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FLAVOR 2012-2013

2012-2013 FREE

San Antonio’s ultimate food lover’s guide

SAN ANTONIO’S ULTIMATE FOOD LOVER’S GUIDE

250+ SAN ANTO RESTAURANT LISTINGS

sacurrent.com Roasted garlic-marinated grilled haloumi with salsa verde and grilled levain from Boiler House Texas Grill and Wine Garden.

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flavor Publisher: Michael Wagner Associate Publisher: Lara Fischer Editor: Greg Harman Associate Editor: Scott Andrews

EDITORIAL

Art Director: Chuck Kerr Listings Editor: Bryan Rindfuss Copy Editor: Veronica Salinas Contributing Writers: Scott Andrews, Ron Bechtol, Ashley Guzman, Enrique Lopetegui, Isis Madrid, Lauren W. Madrid, Kiko Martínez, Bryan Rindfuss, Diana Roberts, Lauren A. Silva Contributing Photographers: Michael Barajas, Rick Cortez, Josh Huskin, Steven Gilmore, Mark Greenberg, Erik Gustafson, Ana Luisa Jenkinson, Chuck Kerr, Veronica Luna, Antonia Padilla Web Editor: Jaime Monzon Editorial Interns: Ashley Brune, Katy Schmader, Lauren Silva, Selina Smith

ADVERTISING

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Contents 2012-2013 ENTREEs

Advertising Director: Lara Fischer (x105) Account Manager: Chelsea Bourque (x123) Senior Account Executives: Carlos Aguirre (x117), Mindi Overman (x119) Account Executives: Johnny Deosdade (x114), Sarah Estrada (x120), Dianah McGreehan (x122), Alyssa Shaffer (x118)

PRODUCTION

Production Manager: Julian Cordero Production Designer: Jay Reyna

8 Resurrection Fare: Charcuterie hits San Antonio in a big way

12 That ’70s Show: Lisa Astorga-Watel’s Bite Restaurant

13 Tech Savory: Sustanio’s David Gilbert keeps up with the trends

LISTINGs

55 ASIAN Chinese, Korean, Thai, Vietnamese 58 Kitchen Gardens Made Simple 61 ITALIAN 69 MEXICAN 77 GLOBAL Greek, Hawaiian, Indian, Latin American, Colombian, Cuban, Puerto Rican, Mediterranean, Middle Eastern, Pakistani

81 RECIPE: ‘The Peacemaker’ Po’ Boy 83 PUBS & ICE HOUSES 89 VEGETARIAN 93 COCKTAILS 97 MARKETS 99 FOOD TRUCKS 103 DESSERTS & COFFEE Bakery & Dessert, Coffee & Tea

15 MODERN 21 EUROPEAN 23 RECIPE: Ceviche de Camerón con Chicharrónes 25 STEAKHOUSE 29 SEAFOOD 33 BBQ 37 AMERICAN 43 Q&A with Mark Bliss 45 DELIS & DINERS 51 SUSHI

on the cover Roasted garlic-marinated grilled haloumi with salsa verde and grilled levain from Boiler House Texas Grill and Wine Garden. Cover photo by Josh Huskin.

Promotional listings are printed in blue.

CIRCULATION

Circulation Director: Mark VanHudson (x121) Distribution: Juanita Alpizar, Oscar Alpizar, Sergio Alpizar, Reynal Ayala, Pam Clepper, Lisa Evans, John Miller, Sharron Miller, Charles Tiller, Mario Rios, Joseph Rodriguez, Lisa Ann Rodriguez

BUSINESS

Business Manager: Elizabeth Hubbard Office Assistant: Kelsie Green ©2012, San Antonio Current Co. all rights reserved. San Antonio Current Co. is a wholly owned subsidiary of Times-Shamrock Communications. Reproduction in whole or in part without permission of the publisher is prohibited. Publisher does not assume liability for unsolicited manuscripts or materials, which must be accompanied by a stamped, selfaddressed envelope to be returned. All editorial, advertising, and business correspondence should be sent to the address listed below.

San Antonio Current 915 Dallas San Antonio, Texas 78215 Editorial: (210) 227-0044 / Fax: (210) 227-6611 Advertising: (210) 227-0044 / Fax: (210) 227-7733

since 1986

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EN T REES

Resurrection fare Charcuterie hits San Antonio in a big way

By Scott Andrews /// Photos by Ana Luisa Jenkinson

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Char board from Restaurant Gwendolyn

1.Wild boar rillette with watermelon jam 2. Pickled okra 3. Cherry smoked pork tenderloin stuffed with apples 4. Head cheese with house-made whole-seed dijon mustard 5. Castelvetrano olives 6. Cornichon 7. Watermelon rind pickles 8. Mortadella with tomato preserves 9. Lardo

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a world class experience Culinaria offers “hands-on” exploration into the culinary and wine-making arts for adults with adventuresome spirits, discerning tastes and especially those who appreciate the camaraderie of sharing and consuming new, and often exotic, flavors. We proudly display chefs from this great city and bring in distinguished chefs from around the globe. To help ensure a great week long series of events, we highlight global as well as Texas winemakers and spirit producers. The mission of Culinaria is to promote San Antonio as a premiere destination for wine and food while fostering community growth and enrichment. Culinaria is a non-profit organization supporting local students in culinary arts and food related aid organizations.

JOIN US IN 2013: March 23: 5K Wine & Beer Run • May 16-19: Festival Week FOR ALL FESTIVAL VISIT CULINARIASA.ORG 10 Flavor 2012-2013 ///EVENTS sacurrent.com

What’s new in the kitchen? National trends are placing a greater emphasis on traditional foods, variants of mac ‘n’ cheese are everywhere, and a new casual atmosphere has replaced fine dining formalities. One of the new rediscoveries is chef-made charcuterie. The art, which encompasses the making of sausage, bacon, head cheese, and the like, arose as a way to preserve meat before refrigeration, using salt, smoke, and controlled aging, as agents. It often uses parts of the animal that would otherwise be thrown out and so is known as the “fifthquarter.” Though what began as country frugality developed items like terrines and pâtés that are now associated with haute-cuisine, the practice still celebrates the refusal to waste — a statement of principals that encompasses devotion to tradition, and no small amount of culinary skill. Texas, with its food heritage of wurst and chorizo, is well-placed to appreciate the phenomenon, and San Antonio chefs are joining the ranks of char makers in ever-quickening numbers. Even food trucks like Cullum’s Attaboy, which takes great pride in their homecured bacon, are taking part. Mark Bliss’ new effort on South Presa features charcuterie, while The Monterey’s changing menu usually has pig’s ear bacon in some dish — recently with apples and arugula. Chef John Russ, Lüke’s new chef de cuisine, is improving the in-house charcuterie list. Lamb and legs of lamb hang to dry, then cure for three months, before ending up on the char board. “It’s something

we focus on as part of our craft, part of our heritage from New Orleans,” Russ says. You can find charcuterie hiding in many places on Lüke’s menu, such as the po’ boy topped with a dollop of liver mousse mayo — it’s decadent. Another spot that features charcuterie every day is Restaurant Gwendolyn, Michael Sohocki’s retroventure dedicated to local ingredients prepared with pre-industrial era methods. Offerings change depending on what’s on hand and in season. Wild boar becomes rillettes with watermelon jam during summer and early autumn; tomato preserves smother home-made mortadella through the winter. Other favorites include Cajun-style andouille sausage, and there’s usually head cheese of some sort available. Blue Star Brewing Company has upped their game under Charles Clark, their new chef de cuisine. Trained in the French tradition outlined by Escoffier a century ago, Clark has cooked in New York, London, Paris, and Marrakesh, Morocco, and brings new discipline to Blue Star’s spin on Southern cooking. Look forward to the new curing room in the works to provide a full line of bacons, hams, and prosciuttos by early 2013, while long-drying meats, such as sopresatta, copa, and brizola, will take a year to cure. Current charcuterie favorites at Blue Star are country blood sausage w/ fried egg, country pâté, duck confit rillette, duck and sage sausage, and pâté en croûte (pork wrapped in pastry). Clark mentions that even with his three

EN T REES

Culatello (top) and Wagyu bresaolo (bottom) from Gaucho Gourmet.

decades of world-ranging experience, the outcome of the 3- to 12-month curing is not guaranteed. Constant control of temperature and humidity are crucial, so one might hesitate before building a curing room at home. No problem, you can purchase the best imported cheeses, olives, and an array of fine charcuterie items from the chefs’ source Gaucho Gourmet, now open to the public with otherwise impossible items such as Nduja (spreadable sopprasetta from Calabria) artisanal prosciutto, and smoked duck breast. Gaucho’s Luciano Ciorciari, who sources his items from South America and Europe, says that the demand for his products has increased

dramatically in the last few years. On one hand, people are becoming more informed of their choices, but something else is also driving interest. “I think there is a big demand for the old days, for marketstyle living, the farmers markets,” says Ciorciari. “For a long time, things got bigger and bigger. No. We want to go to the farmers market, to talk to the people, and know who is growing our food. I want to know, I want to learn; I want to know what I am getting. Food without people behind it is nothing. Food without understanding the passion, and the love behind it, is nothing. But now — everything is resurrected.” sacurrent.com /// Flavor 2012-2013

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EN T REES

“It’s great to be in the neighborhood with everybody else — La Frite, Feast, Mark Bliss. It’s wonderful,” says Lisa Astorga-Watel, chef-proprietor of Bite, the new Euro-fare hot spot with a “’70s modern twist” on South Presa. Raised in Santiago, Chile, Astorga-Watel has traveled and cooked throughout Europe and South America, where she found inspiration for the unpretentious but sophisticated dishes — like salmón cuadrado, octopus carpaccio, lamb, and frites — featured on the small-plate menu. Bite is her first independent venture, and a nice change, she says, from pam12

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pering celebrities. “I was a private chef — dedicated breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Traveling a lot, living out of a suitcase. But a restaurant is more stable, more homey, and you get to have your customers. And cooking for eight or two people, or for a whole restaurant, is the same feeling. Every plate you serve, it’s your soul, your love.” Astorga-Watel shares that passion with husband Damien Watel, whose Bistro Vatel is an SA landmark. The ’70s influence is found in the Pop Art décor and in the retro menu of this casual restaurant and bar. “Also,” says Astorga-Watel, “Damien wears his little

Lisa Astorga-Watel and Damien Watel

’70s outfit — a T-shirt with a big collar. Yup, cool stuff. And the music when you come in has all those songs.” Is Bite a collaborative effort? “Of course, behind a good woman, there’s always a good man! He being French, and with all his French culture, he gave me the ropes. It’s my ideas with his combined. But I’ll be here, and he’ll be at the Bistro. Being chefs, we speak the same language. We have different ideas, but together, we blend.” — Scott Andrews Bite Restaurant, 1012 S Presa, (210) 532-2551, biterestaurant.com

JOSH HUSKIN

THAT ’70S SHOW

Sustenio’s David Gilbert and instantfreezing Anti-Griddle.

Tech savory

Sustenio’s David Gilbert keeps up with the trends in the kitchen

STEVEN GILMORE

“You look so happy,” one of the cooks at Sustenio tells Executive Chef David Gilbert as he explains to her what the restaurant’s PolyScience Anti-Griddle can accomplish in the kitchen. “And it’s not even Christmas yet!” For Gilbert, it might as well be. The Anti-Griddle, one of many technologically advanced appliances at Sustenio, is only brought out for special occasions. This time, Gilbert and his team will use it to make yogurt guava mousse with chicharrón for a Jester King Craft Brewery pork-themed event. Instead of using heat like a conventional griddle, the device freezes food items instantly at 30 degrees below zero. “I’ve Sustenio at been waiting to take this out for a while so I can start Éilan Hotel playing around with it,” Gilbert said. “A lot of this Resort & Spa, 17103 La modern technology gives us a larger platform to creCantera Pkwy, ate new dishes, new concepts, and to work on new (210) 598-2950, techniques.” With the six CVap Cook & Hold ovens at Suseilanhotel.com tenio, one of the techniques Gilbert can execute is sous-vide cooking. Sous-vide is a method of cooking where food is placed in vacuum sealed plastic bags and set in a water bath. Gilbert shows the inside of one of the ovens where at least two dozen bagged duck legs are cooking with cinnamon and other spices. “This technique creates a flavor infusion,” Gilbert said. “The spices will penetrate the entire duck versus the traditional way of cooking it in a pan.” Another innovative tool that excites Gilbert is the Pacojet ice cream maker. At a whopping $4,000 per unit, Gilbert is able to “micro-puree” sorbet and gelato a la minute. This means that the machine spins so fast, no air is allowed into any of the sweet delicacies. “It’s all about keeping up with the trends,” Gilbert said. “I’m constantly reading and researching. It’s a never-ending commitment.” — Kiko Martínez sacurrent.com /// Flavor 2012-2013

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m o dern

Feast Restaurant

VERONICA LUNA

1024 S Alamo, (210) 354-1024, feastsa.com

Seared Ahi tuna with watermelon, avocado, tomato, and pink peppercorn vinaigrette.

Modern-to-the-max Feast is glittery, almost brittle, in décor and active, almost punishing, acoustically, but the food has charms to soothe all manner of savage beasts. The menu’s categories consist of trendy small plates generally broken down into the likes of Crispy and Comfort, and it’s rare that anything totally misses the mark. If the seven-spice barbacoa, listed under “Heat” — though it’s not especially hot — is still available, leap on it without hesitation. The oftengreasy (elsewhere) steamed meat is fantastic, the lettuce wrap a perfect foil, the garlicky yoghurt drizzle just right, and the sliced jalapeños truly necessary. Trust me (and Chef Stefan Bowers, of course). PEI mussels with green harissa are reliably good, too, as are the ground lamb kebabs with Moroccan spices. For whatever reason, I have never been especially enamored of the Chilled section, though the ahi tuna tartar with a lemon rose syrup should be tried. Grilled, of course, gets everyone’s attention, and under that category the Brussels sprouts brochette is usually a great accompaniment to a meatier dish — or even the knee-jerk fried calamari listed under Crispy. In fact, the calamari are anything but routine with their souk’s-full-of-spice coating and spiky Aleppo chili aioli. “Hearty” gets us the inevitable mac ’n’ cheese, but as Chef Bowers recently was awarded “Best Mac ’n’ Cheese in the Universe” honors at the Cellar Classic Grand Tasting, it is more than safe to consume the dish here — look, potentially, for the inclusion of grilled (usually mild) shishito peppers. The North African rubbed chicken has stood out under the Mains. Cocktails with names such as King, Queen, and Jester ring changes on some classics. Weather permitting, a libation before dinner on the outdoor patio is not to be spurned. — Ron Bechtol

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MODERN Arcade Midtown Kitchen

Chef Jesse Perez’ new venture at the Pearl presents comfort cuisine in the Americana tradition, with changing seasonal dishes and ingredients that are often sourced locally — next door, in fact, at the Pearl Farmers Market. The emphasis is on exquisite, but approachable food. The menu features American classics, ranging from fine steaks to game. Meatloaf? On a cold day, yes. But expect veal, and other ingredients in the mix that let kitchen skills shine. 303 Pearl Pkwy, twitter. com/arcadesatx, facebook.com/ arcadekitchen

level of culinary sophistication. 555 W Bitters, (210) 496-0555, bin555.com

Boardwalk Bistro

Fresh seafood is the specialty at this locally owned and operated favorite in Alamo Heights, offering Mediterranean cuisine al fresco under Texas pecan trees, or candlelit dinners to the accompaniment of jazz in the evening. The award-winning cellar has garnered the Wine Spectator Award of Excellence for 10 consecutive years. Bistro fare includes multi-course chef’s tasting menus, with beef, lamb, and poultry prepared with fresh herbs, capers, and Belgian chocolate. 4011 Broadway, (210) 824-0100, boardwalkbistro.net

Boiler House Texas Grill & Wine Garden

San Antonio’s contemporarycuisine godfather follows the upscale-downhome trend at Auden’s Kitchen, with globally inspired comfort food such as Duck Duck, featuring the bird two ways, and tempura shrimp served on cold Asian noodles with chunks of fresh watermelon. 700 E Sonterra Blvd, (210) 4940070, audenskitchen.com

Biga on the Banks

Americana Comfort Cuisine Rich with San Antonio Ingenuity

303 PEARL PARKWAY, STE 111 · SAN ANTONIO, TEXAS · 78215

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Boudro’s

Bruce Auden’s menu includes such Southwest-Continental dishes as chicken-fried oysters with squid-ink linguini and pancetta, and grilled Texas quail, all of which can be paired to appropriate wines by the glass from Biga’s ample list. 203 S St. Mary’s, (210) 225-0722, biga.com

A Current readers’ favorite for River Walk dining and for its renowned guacamole, made fresh tableside with plenty of spice and citrus, Boudro’s makes braving the downtown tourists fun, and the Tex-Mex bistro fare is gastronomically rewarding, too. 421 E Commerce, (210) 224-8484, boudros.com

BIN 555

Citrus

Jason Dady, executive chef and owner of Bin 555, offers Mediterranean cuisine in a small meze plates format coupled with contemporary ambiance, an intimate bar, and large patio. The winning atmosphere and five-star food bring San Antonio a new

Elegant River Walk dining at the Hotel Valencia with the tastes of Spain mixed with the New World. Paella buffet at lunchtime draws the downtown crowd while the luxurious atmosphere brings visitors from all over town to dine at this downtown hot spot. Be sure

ERIK GUSTAFSON

▲Auden’s Kitchen

Boiler House Texas Grill & Wine Garden is a true Texas original. Located at the Pearl, this winecentric restaurant occupies the former “boiler house” which powered the adjacent brewery. The menu focuses on grilled items from local farms and markets, with a focus on “Texas ranchstyle” cuisine.  These delicacies are paired with extraordinary wines from around the world (all available by the glass, bottle and “to-go”), live music, and a casual yet energetic atmosphere. The menu, designed by Executive Chef James Moore, includes small plates, individual main dishes, and numerous items designed for sharing — all perfectly complemented by the extensive list of wines from around the world. 312 Pearl Pkwy, Building 3, (210) 3544644, boilerhousesa.com

MODERN to taste the excellent sangria, and more American and international fare by award-winning Executive Chef Jeffery Balfour. 150 E Houston St, (210) 2279700, hotelvalencia-riverwalk. com/citrus.htm

The Esquire Tavern

This comfortably hip lounge is redefining River Walk nightlife with its excellent, hand-crafted cocktails, quirky menu of tavern and bar eats, and the coolest atmosphere in town. This is the place for covert rendezvous or a midday lunch that takes you beyond city limits into a whole different world of taste. 155 E Commerce, (210) 222-2521, esquiretavern-sa.com

this casual yet sophisticated anytime retreat. Reservations can be made online, or just stroll in. Outstanding quality awaits you. Multiple locations, konagrill.com

Las Canarias

Chef John Brand has stepped up the service and menu at Las Canarias, and the New American menu (featuring Alaskan king salmon and Chateaubriand) in this River Walk setting makes for a romantic dinner or escapist lunch. The Omni La Mansion del Rio Hotel, 112 College, (210) 518-1000, omnihotels.com

Feast

A contemporary gem on the Southtown corridor, the Feast here is for all of the senses. The modern and glamorous décor set the scene for cocktails and a new twist on familiar classics, like lettuce-wrapped barbacoa, saffron macaroni and cheese, and goat cheese-stuffed grape leaves. 1024 S Alamo, (210) 354-1024, feastsa.com

Fig Tree Restaurant

A Tuesday- and Wednesday-only prix fixe dinner — three courses with two choices each — changes weekly (with Beef Wellington as a recurring delight). Take a date, and remember: reservations are highly recommended. 515 Villita, (210) 224-1976, figtreerestaurant.com

Firewater Grille

A fresh, new place on the north side with varied menu items like Firewater Cobb salad, Herb MahiMahi, and Double Chocolate Cake at affordable prices. 26108 Overlook Pkwy, (210) 481-7645, firewatergrilletx.com

The Grill at Leon Springs

L’Etoile is dead; long live Thierry Burkle’s new star, which serves updated, casual continental fare (with Asian accents) in a classy country kitchen. 24116 IH-10 W, (210) 698-8797, leonspringsgrill. com

JOSH HUSKIN

Kona Grill

Lunch & dinner entrees served alongside happy hour cocktails and beer and wine attract a diverse, lively crowd for the great food and atmosphere. Gluten-free, vegetarian, and vegan options also abound in

▲Laurent’s Modern Cuisine Chef Laurent Rea has put in his time at L’Etoile and Olmos Park Bistro; at his eponymous new place he can now shine on his own—and shine he does with a frequently changing menu informed by French technique but heavily influenced by local produce. Rea’s touch is subtle but sure. Desserts are bold and equally seductive. 4230 McCullough, (210) 822-6644, facebook.com/ Laurentsmoderncuisine

Liberty Bar

Some vestige of the old, beloved Liberty has migrated to the painstakingly restored wooden windows and beautiful new bar in the remade nunnery. Just as importantly the food is unscathed, from the hefty bread and creative appetizers to the lightly charred quail in piquant green mole and Virginia Green’s chocolate cake. 1111 S Alamo, (210) 227-1187, liberty-bar.com CONTINUED ON PAGE 19 sacurrent.com /// Flavor 2012-2013

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The

begins at Twins

Introducing

Bartender

HOUSTON EAVES Shaking & Stirring the finest of classic and creative signature cocktails

210 . 222 . 2521

HOURS Sun-Wed: 11am til’12am Thurs-Sat: 11am til’2am

www.esquiretavern-sa.com

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LOCATION LOCATOR

155 E. COMMERCE STREET SAN ANTONIO, TX 78205

Reds to whites, bubbly to Bourbon—Twin Liquors has everything to help make your holiday party perfect. Let our Certified Wine Authorities help you choose the perfect bottle for any occasion. With thousands of brands to choose from, you’ll find everything you need to get in the Holiday spirit.

M O DERN Limestone Grille at Ye Kendall Inn

The pretty rustic setting suits a sometimes stuffy Old World menu, but contemporary fare is available, too: smokeroasted beef short ribs, yellowfin tuna nachos, Texas Gulf shrimp and grits, as well as a surprising amount of gluten-free options. 128 W Blanco, Boerne, (830) 249-9954, yekendallinn.com 

Mariposa

Perched on the second floor of Neiman Marcus, Mariposa’s brightly lit, mid-century-modern dining room offers ladies who shop and lunch a refined respite, from the simple generosity of a fresh popover and demitasse of chicken broth to the buttery seared ahi tuna salad. Neiman Marcus, 15900 La Cantera Pkwy, (210) 694-3550

Oro

At lunch, Oro’s selection is cautious: think chorizo corn dogs and Angus burgers. But the Oro flame-grilled Angus burger, while pricey, is one of the best in town — buttery bun, Angus and aged Swiss, with sweet onion and chopped lettuce providing just enough crunch. The Emily Morgan Hotel, 705 E Houston, (210) 225-5100, emilymorganhotel.com

Picnikins Patio Café

Former caterers infuse a modest menu with South African flair. The roasted poblano pepper soup packs a big enough punch you’ll want to order another bowl. Cool your mouth with a slice of Chocolate Lava cake. 6901 Blanco, (210) 616-0954, picnikinspatiocafe.com

Restaurant Gwendolyn

SA’s pristine locavore has added a la carte options to their prix-fixe offerings,

What’s your guilty pleasure food? I eat the skin from the roasted chickens at lunch. Like, all of it. It’s disgusting. Nobody should do this. — Michael Sohocki, Restaurant Gwendolyn

but we still prefer the daily chef-designed meal of locally sourced organic fare. The early bird special, three courses for $35, makes this elite River Walk treat more pocket-book friendly. 152 E Pecan, Ste 100, (210) 222-1849, restaurantswendolyn.com

Roaring Fork

Nouveau Southwest is done big Texas style at this fancy-ranch member of the Eddie V’s family.  The house-special Green Chile Pork Stew is a rich, hearty treat for two. Try it on the outdoor deck when weather permits. 1806 NW Loop 1604, (210) 479-9700

Silo 1604

An elegant update on shrimp and grits and signature chicken-fried oysters are among the favored dishes at this stunning North Loop restaurant and bar. 434 N Loop 1604 W, (210) 483-8989, siloelevatedcuisine.com

Still hungry? Go to sacurrent.com/ dining for even more restaurant listings.

20nine Wine Bar

20nine’s classy digs pay appropriate homage to the namesake Napa motorway with carefully selected and well-priced wines. Foods aspire to keep pace with the wines, but some dishes have the horsepower. 255 E Basse, Ste 940, (210) 798-9463, 20ninewine.com

Tre Trattoria at the Fairmount Hotel

Tuscan classics and house-cured specialties, served family-style. Don’t miss the Chef’s Market Salad that changes weekly; our rendition included baby arugula, Fredericksburg peaches, and pork torchon served with a pomegranete molasses dressing. 401 S Alamo, (210) 223-0401, tretrattoria.com

CARLY GARZA

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BRINGING JOY BACK TO THE TABLE Chef’s Tasting Menu • Wine Pairings • Piano Jazz

4011 Broadway • 210.824.0100 boardwalkbistro.com

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ENJOY European Cuisine WITHOUT EVER STEPPING FOOT ON A Plane We offer catering for breakfast, lunch, or dinner in your home or office as well as special receptions in the restaurant or on the scenic outside patio. Or ask about or gourmet river rafting trips in Texas and New Mexico. Visit us online for more information. At Crumpets Restaurant & Bakery, we strive to make your dining experience enjoyable and delicious. Chef Francois Maeder has brought his European cooking skills to San Antonio so that you can enjoy the taste, without the travel. Surrounded by live oak trees, decorative ponds and running waterfalls, you’ll enjoy our fresh seafood, pasta, beef and chicken for lunch or dinner every day. Among our many recognitions, we have been voted one of Esquire’s 100 best restaurants, not limited only to only San Antonio restaurants. 20

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3920 Harry Wurzbach Road, San Antonio, TX 78209 210.821.5600 • www.crumpetsa.com

E U R O P EA N

Bistro Vatel

218 E E Olmos, Olmos, (210) (210) 828-3141, 828-3141, bistrovatel.com bistrovatel.com 218 Francophile diners are left with few options in San Antonio these days. One chef, however, has persevered through fads and fashion, managing to keep his flagship Bistro Vatel not only alive but, we assume, thriving. For this, Damien Watel deserves some sort of Légion d’Honneur Culinaire award. Not that there is such a thing. The core menu tends not to change much. Escargots are always on offer — superlative steamed mussels, too. Foie gras — controversial, if not banned, in other locales — is another staple. You will always find beef liver in one form or another — order it, no matter what you may think of organ meats. Coq au vin is another reliable bistro classic. We also say oui to Dover sole — the real thing, served meunière style, just comme il faut. For inventions or variations on any of the above, we recommend always looking to the daily chalkboard menu — then following up with a tout a fait classique chocolate mousse; it will be unlike any elsewhere in town. — Ron Bechtol

JOSH HUSKIN

Dover sole meunière from Bistro Vatel.

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E U R O P EA N Anne Marie’s

This Botanical Garden gem transcends its tearoom trappings with inventive sandwiches and brunch specials, serious entrees, and a modest wine list. Don’t miss the homey Carriage House Meatloaf. San Antonio Botanical Garden, 555 Funston, (210) 826-5800, sabot.org

Bella on the River

The River Walk has been sorely lacking a place like Bella — until now. Live jazz and a cozy patio make this a perfect choice for tourists and locals alike. Mediterranean fare ranging from Bella’s Eggplant Josephine and Seafood Paella to Lamb Chops spans the Southern European menu, with something for everyone. A romantic spot with tons of charm and reasonable prices, don’t miss Bella On The River. 106 River

Tost Bistro Bar

Walk, (210) 404-2355, bellaontheriver.com

Café des Artistes

Damien Watel and family take on the restaurant at San Antonio Museum of Art with a selection of salads, sandwiches, and daily crêpe specials. We suggest European-style sandwiches, pastries, and wine on the terrace overlooking the River Walk’s

Museum Reach. 200 W Jones in the Beretta Hops House, (210) 978-8155, sacafedesartistes.com

Coco Chocolate Lounge & Bistro

Dine on delectable offerings made from the pure taste of chocolate inspiration. From cocktails to appetizers to unbelievable desserts, Coco is the perfect thing for a girls’ night

out or an entertaining first date for a mix of dining and nightlife. After some incredible eats, bottle service fulfills your every clubbing desire. 18402 US Hwy 281 N, Ste 114, (210) 491-4480, sa-coco.com

ous, Spanish-accented tapas — all in a vaguely Iberian atmosphere. Current readers named Copa Best Wine Bar in 2010. 19141 Stone Oak Pkwy, (210) 495-2672, thecopawinebar.com

Copa Wine Bar

Still hungry? Go to sacurrent.com/ dining for even more restaurant listings.

Copa is a serious wine bar, and there are plenty to taste by the glass, bottle, or flight along with sumptu-

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Try it and find out. 5-hour ENERGY can help you feel more alert and energized. Feeling alert and energized may lead to greater focus. And with greater focus, who knows what you can do.

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22

Flavor 2012-2013 /// sacurrent.com

†This sTaTemenT has noT been evaluaTed by The Food and drug adminisTraTion. This producT is noT inTended To diagnose,TreaT, cure or prevenT any disease.

†No crash means no sugar crash. 5-hour ENERGY® contains no sugar. Individual results may vary.

E U R O P EA N Crumpets Restaurant & Bakery

RECIPE

Ceviche de Camarón con Chicharrónes

Recipe courtesy of Chef Jason Dady, Bin 555, Tre Trattoria Serves 8

Ingredients and Amounts

2 lbs shrimp, peeled and deveined 8 small limes 1 each red, yellow, and green bell peppers, seeded 4 Roma tomatoes, seeded 2 jalapeños 2 oz extra virgin olive oil 1 bunch cilantro, leaves only 2 oz chicharrónes (pork rinds) Salt and fresh cracked black pepper, to taste

ANTONIA PADILLA

Method In a large stockpot, bring 4 quarts of water to boil, add shrimp and turn off water. Allow shrimp to sit in water for 2 minutes then remove, place in a large bowl of ice water, chill completely and reserve. Dice all bell peppers and Roma tomatoes finely, set aside. Slice the jalapeño as thinly as possible, discarding the top third. Set aside. To finish the dish, dice the shrimp, juice the limes into the shrimp, then add the bell peppers, tomato, jalapeños, and chicharrónes, broken into pieces if large. Season to taste with salt and freshly cracked pepper, garnish with cilantro leaves and serve with crispy tostadas.

Chef Francois Maeder has brought SA fine European dining since 1980, with such traditional delights as Rack of Lamb Provençal, Beef Wellington, and truffle paté. The bakery delivers baguettes, a variety of tarts, flans, and strudel. 3920 Harry Wurzbach, (210) 821-5624, crumpetssa.com

Coco Chocolate Lounge & Bistro

Frederick’s

A younger audience has keyed into this dowdy but disciplined FrancoAsian fusion restaurant in the shadow of fusty Dijon Plaza. Lamb chops and beef tenderloin stand out as rising stars on the newly revamped menu. 7701 Broadway, (210) 828-9050, frederickssa.com

Frederick’s Bistro 

Frederick Costa’s relaxed, contemporary departure from his eponymous Broadway home of haute cuisine serves authentic bistro fare (and pizza) accessorized with a good wine list and a real bar. 14439 NW Military, (210) 888-1500, fredericksbistro.com

La Frite Belgian Bistro

This Southtown homage to European café life feels and tastes authentic, from the succulent moules and crispy frites to the pleasantly crowded row of sidewalk seating and a top-notch list of Belgian beers. 728 S Alamo, (210) 224-7555, lafritesa.com

Twilight Dinner Special 5-6:30pm Nightly

Mesón European Dining

The rich heritage of European dining tradition is presented in grand style at Mesón, where in-the-know guests come to enjoy Spanish and Italian fare from across the pond. Try the filet mignon, chicken cacciatore, and the best fettucine alfredo in town. 923 FM N Loop 1604 E (210) 494-1055, mesoneuropean.com

Taste Crepes & More

The menu sports classics such as the Crepe Suzette, but also boasts unexpectedly named choices such as the “Popeye,” and “Oh Baby!” featuring Nutella and fresh fruit. 17503 La Cantera Pkwy, Ste 103, (210) 5580808, tastecrepes.com

Live Piano Jazz Nightly Reservations Encouraged

When You Find Yourself on the River Walk, Find Bella!

Bella On the River Restaurant 106 River Walk 210-404-2355 bellaontheriver.com Monday-Saturday 5-10pm

Tost Bistro Bar

Jean Francois Poujol gets his game right at this sophisticated contemporary-dining restaurant. The accompaniments are adventurous with a rustic foundation, and the wine list (like the menu) is short but well edited. Retreat to the full bar for a perfect French 75 after dinner if the lounge music isn’t to your liking. 14415 Blanco, (210) 408-2670, tostbistro.com

SOUTHERN EUROPEAN, MOSTLY MEDITERRANEAN sacurrent.com /// Flavor 2012-2013

23

THE BEST STEAKHOUSE IN SAN ANTONIO FOR 59 YEARS!

D

ubbed by food critics and long-time customers as a San Antonio classic, the Barn Door has been serving up home-cooked meals with perfect southern hospitality for San Antonians and visitors for the past 59 years. Known for perfectly grilled steaks and mouthwatering desserts, the Barn Door also offers up delicious appetizers, salads, chicken, sides all complimented with a vast wine list selected specifically for each meal. Whether it’s a first date, girl’s night out, business luncheon or birthday party, The Barn Door will accommodate your needs and make you feel right at home.

• Hours •

Tuesday - Thursday: Lunch, 11am to 2pm Dinner, 5pm to 10pm Friday: Lunch, 11am to 2pm Dinner – 5pm to 10:30pm Saturday: Dinner Service ONLY, 5pm to 10:30pm Sunday: 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. serving a full menu Great Brunch Specials & Incredible Wine Selection!

Reservations 210-824-0116 Happy hour EVERY DAY in the bar with selected half price appetizers

8400 N. New Braunfels Ave • SA, TX 78209 • 210.824.0116 24

Flavor 2012-2013 /// sacurrent.com

S T EAKH O U SE

Little Red Barn

STEVEN GILMORE

1902 S Hackberry, (210) 532-4235, littleredbarnsteakhouse.com

Steak and shrimp, baked potato and chicken fried steak from Little Red Barn.

Little Red Barn came on the sizzle scene back in 1963. With beginnings as a meat market, owners Ralph and Lili Hernandez decided to convert the building into the sprawling steakhouse they would eventually declare the largest of its kind in Texas. In the spirit of everything being “bigger and better” here in the Lone Star State, think of the Little Red Barn as the Gilley’s of steakhouses, if you will, with the capacity to fit over 800 people. This place lives up to every yeehaw stereotype you can think of, with servers decked out in cowgirl getups, complete with hats and boots, and ranch-style décor that sets the ambience of a vintage western. Certainly not lacking in hospitality, iceberg salads are plopped down right in front of you (whether you like it or not) before you can even sit down. The lightning-fast service is legendary, and according to loyal patrons, not much has changed with this place except for the size. As you would expect, the menu is beefy and hefty, with the quintessential gamut of ribeyes, T-bones, filets and sirloins. Naturally, there are chicken fried steaks (along with other fried extravagances), but I was feeling modest and opted for a small six-ounce filet accompanied by a massive baked tater, green beans (steak fries are another option), and a roll. I got exactly what I was expecting: a no-frills steak with good ol’ fashioned fixins that were lackluster at best. (Did I mention the nostalgia?) Although Little Red Barn’s theme is over-the-top kitschy, it’s transcended nearly three generations of San Antone locals, providing a down-home Texas-style experience that is one of a kind. Giddy up, y’all. — Ashley Guzman sacurrent.com Flavor 2012-13 sacurrent.com ////// Flavor 2012-2013

25 25

T E X A N S K N O W S T E A K. AND THEY NAMED US THE

# 2 Steakhouse in the Whole Steak-Loving state.

*

Bohanan’s fame is founded on sublimely tender prime beef

in a fine old building in downtown San Antonio a block from

grilled over fragrant mesquite wood. Enjoy extraordinary

the River Walk. Imbibe a classic cocktail at the first-floor Bar at

Akaushi beef, Chef/Owner Mark Bohanan’s large custom cuts

Bohanan’s, then join us upstairs for the best steak you’ve ever had.

of prime aged corn-fed beef, succulent seafood flown in fresh daily, and spectacular table-side desserts flambé. We’re located

(210) 472-26 00 26

* December 2007 Texas Monthly magazine ranked Bohanan’s second best steakhouse in the state.

# 221 East Houston Street San Antonio, Texas

www . boh a n a ns . com

Flavor 2012-2013 /// sacurrent.com

Bohanans_FlavorAd_bleeds_Oct12.indd 1

10/30/12 4:22 PM

Myron’s Prime Steak House

Historic and charming, the Barn Door is a San Antonio institution. Although recent additions (including a wine room and a wifi-equipped patio) have brought the Barn Door up to date, the classics haven’t changed — Southern-style steaks and seafood, nostalgic décor, and Texas hospitality. 8400 N New Braunfels, (210) 824-0116, thebarndoorrestaurant.com

Bohanan’s

Fine steaks and seafood are served in high style at this tony establishment in the heart of downtown. When you’re looking for the best eating in the city, Bohanan’s offers unrivaled dining and elegance. Flaming desserts made in front of your eyes will wow even the most jaded connoisseur. 219 E Houston, (210) 472-2600, bohanans.com

Bolner’s Meat Market

Famed for their lunch deli, their quality meat, Bolner’s Fiesta spices, and a skillful butcher, this family business is a San Antonio institution that can handle tripe as well as a porterhouse. Carries Akaushi beef and American kobe, too. 2900 S Flores, (210) 533-5112, bolnersmeatmarket.com

JOSH HUSKIN

Little Red Barn

In a state renowned for all things beef, it’s no small feat to operate the largest steakhouse in Texas since 1963. This family-owned joint has a retro appeal that would draw the likes of both Dolly Parton and indie filmmakers alike. Forget the hype, and go for a tried-and true-classic like this quintessential Texas roadhouse. 1902 S Hackberry, (210) 532-4235, littleredbarnsteakhouse.com

Little Rhein Steakhouse

With one of the best positions on the River Walk, Little Rhein could coast on its location laurels, but its dependable menu of prime steaks and chops is a perennial crowd pleaser, and the award-winning wine selection is among the best in the city. 231 S Alamo, (210) 2252111, littlerheinsteakhouse.com

When Where you live inspires What you do, We call that living life alaskan.

Myron’s Prime Steak House

Owner Bill Been may have imported this sleek new steakhouse from New Braunfels, but he cut his teeth here in town. The place distinguishes itself by pulling back on the pretentiousness — no plastic-wrapped cuts are presented for your inspection, no aggressive sizzle announces your steak. Good wine list. 10003 NW Military, Ste 2101, (210)493-3031, myronsprime.com

Ruth’s Chris Steak House

watch it.

Our local outposts of the New Orleans-born chain serve properly cooked and aged beef with the signature sizzle. 2009 Best of SA choice for Best Steakhouse. 1170 E Commerce, (210) 227-8847; 7720 JonesMaltsberger, (210) 821-5051, ruthschrissa.com

scan it.

Barn Door

live it.

M

st eakh o use

Texas de Brazil

Excellent, well-prepared meats in a welcoming atmosphere with superior service. Best bets: picanha (sirloin), roast leg of lamb, Brazilian sausages, prosciutto, Brazilian black beans, and pork. 313 E Houston, (210) 299-1600, texasdebrazil.com

alaskanbeer.com

Handcrafted in Juneau, Alaska sacurrent.com /// Flavor 2012-2013

27

QUALITY CUISINE MADE FRESH DAILY WE ARE PROUD TO SERVE SAN ANTONIO FOR OVER 30 YEARS

‘La Comida De La Gente’

7210 NW Loop 410 3015 S. Presa 847 Gen. McMullen 210.647.8681 210.533.2233 210.438.1992 COMING SOON 3702 S.E. MILITARY 28

Flavor 2012-2013 /// sacurrent.com

janthonys-seafood.com

FLAVOR SEAF OOD

Mariscos El Bucanero 16505 Blanco, (210) 408-9297, elbucanerosa.com

JOSH HUSKIN

What rolled into town as a food truck in 2005 is now a flourishing local favorite with roots in both California and Sinaloa. Owned and operated by the Cervantes family of Los Angeles and named after the pirates that preyed on the Spanish shipping industry during the 17th century, Mariscos El Bucanero offers an alluring combination of homey Mexican staples and amazingly fresh seafood dishes inspired by recipes developed along the Pacific Coast. Opened in 2007 on a bleak stretch of South WW White, the restaurant’s tiny humble flagship won instant fans — Chef Johnny Hernandez of La Gloria fame among them — and didn’t remain hidden for long. With that location temporarily closed for upgrades, El Bucanero has flown north to a much larger space on Blanco with what appears to be its entire fanbase in tow — evidenced by a packed parking lot and hour-long wait on a recent Sunday afternoon. Save for maybe intimacy and divey charm, little has been lost in the graduation. The menu is (literally) untouched and the overall experience still conjures a quick trip to a bustling beach town, complete with oysters shucked to order, paintings of sea life, and a decorative net sprinkled with starfish. The only major changes ring in at 200 additional seats, a covered back patio, and a full bar churning out micheladas and margaritas. Here, starting with ceviche is a no-brainer. Offered in three sizes and three varieties (fish, shrimp, and “Verde Kinky Villarreal”) and served with crisp cucumber slices and an avocado fan, these perfectly balanced mixtures taste best atop one of the complimentary tostadas provided as vehicles for three addictive house-made salsas. While the simply grilled or fried seafood combos aren’t to be ignored, popular signatures like Tacos Para el Gobernador (filled with a decadent blend of shrimp, tomatoes, onions, bell peppers, and mozzarella) offer a taste of both sides of the menu and make for a decadent lunch for one at a reasonable $6.99. But El Bucanero’s most enticing offerings are meant to be shared, with $40 concoctions such as the Botana Mixta con Ostiones (an elegant spread of ceviches, oysters on the half-shell, shrimp, and octopus) and the Molcajete El Bucanero, (a mortar brimming with fried fish, bacon-wrapped shrimp, cheese, avocado, grilled onions, and more) standing out as family-style favorites that can turn a casual meal into an impromptu party. — Bryan Rindfuss

Ceviche de Camarones from Mariscos El Bucanero.

sacurrent.com /// Flavor 2012-2013

29

seaf o o d You don’t go to a place like Camaron Pelado for the atmosphere, though the core collection of tables and chairs is colorful, and there is some seastuff strewn around. You do go for coastal classics such as the ketchupy ceviches, the crisp shrimp aguachiles, the catch-all caldos with names like levanta muertos (raise the dead), and the superb whole fish or filets. 2918 W Commerce, (210) 434-6700, camaronpelado.info

Costa Pacifica

Empanadas, enchiladas, and caramel crepes set Costa Pacifica apart from your typical seafood restaurant. Happy hour deals sweeten the pot, and a variety of preparations of octopus, shrimp, and fish fillets will demand many visits to try them all. 434 N Loop 1604 W, (210) 4911378, costapacificausa. com Costa Pacifica

Captain Ben’s Seafood Shack

Family-style service is the hallmark of Captain Ben’s, serving traditional maritime fare from the Gulf: fresh oysters, stuffed shrimp, crawfish bisque, and gumbo bring the taste of Louisiana to Texas. 2535 SE Military, (210) 5328646, captainbens.com

Crabby Jacks

Like Hooters for Captain Ahab, just replace chicken wings served by scantily clad waitresses with fried shrimp served by scantily clad waitresses. Highlights include the crab combos and the bar happy hour. 16084 San Pedro Ave, (210) 496-3386

Fishland Fish Market

The place is plain but the fried fish is fine; don’t go

looking for broiled or sautéed. Oysters also rock — fried, of course. 4941 Walzem, (210) 655-3232, fishlandfishmarket.com

Groomer Seafood Market

Hometown, premium seafood suppliers stocking favorites from the Gulf and beyond. The passion here is for quality and freshness, two key components of top-shelf

seafood. Weekly specials and market reports keep consumers and industry folk alike up to date on what’s new in the store. 9801 McCullough, (210) 377-0951, groomerseafood.com

J. Anthony’s Seafood Cafe

For over 29 years, J. Anthony’s has offered the best food in San Antonio in a family-friendly atmosphere, specializing in caldos de marisco, grilled red snapper, and handbreaded shrimp. Multiple locations; find the closest at janthonys-seafood.com

Mariscos El Bucanero 

Your fish-phobic friends can get a top-notch asada plate (with enough for two), but this is a fresh-seafood lover’s paradise, from the spicy camarones aguachile to the whole fried fish with a guppy-sized price tag. Plus: best fried shrimp

2535 SE Military Dr.

210.532.864o6m

CaptainBens.c

p m ri h S t s H a T o 4 C . lf C u E G D • • d N o IO fo T a A e C O L D N Family S 2 OPENING ew Braunfels, TX 1050 S. Seguin • N 830.214.0076 ARY IT IL M & S R IO N E S LL A R O N O WE H

W/ 100/0 OFF

!FREE APPETIZER! sser value le or l ua eq of ee tr En of se w/ Purcha — — When You Mention Flavor 30

Flavor 2012-2013 /// sacurrent.com

VERONICA LUNA

Camaron Pelado Seafood Grill

seaf o o d Tiago’s Cabo Grille

in town. 16505 Blanco, (210) 408-9297, elbucanerosa.com

Neptune’s Seafood House

Neptune’s is a neighborhood palace of fried fish, friendly service, and nautical knick knacks, including a battle-scarred marlin. The cornmeal-breaded and fried okra is utterly irresistible: crisp, fresh, and barely a whisper of greens. 1922 Goliad, (210) 337-7294

TOP: BRYAN RINDFUSS, RIGHT: VERONICA LUNA

Rudy’s Seafood 

Heaping platters of fresh fried seafood are the draw at Rudy’s unadorned ordering counter. The crab cake served stuffed inside a deep-fried shell is a standout, but the oysters and shrimp are plump, the fish flaky and non-greasy. Use hot sauce. 4122 S Flores, (210) 532-1315, rudysseafood.com

The Sandbar

The new incarnation of Sandbar at the Pearl is

The Sandbar bigger and somewhat fancier, taking advantage of a full kitchen to produce hot plates characterized by sophisticated sauces and accompaniments, but its strengths are still the fresh fish in any form and its way with lobster, from rolls to the velvety bisque. Top-notch wine and beer, too. 200 E Grayson, (210) 212-2221, sandbarsa.com

Sea & Wings Restaurant

This Castle Hills favorite delivers on its name. Go for catfish, trout, grilled salmon, and clam chowder, or choose their famous wings, offered in eight scrumptious flavors — or treat yourself, and get a plate of each. 7115 Blanco, (210) 3664000, seaandwings.com

Inspired by the flavors of Cabo San Lucas, the food here is light, fresh, and flavorful. A spin on the traditional Mexican flavors, this coastal cuisine includes such fare as fire grilled skewers and street vendor-style tacos. Daily lunch specials and signature drinks, like the San Lucas Breeze, put Tiago’s a notch above the rest. Multiple locations, tiagoscabogrille.com

Fishland Fish Market

Wildfish Seafood Grille

Dark and sleek but relaxed, any stuffiness is warded off by the lively bar scene at this Eddie V’s offshoot. Fresh fish dishes tend to be sauced, but polished, and the wine list suits the seafood. 1834 NW Loop 1604, (210) 493-1600, wildfishseafoodgrille.com Go to sacurrent.com/ dining for even more restaurant listings.

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sacurrent.com /// Flavor 2012-2013

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The Big Bib BBQ is slow-cooked the way that real barbecue should be. We use aged oak and mesquite wood to complement our special Big Bib rub. We don’t take any shortcuts and you can definitely taste the difference. So come on down to The Big Bib and GET YOUR RUB ON!

FULL-SERVICE CATERING AVAILABLE, CALL FOR DETAILS

32

Hours of Operation: Tuesday-Saturday 11 AM to 8 PM Sunday 12 PM to 6 PM, CLOSED MONDAYS Ph: (210) 654-8400 • 2427 Austin Highway www.thebigbib.com

Flavor 2012-2013 /// sacurrent.com

FLAVOR B ARBEC U E

Two Bros. BBQ Market 12656 West Avenue, Ste B, (210) 496-0222, twobrosbbqmarket.com

JOSH HUSKIN

Serious cuts of meat and sides from Two Bros.

When you pair a picturesque, family-centric atmosphere with Chef Jason Dady and sibling Jake’s impressive spin on barbeque, you get a solid Texas backyard BBQ experience, but with the elevated ingenuity that’s typical of a Dady interest. Take the cherry-glazed baby back ribs, for instance, with an unexpected subtle sweetness that compliments the classic oak flavor. With pit master Emilio Soliz manning the gigantic offset dry smokers out back, expect everything from the glistening brisket to the turkey thighs (Soliz’s favorite) to pack a mean, smoky punch. As Soliz explained the importance of rotation and meat placement, I began to understand his undeniable passion for grilling. “It’s like a game of chess, basically,” he said. “I love it.” In between bites of chopped brisket, ribs, and turkey, and sides of creamy potato salad (made with baby reds), the sharp macaroni and cheese delivered a familiar comfort. The variety of “Fixins” and “Pickins” are plentiful, including creamed corn, a crisp wedge salad, and even fried mozzarella “logs.” Regrettably my stomach didn’t have room for them all. Sauces are sassy and zippy, with three choices: A Carolina style concoction called “Tangy” that begins with apple cider vinegar; the tomato-based “Sweet,” made with peaches and a touch of brown sugar; and last, but not least, the “Black,” which won me over with its cohabitating Shiner Black Lager, espresso, and molasses. Once I picked up my brisket sandwich with pickles, onions, and a drizzle of the “Black” sauce, it didn’t hit the plate again. Just before I was ready to be wheeled out, Soliz insisted on making room for the deep-fried strawberry pie. Let’s just say it was worth loosening my belt for. — Ashley Guzman sacurrent.com /// Flavor 2012-2013

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OPEN 7 DAYS A WEEK 34

Flavor 2012-2013 /// sacurrent.com

DINE IN TAKE OUT DRIVE THRU

2627 PLEASANTON RD. • 210.921.2745 • BBSMOKEHOUSE.COM

B A RBEC U E Augies Barbed Wire Grill

There are no shortcuts to great barbecue. Slow, low cooking in an iron pit has produced the authentic taste of Texas style at Augie’s Barbed Wire Smoke House since 2009. 709 N St. Marys, (210) 7350088, augiesbs.com

B&B Smokehouse

Blink and you’ll miss it — but you’ll be sorry. Tiny and unassuming, B&B Smokehouse is known for melt-in-your-mouth brisket, St. Louis-style ribs, and to-die-for homemade BBQ sauce. After washing down a Ranch Hand plate with sweet tea or pink lemonade, you’ll understand why folks drive out of their way for a hearty lunch at one of the Southside’s hidden gems. 2627 Pleasanton, (210) 9212745, bbsmokehouse.com

The Barbecue Station 

Ranching and motoring memorabilia are the backdrop for moist, slightly fatty, and smoky brisket, and a bottomless bucket of savory pinto beans. The meat doesn’t need the sauce, but it’s a good thin, tart-sweet, and tangy variety.1610 NE Loop 410, (210) 824-9191, barbecuestation.com

The Big Bib BBQ

This barbecue joint is small, but the flavor is big, with some of the best Q and sausage around. The Big Bib has a devoted following, especially among brisket fans, and they also offer smoked turkey, pork tenderloin, and amazing pulled pork. Is it authentic? Yup, there’s collard greens on the menu. 2427 Austin Hwy, (210) 654-8400, thebigbib.com

Bun ’N’ Barrel

For ambience and taste, this is the closest to a real Texas barbecue experience in San Antonio. The pork ribs are really tasty, the brisket a solid B+, and the poppyseed rolls with the sliced barbecue sandwich rock. 1150 Austin Hwy, (210) 828-2829, bunnbarrel.com

STEVEN GILMORE

County Line Barbeque

County Line has been serving award-winning barbeque since 1975, now on the River Walk, they still proffer some of the best Texas Q around. Specialty of the house, The Cadillac, all you can eat beef ribs, brisket, pork ribs, sausage, chicken, sides, and ice cream for only $26.99. 111 W Crockett, Ste104, (210) 229-1941,countyline.com. Multiple locations.

▲Ed’s Smok-N-Q

Ed’s offers bountiful barbecue, beautifully and lightly smoked, but often in need of the extra flavor his sweet-tart sauce can bring. 902 S. W.W. White, (210) 359-1511

Jones Sausage & BBQ House 

We give this rustic little Eastside nook high marks for its sausage; and rate the sliced-brisket sandwich 18 toothpicks out of 20: center-cut, ethereally smoky, tender, and moist. Served on white bread, the way God intended. Save room for 7UP pound cake for dessert. Credit cards are not accepted. 2827 Martin Luther King, (210) 224-6999

Quarry Hofbraü

Equal parts beer joint and Texas ranch house, the Hofbrau is a great place to meet people and enjoy draft beers all day and night long. Live music, barbecue, and 24 beers on tap served at the old Cement Factory— come out and see what you’ve been missing. 7310 Jones Maltsberger, (210) 290-8066, quarryhofbrau.com

Two Bros. BBQ Market 

Chef Jason Dady and sibling Jake try their hands at the Texas triple lutz and pretty much land it with oak-fired smoke pits, a great dry rub, and a genius take on chicken thighs. Kid-friendly, with outdoor seating. 12656 West Ave, (210) 496-0222, twobrosbbqmarket.com

Still hungry? Go to sacurrent.com/dining for even more restaurant listings. sacurrent.com /// Flavor 2012-2013

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Flavor 2012-2013 /// sacurrent.com

FLAVOR A M ER I C A N

Blue Star Brewing Co. 1414 S Alamo, Ste 105, (210) 212-5506, bluestarbrewing.com

MICHAEL BARAJAS

Changes in personnel have quietly brought new flavors to the menu at Blue Star Brewing, transforming this bar-food stalwart into an ambitious gastro-pub. At the helm now is Charles Clark, the new chef de cuisine. Hailing from NYC, with farranging experience (Europe to North Africa), Clark is a traditionalist who came up in the brigade system outlined by Auguste Escoffier a century ago. “I know what my strengths are, and stick to them,” Clark insists, referring to his reliance on classic French techniques. But though his methods are time-honored, the spin is New Southern (though not necessarily fried). The pulled pork sandwich adds aioli, honey, and a variety of house-made pickles to the classic; fronting a mound of golden fries, it’s a hefty offering — as is the Blue Star Grass Fed Burger, one of the most ordered plates on the menu. And for good reason, made of thrice-ground veal provided by cows raised for Blue Star, the secret ingredient is home-made bacon, adding punch and the right amount of moisture to the veal. Available with cheese, we prefer the patty solo, garnished with the house béarnaise sauce or tangy jam. Salad is an unfortunate word; in Texas it conjures images of iceberg lettuce under gobs of sweet sauce. To the dismay of some, Clark has banished ranch dressing from his kitchen, preferring vinaigrettes instead. But the leafy stuff isn’t the focus, so no matter. Instead, try the fried green tomatoes (breaded), abetted with huge Gulf shrimp (heads on). Mixed in, lentils take the place of expected capers. It’s nicely done, but no match for their watermelon and speck salad. Speck is an Italian ham similar to prosciutto — added as garnish, along with local honey and fresh mint, the dish is an international spectacular, speaking in Alpine and Moroccan accents, but all Texas. — Scott Andrews

Blue Star Grass Fed Burger.

sacurrent.com /// Flavor 2012-2013

37

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TEXAS STYLE BURGERS. 1423 MCCULLOUGH AVE. | 210.226.7556

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FLAVOR 2012-2013 /// sacurrent.com

A MER I C A N Bliss

Mark Bliss has returned to town and to the first restaurant he can call his own, and there couldn’t be a more congenial place for sampling New American cuisine. Simplest dishes seem to be the best so far — but then we were expecting a great deal. 926 S Presa, (210) 225-2547, foodisbliss.com

Blue Star Brewing Company This bistro pub offers classic and nouvelle cuisine spins on Southern favorites. The Blue Star Grass Fed Burger with ground bacon and scallop salad are top faves, but look for ever-changing specials and charcuterie offerings. 1414 S Alamo, Ste 105, (210) 212-5506, bluestarbrewing.com

ting. There are kitchen gardens and many products are locally sourced. Highlight: Well-stocked tequila bar and inventive cocktails. 23808 Resort Pkwy, (210) 276-2500

Donnie’s Italian Beef

Donnie’s brings pure Chicago meaty goodness to San Antonio. Vienna beef dominates the menu, but the Italian beef is the star. 4939 NW Loop 410, (210) 562-3661, donniesbeef.com

Drew’s American Grill

Drew’s is still finding its way in the deli/American mode, but talented chefs and hospitable hosts suggest there will eventually be much to celebrate beyond pastrami and NY Style cheesecake. 18740 Stone Oak Pkwy, (210) 483-7600, drewsamericangrill.com

LUNCH •DINNER SUNDAY BRUNCH TUESDAY - THURSDAY 11 a.m. - 11 p.m. FRIDAY - Saturday 11 a.m. - 12 a.m. SUNDAY 11 a.m. - 3 p.m.

NEW MENU NEW DIRECTION NEW HOURS

EZ’s Brick Oven & Grill

▲Big Easy Café

Big Easy bests most cartoon Cajun/Creole places by concentrating on genuine flavors and generous portions. The smothered pork chop is uncommonly good, the jambalaya rocks, and grandma’s bread pudding tries very hard to live up to its supersweet and buttery rum sauce. 4822 Walzem, (210) 653-5688, bigeasycafesa.com

Boehler’s Bar & Grille

Owned by the Boehler family (and friends) since 1890, the building with a fun-house tilt on the edge of the Pearl complex is still worth a visit post Liberty Bar thanks to a resounding hanger steak sandwich and pecan-crusted schnitzel. 328 E Josephine, (210) 227-1890, boehlersbarandgrille.com

Chatman’s Chicken

STEVEN GILMORE

This Eastside pocket of friedchicken heaven serves its birds juicy and cracklin’, but the real prize is a box of fried corn fritters and okra. 1747 S WW White, (210) 359-0245

Cibolo Moon at the JW Marriott San Antonio Hill Country Resort & Spa

Cibolo Moon is both better and less interesting than it should be in a corporate hotel set-

Since 1989, people have come for the beautifully grilled burgers, wood-fired brick oven pizzas, award-winning salads, and succulent Rosemary Chicken. Now they come back again for the health of it: no trans fats, MSG, modifiers, genetically modified foods, or any other unhealthy junk. No kidding, this is the real stuff. And still damn tasty, too. Multiple locations. 255 E Basse, (210) 804-1199, 734 W Bitters, (210) 490-6666, ezsresaurants.com

Flagstop Café

Most of the menu is made up of fried chicken, burgers, sandwiches, and breakfast tacos. The chicken is pretty good — maybe not as good as your grandma’s, but generous, flaky, and moist. 28425 IH-10 W, (830) 981-4413, flagstop.com

1414 S. Alamo #105 H In the Blue Star Arts Complex 210-212-5506 H 1-866-813-5506 H bluestarbrewing.com

FRANKFURTER

EXPRESS THE

Friendly Spot

This family-accommodating ice house boasts a playground, a worldly selection of over 180 beers, interior-Mexico tapas, phenomenal burgers du jour, and excellent micheladas (also:movie nights on huge Slab Cinema screen). 943 S Alamo, (210) 2242337, thefriendlyspot.com

Little Aussie Bakery & Café

The fare of The Little Aussie needs no qualifier; it’s not “good for gluten-free food,” it’s just plain good. Innovative additions like Seafood Pizza, Spinach Alfredo Pizza, and the Lamb Big Bloke CONTINUED ON PAGE 40

A favorite among the locals, it’s just one of the many mouth watering hot dogs we’re famous for. Come by and treat yourself to the best dogs in SA.

111 KINGS CT • 737-7774 frankfurterexpress.com

sacurrent.com /// Flavor 2012-2013

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A M ER I C A N Sandwich will appeal to friend and foe of gluten alike. 3610 Avenue B, (210) 826-7877, thelittleaussiebakery.com

Ma Harper’s N’awlins Creole Kitchen

Louisiana native Ma Harper’s home-style creole cooking — jambalaya, red beans and rice, and gumbo — tends to be mild but hearty. 1816 N New Braunfels, (210) 226-2200

Mama Lee’s Soul Food

“Easy does it” makes for surprising quality all around. Best bets: Fried catfish, fried chicken, collard greens, and hearty meatloaf. Multiple locations, 6060 Montgomery, Ste 101, (210) 653-6262, mamaleessoulfoodtx.com

Max’s Wine Dive

Max’s Wine Dive is the last word in bacchanalia ... with style. Even unsuspecting

dishes, like the truffled egg sandwich, will expand your mind’s eye and delight your soul. 340 E Basse, Ste 101, (210) 444-9547, maxswinedive.com

The Monterey

This Southtown gem turns comfort food classics into fine-dining treats and changes its menu frequently. Po’ boys, smoked brisket, and grilled cheese sandwiches never tasted like this in Gram’s kitchen. 1127 S St. Mary’s, (210) 745-2581, themontereysa.com

Mr. Tim’s Country Kitchen Café

Stone Werks Big Rock Grille

On technique “The customer isn’t always right. Twenty dollars doesn’t buy complicity. We always try to make them comfortable — [yet] there’s a limit to what you can do to make people happy.” — Chad Carey,

The Monterey

Try not to be disappointed when liver and onions proves to be unavailable, other choices follow in liver’s footsteps: chicken fried steak, chopped sirloin, a Southern fried fish plate and the tried-andtrue pork chop platter. 620 S Presa, (210) 271-7887, mrtimscountrykitchen.com

The new Werks location makes for a convenient get-together spot for those inside 410. Come real hungry, plan on sharing portions (pulled pork sliders, salmon rolls, and ahi tuna burgers are huge), and you’ll still likely take a doggie-box home. Multiple locations, 999 E Basse, (210) 828-3508, stonewerks.com

Sustenio

Sustenio is actually an oasis of restraint in the midst of a Disneyesque Tuscan fantasy. Texas superstar Chef Stephan Pyles has set the Southwestern direction, but Executive Chef David Gilbert will eventually make the place his own. Ceviches shine, the bar does great drinks, and local produce is a focus. 17103 La Cantera Pkwy, (210) 598-2950, eilanhotel.com

Burgers & Dogs Armadillos

The groovy spirit of Little Hipp’s lives on at Armadillos. Shy-Poke Eggs (nachos that resemble fried eggs thanks to strategically melted cheeses atop jalapeños), giant burgers, and retro ambience give the place only-in-Texas appeal while paying homage to a storied hangout where the food was anything but little.1423 McCullough, (210) 226-7556, armadillosburgers.com

Big Bob’s Burgers

Go for the crunchy, beerbattered onion rings and stay for the bacon cheeseburger — or any other burger iteration. The fries are also good, the chili needs a little more moxie, there is occasionally pulled pork smoked on the back patio … and all of this is from a CIA-trained CONTINUED ON PAGE 42

T U E S D AY I S T H E N E W F R I D AY !

FREE PARKING 5PM TO 2AM*

*Tuesday only at Downtown City Operated Garages, Lots and Meters

Also enjoy specials at more than 70 restaurants and other attractions throughout downtown. Some exclusions apply. Visit our website for details: www.downtowntuesday.com Call (210)-207-3677 Facebook.com/DowntownTuesday @DowntownTuesday

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Flavor 2012-2013 /// sacurrent.com

CARLY GARZA

CONTINUED FROM PAGE 39

MONDAY: FRIDAY 3PM - 12AM SATURDAY: SUNDAY 11AM - 12AM

943 S. Alamo San Antonio, TX 78205

210-224-BEER (2337)

ICE HOUSE

Friendly Eats until Midnight. Friendly Nachos, Tacos, Burgers & More. Kids menu and Ice Cream Treats. Vegan and Vegetarian Friendly.

Friendly Bombers are meant to be shared with Friends.

Friends love #NoCrapOnTap. Look for rare craft brews and seasonals #justtapped on Facebook and Twitter. Housemade Sangria, Cool Rum Punch and Friendly Ritas are Friend Favorites. sacurrent.com /// Flavor 2012-2013

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A MER I C A N CONTINUED FROM PAGE 40

chef. 447 W Hildebrand, (210) 734-BOBS, bigbobsburgers.com

Burger Boy

Usually when someone recommends a burger joint, they’re referring to gargantuan meat patties that overwhelm the rest of the flavors. Burger Boy tries to retain some balance and proportion to their burgers, and the result is immensely satisfying. 2323 N St. Mary’s, (210) 735-1955

Chris Madrid’s

First opened in the 1970s, Chris Madrid’s is known in San Antonio for their burgers — from the renowned Tostada Burger to Porky’s Delight — and for good reason. They make some of the best in town, and are a perennial favorite for Best Burger in all polls. Want a big one? Order the Macho. Whether man or woman, you need a healthy dose of caneat machismo to stare down that much meat and fixin’s, and tell yourself, “I’m going to eat it all.” Sissies and mama’s boys need not apply. 1900 Blanco, (210) 735-3552, chrismadrids.com

Fattboy Burgers & Dogs

Fattboy makes up for lack of visual charm with badd-ass burgers and hot rings. Be sure to order the “fatt” size and to take your toppings All The Way; your momma’s not watching. 2345 Vance Jackson, (210) 377-3288, fattboyburgers.com

Five Guys Burgers and Fries

The Five Guys menu is a paragon of simplicity: a hamburger either plain or with cheese, bacon, or both cheese and bacon, in both regular and “little” sizes. Two sizes of fries in Five Guys or Cajun style. Oh, you have a choice of many, many free toppings, including grilled onions and grilled mushrooms. You can shortcut the decision-making process by asking for “all the way.” Multiple locations, 260 E Basse, Ste 107, (210) 822-6200, fiveguys.com

King’s Court Frankfurter Express

This family-owned hot dog restaurant is one of the coolest hangouts in town. By day they run a brisk lunch business and in the evenings, film screenings and other neighborhood events draw even more crowds. Even vegetarians can enjoy the offerings at King’s Court, and loading up at the condiment bar is fun for everyone. 111 Kings Court, (210) 737-7774, frankfurterexpress.com

Wing Zone

Clean, modern space serving a rainbow of flavor options. Lemon pepper is a perennial favorite, in addition to the classic buffalo and spicy varieties. This is addictive food, people — taste at your own risk! Take out and delivery are available, but you won’t want to miss the atmosphere. 7863 Callaghan, Ste 108, (210) 9799464, wingzone.com

6060 MONTGOMERY, SUITE 101 SAN ANTONIO, TX 78239 (210) 653-MAMA ( 6262)

www.mamaleesoulfood2.com

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Flavor 2012-2013 /// sacurrent.com

VERONICA LUNA

Big Bob’s Burgers

BRYAN RINDFUSS

Bliss on Bliss

A MER I C A N

By Bryan Rindfuss

You may know Mark Bliss as one of a handful of chefs who helped put San Antonio on the culinary map. But the California transplant’s rise to star status didn’t happen overnight. Working in restaurants since his teens, Bliss joined his father in San Antonio in 1981 for a change of scenery following a stint in the Nasty Habits, a rock band he says “lived up to its reputation.” After dabbling in bartending, hotel maintenance, restaurant management, and working as a chauffeur behind the wheel of a Cadillac Eldorado limousine tricked out with longhorns, pistol handles, and an ice chest full of Lone Star, Bliss got serious about cooking and finding a professional environment to learn the basics. So he put on a wool suit from his Cali days and applied for a job at the Hilton Palacio del Rio, where he was taken under the wings of chefs and eventually offered (and subsequently denied) a position as chef de cuisine at the Stetson. The suit — a job interview must according to Bliss’ father — came back out, fatefully just as Bruce Auden was opening Polo’s in the Fairmount Hotel in 1986. Hired on opening night after the groundsman wound up in the gutter, Bliss worked his way up to “pseudo-sous chef” status, learning from Auden and his talented team as well visiting chefs like Dean Fearing, Robert Del Grande, and Stephan Pyles. Even though he was working long hours, responsible for a mise en place of “about 60 to 100 items,” and preparing plates consisting of up to 18 components, Bliss describes the experience as “living in Never Never Land.” When a guy named Steve Martin offered Bliss his first executive chef position at Pour La France, he was “young and energetic and ignorant enough to take it.” Three and a half years later, Auden’s first choice to help him open Biga on the Banks relocated to Aspen, making room for Bliss to step in as chef de cuisine. Bliss’ next step was Silo Elevated Cuisine, a critically acclaimed restaurant he created with Farm to Market’s Phil Dyer in 1997 and left in 2010 to spend time with his family and to start planning his first solo venture. Here, Bliss chats with Flavor about the New American gem he opened in a former filling station in the winter of 2012 with Lisa, his business partner and wife of 26 years.

Chef Mark Bliss in his herb garden at Bliss. Bliss was originally a gas station? Yes it was. It was built in 1920, it was a Humble gas station. We originally thought it was Magnolia. There’s a guy who researches historical structures and he came in here shortly after we opened up and said, “Nope. It’s not a Magnolia gas station, it was a Humble station.” The architect was... Candid Rogers, he’s gotten a lot of notoriety off of this. We’ve had so many people come by and copy the fence already it’s ridiculous. People love the fence. That’s the first thing everyone always comments on. What are the standouts on the menu? That’s easy. The chicken-fried oyster sliders, the scallops, and the duck. Those are probably three things that’ll never change. Everything else we try to change, but those are the three stalwarts. I love the vegan plate, that seems to change slightly. It started off as a vegetarian platter with homemade mozzarella, things like that, just to give it a bit of unctuousness. Then we had more requests for the vegan stuff, so we stopped doing the cheese and just went fully vegan on it. I think for $17, for what we’re doing, I think it’s a bargain. So that developed from requests? My wife loves to eat that way and I wanted to have something on the menu that she could eat on a daily basis if she wanted to. We got to the point where we did it more as a cold item in the summer

because it was so hot out and now we’re going back to doing everything hot on the plate so it’ll be grilled or roasted or a la plancha. We’ve gotten smarter as we’ve progressed in the last nine months. You always think, “Oh this is where this always comes out of. This item always comes out of a sauté station, or this always comes off the grill, or this item always comes off the this that or the other. When you kind of get away from that tradition it allows you to open things up. What else will be changing or evolving on the menu? I want to do a cassoulet type of thing. I want to do heartier stuff. I really love pozoles. I want to do a venison red chile pozole, which I think would do great. We’re never open on Sundays but it would be fun one day to open up and watch football all day and do a big thing of pozole and have beers on ice and get the fire pit going. It just depends on how hard you want to work. ... We’re getting ready to put in four heaters that’ll be stand-alone that are going in the back and they’re all radiant. We want to make it as comfortable and as cozy as we can. My wife’s really all about that. There’s a great phrase they use in Denmark, in Copenhagen, called “hyggelig.” It’s like when you walk into an environment and it’s nice and warm and toasty because it’s so cold out. You go into the pubs and they’ve got a little fire going in the corner and you can see it’s been there for 200 years. You don’t see that a lot in San Antonio but ... to have the capability to create that kind of environment is really fun. sacurrent.com /// Flavor 2012-2013

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4200 BROADWAY ST. • 210.826.0800 • CHEESYJANES.COM

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Flavor 2012-2013 /// sacurrent.com

FLAVOR DE L I S & D I NERS

Mary Ann’s Pig Stand 1508 Broadway, (210) 222-9923, maryannspigstand.com

MICHAEL BARAJAS

A tall, frosty chocolate milkshake from Mary Ann’s Pig Stand.

I happened upon the Pig Stand by chance. Its kitschy run-down exterior, flickering signs, and lunchpail vibes screamed for attention. One day, I gave in to my gut and entered the magical world of Pig Stand #29. The first Pig Stand opened in 1921. In Dallas, Kirby’s Pig Stand was founded by Jessie G. Kirby. Deeming Americans lazy, Kirby invented the drive-in restaurant. His creation would go down in history as Pig Stand #1. Almost a century later, the last Pig Stand stands in San Antonio’s rapidly changing downtown. Once just another franchise, Mary Ann’s Pig Stand is now a monument to American diner culture. My dining partner and I were greeted by a sweet, down-home waitress who quickly showed us to a booth that featured its own mini-jukebox. Patsy Cline’s “Crazy” poured out of the speakers as I strolled by chocolate cakes under glass and a row of worn-in stools at the counter. The decor is run down, with blacked-out neon letters in its retro sign, scratched up black and white floor tiles, and dusty pig figurines tucked into every cranny. The chipped corners and red wrinkled bar stools are proud battle wounds for this lone ranger of a restaurant. Salivating at the thought of everything, we gave in to the famous pig sandwich as well as the bacon cheeseburger combo, french fries, onion rings (a Pig Stand invention), fried okra, and a strawberry malt. Everything was exceptional and the portions heaping and greasy. This is a diner. A classic, all-American homestyle diner. You don’t come here for foie gras and roast duck. You come here for crispy, drool-worthy french fries, smoky, flavorful sandwiches, and a cup of old-school coffee. — Isis Madrid sacurrent.com /// Flavor 2012-2013

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Bagel & Deli

Avocado Café

Located in historic Bracken Village, this cafe and juice bar brings the San Antonio/New Braunfels area just what it needs — smart food, smart portions, with smart prices. Dine in or take out. 18771 Nacogdoches, Bracken (210) 441-8536

Bagel Factory

REAL BAGELS • KETTLE BOILED FAMILY OWNED AND OPERATED SINCE 1999 making us the oldest bagel shop in

SAN ANTONIO STORE HOURS

WEEKDAYS: 6am-3pm • SAT: 7am-3pm SUN: 7am-2pm For bagel orders call 691-2245 Wholesale inquires call 860-3470

DON’T FORGET TO LIKE US ON

10918 WURZBACH, STE 132 S.A., TX 78230

A bit of the Big Apple in the Alamo City — NYC style bagels and bread made fresh daily, with reuben sandwiches and breakfast served anytime. Yes, you can get your bagel with lox and cream cheese, but this is SA, so accommodations have been made: The Ranchero puts salsa on that egg and cheese sandwich, or go another direction with the Bagelache, Polish-style Kiolbassa cooked in a bagel dough. It’s all good, and locally owned. 15909 San Pedro, Ste 115, (210) 499-0100, bagel-factory.com It’s Mom’s night off for four or 40 at this Southside family-oriented establishment, which recently celebrated its 50th anniversary. Understand the longevity by tackling the hubcap-sized chicken-fried steak and the Rockport Shrimp. 1440 SW Military, (210) 977-9161, budjonesrestaurant.com Jane is known for her monster burgers, sliders, nachos, and big ole’ malts. Try Jane’s veggie options too, like the Boca Burger or the Triple Grilled Cheese sandwich. With fries, of course. Multiple locations and mobile. 4200 Broadway, 826-0600, (210) heesyjanes.com

Chicago Bagel and Deli

Wholesalers to Whole Foods, The Westin Hotels, and others, with retail to the public of the best Chicago hot dogs, gyros, philly cheese steaks, chicken sandwiches, egg salad, chicken salad, chopped liver, smoked salmon (lox) sandwiches, pastrami and corn beef sandwiches. But here’s the bottom line: “ We mix and bake our bagels from scratch daily in the traditional way. Our bagels are the only ones in the city that are mixed, boiled, and baked on premises and we take pride in that. No steaming or frozen bagels here. Bagels are supposed to be boiled and that’s that.” 10918 Wurzbach, (210) 691-2245, chicagobagelanddeli.com Flavor 2012-2013 /// sacurrent.com

Serving home-style meals since the Deco District was really Deco. They still have an old-fashioned telephone right up front, the service is truly hospitable, and they don’t take plastic. (There’s a bank with an ATM across the street.) 2814 Fredericksburg, (210) 732-0191, tiptopcafe.com

Earl Abel’s 

Nostalgia and fried chicken keep this uprooted and replanted institution going. Classics such as lofty meringue pies and flaky onion rings stand the test of time. 1201 Austin Hwy, (210) 822-3358, earlabelssa.com

Bud Jones Restaurant 

Cheesy Janes

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DeWeese’s Tip Top Café

▲Guillermo’s Deli

It’s a deceptively simple combo: spinach, bacon, grilled chicken, and provolone between two slices of focaccia bread. But something special happens when Guillermo’s adds it all up in their Chicken Bacon Spinach Cheese sandwich. It’s hearty on its own, but don’t skip the side of excellent bowtie pasta salad. 618 McCullough, (210) 2235587, guillermosdowntown.com

Guenther House

The lunch menu doesn’t really inspire, but breakfast is an all-day event: perfect biscuits, stacks of pancakes dripping in syrup, and waffles topped with fresh strawberries and whipped cream are made more enjoyable by the cool green dining room’s handsome mosaic floors and exotic light fixtures. 205 E Guenther, (210) 2271061, guentherhouse.com

Hearthstone BakeryCafe

Health and flavor go hand in hand at this great lunch & dinner spot. The freshness of the ingredients is tasted in every bite of homemade goodness, and nothing tops the freshbaked breads and confections at this family-owned and operated café. Dine in or delivery, you can’t go wrong. Multiple locations, hearthstonebakerycafe.com CONTINUED ON PAGE 48

CHUCK KERR

Chicago

DE L I S & D I NERS

- Locally owned and operated -

New York Style Bagels Breads Catering ‘Voted Top 10 New Restaurants to Try’ - San Antonio Magazine

HOOKAH & BUBBLE TEA 6565 BABCOCK RD (AT DE ZAVALA) STE. #19 San Antonio, TX 78249

210.384.2974 | 210.854.4771 | suckithookah@hotmail.com

Breakfast & Lunch Sandwiches Bagelaches Muffins Mon-Sat 6am-2pm Sun 7am-2pm

15909 San Pedro Ave, Ste. 115 Galleria Oaks Shopping Center • 281 S- Brook Hollow Exit 210-499-0100 • www.bagel-factory.com

NGLISH MUFFIN • BREAKFAST BOWLS • ASSORTED DANISH • TURNOVERS • SCONES • MUFFINS

THREE LOCATIONS TO SERVE YOU: THE FORUM- 8096 AGORA PARKWAY OLMOS PARK: 4212 MCCULLOUGH AVE. OUR NEWEST LOCATION 281 AND N. ST. MARY’S

• CAPPUCCINOS • BAGELS • PANINO • CROISSANTS SANDWICHES • E

TREAT YOURSELF

FREE WI-FI • SOUPS • SALADS • GOURMENT SANDWICHES • HOT-PR ESSED PANINI • COOKIES • FRUIT • COFFEE • ESPRESSO • HOT TEAS • HOT CHOCOLATE • LATTES

sacurrent.com /// Flavor 2012-2013

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DE L I S & D I NERS Madhatters Teahouse and Café

Madhatters woos early risers and late hangovernursers with bottomless mimosas and inventive Southwestern Eggs Benedict on the weekends. Enjoy homey sandwiches and desserts all week long in the Alice-in-Wonderland-like Southtown house. 320 Beauregard, (210) 2124832, madhatterstea.com

Magnolia Pancake Haus

Breakfast and brunch are the name of the game at this continental-inspired diner. Avocado and shrimp omelet served beside a stack of these famous pancakes will change your outlook on the a.m. Syrup, like everything here, is homemade and powerful. Don’t miss the pancakes. 606 Embassy Oaks, Ste 100,

Stinson Airfield Patio Cafe 

(210) 496-0828, magnoliapancakehaus.com. Multiple locations.

Mary Ann’s Pig Stand The vintage façade and kitschy décor are the real draw at this San Antonio institution, but it also boasts a great backstory. Ask one of the lifer waitresses about it while you order a hearty breakfast, BBQ lunch, or homestyle dinner (fried chicken, pork chops, or liver and onions, anyone?) The retro vibe wouldn’t be complete without sweet fountain treats like a root beer float, chocolate malt, or slice of pie. 1508 Broadway, (210) 222-9923, maryannspigstand.com 

Sandwich De Paris

The establishment is off the radar (“in the burbs,” as some would say), but maintains a steady clientele of Medical Center professionals. Try

Sandwich De Paris one of three top selections — California Club ($7.50), French Ham (cured in house, $7.25), and the hot selection, the Avocado Chicken ($7.95). 7220 Louis Pasteur, Ste 142, (210) 692-3429

A few aviation-themed menu items are all that hint of this historic airfield’s rich history, but a recent remodel of the terminal is faithful, and you can still hope for takeoffs and landings as you enjoy solid Tex-Mex and AmeriTex food at contemporary bargain prices ($6 lunch specials). 8535 Mission, (210) 923-5969

Tommy Moore’s Café & Deli

Home-cooked meatloaf,

serious fried chicken, and real mashed potatoes — all served in a supremely sophisticated setting. 915 S Hackberry, (210) 5319800, tommymoores.com

W.D. Deli

W.D. Deli makes flavorpacked, over-stuffed sandwiches, Caesar, chef, and other assorted salads, and a selection of soups that rotate daily. Cookies and cakes distinguish W.D. Deli. 3123 Broadway, (210) 8282322, wddeli.com

The Station Café

Everything is made from scratch at this Southtown gem. Try the habanero turkey sandwich or Southwestern pizza, and top it off with a slice of coconut cream pie. 701 S St. Mary’s, (210) 4442200, thestationsa.com

Michael Bobo and Wayne Beers of W.D. Deli.

Breakfast Is An Experience, At Our Haus.

MAGNOLIA PANCAKE HAUS 10333 Huebner Road • 496-0828 606 Emabassy Oak Suite 100 • 496-0828

MAGNOLIAPANCAKEHAUS.COM 48

Flavor 2012-2013 /// sacurrent.com

TOP: VERONICA LUNA, BOTTOM: MICHAEL BARAJAS

CONTINUED FROM PAGE 46

.com s l a e d t n e on sacurr

CRAVING MORE? Find delectable deals from restaurants seen in flavor magazine and try them for 50-90% Off

sacurrent.com /// Flavor 2012-2013

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Voted 2012 BEST SUSHI by SA Current Readers

MON-THURS 5pm-6:30pm Sushi Bar Area Only • DINE-IN ONLY •

9030 Wurzbach Rd. 78240

210.615.7553

San Antonio’s Oldest Authentic Full Menu Japanese Restaurant Open Seven Days a Week Since 1970

LUNCH

Mon thru Fri 11AM - 2:30PM Sat thru Sun 12PM - 3PM

DINNER

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Flavor 2012-2013 /// sacurrent.com

781

8.6 0.34

HAPPY HOUR

Mon thru Thu 5PM - 10PM Fri 5PM - 11PM • SAT 3PM - 11PM Sun 3PM - 9:30PM

pm

5-10

www.FujiyaJapaneseGarden.com

S U SH I

Godai Sushi Bar & Japanese Restaurant

JOSH HUSKIN

11203 West Avenue, (210) 348-6781, godaisushi.com

Godai’s Rainbow Roll

Godai is a Japanese term referring to the five elements of life. Taken together, these elements balance each other and are the building blocks for all life. Maybe it’s presumptuous to say that Godai Sushi personifies the balance of godai philosophy, but consider the menu: Godai offers every variety possible in a Japanese restaurant. Godai has become synonymous with good sushi in San Antonio precisely because William “Goro” Pickford serves up classic sashimi and sushi alongside the Joanna roll, filled with cream cheese and avocado, and doubly fried for maximum crunch. When most sushi restaurants stray from the traditional into the regional or faddish, they frequently venture into subpar fish territory, assuming diners willing to eat deep-fried rolls don’t care about the quality of the flesh inside. But Godai serves the best of both — fresh, tender seafood cleverly paired with jalapeños, mayo, and other nontraditional flavors. The creativity of Godai’s chefs comes out when you let them go crazy. Ordering the Chef’s Choice roll always leads to interesting combos: tuna and octopus, crab and avocado with a slight hint of citrus. The specialty rolls will please most, but those with big taste buds and cravings for salt go for the Heart Attack roll, deep-fried and stuffed with spicy tuna and jalapeño. Many rolls provide texture variations, either with something fried or tempura flakes, to give them a satisfying crunch. And unlike most sushi restaurants in the city, Godai doesn’t shaft the wine — the list is short but well done. Of course, the usual sakes and Asian beers are available too. The décor is minimal, the wait is long and often out the door, and the space is small. Yet, the parking lot is always full, indicating that whatever concoctions Goro is putting together, people are eager to eat them. — Lauren W. Madrid

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S U SH I Fujiya Japanese Garden

Immerse yourself in the taste and culture of Japan at this beautiful hideaway. The sushi chefs here are versed in the traditional modes of preparation, so belly up to the bar for an unforgettable experience. The hot dishes are fantastic, too. You’ll never think of ramen the same way again. 9030 Wurzbach, (210) 734-7553, fujiyajapanesegarden.com

Rustic clay tile and tin stars give Godai a Western feel, but the menu is classic: all the usual sushi suspects and an assortment of rice and noodle bowls. Go for what’s recommended. 11203 West Avenue, (210) 348-6781 godaisushi.com

Kai Sushi

Authentic Japanese cuisine prepared by Japanese chefs in our humble city — call it a dream come true. Quality sushi and Japanese comfort food served with passion, with all-youcan-eat Sushi Rolls (FriSun). Best bets: Shrimp Tempura, Sake-Rita. 2535 NW Loop 410, (210) 3406688, kaisushisa.com

Kobe Japanese Steak House

Teppanyaki chefs entertain with flashy displays of “traditional” cooking. Kobe offers wide selections of entrees served with soup, hibachi vegetables, and rice at lunch or try a salad and shrimp appetizer with dinner. Enjoy the onion soup, succulent teppanyaki scallops, and rich, tender New York strip steak. 1007 NW Loop 410, (210) 524-9333, kobesa.com

Kai Sushi

rolls. Tempura and yakitori are always great, and the lunch specials make this great spot extra affordable. 700 E Sonterra Blvd, Ste 308, (210) 853-2001, kumorisushi.com

Niki’s Tokyo Inn

A hidden gem of Japanese food emerges from an exterior that says “go away.” The fish is among the freshest in town and the presentation is elegant and free of gimmick and cream cheese. Take your purist friends and sushi novices who are really in it for the raw. Delectable whole fried fish makes a good closer. Our critic suggests you just

Pirahna Killer Sushi

Kumori Sushi

Teppanyaki and sushi abound at this northside Japanese eatery. Salads and noodle bowls mix up the classic sashimi and 52

Flavor 2012-2013 /// sacurrent.com

put yourself in the chef’s hands. 819 W Hildebrand, (210) 736-5471

Osaka Japanese Steak & Sushi

The fresh, firm sashimi served with jalapeñoshaped wasabi certainly gets the mouth watering at this special hibachistyle restaurant. Try the flavorful giant cuts of Hibachi shrimp and the luscious Black Angus filet. Multiple locations, 4902 Broadway (210) 822-0300, osakasteaknsushi.com

Piranha Killer Sushi Snuggled into stillgrowing Quarry district, Piranha serves respect-

able assortment of sushi (easy on the digestive aid escolar!) and lunchtime bento boxes. Young crowd, bright colors, reasonable prices. 260 E Basse, Ste 101, (210) 822-1088, piranhakillersushi.com

Sansei Sushi at Bar Rojo

As its name indicates, this flashy Grand Hyatt nook takes a South American expat approach to Japan’s culinary genius, adding jalapeño, cilantro, and avocado crema to a variety of maki rolls. A sophisticated sake selection is available for pairing. 600 E Market, (210) 224-1234, barrojosa.com

Samurai Sushi

The seafood is fresh and well-priced at this Medical Center area restaurant, and if some sushi rolls don’t live up to their menu pics, many of the more inventive dishes truly are Seafood Dynamite. 2320 Babcock, (210) 692-7555, mysamuraisushi.com

Sumo Steakhouse & Sushi Bar

Traditional hibachi steakhouses offer not just an incredible meal of super-fresh grilled meats and vegetables cooked before your eyes, but an entertaining dinner show as well. The sushi is

fantastic and the house cocktails like the Fuji Mai Tai, the Zen Cooler, and the Yokozuna will keep you coming back again and again. 8342 IH-10 W, (210) 541-8999, sumosanantonio.com

Sushihana

The assorted nigiri sushi selection is impeccably presented and very good, especially the fresh fatty tuna and the lush uni. Specialty rolls served from the bar are impressive. 1810 NW Military Hwy, (210) 340-7808, sushihanasan.com  

Sushi Zushi

Mild in its décor, but adventurous in its sushi creations. Try the LIR Roll, spicy tuna and avocado wrapped in fresh salmon and sweet spicy sauce. Always a contender in our Best Of list. 9867 IH-10 W, (210) 6913332, sushizushi.com

Wasabi Sushi Bistro

In a town where any food wrapped in rice is considered sushi, Wasabi is serving up flavorful modern rolls at decent prices. Let the chef go nuts with the anything-goes Whatever Roll. You can specify spicy or not, and perhaps even request a type of fish, but that takes the fun out of it. 9921 IH-10 W, (210) 877-2300, wasabisa.com

PHOTOS BY ERIK GUSTAFSON

Godai Sushi Bar and Restaurant

For over 30 years, this spectacular one-hour parade along San Antonio's River Walk has featured illuminated floats with celebrities, bands and lavishly-costumed participants. Enjoy the parade from a reserved seat along the River Walk.

TICKETS $10-$25

For a map of the parade route and to order tickets, visit www.TheSanAntonioRiverWalk.com or call 210-227-4262

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Other Float Sponsors Silver Eagle Distributors • University of the Incarnate Word H-E-B • The Drury Plaza Hotel Security Service Federal Credit Union • HeartGift Association of Hispanic MBA's

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sacurrent.com /// Flavor 2012-2013 February 2012 53

The Rickshaw CHINESE CUISINE

KIDS EAT FREE

Monday & Tuesday 3-10pm 1 Child Per Adult. Our Lunch Plates come with Complimentary Soup and Iced Tea - DINE-IN ONLY.

CATERING & PARTY MENU APPETIZERS Chicken Lettuce Wrap Egg Roll Cheese Rangoon Steamed Dumplings Fried Dumplings FRIED RICE & LO MEIN NOODLES Chicken, Pork, Vegetable, or Tofu Beef Shrimp Shrimp and Scallops Combination (Choice of 3) SIGNATURE DISHES Chicken or Pork Beef Shrimp Shrimp and Scallops Vegetables and Tofu

$32 $14 $14 $19 $19 $33 $36 $39 $49 $43

HOURS MONDAYSUNDAY 11AM - 10PM

WE DELIVER

210.561.2700

$38 $42 $45 $49 $35

PERFECT FOR: Office Parties, Corporate Gatherings, School Functions, Barmitzvahs, Quinceneras, Birthdays,and Pharmaceutical Reps. Please call 210.535.8261 for more information. 8202 N. Loop 1604 W in the Hausman Village Shopping Center • FAX: 210.561.7955 54

order online @ therickshawcafe.com

Flavor 2012-2013 /// sacurrent.com

AS I A N

Kim Wah Chinese BBQ 7080 Bandera, (210) 520-2200, kimwah.com

I’m leery of Asian fusion restaurants, all bamboo and polished wood, sleek dishware and high prices. The results are usually tiny, delicate plates that are seldom worth the effort. That’s fine when you’re in a fine dining mood, but sometimes what you really need is well-sauced, huge plates filled with tender meats and carbs. That’s exactly what Kim Wah is — the Chinese barbeque equivalent of comfort food. Dishes are large and filling, and the best ones have a delightful play of textures and tastes. The “authentic Chinese menu” has some standouts, the Peking duck and “special” chicken in particular. The Peking duck is enough to feed a small army (or a handful of Texans). Kim Wah does well with meats, too, infusing them with moisture while keeping the skins crisp. The vegetable dishes are equally superb — the mushrooms and baby bok choy with duck are tender yet firm. The rule of thumb at Kim Wah is the more American a dish is, the worse it will probably be. The fried rice is bland and dry, the shredded pork merely serviceable. But the more intriguing a dish sounds, the better it gets. A salted pork chop arrives not as a whole chop, but in pieces, and deep fried, as briny as a sailor’s tongue. The spiciness of the pork is already at threat-level orange, but daredevils can kick it up a notch with slices of raw jalapeño. The adventurous dishes are a wild ride. The most expensive dish will set you back $27, though most cost around $10-$15. Even if you stuff yourself silly, it can still be an inexpensive meal. Come hungry, as portions are huge. — Lauren W. Madrid

STEVEN GILMORE

Kim Wah Special Chicken and bubble teas.

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AS I A N

Chinese

HuHot Mongolian Grill

Create your own stir fry destiny at HuHot. Choose from select seafood and meats, 24 different veggies, and 24 house sauces. Watch as your customized stir-fry is prepared before your eyes on our large round Mongolian grill. Feast and repeat as trips to the gill are unlimited. Flanked by a menu of soups, salads, appetizers and desserts. S’mores, anyone? 12710 IH 10 W, Ste 100, (210) 641-1288, huhot.com

At Kim Wah, today’s decoration is tomorrow’s dinner. Don’t be fooled by a long line of fan-drying ducks: You must order ahead. The duck is divine, wrapped in a puffy, dimsum-like bun. As for the rest of dinner — order from the serious Chinese menu and the chalkboard where you’ll find such exotic treats as braised intestine. 7080 Bandera, (210) 5202200, kimwah.com

Sichuan Cuisine

Sichuan Cuisine revives interest in the fortunes of Chinese cooking, currently in the shadow of the more “exotic” Vietnamese and Thai. Try the challenging sliced pig’s ear or duck tongues with jalapeño before retreating to the likes of the (also very good) stir-fried lamb with cumin. 2347 NW Military Hwy, (210) 525-8118, sichuansa.com

café with the perfect setting for date night. Elegant table settings and soft music fade to the background as you taste the authentic dishes of Korean and Asian provenance. Homemade kimchi and the best bulgogi you’ve ever had make Ilsong Garden the ultimate Korean dining choice in the city. 6905 Blanco, (210) 366-4508, ilsonggarden.com

MJ China Bistro

Korean

Kiku Garden

MJ avoids most Chinese décor clichés and tries hard to do the same on the menu — with mixed but promising results. House specialties such as the MJ Steamed Bass typify the approach — try it at lunch. 10103 Huebner, (210) 265-5800

Rickshaw Café

Chinese favorites — like Moo Goo Gai Pan, General Tso’s Chicken, Hunan Beef, and Kung Pao Shrimp — but prepared for the most discerning gourmand. Quickly becoming a fave among those in the know. Popular vegetarian options include Stir-Fried Eggplant and Buddha’s Feast, with broccoli, mushrooms, baby corn, cabbage, and snow peas. 8202 N Loop 1604 W Ste.122, (210) 561-2700, therickshawcafe.com 56

Kiku Garden

Gaaboseh Korean Café

You won’t go to Gaaboseh for the Home Depot décor, but you will recall the $7.99 Lunch Box specials. The impressive bento-box houses pan-chan-like servings (pickled, shredded daikon and mung bean sprouts), iceberg-based salad with broccoli and a sesame dressing, vegetable maki, and a pair of fried mandu. 6019 Rittiman Plaza, (210) 829-0299

Go Hyang Jib

Top-notch Korean BBQ and sushi. Try the chop chae platter with delicate noodles and a squadron of other ingredients from chiles to slivered chicken breast. 4400 Rittiman, (210) 822-8846

Ilsong Garden

Family-owned Korean

Flavor 2012-2013 /// sacurrent.com

Thai

Bangkok 54

This San Antonio sibling of a Washington, D.C., establishment serves unusual and pleasing Thai variations, like soft-shell crab with basil, and very capable favorites like yum talay and Massaman curry. 2515 Nacogdoches, (210) 8225454, bangkok54restaurant. com

Jasmin Thai

Kiku offers a unique cookit-yourself Korean BBQ experience that is both fun and delicious at the same time. Start off with a platter of bulgogi and wang kalbi and let the good times roll. 4527 Goldfield, (210) 662-6699

Begin your meal with spring or summer rolls, then move on to Jasmin’s specialties: green papaya salad with dried shrimp and a bowl of noodle soup. Finish off with a plate of sticky rice with mango, when in season. 4065 Medical, (210) 6156622, jasminthai.org

Texas Brisket Barbecue

Mon Thai Bistro and Sushi

Texas Brisket Barbecue holds out the promise of pairing Korean barbecue with the all-American kind, but it’s up to you to put them together on the same plate. Bulgogi, for its part, comes only on an OK po’ boy, Texas pork ribs are good, peppery, and lean. Brisket is uneventful, sides are more rewarding than at many Q joints, and the house cornbread rocks. 2456 Harry Wurzbach, (210) 444-9102, texasbrisketbbq.com

Mon Thai offers sushi and Thai cuisine, including spicy drunken noodles and signature dishes like Devil’s Chicken and Angel Shrimp. Polish it off with fried bananas or tempura ice cream. 4901 Broadway, (210) 8223253, monsthai.com

Sawasdee Thai Cuisine

Sawasdee Thai gets everything right — except the meats. But their attention to detail in their sauces makes it a vegetarian

heaven. 6407 Blanco, (210) 979-9110, sawasdeesa.com

Siam Cuisine

Siam Cuisine is the best Thai Schertz has to offer; it may be the best Thai in San Antonio as well. It’s hard to go wrong with typical dishes such as green papaya salad, but don’t hesitate to order a pork stir-fry with loads of lemongrass, an unusually delicate fried rice with “fermented” sausage, or a curry soup with chicken, Middle Eastern spices, tamarind, and coconut milk. 6032 FM 3009 (Schertz), (210) 651-6015

Thai Lemongrass Restaurant

Thai Lemongrass is still in search of an identity, but the Queen of Duck and green papaya salad are winners. 16666 San Pedro, (210) 490-3636, lemongrassthousandoaks. com

Thai Chili

Curries, fish, and noodle dishes in over 30 authentic varieties make this Thai spot the ultimate in Pan Asian cooking. The sweet, hot and salty flavors of Thai cooking are found across this large menu, conveniently available from two locations in San Antonio. Try the Phad Prik Khing, or Tod

WILL LEE

Kim Wah Chinese Barbecue  

AS I A N Mun Pla, for a perfect experience. 19141 Stone Oak Pkwy, Suite 305, (210) 402-4042, thaichili. net

Thai Corner

Green curry with somen and an order of drunken noodles saved tired appetizers and perfunctory soup on Thai Corner’s bargain lunch menu, suggesting that entrees are the forte. Spice level five is a challenge; order six at your own risk. 8498 Fredericksburg, (210) 615-8424, thaicorner-sat. com

JOSH HUSKIN

Thai Pikul Restaurant

Stay on the savory side of the kitchen with the homemade curries and Koanom Jeeb dumplings. The spice-heat runs 1-5; go with 4 unless you plan to add condiments, such as chile-laced fish sauce. 5136 Fredericksburg, (210) 524-9440, thaipikul.com

Thai Spice

Thai Spice is the frontrunner for the Queen of Siam’s throne. The automatic soup, generously endowed with rough dumplings of ground chicken, is unusually good — especially if you sneak in a little chilispiked fish sauce when the waitresses, all clad in traditional garb, aren’t looking. Whatever your selection, don’t dither; this place is a matriarchy, and you know how moms and aunties get. 8327 Agora Pkwy, (210) 658-1665

Tong’s Thai Restaurant

Eclectic, upscale tiki atmosphere. Tong’s Thai offers several vegetarian dishes, a critically acclaimed lemon-grass curry, a large beer and wine selection, and a funky bubble tea room. 1146 Austin Hwy, (210) 829-7345, tongsthai.com 

French Sandwiches

French Sandwiches

Hearty, leafy French Vietnamese sandwiches with excellent soups and salads. Don’t miss the grilled pork sandwich or the French onion soup. 8448 Fredericksburg, (210) 692-7019

Lien Hung

Yaya’s Thai Restaurant and Sushi Bar

Vietnamese

This Olmos Park addition to SA’s Thai pantheon stands out by virtue of its Panang curry with New York strip, the Hit and Run fried duck, and fresh, well-seasoned apps like the lemongrass-packed fish cakes and the crisp, carefully fried spring rolls. Multiple locations, 5305 McCullough, (210) 3991454, yayasthai.com

Cajun Seafood & Sandwiches

Po’ boys meet banh mi at this hybrid place featuring things fried and Cajun alongside Vietnamese noodle soups. The po’ boys are decent, but the banh mi beat them out by virtue of better taste and the illusion of healthier ingredients. 6019 Rittiman Plaza, (210) 832-8814

Try roasted meatballs, the #8 Pho with wonton dumplings, shrimp, pork, and more, and indulge your adventurous side with frogs’ legs in lemongrass with garlic and chili. Cash and check only. 280 Remount, (210) 599-7075

Pho Cong Ly

Save yourself any floundering with Chinese mainstays like lemon chicken and move straight into the lemongrass or pho dishes. Adventurers who dare rub lips with a little “soft tendon” in their bath of noodle soup (found under CONTINUED ON PAGE 58

Superb Thai Cuisine Sushi & Sake • Delicious Bubble Drinks • Catering • Private Parties • Happy Hours • Lunch Specials 1146 Austin Highway • tongsthai.com • 210.829.7345

WE DELIVER! Lunch • Dinner • Online • EXTENDED DELIVERY AREA

X aiSAT

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AS I A N CONTINUED FROM PAGE 57

“fortifying combos” on the menu) will be rewarded with a tongue tingle worth remembering. 300 W Bitters, (210) 499-5572

Pho Ha Long

SUSHI & SAKE HAPPY HOUR! Tue - Sat -3p to 6p

2pc Sushi

Unassuming but outstanding pho and bun served at more-thanreasonable prices. We especially liked the number 44 with seafood and the bun tom thit nuong. 6424 NW Loop 410, (210) 521-4507, phohalong.webs.com

Van’s Chinese and Vietnamese Restaurant

Careful selection will yield dependable cuisine at this pan-

Still hungry? Go to sacurrent.com/dining for even more restaurant listings. Asian eatery. An impressive wine list and specials like spicy lobster are among the finer reasons to visit this Broadway staple. 3214 Broadway, (210) 828-8449, vansrestaurantonline.com

Viet Nam Restaurant

A staff fave, Viet Nam offers clay pots and banh xeo for the purist, and decadent spring rolls and richly accessorized pho for mainstream Asian dabblers. 3244 Broadway, (210) 822-7461

starting at $3 Sake $5

KOREAN BBQ

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The trick to establishing any habit, good or bad, is to make it easy. Fresh herbs and tender greens are the best way to create simple, beautiful meals, and the best way to get them is to grow your own. There are lots of experts and books out there. Use that knowledge, but keep it simple. Whether you start with a few pots on a windowsill or devote half your yard, a kitchen garden is a practical way to expand your culinary repertoire. A large pot in a sunny location can hold an entire herb garden. Big plastic or metal tubs with a few drain holes work just fine. So do coffee cans. Focus on expensive, hard-to-find ingredients that grow well here. Start exotic lettuces, arugula, chard, spinach, kale, radicchio, and leeks in early fall and they’ll grow through late spring. Plant okra, peas, tomatoes, chilies, and eggplants in spring: if they survive the summer you may get a fall crop, too. An established fig tree is a lesson in summer abundance. Most herbs are forgiving, with broad temperature and soil tolerances. Thyme, marjoram, mint, oregano, rosemary, and chives grow year-round and are easy to propagate. Basil thrives spring through fall. It won’t tolerate a winter freeze, so keep a pot inside to tide you over until spring. Because once you get used to cutting a whole bouquet of fresh basil, or a bundle of baby arugula, or the perfumed glory of fresh thyme or marjoram, those expensive little wilted packages at the store — and their overpriced equivalents at gourmet markets — will be a distant memory. — Diana Roberts

SCOTT ANDREWS

Kitchen gardens made simple

get it Now!

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59

OPEN DAILY: SUN-THURS: 11AM - 9PM • FRI & SAT: 11AM-10PM SPECIAL LUNCH MENU MON-FRI 11AM-3PM • SUNDAY BRUNCH BUFFET 11 AM-2 PM

Milano offers private dining for 8 to 60 people. 60

11802 Wurzbach Rd. • 210.493.3611

Flavor 2012-2013 /// sacurrent.com

I T AL I A N

Rossini Italian Bistro

A plate of Parma e rucola from Rossini Italian Bistro.

JOSH HUSKIN

2195 NW Military, (210) 615-7270, rossinibistro.com Gioachino Rossini was said to be a gourmand of the first order and no mean amateur chef to boot. In between composing such enduring classics as the “William Tell Overture” and “The Barber of Seville,” he apparently more than dabbled at the stove, leaving behind him a trail of dishes with his name appended. In the world of Italian cooking there are numerous primi “alla Rossini,” and they range from penne and tortellini to spaghetti and a roll stuffed with ricotta and spinach. Apparently the maestro had a penchant for pasta. So far, this Rossini doesn’t. Mains, however, have been magnificent. From the fish section, amberjack, sautéed with hearts and bottoms of artichoke and leek, was impeccably rendered — the fish crusty yet flaky, the sauce buttery yet balanced, the side of sautéed spinach a well-conceived companion. Angello al balsamico, a lovely little rack of lamb in a just-right balsamic vinegar sauce, was cooked to a faultless medium rare and served with quartered potatoes, crusty on the exterior and creamy on the interior, that were pazzo with the sauce. Crazy good, in other words. Rossini’s dessert list is not without art. The tiramisu is “award-winning,” there’s a very elaborate-sounding almond cake, and then there is the possibility of unassuming mascarpone with fruit. If dessert were on the agenda, this is where I’d go. For a finale of sorts with even fewer calories, turn to composer Rossini’s delightful piano pieces from his under-appreciated “Sins of Old Age.” There you’ll find a suite dedicated to dry fruit desserts and even a petit galette Alemande. If chef would take a suggestion... — Ron Bechtol sacurrent.com /// Flavor 2012-2013

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I T AL I A N

Serving salads and pasta, complimented by grilled trout, chicken piccata, and other classical Italian entrees, Aldo’s Italian Ristorante offers the best in fine dining and continental flair. A lovely atmosphere only enhances the food. A true class act from start to finish. 8539 Fredericksburg, (210) 696-2536, aldos.us

Brusketa Ristorante

“Brusketa” is how Italians pronounce bruschetta, the delicious toasted bread drenched in olive oil; it’s best served with roasted garlic, olives, sun-dried tomatoes, and cheese melted on top. And don’t forget a glass of wine — perhaps a pinot grigio. Most important, share it with friends. That’s the essence of Brusketa Ristorante, Stone Oak’s newest spot for fine Italian cuisine.

Il Sogno Osteria

18326 Tuscany Stone, (210) 402-3336, brusketa.com

Brio Tuscan Grille

Large selection of fare inspired by the cuisines of Tuscany, choose a primi of shrimp and eggplant, then insalata of grilled salmon, followed by a pasta course of Fettuccini Campania, or perhaps Ravioli di Bello with cremini mushrooms. The main: perhaps Bisteca alla Fiorentina, or dozens of other ravishing options. 15900 La Cantera Pkwy, (210) 8779300, brioitlian.com

Capparelli’s

Smack dab in the center of Monte Vista, this charming neighborhood nook serves up traditional Italian fare with hearty pizzas and an unbeatable house salad. 2524 N Main Ave, (210) 7355757, capparellisonmain. com

Variety has increased exponentially, diners are willing to go to places like Monterey and taste from tongue to brain. … It’s the perfect storm, all happening at once. — Chef Andrew Weissman,

Il Sogno, Sandbar

Andrew Weissman’s take on casual “four-star” Italian dining combines sophisticated décor and presentation with hearty dishes straight from the boot. The wild boar with pasta and the oven-roasted chicken with truffled mashed potatoes are but two examples of the treats in store. Don’t skip the antipasti bar, either, and ask for recommendations from the regional wine list. 200 E Grayson, (210) 223-3900

La Focaccia Italian Grill

Stop by this Southtown eatery on a weekend evening for soothing piano styling paired with an Italian meal. 800 S Alamo, (210) 223-5353, lafocaccia-italian-grill.com

Lorenzo’s Italian Restaurant

Despite not being as hip or trendy as other Italian

Go to sacurrent.com/ dining for even more restaurant listings.

eateries, Lorenzo’s is as authentic as it gets, with better Italian than you deserve. Try the satisfying lasagna and baked ziti. 8032 Fredericksburg, (210) 692-9900, lorenzosristorante.com

Luce Ristorante e Enoteca

Authentic Italian cuisine and wine is the passion of Neapolitan owner and chef Joe Buonincontri, who brings family recipes and tastes from his travels to Italy back to his wine-centric restaurant. Enoteca means wine library — and fittingly, the walls of Luce are lined with bottles, proffering over 125 choices of viticulture’s best. 11255 Huebner, (210) 561-9700, lucesanantonio.com CONTINUED ON PAGE 65

Your Favorite Italian Trattoria Piatti at Alamo Quarry Market 255 E. Basse Road, Suite 500 210-832-0300

Coming Soon: Piatti at Eilan 17101 La Cantera Parkway www.piatti.com

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10/29/2012 5:05:45 PM

CARLY GARZA

Aldo’s Italian Ristorante

Authentic Italian Cuisine Extensive Italian & Californian Wine List Lunch Mon-Fri 11:30 am-2:00 pm

Dinner Mon-Sat 4:30 pm-10 pm

: HAPPY HOUR : Mon-Sat 4:30-6:30 LuceSanAntonio.com 11255 Huebner Rd. #200 • 210.561.9700

Private Wine Room

Full Bar

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Outdoor Dining & Fireplace

Your Table is Waiting! HUNGRY FOR MORE?

$3.95 Tuscan Taster Bar Menu, Monday-Friday 3-7pm & 9pm-Close $5 Weeknight Drink Specials In the Bar Only

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The ShopS aT La CanTera 15900 La Cantera Pkwy., San Antonio, TX 78256 (210) 877-9300 | BrioItalian.com 64

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10/31/2012 2:44:36 PM

I T AL I A N Paesano, a meaty Eggplant Parmigiana, and if the devotees are to be believed, one of the best steaks in town. 2009 Best of SA readers’ poll winner for Best Italian. Multiple locations, 555 E Basse, (210) 828-5191, paesanos.com

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Maggiano’s Little Italy

Maggiano’s chickenpotato soup and lunch salad of crab, shrimp, and arugula with a “lemonette” dressing is appropriate for your next shopping spree at The Rim. Keep the pepper grinder handy. 17603 IH 10 W, (210) 451-6000, maggianos.com

ERIK GUSTAFSON

Milano on Wurzbach

From classic Italian favorites like chicken marsala, eggplant parmesan and veal picatta to exquisite seafood and steaks, Milano on Wurzbach has something for everyone.  The signature shrimp Milano is a guest favorite and is offered on both lunch and dinner menus.  Fresh features are also offered daily including seabass, red snapper and trout. 11802 Wurzbach, (210) 493-3611, milanowurzbach.com

▲Nosh

Paesanos 1604 

Nosh has hired chef Lucca Della Casa, formerly of Le Rêve and Il Sogno, and the Italianinflected results are beginning to show. Small-plate standouts include salt cod ravioli and the individual pizzas. Daily features run from house-made gnocchi to wild boar & polenta, and there is a superlative selection of craft beers. 1133 Austin Hwy, (210) 824-8686, noshsa.com

This branch of the fabled Paesanos offers new fare to a fresh crowd. The menu changes often, rotating in such nightly specials as lamb meatballs in Greek yoghurt sauce, oak-grilled Angus ribeye, and Lake Superior trout to be expertly paired with a host of reasonably priced Italo-centric wines. 3622 Paesanos Pkwy, (210) 493-1604, paesanos1604.com

Paesanos

Although it’s a chain, Piatti’s gives local ingredients a strong role in its menu. Try the Pollo alla Mattone, succulent and

Joe Cosniac’s original Lincoln Heights heir serves the signature breaded, garlicky Shrimp

Piatti Locali

fat with flavor, and the baked Texas goat cheese served with Kalamata olives, a veritable hymn to the humble cabra. 255 E Basse, (210) 832-0300, piatti.com

Piccolo’s Italian Restaurant

With a deliciously formless lasagna and a shrimp pasta that seems oddly reminiscent of other offerings in town, Piccolo’s is one of those restaurants that provide an Italian experience at a very reasonable price, if the diner is willing to meet the kitchen halfway. 5703 Evers Rd, (210) 647-5524

Rossini Italian Bistro

Simple but well-executed Italian cuisine from a menu that changes weekly. Bet on the appetizer salads, lamb, and fish dishes. Although it’s not always on the menu, the amberjack, sautéed with hearts and bottoms

of artichoke and leek, was impeccably rendered on our visit. 2195 NW Military, (210) 615-7270, rossinibistro.com

Tré Trattoria

Jason Dady’s penultimate outing — rustic, plentiful Italian served parkside on Broadway — succeeds with authentic salumi, gnocchi, and cast-iron griddled pizzas. 4003 Broadway, (210) 8050333, tretrattoria.com

Zocca at Westin Riverwalk Hotel

Rustic and contemporary Italian creatively collide at this River Walk restaurant. The pastas and desserts are especially good. A standout on Zocca’s updated menu is the grilled salmon served with saffron-infused sauce and grilled asparagus. 420 W Market, (210) 444-6070, zoccariverwalk.com CONTINUED ON PAGE 66

Discount on pick-up and dine-in orders

210-523-8877 We Deliver!

Beer & Wine Happy Hour 3-6pm Kids Eat Free

Mon.-Wed.-Sun. 3-10pm 6025 Tezel Road at Timber Path WE CATER. Call 265-7500

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I T AL I A N

Pizza

Deco Pizzeria

Italian-style pizza and live music in the up-and-coming Deco District, served in a perfect date-night setting. Savory meatballs, wings, and weekend lunch specials expand the options at this cute eatery just across the way from the Woodlawn Theater. Dinner and a show? Now you know. 1815 Fredericksburg, (210) 7323326, decopizza.com

Dough Pizzeria Napoletana

Their wood-burning oven produces pies that are authentically, officially Neapolitan, with a crisp and savory crust topped with fresh, milky mozzarella melting into the sweet and tart sauce. 6989 Blanco, (210) 979-6565, doughpizzeria.com

Florio’s Pizza

Italy? Forget about it —

66

Stephanie and Jeremiah McMillan of Gallo Pizza. this is the real stuff, from New Jersey since 1980. There’s Bianca, of course, and the red Lodi has plenty of garlic atop the light base of cheese and thin tomato sauce, topped on a crust that is magically light and crisp. 7701 Broadway, (210) 8058646, floriospizza.com

Gallo Pizzeria

Gallo touts it über-spicy Diablo pizza with ghost chiles, but can more easily crow about the betterbalanced Gallo pizza, the

Flavor 2012-2013 /// sacurrent.com

good Greek salad, and exceptional brownies. 164 Castroville, (210) 2640077, gallopizzeria.com

House of Pizza

Traditional East Coast style pizzeria that passes on new fads to deliver the basics: calzones, spaghetti with meatballs, Italian and meatball subs, and four sizes of pizza including The Giant, a whopping 20-inch bruiser topped the way you like it. 6025 Tezel, (210) 523-8877, houseofpizzasa.com

Thanks to a watermodification system, this Brooklyn-based pizza franchise delivers a unique thin crust that’s hard to find outside greater NYC. Three sauce options (red, white, and pesto) and 20 toppings mean there’s no fear of a pizza Nazi disapproving of your nonauthentic tastes. 15900 La Cantera Pkwy, (210) 690-4949, grimaldispizzeria.com

Ray’s Pizzaria

Daily lunch and dinner specials at this authentic New York-style pizzeria. Calzones, stromboli, and Italian entrees like baked ziti, served with cheesy garlic bread, satisfy even the hungriest man. Finish the meal off with tiramisu or cheesecake for the real experience. Multiple locations, 7214 Blanco, (210) 348-9090, rayspizzaria.com

Rome’s Pizzeria

Founded in 1986, now with several locations, Rome’s cozy atmosphere and gourmet Italian cuisine have satisfied two generations. Our fave: Milennium 3, pizza with organic basil pesto sauce, mozzarella, rosemary roasted new potatoes, spinach, seasoned chicken, and gorgonzola cheese. Multiple locations. 19298 Stone Oak Pkwy, (210) 490-0700, romespizza.com

Zpizza

Zpizza could easily slide into California caricature, but stops just short in most cases with some pizzas that work (the Italian, the Casablanca), others such as the Rustica with curry chicken and “yam” that don’t, but very good salads that put the place into the plus column. 700 E Sonterra Blvd, Ste 1103, (210) 402-1500, zpizza.com

ERIK GUSTAFSON

Grimaldi’s Coal Brick-Oven Pizzeria

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ITALIAN RESTAURANT SERVING SAN ANTONIO SINCE 1966

SIMPLY ITALIAN, STEEPED IN TRADITION!

8032 Fredericksburg @ Medical | 692-9900 Hours: Monday thru Saturday 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. www.lorenzos.info

COMMUNITY ♦ EXPERIENCE ♦ CULTURE 1815 Fredericksburg Rd. • 210.732.DECO(3326) • decopizza.com

BRUNCH

LUNCH

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Flavorful. Colorful. Honestly Enjoyable. 2012 Best of san antonio awards “Best Salsa,” “2nd in Margaritas” “3rd in Micheladas, Nachos, and Guacamole”

910 South Alamo, San Antonio www.RosariosSA.com • 210.223.1806 68

LIVE MuSIc on the weekends!

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MEXICAN

Cascabel Mexican Patio

Cascabel’s quesadillas de huitlacoche flanked by bowls of frijoles de la olla and sopa de fideo.

MARK GREENBERG

1000 S St. Mary’s, (210) 212-6456

Tiny Cascabel on South St. Mary’s offers an intriguing alternative to taqueria fare, favoring dishes from southern Mexico such as birria, a hearty goat stew, a chicken mole poblano right out of Oaxaca, and light touches like silver napkin rings that set it far apart from the Tex-Mex crowd. Not to be missed are their cochinita pibil and exotic quesadillas de huitlacoche made of a corn fungus developed by the Aztecs. Known as Mexican truffle, huitlacoche has been presented at the James Beard House, but is seldom seen in Texas. Cochinita is suckling pig, and in the Quintana Roo region of the Yucatan Peninsula the traditional recipe calls for whole roast baby pig marinated in bitter orange, then wrapped in a banana leaf and slow roasted in a fire pit. Pibil means buried, and though Cascabel uses a kitchen oven to bake their version, the famously tender pork was delivered soft enough to gum. Cascabel steps right in with their wonderful salsa de achiote, topping the carnitas-sized morsels with a serrano chile, surrounded by mounds of white rice and black bean refritos. Their two salsas, the green with tomatillos and the red made of chiles de arbol, were more than adequate, though the green salsa could have benefited from more complexity. The red salsa, however, was robust and happily not afflicted by tomatoes — just a bowl of liquid chiles, seedy, and with some extra, well, I don’t know what. Upon asking I was told that the secret ingredients wouldn’t be secret if they were divulged. Which makes sense. But here’s a secret that you should know when you visit: if you drop some red and green salsa on the simple white rice, it sings like a canary. — Scott Andrews sacurrent.com /// Flavor 2012-2013

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Circa 1869

VOTED • TOP 10 BEST NEW RESTAURANTS - SAN ANTONIO MAGAZINE • TOP 5 BEST NEW RESTAURANTS - SAN ANTONIO EXPRESS NEWS READERS CHOICE AWARDS • No. 1 BEST MARGARITA IN SA - WOAI NEWS READERS CHOICE • 1ST RUNNER UP - MARGARITA POUROFF 2012 • No.1 BEST BURGER - SAN ANTONIO MAGAZINE BEST OF THE CITY

Chef Steve’s World Class Margaritas are made with lime juice squeezed in house daily, Cointreau and your choice of over 25 premium tequilas.

9840 WEST LOOP 1604 N.

(CORNER OF BRAUN RD & LOOP 1604 IN THE PARKING LOT OF THE BRAUN POINTE SHOPPING CENTER)

210-688-2686

WWW.TWOSTEPRESTAURANT.COM 70

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Texas Inspired Cuisine World Class Margaritas

HAPPY HOUR 4-7p EVERYDAY!

LIVE MUSIC WEEKLY. IN THE BAR OR ON THE PATIO. CHECK FACEBOOK FOR CALENDAR. Sun - Wed: 11a - 10p Thu - Sat: 11a - 11p

MEXICAN Blanco Café

▲Beto’s on Broadway

The veggie taco comes stuffed with well-seasoned squash and caramelized onions. It’s almost as good as the savory potato-andspinach empanada. You’ll want dessert, too: banana with leche quemada and pecan. 8142 Broadway, (210) 930-9393, betosinfo. com

Bahia Azul

Nayarit invades San Antonio: Mexico’s Pacific coast brings zesty seafood dishes to Artisans Alley. Don’t miss the ceviche and mesquite-grilled fish in regional chili flavors. 555 W Bitters, (210) 549-2623, bahiaazulsa.com

This anchor of the homegrown chain serves massive Tex-Mex portions to happy weekend crowds. The just-right-greasy enchiladas are a Current readers’ fave, taking the top spot in 2012. Multiple locations, 1720 Blanco, (210) 732-6480, blancocafe.net

Barriba Cantina

Enjoy a new spin on old tradition at Barriba Cantina; favorites include mango pork carnitas, baja pescado, and the specialty of the house— Tacos del Rey, shredded beef marinated in mild chipolte chilies and Mexican spices. Enjoy handcrafted cocktails, including a wide variety of margaritas, while listening to live music seven nights a week. 111 W Crockett, Ste 214, (210) 228-9878, barribacantina.com

El 7 Mares Seafood Restaurant 

Mariachis, ceviches, cocteles de mariscos, soups brimming with sundry seafood, and crisply fried smelts chased with cold beer are just some of the staples in this seashore meets borderbaroque environment. 3831 W Commerce, (210) 436-6056

El Chris’ Martha’s Cocina y Cantina

Puffy tacos, chicken poblano tacos, mariachis every Friday, and a free queso bar 5-6:30 p.m. are only a few of the many reasons why you should try El Chris’ Martha’s — the home of San Antonio’s only frozen pink margarita. 818 NE Loop 410, (210) 804-2334

El Milagrito

El Milagrito’s cheese enchiladas are titans of Tex-Mex, topped with a good, chunky gravy that

indicates Milagrito’s guisada is also a cut above. And their beakfast menu, served all day, merits a try, too. 521 E Woodlawn, (210) 737-8646

Ernesto’s Mexican Specialties

The inventive FrenchMex sauces (try the jicama, lime, and cilantro combo) and fresh fish dishes outshine their surroundings at this neighborhood strip-mall staple. 2559 Jackson Keller, (210) 344-1248, ernestosgourmet.com

La Choza Mexican Restaurant

The cabin’s food may be rustic, but it’s puro Mexico and right on. Try the hearty huaraches, the superior chickenfilled sopes, the earthy, sauced-steak molcajete plate, and the subtle enchiladas verdes. 12151 Jones Maltsberger, (210) 490-5665

La Fiesta Patio Café

Specializing in “healthier Tex-Mex” since 1974, La Fiesta Patio Café’s vegetarian-friendly menu is far from short on flavor. Enchilada samplers, puffy tacos (consider trying tofu as a filling), and chalupas (piled high with alfalfa sprouts) never tasted so fresh, and carnivores won’t miss the lard one bit. 1421 Pat Booker, Universal City, (210) 6585110, fiestapatiocafe.com

La Fogata

If you’re headed out: La Fogata’s brightly lit rascuache patios and fountains feel like a holiday any night of the week, making it the perfect setting for sipping the margaritas that earned it the nickname “I Forgotta.” With enchiladas, seafood, tacos, specialty dishes, too. 2427 Vance Jackson, (210) 340-1337, lafogata.com CONTINUED ON PAGE 73

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LIVE MARIACHIS EVERY FRIDAY

Free Queso Bar 5p-6:30p M-Th

HALF PRICE APPS 5P-6:30P EVERY DAY Daily Happy Hour 11a-6:30p Home of The Pink Margarita

• Breakfast • Lunch • Dinner

LUNCH SPECIALS STARTING @ $5.50

BREAKFAST SPECIALS STARTING @ $2.99

818 NE Loop 410 @ Broadway • San Antonio, TX 78209 • 210.804.2334 • Closed Sundays

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MEXICAN CONTINUED FROM PAGE 73

Metro Basilica 2

Taco truck fare inspired more by DF than SA. For a song, branch out to less familiar menu items like mulita (meat and cheese sandwiched between two thick masa tortillas), lengua, and tripas, or stick with tried-and-true chicken quesadillas and carnitas tacos. 7627 Culebra, (210) 680-1412

▲ La Gloria

Sure, the dishes aren’t precisely what you’d get south of the border, but they mostly survive their transplant from the Mexican coast to San Antonio River still succulent and flavorful. The molcajete dishes are rich and satisfying, and the ceviches fresh and tangy. Enjoy a house margarita on the ice-house’s airy patio, and don’t skip the camarones agua chile or the coconut flan. 100 E Grayson, (210) 267-9040, lagloriaicehouse.com

La Hacienda de los Barrios

Try the time-tested standbys such as the cabrito en salsa and the Cortadillo Zuazua style, a semi-stew of tenderloin. For dessert, an empanada filled with guava paste and cream cheese. 18747 Redland, (210) 497-8000, lhdlb.com

La Huasteca #2

There are outposts, both named La Huasteca #2, on West Hildebrand and North Zarzamora. The menudo (served daily) didn’t disappoint at either location: The tripe, though not of the honeycomb variety, was incredibly tender. Both places served horchata, jamaica, and homemade tortillas. 2218 N Zarzamora, 1738 W Hildebrand, (210) 738-8777

Lisa’s Mexican Restaurant

Lisa’s aced the basics with a hearty, rich pozole, a tasty lengua guisada, and solid refrieds. Finish up with a cocktail at Bar Mosaico. 815 Bandera, (210) 433-2531, lisasmexican.com

Los Agaves

Though Los Agaves has a dedicated Tex-Mex section on the menu, most of the remaining selections, ranging from coctel de camaron to cabrito and enchiladas de mole, will also seem familiar to locals. But even standbys such as tortilla soup take on new dimensions. 7115 Blanco, (210) 524-2416, losagavessa.com

Mi Tierra Restaurant & Bakery

For those in the know, Mi Tierra is truly a wonder. Stepping into the establishment is like wandering into Mexico itself. The panaderia at the entrance alerts that this is the real deal. Then there’s the typical culinary fare — including the best menudo in town. An institution since its 1941 founding, Mi Tierra is one of the few places still open 24/7, holidays included. 218 Produce Row, (210) 225-1262

Classic Mexican Flavors & Tex-Mex Flare

The Original Mexican

Named for the “oldest Mexican restaurant in the United States,” this 24-hour River Walk spot capitalizes on a hungry afterhours crowd. The traditional Mexican menu features standards like quesadillas and enchiladas, but the margaritas and the river view are the star attractions. 528 Riverwalk, (210) 2249951, originalmexican.com

Paloma Blanca Mexican Cuisine 

The menu offers traditional and updated versions of Mexican favorites, with standouts including the pollo asado, tacos al pastor, and shrimp fajitas. Choose from a variety of margaritas to complement your meal, and don’t miss out on the signature pastel de tres leches for dessert. 5800 Broadway, (210) 822-6151, palomablanca.net

Palenque Grill

Authentic Mexican eatery serving up traditional dishes, including lengua, and coastal creations inspired by the Pacific Mexican coast that are worth a try. Don’t get bogged down in the overly saucy high-dollar dishes, though, what Palenque does best is the basics. Pass the house-made tortillas. 389 N Loop 1604 W, (210) 545-7600, palenquegrill.com

CONTINUED ON PAGE 74

www.Tejacienda.com 18403 IH-10 West @ The Rim

210.877.1500

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MEXICAN CONTINUED FROM PAGE 73

Ray’s Drive Inn

Puffy tacos and a certain San Antonio je ne sais quoi are the draws at this Westside establishment, where an 1880s saloon sensibility collides joyfully with a Happy Days vibe. Portions are large (bring the whole family); our critics recommend the brisket puffy tacos. 822 SW 19th, (210) 432-7171, raysdriveinn.net

Rosario’s Restaurant y Cantina Lisa Wong brought bright lights, big city to the cantina concept — aided by lots of concrete and a neon-lit faux palapa — and forged a Tex-Mex empire in Southtown that’s still frequented by the locals even as it becomes increasingly renowned among the travel and dining set. 910 S Alamo, (210) 2231806, rosariossa.com

Taco Haven

A Southtown staple for more than 30 years, the menu has expanded to include a few TexAmerican dishes such as chicken-fried steak and burgers as well as infamous tacos such as the Torres Special: refrieds, bacon, and guacamole. Multiple locations, 1032 S Presa, (210) 533-2171, tacohaven.info

Taqueria Datapoint

The food hasn’t lost its late-night street charms at this taco-truck-turnedrestaurant. Current readers say you must try the gorditas, and our critics recommend the lengua taquitos and chicken torta. 4063 Medical, (210) 615-3644

Taqueria Guadalajara #1 Take comfort in surroundings that are puro San Antonio — Taqueria

Guadalajara is Tex-Mex in a time capsule with all of the traditional favorites. The carne al pastor is a blend that rocks, as the pork, beef, and onions are combined in perfect proportions. 2702 Roosevelt, (210) 532-5500

Tejacienda

The pungent cuisine of Tejacienda ranges from antojitos of bubbly queso fundido and duck carnitas, to mains of pollo adobo, pork belly, baby back ribs, steak or venison, with molcajete skillets and Tejano specialties like chiles rellenos, fish tacos, and green chile burritos. 18403 W Route 10, (210) 8771500, tejacienda.com

Tiago’s Cabo Grille

Inspired by the flavors of Cabo San Lucas, the food here is light, fresh, and flavorful. A spin on

the traditional Mexican flavors, this coastal cuisine includes such fare as fire grilled skewers and street-vendor-style tacos. Daily lunch specials and signature drinks, like the San Lucas Breeze, put Tiago’s a notch above the rest. Multiple locations, tiagoscabogrille.com

Tito’s Restaurant

Located in the historic King William district, Tito’s has served “Real Mexican Food” for three generations. Fresh handmade flour and corn tortillas are served daily. Specials include grilled fajitas, an assortment of enchiladas, and the fiery Chella’s Taco. Open until 1 a.m. First Friday. 955 S Alamo, (210) 212-8226, titosrestaurant.com

Two Step Restaurant & Cantina Steve Warner, formerly of Wildfish Seafood

Grill and Morton’s of Chicago, brings a new barbecue experience to the Northwest side in this converted 1860s stone house and barn. Oak smoked meats sold by the pound include fatty or lean brisket, loaded beef ribs, pork chops, and sausage. 9840 W Loop 1604 N (210) 6882686 twosteprestaurant. com

Vida Mia

Vida Mia is a chain from Monterrey that’s all gussied up in cute graphics and festive colors. The torta de pierna (“Mexico’s most eaten sandwich”) and ceviches are winners. 19141 Stone Oak Pkwy, Ste 803, (210) 490-2011, vidamiacuisine.com Go to sacurrent.com/ dining for even more restaurant listings.

A San Antonio Favorite For Over 27 Years

2012 Readers Choice Award for Best Neighborhood Restaurant by San Antonio Express News 815 Bandera Road (corner of Bandera & Woodlawn) (210) 433-2531 • www.lisasmexican.com 74

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Live

Best Of 2009 Reader’s Choice Best Breakfast tacos Outline

Best Breakfast Tacos

Best Breakfast Tacos

AS SEEN ON

210.822.9533 • 145 E. HILDEBRAND & McCULLOUGH

Authentic Homestyle Mexican Cuisine

210.490.2011 19141 Stone Oak Pkwy, Ste. 803 @ Huebner Rd. Sun-Thu 7a-3p • Fri & Sat 7a-9:30p VidaMiaCuisine.com

521 E. WOODLAWN AT ST. MARY’S 210.737.8646 FACEBOOK.COM/ELMILAGRITO

Mon-Sat: 5:30A-3P Sun: 7A-3P

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Looking for some new flavors to excite your appetite?

New World Flavors like xoconostle, aji amarillo, huitlacoche, and paiche are waiting to be discovered right here in San Antonio at Nao at the Pearl Brewery. The student-staffed restaurant at The Culinary Institute of America’s San Antonio campus, Nao (pronounced Nay-O) is a culinary tapestry of Latin ingredients, traditions, and culture.

Featuring the flavors of countries like Argentina, Bolivia, Ecuador, Peru, as well as Mexico and the Caribbean, Nao’s menu showcases Latin American dishes creatively reinterpreted using new ingredients and techniques. We invite you to join us soon; visit NaoRestaurant.com to learn more, or visit OpenTable.com to make your reservation.

naorestaurant

312 Pearl Parkway | San Antonio, TX 78215 | 210.554.6484 | naorestaurant.com Learn more about The Culinary Institute of America by visiting CIAChef.edu 76

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nao.Current.ad3.indd 1

10/31/12 10:16 AM

16 AM

G L O B AL

Slow-roasted rubbed pork belly with piloncillo glaze and watercress from Nao.

Nao - New World Flavors

STEVEN GILMORE

312 Pearl Pkwy, Ste 2104, (210) 554-6484, ciarestaurants.com Pearl was already a hotbed of foodie focus with Il Sogno, Sandbar, La Gloria, and the C.I.A. Bakery & Café, but with the opening of the C.I.A.’s student-staffed Nao (pronounced nay-oh, for those who still don’t know), the locus of the city’s restaurant activity may truly be shifting away from Southtown. And with a theme based on cuisines from all over Mexico, Central and South America, and the Caribbean, Nao may be at last weaning San Antonio away from its beloved Tex-Mex. (No, not really, but kudos for giving us options.) The smallplate-style menu changes somewhat with each visiting chef. This naturally creates an incentive to return to sample such local rarities as the Peruvian ceviches and the fashion-forward causitas consisting of crab robed in purple potato. Caribbean specialties have included a compelling octopus mojo isleño (char-grilled and served with a variety of accompaniments), a mixed-breed plantain cone filled with picadillo and cotija cheese has intrigued, and aguachile, most often served with shrimp, made a splash with mahi-mahi and mango. Pork belly with piloncillo sauce was a luxurious take on what is becoming a staple. And the pico en taco, playing on the “taco” theme with thinly sliced jicama standing in for a tortilla, came filled with avocado, mango, cucumber, and more, all enlivened with chile salt. As might be expected in a situation where both the staff and the plates have little time to become familiar with one another, all dishes haven’t been equally successful; the achiote-rubbed snapper in banana leaves is a case in point. But by and large, Executive Chef Geronimo Lopez has done wonders with his kids and his pan-American plates. The Latin theme carries through to the small but creative bar as well; think Pisco sour as you may never have had it before. Then order one. — Ron Becthol

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G L O B AL

Greek

Athens Greek Xpress & Catering

With the opening of Athens Greek Xpress, City Hall employees (and others) may have to get used to paying a little more, but they will also be getting far healthier food in a shiny-bright environment with pleasant, quick service. 111 S Flores, (210) 227-5711

Cool Café Mediterranean Cuisine and Bar

Affordable prices and an extensive and creative menu, featuring Mediterranean staples such as falafel and curveballs like crepes. Multiple locations, 19141 Stone Oak Pkwy, Ste 507, (210) 403-2665

Demo’s Greek Food You can order a Greek beer or wine to wash down your tender

Mina and Dimi’s

beef souvlaki at this 19-year-old local fastcasual chain, which offers charming décor and on some nights belly-dancing, too. Multiple locations, 2501 N St. Mary’s, (210) 732-7777, demosgreekfood.com

John the Greek

Serving authentic Greek home-style cooking since 1988. Belly dancers on Friday and Saturday night add to the fun but it’s the flavors of Athens that make John The Greek so compelling. Avgolemono soup, gyros, souvlaki and mousaka … just like mom used to make. 16602 San Pedro, (210) 403-0565, johnthegreek.com

Mina and Dimi’s Greek House

Traditional Greek fare served with a side of warm hospitality. Although the pita is perfectly soft and savory, the flavorful gyro can stand on its own, perhaps accompanied

by flaky spanakopita or a tangy Greek salad. Avoid the lunch rush, but if you can’t, go for Friday’s popular buffet, make sure you’re in it to win it. 7159 Hwy 90 W, (210) 6743464, agreekhouse.com

Zorbas Greek Mediterranean Cuisine

Zorbas serves an outstanding baba ganouj, very fresh falafel, and light and flaky spanikopita. 2110 NW Military Hwy., (210) 541-9936, zorbastx.com

Hawaiian Aloha Kitchen

Surprisingly you can find authentic Hawaiian food on the Mainland. Aloha Kitchen does Hawaiian best when sticking to the basics — and basic does not mean simple. Lau lau and loco moco are attention grabbers. 1151 Harry Wurzbach, (210) 822-9933, alohasanantonio.com

Indian

India Oven

Nan bread, authentic vegetarian and meat dishes, and a wide buffet have earned India Oven many longtime fans. The cozy interior is perfect for a date or just a simple lunch. Enjoy the flavors of the subcontinent without hurting your wallet, and find yourself coming back again and again. 1031 Patricia, (210) 366-1030, indiaoven.com

India Palace

India Palace has shuffled sideways in its strip center, and the change has been for the better. Buffet steam table containers are changed regularly, and nothing seems really tired. Saag paneer and dal makhani are reliable staples. 8747 Fredericksburg, Ste 100, (210) 692-5262, indiapalacesa.com

India Taj-Palace

The buffet is exceptionally

BIN 555 Restaurant & Wine Bar 555 W. Bitters Road at The Alley on Bitters (210) 496-0555 / www.bin555.com Lunch and Dinner Monday – Thursday 11am–11pm Friday – Saturday 11am–12am Now Open Sunday 11am–9pm

Now Booking Holiday Parties & Events

R E S TAU RANTS

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G L O B AL enticing at this Stone Oak restaurant, due to fresh spices and vegetables cooked to perfection. Chicken korma, saag paneer, and cilantro-onion naan were especially notable. 20323 Huebner, (210) 497-4800, indiatajpalace.com

Mela Indian Bar & Grill

A favorite of at least one local chef for a reason, Mela serves some of the less-common Indian dishes and the spices are fresh and generous. Current critics especially loved the chicken chattinad, lamb nargisi, and falooda. 4987 NW Loop 410, (210) 6821234, melagrill.com 

Mustafa Cuisine

Mustafa’s only moderately exotic in décor (much of which comes from the TV tuned to Bollywood faves), but it more than delivers with both familiar dishes and others seldom seen in SA. Breads are fine, curries vary, but goat and cauliflower take two often neglected ingredients and elevate them to exalted status. 4085 Medical Dr, (210) 615-7861, mustafarestaurant.com

Sarovar Indian Cuisine

Chickpea-battered pakoras and vegetable samosas are starters for the likes of lamb korma, enigmatic Chicken 65, hearty chickpea curry, and elegant lamb or shrimp biryani. 10227 Ironside, (210) 558-8289, sarovarindian.com

Latin American Azuca

This Southtown spot provides Latin cuisine that’s light on the Mexican accent. The fusion menu ambitiously aims to marry the best of the New World’s disparate cuisines (which apparently includes curly fries), with a special focus on seafood. 713 S Alamo, (210) 225-5550, azuca.net

Nao: New World Flavors

As the CIA’s student-staffed flagship restaurant, Nao is intent on introducing to South Texas the flavors of a continent most of us know only through ceviches and caipirinhas; all of Latin America will eventually come under scrutiny, and the menu will change in response to the country currently in the spotlight. Expect unfamiliar ingredients, inventive preparations and to have your horizons expanded. 312 Pearl Parkway, Ste 2104, (210) 554-6484, ciarestaurants.com

Colombian Fonda Latina

COME THIRSTY & HUNGRY

Fonda Latina successfully captures the flavors of authentic Colombian cuisine, serving traditional dishes like bistek a caballo — steak with a fried egg on top — banana-leaf-wrapped tamales, and arepas con pollo with aji. 6714 San Pedro, (210) 824-2544

Cuban Ocho

Handsome, well-oiled bar with aspirational lunch and dinner fare, including the Havana Cubano torta and shrimp and crab campechana. Special touches sometimes exceed the kitchen’s reach, but much to rave about. Hotel Havana, 1015 Navarro, (210) 222-2008, havanasanantonio.com

Puerto Rican El Bohio

A SENSUAL TRIP THROUGH THE CUISINE OF CARIBBEAN, CENTRAL, & LATIN AMERICA

We didn’t love the pasteles, but almost everything made with yuca and plantain was a savory hit, as was the traditional Cubano sandwich and the ropa vieja. 1127 Harry Wurzbach, (210) 822-8075

La Marginal

While La Marginal performs well on most of the staple dishes, this buffet is in desperate need of some TLC. The $8.99 offering is affordable and workable, as long as you stick with the tender pernil and salty, sweet plantains. 2447 Nacogdoches, (210) 804-2242, lamarginal.com

Mediterranean Albustan Mediterranean Restaurant

San Antonio’s first all-you-can-eat Mediterranean restaurant impresses with value and variety. With guaranteed fresh ingredients and a family-run atmosphere, Albustan is a buffet worth returning to for thirds. 4841 Fredericksburg Rd, (210) 525-1231

BIN 555

Jason Dady, executive chef and owner of Bin 555, offers Mediterranean cuisine in a small meze plates format coupled with contemporary ambiance, an intimate bar, and large patio. The winning atmosphere and five-star food bring San Antonio a new level of culinary sophistication. 555 W Bitters, (210) 496-0555, bin555.com CONTINUED ON PAGE 81

JOIN US FOR HAPPY HOUR AND STAY FOR DINNER M-F • 4-7PM AZUCA COCKTAILS WELL DRINKS WINE... 713 S. ALAMO STREET • 210.225.5550 WWW.AZUCA.NET sacurrent.com /// Flavor 2012-2013

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STRAIGHT FROM THE MEDITERRANEAN TO THE ALAMO CITY Chef Kadir Guner, with over 20 years experience in Turkish cuisine brings San Antonio’s first

Turkish pizza. You will also find Ali Nazik, seasoned lamb meat served over a hot pureed eggplant,yogurt and garlic flavored hot butter sauce. Lahmacun, a thin and crispy crust filled with a mixture of lamb and beef and Turkish spices.You will find these delicious specialtys amongst the wide array of authentic Turkish dishes.

8507 McCullough Ave. #B13 • 210.459.4083 • kmturkishgrill.com 80

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G L O B AL

Tasteful North Indian Cuisine in an Elegant Setting

CONTINUED FROM PAGE 79

Middle Eastern

Mediterranean Turkish Grill

Dolmas, hummus, and fresh bread are signatures of this authentic Mediterranean grill. Turkish sandwiches are second to none, prepared from scratch at this family-owned kitchen. Treat yourself and your health with the health-inducing properties of Mediterranean cooking. 8507 McCullough, Ste B13, (210) 3991645, kmturkishgrill.com

Moroccan Bites

Family and fresh are the essence of Moroccan Bites. Fresh bread and mint tea will bring you to your knees, but skip the soups and go for the chicken or lamb tagine. 5714 Evers, (210) 7069700, moroccanbitescuisine.com

▲Pasha Mediterranean Grill

Pasha serves delicious MidEast fare, and the basic staples, including a smokey baba ghannouj, are as good as the main dishes. Standouts include the kabobs and the saffronmarinated cornish hens. 9339 Wurzbach, (210) 561-5858, gopasha.com

Turquoise Grill

A welcome setting for a variety of Turkish foods — including excellent Doner kebab, mixed grill, chicken tava, baklava, rice pudding — with affordable lunch prices. 3720 NW Loop 410, (210) 736-2887, turquoisegrill.com

Pakistani

Kohinoor Restaurant & Grill The spices and service are warm and intoxicating at this family-run restaurant. Although the menu is a list of possibilities, not guarantees, take a chance on the special of the day. Also save room for desserts such as the rose- and fennel-scented sweet masala paan. 8515 Starcrest, (210) 637-7360

RECIPE

Call Us For Your Holiday Catering.

‘The Peacemaker’ Po’ boy Recipe courtesy of Chef Pieter Sypesteyn, Where Y’at Food Truck Makes 4 sandwiches

Ingredients and Amounts

2 lbs slab Pork Belly 24-30 Gulf oysters, shucked 1/2 cup Worcestershire sauce 1/2 cup soy sauce 2 bay leaves 10 cloves garlic, smashed 1 cup flour 1 cup cornmeal 2 tbsp salt 1/2 tsp cayenne 2 16-inch baguettes Lettuce, tomato, pickles, mayo for garnish 4 cups lard, or any oil suitable for deep frying

Method 1. Place pork belly, Worcestershire, soy sauce, bay leaves, and garlic in a pot, with just enough water to cover the belly. Bring to a boil, cover with aluminum foil, and place in oven at 350 degrees for three hours or until a knife will slide through the meat with no resistance. Remove from oven and chill. 2. Heat frying oil in a pot to 360 degrees. 3. Slice pork belly into 1/2 inch pieces and quickly fry until crisp on outside but still tender inside. 4. Combine flour, cornmeal, salt, and cayenne. Mix well and add oysters. Once coated, quickly fry the oysters in the hot oil until crisp. 5. Slice baguettes and top with lettuce, tomato, pickles, and mayo. Top with the crispy pork belly, then the fried oysters. Cut baguettes in half, serve and enjoy thoroughly.

Grand Champagne Thanksgiving Buffet Thursday Nov. 22 11-3:00pm

Tandoori Turkey & Turkey Masala Chicken, Beef, Vegetables & More.

1031 Patricia Drive | 210.366.1030 | www.indiaoven.biz Gift Certificates Available

LUNCH: MON-SAT 11A TO 2P • DINNER: FRI & SAT 5P TO 8P

1151 HARRY WURZBACH RD. 210.822.9933 • ALOHASANANTONIO.COM sacurrent.com /// Flavor 2012-2013

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• A M E R I CA N P U B FA R E •

210.396.7917 • 22250 Bulverde Rd @ Evans

On Tap!

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KEEPING NORTH SA

QUENCHED

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P U BS & I C E H O U SES

Da-Phil panini served with kettlebaked salt-nvinegar chips.

Boneshakers at the Bridge Tap House and Pizzeria

MICHAEL BARAJAS

306 Austin, (210) 319-8155, boneshakersonline.com

There was nothing fancy at Boneshakers during its two years at the Southside bank of the San Antonio River, and there is nothing fancy about it now, located adjacent to the Hays Street Bridge. Nothing, that is, but one of the coolest vibes in town. That was confirmed during a recent late-night weekday visit: local band Education was coming out of the speakers. Seriously, how many times do you hear a local band coming out of the speakers of any bar? At Boneshakers, all you hear is stuff by bands that at one point or another performed there, mostly local, or at least Texan. Of course, you may not give a hoot about local music, but everyone has to quench their thirst, and everyone has to eat. At Boneshakers, you can now do both. Drinks are served on one side of the venue while five nights a week live music is going on at the other (no matter where you sit, you’ll always be close to the band). There’s a wealth of microbrews here, a few wines (from red to chilled white), and a full kitchen. You’ll find pizza and paninis ruling the ovens, both worth a venture. The new Boneshakers is open Monday-Saturday till 2 a.m., Sundays to midnight (brunch is Saturdays and Sundays from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., and it includes bottomless mimosas). Do yourself a favor and visit: anyplace that sells an artisan pizza named “Da Phil” and a panini named “Forget ’Bout It” is worth checking out. — Enrique Lopetegui sacurrent.com /// Flavor 2012-2013

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P U BS & I C E H O U SES The largest sports bar and grill in South Texas offers a wide menu of burgers, wings, and grill favorites in an atmosphere that welcomes the whole family. Pool tables, arcades, and over 30 TV’s let you catch every game. 13802 Embassy Row, (210) 4906500, bigsamsgrillsa.com

Freetail

Go to sacurrent.com/ dining for even more restaurant listings.

blackened fish tacos, and garden bean burger. 100 Probandt, (210) 2125727, latunagrill.com

Freetail Brewing

A casual Far North bar devoted to a global array of beer served with an ’80s hard-rock vibe. Free pint-glass night on Tuesdays, plus a chapter of Geeks Who Drink. Sixty-plus brews to choose from, with friendly, knowledgeable waitstaff to guide you. 22250 Bulverde, (210) 396-1917, thetapexchange.com

Yes, the house-made beers and ales are fantastic, and the signature brick-oven pizza, too. But brisket and goat cheese make this the one brewpub on the Northside you shouldn’t miss. 4035 N Loop 1604 W, Ste 105, (210) 395-4974, freetailbrewing.com

Boneshakers Tap House and Pizzeria

Newly located on the edge of downtown next to the Hays Street Bridge, this bicyclists’ destination is micro-brew heaven, with over a dozen (and adding) Texas brews on tap. Indie, punk, garage rock, jazz, and a big screen for sports bring an eclectic crowd to drink and enjoy a variety of artisan pizzas. 306 Austin,

add zest to this sports bar that caters to ladies, too. 12651 Vance Jackson, Ste 110, (210) 696-1356, foxandhound.com

(210) 319-8155, boneshakersonline.com

Broadway 5050

Where you’ll find live music and pure attitude. Friendly bar staff keep the mood fun and upbeat at this classic San Antonio establishment. Great burgers and crafted cocktails are the key ingredients brought to life with local music,

taking you back in time to the days of the twist and shout. Multiple locations, broadway5050.com

Fox & Hound Bar & Grill

Over two dozen beers, fun specialty cocktails, and beer cocktails, too: try the Sailor’s Grog with rum, or make your own blend with Guinness. A wide list of burgers and pizza

La Tuna Grill

Beer bottlecaps crunch under your feet beneath the city’s best tree canopy. Such is the atmosphere at La Tuna, a Southtown fixture where bikers and artists peacefully coexist over cheap beers in the shadow of one of SA’s coolest industrial backdrops. Specialties include country fried steak,

Tap Exchange

Wurzbach Icehouse

It’s absolutely a capital-b Bar in the old Texas ice house tradition, which at its simplest is a place to drink drinks with people you may or may not know. Serving wings, chicken strips, dogs and burgers, and yup, Frito Pie. 10141 Wurzbach, (210) 877-2100, wurzbachicehouse.com

Broadway5050.com

Burgers, Cocktails & Live Music Daily Happy Hour 11a-7p & All Day Weds & Sun Alamo Heights 210.826.0069 • Colonnade 210.691.5050

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STEVEN GILMORE

Big Sam’s Grill & Bar

TS, & I R I P S , S T R SPO

FULL KI TCHEN OPEN TIL MIDNIGH T EVER Y DAY!

HAPPY HOUR DAILY

FROM OPEN TILL 8PM $2 DOMESTICS • $2 IMPORTS • $2.50 WELL DRINKS

Fun

S P O H C R U O Y K C LI — AND — ! E L T S I H W R U WET YOULL MENU UNTIL 2AM SERVING F CIALS E P S H C N U L 9 .9 5 $

12651 Vance Jackson Rd #110 — 210.696.1356 — sacurrent.com /// Flavor 2012-2013

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SUNDAYS CATCH THE GAME! HOME OF THE SAN ANTONIO SPURS

100 OZ DOMESTIC BEER TOWER GAME DAY! BEER & WINGS & 24 PC WINGS (EXCLUDING BONELESS)$29.99

S P E C I A L S

BEST PLACE IN S.A. TO WATCH NBA TV & NFL TICKET

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GREAT BEER & FINE CIDER BY TENTH & BLAKE Private Reserve... The Fragrant Cascade hops set the tone in this full flavored Northwest Lager, giving way to earthy, bready finish. It presents a clean aroma with subtle sweet malt mingling with a hint of fresh earthiness. 4.7% ABV Woodland Pass IPA... A brilliant earthy copper color and a hint of caramel sweetness balanced by an inviting aroma of pine, citrus and floral. It has a prominent hop aroma with a balanced fruity hop complexity that is derived from Pacific Northwest hops. 6% ABV Worthington’s White Shield... Award winning IPA brewed to the same recipe since 1830. Aromatic hops, toasted cereal notes and hints of smoke and spice kindle White Shield’s embracing nose. Worthingtonís unique dual yeast works up a sharp sparkle, crafting a luxurious mouth-feel. 5.6% ABV

Batch 19... Pre Prohibition Lager In 2004, our brew masters discovered a old brewerís logbook in an unoccupied basement of our brewery. Inspired by this authentic Pre-Prohibition style recipe, this bold hoppy and surprisingly balanced lager, evokes the bold spirit of an earlier time. 5.5% ABV

St. Stefanus... A high fermented ale that is also refermented in the bottle; it continues maturing until it is opened. Brewed with the Jermanus yeast strain, the original yeast strain from the order of Saint Stefanus. Brewed and bottled in Belgium. 7% ABV Third Shift... A two time gold medal lager at GABF, Third Shift is a complex yet well-balanced amber lager with a sweet maltiness that dominates slightly over a clean, hop bitterness. 5.3% ABV Redd’s Apple Ale... Brewed with natural apple flavors & caramel color. It is an imported apple-flavored beer. 5% ABV

Worthington’s Red Shield... A light, blond ale brewed with both barley and wheat malts giving it a light biscuity backdrop. The subtle bitterness comes from the Brambling Cross hops that add a slightly spicy note to the flavor and, combined with Cascade and Centennial hops, give a citrus aroma with hints of Blackcurrant. 4.2% ABV Lemon Berry Shandy... Begins with a light, crisp Weiss beer, then blended with refreshing lemonade flavor and berry juice to create the most refreshing flavor under the sun. Pours bright and lively, with cameo pink and rhubarb orange in color. sacurrent.com /// Flavor 2012-2013

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San Antonio’s First

100% VEGETARIAN Restaurant

NEW LOCATION OPENING SOON — At The Pearl — ALON SHOPPING CENTER

10003 NW Military Suite 2115 (Corner of Wurzbach & NW Military) Sun - Fri • 11am - 9pm CLOSED SAT 210.233.1249

DOWNTOWN

1017 N. Flores Sun - Fri 8am - 9pm CLOSED SAT 210.320.5865 greensanantonio.com

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V EGE T A R I A N

Vegeria

Not your average Veggie Nachos from Vegeria.

STEVEN GILMORE

8407 Broadway, (210) 826-4223, myvegeria.com Typically, San Antonio’s meaty, gravy-laden, and cheese-smothered offerings send most vegans running. Cue Vegeria Vegan Restaurant, a mostly Tex-Mex vegan joint that also caters to gluten-free and raw diets. Located in the Viva Bookstore Complex on Broadway, Vegeria serves items like sangria mushrooms, vegan tamales, and a variety of sandwiches that will satisfy both vegetarian and carnivorous appetites. Highlights include the Road Trip Burger and the Vegetable Enchiladas. The gluten-free bun on the burger is reminiscent of a freshly-baked biscuit, while the black bean and sunflower seed patty had a crunchy texture well complimented by cashew-based “cheese.” Toppings included a chipotle Thousand Island dressing, stone-ground mustard, sprouts, added to the usual pickles, lettuce, and tomatoe slices. If spice is your thing, the enchiladas — packed with poblano peppers — deliver with style. Filled with corn and potatoes and drenched with enchilada sauce and vegan cheese, this plate represents San Antonio’s staple fare: comfort food with a Mexican accent. The refried black beans on the side finished with a subtle, smoky flavor. Don’t overlook dessert, which changes daily. On a recent visit, a coffin-shaped, gluten-free brownie called “Death by Chocolate” proved too tempting to pass on. The brownie was chewy and rich and coated with chocolate frosting and topped with chopped pecans. I ended up having to split the dessert with my date. Other dessert options that day included an orange pumpkin donut roll, raw brownies, and an array of tasty-looking cupcakes like pumpkin spice and chocolate chocolate chip. — Lauren A. Silva sacurrent.com /// Flavor 2012-2013

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V EGE T A R I A N Great quality food at even better prices. It doesn’t take a foodie to appreciate carefully selected ingredients. Bakery, beer, and wine, produce, meat, seafood, and bulk goods are here in a plentiful array. Monthly events and an in-store health resource library make Green Fields Market a true community player. 19239 Stone Oak Pkwy, (210) 495-4644, greenfieldsmarketonline. com

Green Vegetarian Cuisine

Macrobiotic, vegan, and vegetarian tastes are well served at this familyowned, homegrown vegetarian café. Toothsome baked goods and savory breakfast and lunch options abound. A walk through the front yard garden will convince you of Green’s dedication to local, organic eats. New location opening at the Pearl, March, 2013. 1017

Rosie’s daily specials, but don’t forget dessert: decadent delights like chocolate-chocolate cupcakes make frequent appearances on the changing menu. 8407 Broadway, (210) 8264223, myvegeria.com

Green

Veg-friendly Adelante

N Flores, (210) 320-5865, 10003 N W Military, (210) 233-1249, greensanantonio.com

under $10, but you’ll need to combine plates for a real Indian dinner. 5755 Evers, (210) 680-3134

Pavani Express Vegetarian Café

Vegeria

The all-veggie, veganfriendly food is worth waiting for. We recommend the delicious saffron lemon rice, a big puri (fried, tortilla-like puffed-up bread), navratam korma (mixed vegetables), paneer (homemade cheese), and pakoras (fritters). Most menu items are

SA’s only all-vegan restaurant now offers glutenfree baked goods in addition to Tex-Mex and raw offerings. Not sure if you’re ready to go meatfree? The green chili and lentil burger or sun-dried tomato and sweet potato enchiladas, topped with cashew cream, could take you all the way. Ask about

This Alamo Heights staple proves that healthy TexMex can still be tasty with tofu enchiladas, brown rice, refried beans, and sweetpotato fries served in a gallery-like setting. 21 Brees Blvd, (210) 822-7681

Counter Culture Café and Patio

Located inside Gold’s Gym just north of US 281 and Evans Road, Counter Culture is nothing if not diverse; you’ll find traditional Moroccan and Mediterranean food offered alongside raw vegan entrees and desserts, salads, and breakfast items. High-protein and

vegetarian dishes made by multiple chefs express the beauty behind this untraditional concept and location. 21044 US Hwy 281 N, (210) 489-6318, counterculturesa.com

The Cove

The Cove has also become a veggie haven under the sustainability-oriented hand of Lisa Asvestas. The fish tacos are rightfully famous and the vegan bacon cheeseburger has been known to tempt carnivores. 606 W Cypress, (210) 2272683, thecove.us

Pho Sure

This cozy spot offers the taste sensations of a variety of Asian cultures. Sushi, in addition to the ever-popular pho, is fantastic, as are the Thai and Vietnamese noodle dishes and savory entrees. Convenient for students and downtown residents, Pho Sure also offers delivery. 741 W Ashby, (210) 733-8473, pho-sure.com

Artistic

Plant-BasedCuisine TO

CHANGE WORLD THE

! 100o/o Gluten Free Bakery

8407 Broadway Suite 1 . 210.826.4223 Located In the Viva Bookstore Complex . www.myvegeria.com 90

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STEVEN GILMORE

Green Fields Market

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NOW ACCEPTING IMPLICATIONS.

~ FULL SERVICE BAR ~ FEATURING 75 HAND-SELECTED TEQUILAS & MEZCALS ~ 123 LOSOYA { ON THE RIVER WALK } • WORMTEQUILA.COM ~

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C O C K T AI LS & W I NE

20nine’s pizza, ready to be paired with wine.

20nine Restaurant & Wine Bar

STEVEN GILMORE

255 E Basse, (210) 798-9463, 20ninewine.com

With a list that now extends beyond a dozen, the craft cocktail bar is undergoing an expansion in numbers in San Antonio that one can only hope is not irrationally exuberant. Blue Box, The Brooklynite, and 1919 are only the latest to surface, each demanding (and deserving) its 15 minutes of fame. It seems reasonable, then, to remind ourselves that wine bars were bucking the trend of boring libations well before the likes of Bohanan’s Bar emerged. We like both Zinc (which also does cocktails) and Copa, both of which also do worthy food, but flipped a coin and it came up 20nine. Which I always want to call Twenty9 or some other variation on a name that is marginally less tricky until you realize that it refers to the highway that runs through Napa Valley, the early focus of the bar’s wine list. Currently, that list has expanded exponentially to include chardonnays from France and Chile, sauvignon blancs from New Zealand, moscatos from Italy, merlots from Bordeaux, and amarones from Italy. A program of tasting flights allows the curious to sample, say, three different merlots in reduced pours, complete with tasting notes, or to compare syrahs and shirazes. Owner Troy Fulmer is usually on hand to offer wine suggestions; the kitchen is under the direction of Chef Scott Boone, and he has improved its fortunes as well, developing a seasonal menu that melds seamlessly with the wine list. The sourdough pizzas are not to be ignored (we like the mushroom and eggplant model with spicy red wines); the traditional hummus also works with a lush chardonnay. A duck breast with porcini suggests a serious pinot noir from Burgundy. Venison stack with braised chard and a Port reduction? Big Bordeaux — or maybe a Côtes du Rhone — or whatever suits your fancy. In benign weather, a seat on the breezy patio seems to make everything taste good. — Ron Bechtol sacurrent.com /// Flavor 2012-2013

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C O C K T AI LS & W I NE Named after the highway that runs through Napa Valley, 20nine has expanded its California focus to include wines from around the world. The kitchen, now under Chef Scott Boone, offers a fine seasonal menu for pairings. Duck breast with porcini? A pinot noir from Burgundy will do. Owner Troy Fullmer is usually on hand to offer suggestions, but don’t forget to try the pizza. 255 E Basse, (210) 798-9463, 20ninewine.com

Bar 1919

Tucked snuggly under the lofts at Blue Star Art Center, Bar 1919 takes its name from the last year before Prohibition. Founded by Don Marsh (Bohanan’s, Green Lantern), this ode to cocktail culture cribs from NYC’s trendiest spots, delivering over 300 spirits, classic recipes, and new cocktail inventions. 1420 S Alamo, Ste 001, (210) 227-1420

Bar du Mon Ami

“Yes, we’ll make a Cosmo, and we’ll make a good one; the drink we make you is the one you want to be drinking,” says Michael Rossetti, Mon Ami’s new force in this beloved Alamo Heights bar. But ask for a Trilby instead, made with parfait d’amour, Cinzano vermouth, blended Scotch, plus a couple of drops of Pernod’s absinthe. You get the idea. Relax and enjoy. 4901 Broadway, (210) 822-3253

Blue Box Bar

Named after a bygone blue cooler where brewery workers used to wind down after shift, the Blue Box is the Pearl’s fullfledged watering hole. While it nods to the past with industrial design elements and a railing made from pieces of a retired tin, the place gives off a distinctly modern vibe. Classic cocktails are available, of course, accompa94

nied by new inventions. 312 Pearl Pkwy, (210) 227-2583

Bohanan’s Bar

Filling the ground floor under Mark Bohanan’s famed Old World steakhouse, the swank interior features clubby chairs and a cherrywood bar as long and true as a bowling alley that was designed with the bar menu in mind: classic cocktails from the ’20s, ’30s, and ’40s — delivered by a crew trained by one of the best in the biz, New York’s Sasha Petraske, of Milk & Honey fame. 219 E Houston, Ste 275, (210) 472-2600, bohanans.com

Guilty pleasure? Following my nose to Central Market and picking out the creamiest, stinkiest, cow’s milk cheese I can find, maybe a baguette and some chenin blanc, and snuggling up on the couch to watch True Blood. — Brooke Smith, The Esquire Tavern

The Brooklynite

Jaret Peña has raised the bar again with the Brooklynite, the city’s newest addition to the cocktail scene. Located a few blocks downriver from our offices, its our new local, and we’re more than pleased. Named a Rising Star by Starchefs, and heading the bar at the Esquire Tavern when it was named a finalist for “Outstanding Bar Program, 2012” by the James Beard Foundation, Peña was more than ready for bar proprietorship, and the Brooklynite delivers on the promise with amazing drinks, a unique retro atmosphere, and perfect service. 516 Brooklyn, (210) 444-0707

Copa Wine Bar

Wine cellar meets unpretentious rec room with snacks and cleverly named flights, like “Pinot (Noir) Envy” and “Call Me a Cab.” It makes a great date night for any demographic. 19141 Stone Oak Pkwy, (210) 495-2672, thecopawinebar.com

The Cork Bar at Hotel Contessa

Three-time winners of the RiverTini Pour-off, this unique hotel bar on the River Walk specializes in mojitos, margaritas, and sangria, offers a variety

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Antonio’s contribution to the speakeasy trend,” by the New York Times, it boasts a kicking Moscow Mule and a well-made Sazerac. 20626 Stone Oak Pkwy, (210) 497-3722

Havana Bar

This dark bar in the belly of Hotel Havana is a quiet contrast to light-filled Ocho topside; it’s filled with sink-into-it leather sofas that populate the room, which is wreathed in light that gleams blue thanks to the walls, punctuated by red votive candles. The food choices are limited, but sipping mezcales like Del Maguey top the bar menu, and pair well with Havana’s Chocolate Sampler. 1015 Navarro, (210) 222-2008, havanasanantonio.com

Max’s Wine Dive

of beers and wine and a tapas menu that ranges from goat cheese to carpaccio, with reversehappy-hour specials 10-11p.m., daily. 306 W Market, (210) 229-9222, thehotelcontessa.com

The Esquire Tavern

The 80-year-old River Walk institution is about as San Anto as it gets, serving crafted cocktails, craft beers, and small production wines paired with San Antonio comfort food. Lunch and dinner menu items include deviled eggs, sirloin and bison burgers, pulled chicken salad, fish fingers, tacos con papas, fried apple pies. 155 E Commerce, (210) 222-2521, esquiretavern-sa.com

Green Lantern

The Green Lantern combines the best of classic cocktail culture with the frisson of Capone-era cellar hideouts, dubbed “San

Max’s Wine Dive is the last word in bacchanalia ... with style. Even unsuspecting dishes like the truffled egg sandwich will expand your mind’s eye and delight your soul. 340 E Basse, Ste 101, (210) 444-9547, maxswinedive.com

Mariachi Bar at Mi Tierra

The full bar offers strong margaritas in three sizes: grande, jumbo, and liter. I don’t know if it’s the colorful decorations on the ceiling or the mariachis moving from table to table or what, but getting drunk at Mi Tierra makes one feel

like Harrison Ford circa Blade Runner getting lost in Guadalajara. For that alone, Mi Tierra is worth a visit. If you’ve been once, you know why this place has grown into a San Antonio institution since Pete and Cruz Cortez first opened in 1941. 218 Produce Row, (210) 2251262, mitierracafe.com

Soho Wine & Martini Bar

This sophisticated yet relaxing riverside bar really does feel like a bigcity hangout in its namesake Manhattan ‘hood. The clubby atmosphere is helped along by deep-red walls, stylish furniture, the former bank’s original 19th-century safe (doubling as an above-ground cellar), and a horseshoe bar that encourages long, conversation-rich happy hours. 214 Crockett, (210) 444-1000, sohomartinibar.com

Zinc Bistro & Bar

When the dinner shift winds down, servers from all over town descend upon Zinc to unwind with good company in stylish surroundings. Aside from boasting SA’s finest latenight food-and-wine menu, Zinc does “downtown” better than anywhere else, and the patio is one of the areas best-kept secrets. Champagne and pizza at 11 p.m.? We’ll meet you there. 207 N Presa, (210) 224-2900, zincwine.com

Max’s Wine Dive

TOP: CARLY GARZA, BOTTOM: RICK CORTEZ

20nine Restaurant & Wine Bar

A Swanky Cocktail Parlor on River North

Private Parties | Happy Hour | Reservations Welcome 516 Brooklyn Ave | 210.444.0707 | www.thebrooklynitesa.com sacurrent.com /// Flavor 2012-2013

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m arke t s

Groomer Seafood

9801 McCullough, (210) 377-0951, groomerseafood.com

STEVEN GILMORE

What is now the largest fresh seafood supplier in South Texas, stocking area restaurants with an incredible variety of fish from the Gulf and beyond, first started stirring way back in the late 1800s. Back then Bernardo Perez fished the Lower Laguna Madre, taking his schooner from Port Isabel out into the bay to net redfish, drum, flounder, and speckled trout. His sons George Jr. and Gilbert Groomer clung to the Texas Gulf Coast to make their living as well, selling mostly to locals. Although George Jr. died young, Gilbert had himself 10 fishing boats by the time he was 22, selling his catch to suppliers out of Brownsville. Across Texas and the Red River, Jake Jenkins, an Oklahoma wildcatter, won himself a Port Isabel shrimp boat in a poker game, winning the hand with the ace of diamonds. He moved to the coast and went into business, rechristening the shrimper, “The Ace of Diamonds.” Marriage would join the two fishing families in 1950 resulting in Groomer & Sons Seafood. Hard times in the 1970s and ’80s inspired the family to move to San Antonio in 1982. Now named Groomer Seafood and helmed by Captain Rick Groomer, the family still provides some of the best Gulf and imported seafood to be had, processing over 250 tons of fresh fish and seafood a month. Groomer’s is open to the public, too, six days a week, with fresh filets, whole fresh fish, shrimp, oysters, crab, scallops, and mussels. There’s squid and octopus, too, and an array of Cajun and sushi products, gadgets, and cookbooks. — Scott Andrews

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A variety of gourmet eats from #SATX favorite rolling kitchens. — Food served from open to close — Featured

CULLUM’S ATTABOY BURGERS, WHERE Y’AT FOOD TRUCK, THE INSTITUTE OF CHILI, WHEELIE GOURMET, THE DUK TRUCK, ZUM SUSHI, TAKORIYA AND MORE.

Puro #SATX Draft Brews

Including local and texas craft beers. fantastic wine selection, sangria and micheladas.

Specials

Downtown Tuesday- Live Music from Danny-O & $3 Alamo Golden Ale Wednesday: DJ Boo Boo Dan & $3 Ziegenbock Draft Thursday: $2 Lonestar Draft Friday & Saturday: Agosto Cuellar as “DJ Refried” Sunday: $2 PBR Draft & DJ Plata presents “Acapulco Gold” A Throwback to the famous Acapulco Drive Inn Jukebox. Hours

Closed Monday • Tues - Thur: 5p - 12a • Fri & Sat: 5p - 2a • Sun: 5p - 12a

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Friend us on Facebook & Follow us on Twitter. 609 S. Alamo Street • 210-227-2469

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F O O D T R U C KS

Alamo Street Eat Bar

DUK Truck’s gourmet duck tacos, served up in a paper tray.

MICHAEL BARAJAS

609 S Alamo, (210) 227-2469, alamostreeteatbar.com For a while last year, it looked like food trucks would never get traction downtown. Faced with local regs that keep mobile food units far away from restaurants, getting a legal spot to park was almost impossible. Enter Jody and Steve Newman, proprietors of Southtown icehouse The Friendly Spot. When another icehouse in the neighborhood, the historic Acapulco Drive Inn, went up for sale, they grabbed the locale and transformed it into Alamo Street Eat Bar, our first urban food park. The old icehouse building purveys a changing number of beers on tap, while the grounds are filled from Tuesday through Sunday evening with a fluctuating number of food trucks, including some of SA’s finest. A few of the trucks have been on hand since the beginning, such as the eclectic Tapa Tapa Truck, Cullum’s Attaboy, famous for their burgers and homemade fixin’s, and Ana Fernandez’ Chili Queens-inspired The Institute of Chili. Staying true to the legacy begun in the old plazas of SA with chili and tamales, the modern queens build on the tradition with short ribs and waffles, and their bestseller, The Bomb, brisket on a bun with chili topped with a fried egg. New Orleans native Pieter Sypesteyn, of Where Y’At Food Truck, says The Peacemaker, a baguette filled with fried oysters and pork belly, is a N’Orleans tradition. Why the name? “When you get in a fight with your old lady, just bring home an oyster po’ boy, and everything’s going to be all right.” He sources all his seafood from shrimpers he knows out of Galveston. Some evenings, you can find Sypesteyn’s friend Jason Dady at his duck-centric DUK truck, playing hooky from his restaurants, Tre Trattoria and Bin 555. The food truck movement attracts culinary talent in abundance. At Alamo Street, you’re likely to find the talent busy in the kitchens, or just stopping by to enjoy the freedom of the crazy thing. Check the website to see who’s cooking. — Scott Andrews sacurrent.com /// Flavor 2012-2013

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F O O D T R U C KS Located at The Historic Acapulco Drive Inn, this food park is the place to go late nights (or anytime after 5 p.m.), brought to the neighborhood by the owners of the nearby Friendly Spot. It took awhile, but food trucks have finally come to Southtown, and it was worth the wait. 609 S Alamo, (210) 227-2469, alamostreeteatbar.com

Langniappe Today

Lagniappe means “a little something extra,” and that’s what you get at this authentic Louisiana delight on wheels, offering Cajun/Creole, Southern Style, and seafood — all prepared by hand. (210) 551-2391, lagniappetoday.com

The Point Park and Eat

The Point is an open-air bar with a wide selection of beer and wine, a

food park, and arthouse with plenty of shaded seating. SA’s top trucks rotate through the park Tuesday-Sunday. Got a fave? Check out the website to see who’s cookin’. 24188 Boerne Stage Rd, (210) 251-3380, pointparkandeats.com

Rickshaw Stop

Serving savory traditional Pakistani street food, like kebabs and samosas — all guaranteed 100 percent Halal! (210) 902-9308, rickshawstop-sa.com

Say.She.Ate Mobile Eclectic Fare

Chef Brandon McKelvey calls his Akaushi beef sliders and double-friedin-duck-fat Belgian fries “comfort food.” That’s fine with us, we’re just glad they’re both a staple on this new truck’s ranging menu that also includes new takes on Southern standards along with exotic offerings. (210)

446-8257, facebook.com/ saysheatetx

Toasty Buns

Who gets your attention?

I really like Where Y’At. The Peacemaker sandwich with fried oysters and pork belly in a po’ boy is my favorite sandwich ever in town — the crunch of the oysters, the fat of the pork… — Jason Dady, Tre Trattoria, BIN 555, Two Bros BBQ

Build your own classic burger with portabella mushrooms, 100 percent Angus Beef, or turkey, then smother it with caramelized onions, avocados — swiss, bleu, or cheddar cheese, and a host of toppings, including Hatch green chilies or a fried egg. (210) 789-1106, facebook.com/toastiebuns

281 Food Truck Park

Escape the gritty tumult of the day at the green spaces of 281 Food Truck Park, offering food, drinks, and live music. Free beer? They got you covered every weekend until the keg goes dry. 25080 281 N, (210) 2759995, 281foodpark.com

Where Y’At Food Truck

Third Coast Kitchen’s Where Y’At Food Truck

Go to sacurrent.com/ dining for even more restaurant listings.

serves the best gourmet style Creole food in San Antonio, featuring New Orleans BBQ shrimp, shrimp Creole, red beans & rice, Po’ boys, muffalettas, and fresh beignets. Laissez les bon temps rouler! (210) 4200090, whereyatsa.com

Winner Winner Chicken Dinner

The signature dish is the WWCD: Chicken tenders marinated with jalapenos, then coated in a crunchy mix of almonds,sesame seeds, corn flakes, sugar, & chili flakes. Popped in a tortilla and topped with raspberry chipotle coleslaw, and avocado. There’s burgers, veggie versions and more, but we’ll go with the standard. (210) 215-1966, facebook.com/wwcdtogo

Wraps, Sandwiches & More!

Try our Stuffed, Fried Avocado! 210.215.1966 • facebook.com/WWCDTOGO

Specializing in Pakistani kebab wraps & samosas. Customizable menu available for corporate/private events & catering.

rickshawstop-sa.com info@rickshawstop-sa.com

• CATERING AVAILABLE •

210.902.9308 Search for “RickshawStopSA”

Connect with us! on Facebook & Twitter 100

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Mobile Gourmet Burgers

ToastieBuns.com 210.789.7041

CARLY GARZA

Alamo Street Eat Bar

FIND THE WEEKLY FOOD TRUCK LINE UP & SPECIAL EVENTS AT ParkAtThePoint.com or Facebook & Twitter (@thepointpark) : 24188 Boerne Stage Rd :

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The Shop 511 E. Grayson St. Tuesday – Friday / 6:30 AM – 6:30 PM • Saturday / 8:00 AM – 4:00 PM • Sunday / 9:o0 AM – 3:00 PM Quarry Farmers & Ranchers Market 255 East Basse Road (Whole Foods Parking Lot) Hours: Every Sunday 9:00 AM – 1:00 PM 102

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bakerylorraine.com

DESSER T S & C O FFEE

Bakery Lorraine

511 E Grayson, (210) 862-5582, bakerylorraine.com

MICHAEL BARAJAS

If you need an excuse to start (or enliven) a relationship that involves an overnight, here’s one: buy the breakfast-friendly pain au chocolate at Bakery Lorraine; one is really too much for a single person. At least you can claim that. Your case would be even further strengthened by said pain topped with hazelnuts, a new creation of BL’s Jeremy Mandrell. While the straight version is airy and lusciously lubricated by dual bands of chocolate, the nutted variant adds a layer of toasty crunch. All of which is not to suggest that the plain, chocolate-free croissant, Platonically perfect with its glazed top and just-openenough crumb — easily the city’s best example of this Parisian classic, is to be shunned. Mandrell and his partner Anne Ng come by their penchant for perfection legitimately: they met while working for task-master Thomas Keller, a man who has been called “America’s preeminent chef,” at Bouchon Bakery in California wine country. The pair moved to San Antonio in 2010 and started Bakery Lorraine in 2011. Its first public appearance was at the Quarry Farmers and Ranchers Market, and it was here we learned to love the fig and frangipani tarts. Now occupying permanent digs in a handsomely restored cottage on Grayson, in the orbit of the Pearl development, BL has expanded its offerings. Ng’s macarons are displayed front and center, and it’s as legitimate to select on the basis of color as taste; all of the ethereal, meringue-based confections I’ve sampled have been sensational, though I admit to being doubly seduced by the hue and taste of pistachio. There are three or four different muffins daily, along with an array of cookies, among which the local pecan with chocolate chip is as preeminent as Keller. The triple-ginger, really more like ginger cubed, is another winner. Oh, and the triple chocolate should also not be tossed out of bed, crumbs notwithstanding. — Ron Bechtol

An Almond Joy Tart and multi-colored macarons from Bakery Lorraine.

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C O FFEE & DESSER T S

Amy’s Ice Creams

This Austin chain is beloved for its especially creamy ices, its original house-made flavors (many suggested by customers) and its velvety fudge sauce. This is the place that made crunch’ns (candy bars, graham crackers, nuts, etc.) an ice-cream staple. 255 E Basse, (210) 8328886, amysicecreams. com

Aspen Leaf Frozen Yogurt

The self-serve shop features 14 flavors of frozen yogurt — 12 of which are fat free. Top your selection off with over 70 colorful, unique toppings like fresh fruit, cereal, nuts, and an assortment of chocolate candies. 22506 US Hwy 281 N, Ste 101, (210) 497-3461

Bakery Lorraine

Anne Ng and Jeremy Mandrel, who cut their culinary teeth with Thomas Keller’s renowned Bouchon Bakery in Napa Valley, have restored a cottage near Pearl to showcase the range of their considerable talents. Try everything from croissants and cookies to better-than-you-thoughtpossible quiches and prepared sandwiches. Coffee and Mexican Coke, too. 511 E Grayson, (210) 8625582, bakerylorraine.com

Bird Bakery

A moist, red velvet cake paired with a just-sweetenough buttercream is a model of equilibrium. But it’s the take-no-prisoners versions that made me reevaluate the importance of cupcakes to life: the chocolate/chocolate chip with peanut butter cream frosting was killer, and

Bird Bakery

the “prize-winning” carrot cake, like many of the products, made from a recipe from Elizabeth Chambers’ grandmother, redefines the genre. 5912 Broadway, (210) 8042473, birdbakery.com

Bistro Bakery

Originally envisioned as a basic bakery to supply French goods to Damien Watel’s restaurants, this light-filled, cheery cafe has ignited a demand for quiche and tarts under

the guidance of the chef’s mother. Leonidas chocolates and some of the best croissants in town have whet our appetites, too. 4300 McCullough, (210) 824-3884, bistrobakery.net

Broadway Daily Bread

As you’re inspecting the rows of radiant baked goods moving from the kitchen and into the paper bags, a server slices the banana-chocolate sample on the plate. You

WHERE USED BOOKS

taste. Then it’s the date nut. Next, blueberry. The queue at Broadway Daily Bread keeps moving, but you’re hanging on the counter glass, crumbs piling before you. A sound you later realize is whole wheat being stoneground on site means the rustic breads on the racks are doubly fresh. 5001 Broadway, (210) 822-1621, broadwaydailybread.net

The Cakery Bakery and Café

Cakery Bakery does boffo brownies (avoid the orange whities, however) and a truly heart-warming chicken noodle soup. So far, sandwiches haven’t achieved the same heights, with the tuna being somewhat sloppy and Doreen’s Favorite panino somewhat strange. 152 E Pecan, (210) 226-2253

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Bakery & Dessert

C O FFEE & DESSER T S

Redefining coffee house music A place where roasted java meets music & arts education iamacoffeehouse.com

Kate’s Frosting

Hourly and half-hour lessons available Mon thru Sat we teach all instruments and voice lessons Candlelight

Candlelight’s ambience sets it apart from stop-n-go Starbucks. An eclectic mix of couches and divans provides for study or relaxation. In addition to coffees, cakes, and pastries, Candlelight offers beer, an extensive wine list, soups, and sandwiches. 3011 N St. Mary’s, (210) 7380099, candlelightsa.com

Choicolate

Bribe or apologize your way to forgiveness with a box of luscious cocoa gems from this Stone Oak confectioner. Adventurous flavors like mango and habanero and Earl Grey are subtly delivered and elegantly decorated by St. Philip’s College (and Chicago Chocolate Academy) grad Jamie Choi. 700 E Sonterra Blvd, Ste 210, (210) 495-2464, choicolate.com

CIA Bakery Café

CHUCK KERR

This new Pearl outpost is devoted to mostly French breads, pastries, sandwiches, soups, and coffee. Anything hypercaloric — namely pastries — are deliciously decadent. 312 Pearl Pkwy, (210) 554-6464, ciachef. edu/texas/ciabakerycafe.asp Coffee Mania True coffee maniacs demand Columbian coffee, served at this new addition to barrista-land, specialing in flavored cappuccinos, lattes, and supplying the best in all-natural juices, muffins, and that South American delight — tasty empanadas. 5860 De Zavala, Ste 105

Hours 8a-2p 7a- 9p T-F 8a- 5p Sat

El Paraiso Paleteria

The Deco District’s El Paraiso really is an ice-cream paradise, filled with dozens of house-made, Mexican-style popsicles in flavors such as mango with chile, horchata (cinnamon-spiced rice milk), pecan, and plain old chocolate. 1934 Fredericksburg, (210) 737-8101

Frosted Delights by Joyce

Looking for a cup of joe with atmosphere downtown? Enter Southtown’s premiere dessert destination. Sit on the desk with your dog and enjoy a sandwich or one of the famous cupcakes while soaking up the free wi-fi and watching the parade of activity on South Alamo Street stream by. 926 S Alamo, (210) 227-2253, frosteddelightsbyjoyce.com

Free Wifi

Dine in & Take Out | 1627 Broadway | 210-310-6298

RISE & SHINE

Kate’s Frosting

So much more than cupcakes! The Main Avenue location now serves a full lunch menu of salads and sandwiches next door to the original bakery and a second location in Alamo Heights offers the same sweet treats that made Kate so famous. Multiple locations, katesfrosting.net

Las Nieves

Four dollars gets you nearly two pounds of fresh strawberry, mango, and pineapple drizzled in Lucas and lime. There are already people standing in line at Las Nieves as you are reading this. 4310 Blanco, (210) 735-9884 CONTINUED ON PAGE 106

WITH US. Authentic Colombian • Coffee • Flavored Cappuccinos • Lattes • Natural Juices • Muffins • Empanadas 5860 DeZavala Rd. #105 (Behind Buffalo Wild Wings)

— 210.420.4652 — Hours M-F: 7a-7p Sat: 8:30a-7p sacurrent.com /// Flavor 2012-2013

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C O FFEE & DESSER T S

Lily’s Cookies

Decorative sweets that taste even better than they look, this shop has been making handmade goods that are out of this world since 2002. Conveniently located in Monte Vista, cupcakes are also on the menu in addition to a vast cookie bar. Gift ideas galore, even if the gift is just for yourself. 2716 McCullough, (210) 832.0886, lilyscookies. com

Madexalli’s Cultural Coffee Bar

Coffee & Tea Bagel Factory

You can take the girl outta NYC, but you can’t take NYC outta the girl, at least when it comes to this East Coast breakfast staple. Owner Suzanne Hermann knows chewy bagels and flavorful schmear, though she thoughtfully punches up her handmade options with some South Texas spice in the serrano schmear and Ranchero breakfast sandwich. 15909 San Pedro, Ste 115, (210) 499-0100, bagel-factory.com

Live acoustic performances on weeknights and wine and beer specials make this decidedly not just a coffee bar at all. The pastries are fresh, the brew is spectacular, and the intimate performances are all good reasons why you should put Madexalli’s at the top of your to-do list. 555 W Bitters, Ste 112, (210) 233-1974, madexalli.com

Guadalupe Street Coffee

Panifico Bake Shop

IAMA stands for International Academy of Music and the Arts, a music school that serves coffee and sandwiches while the sounds of pianos and guitars float by. (Their motto is “At IAMA, you haven’t had enough coffee till you can play ‘Somewhere Over the Rainbow’ on the Ukulele.”) 1627 Broadway, (210)

This bakery features traditional Mexican breads, cakes, pies, tarts, and even fluffy buttery tortillas. Try the assorted flavors of empanadas as well as the European-style tortes made with specialty chocolates, creams, and cheeses. 602 NW 24th St, (210) 434-9290, panifico.com

A Westside hangout and community-development project that’s committed to neighborhood and coffee, featuring local artists’ work, especially with a political bent, fresh-baked goods, and extra-fine vibes. 1320 Guadalupe, (210) 212-6508, guadalupestreetcoffee.com

IAMA Coffee House

Olmos Perk

310-6298, iamacoffeehouse.com

Koffee Kup

The food and space (and the coffee, come to think of it) are kind of like your mom’s house — comforting and completely without fuss or pretense. Nothing is spectacular, but it all satisfies cravings for stick-to-your-ribs diner food. 1025 Donaldson, (210) 785-9007

Olmos Perk

Attentive baristas, a sophisticated work-andchill friendly setting, and the finest fruit smoothie in town made Olmos Perk the top choice for Best

Custom cakes, cookies, and more for any occasion Sculpted to match any personality 807 S. Presa San Antonio, TX 78210 210-454-8966 www.whipstitchcc.com 106

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Local Coffee Shop in the Best of SA 2010 readers’ poll. 5223 McCullough, (210) 858-2956, olmosperk.com

Sip

With a view of bustling St. Mary’s and Houston Street, this Andrew Weissman venture offers real city-café fare: straightforward coffee and espresso drinks, pastries, and an assortment of panini, such as the popular turkey and Swiss variety. 160 E Houston, (210) 222-0149, sipsanantonio.com

Suck It Hookah & Bubble Tea

Hookah pipes with over

120 flavors of shisa, an insane variety of fruit bubble teas, custard and jelly slinkers, chai, all in a laid-back atmosphere. 6565 Babcock, Ste 7, (210) 384-2974, suckitsa. com

Whipstitch

Whip Stitch Custom Cakes is your madeto-order custom cake shop where we specialize in confectionary art creations. Located in the Historic King William District and Southtown we hope to hear from you soon. 807 S Presa, (210) 454-8966, whipstitchcc.com

BRYAN RINDFUSS

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