San Marcos Entertainment and Culture
SMTX Food Challenges
Touring Hill Country Wineries
How To Vacation in Napa
by Jake Salter
by Jordan Regas
by Tiffany Matthews
About The Cover If you ever have the chance to pour bottles of wine over three beautiful ribeye steaks, we suggest using the cheap stuff. What we thought we could accomplish with one bottle turned into more than we care to admit. By the end, the steaks were well marinated and found a home on the grill. This is to date our largest issue and we have to say, the most fun to make!
The Wine List 08 Tidbits Sit back with a glass or bottle and enjoy the ride 11 Bondy Blog For the love of wine and family 12 Lolita’s Inside the taco that causes traffic problems 14 Jake vs Food A lesson in epic fails 17 SMTX Chefs The true local foodies 26 Neighbors Do not covet thy neighbors food...but you will! 30 Top Chef Drew Curren shows us his sprouts 32 Baller Poster Tack the entire issue to your wall 35 Back Yard Tour The Hill Country’s best grape juice 45 Say Cheese Everything is better with it 46 Napa Travel It’s like Spring Break for grown ups 48 Lacrosse Why Adrian likes to score 51 Kitchen Spotlight Who’s hungry?
SMTX Entertainment & Culture Publisher Rick Koch @rickkoch Art Director Will Bowling @wbcreative Distribution & Operations Jordan Regas @jjregas Events Johnell Huebner @johnellhueber Photo Editor Eric Morales @ericmphotoTX
Tiffany Matthews Kaley Kusenberger Lauren Watkins Eric White Brodie Corinth Kathryn Slaughter Clarisa DeSanto Anthony Baragas
Food & Drink Jake Salter
Photography & Art Katrina Barber Kate Anderson Tiffany Matthews Will Bowling
Copyright 2012 BobcatFans LLC 139 E. Hopkins Suite B San Marcos, TX 78666 All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or part is prohibited.
Sarah McDonald Morgan Martens Morgan Kemper Stephanie Simmons
361.236.5624 Marketing@ BobcatFans.com
BobcatFans Magazine is NOT a Texas State University publication. We just live in the same town and have a lot of mutual friends.
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4 | BobcatFans Magazine
Guest Welcome Letter
Secede Responsibly. Þ Dear San Marcos, I first arrived in San Marcos back in 1997 and would typically stop by Pepper’s on the Falls or Herbert’s for a bite to eat. A few great restaurants have come and gone since I was a student at Texas State, but many local favorites are still around like Palmers, River Pub, Grins and many others. Now there is a growing class of young and talented chefs moving into town who are passionate about bringing new flavors to San Marcos. About five years ago, I had a vision to bring a restaurant that offered big city style food for a small town price, but with my own style and creativity. When I was a kid, I went all over Europe and was able to experience foods from a variety of cultures. I wasn’t classically trained and didn’t have a huge desire to become a famous chef, but I would sit in my kitchen every night and whip out about three or four new dishes, such as our Patagonia rolls, ravioli crisps and Indonesian corn fritters. Then, almost two years ago, my dream became a reality when I opened the doors to Vodka Street. It was my chance to combine cooking with owning and operating a bar. Since then, I have discovered many other restaurants and trailers moving into town who share my vision of offering a new set of flavors for people to discover and enjoy. San Marcos has always been a great place to grab a bite to eat, but as the town grows, so should our menus. I hope that more delicious options continue to be cooked up around town to accompany all of our classic favorites. Sincerely, Eric White
©2012 White Hat Rum, all rights reserved.
Owner, Vodka Street Global Bistro
W H I T E P R E M I U M
H A T
T E X A S
R U M
SMTX Entertainment & Culture | 5
WHAT’S HAPPENING November’s Top Events Wurstfest Landa Park, New Braunfels
Nov 2 – 11
We’ve all been waiting for this 10-day festival of fabulous food, but more importantly, tasty beer. Virtually every food item comes on a stick leaving more freedom to polka the night away!
Cheatham Street Warehouse @ 9 pm
Rock out with the twangy country band from Oklahoma. You know you can’t miss this!
Veterans Day Parade
Nov 11-15 & 1822
Downtown San Marcos @ 10 am Come and celebrate our heroes for all of their courage and bravery. Free breakfast will be provided before the parade.
Bat Boy: The Musical Texas State Theatre Center
Experience the half-boy half-bat singing a plethora of different genres. This comical musical is more than meets the ears with influences from rap to rock.
Improv Acting Workshop
Wake The Dead @ 8 pm
Into comedy? Have a beer and improve your improv skills with Colt Kenny!
Rabb Rodriguez y los Killa’ Hogs
Global Bistro & Bar Come for the food, stay for the drinks. 202 n. lbj suite 101 | (512) 396-4260 6 | BobcatFans Magazine
Triple Crown @ 6 pm Support one of our spicy local bands and enjoy free happy hour for those 21 and up! 18+ for $5.
TMT @ 9pm Get your boots on, SMTX, and twostep the night away to some good ‘ole Texas country.
God and Country Celebration Embassy Suites @ 4pm
Presented by Debbie Daniel Ministries, this musical tribute by 100 Voice Community Choir along with other local performers is all about thanking our veterans, active duty military and first responders. There will be a special presentation given for Operation Comfort, an organization founded to support wounded troops. Admission is free, but tickets are recommended for seating purposes. Come show your support for our soldiers who have given so much for our freedom.
Sights and Sounds of Christmas Plaza Park @ 5-11 pm
Nov 28 â€“ Dec 1
Enjoy four magical days of the brightest sights and biggest sounds of Christmas along with the rest of the San Marcos and Texas State communities. At the 26th annual Sights and Sounds you can experience the thrills of San Marcosâ€™ biggest carnival, explore the town of Bethlehem, listen to amazing live performances, get your picture taken with Santa and munch down on some tasty treats. Children 12 and under are free with single night tickets, which cost $4 and presale weekend wristbands going for $6. Parking is free in the Strahan and Bobcat Stadium lot and trolleys will provide transportation to the event. SMTX Entertainment & Culture | 7
Financial Aid? Q. Is it true that I can lose my ability to receive financial aid if I am convicted of a drug related offense?
What to consider when shopping for wine Your Audience. Who are you entertaining? Take into consideration if the person or persons are experienced or inexperienced with wines.
Serving With Food?
If so, resort to the number one rule: Reds with red meat, and Whites with white meat, i.e., chicken and fish.
Take into account what you are wine shopping for. Examples would be: birthday, anniversary, gift, or just an evening relaxing with friends.
There is nothing like a chilled wine on a hot summer’s day and a glass of Port on a cold evening. However, I would not switch the two around.
The reason for this is that there are many varieties of wines. Your Reds, Whites, and Blushes are available dry, semi-dry, or sweet.
Some Basic Wines
A. A person convicted of
possession or delivery of a controlled substance is not eligible to receive federal financial aid including grants, loans, or work assistance for a period of at least a year. Multiple convictions can result in indefinite ineligibility to receive federal financial assistance. A student may be able to resume eligibility to receive federal financial aid if they complete a rehabilitation program and abide by the guidelines of the Higher Education Act. This is just one of many reasons why it is important to dig in and take the necessary steps to defend yourself.
Billy McNabb Attorney at Law
San Marcos, Texas 512-353-2136 www.billymcnabb.com
Know your rights. Protect your future. 8 | BobcatFans Magazine
Port, Riesling, Moscato, Muscat Canelli
Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, Pinot Noir
Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Chenin Blanc, Gewürztraminer, Riesling (both are available in dry and sweet varieties)
White Zinfindel, White Merlot
What is the best stemware to use?
How to store Wine
First, glass over plastic. Glass really does make the wine taste better.
Reds room temperature.
A basic wine glass is good for Reds, Whites, and Blush. Be sure to hold the glass by the stem or by the bottom of the glass.
Whites and Blushes refrigerate and serve chilled.
A stemless wine glass is for Reds only. Whites are served chilled, and your body’s temperature could heat the glass, which is not ideal for a white wine.
Pair a mildly sweet wine with cheese and crackers, a semi-dry wine with salads, Reds with red meat and Whites with white meat, and finish with a dessert wine.
A wider rim glass is good for reds. These glasses allow more oxidation to take place which lets the wine “breathe.”
Dinner Party Hints
YOU ARE WHAT
YOU EAT SAN MARCOS
From the endless supply of breakfast tacos to a handful of mouth-watering burger options, there is plenty in SMTX to keep your mouth occupied. Some of our tastiest food can be found in the most unlikely of places, and with the recent influx of food trailers, we have discovered that it’s not the size of the trailer that matters, it’s how you use it. Most recently, we are enjoying a surge in classy environments with reasonable prices for their delicacies. Eat it up SMTX!
Fast Food 15 locations
Food Trailers 13 locations
5.8% Fro-yo / Ice Cream
Italian & Pizza
5.8% Asian 8
11.6% American 16 locations
2.8% Bar-B-Que 4 locations
2.2% International 3 locations
Stats compiled by Morgan Kemper
Steakhouse 5 locations SMTX Entertainment & Culture | 9
10 | BobcatFans Magazine
Drink What You Like ...and blog about it! Sharing a bottle of wine with the Bondy’s is a an experience in fermented grape appreciation. Swirling the wine in a crystal goblet, a better material than glass for tasting wine, the Bondy’s spend time observing every facet of the wine. Never in a rush they lovingly stick their nose deep into their glass, inhaling deeply to let their sense of smell tell them the story of that particular vintage. There is no rush, this is full blown wine foreplay. Their love affair with wine has gone so far they decided to tie the knot with it....for at least a year. As a couple they created the wine blog BJWine365.com. For one full year Brian and Jane Bondy will sample a different bottle every night and blog about their adventures. Combining the wine with a story of how they came to drink that certain bottle, they take their readers on an adventure while giving their opinion on the wine’s nose, body and finish.
Brian & Jane take turns on who starts the blog and who finishes it. The blog and wine serves as a tool for spending time together, something the Bondy’s come together and share everyday, not only with themselves, but anyone in cyber space who wants to share in their journey. These wine lovers don’t believe a high priced bottle of wine makes it good. There are many bottles of excellent wine in the $10-$15 range. Most bottles in the blog are $25 or less.
“We’re not experts, we are just having fun enjoying wine”
The Perfect Pairing Brian & Jane share more than wine. They were born on the same day of the same year and are both the fifth child. They both attended SFA, and like a great bottle of wine, they are maturing well, together.
Redbud Roasters Austin and Mary Van Zant are the creators of Redbud Roasters, a coffee business that roasts their own beans from different parts of the world. Born in San Marcos, Redbud Roasters started as a man searching for a cheaper coffee alternative, quality intact. Van Zant started with the Farmers Market in San Marcos to test his new coffee on the locals. Four years and four markets later, he is cranking out more coffee than ever before. The roaster has a capacity to roast six pounds of coffee every 15 minutes! Starting with green coffee beans,
the roaster continuously turns the beans in a circular motion. The beans begin to turn brown as they roast and emit different oils as the heat increases. For Redbud Roasters, a typical batch takes anywhere from 13 to 16 minutes depending on the type of roast (light to dark). As the beans turn, they begin to smell like coffee and send a strong aroma throughout the room. Coffee shops such as The Coffee Pot, Jo on the Go, and Tantra have carried Redbud Roasters products occasionally, serving their customers with a great local blend of caffeine.
SMTX Entertainment & Culture | 11
This flat top grill sees a lot of action, cooking countless eggs and an average 200 pounds of potatoes a day.
All of Lolita’s delicious homemade salsas start out right here on this worktable.
All the cheese at Lolita’s is hand grated, which makes for a lot of early mornings slicing cheddar.
Lolita’s works closely with local bakeries to ensure only the best, freshest tortillas for their tacos.
Have you ever cooked enough refried beans for 300 tacos in one day? It ain’t easy.
If they got it, you can eat it. Lolita’s is always happy to help with special requests on tacos.
Steam warmed serving trays keep all the slow-cooked, meaty goodness hot and ready for your taco.
You Taco-ing To Me? When Marta Carrillo opened the small Lolita’s Café taco stand on January 7th, 2005, she had no idea that it would become as massively popular as it is today. All she knew was that she was ready to be her own boss, and loved making people happy with her delicious tacos. Marta worked in the food industry a long time before starting her own restaurant and it has paid off. Lolita’s serves between 300-400 tacos on an average day, they can do well over that number on game days. That number is more impressive when you learn that they pump out all those tacos in about 200 sq. feet. Factor in all homemade salsas and you can begin to understand why this little café has a line down the road every morning. Marta is very hands-on with her business, working 7 days a week and arriving around 5 a.m. most mornings. Be sure to check out this taco joint yourself on Aquarena Springs Dr., or grab a taco in the quad on campus. 12 | BobcatFans Magazine
Marta Carrillo tells us her busiest days are Saturdays, serving between 500-600 vehicles. Traffic has gotten so backed up, that with the help of the city, Lolita’s recently changed the directions of their drivethrus to ease congestion on the neighboring roads. Delicious Taco Problems!
self-serve frozen yogurt
SMTX Entertainment & Culture | 13
There’s a lot to see, do, and in this case, eat in mass quantities in a college town full of young people with big appetites. I set out to experience some of the most brutal eating challenges San Marcos has to offer and I learned two things: San Marcos has some really delicious Big Buckin’ 5-Pound Burger
food out there ...and I’m really,
really bad at eating challenges.
Story Jake Salter Photos Kate Anderson
Big ‘EFFIN’ 32 inch Pizza
Seven Pound Breakfast Burrito
Bikini’s - Big Buckin’ Burger Now, I know most of you know Bikini’s for lovely ladies and tasty wings, but you might not know it for the monstrous mountain of meat that is the Big Buckin’ Burger. This bad boy weighs in at 5 pounds, and comes topped with all the standard burger toppings. This leviathan of beef comes inside a fluffy baked bun, and an enormous side of Bikini’s homemade seasoned chips. The first challenge that arose as I attempted to eat this beast was fitting it in my mouth. Eventually, I cut it into pie slices, and I was on my way, just not for very long. I got maybe a third of the way through and couldn’t bear another bite. To all those more apt to the task, upon completion of the burger you will receive a T-shirt and the respect of all those that have bought the big buckin’ beast.
- The 7 Pound
If you ever wake up in the morning and find yourself hungry for over 7 pounds of breakfast burrito, then head over to Gil’s, they have just what you’re craving. This monster of a challenge may be daunting, but it is also delicious. If you order this behemoth you will be presented with a serving tray as a plate loaded up with a full pound of bacon, 12 whole eggs, 5 pounds of potatoes, all covered with gooey melted cheese and wrapped in buttered flour tortillas. As I was eating it, I felt ok until I tried to eat one of the tortillas. The bread expanded quickly in my stomach, and coupled with the potatoes, I was sweating after only a bit less than 2 pounds. If you can climb this mountain of egg and potato, dudes don’t have to pay and will go down in Gil’s history. However, if you’re a girl, you not only get it free, you eat at Gil’s free for life!
Gumby’s- The BFP
32 in. Pizza
Who doesn’t like pizza; the more the better right? Well Gumby’s has taken that concept and run with it, creating one of the most devious and difficult eating challenges in town. The BFP (Big “Effin” Pizza) challenge consists of a 32 in. pizza coated in 4 meat toppings, 4 veggie toppings, and an unholy amount of cheese. I opted for chicken, ham, bacon and pepperoni for my meats, and bell peppers, jalapeños, spinach, and pineapple for my veggies. After going through the pizza oven twice on a custom made pizza tray, I was served the most impressive looking pizza of my young life. Each slice ran from my elbow to my fingertips, and the whole thing came in at over 10 pounds. Seeing as it was a two-person challenge, my photographer hopped in to give me a hand. As we started to eat, one thing in particular stood out to me; this was one of the best pizzas I had ever eaten. The crust was deliciously thin, just the right amount of grease, and the toppings went together perfectly. With this realization in mind, I grit my teeth, and set out to conquer the massive plain of pizza that lay before me. I failed. I failed big time. I ate a little over 2 slices, my photographer barely finished one. Although we were soundly beaten and shamed, there may be a duo out there ready to slice Gumby up. The pizza or “entry fee” is $50 total, but if you can beat it you win $50 each, and get your photos up in the hall of victors.
SMTX Entertainment & Culture | 15
S N O I T A LOC & KYLE
Dr y t i rs
ve 00 i n U 1. 353-75
S O C R A SAN M
N E OP hr
2. Aquarena: 757-8833 3. Hopkins: 353-0000 4. Wonder World: 353-7766 5. Kyle on 1626: 268-6400
You walk into a restaurant and sit down; a server writes down your order and then, like magic, they come walking out with trays full of delicious food. Itâ€™s rare to see or speak with the mystery person behind the kitchen doors preparing your food. Television has done a great job of skewing our idea of what a good chef really is. Although they do exist (thanks Ramsey), most chefs out there are not Hitler in an apron with a tall white hat. Chefs are, for the most part, not in search of fame or fortune, they love creating, tasting and cooking because it makes people smile. Chefs are more than just cooks; they are historians, artists, inventors and mechanics. San Marcos offers a full menu of amazing chefs with many diverse backgrounds. We decided to go behind the scenes and discover what a chef truly is and how they are made.
A cook is only as sharp as his knives, & a messy station is a messy mind. - Ryan Hernandez Executive Chef Cool Mint Cafe
A Good chef should always find the best ingredients and preparation methods.
Ryan Hernandez Executive Chef at Cool Mint Café
Ryan cooks to the rhythm of a saying he learned, “Mise en place,” which means everything in its place. Preparation and organization are essential to his style of cooking. But don’t begin to think that Ryan’s mottos keep him from enjoying what he does. He loves to whip up a good sandwich and claims he could eat a taco with any meal.
Photos Eric Morales
Basic Ingredients While growing up in El Paso, Ryan was first inspired to cook by his dad who, as a firefighter, knew a little about how to manage a flame. After graduating from UTEP with a degree in marketing, Ryan decided to take a gamble in Las Vegas and attend culinary school at Le Cordon Bleu. Ryan spent some time in a Hawaiian-fusion restaurant on the strip in Vegas, but his path to chef-hood really took off when he traveled to London, England for a few months to complete an internship at The Fat Duck, a restaurant that was ranked #2 in the world at the time. “That’s really where I get a lot of my kitchen philosophies from is there. There was no yelling, everyone was extremely professional, encouraging and willing to help. It was an environment that fostered learning and personal and professional growth,” says Ryan After making his way back to The States, Ryan followed his heart, instead of his nose, to College Station for a girl, but this didn’t stop his education. During that time he learned a lot about American and Texas
Bobcat Burger Surprisingly not named after the Texas State mascot, but rather from the Bobcat Bite, a famous hamburger restaurant in Santa Fey, NM. All natural, local beef covered in jack cheese and hatch green chilies with a roasted garlic and lemon aioli sauce. Accompanied by spring greens tossed in a lemon-garlic vinaigrette, topped with green olives, red onions and mint. Lettuce Wrap All natural, local beef tossed with a spicy plum sauce, served with a ginger carrot red cabbage slaw tossed in sesame soy vinaigrette.
regional cuisines under Peter Madden. The more you get to know Ryan, the more you see his personality come across in his cooking. Ryan is a master of the fundamentals, preferring to do things simple, but well. He says, “I tend to think about what the ingredients are and how they can speak for themselves, rather than me trying to do something with them.” It all comes down to his desire to pick the best ingredients and let them shine through as opposed to his technique.
In The Sauce Two Tbs. Extreme Cleanliness “That means that the chef takes pride in the customer. Too many people try to take short cuts.” – Ryan Three Cups of No Compromise “A Good chef should always try to find the best ingredients and preparation methods.” - Ryan Two Boxes of Humility “To think that you know it all is just insane. I could learn and study forever and probably just be scratching the surface.” – Ryan
Portobello and Spinach Quesadilla White cheddar, queso fresco, portobello mushrooms and baby spinach. Served with a side salad tossed in a sundried tomato vinaigrette, a little bit of tomatillo pico de gallo and some sun dried tomato pico along with a cilantro lime sour cream. Chocolate Comfort A three layer, gluten-free chocolate cake. Chocolate truffle cake on the bottom, topped with a milk chocolate mousse, topped with a milk chocolate gnash and accompanied by a mixed berry collie underneath.
SMTX Entertainment & Culture | 19
Food has to taste as good as it looks, if youâ€™re going to go crazy on presentation then your flavors have to be there too.
Bradley Bowlin Executive Chef at Embassy Suites
For Bradley, administering a major kitchen operation is all about personally getting to know the cooks that make it happen. He is not a one man show and even admits that he spends a lot more time doing paperwork than cooking these days. Understanding the strengths and weaknesses of each cook and assigning them the tasks that best suit them keep his kitchen running smoothly.
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8oz Center Cut Fillet Served over garlic mashed potatoes with sautéd julienne vegetables (red bell pepper, carrots, zucchini and squash) with pilancio and balsamic reduction and a little melted brie cheese. Triple Chocolate Mousse Cake Layers of dark and white chocolate topped with gnash and dark & white chocolate collie.
A Bowl of Bowlin Foodscape Architecture While growing up in Houston, Bradley would grill outside with his dad and took tips from mom in the kitchen, who Bradley claims are both excellent cooks to this day. It wasn’t until he was twenty two that he would put some of those skills into action. It was during a semester at Blinn Community College that Bradley’s life took a new direction. “I was studying golf course architecture and landscape design. I was mowing greens in the morning before school and then going to class. I would cook at an Italian family restaurant during the night. When the owner asked me to be kitchen manager, that’s when my career took off,” says Bradley. Bradley received most of his training through the school of hard knocks. He tried culinary school, but he was too busy with his on-the-job training in the kitchen. “I have been fortunate enough to work under some really good chefs when I was younger. I trained in French, German and Italian cuisine, mainly the training was done with Stouffer, Renaissance and Marriot hotels,” says Bradley. He credits Mark Miller, a chef at the Coyote Café in Santa Fe, NM for helping him develop his style, a kind of
Strawberries Six delicious ways to dress a fruit that pairs well with chocolate and champagne. Vegetarian Penne Pasta Marinated mushrooms, fresh basil, penne pasta, capers, chalets and garlic tossed in a white wine sauce.
southwest and Italian fusion. September recently marked his fourth year at Embassy Suites here in San Marcos. He mentioned that 20 out of his 26 years of experience have all been in hotels. Bradley explains that the hotel kitchen offers its own set of unique challenges. His team prepares breakfast every morning for guests followed by a normal lunch rotation at their Rocky River Grille, but the true challenge comes from cooking for major banquets in their 80,000 square feet of banquet space. Bradley’s kitchen is not at all like “Hell’s Kitchen,” he says his leadership is more laid back, but only because his cooks know what he expects in levels of quality and presentation. He must be doing something right because seven of his cooks have stuck around since day one at Embassy Suites.
In The Sauce Two Cloves of Keep Improving “You have to really care about the guest and you have to be your own critic. You can’t take criticism personally, it has to be constructive, and you have to keep on improving.” - Bradley SMTX Entertainment & Culture | 21
Everyone tells you, oh, that’s really hard, you don’t want to do that, or girls don’t do that. But I’m good at it, that’s what I like to do.
Megan Turbeville Dinner Executive Chef at Root Cellar Café Megan says her style is based on taking simple ingredients and making them fancy. “Because anyone can make truffles and lobster taste good, that is not hard or a challenge in any way. But to make something simple, like an avocado taste good, or something more tricky to do, that’s what I like,” says Megan. She loves looking at pictures of food and will play with a plate of food until it looks just right.
Turbeville Helper Praise topped with Ambition
Growing up in a military family, Megan experienced many cultures around the world, including Germany, China and California. Her family settled down in Copperas Cove, Texas, where she grew up and began cooking for her family. “It wasn’t anything fancy for a 12 year old, it was like Hamburger Helper and learning how to time the sides with biscuits. I wasn’t making anything from scratch, but I was learning how to make a meal for people. I think that’s probably what made me want to be a chef growing up, the praise I guess.” Megan quickly fell in love with cooking after discovering a large pile of her mother’s old cook books. It was an old Asian cook book, which Megan described as, “So ghetto,” that gave her the recipe for first meal she made from scratch. 22 | BobcatFans Magazine
Seared Ahi Tuna Thick slices of tuna coated in black pepper and sesame seeds slightly seared on both sides with a cherry and wasabi sauce décor. Pumpkin Risotto with Goat Cheese and Italian Bread A creamy, pumpkin flavored rice-like grain topped with breaded goat cheese and side salad.
She would watch the Food Network, dig through cook books at the bookstore and cook for people as often as she could. Going off to college at Texas State, she almost abandoned her ambition for cooking. While pursuing a degree in mass communications and working as a car hop at Sonic, she decided that journalism was not for her. “Three semesters before I graduated I was sitting in Hastings. The Culinary Institute of America comes out with these big text books, like for a biology class or something, and I’m sitting there and looking at it and like, I get that joy, that happiness that bubbles inside of you…that’s when I knew.” Megan then went on to apply for her first kitchen job at Root Cellar Café with a lot of passion, but little experience. It was her love and passion for what she does that brought her from simply
making salads to becoming the Executive Chef in charge of dinner service. That was nearly seven years ago. Since then, Megan has graduated from the Texas Culinary Academy, but insists that to be a great chef, culinary school is not a requirement. Megan is also grateful for the mentoring she has received from fellow Executive Chef, Brian Oden.
In The Sauce One Tbs. of Business Mindset You have to understand how much ingredients cost and what you can afford.” – Megan 8oz Can of Leadership “I don’t like those chefs that yell at people, but you can’t be afraid to tell people what needs to be done.” – Megan
You’re not only a chef, you’re a mediator, a doctor; you’re picking people up like a taxi driver if someone needs a ride home; you wear a lot of hats.
Mark Jacobsen The Big Kahuna Trailer “When growing up didn’t your mother tell you to not play with your food? Well, I didn’t listen,” says Mark. Marveling at the beautifully manicured Bobcat watermelon makes us glad he didn’t. Mark has a long list of accolades, including catering for celebrities like Willie Nelson, but that’s not what it’s about for him. He loves getting to know people and making them happy with delicious food.
Never too proud to wash dishes Born in Tokyo, Japan and raised in Hawaii, Mark was thrown into a kitchen at a very early age. He says, “When I was nine years old my mother married a chef from Copenhagen, Denmark who was in charge of around 38 restaurants, I didn’t have a choice. He got a free dishwasher along with the program.” While Mark grew up in Hawaii, his family owned five restaurants in Maui where he learned to play with his food. It was a love-hate relationship with cooking for a while, which led him to pursue other career options, but eventually he came back to his first love. He attended Kalu Kelani Culinary School in Hawaii, but that was only continuing education for Mark. When Hawaii’s economy slid, he made a move to Colorado where he experienced a complete change of scenery. He worked at a very popular destination restaurant outside of Denver, world famous for cooking game, such as: ostrich, buffalo, venison and rattle snake. Recipes were based on food from the 1800’s. While grilling up fresh ostrich, Mark got a special 24 | BobcatFans Magazine
opportunity to cook for Bill Clinton, Mikhail Gorbachev and many other world leaders at the World Summit. Celebrity chefs such as Julia Childs and the James Beard Foundation made their way through the restaurant as well. When Mark came to Texas, he became the personal chef for the owner of Clear Channel; however, it did not always satisfy him. “It was good for the first couple years. I would rather cook for everyday people,” he says. “Someone that goes to work all week long and saves up their money to eat somewhere with quality food. To see people satisfied is gratifying to me.”
In The Sauce One Pinch Servant “In Hawaii, the term is ‘High Maka Maka,’ it means that you’re too good to do something. When you own your own business you have to lead by example.” - Mark Three Cups of Patience “To me, the reward is when a customer comes up to you and tells you how much they enjoyed something, or say they are going to tell their friends about you.” - Mark
Big Kahuna Burger 1/3 pound hamburger made fresh daily, topped with kalua pork and cabbage, kilawia sauce (spicy aioli). Ahi Pokey A fresh Tuna ceviche. Tossed in lime juice, soy sauce, sesame seed, ginger, green onions, garlic and tomato. Fish Tacos Blackened tilapia, Maui cole slaw (Asian enhanced flavors) and a papaya salsa. Hand Carved Watermelon TXST Bobcat Mark made this because he heard we are fans. Even better in living color.
If it doesn’t look appealing then people aren’t going to want it. you can pull some of the strangest ingredients together, and if it looks sexy, then people are going to want to eat it.
Jon White Shaved Ribeye Poboy Mixed Bell peppers and onions, provolone cheese, shredded lettuce, roma tomatoes and remoulade all piled high on toasted bread. Served with Cajun fries. Fried Crawfish Cheesecake Bell Peppers, onions, celery, cream cheese and other
cheeses with hot sauce and a little sugar and vanilla, all wrapped up in an egg roll wrap and fried to a golden crisp. Chicken & Andouille Gumbo Delicious Cajun mix of bell peppers, onions, celery, okra and tomatoes all topped with white rice.
Jon A La Carte Cajun Against The Machine Born in Shreveport, LA, Jon grew up right where 100 acres of land came face to face with a river. Getting to enjoy fresh fish, vegetables and beef right off the land was a great incentive for becoming a chef. Jon began cooking with his brother when he was around 10, but had plans to become an architect. He says, “I grew up around a lot of architecture and that’s what I was originally going to do, but then I changed my degree and went
into the culinary field. I decided I wanted to do something that was going to make me a little more happy instead of sitting behind a desk all the time.” After Jon traded in the graph paper for the wax paper, he made his way to Le Cordon Bleu, which happens to be right up I-35. Jon explained that culinary school is comprised of a year of actual classroom learning with an additional six months of working in a restaurant outside of the school. Jon is somewhat of a rebel when it comes to cooking, if the bandana and sometimes flashy shades
Cajun Cruiser Trailer Jon believes that food should look good, or “sexy” as he refers to it, even before someone takes their first bite. He does what he wants, cooks what he wants and moves his trailer where he wants. Not because he desires wealth, although he wouldn’t mind it, but simply because he loves cooking without restrictions and impressing customers with no-holds-barred cuisine.
doesn’t give that away. There was never a chef that he modeled his style after. His only true influence has come from, believe it or not, the internet. “I don’t really like to follow the rules, what people say is right or wrong, especially with food. Who says that you can’t put crawfish in a cheesecake and make it work? As the owner of the Cajun Cruiser trailer (which will temporally be moving to Fuschak’s before relocating to a different location in town), Jon is finally getting a chance to “color outside of the lines” as he describes it. He gets to play by his own rules and, in
doing so, is providing San Marcos with a special twist on many Cajun and Texas flavors.
In The Sauce One Sack of Devotion “110% is the only way to describe it. If you’re not like that all the time, then it’s going to show in your food, your presentation and how you are with your customers.” – Jon Three Cups of Experience “School can only get you so far, it takes a lot of learning.” – Jon
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Meet the Neighbors
Liberty Bistroâ€™s Pork Saltimbocca
Meeting the neighbors can be somewhat of an awkward and scary experience, especially when they decide to cook for you. Lucky for us, San Marcos is surrounded by some pretty cool neighbors, especially when it comes to cooking. If you are ever heading out of town or possibly looking to take a little adventure for your palate, then check out some of these nearby places that are worth getting to know. Photos Eric Morales
Seguin Dixie Grille
1575 Interstate 10 on Frontage Road
New Braunfels Liberty Bistro
Wimberley Brewster’s Pizza
Located in the basement of the old 1929 New Braunfels City Hall is Liberty Bistro. The restaurant’s founder had a fondness for history and wanted to incorporate that love into the restaurant.
The first time Bruce Collie encountered delicious New York style pizza was while playing offensive guard for the Philadelphia Eagles back in 1990. He and teammate Reggie White, yes, the Reggie White, would go and buy one hundred pizzas every Friday before home games and Bruce would hand them out to the poor while Reggie preached the gospel. This was a big change for Bruce considering just a couple years earlier he was blocking for Joe Montana in San Francisco, racking up Super Bowl Championships and living a rock star lifestyle.
200 N Seguin Ave.
Liberty Bistro’s food is all made from scratch, even their bread. Their seasonally changing menu contains a vast assortment of seafood, meats and produce. Liberty Bistro buys from local farmers as often as possible and sets up a booth at the New Braunfels farmers market on Saturdays. They are “going green” by having their kitchen operate through an induction process that releases no carbon emissions. The kitchen also houses a wood fire pizza oven. Along with their delicious American cuisine is a selection of wines from all over the world. The walls of Liberty Bistro are covered in pictures that reflect our nation’s history. Each dining area is specifically themed around a particular government branch. The main dining room, or “The Supreme Court,” is adorned with photos of presidents and first ladies. There is a large banquet room known as “The Executive Branch,” but the most popular area to dine is the Vault, or “Treasury,” where guests are surrounded by bottles of wine.
Signatures Rack of Lamb One of the most popular and written about items on their menu. It continually receives raving reviews from critics and foodies alike. Pork Saltimbocca Hearty pieces of pork and gnocchi (a dumpling morsel) are covered in a rich marsala gravy. Specials Weekly lunch specials until 3pm. Every night there is a new, unique special offered for dinner.
9595 Ranch Road 12
Bruce met his future wife there in Philly and things would never be the same again. Bruce and his wife went into the construction industry while constructing a family of their own. They built the Wimberley Junction, a row of buildings not too far from San Marcos that line the intersection of RM12 and FM32. They never really chose the restaurant industry, it chose them.
With a name like Dixie Grille, you probably already have a decent idea of how they like to cook. Dixie Grille offers the very best in southern comfort food, so good that it might even rival your own grandmother’s cooking, but don’t tell her we said that. Owner Peggy Whitlock created her restaurant with a family style atmosphere. Some people create family trees, others put together scrapbooks, but Peggy created a family restaurant complete with old pictures and memories hung all over the walls. Also, many of her immediate family members work in the restaurant. One interesting bit of family history is found in the picture of her dad in the old Texas swing band Bob Skyles & The Sky Rockets. Dixie Grille has mastered the art of the fryer and their creamy redskinned mashed potatoes are out of this world. With very reasonable prices, you can definitely enjoy a great meal on a budget.
Signatures Chicken Fried Steak & Fried Pork Chop Tender juicy meat held inside the perfect layer of light and crispy fried crust covered in rich, creamy gravy. Banana Pudding This award winning pudding is made fresh daily. Its rich and creamy taste will surly redefine your understanding of how banana pudding should taste. Specials Recurring weekly specials are offered daily that come with two sides for either five or six dollars. Monday’s country fried pork chop special is a true steal.
Brewster’s pizza is a creation based on everything they loved about the delicious pizza from up north. All of the ingredients are fresh and everything is made from scratch. They offer gluten free and wheat crust options. Wash down your pizza with one of Bruce’s own brews from The Wimberley Brewing Company, such as Peggy’s Cream Ale or Drop the Rabbit.
The Omnivore By far their most popular pizza; a combination of the Carnivore and the Herbivore. This 20” monster is loaded with bacon, Canadian bacon, pepperoni, sausage, black olives, green olives, mushrooms, onions, spinach and sundried tomatoes. The freshly made dough is hand tossed and baked to perfection - soft on the inside and crispy on the outside. Chicken Wings These baked, not fried, wings are tossed in an original honey glaze sauce that contains a hint of spice. Specials Brewster’s is offering 10% to students with a college ID during weekdays.
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Kyle The Texas Pie Company 202 West Center Street
If you have ever taken exit 213 and made your way down Center Street, it probably didn’t take long for you to notice the giant piece of cherry rhubarb pie atop the Texas Pie Company. The bakery is currently in its thirteenth year of operation, but Julie Albertson has been perfecting her grandma’s pie recipes slice by slice since 1986. The handmade pie shoppe has evolved over the years into a full on restaurant and catering service, serving up some of the best chicken pot pies in Texas. On top of a wide variety of pie selec-
tions, the bakery will make a special pie just for you; the only limit is your imagination. From minced meat pie to a Stilton Bleu-Cheese Cheesecake, The Texas Pie Company has made it all.
Signatures 10 in Deep Dish Pecan Pie This handmade pie is a rich, gooey and crunchy treat containing the perfect amount of sweetness all packed in a soft, flaky crust. This award winning pie is their biggest seller and extremely popular around Thanksgiving. Chicken Pot Pie Thick, juicy chunks of chicken unite with an assortment of ripe and delicious veggies all in a thick, creamy gravy. Specials Weekly lunch specials are offered for under six dollars. If you want to get a taste of their Chicken Pot Pie on special then make sure you swing by for lunch on Fridays.
Wimberley The Leaning Pear 111 River Road
Post college, Rachel and Matthew Buchanan made their way to Perugia, Italy where they were able to experience a new variety of tastes and techniques. Upon returning to the states, Matthew attended culinary school in New York and began training as a Sous Chef at the esteemed Bird and Bottle Inn in Garrison, NY. After moving down to the Hill Country and working for The Inn Above Onion Creek, the Buchanan’s were given a special opportunity to refurbish The Lowery House, one of the oldest structures in Wimberley into their new restaurant. The Leaning Pear is designed to reflect the beautiful atmosphere and tastes of the Hill Country. Much of their produce and ingredients are purchased from local farmers, giving their dishes a fresh and seasonal flavor. The atmosphere of The Leaning Pear is very quaint, yet comfortable. The restaurant provides the fine dining experience in a relaxed, Hill Country environment.
Signatures Fried Green Tomatoes A popular item which received a nice look from Edible Austin. The tomatoes, buttermilk dill dressing, oma’s and opa’s and sunflower sprouts are all purchased from around the Hill Country. Garden Panzanella Salad The most popular item among regulars. This assortment of aged red wine vinaigrette, local tomatoes, basil, cucumbers, red onions, kalamata olives, mozzarella and grilled focaccia is a must have experience for anyone. The taste of the focaccia bread as is soaks in the red wine vinaigrette is brilliant. Specials Always changing with the season and are posted through social media.
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CHEF Drew Curren Drew Curren competed on Bravo’s Top Chef and is about to open his third restaurant in Austin, named Arro. His other two establishments, 24 Diner and Easy Tiger, are huge successes, creating dishes that can blow one’s mind, but not their pocket book. After graduating from the most prestigious culinary school in the country, he moved back to Texas where no one would hire him. He formed partnerships with friends, defined roles, and is now living the dream with no stop in sight. You can’t help but tell he truly loves feeding people, which is why Drew might just be the coolest chef in all of Central Texas. Chef Drew shares his story, and the tastiest Brussels Sprouts recipe for the Thanksgiving dinner table. Education: Texas A&M University, A.O.S. Culinary Arts, CIA in Hyde Park, New York
Hometown: Austin, but born in Southern
California, spent 10 years in Atlanta, and moved to Houston at age 11. Better Half: Married for 3 years to pastry chef Mary Catherine Curren. They met at the Culinary Institute of America.
Next Restaurant: Drew didn’t say San Photos Eric Morales
Marcos, but we put the bug in his ear.
Curren’s Holiday Roasted Brussels Sprouts 5 lbs Brussels sprouts 1 spring onion 1/4 cup olive oil 1 Tbsp. kosher salt 1 tsp. ground black pepper 1 Meyer lemon Preheat your oven to 400° with a sheet tray inside. Cut the bottom off of each Brussels sprout and split lengthwise. Julienne the bulb of the spring onion, and slice the green top. In a large bowl, toss the onion (bulb and top), sprouts, olive oil, salt and pepper. Once oven is to temperature, carefully remove sheet tray and dump sprouts onto the hot pan. Roast until slightly charred and tender, remove from oven, and squeeze lemon over the sprouts. Stir and taste for salt while still hot; season more if necessary.
How did you make the transition from Animal Sciences to Food? In my final year at Texas A&M, I went on a study abroad program in order to complete my fine arts credits of which I had none since my college career was dedicated to science. In Italy, I realized my love for food, wine and family was greater than that of performing surgeries on animals. It was at that point I realized I was going to switch from saving them to cooking them…..
What inspires you when you are cooking? The season
When you have a family gath- What was the Top Chef experiering, is it a given that you are ence like for you? Would you cooking? My mother is a fantastic do it over? What would you cook. She taught her four boys, me being change? Top Chef was a great experience, the youngest, all how to cook. I always contribute, but my mom is not one to give up the reigns of her kitchen. She loves feeding people as much as I do so we team up and do it together.
“I realized my love for food, wine and family was greater than that of performing surgeries on animals. It was at that point I realized I was going to switch from saving them to cooking them...”
and weather typically point me in the direction of what I am going to cook. For example, the first cold rainy day of the year you can come to my house for spaghetti and meatballs. I love making a fresh tomato sauce, rolling balls of beef, veal and pork and boiling some beautiful pasta in order to enjoy the arrival of cool, wet weather. Spring and summer What is your guilty pleasure push me towards lighter dishes incorporating food? Chicken wings! I want 20 chicken the grill. Grilled fish, that I hopefully caught, wings, a basket of French fries and some and whatever we picked up from the farmers really good and chunky bleu cheese dressmarket is a typical summer dinner for my wife ing…..and lots of beer!! and I.
When you were growing up What is your one favorite food is this what you thought you item/dish on earth? Steak! I love would be doing? No, from the time I grilling ribeyes in the backyard, but I crave redfish on the half shell, a fresh caught redfish fillet, skin and scales in tact, covered in lemons and butter, salt and pepper over a hot grill. Now that is tough to beat!
I met some cool people, saw what reality TV was like from the other side and learned that competitive cooking, as I had thought in the past, is not for me. You aren’t going to see me on Top Chef Redemption, no desire to go through that again! What would I change, other than winning, probably the destination. While I love Texas, it sure would have been cool to do Top Chef in a city like Seattle, Portland or even Philadelphia!
Besides your own, what is your favorite restaurant to eat at? Currently, my wife and I are loving Lenoir. Todd and Jessica are amazing people, the atmosphere is cozy, and the food is great!
What is the most underrated food item that you can think of? Dry Sherry. I use it when I roast mushrooms, I put it in my French onion soup, and I use it to open mussels. You can find a bottle of dry Sherry in every one of my kitchens.
How did you create the world’s
was about 15 I worked in vet clinics and did greatest hash dish (with chili)? everything I could do to go to the best college I have always loved breakfast. Eggs on top with the best vet school I could attend, hence of potatoes, sausage, bacon and cheese just my degree from Texas A&M. made sense. I think subconsciously it came from growing up with older brothers talking about the Kettle’s “scattered, smothered and covered” hash browns. SMTX Entertainment & Culture | 31
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Finding our Way
Texas Wine Country
The bus, with its burgundy “Discover Texas Wine Tours” logo stretched across the side, comes to a smooth halt parallel to Hopkins as our tour guides step out to greet us. After the traditional “Before” photo, we pile into the luxurious cruiser. Directly in front of everyone is a sharp LCD screen that introduces us to the tour, provides tips on wine tasting, and previews the wineries. Below our sleek and comfortable seats is a large cooler full of ice and water bottles. The first bottle is popped, a toast is made and our adventure begins. We are a group of explorers ready to discover a new land, determined to make it to five wineries spread throughout Central Texas in one day. Before anyone realizes it, we are twisting and turning down old Texas backroads and making our way deep into the infinite, rolling beauty of the Texas Hill Country. There is only one thing left to do, discover Texas wine. Story By: Jordan Regas Photos By: Eric Morales
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inding our way When BobcatFans made the decision to write an article on all of the Hill Country wineries sitting in our backyard, we had no clue what we were getting ourselves into. We could have traveled the road alone, but there is no shame in asking for a little help from someone who knows the way, can speak the language, and for all practical matters, can get you home safely. It seems appropriate to first introduce our guides who led us through the vast dominion of Hill Country wine. Noel and Kathie MacDonald, owners of Discover Texas Wine Tours, are not your typical wine tour guides. They turned one of their biggest passions into their business concept: to help others discover their love of Texas Hill Country wine. At Discover Texas Wine Tours, they focus more on an authentic wine tasting experience, emphasizing that “Our specialty is smaller, non-touristy, more remotely located wineries.”
Where four wineries will soon converge
They tout three routes The Drippin’ Wine Trail, The Fredericksburg Trail and The Marble Falls Trail. Each wine trail has it own unique feel with varying vineyards ranging from quaint and humble to tourist attractions and more commercial. Unlike those old “Choose Your Own Destiny” novels you might have read as a kid, when it comes to the Texas wine country, there is really no such thing as the wrong path.
The Drive Noel gives us a short history of Texas wine before taking a sharp turn leading down to the Pedernales River. It turns out that the Central Texas Wine Trails are actually the second most popular wine destination in America, coming in second only to the Napa Valley & Sonoma region of California. As it turns out, though, California got a big head start on Texas because they were given permission to continue wine making during prohibition. Another interesting fact we learned is that France has the High Plains area of Lubbock to thank for shipping them vines when an epidemic almost put an end to French wine for good.
Outdoor tasting room at 36 | BobcatFans Magazine
Tanks full of fermenting grapes
The two Mercedes Sprinters can accommodate 10 guests each
Wine Tours Discover Texas Wine Tours provides a friendly and relaxed atmosphere for those who want to sample and become familiar with the award-winning vintages being produced in our Fredericksburg, Dripping Springs and Wimberley, Texas wineries. The Central Texas Wine Trails have earned the distinction of being the most visited and award winning wineries in the nation — second only to those located in Napa Valley and Sonoma. Taking a winery tour is a fun and enjoyable way to spend time with that special person or group of friends without having to worry about “the details.” In addition, the Central Texas corridor has begun to offer an expanded horizon of select breweries and distillery tasting tours as well.
The young vinewards at Hilmy Winery The young vineyards #BobcatFans at Hilmy Winery
For those who need only safe and comfortable transportation to and from events of all kinds, we offer shuttle services at an hourly rate with advance reservations. Plan a fun evening out with friends, neighbors or family, where the cost is shared and the driving is left to us. Sit back, relax and enjoy the ride with the adult beverages of your choice. www.discovertexaswine.com
Before leaving, Allan shared a little about Texas grapes and how different soil around the state produces specialized grapes. He says, “Our grapes, because they are in the Hill Country with limestone underneath our soil, about three feet below, have these mineral characteristics that are more traditional like Bordeaux, France. The issue with all grapes in central Texas is that we just don’t get the yield per acre that they get in Lubbock or that they get in California.” Allan went on to explain how the soil in Lubbock, or the High Plains as they call it in the industry, is highly similar to the wine produced out in Napa Valley, having more of an early reacting “fruit forward” taste. Allan poured us all a glass straight from the stainless steel container that would not be ready until sometime in 2014; the future tasted pretty good.
Allan Fetty uses a wine thief to pour wine during the barrel tasting
Westcave Cellars Our first destination: Westcave Cellars in Round Mountain, TX. Margaret Fetty greets us in the tasting room and we all assemble around the bar. Margaret specifically chooses a wine for each person based on their particular taste preferences. As we taste, we come across their best selling wine, the White Merlot. She explains that the color of the wine comes from the skin of the grape and that the bitter taste that hits the palate in red wine is from the tannins, produced from the stems, seeds and skins of the grapes. As she held up a 2010 White Merlot and compared it to a darker 2011 White Merlot, Margaret explained the effect that last year’s draught had on their grapes. “The berries were much, much smaller and if you remember what I said, you get the color of a red wine from the skins, and with the berries being smaller, the pulp of the grape had more surface contact and because of more pulp contact with the skin it made everything a lot darker in color. While we only had 40% less grapes, meaning, i.e., prices are going to be higher, the 2011 vintage is going to be amazing thanks to the draught conditions of 2011,” says Margaret. Essentially, 2011 was a good year for Texas wine. Margaret’s husband, Allan, took us out to the crush pad where the whole process begins. The grapes, along with the dirt, worms and everything else that comes with them, are first tossed into the crusher/de-steamer machine. The next step is the pressing, but from here, the process is different for red and white grapes. “With white grapes, since you’re going to press them right away, you really 38 | BobcatFans Magazine
mash them hard. With the red grapes you ferment them with the skins and seeds and everything goes into the tank together, and you just want to barely break the skins on those. [Then] what happens is the yeast will get inside those cracks and each little berry will become its own fermentation chamber so to speak…and then you press it after it’s been fermented. Fermentation, simply put, is yeast converting sugar into alcohol,” says Allan. The fermentation takes place for several months inside of stainless steel containers, but after the red grapes are finally pressed, the juice is poured into oak barrels and gets aged for a period of time while the white wine goes through a clarification process. Allan explained that not all wineries use the French Oak barrels due to cost, but it’s that process that gives a wine its earthy, smoky flavor.
Original label art by artist Tim Wooding The Fetty’s have been growing grapes in the Hill Country since 1999 Cellar Dweller Wine Club: $35 to $60 per shipment (2-6 wines)
“You can never make a mediocre grape into a great wine, it’s not possible.”
Bell Springs It was past noon, we all felt deep into the wine tour, but it had only just begun. The next stop was Bell Springs Winery in Dripping Springs, TX. Bell Springs is owned by Nate Pruitt and his wife. If you could only choose one person to talk to about the future of wine in Texas, Nate might just be your guy. At Bell Springs, they currently do not grow any of their grapes (they are planning on growing in the future), and will even purchase grapes outside of Texas if he believes it will make a better tasting wine. But as a Central Texas wine maker, or vintner, his wines are still completely his own. Nate explains, “The grape is essentially nothing more than that when you get it. Then it goes through the process: crushing, steaming, pressing, fermentation, and then it becomes wine. So no matter where you get the fruit from the process of making wine is still the same; the difference is what you do with it. There is one thing to remember in wine making, which is that you are never going to make a good wine out of a crappy grape…you can never make a mediocre grape into a great wine, it’s not possible.” As we smelled and sipped down fresh samples of Nate’s wine, he went on to explain how recently Texas wine has begun making a name for itself. He says, “There are some fantastic Texas wines, I probably wouldn’t have said that about seven years ago when I first moved here. There were some good wines then, but in the last five years, everywhere you go around here they have something good.”
(left) Nate Pruitt, Owner of Bell Springs. The middle bottle, Reston, is named after his young son. (below) Custom made “Wine-stone” available in various bottle capacities.
took the opportunity to explain the filtration system. He said that out in Europe they don’t actually filter their wines, so then it’s perfectly common to see sediment at the bottom of the glass. In America, we are accustomed to believe that if we see something in the bottom, then there must be something wrong with the wine, but really this is not true. Nate says, “We filter most of our wines. When I say filter, I mean, literally go through a filtration process where you are passing a wine through filters that take all the small stuff out. We don’t filter down to a sterile filter…because every time you filter it does actually take some of the taste out of the wine.” He added in that wine makers out in California have access to ridiculously expensive filtration systems and bottling services while it tends to be a more hands on process for Nate and his crew. Nate taught us a lot, including building our wine vocabulary with words like tartaric acid, grape varietal and bricks content; we all felt like an amateur Sommelier. Nate handed us all a souvenir wine glass and it was off to Hye, TX.
One of the ladies in our group noticed a few particles in the bottom of her glass and Nate SMTX Entertainment & Culture | 39
vineyard here in ‘96 out at Willow City, which is north of Fredericksburg...Then in 2008 we started making wine. We had about 400 cases then and now we are producing 5,000 cases, and for 2012 we plan to have over 5,000 cases.” Bill is a major proponent of Texas grown fruit and Texas grape growers, producing 60% of his own grapes and purchasing the remainder from close friends in the industry.
People will say, ‘Well this doesn’t taste like California,’ well, it’s not from California,” says Bill.
Texas grapes in their wines. Uses small batch fermentation and old world “by hand” techniques.
William Chris Vineyards Our next stop is named after Bill Blackmon and Chris Brundrett. The tasting room is housed in the historic Deike brothers home built in 1905. Much of the frame is still in its original condition. There were so many Deike brothers that they almost managed to man a whole state championship baseball team, the only non-brother on that year’s team was a kid by the name of Lyndon Baines Johnson. Both owners happen to be major fans of Texas history, which, along with the beautiful Oak trees, is what drew them to the property. Bill and Chris didn’t start making wine until 2008, but Bill is a long time veteran of grape growing. Bill says, “We’ve been growing grapes since ’83. I’m from Lubbock and in Lubbock we planted 13 acres there in ’83. In ’86 we planted the Hunter Vineyard, which is south of Lubbock and we still farm that vineyard…We planted a
Everyone is in pretty high spirits as we progress through the William Chris tasting. We are trying to maintain professionalism as much as possible, but let’s face it, after three tastings and popping a few bottles in-between, you are starting to feel pretty good. Questions about a grape’s characteristics quickly begin to fade into questions about Bill’s characteristics and abandoned hobbies. While sipping down a wine titled Emotion, someone mentions (we will leave his identity a secret for his safety) that his wife does not need to drink any of this; everyone bursts out laughing. One thing you quickly learn on a wine tour is that they are as much fun as they are informational, if not slightly skewed towards fun. Bill either really liked us or had pity on us, but either way he let us taste a special wine from their Hye Society Wine Club and then took us back to the fermenting room for a special tasting. Before we left, Bill mentioned that his secret comes from trusting his grapes and not tampering with his wines. “It’s the grapes; it’s just what’s grown. It is what it is. Sometimes it’s a little lighter than what you think it should be…People will say, ‘Well this doesn’t taste like California,’ well, it’s not from California,” says Bill.
Four Point O We arrive in Fredericksburg, TX. Someone had suggested we listen to Michael Jackson (we had reached that point). It just so happened that Noel had a copy of his number one hits DVD that we rocked out on the LCD monitors. Suddenly, we are surrounded by wineries. One after another; we breeze by the beautiful vineyards. The next stop is Four Point O Winery. At this point, everyone is a bit hungry and needs a short break from tastings. We order a massive meat and cheese platter full of an assortment of meats, grapes and many varieties of cheese. It hits the spot. Four Point O is a collaboration of three wineries: McPherson Cellars out of Lubbock,
Brennan Vineyards out of Comanche and Lost Oak Vineyards out of Burleson. Jayne, who managed the tasting room, explains that the name is Four Point O as opposed to Three Point O because their fourth label will be under the wineryâ€™s name itself. Having recently opened in April, the winery is beautiful and the perfect location for a few great pictures. At this point we are all passed asking informative questions and just begin to enjoy the experience. Jayne is very hospitable and plays right along with the group; we have somehow gotten into a playful argument over the requirements for being a native Texan. Some people are ready to call it a day, but we decide that a quick stop at Hilmy Cellars, the new kid on the block, will be worth the trip.
There are two levels for their Wine Club â€“ Deans List: 3 bottles $35-$55 range, with discounts and complimentary tastings & Honor Society: 6 bottle $70-$110 range or 12 bottles with a $140$220 range with many added benefits.
Eric Hilmy enjoys a fresh glass of “The Temp” in his young vineyard
Hilmy Cellars Hilmy uses Guinea Fowl birds instead of pesticides to keep insects off the vines.
Our fifth and final winery. Everyone is getting a little tired and some of the group has already dropped out of the race. Noel explains that most groups will cap a tour at four wineries, because after the fourth tasting it becomes difficult to capture the unique tastes of the wines. Only half of us stay in the race for one last tasting. Hilmy is a brand new wine cellar in Fredericksburg; parts of it are still under construction. Vinnie, who stands behind the tasting bar, explains how the operation is so fresh that he could be operating the tasting room one day and then be out on a tractor the next. The owner and wine maker, Eric Hilmy, greets us and graciously pours everyone a generous glass of wine before guiding a tour of the cellar. Eric points out that much of his equipment is sitting outside; they have to make due until the construction is finished. He smiles and lets out an acute laugh as he points out some more equipment that sits in open view. Eric is not ashamed in the least, he is looking towards the future and ready for all off the delicious wine that’s yet to come soon. It is all about the wine; it is all about doing whatever it takes to produce great tasting Central Texas wine. The Hilmy vines are low to the ground and still have plenty of growth and potential ahead. It’s a good metaphor for Central Texas wine in general. Wine makers are beginning to see the fruits of their labor. There are many delicious wines made right here in our backyard – with plenty more to come. This is only the beginning for Texas wine country.
Hill Country Wine Guide Alamosa Wine Cellars Mediterranean style wines made from Texas grapes. Blends made in the field and/or fermented together with minimal handling and gentle processing. 677 CR 430 Bend, TX 76824 Fri-Sat 10-5 Sun 12-5 or by appt (325) 628-3313 www.alamosawinecellars.com Becker Vineyards Hand crafted award-winning Bordeaux, Burgundian, and Rhone-styled wines that can be enjoyed causally or with fine cuisine. 464 Becker Farms Rd. Stonewall, Tx 78671 Mon-Thu 10-5 Fri-Sat 10-6 Sun 12-6 (830)644-2681 www.beckervineyards.com Bending Branch Winery With 14 acres of vines, this winery has produced award winning wines. 142 Lindner Branch Trail Comfort, TX 78013 Fri 11-6 Sat 11-6 Sun 12-5 (830) 995-2948 www.bendingbranchwinery.com Chisholm Trial Winery Their saloon-styled tasting room will make you feel like you stepped back into the old west. 2367 Usener Rd. Fredericksburg, TX 78628 Open 7 days a week 12-6pm (830) 990-2675 www.chisholmtrailwinery.com Comfort Cellars Winery Enjoy your wine in a restored tasting room circa 1904. This place will give you a home feel while tasting some great and unique wine. 723 Front Street PO Box 324 Comfort, TX 78013 Sun 12-5 Mon 10-5 Thurs-Fri 10-5 Sat 10-6 (830) 995- 3274 www.comfortcellars.com Driftwood Estate Winery Get a taste of the Mediterranean while getting to enjoy the breathtaking view overlooking the vineyard. 4001 Elder Hill Rd CR 170 Driftwood, TX 78619 Mon-Sun 10-6 (512) 858-9667 www.driftwoodwine.com Dry Comal Creek Vineyards This winery takes pride in being a pioneer in Black Spanish vineyards and winemaking. 1741 Herbelin Rd. New Braunfels, TX 78132 Mon-Sun 12-5 (830) 885-4121 www.drycomalcreek.com Duchman Family Winery This winery is 100% Texas made. They produce wines with innovative equipment and have techniques to produce unique Texas wine. 13308 FM 150 West Driftwood, TX 78619 Mon 12-6 Tues-Sat 11-9 Sun 11-8 (512) 858-1470 www.duchmanwines.com
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Photo Central Market Story Morgan Martens
Praise Cheesus! The tough exterior known as “Rind” preserved cheese from flies in the days before refrigeration, which increases the overall flavor profile. Rinds include anything from salt and water, to beer, to wine.
Normally, Central Market carries around 650 different kinds of cheese, but as the holidays approach, the cheese family will grow to over 700 different blends from all over the world. From hard to creamy, blue to white, and soaking wet to bone dry, cheese aristocrats do not discriminate. Trying Local Favorites
Central Market carries goat cheese from Pure Luck Farms out of Dripping Springs and a broad selection of cheese from Full Quiver Farms in Camp, Texas.
Cheese is categorized by milk made from cows, goats, sheep, and buffalo. Sheep and goat milk cheeses tend to be more expensive because it requires 10 gallons of their milk just to create one pound of cheese.
Try Before You Buy
Customers of (HEB owned) Central Market can sample any cheese on any given day in the cheese department. When you find a cheese you would like to buy, the local HEB can often bring in cheeses you request.
Alta Langa La tur
The personal favorite of Bill Hayes, the Head Cheese Monger at Austin’s Westgate Central Market. It has a cream cheese-like texture that is a blend of goat, sheep and cow milk.The flavor sinks in after being chewed a few times, giving your taste buds time to absorb its rich and yet delicate notes.
Never Cheesy To Plate
The perfect cheese plate shoots for an odd number of cheeses, typically 3 or 5, with a broad variety of flavor that can be paired with beer and wine. Cheese plates can be served as appetizers, snacks, and even dessert.
Gourmet Grilled Cheese
The ever-popular Grilled Cheese Sandwich is often too predictable for its own good. Bucking the status quo and using a more unfamiliar cheese is an easy way to kick up your cuisine and impress fellow diners. According to Hayes, “meltability” is the only requirement for an oh-so-good grilled cheese sandwich.
“Cheese should be eaten at room temperature. You should never eat cheese cold because you’re not getting the full flavor of the milk.” -Bill Hayes, Cheese Monger
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Napa, California Wine Country Vacation
California is a popular travel destination with a lot to offer across the state. Due to all the vacation options nearby, Napa is one of those areas many want to visit, but rarely ever make it out to. Speaking from experience, if you enjoy good food and good wine Napa is worth your vacation time. Words & Photo by Tiffany Matthews
Wineries Not To Miss Hendry Ranch Wines
Start your vacation with a tour of the quaint Hendry Ranch Wines. The first half of the tour is a vineyard and winery tour given by a member of the Hendry family where you will learn about Napa history and winemaking. But the highlight is the second half of the tour, a seated wine education tasting where you will leave feeling like you know more about wine tasting than the average sommelier. The tour is $40 per person but is waived with equivalent wine purchase (rare in Napa).
This â€œWilly Wonkaâ€? of wineries was the first Napa winery to build the entire winery in a cave. This means the fermenting, bottling, storing, etc. all happens in the cave (obviously the vineyards are still outside). Tours are only available by reservation and are worth the $60 per person fee.
This gorgeous winery has beautiful architecture, gorgeous gardens, and makes magnificent bubbly! This is one of the few wineries that has seated tastings, which makes for a luxurious afternoon sipping on sparking grapes and snacking on cheese, artisan meats, or even caviar.
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Experienced travelers know that your hotel choice will have an affect on your opinion of the vacation destination as a whole. The activities Napa has to offer are daytime activities. Napa has a small town feel and winery workers want their evenings free just like we do. The only thing to do after 5 pm in Napa is go out to eat, go to a wine bar, or on weekend nights there may be a play or concert in town; everything else shuts down. Since you have most likely been drinking wine all day, after a nice dinner out you will want to relax somewhere nice and romantic, Holiday Inn Express just doesn’t fit that bill. In Napa, you should splurge on your accommodations. The best thing to do is rent a vacation home with a great view. Nice hotels in Napa are expensive, so for a small amount more you can get a lot more bang for your buck with your own private home, yard, deck, and maybe even a hot tub. After a long day of touring wineries you can sit out on your deck, drink a bottle of a great find from the day and watch the sunset while eating dinner you picked up or maybe even grilled yourself on your patio. Nights in Napa are cool, even in the summer, so after dinner you can spend time with your loved one in the hot tub looking at the stars. It doesn’t get much more romantic than that. Tip – Check out VRBO.com to rent a vacation home directly from the owner. Don’t be afraid to ask for a discount on multiple nights, especially weeknights.
To do Napa right, you need to research ahead of time and pick out the wineries you want to visit. Narrow the winery choices down based on location to your lodging, types of wine you like, tours offered, architecture that interests you, etc. You can find reviews of all wineries on travel sites such as TripAdvisor.com.
The view from the outdoor bed at the Tuscamedi rental house is secluded and over-looks the rolling Porter Family Vineyards.
Plan on visiting 4-5 wineries in a full day, just tasting at most and doing a tour and tasting at one. Many winery tours have the same information, so don’t go on more than one a day and try to book tours that offer different things (barrel tasting, wine education, cave tours, vineyard tours, etc). Tours must be booked in advance and average $25 per person but can be as high as $60 per person. $60 per person may seem high, but for a private tour of one of the world’s top wineries, it may be worth the education and memories. Tasting and tour fees are often waived if you join the winery’s wine club.
For a tasting, you will be given a sheet of available wines with a description of each one. You select 5-8 wines from the list to taste and the average tasting fee is $10 per person. Don’t be scared to share a taste with your partner to save some money and to save yourself from a wine-induced headache later. The pours may look small but they really add up and by the end of the day you will be happy you didn’t over indulge. The last thing you want is to wake up on the second day of your vacation with a full day of wine tasting in front of you and a hangover to deal with. Tip – Not all small wineries have tasting rooms open to the public, but you can still visit them. Contact the winery ahead of time to schedule a private tour/tasting for a fee. This may end up being the highlight of your trip.
Another option for touring wineries is hiring someone to do the driving for you. There are many experienced and knowledgeable tour guides in Napa. There are private limousine tours available for approximately $60 per hour or to save money, you can join a shuttle tour with other travelers for an average of $99 per person for the whole day. For a private tour you tell your guide what wines you like and they will do all the rest. Public tour guides will try to accommodate everyone’s wish list, but obviously can’t be entirely custom. These tour guides sometimes have special relationships with the wine makers and can organize unique experiences not available to the public such as a picnic in a vineyard or a tour with the wine maker. The price of the tour does not usually include the cost of a tasting or a tour at the wineries, so keep in mind there will be additional costs. A special Napa must-do is to ride the Napa Wine Train. Lunch and dinner tours are available daily and offer a unique view of the countryside. There are different rail cars offering different levels of luxury from a non-air conditioned BBQ car for $99 per person, to a fine dining dome car for $139 per person. Wine can be purchased for an additional fee or you can bring your own for a corkage fee of $15 per bottle. The meal is cooked onboard the train and you can even tour the kitchen if you like. Book your tour in advance as the train sells out most days, especially those summer weekends. Tip – Try wineries where you have to join a wine club to receive it at home. Why fly to California to drink wine available at HEB?
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Receiving his first stick in 8th grade, Adrian Hanner has been going strong in this everything but easy sport. Hanner started on the Varsity team his freshman year in high school in Houston, Texas. He even received MVP his senior year. “Ever since I picked up the stick in 8th grade, I knew this sport was for me, and hopefully after college I will continue to be involved with it.” Adrian knew that lacrosse was for him, because the main thing that attracted him was that you didn’t have to be big or tall; strength was the main aspect. Being a part of the TXST lacrosse team has been one of Hanner’s best experiences. “It introduced a new level of skill in the sport and also gave me some of the best friends I could ask for.” Hanner’s position has been attack ever since he started in high school. The “attack” position is the team’s goal scorer. To be able to play this position, you have to be quick and agile with great stick skills and the ability to score. Adrian is in his final year here at Texas State studying Mass Communication with a minor in Art.
Q&A Are you looking forward to working with the new, award winning coach? I couldn’t be more excited. With a week of practice under our belts, I can say that this first week of practice has been the best practice we’ve had in the past 2 years. Other than lacrosse, what other hobbies do you have? I like to play basketball when we don’t have practice. It’s fun and helps me stay in shape. What team are you most excited to play against this year?
What’s your favorite thing about living in San Marcos? Nice, friendly people and the ability to float/swim in the river at any time is a plus. 48 | BobcatFans Magazine
Photo Eric Morales
UT. Last year in the championship for our conference, we lost to the Longhorns 10-12. But this year we will leave everything on the field. And with the new coach leading us there, I have no doubt in my mind we will beat them.
NO PLATES CAN HOLD OUR BAR-B-QUE Preserving Central Texas Tradition!
BRISKET - PORK RIBS - PORK CHOPS CHICKEN - TURKEY - SAUSAGE
MON - SAT 11 a.m -8 p.m.
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Special Advertising Section
ilario’s Italian Cuisine
New York cheesecake drizzled with a crushed strawberry sauce and served on a chilled plate.
20Twelve Kitchen Spotlight The answer to “Where do you want to go eat?”
Photos Eric Morales SMTX Entertainment & Culture | 51
Diners on the square enjoy a casually elegant sports bar setting where Texas and Ireland converge in the form of food and drink. The vast menu consists of local ingredients made fresh daily.
“The most taps in Hays County and the finest selection of Irish and Texas spirits”
Sean Patrick’s What do you get when you combine an Irish pub, Texas roadhouse and a sports bar? An authentic San Marcos original Irish-Texan themed pub with a huge menu and great atmosphere. This isn’t any average restaurant with beer on the side; Sean Patrick’s makes all of their food in-house. The salad dressing, sauces and soups are just a few of their growing list of homemade goodness. Featuring over 20 sandwiches and hand-pattied burgers customers can order in various combinations complete with freshly made hand-cut fries and a choice of white, wheat or jalapeño cheddar bun. Their massive chicken wings, with a multitude of sauces to choose from, give their customers yet another food option to go with a pint of endless beer choices. Located right on the Square, Sean Patrick’s is the place to grab lunch or dinner. 202 E. San Antonio Street | 512.392.7310 | seanpatrickstx.com | $6 Weekly Lunch Specials | College Delivery Partner 52 | BobcatFans Magazine
“Great Italian cuisine is right up the street in Kyle. The bread alone is worth the drive”
Chef Chad adds sizzle and flavor to an order from the Pasta Bar menu. Fresh garlic, spices, and only the best olive oils create the fuel for ilario’s culinary fire.
ilario’s Italian is the original comfort cuisine and ilario’s blends authentic flavors with portions that leave you feeling full and ready to take on the day. ilario’s lasagna is a signature favorite with diners. Meat, cheese and red tomato “gravy” reminds you that layers upon layers of well cooked ingredients are always delicious. Fresh baked garlic rolls are perfect for sopping up every last bite. You can eat light, picking and choosing your ingredients when you order from the pasta bar menu. ilario’s has six varieties of pasta to be paired meat and/or veggies, prepared anyway you like it, with any of their home-made sauces. The fresh pesto is perfect with grilled chicken and angel-hair. Pair your meal with a glass or bottle of one of their local wine vintages and finish with a lip smacking, amazing dessert. 1501 S. FM 1626 Kyle, TX | 512.268.3300 | Sun-Thur 11am-10pm Fri & Sat 11am-11pm | Weekly Lunch Specials starting at $6.95 SMTX Entertainment & Culture | 53
If you have ever tried Chinese food then you need to meet its bolder, fresher, and better looking cousin, Thai Cuisine.
Prik Nam Pla
Thai food restaurants in San Marcos are few and far between, but lucky for locals, it might be the best in Central Texas. Thai food lovers, Prik Nam Pla will exceed all your expectations. Customers rave about their egg rolls and egg drop soup, which has proven to be one of the best around. They offer tofu as a substitute for meat in their entrees for a vegan option and are glad to exclude any animal by-products. This one-of-a-kind establishment is also BYOB. You can bring a bottle of wine to enjoy with your food since they do not offer in-house beer or wine options. A sweet ending to an excellent dinner is their homemade coconut ice cream. This dessert is raved about by all who have tried it, making this restaurant a must-try in the immediate future. 1917 Dutton Dr | 512.396.9919 | M-F 11am-3pm, 5pm-9pm Sat 12pm-9pm Sun 12pm-8pm 54 | BobcatFans Magazine
â€œPeople like to eat where the food speaks for itself.â€?
“A global bistro where diners enjoy cuisine from around the world”
With a full selection of spirits, gourmet burgers, brunch and bottomless mimosas, Vodka Street is so much more than damn good food; it’s a well-rounded travel experience.
Vodka Street Set in a beautiful upscale bar atmosphere right on the square, Vodka Street serves up what can be fondly described as gourmet bar food. Guests are all too often surprised to find out their kitchen cranks out some of the most delicious and exquisite pub food around. The Buffalo Burger is a half-pound patty topped with homemade potato chips drizzled in melted Maytag Bleu Cheese, chives and buffalo sauce. The burger menu is reason enough to try what many dub the best in town. Menu selections range from Mediterranean to Chinese and everything in-between. Every Sunday, morning brunch is served alongside their famous mimosas. A favorite among its regulars who partake while watching football during fall.
202 N LBJ | 512.396.4260 | M-F 3pm-2am Sat & Sun Noon-2pm | Half Priced Appetizers M-F 3-7pm SMTX Entertainment & Culture | 55
“Where the art of pizza making & inner peace connect over a slice of pepperoni”
House made dough takes flight everyday at Zen’s.
Zen’s Artisan Pizza Get ready for a San Marcos original. The local feel of this pizzeria makes patrons feel like they can hang out for as long as they like. The chill atmosphere and handmade pizza keeps Zen’s a busy place. Their creative pizzas include all sorts of meats that everyone loves on a good New York style crust. They also offer vegetarian pies and the option to build your own pizza ranging from 12 to 20 inches. Complete with a bar, they feature local brews on tap and bottles, imports and domestics. And what would a pizza place be without breadsticks? They offer cheesy bread, garlic twists, and amazing pepperoni rolls. If you aren’t in the mood to eat out, Zen’s delivers peace of mind and piping hot pies. Going the extra mile, Zen’s will even deliver a 6-pack of your favorite beer (upon presentation of a valid ID, of course). Whether you’re in the mood to eat out, or eat in, Zen’s is hands down a great pick for a quick meal. 700 N LBJ Ste 107 | M-F 11am-10pm Sat-Sun 2pm-10pm | 512.396.7445 | thezenofpizza.com 56 | BobcatFans Magazine
“Tex-Mex dining with drinks & a patio worth toasting”
Fajitas and signature margaritas that make your inner Texan proud to live in Central Texas. Yankees, be careful when biting into those Mexican pickles.
Tres Hermanas The good people at Tres Hermanas offer quality, authentic Mexican food where the wait staff can make fresh guacamole right next to your table. With several fajita options to choose from, portions are enough for two. Like all good upscale Mexican food restaurants, they offer enchiladas with a delicious tequila sauce. Customers rave over their great margaritas that compliment a meal or social hour perfectly.
2550 Hunter Road | 512.878.2405 | treshermanasrestaurant.com
Not all drinks are created equal. Cody’s not only selects the finest spirits, but serves them in the finest manner with great attention to detail.
“Fine spirits, fine food and fine friends”
Cody’s Bistro The newest addition to the San Marcos scene might also be the most mature. Cody’s appeals to the local upscale market by serving fine food and drinks to those who enjoy sipping on a thirty year aged single malt scotch while munching on a steak sirloin flat bread pizza. The atmosphere is sleek and stylish while maintaining a feeling of comfort and cool. 690 Centerpoint Road | 512.393.2867 | codysbistroandlounge.com SMTX Entertainment & Culture | 57
Add excitement to your meal by ordering chicken, steak or lobster hot off the Hibachi Grill or try fresh sushi made by the experts at the Sushi Bar.
“The original dinner and a show.Starring Steak & Lobster”
Kobe Steakhouse Kobe Steakhouse wows San Marcos locals with their Teppan chefs who cook Hibachi style dinners right in front of their customers. Dinner is no longer just about the food, its an experience! A full course meal is cooked right in front of your eyes by a chef who likes to add a little fire to their cooking. Ordering off the
grill for lunch can provide a show and amazing food for under $10. Kobe features homemade sushi from their sushi bar. Their range of sushi gives customers a wide variety of rolls and sauces to choose from. They are known for their $5 Happy
Hour sushi specials If an open flame sounds like a little too much, they also offer traditional seated dining with all the menu options. Steak and Seafood are the menu headliners; the Hibachi Lobster will definitely leave you smiling.
515 Springtown Way | 512.396.7200 | Ladies Night Wed 5-9:30pm | College Night Thur 5-9:30pm | $5 Sushi Happy Hour All Day
Ribs so tender it’ll make you slap yo momma! If it belongs on a pit, smoking till it hits juicy meaty perfection, then the pitmasters at Hays Co. BBQ probably cook it.
Hays County BBQ The pitmasters here prefer their BBQ like they prefer their cars...Old School! A little bit of true Americana mixed with Texas Pride. The only gas they use is for their hot rods. True slow smoked Central Texas Bar-B-Que is the cornerstone of the business. Good brisket takes time and care, and it’s this philosophy that has been winning over the local BBQ fans for years.
The last three years their meats have been awarded the Best Of Hays BBQ honor, grabbing the attention of smoked meat connoisseurs from all over the state and beyond. They cater special events, lunches or dinners for just about everyone, including the staff at Texas Monthly Magazine.
“Preserving Central Texas BBQ Tradition one brisket at a time”
Come taste Central Texas BBQ tradition.
2601 Hunter Road | 512.392.6000 | Mon- Sat 11am- 8pm | hayscobbq.com | Daily Lunch Specials 58 | BobcatFans Magazine
Bobcat Shopping at Bobcat Stadium The Only Fan Shop Owned and Operated by Texas State University.
Texas State University Bookstore Presents The new fan shop located in Bobcat Stadium featuring the finest in Texas State apparel & gifts is now open! Open daily from 10 am - 4 pm. Extended hours on game days. Closed Sundays.
Here for you, here for Texas State 2nd Floor LBJ Student Center Î‡ 512-245-2273 www.bookstore.txstate.edu
Try pizzas with the name Stoner Pie or Jalapeño Popper and wash them down with a pint of beer for .99 cents.
“Pizzas, tossed salads, pepperoni rolls and beer. The best buffet in town”
Gumby’s has been a San Marcos staple since its opening. Its creative pizzas like the “stoner pie” and the “heart attack” reel customers in with just the name alone, not to mention the mindblowing taste. Beyond the clever pizzas, Gumby’s makes their pizza crust, sauce, ranch and pokey butter homemade every day. Besides pizzas, Gumby’s offers pepperoni rolls, salad, pokey sticks (pizza dough covered in pokey butter and mozzarella cheese), and wings for people who want a non-pizza option. On your lunch break? Their salad and pizza buffet gives customers a chance to try it all without ordering an entire pizza first. They will also customize a salad just for you with your choice of veggies and dressing. Last but not least, Gumby’s most famous employee, Gumby himself, makes an appearance at the square and around town regularly to encourage people to keep eating Gumby’s all the way until their closing time of 3:30 a.m. 403 N. Guadalupe | 512.754.8629 | Sun-Wed 11am-3am Th-Sat 11am-3:30am | gumbyssanmarcos.com | Lunch Buffet Daily 60 | BobcatFans Magazine
A custom fusion sushi shop with a plethora of ingredients and the know-how to make the taste melt in your mouth. This is sushi kicked up and ready to cure your cravings.
How Do Your Roll?
“Home of the 420 Roll, sold weekdays from 4:20 till 6pm for $4.20”
How Do You Roll takes sushi to a whole new level. One step through the doors will validate the pure genius of their make-your-own-sushi ordering system.
You start the process with the help of a “Rolling Expert,” helping you choose your wrap and rice. Next, you can pick veggies from their extensive list of greenery and then move on to the meats. Lastly, the toppings and sauces add extra flavor and
euphoria to every bite!
How Do You Roll is focused on you - the customer. They strive to make your roll exactly the way you like it. Of course, they feature pre-designed rolls, traditional edamame beans, miso soup, and cucumber salad to make your meal complete. Roll one up with the great people at How Do You Roll, it’s a trip!
420 University | 512.393.2221 | Daily 11am- 10pm | howdoyouroll.com | 420 Special weekdays
A very spicy and cheesy Jalapeño & Cheddar burger. Chill the tongue with their famous margaritas and colossal onion rings.
Grins has it all. They’re arguably the most well-rounded restaurant within a 30 mile radius. Their across the board menu features everything from their famous burgers to TexMex to pasta. They also include steak, seafood, and sandwich sections with a variety to choose from in each category.
garitas are only 99 cents and $5 beer buckets all day! For around $10, customers can have a great meal including drinks; something to think about when cash flow gets low.
Grins is a restaurant that makes everyone happy - even the picky eater. The menu selection and atmosphere make this local restaurant a But their happy hour gives Grins the San great spot for hot food, cool deals, great views Marcos fame they deserve. Monday through and catching up with friends and family. Thursdays from 2 p.m. to close, their mar-
“It’s named Grins because our food and service make the customers smile”
802 N LBJ | 512.392.4746 | Daily 11am - 10pm | grinsrestaurant.com | Lunch Specials Daily SMTX Entertainment & Culture | 61
Wine Guide continued from page 43 Fall Creek Vineyards Opening in 1975, the winery is referred to as the “First Family of Texas Wine.” 1820 CR 222 Tow, TX 78672 Mon-Fri 11-4 Sat 11-5 Sun 12-4 (325) 379-5361 www.fcv.com Fiesta Winery In the heart of the Hill Country you can enjoy great Texas wine while being immersed in true Texas style. 18727 West FM 580 Lometa, TX 76853 Fri-Sat 10-6 Sun 12-5 Tues-Thurs by appt (325) 628-3433 or 3434 www.fiestawinery.com Flat Creek Estate If you’re a true wine lover, Flat Creek has award winning wines offered in their educational tasting rooms. Then after the tasting, you can head over to their intimate bistro. 24912 Singleton Bend East Marble Falls, TX 78654 Tue-Fri 12-5 Sat 10-5 Sun 12-5 (512) 267-6310 www.flatcreekestate.com Fredericksburg Winery They take pride in creating unusual flavors to show the value of the grape. Come enjoy some wine at what U.S.A Today calls one of the top 3 wineries. 247 West Main St. Fredericksburg, TX 78624 Mon-Thurs 10-5:30 Fri-Sat 10-7:30 Sun 12-5:30 (830) 990-8747 www.fbgwinery.com Grape Creek Vineyards With over 100 medals for their award winning wines, Grape Creek is seen as the “Tuscany of Texas.” This winery holds a true wine tasting experience. 10587 East U.S. Hwy 290 Fredericksburg, TX 78624 Mon-Fri 11-6 Sat 10-6 Sun 11-5 (830) 644-2710 www.grapecreek.com Kerrville Hills Winery Enjoy award winning wines while overlooking the Guadalupe River Valley. 3600 Fredericksburg Rd. Kerrville, TX 78028 Thurs-Sun 1-6 Sat 11-6 (830) 895-4233 www.kerrvillehillswinery.com
Pedernales Cellars Growing Texas grapes for 15 years, this winery offers award winning wines to be enjoyed while gazing at the spectacular view or touring the state-of-the-art winemaking facility. 2916 Upper Albert Rd. Stonewall, TX 78671 Mon-Thu 10-5 Fri-Sat 10-6 Sun 12-6 (830) 644-2037 www.pedernalescellars.com Perissos Vineyards and Winery Located in Hoover’s Valley, Perissos offers a wine tasting experience with elegance. They are committed to only growing Texas grapes for a true quality of wine. 7214 Park Road 4 W. Burnet, TX Sat & Sun 12-5 Fri open seasonally (512) 820-2950 www.perissosvineyards.com Rancho Ponte Vineyard With 5 generations of winemakers, this family owned winery has a stellar reputation. 315 RR 1376 Fredericksburg, TX Mon-Fri 10-5 Sat 10-6 Sun 10-5 (830) 990-8555 www.ranchoponte.com Santa Maria Cellars Adding Argentinean flare to every handcrafted wine, Santa Maria is the perfect place to escape. 12044 Hwy 16 S. Fredericksburg, TX 78624 Fri & Sat 12-6 Sun 12-3 (830) 998-5357 www.santamariacellarswines.com Singing Water Vineyards Enjoy custom, awarded wines by the banks of the Bruins Creek. Perfect conditions for a relaxing evening. 316 Mill Dam Comfort, TX 78013 Thurs-Sat 11-6 Sun 12-3 (830) 995-2246 www.singingwatervineyards.com Sister Creek Vineyards Indulge in a variety of wines while taking a free tour of their spectacular winery. 1142 Sisterdale Rd. Sisterdale, TX 78006 Mon-Fri 10-5 Sat & Sun 10-6 (830) 324-6704 www.sistercreekvineyards.com
Solaro Estate This place has it all: great wine, horse racing and spectacular views. Their distinguished wine and the atmosphere of the hill country equals a great time. McReynolds Winery 13111 Silver Creek Rd. Dripping Beginning their techniques in the Springs, TX 78620 ‘70s, this winery knows how to make Open 7 days a week 11-7 Call to a good wine. They produce hand confirm crafted wines using grapes pur(832) 660-8642 chased from various Texas vineyards. www.solaroestate.com 706 Shovel Mountain Rd. Cypress Mill, TX 78663 Spicewood Vineyards Fri-Sat 10-6 Sun 12-6 or by appt. Home of 100% handcrafted, award www.mcreynoldswines.com winning wine, this winery offers wine tours and tastings. They also supply a
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venue for special occasions. 1419 Burnet Cr 409 Spicewood, TX 78620 Wed-Sat 10-6 Sun 12-5 (830) 693-5328 www.spicewoodvineyards.com Stone House Vineyard Set on the beautiful Lake Travis, Stone House lets you enjoy handcrafted wine. 24350 Haynie Flat Rd. Spicewood, TX 78669 Thurs-Sun 12-5 or by appt (512) 264-3630 www.stonehousevineyard.com Texas Hills Vineyard Indulge in true Texas wine, cheeses and sausages while you sit on the covered patio overlooking the stunning vineyard. 878 RR 2766 Johnson City, TX 78636 Mon-Thurs 10-5 Fri-Sat 10-6 Sun 12-5 (830) 868-2321 www.texashillsvineyard.com Torre di Pietra Vineyards Quality wines in a romantic setting. Perfect for a Valentine’s date! Enjoy their patios, vineyards, and tasting rooms. Live music is also offered every Saturday. 10915 E. US Hwy 290 Fredericksburg, TX 78624 11-6 Daily (830) 644-2829 www.texashillcountrywine.com Wimberley Valley Winery Crafting wines since 1983, the winery produces varietals and seasonal wines. Cozy up next to their fireplace or bring a picnic. 2825 Lone Man Mountain Rd. Driftwood, TX 78519 (512) 847-2592 Mon-Sun 10-6 www.wimberleyvalleywinery.com Woodrose Winery Offering restaurant style tastings, they bring the wine to you while you sit at your table inside or on their beautiful deck. 662 Woodrose Lane Stonewall, TX 78671 (830) 644-2539 SUMMER Mon-Fri 11-6 Sat 11-7 Sun 12-6 www.woodrosewinery.com