with friends.  We took a pedicab from the farmers market and enjoyed the quick ride and scenery.

Do not leave this restaurant without saving room for dessert and ordering the “Hendrick’s Frozen Cucumber Gimlet” which cleverly paired local, fresh melons with lime fizz (as bubbly as pop rocks) for an incredibly refreshing finish to a fabulous, farm (coast) fresh meal. ¬†Check out the pictures in the album for more details of our meal and their lunch specials and dinner menu here.

And like Luke San Antonio, their happy hour specials are a great win! ¬†Offered every day, 3pm to 6pm with $5 daily tapas specials, half price beer, wines by the glass, and well cocktails. ¬†(I’ve never had a cocktail at a Besh restaurant that didn’t make me love him more!)

Website:  http://www.borgnerestaurant.com

 

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Borgne on Urbanspoon

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Kids Eat Free San Antonio

A post that I have thought about writing for years, recently requested again by a couple different people, was a centralized listing of all the places parents could enjoy a meal while their children ate for FREE! (My sequel post will be Best Kid Meals in San Antonio…) Click on the image or link to visit the websites and get more details about these FREE offers! (Always double check before heading out with a quick phone call though…sometimes restaurants change!)

See any favorites that I didn’t include? Let me know and I’ll add them.

Kids Eat Free San Antonio - Acadiana Cafe

Acadiana Cafe

Kids under 6 eat free every day off of the kids menu, with each purchase of an adult meal.

Kids Eat Free San Antonio - Babes Hamburgers

Babes Hamburgers

Kids eat free, Monday through Thursday!

Kids Eat Free San Antonio - Dickey's Barbeque

Denny’s

Kids eat free on Tuesday s and Saturdays from 4pm-10pm.

Dickey’s Barbeque

Kids eat free on Sunday and Wednesday!

Kids Eat Free San Antonio - Double Dave's Barbeque

DoubleDave’s PizzaWorks

Kids love pizza, and parents will love the free buffet with adult purchase on weekdays from 11:00 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Only children 6 and under can take part, though 11 and under can get the same deal on Sundays only. Drinks are not included in the promotion.

EZ Restaurants - Kids Eat Free San Antonio

EZ’s Brick Oven & Grill

Children 12 and under can enjoy a free meal on Wednesdays with adult purchase from 5:00 p.m.-10:00 p.m.

Kids Eat Free San Antonio - Firehouse subs

Firehouse Subs

Kids eat free from 4pm-9pm on Wednesdays.

Kids Eat Free San Antonio - goomba's pizza

Goomba’s Pizzeria

One child eats free with each adult meal that is purchased. Valid Monday through Saturday after 5:00 p.m.

Kids Eat Free San Antonio - grant st pizza

Grant St. Pizza

Little-known pizzeria has great food and a Monday evening 5:00 p.m. to close offer for kids 12 and under to eat free with each paying adult. Drinks are even included!

Kids Eat Free San Antonio - jim's pizza

Jim’s Restaurant

A San Antonio establishment, many of the Jim’s Restaurants and Coffee Shops offer kids a free meal for each adult meal purchased from 5:00 p.m. until 9:00 p.m. on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Wednesdays.

Kids Eat Free San Antonio - luby's pizza

Luby’s Cafeteria

Purchase one adult meal and one child eats free on Wednesdays from 4:00 p.m. until closing time.

Kids Eat Free San Antonio - mama's cafe

Mama’s Cafe

Each adult who purchases a meal gets to have one kid eat free all day on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday

Kids Eat Free San Antonio - marie callender's

Marie Callenders

Kids eat free on Tues and Sat with a purchase of an adult entree.

Kids Eat Free San Antonio - mcalister's deli

McAllister’s Deli

Kids eat free on Tuesdays with paying adult. Call for details!

Kids Eat Free San Antonio - perico's

Perico’s on Bandera

Kids eat free on Tuesdays, call for details!

Kids Eat Free San Antonio - porky's burgers

Porky’s Burgers

Kids eat free on Wednesday after 5pm, call for details!

Kids Eat Free San Antonio - rome's pizza

Rome’s Pizza

Traditional pizzeria allows kids 9 and under to eat free on Tuesdays and Wednesdays with each adult purchase.

Kids Eat Free San Antonio - texadelphia

Texadelphia

The adults can grab a Texas Cheesesteak, and a kid can eat free with each purchase on Wednesdays from 5:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.

Kids Eat Free San Antonio - texas land and cattle

Texas Land and Cattle

Kids eat free on Saturdays before 4pm!

Kids Eat Free San Antonio - the egg and i

The Egg and I

Kids eat free every day, call for details!

 

 

 

Big Fish City Grill | Grapewine TX

While visiting Grapevine, TX for violin camp, we liked to escape the expected cafeteria food for local restaurants nearby. ¬†Luckily our break period came right after lunch so we got to go a little further than past years. ¬†Here’s a restaurant that we visited off Main Street in Grapevine that was a lot of fun.

Website: http://www.bigfishonmain.com

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/BigFishSeafoodGrillAndBar

Big Fish on Urbanspoon

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Luke San Antonio | Chef John Russ

I was delighted at the invitation I received to attend the¬†Culinaria Wine Makers Dinner on Wednesday, May 15th, 2013. ¬†Having been a fan of Luke San Antonio, since it’s arrival to the San Antonio downtown culinary scene in December 2010 (attending the very first event!), I’m always happy to go back. ¬†It’s actually a favorite of both mine and my sister and we meet there often for catch up lunches since she already works downtown.¬†Having lost my husband to his MBA program, my sister was the perfect “plus 1” for this lavish affair.

It also always means more to me when I get to know the chefs of local restaurants more personally, which if you’ve met Chef John Russ, is very easy to do! ūüôā ¬†I actually first met him at the beginning of this year during the San Antonio Cocktail Conference, when Luke was one of three stops on the Riverboat cruise (another fabulous cause!). ¬†Having not seen a picture of him, and apparently not eating at Luke since Chef Steve McHugh left in September 2012 to focus on his own restaurant…I started chatting up the guy shucking oysters, shooting the breeze about how fabulous the oysters were and to keep them coming. ūüôā ¬†At some point I asked him what it was like with the new executive chef…if he missed McHugh or was the new guy as good as I heard? ¬†Well, thank goodness I had heard only good things! ¬†Turns out the chef is a man of the people, happy to talk to the restaurant’s guests shucking oysters! ¬†I thought, “Wow what a humble guy!”

I learned that he was from NOLA, where he had met Chef John Besh and worked with him at August (’nuff said!) ¬†He’s got lots planned for the restaurant this year, will continue cooking up great meals and supporting not only great nonprofit, local causes but especially our local farmers. ¬†Having met a lot of the local farmers myself at the Pearl Farmers Market, I knew exactly who he was talking about when he would mention where the pork (South Texas Heritage Pork) and strawberries (Oak Hills Farms in Poteet, TX) came from. ¬†He actually went as far as to change the planned five course dinner because Fredericksburg, TX peaches came into season, just in time.

My sister who in recent years is a MILLION times more adventurous than the shell of a foodie she once was, enjoyed all the courses too (a test for the reformed picky eater…) ¬†We loved each perfectly paired course with the refreshing Texas wine from the Duchman family (more about them later.)

Pop Up Dinners!

Be sure to become a fan of Luke San Antonio on Facebook here! ¬†They have a fantastic private dining area that has a clear view into their main kitchen. ¬†When the space isn’t booked for events on Fridays and Saturdays, the chef will prepare a unique tasting menu and post it, pop up style, the day of on their social media accounts! ¬†(You can subscribe to alerts from a specific Facebook page by hovering over the Like button and then selecting “receive notifications”.) ¬†Thanks Justin Solomon, the incredible front house man, for the tip!

Check him out his tweets, @johnny_russ and his drool worthy pictures on Instagram.

L√ľke on Urbanspoon

Reception
Flammenkucken
Viognier

1st Course
‘Sweet Heat’, Marinated Gulf Coast Shrimp,
Pickled Grape Tomatoes, Fried Garlic, Spanish Olive Oil, Ms. Julies’ Pea Greens
Vermentino

2nd Course
Charred Bandera Quail, Fredericksburg Peaches
Spiced Pecans, Goat Milk Ricotta, Local Lettuces
Aglianico

3rd Course
Roasted Cabrito, Eggplant Confit
Heirloom Tomato and Sweet Pea Ragout, Sea Island Peas
Dolcetto

4th Course
Ms. Cora’s Strawberries
Crumbled Amoretti, Mascarpone
Canto Felice

luke san antonio culinaria wine dinner chef john russ

luke san antonio culinaria wine dinner chef john russ

luke san antonio culinaria wine dinner chef john russ

24 TED Talks About Food

24 TED Talks about Food

 

 

TED is a non-profit devoted to “ideas worth spreading” and you can find literally thousands of free–inspiring and awesome–talks from experts and innovators around the world. Food Tank has highlighted 24 TED talks specifically around food issues.

  • TED Talk Themes: ¬†Food Matters¬†(25 videos)
  • TED Talk Tag: ¬†Food¬†(39 videos)

1. Roger Thurow: The Hungry Farmer – My Moment of Great Disruption
Roger Thurow, author of The Last Hunger Season: A Year in an African Farm Community on the Brink of Change, talks about the smallholder farmers of Africa and the potential for good news in agricultural development.

2. Mark Bittman: What’s Wrong with What We Eat
In this fiery and funny talk, New York Times food writer Mark Bittman weighs in on what’s wrong with the way we eat now (too much meat, too few plants; too much fast food, too little home cooking), and why it’s putting the entire planet at risk.

3. Anna Lappé: Marketing Food to Children
Author and activist Anna Lappe takes on the billion-dollar business of marketing junk food, soda, and fast food to children and teens. With diet-related related illnesses alarmingly on the rise, pervasive marketing of junk food to kids is downright dangerous.

4. Ellen Gustafson: Obesity + Hunger = 1 Global Food Issue
Co-creator of the philanthropic FEED bags, Ellen Gustafson says hunger and obesity are two sides of the same coin. At TEDxEast, she launches The 30 Project — a way to change how we farm and eat in the next 30 years, and solve the global food inequalities behind both epidemics.

5. Tristram Stuart: The Global Food Waste Scandal
Western countries throw out nearly half of their food, not because it’s inedible — but because it doesn’t look appealing. Tristram Stuart delves into the shocking data of wasted food, calling for a more responsible use of global resources.

6. Brian Halweil: From New York to Africa: Why Food Is Saving the World
Long live the Food Movement! Brian Halweil, publisher of “Edible Manhattan,” discusses the problems with the global food system and the solutions he’s found cropping up everywhere.

7. Fred Kaufman: The Measure of All Things
Professor Frederick Kaufman from the City University of New York’s Graduate School of Journalism discusses the major research projects currently underway to develop actual metrics to define what sustainable food is.

8. LaDonna Redman: Food + Justice = Democracy
LaDonna Redmond joined the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy in 2011 as the Senior Program Associate in Food and Justice. A long-time community activist, she has successfully worked to get Chicago Public Schools to evaluate junk food, launched urban agriculture projects, started a community grocery store, and worked on federal farm policy to expand access to healthy food in low-income communities.

9. Jose Andres: Creativity in Cooking Can Solve Our Biggest Challenges?
A native of Spain, Jos√© Andr√©s is chef/owner of ThinkFoodGroup, and is responsible for Washington’s popular and award-winning dining concepts Jaleo, Zaytinya, Oyamel, America Eats Tavern and the critically-acclaimed minibar by jos√© andr√©s.

10. Jamie Oliver’s TED Prize Wish: Teach Every Child About Food?
Sharing powerful stories from his anti-obesity project in Huntington, W. Va., TED Prize winner Jamie Oliver makes the case for an all-out assault on our ignorance of food.

11. Dan Barber: How I Fell in Love with a Fish?
Chef Dan Barber squares off with a dilemma facing many chefs today: how to keep fish on the menu. With impeccable research and deadpan humor, he chronicles his pursuit of a sustainable fish he could love, and the foodie’s honeymoon he’s enjoyed since discovering an outrageously delicious fish raised using a revolutionary farming method in Spain.

12. Carolyn Steel: How Food Shapes Our Cities?
Every day, in a city the size of London, 30 million meals are served. But where does all the food come from? Architect Carolyn Steel discusses the daily miracle of feeding a city, and shows how ancient food routes shaped the modern world.

13. Ann Cooper: Lunch Lessons: Changing the Way We Feed Our Children?
Chef Ann Cooper is a celebrated author, chef, educator, and enduring advocate for better food for all children. Ann is Director of Food Services for the Boulder Valley School District. She is co-founder of Lunch Lessons LLC and the Food Family Farming Foundation(F3)’s Lunch Box Project: Healthy Tools for All schools. F3 is also the managing partner of the Let’s Move Salad Bars to Schools initiative, working to donate 6,000 salad bars to schools by 2013.

14. Ron Finley: A Guerrilla Gardener in South Central L.A.
Ron Finley plants vegetable gardens in South Central LA — in abandoned lots, traffic medians, along the curbs. Why? For fun, for defiance, for beauty and to offer some alternative to fast food in a community where “the drive-thrus are killing more people than the drive-bys.”

15. Tama Matsuoka Wong: How I Did Less and Ate Better, Thanks to Weeds
Tama Matsuoka Wong is a professional forager and the principal of MeadowsandMore, which she founded to connect people with wild plants and natural landscapes. She won the New Jersey Forest Stewardship Award in 2007 for her work on stewarding her own property in western New Jersey. She collaborated with New Jersey Audubon on producing a booklet Meadows on the Menu about how to work with nature to turn lawns or fallow fields in to meadows.

16. Stephen Ritz: Green Bronx Machine: Growing Our Way Into a New Economy?
Stephen Ritz is a South Bronx teacher/administrator. With the help of extended student and community family they have grown over 25,000 pounds of vegetables in the Bronx while generating extraordinary academic performance. His Bronx classroom features the first indoor edible wall in NYC DOE which routinely generates enough produce to feed 450 students healthy meals and trains the youngest nationally certified workforce in America.

17. Angela Morelli: The Global Water Footprint of Humanity
Angela Morelli is an Italian information designer based in London. Her love of mathematics led to an engineering degree from the Politecnico of Milan. Her love of design led to a long journey through industrial, communication and information design. Her love for the planet led to a strong passion for global water issues. Her love for science led to dialogues and collaborations with research and commercial organisations in Europe.

18. Birke Baehr: What’s Wrong With Our Food System
Baehr, at just 11 years old at the time of this talk, presents the most glaring problems in our food system with the directness that, truly, only a child could do. He gives hope that future generations will really lead the charge in changing the food system: “Now a while back, I wanted to be an NFL football player. I decided that I’d rather be an organic farmer instead.”??

19. Graham Hill: Why I’m a Weekday Vegetarian
We all know the arguments that being vegetarian is better for the environment and for the animals — but in a carnivorous culture, it can be hard to make the change. Graham Hill has a powerful, pragmatic suggestion: Be a weekday veg.

20. Joel Salatin: Thinking About Soil?
Organic farmer and author Joel Salatin delivers a passionate talk about treating farmland with care to ensure the most optimal food production and nutrition.

21. Roger Doiron: A Subversive Plot?
Roger Doiron is founding director of Kitchen Gardeners International, a network of people taking a hands-on approach to re-localizing the global food supply. Doiron is an advocate for new policies, technologies, investments, and fresh thinking about the role of gardens.

22. Britta Riley: A Garden in My Apartment
Britta Riley wanted to grow her own food (in her tiny apartment). So she and her friends developed a system for growing plants in discarded plastic bottles — researching, testing and tweaking the system using social media, trying many variations at once and quickly arriving at the optimal system.

23. Arthur Potts Dawson: A Vision for Sustainable Restaurants
If you’ve been in a restaurant kitchen, you’ve seen how much food, water and energy can be wasted there. Chef Arthur Potts-Dawson shares his very personal vision for the waste-free restaurant — recycling, composting, sustainable engines for good (and good food).

24. Ken Cook: Turning the Farm Bill into the Food Bill?
President of the Environmental Working Group, Ken Cook, discusses the Farm Bill, the massive subsides paid to industrial farmers and how we can all act to help advocate and improve this important legislation.

Top 10 List: Best Gifts for Foodies

UPDATED: ¬†Originally created for Mother’s Day, these gifts are great for any male or female foodie in your life! ¬†(Or yourself…)…enjoy and let me know what else I should add!

With Mother’s Day rapidly approaching, I wanted to come up with a recommended list of Foodie Mother’s Day gift ideas that are all¬†available¬†on Amazon Prime for immediate shipping! I tried to think outside the normal Mother’s Day box with things I have purchased for myself and loved, or received great recommendations for.

Prepara Herb Savor

I really like the following two items because they really extend the life of your herbs! ¬†It says it also works with¬†asparagus¬†but I have not tried that yet…very easy to clean!
Prepara Herb Savor gifts for foodies

Prepara Herb Savor Pods, Set of 3
Prepara Herb Savor Pods, Set of 3 Top 10 List: Gifts for Foodies

Growbottle – Basil

This is a special gift for anyone that is saving an empty bottle of wine from a special occasion.  Sometimes the bottle itself is too cute to recycle.  This is an awesome way to upcycle it and made it into a perfect herb garden.
Top 10 List: Gifts for Foodies

Gourmet Korean Barbeque Insert

You don’t have to be Korean to appreciate this grill enhancer! ¬†Bulgogi is thinly sliced marinated beef, charred on the grill. ¬†This device sits on top of the grill to perfectly cook the meet and catch drippings from the marinade!
Weber 8840 Gourmet Barbeque System Korean Barbeque Insert Top 10 List: Gifts for Foodies

Lodge Logic Cast-iron Skillet

Everyone needs a good cast-iron skillet (fried chicken anyone?!) and this one comes very highly recommended!  For under $20 this is a steal.
Top 10 List: Gifts for Foodies Lodge Logic Pre-Seasoned cast iron Skillet

Hand – Harvested Pinot Noir Flake Sea Salt

Sea salt can finish any savory or sweet dish with the perfect taste.  Harvested in Oregon, this natural ingredient is a crowd pleaser!
Top 10 List: Gifts for Foodies Hand - Harvested Pinot Noir Flake Sea Salt: Jacobsen Salt Co

3-Pack of Organic Seed Bombs (Edible Flowers, Salad Greens, and Herbs)
For the chef that love to use fresh herbs, encourage them to grow their own with these “throw and grow” balls that require no digging.
Top 10 List: Gifts for Foodies 3-Pack of Organic Seed Bombs (Edible Flowers, Salad Greens, and Herbs)

My Life in France by Julia Child

The next two foodie gift recommendations are books.  Read this one over my honeymoon and devoured it before landing in the Dominican Republic!  An enjoyable read by Julia Child about the events leading up to whom she was meant to be!
Top 10 List: Gifts for Foodies By Julia Child, Alex Prud'Homme: My Life in France

Ad Hoc at Home

Arguably the best chef in America, Thomas Keller’s “Ad Hoc at Home” is a beautiful cookbook accessible to the masses. ¬†He goes into great, patient details about how to prepare the best fried chicken, enhancing dishes with gingerly tended ingredients. ¬†Bright, delicious pictures, recipes that are easy to follow (also some are involved) that take homemade family style dishes to the next level!

Top 10 List: Gifts for Foodies books Ad Hoc at Home by Thomas Keller

Deluxe Rolling Utility Cart

Finally, for the foodie that always goes to the farmers market each week, help them carry this produce around by getting this fantastic utility cart.  I use mine every week and it can be spray painted any desired fun color!  Instead of struggling under the weight of many fabulous produce purchases, let them easily maneuver during their weekly shopping adventures.
Top 10 List: Gifts for Foodies Whitmor 6318-2678 Deluxe Rolling Utility Cart, Black

Stella Public House | Southtown San Antonio

Italian for ‘star’, Stella already has proven its star potential during a media preview of the newest addition to the Blue Star Arts Complex! Offering locally-sourced menu items (including some of my favorite local farmers, like Oak Hills Farm), the menu is a great, unpretentious option for those in the mood for sharing some great small plates and a couple slices of pizza. There are over 20 rotating taps showcasing the craft beers from across the nation from beer-tender Wendy, who doesn’t think we have to look far to find some great options. There’s an extensive wine list as well from an internationally curated wine list and those in the mood for a cocktail will surely feel refreshed from their list of beer-tails menu!

Stella Public House | Southtown San Antonio

During the preview we got to sample one of everything and I didn’t find anything that I didn’t like. I thought the appetizers were very reasonably priced at $6-$9 with plenty to share with a group. The roasted cauliflower was highlighted with fennel and capers that were so delicious! Everything was served in little cast iron skillets that sizzled as they approached the table. My daughter ate most of the lamb meatballs which were also a big hit. The burratta, which is a fresh Italian cheese made from mozzarella and cream, is housemade with local organic curd and is served with freshly toasted bread.

The pizza is equally impressive. I went with my husband and nine year old daughter and we all left with different favorites. I was torn between the “wild mushroom” with local cremini and portabella mushrooms (drizzled with truffle oil!) and the meatball that included the house made lamb meatballs, caramelized onions, and Gouda cheese. My daughter liked to the spicy house made Italian sausage and my husband could not stop talking about the Quattro which was a quadruple threat of gorgonzola, Parmigiano-Reggiano, ricotta, and house mozzarella topped with watercress and a drizzle of fig-balsamic reduction. I would say with appetizers, one pizza is definitely enough for two although if you wanted to try a couple we can attest that they’re still delicious reheated.

Dessert was a rich tiramisu and salted caramel panna cotta ‚Äď both a little heavy when you’re eating one of everything. Still it finished the evening perfectly.

Executive Chef Roland mentioned 85-95% of the food and menu is locally sourced, San Antonio and Texas based, meaning the menu is going to change as the seasons do. The chef has a lot of family in San Antonio which is reason enough for coming back to the Alamo City, really down to earth guy, stop by and say hi while you’re eating, he’ll love it if you do.

Open from 4pm to midnight, it’s a chill place with plenty of parking (unless you go on First Friday) with reasonable prices and locally sourced tasty bites. We’ll definitely go back, my husband, an ex-Austinite is already excited. ¬†It‚Äôs between Halcyon and the galleries, so close it in fact shares the restroom with its sister (which offers a completely different experience.)

Website:
www.stellapublichouse.com

Facebook:
https://www.facebook.com/StellaPublicHouse

Twitter:
@stellasouthtown

Stella Public House on Urbanspoon

Stella Public House | Southtown San Antonio blue star

Stella Public House | Southtown San Antonio blue star

Stella Public House | Southtown San Antonio blue star