Culinary

Taco Cabana unveils new menu

Taco Trio Lunazul Margarita
Among the latest additions to the Taco Cabana menu are flame-grilled chicken tacos and the Lunazul Premium Tequila. (Photo/ Courtesy)

Taco Cabana introduces three new limited time only flame-grilled chicken tacos, a new house-made Premium Margarita made with 100 percent Blue Agave Lunazul Tequila along with a new kids’ meal – crispy chicken bites, all starting October 9.

“Since 1978, Taco Cabana has offered fresh and exciting menu offerings grounded in its heritage and history and continues that tradition with new flame-grilled chicken tacos, Premium Lunazul Tequila Margaritas, and new kids’ meal. Guests are invited to try them or any of the other great items we have on our menu,” said Danny Meisenheimer, SVP – Chief Operating Officer.

The flame-grilled chicken tacos are each made with savory chicken breasts seasoned with a fajita spice blend.

Guests have three flavors to choose from: Grilled Peppers & Onions with Salsa Roja  which are made with sautéed red and green peppers, blend of grilled onions, diced tomatoes, Salsa Roja and a squeeze of fresh lime juice; Roasted Poblanos, Ranchero & Cheese which include roasted Poblano chiles, melted Cheddar and Monterrey Jack cheeses and slow-simmered Ranchero Sauce; and Bacon & Jalapeño with Salsa Ranch made from melted Cheddar and Jack cheeses, roasted jalapeño chiles, Salsa Ranch and thick-cut, double-smoked Bacon.

Flame-grilled chicken tacos are $2.29 each or mix and match any three for $5.99. Tax not included. The flame-grilled chicken tacos are available for a limited time only beginning October 9.

The new taco cabana kids’ meal includes breaded 100% white meat, antibiotic-never chicken bites, choice of rice & beans or chips & queso, choice of Mott’s® Apple Juice or kids’ drink, 2 flour tortillas and a chocolate chip cookie for $4.99.  All other Taco Cabana Kids’ Meals now include guest choice of Mott’s® Apple Juice or kids’ drink and a chocolate chip cookie as well.

The new house-made Premium Margaritas are made with 100% Blue Agave Lunazul Tequila.  Lunazul Tequila comes from a 250-year-old family tradition and is hand-crafted and distilled in small batches for consistent high-quality flavor. Lunazul Tequila is an award-winning tequila for great taste and exceptional quality. The Premium Margaritas are a permanent item on Taco Cabana’s menu. Each is served in a 12-ounce cup for $5.75 or $3 during Happy Hour from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. every day.

For more information on Taco Cabana’s full menu, visit the their official site.

 

 

____________________

San Antonio serves up ‘Restaurant Week’

9541806536_4697a4bca3_o

Boiler House is just one of the numerous restaurants taking part in the 2017 Restaurant Week. (Photo/ Courtesy)

For another year, patrons will take to the city’s best eateries to celebrate Culinaria’s San Antonio Restaurant Week (SARW).

Along with usual stops foodies make in their annual trek to try an innovative prix fixe menu from August 12-26, this year will expand to include Boerne and New Braunfels for hill country fare as well. That is a far cry from its humble beginnings in 2010 with just one week in August instead of the two it boasts in the year.

“This is a great introduction to [our organization] and what we do,” said Ginger Robinson, vice president of Culinaria. “Perhaps there are those places people have heard of, but are still unsure of their menu. This takes all the guess work out of it by letting them see the menu ahead of time and knowing what the entrée looks like.”

Participating restaurants will offer an array of dishes encompassing three-course lunch and/or dinner menus within two different pricing tiers: Tier 1 establishments will offer a three-course menu and will cost $15 for lunch and $35 for dinner. Tier 2 establishments will offer a three-course menu and will cost $10 for lunch and $25 for dinner.

Restaurants will donate $1 from each lunch menu and $2 from each dinner menu to further Culinaria’s mission and continued outreach initiatives including the Culinary Institute of America (CIA).

Other recipients of the donations include The Farm, an educational culinary garden planned in Northwest San Antonio. The Farm is still in the process of securing a permanent location.

 

“We have such a culturally diverse community and more people are moving here still,” continued Robinson. “It really creates a great scene for chefs and how the culinary scene is changing. That’s what we are as a society when we celebrate everything with food and beverages. Having that opportunity for common ground with food is worth celebrating.”

9541841112_5e83493052_o-1
With menus ranging from the small to the grandiose, there is no shortage of the options for every taste. (Photo/ Courtesy)

The project plans to promote and educate the importance of homegrown meals as well as to be aware of the food insecurity arising in San Antonio.

With San Antonio being the seventh largest city in the nation and growing, the culinary scene is following suit with numerous restaurants for different tastes filling the void. That has made the Alamo City a hotbed for experimental fusion dishes and new takes on old favorites.

“With this event, we’ve been very strategic in growing because we didn’t want to saturate the market too fast. We listened to what the audience wanted. There are many people who live and work in [the hill country], so that just made logical sense to expand there,” said Robinson.

Leading the way in much of the innovation are Chefs Johnny Hernandez, Jason Dady and Jeff White. Restaurants that will be participating include Texas de Brazil, Supper at Hotel Emma, Texas Meat Co., Grayze, Kimura and Sangria on the Burg just to name a few.

Culinaria is an independent, not-for-profit organization aimed at promoting San Antonio as a premier wine and food destination while fostering partnerships with community organizations. The volunteer board of directors represents the community and guides the organization in its mission.

“Enjoy dining at Restaurant Week and explore what San Antonio and the hill country has to offer,” Robinson concluded.

For more information on SARW, visit www.culinariasa.org.

 

 

____________________

Pearl’s Bottling Department opens Food Hall

B1
The latest culinary addition to the Pearl is a food hall that boasts a variety of the eateries for every taste from Southern comfort to Ramen noodles. (Photo/Kristian Jaime)

The Pearl has officially opened the doors of The Bottling Department Food Hall, located at 312 Pearl Parkway on Monday to hundreds of hungry customers.

The 5,500 square-foot facility houses five independently owned food vendors that span a wide range of cuisine, along with a bar serving wine and beer curated in partnership with High Street Wine.

The new tenants include: Bud’s Southern Rotisserie, which specializes in Southern comfort food with a soul deep in the heart of Louisiana. Fletcher’s is an all-American hamburger concept from Chef Sergio Remolina. Maybelle’s is a doughnut shop from Charlie Biedenharn, Anne Ng, and Jeremy Mandrell, the team behind Bakery Lorraine.

Others include Tenko, a ramen bar and first fast casual concept from industry veterans Chef Quealy Watson (of The Monterey and Hot Joy) and business partner Jennifer Dobbertin. The Good Kind is a modern market and cafe that offers food and lifestyle choices that encourage healthier food options.

B5
The patio area is a favorite spot for patrons looking to take a break from the sun or enjoy the interactive water features in Pearl Park. (Photo/Kristian Jaime)

“We built an adventurous kind of a place that encourages a community environment about trying new and adventurous food,” said Elizabeth Fauerso, Pearl chief marketing officer. “Culinary director Shelley Grieshaber thought it would be wonderful to have a space where chefs and food entrepreneurs could try new concepts or open a new concepts for the very first time in a low risk environment.”

Originally constructed in 1894, a fire claimed the Pearl Bottling House in 2003. Clayton & Little Architects were responsible for the redesign and pulled its architectural cues from historic photos and original drawings.

Adjacent to Pearl Park, The Bottling Department will offer guests a welcoming place to dine, drink, and relax while enjoying interactive water features, the nearly two-acre lawn of Pearl Park, and the abundant shade of the Pearl Pavilion.

To mark this celebration, Bombasta also performed at Pearl Park in the evening to kick off the opening celebration. Also known as San Antonio’s ‘barrio big band,’ the band mixes a wide range of genres, as well as both Spanish and English lyrics to create a unique, signature sound.

Pearl restaurants include Botika, La Gloria, Nao Latin Gastro Bar, The Boiler House Texas Grill and Wine Garden, and other restaurants. In order to keep things separate, but equal, Fauerso says there is no competition when it comes to who is the best. Instead of seeing it as a competition, chefs at the Pearl openly communicate and discuss their concepts to one another.

So far, it has caused a great relationship among each other and allows the customer to decide on any restaurant without the added pressure.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

“The rule is that we see ourselves as Pearl management. We look at the Pearl as a healthy and equal culinary ecosystem,” continued Fauerso. “In order for this to be successful in the way that we dream about has to come through organic sense. People can come in and collaborate and it’s more successful to have independent operators.”

With long lines wrapping around each restaurant, Fauerso hopes that each customer enters feeling welcomed, comforted with the right choice of food and leaves with a sense of joy and satisfaction. As for the restaurants, Fauerso has a vision to see more fresh new faces to bring in not only new opportunities, but also customer satisfaction to get exposed to great culinary talent.

“The leases of the food hall are short. They are two years and we did that purposefully,” said Fauerso. “We also hope that our concept supports culinary entrepreneurs interested in growing their concepts and business. We hope new chefs come in a gets their opportunity to launch something.”

The Bottling Department is open Sunday through Thursday from 7 am to 9 pm and Friday & Saturday at 7 am to 10 pm.  Maybelle and The Good Kind will be the only purveyors open for breakfast. For more information on the newest addition to the Pearl, visit http://www.bottlingdept.com.

 

 

____________________

Dorrego’s showcases Argentinian flavor in S.A.

01 (Photo by Kristian Jaime Photography)
The starter was a Hearts of Palm Salad topped with a traditional Spanish-style dressing for that acidic kick to fresh greens and heirloom tomatoes. (Photo/Kristian Jaime)

Dorrego’s, located at 150 E Houston St at Hotel Valencia, brings the flavors and flair of Argentinean cuisine to San Antonio.

The stylish eatery and bar is the only Argentinean–inspired restaurant in the city.

Executive Chef Anthony Mesa has created an innovative menu for Dorrego’s based on the rich culinary heritage of Argentina. The menu showcases fresh, local ingredients and an imaginative approach to steaks, seafood, fowl and more.

Chef Mesa draws much of his inspiration for Dorrego’s from his travels in Argentina. While there, he experienced the culinary influences from Spain, Italy, France and other cultures that are woven into both classic and modern Argentinian cuisine.

05 (Photo by Kristian Jaime Photography)
The Smoked Short Rib Ravioli is a twist on the classic Italian dish with the protein addition to make it just right for an Argentinian-themed eatery. (Photo/Kristian Jaime)

“Their style of cooking is very humbling during a time of crisis. There is a lot of cooking with Italian and Spanish flair, there are French peaks here and there,” said Chef Mesa to March Magazine. “Argentina is very unique. There are Brazilian Steakhouses, Texas barbecues, but there needed to be something that was common that people would attract to regularly.”

A visit to Dorrego’s leaves a patron very satisfied that Argentina panache that is brought to San Antonio. The first dish was Hearts of Palm Salad.

Biting into the blue bonnet farm greens, baby tomatoes and romesco sauce, there was a fresh crunch that will be well paired with the summer months ahead. The romesco sauce added a kick of citrus as well as rounding out the plate to be paired well with charred bread.

The next entrée was the Head on! Gulf Prawns with elephant garlic crisps, saffron tomato jus and grilled bread. Once you take the skin off the jumbo shrimp and dip it into the saffron tomato jus, you will get an injected hint of citrus. Also, if you finish the shrimp, the saffron tomato can stand well on its own with the juicy texture and seasoned well.

The final entrée was the Smoked Short Rib Ravioli, the favorite on the menu. Carrying Rosemary’s pasta, tomato concasse, basil and burrata, this dish was a unique twist on ravioli. The meat was cooked to perfection and paired well with the tomato sauce.

08 (Photo by Kristian Jaime Photography)
The SABA Lava Cake was a sweet finish to the meal and aesthetically stunning. (Photo/Kristian Jaime)

To end things on a sweeter note, Chef Mesa offered the SABA (San Antonio / Buenos Aires) Lava cake. The delicacy was a dark chocolate cake with a dulce de leche mousse, General Dorrego’s DDL ice cream and Oaxacan drizzle. As a sweet tooth, this was a divine chocolate dish that had a caramel gooey texture. The ice cream reduced the heat of the dish with the prefect ratio of chocolate.

Overall, the experience was worth coming back for Chef Mesa’s menu skills and giving the restaurant a tranquil ambience. He would like to see the restaurant grow into the future in a unique matter as well as constantly pushing himself to grow as a Chef.

“I’m not trying to rewrite the book, I just want to become rooted for myself and for the restaurant,” continued Chef Mesa. “I would like to keep the menu growing throughout each season to give the customers something new to try.”

Dorrego’s serves breakfast, lunch and dinner, with daily specials based on what is fresh and seasonally available locally from 11 am to 2 am daily. For more information, visit www.hotelvalencia-riverwalk.com/dorrego.htm or call (210) 230-8454. You can also visit them on social media including Facebook at www.facebook.com/Dorregos/, Instagram under @dorregos and Twitter under @HotelValenciaRW.

____________________

 

Honeysuckle Teatime blends shakes with a side of whimsy

2
The recent Unicorn Festival at Hemisfair had everything from delectable treats to apparel. Patrons even had a chance to pet a real unicorn to boot. (Photo/Kristian Jaime)

Hemisfair Park recently a unicorn party for the Alamo City complete with a dancing mermaid, real unicorns and a unique milkshake care of Honeysuckle Teatime.

Using cupcakes and colorful chocolate-covered strawberries as toppings in tea-infused milkshakes caused quite a stir since their start in October of 2016. The pop-up was started by sisters Olivia and Sara Lauren Hinojosa, whom are also both tea party caterers and event planners.

1
The Unicorn Milkshake by Honeysuckle Teatime had long lines waiting for their turn to purchase the delight. (Photo/Kristian Jaime)

Noticing that the city did not offer tea-infused creations, the Hinojosa sisters decided to take matters into their own hands to give locals something new to taste. In fact, the sisters also wanted to take their creative force into popular places including the Witte Museum, Dignowity Kolaches and even Fiesta. They offer different flavors during each pop-up depending on the theme including chai, orange blossom, rose, lavender and Earl Grey.

“There’s a lot of coffee shops and not a lot of tea shops in San Antonio,” said Sara Lauren. “I was in New York City for a long time and my sister lived in Portland and there are tea parlors shops all around. My sister and I were thinking about what to offer as a new kind of natural flavoring that will be health beneficial and also tasty. Tea is very calming and soothing for everyone.”

3
A pair of unicorns made an appearance at the festival and there were no shortage of selfies taken. (Photo/Kristian Jaime)

When the Hinojosa family is not doing popups, the sisters started their Honeysuckle brand as party caterers and event planners. They offer delicious creations including chocolate chai cupcakes, earl grey brownies and even create beautiful tea-infused custom cakes.

They also offer their own special blends of iced teas, hot teas, tea lattes, kombucha and what they call “marteanis,” which are tea-infused cocktails. They also believe in incorporating a beautiful and artistic design aesthetic in catering.

With their continued success, the Hinojosa sisters have dreams to open a storefront as well as participate at the first food hall that will be located at The Pearl very soon. Ultimately, the sisters want to take over San Antonio with their crafty business so that all could enjoy a crafted milkshake that not only carries health benefits, but also one worth enjoying with family and friends.

4
Mermaids made an appearance complete with a pearl to rest upon. (Photo/Kristian Jaime)

“We want to open a brick and mortar building the end of this year to get to a location, but we really want to keep the pop-up content,” continued Hinojosa. “We want to have a café baked goods shop in the front and then in the back a bar. It’s going to be a tea infused cocktails, something for everybody. We want to embrace that idea too and offer concepts and locations so families and/or friends can have fun.”

During the summer, Honeysuckle Teatime will be at Dignowity Kolaches, 1629 E Houston St., every Friday and Saturday from 6-9 p.m. You can also find out where the sisters will pop-up next by visiting their Facebook page at www.facebook.com/honeysuckleteatime, Twitter under @honeysucklesatx and Instagram under @honeysuckleteatime. For more information, visit their website at www.honeysuckleteatime.com.

____________________

Dignowity Meats beefs up the East Side

2
Dignowity Meats takes on their version of the Philly Cheese Steak at their East Side location. (Photo/Kristian Jaime)

Dignowity Meats, located at 1701 E Houston St., is a Northeast meets Midwest eatery that serves smoked meat sandwiches for lunch and meat by the pound for dinner, both with divine side dishes.

Owners Andrew Samia and Shane Reed’s inspiration to create this eatery in 2015 came from admiration of old school mom and pop delis that smoked and cooked all of their products on site. The Samia-Reed team started their culinary route with their food truck Crazy Carl’s, which was also featured on “Eat St.,” a show on The Cooking Channel.

They were discovered by their partners, Denise Aguirre and Noel Cisneros, from The Point Park & Eats, who were interested in bringing this concept to the East Side.

“They liked our work ethic and what we bring to the table. The owner of this building is a friend of theirs. They gave us 10 minutes to decide if we wanted [it], and we said yes,” said Reed. “Our concept is East Coast Deli meets Midwest smoked meats because Andrew is from Boston and I am from Kansas City. It worked out perfect because we are sandwich guys who love good food and that was one thing we saw lacking at the time.”

Among the favorites on the menu is the Reuben. The crunch with the sauerkraut and the house Russian dressing make it slightly sour, but paired well with the Swiss cheese.

The house smoked pastrami has a kick of sweetness, making the flavors come together for this New York style sandwich on Rye. This type of sandwich is not usually found in Texas; however, it was something for which to return. The dish paired well with the Sharp Cheddar Mac and Cheese, a creamy and cheesy side dish.

The second entrée was the Pit Beef, which was the restaurant’s take on the Philly. With smoked eye of round house au jus, cheddar, horse giardiniera and horseradish mayo on ciabatta, it was a complete 360 spin on the Philly.

Although it has basic ingredients, it is a favorite on the menu because it has spice. The meat is cooked to perfection, and the giardiniera gives it an acidic kick. This sandwich is best eaten with the Cold Pasta and Arugula Salad for a refreshing pairing.

The third top sandwich is the Burnt End Melt.  The mac and cheese and barbecue burnt tips make it heaven. In fact, it’s recommend with grape soda and the Cream Cheese Corn Bake.

Ultimately, this is an interesting sandwich experience worth trying on the East Side. It has enjoyed critical acclaim when creating the menu to pair the sandwiches and types of meat to pair with the side dishes. In the future, they would like to expand the restaurant.

“I would like to have a Dignowity Meats at the AT&T Center, the more the merrier,” continued Reed. “We are true pioneers who are ready for expansion to get people to try our food.”

Dignowity Meats is open for lunch Monday through Friday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. and dinner Monday through Saturday from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. For more information, visit www.dignowitymeats.com.

____________________

Central Market serves Indulgence Festival

img_0050
Fabiola Palma, CEO of Vanuato Kakaw Chocolates, shows off the complete line of the craft confections at Central Market. (Photo/ Courtesy)

All around the Lone Star State, the 2017 Indulgence Festival is taking place at Central Markets to showcase delectable craft chocolate.

During the Indulgence Festival, customers will find more sinful selections of decadent gourmet chocolate including truffles, treats, confections and creations to stimulate every sweet tooth. This will also give customers the opportunity to meet the chocolate makers and artisan chocolatiers who create them and learn their most delicious secrets.

“Consumers are finding out that genuine chocolate is not a simple snack, but a part of our daily diet, since it has a high nutritional value,” expounded Fabiola Palma, CEO of Vanuato Kakaw Chocolates. “Chocolate provides important alkaloids, an essential component in the production of serotonin and dopamine, a hormone which provides us with a sensation of wellness.”

The aisles of Central Market will be filled with products from the some of the most exclusive chocolate producers from across the world. They include:

Frederic Blondeel— The Belgian chocolate maker, Blondeel started his journey as a pastry chef at very prestigious restaurants in France before devoting his life passion to chocolate in 1994. In July 2012, Blondeel used his grandfather’s antique 1953 Santos Palace Coffee Roaster, along with modern technology to venture into production of his own Grand Cru Chocolates.

Today, Frederic hand selects roasts and transforms cocoa beans and nuts into a fully finished product, extending the limits of chocolate taste to new horizons.

Vanuato Kakaw (Mexico – Pure Mexican Chocolates) — Vanuato Kakaw has a wide experience in manufacturing premium quality chocolate, since 1964. Known as “Beautiful Kakaw” in Mayan, the product carries natural local ingredients and fillings such as amaranth, cinnamon and coffee.

The product has unique colorful designs of our packaging that portraits the traditions and icons of different parts of Mexico. Vanuato Kakaw has created a unique line of chocolates that represent their traditions in the making of a gourmet product considered by their ancestors as a delicacy of the Gods.

Les Chocolats de Pauline— Organic chocolatier Jean-Michel Mortreau produces premium chocolates, carefully selecting only the finest raw ingredients. Les Chocolats de Pauline is made by hand in small batches, using sustainable cane sugar and pure cocoa butter, without lecithin or added vegetable fat, allowing the true chocolate flavor to shine through.

With Les Chocolats de Pauline, you will discover the real taste of cacao, as Jean-Michel works only with premium cocoa beans from small farms in Peru, Tanzania and the Dominican Republic. Les Chocolats de Pauline has No GMO ingredients and are certified USDA Organic.

The importance of trying these chocolates is not only for the delicious taste, but also for health benefits in every bite. They include:

Antioxidants polyphenols with antioxidant properties reduces the risk of stroke and heart attacks and the blood’s ability to clot. These compounds are called flavonoids and include catechins, epicatechins, and procyandins.

Theo bromine is a very mild stimulant with diuretic action; Phenyl ethylamine is an antidepressant and stimulant similar to the body’s own dopamine and adrenaline.

Serotonin levels are often decreased in people with depression and in those experiencing PMS symptoms and chocolate increases the level of serotonin in the brain; Essential minerals including magnesium, calcium, iron, zinc, copper, potassium and manganese are found in cocoa beans; Vitamins A, B1, B2, B3, C, E and pantothenic acid also are also found in the sweet treats.

Reviewing the benefits of chocolate does not mean that you can have all the chocolate you want without making yourself sick. It is recommended to choose chocolate with a cacao/cocoa percentage of 70 or higher. It is recommended to eat between three and a half to seven ounces of chocolate per day.

Milk chocolate contains pasteurized milk and large quantities of sugar like white chocolate, which does not contain any of the phytonutrients, so eating such chocolates sparingly is suggested.

“We are all committed with great passion to a continuous improvement in our processes, and we all feel responsible to sharing this great part of our history and traditions,” concluded Palma. “We feel very humbly honored and thankful to have the opportunity to share and present our chocolate. Texas gives us a tremendous pleasure to be present in such a beautiful state.”

For more information about the Indulgence Festival, visit www.centralmarket.com. For more information about the products, visit www.chocolatestarsusa.com.

____________________

CIA Bakery pops up at the Pearl

San Antonio
Chocolate XS Cake was just one of the delectable treats at the last pop-up bakery by the Culinary Institute of America located the Pearl. (Photo/ Courtesy)

The Culinary Institute of America, San Antonio is excited to announce the return of the popular CIA Bakery Café to Pearl on Monday, February 13.

For nine weeks, the pop-up café will offer a variety of signature sweet and savory bakery items in addition to new creations, specialty coffee and tea, and daily aguas frescas every weekday through April 12.

The café’s menu will rotate continually during the nine weeks, and will feature house-made soups, salads, sandwiches, and lunch specials. In addition to savory items, the menu will feature a daily selection of house-made pastries, bagels, breakfast breads, cookies, breads, and desserts.

Favorite dishes from years past will also make a comeback to the café, including the Chocolate XS Cake, Opera, Alfajores, and White Chocolate Banana Tarts, along with the return of the “Best Breakfast Sandwich Ever” and a reincarnation of the House-Cured Bacon Mac and Cheese. New items for this year’s pop-up include Chocolate Truffles and select healthy items.

Fruit Tart
The Raspberry White Chocolate Tart was one of the favorites on last year’s menu at the Culinary Institute of America bakery at the Pearl. (Photo/ Courtesy)

“Working at CIA Bakery Café gives our students the opportunity to think critically about their work, and shows them how to apply concepts they’ve learned in class to the real world,” says Chef Alain Dubernard, department chair for baking and pastry arts.

The pop-up Bakery Café was conceived to invoke a uniquely exciting dining experience while giving students familiarity with the daily operations of a bakery. It is a capstone course for CIA baking and pastry arts majors graduating in April with their AAS degrees.

Students will work in both the front and back of house at the café under the direction of Chef Dubernard, Chef Patrick Clark, and Instructor Amandy Carranza.

CIA Bakery Café will be open Monday to Friday for breakfast and lunch from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m., and offers both patio and interior seating. CIA Bakery Café is located at Pearl at 312 Pearl Parkway, Suite 2102, with the entrance located off Karnes Street, in San Antonio, TX.

_________________

Treaty Oak Rum Barrel-Aged Cider arrives in SA

2
Austin Eastciders recently released its Treaty Oak Rum Barrel-Aged Cider to the San Antonio market in limited supply. (Photo/ Julia Keim)

Austin Eastciders is recently announced their latest special limited-release barrel-aged cider, Austin Eastciders Rum Barrel-Aged Cider, made using barrels that were previously used to age Treaty Oak Rum.

The cider is aged in Treaty Oak Rum barrels for six months and is composed of bittersweet cider apples resulting in a complex, semi-sweet cider. Austin Eastciders Barrel-Aged Rum Cider is apple-forward with prominent notes of oak and vanilla and undertones of molasses.

The flavor results in a slightly tart finish from the barrel-aging process. Austin Eastciders made 160 slim kegs of the cider, which are available beginning January 25. The cider is available only by draft at select bars and restaurants in Austin, Houston, Dallas, San Antonio, New York City, and Philadelphia.

Austin Eastciders has a history of collaborating with other Austin-based spirits companies to create unique cider special releases. The company has previously worked with Dulce Vida Tequila to create a tequila barrel-aged cider and also produced a limited-release Cabernet wine barrel-aged cider, which have been served at tap takeover events throughout Texas.

The Austin Eastciders Fermentation Team, who acquired the oak barrels from Treaty Oak Distilling in Dripping Springs, Texas, leads the company’s barrel-aged program. Treaty Oak Rum is made in small batches, has tasting notes of dark chocolate and vanilla bean, and finishes with a crisp hint of green apple. These flavors from the rum are also apparent in the cider, which has aged in the barrels used during process of making the rum.

“Barrel-aging cider in the oak barrels of other spirits – in this case, Treaty Oak Rum – gives it a completely unique flavor. As a craft cider maker, we strive to produce quality product and love to experiment with our limited-release ciders. Both fans of our cider and fans of Treaty Oak Rum will enjoy this release,” said Dave Rule, VP Marketing, Austin Eastciders.

The base for the rum barrel-aged cider is Austin Eastciders Original Cider, which is made the traditional way, using white wine yeast and real cider apples sourced from Europe. Unlike culinary apples, cider apples are full of tannins that create astringency and a much more complex flavor profile. Austin Eastciders marries cider apples with apples from Washington State for a perfectly balanced cider that’s dry, clean, crisp, and refreshing. Austin Eastciders Barrel-Aged Rum Cider is 6.9% ABV.

In addition to the limited-release barrel-aged ciders and Austin Eastciders Original, the brand company also produces Texas Honey, Hopped, and Pineapple ciders. Austin Eastciders products are made in a state-of-the-art cidery located in Southeast Austin, Texas, and sold throughout Texas, Oklahoma, New York, as well as in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and Boston, Massachusetts.

For more information on the Austin Eastciders cidery, the Austin Eastciders team, or Austin Eastciders products, please find Austin Eastciders on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram under @Eastciders or visit austineastciders.com.

____________________

General Public delivers stellar new brunch

1
The Greek Yogurt Parfait is just one of the delectable additions to the new brunch menu at The General Public. (Photo/Kristian Jaime)

The General Public, located at The RIM in San Antonio, has recently introduced the brunch menu that will be served on the weekends.

This is was not a typical brunch. It was a dining environment complete with a relaxed  demeanor for family and friends.

The restaurant also features local artists to provide live acoustic sets throughout brunch service, and Mimosas will be served for just $1 during brunch (which was a natural orange glow throughout my experience).

Kyle Noonan, co-founder and owner of FreeRange Concepts (which operates The General Public, Bowl & Barrel and other innovative restaurant concepts) expounded on wanting to give customers a refreshing look at brunch, The General Public way. He incorporated the culinary mind of Chef Daniel Menchaca to feature palatable dishes from sweet to savory.

“Chef Daniel has been honing our Brunch menu for months, because we wanted to create something truly different and special for our loyal guests as well as for people who haven’t tried us out yet,” said Noonan. “We’re really proud of this innovative menu, and we think it has the potential to re-define brunch in San Antonio.”

The new brunch features a cornucopia of delights whether you are interested in savory or sweet. March Magazine recently went to try the new brunch menu and you will not be disappointed with selections, service and food quality of the experience.

If you want something light, yet filling, try the Greek Yogurt Parfait. With ingredients including fresh berries, house made quinoa-almond granola and blackberry honey, you will get a strong force of sour and tart; and also a meal that is friendly to your digestion system.

The Farm Breads on the menu are also worth trying. If you want bread filled with sweetness, try the Peanut Butter and Banana filled with crunchy peanut butter, fresh banana, cocoa nibs and local honey. For meat lovers, do not hesitate to try the bacon bread that includes local honey and triple cream, allowing for the sweet flavors to not overpower the bacon. High recommendations go to the avocado bread with extra virgin olive oil and herb salad that fills your palette with salt and the flavors of light Italian food.

4
The Shakshuka is a signature dish that is as hearty as it is savory at The General Public. (Photo/Kristian Jaime)

The Shakshuka was The General Public’s staple dish. This meal defines what The General Public’s menu enforces in the guest’s appetite. With ingredients including crushed tomato, toasted cumin, smoked paprika, soft poached eggs and a buttered baguette on the side, you taste Mexican, Italian and American flavors infused in one dish.

The final dish was the Steak and Eggs Migas. With every bite, there is a good cheesy flavor and the heartiness the plate carried with the well-done shaved ribeye. It was also served with hash au gratin, which ended the great brunch experience with a flavor that resembled macaroni and cheese.

If these dishes had your mouth watering, keep in mind that the full menu also includes an array of, salads, burgers, sandwiches and The General Public’s signature Birthday Cake. This new menu was one that give you a comfortable and relaxing experience a to enjoy appetizing food while enjoying the company of loved ones and music.

The General Public is open from 11 a.m. to 12 midnight Monday through Thursday, 11 a.m. to 2 a.m. Friday, 10:30 a.m. to 2 a.m. Saturday and 10:30 a.m. to 12 midnight Sunday. For more information, visit http://www.TheGenPublic.com.

____________________

Alamodome step up culinary chops

11
Among the dishes available are Tex-Mex favorites like fajitas with the traditional homemade sides. (Photo, Kristian Jaime)

With the Alamodome buzzing with a full slate of events this year, it was time to comprise a menu that reflected the sophisticated foodie scene in the Alamo City.

SAVOR Black Tie recently kicked off a new partnership with local San Antonio eateries that offer high quality food, service and hospitality. They include the Big Bib BBQ, Earl Abel’s, Los Barrios Mexican Restaurant, Candy’s Old Fashion and Wild Leaf.

Executive Chef Patrick Cole wanted to bring his culinary experience to a venue not readily known for high-end cuisine. Though the traditional fare will still be available, Chef Cole wanted to expand the menu to include the varied flavors of San Antonio.

2
Tamales are always a favorite in South Texas and now are quickly becoming a staple during football games in the Alamodome. (Photo, Kristian Jaime)

“I wanted to bring in options that represent San Antonio,” explained Chef Cole. “I have been a Texan my entire life… so we brought in the Southern flavor, the Tex-Mex flavor to try to bring different tastes and perception because I want to move pass the standard hamburger or hot dog.”

With football bringing many to the Alamodome, Chef Cole recalls a time when many fans did without local treats. In 2016, he wants to make the food as memorable as the sports.

A San Antonio staple is the Big Bib BBQ. This is a true Texas-style BBQ that takes pride in offering football fans a full service, family-friendly experience.

In fact, the Big Bib’s barbecue is slow-cooked for up to 14 hours everyday with aged oak and mesquite wood. Get ready to scream for your home team while getting your rub on.

If you enjoy the plate that includes Southern Comfort, stop by Earl Abel’s. For the past 78 years, The restaurant has served fresh, home-style foods seven days a week for breakfast, lunch and dinner for the past 78 years and it has not stopped Mr. Abel saying, “Eat Here and Diet Home.”

For all-American dishes, there is Candy’s Old Fashion. Once you step into the stand of the restaurant, you will see that they pride themselves in recreating the popular recipes you have remembered tasting since childhood.

It is customer recommendations to try the Double Meat and Cheese Burger that includes over a 1/2lb. of meat along with fries. No better way to yell Fumble or Touchdown than with an American meal.

On a lighter note, Wild Leaf is a new restaurant SAVOR Black Tie has introduced for those who enjoy fitter options. The company is proud to promote healthy concessions food choices at their newest stand.

At Wild Leaf guests can find items such as salads, fruits, wraps and even a variety of juices.

If you are in the mood for a Tex-Mex flavor, Los Barrios is your winner. Since 1979, the restaurant has been a longtime favorite restaurant in San Antonio, consistently winning awards and earning wide acclaim for its food in its long history.

What ultimately brings customers back is the steaming aroma and flavors of the Mexican family kitchen. This Tex-Mex staple will give your football experience a kick to the winning goal.

3
Churros are the perfect way to finish any hearty meal as this satiates any sweet tooth. (Photo, Kristian Jaime)

Ultimately, providing several options to choose from for football fanatics was a great idea on SAVOR Black Tie’s behalf. They have achieved their goal to create a dining destination that will delight the cravings of many visitors to the Alamodome and to deliver an extraordinary guest experience to every person who enters the venue.

“Locals are ready to enjoy something they are use to tasting and enjoying while it gives tourist a brand new taste they are not use to,” stated Artist Moore, director of operations for Big Bib Barbecue.

____________________

 DoSeum, Bakery Lorraine develop menu

1
Customer favorites at Bakery Lorraine, like the Blueberry Tart, may soon make their way to the newly minted DoSeum. (Photo/Kristian Jaime)

Bakery Lorraine, a local favorite and nationally recognized pastry shop famous for its colorful macaroons and exquisite French pastries, is excited to announce its partnership with The DoSeum, San Antonio’s museum for kids.

Starting in the first week of August, The DoSeum Café will feature special menu offerings created by Bakery Lorraine.

Owned by chefs Anne Ng, Jeremy Mandrell, and operator Charlie Biedenharn, Bakery Lorraine has quickly become a sensation in San Antonio. It was named one of the best new bakeries in the U.S. by “Food & Wine” and CNN’s “Eatocracy” blog, as well as one of the “13 Destination Bakeries” by “Conde Nast Traveler.”

2
Bakery Lorraine has become known for it famous Macaroons that come in a variety of flavors. (Photo/Kristian Jaime)

“We are thrilled to be expanding more and now partnering with a San Antonio favorite like The DoSeum,” said Biedenharn. “We have designed a special menu for The DoSeum Café, keeping in mind the children coming to the museum, but also making sure we have offerings for the parents.”

In addition to the famous Parisian macaroons and divine pastries, like the pain au chocolat, the DoSeum Café menu also features house made applesauce, a grilled cheese sandwich, an almond butter with peach or grape jelly sandwich, and more for the kids.

For adults, tasty options include the avocado toast, chicken salad sandwich, chop salad, and more.

“Bakery Lorraine has become a favorite stop in San Antonio,” said Jeremy Aguillen, Vice President of Guest Services and Business Services at The DoSeum. “We’re extremely excited to welcome them to The DoSeum.”

Husband and wife team Jeremy Mandrell and Anne Ng met while baking at Thomas Keller’s world-famous Bouchon Bakery in Napa Valley. After perfecting their craft in California, which included stints in top pastry kitchens around the San Francisco Bay Area, they settled in San Antonio in 2010, and in 2011, they established Bakery Lorraine.

From the best flours and seasonal fruits to farm-raised eggs and dairy, Bakery Lorraine is elevating the way cookies and croissants are perceived in San Antonio.

The DoSeum is located at 2800 Broadway St., San Antonio, TX 78209. The DoSeum Café offers healthy, family-friendly meals and snack options to members and visitors of the museum; it is open weekdays from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Sundays from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. For more information, please visit BakeryLorraine.com or TheDoseum.org.

____________________

Hotel Emma hosts Larder open house

Hotel Emma continued its mission to being the city’s emerging hospitality and culinary locale with the opening of Larder, a boutique-style grocery store.

Nestled in the converted industrial space, along with Supper, Sternewirth and Southerleigh Fine Food & Brewery is the latest addition to its list of amenities. Keeping the theme of craft and locally-sourced goods, Larder feels like stepping into a gourmet, Martha’s Vineyard shop.

“Larder is just an extension of our hotel but also for locals as well,” said chef John Brand. “We wanted to have an alternate source for food all day instead of just during the meal period. It has a great outdoor space and you can pick up a variety of gifts for others or your home. The expansion of [markets] like these are becoming a trend.”

 

Formerly The Pearl Brewhouse, the expansive space is more than enough room for some lesser known items like homemade bitters, leather-bound journals, an impressive library of cookbooks and everything from the savory to the sweet.

Following an extensive remodeling of the building starting in 2002 after the purchase of the property by Silver ventures, the journey back to being one of the San Antonio’s hotspots was underway. With a city built on the hospitality industry, it seemed obvious to make it a destination for travelers.

“We looked at food we like to eat. We have many restaurants down here and we don’t have a homogeneous menu between us and other places to eat,” continued chef Brand. “We asked what goods compliment the food we offer. We want to understand what people are buying and our concept is what’s in your pantry at home.”

Many of the items on the shelves used to only be available through internet orders, but thanks to the discriminating taste of chef Brand, they are now in San Antonio. There are some that are even unique to the Alamo City. Homemade pasta joins those readily-found purchases in most grocery stores.

The Pearl hosts a weekly farmer’s market and even that is inspiration for some of the entrees found at Larder. Ingredients in the house salads feature locally-sourced produce and a growing number of patrons to the market will see them put to good use if they stop in to Larder.

“Our first footprint was checking out the farmer’s market. We have great support from our local producers and vendors and even those who don’t participate in the market. We even know the people who roast our coffee,” chef Brand continued.

Larder is now open to the public and more information is available at www.larderatemma.com.

____________________

Brigid boasts All-American Gourmet

B1
Appetizers begin with the restaurant’s take on a classic salad with the Oysters on a half shell. (Photo/Kristian Jaime)

Brigid restaurant, located off South Saint Mary’s Street, opened its doors in 2015 to a contemporary American fare using locally sourced quality ingredients.

Applying classic techniques to their menu, the restaurant enjoys evolving modern American food into dishes that are new to San Antonio. For Chef Justin Richardson, making a menu that involves re-inventing American cuisine makes him more creative behind the kitchen and less anxious about his competitors.

In other words, he believes that big surprises are important for a customer to see on the menu, rather than expect something they have already tasted.

Brigid recently hosted a “New Orleans in the 1930s” pre-fixe dinner event that included an evening of food, drinks and music, all inspired by the culture of the city during the thrilling time period. As the theme was set for the night for all to be entertained, the food was created to offer a different and memorable experience.

“We want to reflect a profile into American dishes that highlights, reinvents and presents flavors in a way where everybody can approach them. So when it comes to designing dishes, we come up with seasonality, difference and a dedication to the culture,” Chef Richardson said.

To start things off, canapés were passed and ready to be eaten including Oysters Bienville. As you slip them into your mouth, you taste a little more spice, allowing it to survive on its own, without tartar sauce and crackers.

As the band started playing jazz music, the Duck Egg Sardou with Capicola and Frisee Salad was brought out leaving many to wonder how to eat the salad. All was spread out, however, once you splatter the egg yolk all around the plate, it allows for all the ingredients to come together, tasting similar to a nicoise salad without needing vinaigrette dressing.

The Golden Trout Amandine was the best dish on the menu. Paired with green beans, rice, almonds and sprouts, one will never find a crispy, perfectly cooked trout balanced with healthy elements of vegetables and carbs as this one created by Brigid.

The main dish, a tasty gateway to Louisiana, was the Blood Sausage with Red Beans and Rice. Let me warn you that this is not Texas barbecue, but a dish you will need to be brave to try.

The dish had pork belly, easily peeled off to eat, and sausage that tasted rawer than what Texans are normally accustomed to. I enjoyed tasting a different kind of rice and beans that added more spice to the beans and less spice to the light flavored rice because it balanced the whole dish of uncertainty.

All the dishes brought out a vision that all-American dishes no longer consist of ordinary burgers and fries. Brigid successfully allowed many to expect the unexpected as they tasted a new and improved definition of American food. All we can expect is that the restaurant will only have further success to allow San Antonio’s culinary scene to grow creatively.

“We want to express things that have not been done in San Antonio to push the envelope, and we want customers to be relaxed and open to try something new. We want people to be pleasant and calm once they step inside the restaurant. We want to bring the product to the table and make sure that we stay memorable,” concluded Chef Richardson.

For hours of operation, directions, menu and reservations, please visit www.brigidrestaurant.com.

 ____________________

Texas ‘united’ in flavor in new book

1 (38)
“The United Tastes of Texas” by Jessica Dupuy covers all regions of the Lone Star State with its recipes and geographical chapters. (Photo/Kristian Jaime)

There are many recipes that are enjoyable to watch and delicious to eat.

Thanks to one cookbook, you will be able to be entertained and eat, you will learn that Texas recipes extend from your grandmother’s kitchen.

“United Tastes of Texas: Authentic Recipes from Corners of the Lone Star State,” written by Jessica Dupuy, freelance writer and author of several publications, published her book in February of this year and is ready for many to see the hard work she put into the recipes that made the cut, all 150 of them.

A fourth generation Texan, Dupuy wanted to give readers a cookbook that went into more depth of popular foods from all over Texas and not just one fixed place.

At first, Dupuy’s publisher wanted more of a Tex-Mex cookbook to define what the state has to offer. For Dupuy, however, it was more important to compile a book of recipes that extended all around the state of Texas.

“I suggested that instead of approaching it like a cuisine, that we look at it from the idea of how Texas was settled over time and the different areas and the flavors and the culinary culture that we have in different parts of the state,” Dupuy said. “Clearly, the state has to have different ways of eating depending on what part of the state you are in, so then it went into dividing the state into 5 regions and really taking a look at what the regents represent in terms of flavors, natural ingredients and things like that.”

Dupuy decided to divide the book into three regions and dedicate one region for those interested in cooking a holiday, the Texan way. The Coastal Texas region offers Ceviche; Longhorn Green Salad; Crispy Popcorn Shrimp with Buttered Corn Dipping Sauce; Texas Gulf Fish Tacos; Grilled Redfish with Cilantro-Serrano Chimichurri; Andouille Sausage and Smoked Chicken Gumbo; Slow-Burn Bolognese; Texas Strip Steaks; Tequila Lime Pie

The South Texas region offers The Original Nacho; Salsa Five Ways; Migas; Grapefruit, Avocado, and Butter Lettuce Salad; Smoked Chicken Tortilla Soup; Pork Carnitas; King Ranch Chicken; San Antonio Puffy Tacos. As for dessert there are recipes such as Amigo Pie, Pecan Pralines, Coconut Flan and Cinnamon Ice Cream.

In West Texas, there will be recipes including appetizers such as Texas Caviar; Rajas Con Queso. It will go on into entrees such as Huevos Rancheros; West Texas Chili; Pork and Black Bean “Stew,” Red Chile Pork Posole; Smoked Chicken; Perini Ranch Laredo Boil; Carne Guisada; Adobo Grilled Beef Rib Eyes and Buttermilk Biscuits. For dessert there is Apple Cake Cobbler and Mexican Wedding Cookies.

In the final section of the book, Dupuy talks about Texas Shindigs; a Texas-themed menus for Cinco de Mayo, Fourth of July, Thanksgiving and Christmas. Once the book was complete there was many things Dupuy learned including the importance to have the lone star state recognized as one of the best states to have an authentic cuisine.

“I’m really proud to be a Texan. I can’t imagine when I was able to sit down and look at all of the history that has formed in this state and all of this flavors that have gone into it, we really have flavor about us. I come from a place that can be proud of something based on flavor,” concluded Dupuy.

If you are interested in cooking and tasting the recipes from the lone star state, visit www.timeincbooks.com for more information and to purchase your copy.

____________________

Hopdoddy finds a new home at The Rim

3
The “El Diablo” Burger has both flavor and kick with its blend of organic beef and blend of peppers. (Photo/Kristian Jaime)

Hopdoddy Burger Bar, located at The Rim, opened its doors in San Antonio recently and is ready to provide customers with the Austin way of making hamburgers, fries, drinks and milkshakes.

For Hopdoddy Brand Manager Erin Fohn, bringing local items to the menu made it easier to give the customer a better feeling of what they are eating without adding preservatives. In fact, Fohn explained that Hopdoddy caters to the customer to digest food that was made in store.

“We source from local farmers…We do everything in house including baking three different types of bread everyday, we grind our meats, butcher our meats in house, we cut the fries and churn the shakes. We are not just getting a regular burger, there is more to it,” said Fohn to La Prensa.

Prior to the main course, fries remind patrons of the streets of Austin. The city is best known for their queso, so what better way to try a fry than with Green Chile Queso. As you combine a fry with queso, you will find a new discovery that will encourage you to forget about ketchup.

The Truffle Fries, however, gave more to the spuds than the condiments. With cilantro and Parmesan cheese, this is one fry that does not need ketchup or mayonnaise to taste spectacular, which saves you from consuming unnecessary calories.

It was a learning experience to know that if a potato is not dressed, then it is a potato that cannot stand by itself. Hopdoddy knows how to balance their appetizers.

 Ahi Tuna Burger

Carrying Sushi-Grade Tuna, Sprouts, Teriyaki, Honey Wasabi, Nori Chips, Pickled Ginger, Mayo, Red Leaf Lettuce, White Onion, Beefsteak Tomato, it is easy to point out that the wasabi overpowers the whole taste of the burger, making your brain think you are eating a sushi burger. If you enjoy sushi, then you will be very happy with the diverse menu Hopdoddy offers outside from beefy courses.

El Diablo

With angus beef, tillamook pepper jack, habanero and serrano chiles, salsa roja and chipotle mayo, you will bite into a delicious inferno with cheese that paired well with the patty. Although many San Antonians are used to everything spicy, this is one entrée that will bite you back, begging you to need a drink like the Tout Chocolate Milkshake to cool you off.

Stout Chocolate Milkshake

Instead of waiting for the milkshake for dessert, it is important to pair the beverage with your burger.

This is the milkshake one needs to try because it is not just a chocolate milkshake.

It is one that you gulp constantly tasting a hint of vanilla bean and cinnamon, giving it its own spin on Abuelita’s Mexican Hot Chocolate. On a sweet note, this is one dessert that gives you a happy ending to your experience at Hopdoddy.

The wait to bring Hopdoddy to San Antonio was highly worth it knowing that it will encourage other hamburger spots to take advice from Hopdoddy and make their items lighter and homegrown. Fohn believes that this tactic will allow the restaurant to grow in the near future.

“We have been open in Austin for six years now. It is kind of to the point that people come in all the time and encourage us to branch forward to bigger and better places…We hope to be able to be a part of the community now for a long time,” concluded Fohn.

 If you are interested in eating fresh burgers, visit www.hopdoddy.com for restaurant hours, menus and directions.

Advertisements