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edible eat. drink. celebrate.

The Autumn Issue


edible San Antonio


san antonio®

San Antonio UNESCO Creative City of Gastronomy


Issue No. 35

Now Now delivering Hemp products deliveringWildseed Wildseed Hemp products



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Autumn 2019 - Issue No. 35


Above: Use boards to tell a story at your next party. Cover: Entertaining with boards and bowls. Learn all about on Nov. 13 at Frosted Home. (See page 24) (Photos by Sophie Gonzales)


FOOD FOR THOUGHT Make it a day to give thanks for


LATIN ROOTS Jimenez Dinner, Art and News


ADVISORY COUNCIL Special thanks to our advisers


RANCH LIFE Pear Butter


LITTLE BITES Delicious Discoveries and More



NEWS YOU CAN USE Free trees, Special Password and ...


SEASONAL FLAVORS A Taste of Lombardy






FEEDING HOPE Zip Code Indicator





LOCAL PINTS Mad Pecker Brewing




EDIBLE FILM New Doc for Anthony Bourdain


TRENDING NOW Punch Up the Holidays



food for thought



San Antonio®

ood manners still matter – so we found an expert to help us be our best for the upcoming holidays. After Thanksgiving around 1971, a thoughtful mother wrote these words to her children – a timeless guide to help them navigate any social situation with grace. Mr. Bob Buckles, her son, explained she wrote the letter because she was unhappy about the way they behaved at dinner that day. He shared her words with the world in a newspaper years ago, a clipping I’ve kept in a prominent place in my own kitchen ever since. Almost 50 years have passed since the letter was first published, and Mr. Buckles agreed we could share his mother’s words with our readers for Thanksgiving.



“It was brought to my attention Thanksgiving Day that I failed to teach you, my children, certain rules of table manners. Lest you go through life in such a state, I will now try to rectify my gross error by setting down for you a few simple rules. Remember, table manners, as all kinds of manners, have as their basis consideration for others. 1. Come to the table promptly when the hostess calls you. Food tastes better when it’s hot. 2. Sit at the table with the four legs of the chair flat on the floor. 3. Sit straight, with your feet in front of you. 4. Sit quietly with your hands in your lap until after the blessing or the hostess starts passing the food. 5. Wait for the food to be passed to you. 6. As soon as the food is passed to you, take some and pass it on. Never leave a serving dish beside your plate. 7. Wait until all the food has been offered before you begin to eat. 8. Never butter your bread directly from the butter dish. Put butter on your butter plate, break the bread apart and spread. 9. Do not talk with your mouth full. 10. Do not make biological noises or blow your nose at the table. 11. Keep your elbows off the table and one hand in your lap. 12. Never wave silverware around while you’re eating. 13. Do not use your finger to push food onto your utensil. 14. Do not lick your fingers or wipe your hands on the tablecloth. 15. Don’t stuff your mouth with food. Make use of your napkin so you don’t offend others with half-chewed food oozing out the corners of your mouth and down your chin. 16. Keep the conversation pleasant. 17. Allow your hostess plenty of time to finish her meal before serving dessert. 18. After the main meal is over, help clear the table before dessert is served. Leave the water glasses, cups and saucers. 19. Never pick up a dessert dish and hold it in your hand while you eat. 20. Never eat and run. Remain at the table until the hostess suggests you go elsewhere. Children may ask to be excused. 21. Offer to help with the dishes. In a very formal atmosphere, this would not be true, but in most cases, it’s acceptable. Don’t insist on helping if the hostess doesn’t want help. 22. Always thank the hostess for the invitation. If you can honestly do so, compliment her on the cooking."

Love, Mother.


Frederic C. Covo EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Angela Covo


Christopher Covo

CONTRIBUTING EDITORS Marianne Odom, Amanda Covo CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Di-Anna Arias, Jennifer Beckmann Roberta Churchin, Elena D’Agostino Marcy Epperson, Mimi Faubert Michael Guerra, Nicholas Jones J.E. Jordan, Emma Loser Noi Mahoney, Michelle Newman Bonny Osterhage, Michael Sohocki Dora Stone, Dave Terrazas DESIGN & LAYOUT Florence Edwards, Pixel Power Graphics Cover Photo by Sophie Gonzales CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHERS

Kelsey Knight, Jesse Pearl Stan Shebs , Carole Topalian Jason Ytuarte, Kristina Zhao FINANCE MANAGER Louis Gonzales WEB DIRECTOR Kurt Gardner Our heartfelt thanks to the friends and businesses who make this magazine possible.

Like us on Facebook LETTERS TO THE EDITOR Please call 210-274-6572 or email


Please call 210-365-8046 or email

Thank you for your support. Homegrown Media LLC publishes Edible San Antonio every eight weeks. Distribution is throughout South Central Texas and nationally by subscription. Your annual subscriptions support the mission and are $35 annually. Please order online at or call (210) 365-8046 to order by phone. We make every effort to avoid errors, misspellings and omissions. If, however, an error comes to your attention, please accept our sincere apologies and let us know. Thank you. No part of this publication may be used without written permission of the publisher.

©2019. All rights reserved. soy_ink.pdf



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La Bonne Vie Ranch, located just a short drive from downtown Fredericksburg, boasts acres of unspoiled pastoral views. With grape vineyards, a tranquil stream, and luxury facilities to spoil you and your guests. 1827 Pfiester Road ‡ Fredericksburg TX 78624 ‡ ‡ 210-651-2506


a special thank you EDIBLE SAN ANTONIO



Chef Michael Sohocki

Leslie Komet Ausburn

Darryl Byrd

Sandy Winokur, Ph. D

Roberta Churchin

Marianne Odom

Chef Stephen Paprocki

Adam Rocha

Di-Anna Arias

Chef Johnny Hernandez

Bob Webster

Chef Jeff White

edible San Antonio


local ingredient




ocally abundant, genus Opuntia is a plant with loads of culinary appeal. Also known as Nochtli (NAAK-TLIY) from the ancient language of the Nahuatl, we know this succulent well in San Antonio as nopales or the prickly pear. The iconic image appears in all its splendor throughout the Aztec legend of Tenochtitlan and its history reaches back through the ages. During the sixth century, the Nahuatl abandoned their homes in Northern Mexico, following Huitzilopochtli, their God of Sun and War, to greener pastures. Plagued by extensive droughts and famine, they roamed for hundreds of years in search of fertile land. While wandering the plains of Mexico, they met and learned from many different people, and the most pivotal lessons were incorporated into their traditions, mostly techniques they used in construction and agriculture. According to legend, when they arrived at the divine location, they spotted an eagle perched on a prickly pear as it devoured a snake in the middle of the lake. The Nahuatl, interpreting that moment as a sign from the gods, selected the site as the center of their new empire. The shallow lake was named Lake Texcoco. Most historians agree they arrived at Lake Texcoco in 1323 AD and that by 1325 AD they had built a new city, Tenochtitlan, on the naturally formed island they found in the middle of the lake. The Nahuatl continued to thrive and made the island larger by building it out with dry land, covering about three to five square miles. This allowed them to implement chinampas, a Mesoamerican agricultural technique that called for growing crops in the shallow lake beds in small rectangular sections of fertile, arable land. Tenochtitlan, surrounded by water, had obvious natural military benefits as well, making it a prime location for the empire’s new capital city. Splintered in the hide of history, the symbol of the eagle perched on the prickly pear cactus devouring a snake is still the Coat of Arms for Mexico, with the eagle symbolizing the Sun God, the snake representing wisdom and the nochtli representing the eternal island of Tenochtitlan. The cactus served as far more than just a symbol, however. It was also a source of food, drink, a natural red dye and even construction materials. The “paddles” of the cacti can be cooked and are often referred to as nopales, which are used for myriad recipes, especially salads. The tunas, or the fruits of the cacti that emerge from the plant’s blossoms, are what we call the prickly pears. Remember to use thick gloves to avoid getting “pricked” with the tiny, almost invisible spines or glochids if gathering your own. Fruits that show a deeper color are sweetest, usually deep red or deep purple. Some suggest torching fruits you gather yourself to remove the spines before handling and peeling, but fruits purchased at the store already have the glochids removed. Sweet tunas can be eaten raw or fermented and

AGUA DE TUNA (SERVES 4) Adapted from a recipe by Dora Stone INGREDIENTS 6 large dark red prickly pears 2 cups water 1 cup freshly squeezed orange juice 2 teaspoon light agave syrup DIRECTIONS First, slice off the ends of each prickly pear, then make one long vertical slice down the body. Peel back the skin by pushing it back with a knife or your hand. The skin should come right off. Place the peeled prickly pears in a blender with 2 cups of water. Blend at the lowest speed for 1 minute. Strain and discard the seeds and pulp. Return strained prickly pear juice to the blender, add the orange juice and agave syrup. Blend until smooth and serve immediately over ice.

used to make sweet or savory treats, breads, syrups, jellies and juice. It’s also a great addition to cocktails. In South Central Texas, nopales and prickly pears are most abundant from early spring to late fall, sometimes as late as December. This time of year, it’s a great local ingredient to add to beverages from mar-garitas to aguas frescas, and the result is always astoundingly pleasing. ~ Nicholas Jones


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ore than 50 local, national and international artists will help San Antonio’s Luminaria Arts Festival light up Hemisfair for its 12th season. Get ready to be inspired by visual and performing arts that explore cultural intersectionality, immigration and other timely topics from 7 p.m. to midnight on Saturday, Nov 9. The weekend celebration of the arts, which is free, continues Sunday, Nov. 10 with a special community arts day at Hemisfair and a closing performance at Mission San José. The event is family-friendly and open to everyone. The Luminaria Contemporary Arts Festival started in 2008 as a multi-genre, grassroots arts festival exploding with San Antonio talent. The event now attracts artists from around the world, too. Executive Director Kathy Armstrong is thrilled to produce the popular and illuminating festival that brings the arts and our community together again for a twelfth season. “It’s so exciting to present Luminaria to San Antonio each year and invite the community to wander into a world of inspiration,” Ms. Armstrong said. “We are so happy Luminaria continues to provide local and global artists a platform to connect with and engage our community’s curiosity.”


edible San Antonio


JUST A TASTE Local artists are a huge part of this year’s presentation. Katie Pell’s witty visual art will be amplified on a large scale for audience interaction, The Holy Knives sultry psychedelic rock will be fea-tured on the main stage and Xelena González will present Lotería Remedios, a cultural card-reading experience. Former Texans Tom and Carol Cunningham Turner will exhibit Mission Moon Glow, a radiant, inflatable playscape with audio. And don’t forget, there will be plenty of great food for purchase from local food trucks! The artsy party continues Sunday, November 10 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. in Hemisfair Park with Community Arts Day, a family-friendly day with artist-led demonstrations and workshops to spark creativity. An artist market provides a chance to purchase artworks and memorabilia, and tickets may still be available for an artists brunch. From 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. at Mission San José, enjoy the free closing musical performance that explores San Antonio culture. For info and updates, visit


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n recent years, decorating for the fall season has become second only to the Christmas holidays. Pumpkins, flowers and other autumn accents appear on front porches in festive arrays of color to celebrate the fabulous change of seasons. On Halloween, jack-o’-lanterns light up the night among the ghouls and goblins. At Thanksgiving, pumpkins are part of our harvest celebrations. Pumpkins have enjoyed a revival in popularity that has resulted in an abundance of unique varieties to be used in fall decorating schemes. No longer is our selection limited to the standard Cucurbita pepo. Now, large flat Cinderellas, warty types, pure white and blue hybrids, striped and speckled varieties are readily available. Heirloom varieties have returned to the market to add to the cornucopia of different pumpkins. Add to this collection the many fun and weird shaped winter squash and gourds, and the decorating choices are countless. Pumpkins and their cucurbit cousins originated in the ancient Americas (the oldest seeds, dating between 7,000 and 5,500 B.C., were found in Mexico) and were part of the original ‘three sisters’ tradition of agriculture followed by early Native Americans. The practice of growing maize (corn) to support vining beans, a source of nitrogen, and squash, to shade tender roots, is thought to be an original form of sustainable agriculture. Christopher Columbus carried pumpkin seeds back to Europe, and later Native Americans introduced pumpkins to the pilgrims, saving their lives. Pumpkins are integrally woven into our country’s history. Although the practice of carving vegetables is global and centuries old, jack-o’-lanterns became popular in this country in the 19th century. The Irish carved turnips and potatoes and brought the tradition to America, the home of the pumpkin, when they immigrated. In folklore, jack-o’-lanterns were thought to ward off evil spirits, but today, there is no end to the creativity of carvers. With candles glowing from their emptied chambers, wonders emerge,


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(Photo by Carole Topalian)

from scary faces to cemetery scenes complete with gravestones. On the culinary side, pumpkin pies are as much a part of Thanksgiving celebrations as turkeys, but today’s pies share little resemblance to the original treats. Pilgrims would cut the top off the pumpkins, scoop out the seeds, and fill the cavity with honey, eggs, cream and spices. They would replace the top and bury the stuffed gourds in the hot ashes of a fire to cook. When done, they scooped the contents out along with the cooked flesh and serve the delicious custard, the beginnings of a long-standing tradition. In modern kitchens, pumpkins are not always destined to become pies. The nutritious flesh might be added to sweet cakes, muffins, cookies and breads. When it comes to savory dishes, soups, pastas, grilled cheese sandwiches and fritters are just a few innovative uses. Pumpkin even shows up in autumn beverages like pumpkin latte and very popular pumpkin beer, and the seeds can be roasted to make delicious pepitas or pumpkin seed brittle. However pumpkins are used in our culinary endeavors, they are packed with fiber and anti-oxidants, and are very low in calories. The seeds are a source of mono-unsaturated fats and are packed with protein, minerals and vitamins. Because the pumpkin is such a nutritional powerhouse, it makes sense that they are being incorporated into our diets more and more. One of the most easily and widely grown vegetables in the world, pumpkins can be part of any home garden with a little space for this sprawling vine to spread. Seed can be sown as soon as the soil warms up in the spring to be harvested in 4 months or so. To use them in fall decorations or in Thanksgiving pies, plant with their harvest date in mind. Pumpkins are synonymous with America. It is only fitting that they are a favorite part of so many of our autumn activities and feasts. ~Roberta Churchin, Shades of Green

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eighborhood peeps in Monte Vista are in for a treat. A new bakery from the creative mind of local pastry chef Jess Philpot, with a strong “neighborhood place” vibe, will be opening soon – and they’ll be serving more than tea and cookies. While we expect it to be Extra Fine, we learned it won’t be all sweet. Meant to showcase Chef Jess’s ingenious pastries and breads, the new bakery is part of the Empty Stomach Group. “I’ve always been so grateful to have Jess as an indispensable part of the Empty Stomach gang,” Chad Carey said. “If you’ve ever tried her desserts at The Monterey, Hot Joy, Barbaro or Chisme, you’ll know to expect crazy delicious things.” The new spot at 138 East Mistletoe, which will be open daily from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m., promises to be ever-changing and always interesting, and, no doubt, a foodie magnet. “Jess has worked in Michelin-starred restaurants, but her food is very accessible, fun, and, more than anything, delicious!” Mr. Carey added. “It’s going to be the sort of place that everyone wishes was in their neighborhood. Indeed. The short list of magic to grace the menu at the new bakery includes Extra Fine Jess-style sweets like fruitfilled brioche tarts, funfetti conchas, avocado cream Swiss rolls, pecan-mesquite caramel buns, peanut butter-miso cookies and Thai milk tea buns. The chef’s savory alchemy will bring us everything pretzels, focaccia pizzas, loaded potato bing breads and black sesame olive oil cakes. We saw the long list, too … and we’re already working on a plan to move to Monte Vista.


A former education major, Chef Jess Philpot switched programs midstream and graduated from the culinary arts program at St. Philip’s College in 2002, instead. Her first job was such a joy, it shaped the trajectory of her career. “I landed my first kitchen job at the new SBC Center (the AT&T Center) and they immediately placed me in the dessert program for the Terrace Club – I was still interning at La Cantera resort then,” she explained. “Thanks to that experience, I fell in love with sugar and decided to pursue it and went to study at The French Pastry School in Chicago.” She graduated from that program in 2006 and ended up in Los Angeles for about 6 years, taking full advantage of her time there, working at highly regarded establishments like the two-star Michelin Providence, Akasha, Lukshon and Father’s Office. Then, it was time to come home. “In 2014, a family tragedy, the passing of my mother,

Chef Jess Philpot is the mastermind behind SA’s newest local bakery, Extra Fine. (Photo by Jason Ytuarte) brought me home,” Chef Jess shared. She accepted a position at the seasonal Culinary Institute of America bakery at the Pearl and met Tim the Girl, who introduced her to Chefs Anne Ng and Jeremy Mandrell of Bakery Lorraine. “I can’t say enough about how wonderful they are and how they were there for me when I lost my mom,” she said. Around that time, Chad came into the picture, too, which was life-changing. “Not only did I get an amazing opportunity to create for our restaurant group, but I was also introduced to my most amazing husband, John Philpot (although Jeremy takes full credit for that),” Chef Jess said. Today, the Philpots have been married for three years and have a beautiful 2-year-old baby, Ember. They’ve been working together at Hot Joy for the past five years, and the party’s not over yet. “I’m going to be relying on John to help with the savory side of things,” Chef Jess said. Don’t forget, you’ll be able to get your daily bread at Extra Fine and Chef Jess will be taking orders for bespoke cakes, too. In the meantime, stay tuned on Instagram @extra_fine_sa for updates and news about opening day.


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The Christmapolitan is just one of the festive holiday cocktails featured on the Miracle pop-up series cocktail menu. (Photo courtesy) 



et-Setter will host San Antonio’s first Miracle Pop-Up Christmas Bar from Monday, Nov. 25 through the end of the year on Tuesday, Dec. 31. As part of the global Miracle pop-up series, the bar will feature a menu of deliciously kitschy Christmas cocktails to enjoy in an outlandishly festive setting. Now a worldwide phenomenon, the Miracle holiday pop-ups are bringing good cheer to cities all over the world by transforming local bars into winter wonderlands for the season, including Paris, Toronto and Tokyo. “We’re so honored to be chosen as one of more than 100 bars around the world to host this fun, festive event,” Ben Krick, who opened Jet-Setter earlier this year with Lucas Bradbury, shared. This is the sixth year for the series, created by Greg Boehm of Cocktail Kingdom in New York City’s East Village. He conceived the project when he halted construction on his bar, Mace, and transformed the unfinished space into a magical site for the weeks between Thanksgiving and Christmas. “Miracle on Ninth Street” was so popular, other industry insiders wanted to recreate the enchantment in their own bars. “We are so excited to keep making Miracle better year after year while keeping our true love for the holiday season alive,” Mr. Boehm said. “Our partners across the U.S. and world are all dedicated to deliv-ering exceptional visits with quality cocktails.”


In that spirit, Jet-Setter will become a winter wonderland complete with twinkling lights, garlands, ribbons and tchotchkes inspired by nostalgic vintage Christmas decorations. The experience includes a 10

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soundtrack of holiday music designed for jingling and mingling. And, of course, guests will enjoy raising their favorite cups of cheer from a menu filled with signature, seasonal cocktails created by Miracle’s General Manager, Joann Spiegel. Using classic holiday flavors like the Spiced Cranberry Sauce found in the “Christmapolitan,” the Mulled Wine Puree in the “Run Run Rudolph,” and the bourbon and cinnamon combination found in the “Naughty Shot,” each cocktail is designed to create a taste of the season. “Like our traditional menu, the Miracle menu is all about quality ingredients,” Mr. Krick explained. “They are guaranteed to get you in the holiday spirit.” Cocktails will be served in playful mugs and glassware, including intricately designed holiday glassware from Cocktail Kingdom®. Bonus: the fun glassware will also be available for guests to purchase and take home at Jet-Setter.


The idea behind Miracle was to create a Christmas-themed pop-up cocktail bar that serves holiday cocktails in a festive setting to “get even the grouchiest grinch in the holiday spirit.” And every Miracle pop-up around the world will host an “Ugly Sweater” party on Monday, Dec. 2. So, get ready and dig up the that ugly sweater (you know you have one), head to Jet-Setter and post the evidence on social media, tagging @miraclepopup and @jet_setter_sa. The goal is to host the largest combined ugly sweater party the world has ever seen. “It’s going to be a fun pop-up bar,” Mr. Krick said.

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sers on houand e g r u b se e e ch ... rgers and oppy seeds Simple bu bread buns with p ause everything is ah ec baked challl sauce, of course, b nd oh! those fries). (a ia c n hef e a truly sp Andrew Weissm package, Cndt c fe r e p e la a it’s th al, ha made make sure n get a re And just to fixed it so you ca er throwback vessel. Weissman kshake in the prop sauce? Bonus: it’s crafted mil ention the special Did we m affordable.

delicious discoveries the perfect soups

Freshly prepared with only top-notch ingredients and such a wide variety to choose from! If you need to warm up and you don’t want to cook, this is your go-to. The Beef Barley has chunks of steak, the chicken soups are divinely comforting. We keep some around just in case ... only at

Central Market!

Chef Rattray's

Johnny Cakes at Fontaine's Southern Diner pure pleasure ... 'nuf said.

LOVEKOLACHES.COM Chef Denise Mazal of Little Gretel in Boerne is making delicious kolaches to order. The Holiday Frugl, above, is a great gift for a friend or perfect to keep in the freezer for guests or when you need your own little treat. It easily serves 4 people. The authentic Czechoslovakian pastries come in several shapes and sizes and are locally hand-crafted in Chef Mazal’s professional kitchen in the Texas Hill Country. The best part? You can order online and pick them up at Little Gretel or have them shipped to your door!


November is American Diabetes Month Tips for Eating Healthy With Diabetes During the Holidays and Every Day Eat Less Saturated Fat  Eat baked, broiled, or stewed fish and meats instead of fried.  Use nonfat or low-fat salad dressing, mayo, and margarine.  Try a food lower in fat in a favorite dish—for example, make mac and cheese with fat-free or low-fat cheese and milk.

Eat Less Sugar  Drink water, sugar-free soda, or unsweetened iced tea instead of fruit drinks, regular soda, or sweet tea.  Keep cold water in the fridge.  Share dessert with someone else when you’re eating out, instead of having a whole dessert.

Eat Healthy Portions  When eating out, share a meal with someone else or put half in a box to take home.  Eat slowly and take a break between bites.  Do not skip meals—when you skip a meal, it’s easy to overeat at the next meal.

National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion Division of Diabetes Translation

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U.S. Army Pvt. Raef Hardin (right) and Spc. Jade Harris (second from left) help crew chief Staff Sgt. Brian Ogle (left) load hundreds of meals ready to eat (MRE) and water onto a CH-47 Chinook helicopter in Texas in 2005, preparing for Hurricane Rita. (Photo courtesy US Dept. of Defense)



hen considering military food, many people can’t get past the idea of MREs (Meals Ready to Eat), the packaged, processed food for use in combat or other field conditions. But in just about any Military City, USA, the military community enjoys an incredibly diverse food scene – there are more cultures and foodies represented within those city limits than most realize. Military personnel come from countless backgrounds, each with a different story and food that goes with it. Members of every branch, from the US Air Force to the US Army, have a food, a place and a memory they call home. Most military kids have experienced that diversity as well as having the unique opportunity of growing up in different places, many internationally, and while they might not be able to call one place “home,” food is our constant. Over the years, growing up as a military kid, I managed to find new ways to create old dishes I learned to love. Mixing and experimenting with different foods we’ve all found in different places gave many of us an adventurous spirit when it came to food … and we all have old favorites we loved to cook over and over. Hunting down ingredients to remake a specific dish we remember while sitting around is a pretty common experience. We’ve all come across that picture in a Facebook feed that reminds us of a food from far flung places no one’s heard of. That picture might not even have food in it, but it evokes a memory we associate with the food we ate there. Stateside, military kids realize no one at school, church, work or even the grocery store shares that same connection to food a military service member has. Growing up all over the world, military kids are as

comfortable with foods found in the “international” section as kids that grow up stateside are with mac and cheese. That international section of the local grocery store is just a tiny glimpse of our childhoods, as we skipped from continent to continent. Still, most of us choose one place and one food that brings us back to what we call home. Lots of military kids that have been to Japan, even for a short while, call that home and those food memories bring us back to running in the park in spring through the cherry blossom trees. In my own case, sometimes it’s just impossible to find something that even comes close to some of the food I grew used to while I was growing up here and there. But in San Antonio, the city’s diversity and globally local food scene helps all the military members in town satisfy that craving of an exotic dish they once loved. Military food culture is complicated to describe, but it’s much more than MREs. As a student at the Culinary Institute of America in San Antonio, I get to study with veterans and other students that grew up as military kids, and we all hope to share the best of that culture. ~ Emma Loser Editor’s Note: In honor of Veterans Day, delve a little deeper into military food culture vis-à-vis the food series “Meals Ready to Eat” (streaming on Amazon Prime). Written, produced, directed and hosted by military veterans, the show explores MREs as well as the foodie culture and gourmet culinary practices of the military-veteran community.  Navy veteran and show host August Dannehl goes behind the scenes into the vibrant world of military food operations from gourmet recipes developed inside military dining halls to a Marine veteran who utilizes his military experience to command a first-class kitchen.


little bites

The “Chedder Cheezy,” a local favorite made with cheddar cheese, mustard, lettuce, tomatoes, onions and pickles. (Photo courtesy)



hris Madrid’s, San Antonio’s iconic burger restaurant, is restored and ready for business. After a devastating fire tore through the building just over two years ago, owner Richard Peacock, who purchased the business from the Madrid family just 45 days prior to the fire, used a mobile food truck to serve up the mouthwatering, juicy burgers to a community that saw Chris Madrid’s as more than just a place to get a great burger – it was the place to gather, a home away from home. “Chris Madrid’s has always had a passionate following because it is literally the crossroads of San Antonio,” Mr. Peacock, who also owns the popular restaurant, Paloma Blanca, said. “Chris created a place where people from all walks of life, and from all parts of San Antonio, felt welcome and comfortable. People who might not get along in the parking lot, would help each other find a table inside.” It was that feeling of community and family, even more than the famous burgers, that Mr. Peacock wanted most to preserve during the reconstruction. He worked closely with the Madrid family to make sure the newly opened restaurant continued the Madrid legacy. “I think Chris would be really proud of the fact that we worked so hard to keep the original feel, and part of the reason we were able to do that was because his family stayed involved,” Mr. Peacock added. Chris’s widow Carolyn, daughter Lisa and son-in-law Bryce were with the Peacocks every step of the way – advising, encouraging and offering support both physically and emotionally. And when you walk through the front doors of the restaurant, that intense collaboration is evident. The flavors and the spirit of Chris Madrid’s is intact. The original, quirky shape of the building remains, but freshened with new paint and signage. Other changes include upgraded bathrooms, a larger kitchen, a new bar area, an outdoor patio and better 14

edible San Antonio


traffic flow thanks to an open front counter. A new 2,000-square-foot private party area is also now available. “We took a lot of care to salvage what we could and put it back together in a way that people will recognize,” Mr. Peacock said, adding that one of the Madrid’s long-time family friends walked through the door and burst into tears. “She said it still feels like it always did, and to me, that’s about as good as it gets.” Everything from the stained paneling to the colors and décor were deliberately selected to reflect the original look and feel of the restaurant. Many of the famous T-shirts from local businesses and various organizations were saved, cleaned and stored until they could once again hang on the walls, and a huge collection of new ones, donated by customers, replace those lost to the flames. “One of the big things we learned through our conversations with long-time customers is that they wanted to see those T-shirts,” Mr. Peacock said. They also wanted to see their favorite classics like the hand-cut fries, the tostada bean burger and the popular Macho Burger on the menu. “We may add a few new items, but we are not going to subtract,” Mr. Peacock said. Indeed, he is using the same proprietary recipes and cooking techniques that made Chris Madrid’s a favorite among locals and tourists alike. While the menu may be what brings them in, the philosophy is what keeps the customers coming back. “At our core, we are not in the restaurant business, we are in the relationship business,” Mr. Peacock explained. “Our mission is to love our community through everything we do, and if we do that well and really believe in that mission, then everything else falls into place.” ~ Bonny Osterhage

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little bitescan use news you

SAN ANTONIO SPEAKEASY It’s not impossible to get into RD Hidden Door Speakeasy – but you have to know how. Look for the hidden door under the green lantern (tucked away behind the Barn Door restaurant) and you’re halfway there. But you can’t get in unless you’re expected. Here’s the secret you need to get the password.

Text (210) 605-2292 with your name and number in your party (maximum is 6), and when you would like to go (choose T hursday, Friday, Saturday from 5:30 pm till midnight). You’re in if you get a confirmation text message with all the deets, including the password. Good luck!

NATIVE TREE GIVEAWAY This is the perfect time of year to plant a tree. Thanks to the San Antonio River Foundation and the San Antonio Parks and Recreation Department, you can get a free 1-gallon native tree on Nov. 23 from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. (as long as supplies last) at the Resendez Pavilion at Confluence Park. When you plant your new tree, not only will it add to the vibrant canopy that makes San Antonio a beautiful place to live – planting trees increases property values, reduces energy consumption and reduces storm water runoff, which helps control flooding and protects the Edwards Aquifer. Visit a couple of days before the event for a list of the types of trees. Note that parking can be a little tricky at Confluence Park – look for additional parking on King Roger Street, McKay Avenue and Mitchell Street. 16

edible San Antonio


PHARM TABLE AT WHOLE FOODS No time to go downtown to get your Pharm Table fix? Four new vegan, refined sugar-free desserts from Pharm Table are available at Whole Foods Market Alamo Quarry and Vineyard stores. Check the refrigerated section for the four new delights, which include Chef Elizabeth Johnson’s chocolate avocado mousse, made with rich cacao powder and avocados, and three flavors of holiday-celebration-worthy vegan cheesecakes – blueberry açai, mango and mesquite horchata. The mesquite horchata cheesecake incorporates mesquite powder, a heritage food and sustainable crop with rich flavor. Chef Johnson said she was thrilled to have the chance to make the local and healthy treats available to more people thanks to Whole Foods. “Our desserts highlight nutritious plants and anti-inflammatory spices, as well as heritage foods like mesquite flour,” she explained. “We use imperfect avocados in our chocolate avocado mousse, making them perfectly delicious again. Plus, all our packaging is compostable and biodegradable, making our good-for-you treats also good for the environment.”

A SPACE AT HEMISFAIR Are you the next member of the Hemisfair family? The park is calling for proposals to activate the historic Espinoza House at Yanaguana Garden. The detailed application, an official Request for Interest (RFI) for a unique food, beverage or retail concept to open in 2020, is online at The deadline to respond is Dec. 20, 2019. The folks at Hemisfair say not to be intimidated by the detail requested in the RFI. They want to see as complete a package as possible before the due date to learn about individual business ideas and their fit within Hemisfair. Rent for Hemisfair tenants is based on a percentage of gross revenue or a flat rate, negotiated through the selection process – a structure helpful to startups, who won’t have to worry about paying rent during build-out and ramp-up periods.  The recipe for success? According to the website, “tenants of the historic properties at Hemisfair must ensure their business acts as a park activator, encouraging visitation to the parks and … the business must be open to the public (not offices, private clubs, residences, etc.).”

CHANUKAH COOKING CLASS Learn about the culinary traditions of Chanukah on Dec. 8 from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. at Temple Chai with Lisa Adler Goldstein, the “Queen of the Kosher Kitchen.” Prepare typical Chanukah goodies including latkes (potato pancakes), a brisket made with Ms. Goldstein’s secret recipe and a popular Israeli dessert. She’ll explain the significance of the Jewish holiday and time permitting, teach you how to play Dreidel, the popular game kids and families play during the holiday. Temple Chai is located at 15316 Huebner Rd. Ms. Goldstein has a home-based business called Challahluya! that specializes in her unique challah and other holiday treats. For tickets and info, visit



Alamo Ranch Farmers Market 210-446-0099 Call or visit website for information


SA Food Bank Farmers Market Palo Alto College 1400 W. Villaret Blvd 9 a.m. – 1 p.m. 4th Mon of month Closing day – Nov 25


SA Food Bank Farmers Market Main Plaza 115 Main Avenue 10 a.m. – 1 p.m. Closing day – Dec 10 San Antonio Farmers Market Olmos Basin 100 Jackson Keller Road 8 a.m – 1 p.m.


1905 Farmers Market Kendall County Fairgrounds 1307 River Road Boerne, TX 3 p.m. – 7 p.m. Dripping Springs Farmers Market Veterans Memorial Park Hwy 290 & RR 12 Dripping Springs, TX 3 p.m. – 6 p.m San Antonio Farmers Market Leon Valley Community Center 6427 Evers Road 8 a.m. – 1 p.m.


edible San Antonio

Semmes Library Farmers Market Semmes Library (Northeast) 15060 Judson Road 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.


Cibolo Grange Farmers and Artisans Market 413 N. Main Street Cibolo, TX 3 p.m. – 7 p.m. Fredericksburg Fall Market Pioneer Museum 325 W. Main Street Fredericksburg, TX 4 p.m. – 7 p.m. Oct 3 – Nov 21 Pearl Night Market Pearl Brewery 312 Pearl Parkway 4 p.m. – 8 p.m. 1st Thurs of month


Kerrville Farmers Market Downtown 529 Water Street Kerrville, TX 3 p.m. – 6 p.m. San Antonio Farmers Market St. Matthews Recreation Center 11121 Wurzbach Road 9 a.m. – 1 p.m.


Backyard Market 13838 Jones Maltsberger Road 11 a.m. – 4 p.m. Deerfield Farmers Market 16607 Huebner Road 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.


Farmers Market at the Cibolo Herff Farm 33 Herff Road Boerne, TX 9 a.m. – 1 p.m. Closing day – Dec 14

SA Food Bank Farmers Market San Antonio Food Bank 5200 Enrique M. Barrera Pkwy 10 a.m. – 1 p.m. 4th Sat of month Closing day – Oct 26

Four Seasons Market Huebner Oaks Shopping Center 11745 IH-10 9 a.m. – 2 p.m.

San Antonio Farmers Market Olmos Basin 100 Jackson Keller Road 8 a.m. – 1 p.m

Goliad Market Days 231 S. Market Street Goliad, TX 9 a.m. – 4 p.m 2nd Sat of month

Alamo Heights Farmers Market Alamo Quarry Market 255 E. Basse Road 9 a.m. – 1 p.m.

Legacy Farmers Market 16101 Henderson Pass (Behind the YMCA) 10 a.m. – 3 p.m.

Legacy Farmers Market 16101 Henderson Pass (Behind the YMCA) 10 a.m. – 3 p.m.

MarketPlace at Old Town Helotes 14391 Riggs Road Helotes, TX 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. 1st Sat of month

Live Oak Farmers Market 8151 Pat Booker Road (In front of Starbucks) 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.

New Braunfels Farmers Market 186 S. Castell Avenue New Braunfels, TX 9 a.m. – 1 p.m. Pearl Farmers Market Pearl Brewery 312 Pearl Parkway 9 a.m. – 1 p.m.


New Braunfels Farmers Market 186 S. Castell Avenue New Braunfels, TX 9 a.m. – 1 p.m. Pearl Farmers Market Pearl Brewery 312 Pearl Parkway 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.

SA Food Bank Farmers Market Mission Marquee Plaza 3100 Roosevelt Avenue 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. 3rd Sat of month Closing day – Nov 16

feeding hope



n old proverb says “an apple a day keeps the doctor away” … but that only works if you can afford the apple. And recent data demonstrates that’s true. For some years now, there’s been a growing appreciation and focus on the role of food in overall health. Food can be good for you (moderate, balanced diet in line with one’s activity and age) or it can be bad for you (excessive calories not aligned with the demands of one's activity and age). So food as medicine has certainly gained a foothold in overall health considerations. Now researchers are looking beyond food to other factors that help shape our overall health. Healthcare professionals call these factors social determinants of health which the CDC defines as economic and social conditions that affect a range of health risks and outcomes – such as poverty, safety and levels of education, to name a few:

As the chart clearly outlines, health behaviors have a greater impact on overall health than access to healthcare does. And socioeconomic factors play a significant role in predicting health and length of life. What does all this mean for San Antonio? We enjoy good weather, near full employment and a vibrant recreational climate. But a quick review of the data shows we also suffer from structural inequities that leave those living in many zip codes lagging severely behind the rest of the community. New social research recently brought to light an additional factor that impacts health. San Antonio is the most segregated city in the United States by household income. Our neighborhoods may be segregated by race, but the data shows we are most dramatically segregated by income. According to the most recent release from the U.S. Census, the San Antonio/New Braunfels MSA (Metropolitan Statistical Area) has the second-highest poverty rate of the 25 largest metro areas in the country at about 15.4 percent. But without including numbers from New Braunfels, San Antonio fares even worse with the HIGHEST poverty rate (18.6 percent) of the 25 largest cities in the U.S.

Additionally, even at near full employment, a third of our workers earn $12 an hour or less ($24,000 per year or less) and almost half earn $15 or less ($30,000 per year or less). All these numbers explain why one of the questions sweeping the healthcare sector these days goes something like this. If you could share one thing about you that would tell me about your over-all health and even life expectancy, what would it be? Most answer that it would be their family medical history, or cholesterol numbers or how much they weigh. But it turns out that the answer, as one might suspect from these charts, is their zip code. Income disparity by neighborhood zip code, viewed through the lens of social determinants, is now also an indicator that people living in certain zip codes will suffer a shorter life span thanks to the concomitant health disparity. There is no doubt that food as medicine is an imperative part of the package for good health and outcomes. But what if you can’t afford the apple? What are the consequences for those who lack the overall means to improve their social determinants? The San Antonio Food Bank actively seeks solutions to address these challenges. To begin, we must help the clinics and hospitals that serve our community’s low-income patients to screen for food insecurity. With 100 percent commitment to the screenings, we can put into practice a system for referrals and benefits to meet patients’ nutritional and caloric needs, as well as ways to track the results through technology. Connecting the data back to the healthcare system will also allow us to learn what approaches work best and how we can be most helpful. The San Antonio Food Bank, along with leaders from the San Antonio Health Advisory Board, will spend the better part of 2020 implementing such screenings as well as providing corresponding food benefits that can be tracked and measured to show the impact of food as medicine. We may not be able to change structural inequities overnight, but we can certainly take small, concrete steps to improve the health and life expectancies of our most vulnerable citizens. Editor’s note: Mr. Guerra of the San Antonio Food Bank writes the Feeding Hope column in every issue of Edible SA. His goal is to spotlight the food economy from different perspectives, particularly that of those in need.


meet the chefs

Mobile kitchens allow teams to respond quickly to national and international disasters. (Photo courtesy Mercy Chefs)

FOOD FOR THE SOUL BY DAVE TERRAZAS Editor’s note: Chef Dave Terrazas, a regular contributor to Edible San Antonio, kept our readers up to date with the latest culinary programming at the San Antonio Botanical Garden. He just embarked on a new adventure with Mercy Chefs. In his new column, Food for the Soul, he’ll share the stories about the great work accomplished by Mercy Chefs, and how our own local chefs contribute to that effort. It’s 7 a.m. and I’m leaving Panama City in Florida heading to Dallas, Texas, where days ago, a cluster of tornadoes carved a twenty-mile line in the earth, damaging and destroying hundreds of homes … and dreams. Dallas will be the fourth disaster area I deploy to in my first t wo months a s a Managing Chef with t his amazing group of people – Mercy Chefs, a faith-based nonprofit organization. We serve hot, nutritious meals in the aftermath of natural disasters. I’d been volunteering with Mercy Chefs since an incomprehensibly destructive EF-5 tornado struck Moore, Oklahoma in 2013. That life-changing experience put me on a 20

edible San Antonio


culinary path focused on community and family wellness, which led to my previous position at the San Antonio Botanical Garden. Community is central to Mercy Chefs, founded in 2006 by Chef Gary LeBlanc and his wife, Ann, with the mission of “feeding body and soul.” Gary cut his professional teeth in the kitchens of New Orleans, and when Hurricane Katrina devastated that city, he felt compelled to volunteer his culinary skills and help the response effort. The couple launched Mercy Chefs soon thereafter, existing for years as a two-person organization adept at galvanizing local volunteers. By necessity, they’ve grown the organization and now have 18 staff members plus a dedicated volunteer corps numbering in the thousands. I was hired to execute site-based long-term recovery operations, initially assigned to Panama City, now called the “forgotten city,” because a lack of aid prolonged its recovery from Hurricane Michael last year. Mercy Chefs manages support to multiple, concurrent emergencies thanks to mastering the logistics for flexible response. The resources they’ve amassed, including a fleet of

mobile kitchens and a staff that is geographically dispersed across the country, allows Mercy Chefs to respond to virtually every major domestic contingency. That’s why in just a couple of months, we’ve zigzagged to wherever there is need … from Panama City to Nassau, Bahamas after Hurricane Dorian, to Beaumont, Texas after the recent extraordinary flooding, and in a few hours, now, to Dallas. Travel time to the disaster zone is an opportunity to mentally prepare for what we’ll likely see on the front lines: desperate situations that make hearts ache and tears roll. In Moore, our team served thousands of meals less than a mile from an elementary school where seven children were lost to the tornado. On Nassau, we continue to serve 70,000-plus Bahamians and Haitians of Abaco and Grand Bahama, to people who literally lost everything. We give up our own creature comforts and temporal stability to be a responsive team that can serve a hot meal within hours of a call for help. In Rockport in 2017 and again this year in Beaumont, we took over vacant jail kitchens to run service. We make the best with what we have – failure is not an option. Our mission takes a tremendous amount of faith, tenacity and support from dedicated partners. It’s easy to find motivation each day as we pray, talk, work, cook, eat and live together as a team during deployments. Hope springs eternal in this way, and I would argue that hope is the major ingredient in every meal we serve. In such dire circumstances, it is gratifying to watch, with tears welling, light return to someone’s face thanks to a hot meal. To serve is as humbling as the need to be served.

I used to think hunger was exclusively the great equalizer of humanity, and now I believe expressions of grace are another. We aren’t just nourishing bodies, we are nourishing spirits and striving to restore dignity, and in the process, reminding everyone that together we are one – one community, one nation, one people. As a chef, those tangible and intangible benefits make me deeply appreciate the chance to use whatever culinary knowledge, skills and abilities I have in the service of others. And it’s not just me. Some of San Antonio’s best chefs are part of Mercy Chefs’ dedicated volunteer corps, including Pieter Sypesteyn of NOLA and The Cookhouse, and Jeremy Mandrell and Anne Ng of Bakery Lorraine and Maybelle’s. Most recently, Jeremy and Anne jumped on the line with me in Nassau, cranking meals out of a 40gallon tilt skillet as efficiently and artfully as they pipe out a sheet pan of macarons at home. I get to cook alongside chefs I admire and call friends. I snuck into Bakery Lorraine at the Pearl a while back to see if I could still get one of the special macarons my friends created to raise $4000 for our work in the Bahamas (they were long sold out). I opted for one of their chocolate pear tarts that could also arguably be considered “heavenly provisions.” The joy of Mercy Chefs’ esprit de corps makes our personal sacrifices to serve those less fortunate easy to bear. I return home from each deployment with my spirit nourished, and after a few days of rest, ready to join my teammates as we, forgive the pun, jump back into the fire. Visit to learn more about it.

A dedicated volunteer corps mans the lines to deliver hot meals in the worst of circumstances. (Photo courtesy Mercy Chefs)


The pop-art Cheesecake at Bistr09 (Photo courtesy)


Welcome to our newest section, the Edible San Antonio Local Dining Guide. Special thanks to our growing list of sponsors, all local and independently owned establishments that support Edible SA’s mission. Restaurants are selected for their commitment to using local and seasonal ingredients as much as possible and for their partnerships with local farmers and food artisans. Enjoy!



1012 S Presa St, SATX 78210 210.532.2551 |

2720 McCullough Ave, SATX 78212 210.320.2261 |

6106 Broadway, SATX 78209 210.245.8156 |



MEXICO INSPIRED BURGERS MONDAY – THURSDAY 11 AM – 10 PM FRIDAY & SATURDAY 11 AM – 11 PM SUNDAY 11 AM – 8 PM 403 Blue Star, SATX 78204 210.635.0016 |




edible San Antonio





2410 N St Mary’s St, SATX 78212 210.885.3925 |

2195 NW Military Hwy, SATX 78213 210.503.5121 |





720 E Mistletoe Ave, SATX 78212 210.320.8211 |

14439 NW Military Hwy #100, SATX 78231 210.888.1500 |

518 River Road, Boerne TX 78006 830.331.1368 |


Old World Methods, Extraordinary Results Locally Sourced, Sustainably Prepared


Dinner | Tue–Thur 5:30-9 PM | Fri–Sat 5:30-10 PM Reservations Recommended

152 E Pecan St #102, SATX 78205 210.444.0702 |

152 E Pecan St #100, SATX 78205 210.222.1849 |


eat chinese



四 savor sichuan 川 食在中国味在四川 府






106 Auditorium Circle, SATX 78205 210.802.1860 |

200 E Grayson St #117, SATX 78215 210.554.6484 |

3505 Wurzbach Rd #102, SATX 78238 210.509.9999 |

“Seabreeze from the East” New seasonal noodle dishes at Sichuan House include this basa fillet with baby bok choy, clamshell mushrooms and scallions with egg noodles in chicken broth. (Photo by Kristina Zhao)


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edible San Antonio





his holiday season, “haute” holiday hosts will punch up parties with food and cocktail experiences designed to inspire guests to mingle and jingle. The latest trends – boards laden with savory bites or sweet treats and craft cocktail punch bowls ready to serve and sip, will certainly help make spirits bright. “Holidays are a time for sharing,” Di-Anna Arias, Vice President of Sales and Culinary Vision at Texas’s catering giant Don Strange of Texas, said. “Gathering around a board or punch bowl sparks conversation among guests in a way that feels natural, creating a feeling of community and connectedness.” That’s w hy M s. A rias a nd K elley F rost, o wner o f F rosted Home, partnered to host a very special punch bowl party, “Boards, Books and Bowls Benefitting Bold Girls,” on Wednesday, Nov. 13. The open house at Frosted Home starts at 10 a.m., followed by a fabulous “punch party” from 5 p.m. until 8 p.m. Sip, savor and learn all about entertaining with boards and bowls and enjoy door prizes and swag throughout the day. As consummate hosts, Ms. Frost and Ms. Arias share a celebratory attitude they infuse into everything they do. The collaborative event, part of their “Parties With A Punch” series, will focus on food, philanthropy and the fine art of entertaining. And a portion of proceeds from all sales at Frosted Home throughout the day and evening benefits Girls Inc. “With a motto of Strong, Smart and Bold, Girls Inc. is all about empowering young girls – and we wanted to do something to support that mission,” Ms. Frost said. The two dynamic Texas trendsetters will be on hand all day sharing their best entertaining tips and secrets and their favorite coffee table books, perfect to give as gifts or to find your own inspiration. While you’re there, sample delicious Di-Anna Arias and Kelley Frost prepare to get this party started for the bold students at Girls Inc.


Girls involved in Girls Inc. connect with BOLD mentors and role models. (Photo courtesy Girls Inc)

Don Strange of Texas delicacies and sip refreshing “adult” punch combinations elegantly presented with Frosted Home’s unique culinary boards and bowls.


At least a dozen favorite entertaining books will be on display – all with practical and unique ideas for hosting wonderful get-to-togethers.

Party Boards, all the rage now, come in different shapes and sizes. Frosted Home has a broad selection, for just about every occasion.


edible San Antonio


If you only think charcuterie when you think of boards – think again. There are no rules or limits to the elements of a board, just as there are no rules to the material of the board itself. The new party boards are stunning and an effective way to serve many guests. “Anything can be used as a serving board,” Ms. Arias, well known for creative food presentations, shared. “I love using traditional items in nontraditional ways.” The first step when creating your board is to consider how many people you plan to serve, as well as the theme or design of your event. Going for a rustic look? A traditional wooden board fits beautifully. Marble or tile boards give an elegant feel. Glass or mirrored surfaces have a modern edge for a more contemporary or whimsical theme. What to serve? While you can’t go wrong with the traditional meat and cheese board, remember it’s not the only option. Consider creating something savory or sweet – Ms. Arias recently created a huge, stunning dessert board with different kinds of chocolate. “The most important thing is that it has a “WOW” impact – I like to create a board with a lot of different colors and textures to it,” Ms. Arias explained. “You want it to be an extension of the overall look and feel of your party.”

Pair crusty, crunchy bread with soft cheese, olives and nuts, or create a board made up entirely of different types of sushi or a variety of cheeses. Edible flowers, fruits and herbs can be used as colorful garnishes.


Mixing drinks while hosting is an art – but it also takes time away from enjoying the party with guests. Add those great cocktails to your fiesta by serving them up in gorgeous punch bowls instead. “The most important thing to me is that you can enjoy your own party and if you are stressed, you can’t,” says Ms. Arias. Prepare drinks ahead of time in batches, it’s more efficient than serving individual drinks. Bonus: one bottle will often do the trick, making punch a cost-effective alternative to cocktails. Finally, the possibilities are endless when it comes to the punch bowl and presentation. “Like boards, almost anything can be used for a punchbowl,” Ms. Arias said. “Hull out a pumpkin or watermelon for a seasonal theme or use an enamel tub for a backyard barbecue. Use several bowls arranged at different elevations across a table for an eye-popping presentation and don’t worry if they don’t match – that’s part of the fun!”

The best part is deciding what to put in the bowls. For a small, intimate brunch, create a virgin Bloody Mary Cocktail in the bowl and offer flavored vodkas for guests to “spike” their own. Other punch bowl tricks include serving water with citrus slices, or freezing fruit juice in ice cube trays – as the cubes melt, the punch won’t lose flavor. Perhaps punch bowls are popular again because they’re memorable and help create new traditions. Ms. Arias’s own family tradition was for a special relative to give the bride a punch bowl. “People often have fond memories of this unique serving piece,” she smiled. “It was part of ‘setting up house.’”


Both Ms. Arias and Ms. Frost have a knack for making any get-together a celebration with a little extra flair. And while these two rarely go “by the book,” they relish a good coffee table book on their favorite topics – food and entertaining. Ms. Frost scatters them throughout her home from nightstands to side tables as part of her décor. “If you like to entertain or decorate, coffee table books offer the best inspiration,” Ms. Frost said. “It’s like a hardcover Pinterest that’s already been curated for you.”


They also appreciate events that make a difference, which is why they added the charitable component to their “Parties With A Punch” series. Girls Inc. was a natural fit. Ms. Frost served on the nonprofit’s Guardian Board of Advisors for the past 10 years. “We believe it’s so important for girls to have strong female role models,” Ms. Frost said. “So many young women today simply don’t have that.” Ms. Arias added her mother and grandmother instilled the belief she could be anything she wanted to be, a message she wants other girls to hear as well. “I get the most pleasure in helping someone else and I’m so happy we are using these parties to give back to organizations like Girls Inc.,” she said. “What started as a fun way to throw a party evolved into a way to bring recognition to different organizations.” Ten percent of sales at Frosted Home on Nov. 13 will go to Girls Inc., making it even more fun to sip, savor and shop till you drop. “It’s always good when you can give a gift that gives back,” Ms. Frost added. “That’s what the holidays are all about.” Visit to learn about their great programs and different ways to contribute. Learn more about great celebrations with Don Strange at www.donstrange. com and follow @FrostedHome on Facebook to find everything you need to create the perfect ambience at home.




INGREDIENTS 3 cups fresh orange juice ½ cup fresh lemon juice 1 bottle ginger ale (2-liter) ½ cup ginger simple syrup (see separate recipe) DIRECTIONS Pre-chill all ingredients. Combine all chilled ingredients in a large punch bowl with ice or an ice ring (freeze citrus wedges in the ice ring for an extra little touch). Garnish the punch bowl with citrus wheels and whole star anise.

(Photo by Sophie Gonzales)


edible San Antonio



1 cup water 1 cup sugar 1 cup fresh ginger, sliced DIRECTIONS Combine water and sugar in a pan over medium heat, stir until sugar is dissolved. Add ginger and cook until boiling. Reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes. Remove and let cool. Strain out the ginger and chill.


Swap out a liter of ginger ale for a liter of champagne and half a cup of brandy. It will do wonders to keep you warm. Enjoy!

latin roots

(Photo courtesy)



very year, thousands of people in San Antonio gather and enjoy a warm, hospitable and free Thanksgiving dinner thanks to the Raul Jimenez Thanksgiving Dinner. The dinner, part of San Antonio’s rich historic tapestry, is important because so many guests of the Raul Jimenez Dinner might not have food or fellowship on America’s annual day of gratitude otherwise. The event celebrates 40 years of giving thanks and breaking bread this year – and they expect to feed about 25,000 people at the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center on Nov. 26. “We’ve been keeping steady at 25,000 for the past few years, but we’re always ready for more people,” Chair Patricia Jimenez said. The annual gathering started in 1979, when Patricia’s parents, restaurateurs Raul and Mary Jimenez, created a dinner to help senior citizens and the less fortunate celebrate the holiday and enjoy all the fixings many of us expect at Thanksgiving. The idea captured the hearts of our city’s gen-erous residents and kept growing. Today, it’s one of the larg-est Thanksgiving Dinner benefits in the nation and a way for the Jimenez family to continue their parents’ legacy to make sure no one is alone on Thanksgiving. Volunteers prepare more than 9,400 pounds of turkey, 4,688 pounds each of yams and cranberry sauce, 6,250 pounds of stuffing, 25,000 dinner rolls and 3,000 pumpkin pies to serve to those who come to the event from across Bexar County. Guests start lining up outside the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center around 8 a.m. on Thanksgiving morning, and organizers and more than 4,000 volunteers start serving food around 10:30 a.m. There’s an all faiths worship service at 10 a.m. before meals are served.

“We also have musical entertainment from 11:30 a.m. until 4:30 p.m.,” Patricia added. “We usually close up by 4:30 p.m. but we make sure everyone gets served – even if they walk in at the last minute.” Around 4,000 people volunteer at the Raul Jimenez Thanksgiving Dinner every year. Kids, teenagers, senior citizens – volunteers include everyone. Entire families turn up to help and celebrate the true spirit of Thanksgiving. Patricia explained the event would not be possible without the generosity of the community and the support of sponsors. “This year we are celebrating our 40th anniversary – there are so many wonderful people in San Antonio and they are the reason we are able to do this every year,” said Patricia Jimenez. Mr. Jimenez passed away in 1998 and Patricia has been organizer-in-chief since. This year’s Thanksgiving dinner will be bittersweet for the Jimenez family, since it follows her mother Mary’s passing, who died at the age of 87 in June. “My father was the face of the event for many years and my mother was behind the scenes, but she was very much part of the dinner,” Patricia said. “This year, we will honor my mother’s memory and work to make sure everyone knows what a great person she was.” Start registering now at and choose from a variety of tasks, including kitchen prep and decorating the week before the dinner, or serving, greeting guests and cleaning up on Thanksgiving Day at the event. Email to learn more. ~ Noi Mahoney


latin roots




or the first time, La Familia Cortez will open a full-service venture outside of Market Square. The new restaurant, Mi Familia de Mi Tierra, opens its doors at 11:30 a.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 19 at The Rim at 18403 W IH-10, San Antonio. As a family-owned business, the spirit of “familia” has always been of the utmost importance to the Cortez family. And after losing beloved family matriarch and co-founder Cruz Cortez earlier this year, the family will dedicate Mi Familia to Pedro and Cruz to honor their vision. Pete Cortez, COO of La Familia Cortez Restaurants and a third-generation family member, explained the philosophy that’s been driving the family and the family business since 1941. “For the past 78 years, the Cortez Family has made downtown San Antonio our home and we’ve dedicated ourselves to the preservation and promotion of our cultura,” he shared. “We are blessed to have the opportunity to expand our founders’ legacy and welcome new familias into our home to share our comida and cultura while creating new memories.” Mi Familia, open daily for breakfast, lunch and dinner, will feature the most popular dishes from La Familia Cortez restaurants, as well as new chef-inspired dishes and family-style meals. With the full-service coffee bar and panaderia, Mi Tierra’s world-famous pan dulce and Mexican candy will be on the North Side, too. And that’s not all. Mi Tierra’s iconic Mariachi Bar will also expand and join Mi Familia on the North Side. Featuring a grand bar that evokes the best of Mexico, the new Mariachi Bar at The Rim will serve craft cocktails and, of course, classic Mexican beer and margaritas.

True to form, La Familia Cortez will share their rich cultural traditions as well, including the iconic altars, their signature Christmas lights, colorful piñatas and the bevy of family pictures that we have all grown so accustomed to. Expect to enjoy extensive cultural programming, workshops, live music and mariachis to promote authentic, Latino culture. And the art! Plenty of great, contemporary art from local San Antonio artists and Mexican artists will be on display – as well as a new mural to be painted by Roberto Ytuarte. It will take more than a year for Mr. Ytuarte to complete the project, which will invoke images of Zona Cultural and help bring the family’s El Mercado roots and some of the essence of downtown’s West Side to their new home on the North Side.


The new restaurant’s name was designed to honor the original Mi Tierra and to create a strong connection not just to the business, but to the family, which is the bedrock of La Familia Cortez Restaurants. That sense of family and respect for family values not only unites the mem-bers of the Cortez Family today, but helped build the culture of hard work, warmth and hospitality that’s been foundational to their success and the strong bonds they’ve created with their esteemed employees, their guests and the community. At Mi Familia, everyone is invited to gather around the table because here Mi Familia es Su Familia. Visit to learn more or for information and updates about Mi Familia, visit

Family dining will be a feature at Mi Familia de Mi Tierra on the North Side. (Photo courtesy)


edible San Antonio


“Esta es de Don Quijote la primera, la sin par la gigante calavera” (T his is Don Quixote the first, the giant calavera without equal) by José Guadalupe Posada and Manuel Manilla, 1890s, relief engraving or photo-relief etching on salmon paper, Collection of Lance Aaron and Family.




earn about the history of Day of the Dead celebrations from now through Jan. 19 with two beautifully curated exhibits at Centro de Artes. Centro de Artes Committee Chair Yadhira Lozano shared her thoughts about the importance of this year’s pro-

gramming. “I am proud to have Centro de Artes showcase two exhibitions on Day of the Dead, a much-loved but often misunderstood holiday,” she explained. “With the holiday being produced in the U.S. and often for commercial purposes, it is of great importance to shed light and provide insight into how the holiday is celebrated in Mexico and in the U.S. by Chicanos who have embraced this holiday as a way to reconnect with their ancestors, family legacies and identity.” The first floor will feature The Day of the Dead in Art curated by Dr. Ruben Cordova, a renowned art historian who has researched Day of the Dead in Mexico and the U.S. for more than 30 years. He explained that Day of the Dead is the “product of complex interactions between multiple cultures over a span of 500 years” and hopes to correct many misperceptions with this body of work. Thanks to his expertise, visitors will explore Day of the Dead traditions with more than 100 art objects created by more than 50 artists, most of whom are Mexican or Chicano. “This exhibition critically examines the history of Day of the Dead with wall texts and artworks from Mexico and the United States,” he added. Works featured on the first floor include vintage prints by José Guadalupe Posada and his contemporaries from the Lance Aaron Family Collection, prints by Luis Jiménez and two paintings by Vincent Valdez

from the Zoe Diaz collection (including an early masterpiece not exhibited before). Works on paper, on loan from Gil Cardenas, showcase the work of Felipe Ehrenberg, Ester Hernandez and Margaret Garcia. The exhibition also highlights a remarkable group of folk sculptures made by members of the Castillo Orta family from Puebla, Mexico. Look for work from San Antonio-based artists Mel Casas, Cesar Martinez, Alex Rubio and Adriana Garcia. Roberto Gonzalez created eight large-scale paintings for the exhibition, including a diptych made in tribute to the victims of the recent mass shooting in El Paso. On the second floor, visitors will experience Día de los Muertos: A Cultural Legacy, Past, Present and Future, curated by artist Linda Vallejo and art historian Dr. Betty Brown. The exhibit explores the evolution of the celebration in Los Angeles and the foundational transnational dialogue between the Chicano/Latino community and Mexico that continues to shape this tradition. Additionally, the City of San Antonio Department of Arts and Culture commissioned local artist Audrya Flores to create an altar in honor of Dr. Alfonso Chiscano, a prominent local cardiothoracic surgeon who also served San Antonio as cultural ambassador to his beloved Canary Islands. The altar will be on display on the second floor of the gallery. Centro de Artes will also host talks with the curators, the first with Ms. Vallejo on Tuesday, Nov. 19, from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. and the second with Dr. Cordova on Thursday, Dec. 5, also from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. The exhibition and all events are free and open to the public. Day of the Dead exhibits will be on view through January 19, 2020. Centro de Artes Gallery in Market Square opens daily from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. To learn more, visit


ranch life

Pear butter is the perfect addition to a warm biscuit. (Photo by M. Epperson)


edible San Antonio


PEAR BUTTER BY MARCY EPPERSON  Marcy Epperson lives with her family near Rocksprings where they raise grass finished beef, sheep, goats and horses. See what’s going on at the ranch on Instagram @heritagebeef or @marcy_epperson and follow on Facebook @heritagebeef1 to learn more about ranch life.  


utumn! Welcome to faux fall in Texas, where, with maddening advertisements for sweaters and jackets, we sweltered with highs in the 90s and sweated our way through football games. But the chilly weather is almost here, never fear. Currently on the ranch we are gathering cattle to wean calves, gathering goats to sort and sell or simply rotating stock into fresh pastures – thank goodness the telltale signs of the changing seasons are here. Our saddle horses now have darling, fuzzy ears. At the house, I hear different species of orioles that aren’t regular residents, but clearly passing migrants heading south in that grand mysterious navigation. Hummingbirds are hitting the feeder in a frenzy before their long journey, and the barn and cave swallows that build nests under the eaves of our house will soon abruptly disappear. And my favorite fall activity, dove hunting, is in full swing. I didn’t plant much of a garden this year, but we do have a rather large home orchard with close to 20 fruit trees, including peach, apple, pear and apricot. I mentioned in my last article how our peach crop was a huge disappointment and ultimately a complete loss. Out of some ten peach trees, I harvested enough fruit to make one pie. They simply weren’t worth the time it took to peel them. I threw them over the fence for the chickens, who were delighted.

All was not lost, though, thanks to the apple and pear trees. The pears are the savior this year, with one of three trees so loaded I thought we’d have a complete catastrophe of broken branches before I found the time to thin unripened fruit. This I shared with goats and one of the milk cows, who were also thrilled with their treats.  When the pear harvest started, we picked, unbelievably, an entire refrigerator full of pears. I started making salads with pears in every salad. I ate pears and cottage cheese for lunch. I shared pears with employees and friends, made a pear crisp, galettes with Jacques Pepin’s crust recipe (one everyone should look up and use!) and canned a batch. But there was no keeping up. More pears were ripe!  I hunted pear butter recipes, and after experimenting with different types of sugar, spice amounts and whether to cook on the stovetop, slow cooker or Instapot, I finally determined the easiest way is to pile them into the Instapot.  I made batch after batch. Sometime this winter, on a day when a biting, howling wind from the north has us dreaming of Texas heat and turquoise summer swimming holes, this pear butter will be a delight with fresh butter from our cow slathered on a hot biscuit.  Pear butter is also great on thumbprint cookies, a great addition (about a spoonful) to your apple pie filling, as a glaze on meats and delicious rolled up in a crepe. Add a pretty ribbon to the jar and it makes a great hostess gift, too. This recipe is especially great because the pears don’t have to be peeled. If you do much home canning (I do), you know what a dread all the peeling is and how much time not peeling can save. That’s what makes this recipe a winner!

SIMPLE PEAR BUTTER INGREDIENTS 6 pounds fresh pears, cored and stemmed 1½ cups dark brown sugar 1-2 teaspoons cinnamon DIRECTIONS Cook until pears are soft, about 40 minutes in Instapot. Process until smooth (I use an immersion blender). Ladle into freshly washed jars and process according to canning manufacturer’s directions (generally, a boiling water bath for 10 minutes). Enjoy!


Mimi’s heirloom recipes



This quintessential foodie is a Food Hero at our local Central Market. Ms. Faubert is not professionally trained – she is one of those rare talents with a superior palate and natural skills. You’ll typically find her in a kitchen, whipping up something extraordinary at home for her family or at work. And her tips, stories and recipes are always spot-on.


tepping out this past August was like stepping into an Easy Bake Oven – if only someone misted my doorstep with the sweet smell of fresh-baked cookies every time I opened the door. When September arrived with unyielding heat, I experienced a great amount of difficulty enjoying a pumpkin-this or apple-that. Comfortably wearing a sweater while sipping on a hot beverage as a chilled wind lashes across the elongated shadows of trees was practically a pipe dream. But the chilly weather is on its way and this recipe will warm you right up. During a very wet autumn years ago, I was trekking off the walking paths of a park when I first spotted the bright orange of Laetiporus sulphureus (chicken of the woods) and brown cartilaginous-like Auricularia auricula-judae (wood ear) growing on and around the live oak trees. Despite a strong desire to take some home and cook them, I’m no dummy – mushroom foraging is a skill that requires 100 percent certainty of edibility. Within the edible macrofungi realm, one can become sick depending on where the mushrooms are growing (i.e., the species of tree a mushroom grows on or even edible mushrooms growing in contaminated soil), how they are prepared and the knowledge that for every good mushroom, there’s an evil twin lurking. Lucky for us, more than the standard white button mushrooms are available for sale here year-round.


edible San Antonio


Foraging is not required to source some exotic varieties. Local specialty markets offer fresh and exotic locally cultivated mushrooms like the Pleurotus eryngii (king trumpet), Flammulina velutipes (enoki), Hypsizygus tessellatus (clamshell), Lentinula edodes (shiitake), Hypomyces lactifluorum (lobster) and Pleurotus ostreatus (oyster). Yet with all these ready-to-buy varieties, part of me still wishes I could play the part of the forager, wearing woolen layers to protect me from the cold damp of autumn amongst the pines of the Scottish Highlands, along the coast of Maine, within a forest of Haute-Loire, or better yet, in Russia. Yes, Russia, where the word for mushroom, grib, is incorporated into family names like that of the 19th Century Russian diplomat/playwright/poet Alexander Sergeyevich Griboyedov, a.k.a. Mr. Mushroom-eater. There’s a slew of words associated with Russians and mushroom foraging – excitement, ritual, lust, tradition, passion, love, family. I would like to imagine myself settled into a remote, old wooden izba, constantly stoking a fire to keep it warm and dry. With baskets in hand, I would venture with friends into the golden canopied birch woods to discover clearings with various groups of mushrooms pushing up from under the wet leaves. Once we’ve collected enough, there would be a simple and comforting dish to make featuring the day’s catch and another Russian staple – lofty, lovely sour cream.


MUSHROOMS WITH WHITE WINE AND MUSTARD This makes a fine first course to add to your holiday table, as well. INGREDIENTS 2 tablespoons sunflower oil or butter 1 medium onion, chopped or sliced 2 shallots, chopped 1 pound mushrooms, rough chopped or sliced (½ Texas Oyster, ½ other varieties) ½ cup dry white wine 1½ -2 cups broth 1-2 teaspoons prepared mustard (Dijon) ½ cup sour cream Fresh chopped parsley and dill Sprinkle of paprika DIRECTIONS In a large sauté pan, cook onions and shallots in oil or butter over medium high heat. As they soften, stir in mushrooms. When mushrooms start to lose some moisture and cook down, stir in wine and mustard. Bring to a simmer and when the wine reduces by half, add broth. Reduce heat to medium and partially cover. Cook until the sauce reduces by half and season to taste with salt and pepper. Remove from heat and stir in sour cream and herbs.

Don’t forget the pickles and vodka!

Garnish with paprika and serve with rice, egg noodles or fried potato slices.


Elena’s seasonal flavors

Pumpkin soup with Taleggio cream, mushrooms and crostini (Photo by E. D’Agostino)


A TASTE OF LOMBARDY BY ELENA D’AGOSTINO Chef Elena D’Agostino is well known for her delicious handmade pasta, which stands to reason as Italian cuisine is her birthright – she was born and raised in northern Italy in Torino. Now at the helm of her own company, she is delighted to be doing what she loves most, teaching and sharing her love of cooking and making pasta. She learned there was great interest in the art of pasta-making and after teaching a class with the Saint City Supper Club a couple of years ago, she designed her own program. Today, she offers wonderful cooking classes as well as personal chef services for private dinners and events – and she couldn’t be happier. If you are interested in discovering the world of pasta or you want to learn more about authentic Italian cuisine, this local chef is our resident expert. Visit to learn more about her work and services. For this issue, Chef D’Agostino prepared an American autumn classic with an Italian twist, using Taleggio cheese. Perfect for any chilly day or for your Thanksgiving table. Enjoy!    36

edible San Antonio


PUMPKIN SOUP WITH TALEGGIO CREAM, MUSHROOMS AND CROSTINI (SERVES 4) Produced every fall and winter since about the 10th century, Taleggio cheese comes from Val Taleggio, a valley in the Lombardy region of Italy. The washed-rind cheese is soft and creamy on the inside and has a mild, fruity flavor that pairs perfectly with pumpkin and mushrooms.




1½ pounds pumpkin ½ onion 1 medium potato, peeled 3 cups vegetable broth (or chicken stock) ½ cup heavy cream 2 tablespoons unsalted butter 2-3 sprigs fresh thyme 1 leaf sage Salt and black pepper

1 cup sliced mushrooms (Chanterelle or Porcini, but you can use Cremini as well) Olive oil, fresh garlic salt and pepper



Cut pumpkin, potato and onion into small pieces. Sauté for 5 minutes with butter, sprig of thyme and sage leaf. Add vegetable stock (to make more savory, use chicken stock). Cover and cook for about 30 minutes. Blend with immersion blender and add heavy cream. Salt and pepper to taste.

MAKE THE TALEGGIO CREAM INGREDIENTS 8 ounces Taleggio cheese ½ cup heavy cream A pinch of nutmeg Salt

DIRECTIONS Warm the heavy cream, turn off heat. Add Taleggio cheese, salt and pinch of nutmeg. Cover and allow to melt for 10 minutes. Stir vigorously or, if needed, use immersion blender to make smooth.


Clean/rinse mushrooms. Sauté mushrooms in hot pan with olive oil, fresh garlic, salt and pepper for a few minutes, then set aside.

PREPARE THE CROSTINI 4 slices of sourdough bread, cut in half 1 clove fresh garlic (or small piece of fresh ginger) Extra virgin olive oil, Salt and pepper


Toast bread in a toaster or use hot pan on the stove. You can also broil the bread slices in the oven (keep the oven door slightly open) for a few minutes until the bread looks golden and crispy. Scratch the garlic (or ginger) on the toasted bread. Add a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and a pinch of salt and pepper.

PUT IT ALL TOGETHER To plate this dish, first pour the soup in a bowl, then pour the Taleggio cream on top (to taste). Decorate with the mushrooms and some fresh thyme leaves, add the crostini and serve hot. Optional: add some crispy bacon on top for an extra kick and consider toasting the bread using the pan you used for the bacon. Buon appetito!


sommelier says ...

Enjoying a wine fest is easy when you know how. (Photo by Kelsey Knight)


s there a better way to welcome fall than a wine festival? That crisp chill in the air, a warm sweater, rich and hearty food – we do get those fleeting seasonal moments here in Texas. And autumn features numerous wine festivals across Texas from downtown strolls to small tent cities that pop up in parks and parking lots. Here are some tips to help you enjoy the season.


with the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission (TABC), local ordinances and even limitations, based on the type of organization hosting the event. Everyone works towards the best possible compromise to ensure accountability, safety and compliance with the law while still allowing the public to enjoy the event. Here are some questions you should investigate before arriving.



Every wine fest you attend has drastically different “house rules” that dictate the nuts and bolts of how the festival runs. While it’s frustrating to have wildly different systems from one fest to the next, organizers must comply


edible San Antonio


Be sure you understand what, exactly, your admission provides. Some offer unlimited tastings, others offer a fixed number of tastings (redeemable with tickets). Each fest uses a different method, so check to know exactly what to ex-

pect (you might need extra cash for more tastings). Often, pricier tickets get you in early, a festival swag bag, perks like a wine dinner or VIP parking. While not for everyone, that VIP status can invoke envy if you weren’t aware of it in advance especially since, due to the planning required, most festivals can’t upgrade your ticket at the gate.


Vendors provide sample pours at their booth. A “sample pour” is defined by the TABC as 1.5 ounces, regulated by a measured pouring device. Some festivals allow for wine by the glass, some do not. Bottle sales might be available at the vendor’s table or consolidated at a central location. Bottom line: plan and know the process – there is no worse feeling than finding a wine you love only to forget where you had it!


An unfortunate side effect of the administrative process of alcohol “bonding” (inventory control) is that once a winery submits a physical allocation of wine to a festival, that’s all there is. Arriving late in the day or on the last day of a wine fest is a sure way to miss out on popular selections. Unlike a store or winery, there isn’t more in the back. When it’s gone, it’s gone!


A point of Texas pride is our dress code, “Texas Casual,” and the atmosphere that comes with it. Here, wine festivals tend to be laid back affairs where you can come as you are. I’ve been to Texas wine fests at rodeo pavilions, public parks, shopping malls, old west chili cook-offs, crowded downtown sidewalks and everything between. Dressing up is great when you’re inside and air-conditioned – not so great for outside in the heat. Believe me. The few gals who wore high heels and flowing dresses to the rodeo pavilion had some regrets. While they might be ugly as sin, running shoes will help your feet survive a day on an asphalt parking lot better than hard soles or sandals.


We all know that pesky red circle at the bottom of a wine glass – the dregs of some other, far inferior wine from the previous booth (ahem). No self-respecting winemaker wants THAT mixing with their bottled perfection! Use the available water croft to rinse your glass between tastings. Dump the rinse water into the spit bucket or on the ground if you’re outdoors.


Contrary to how mama raised you, spitting is perfectly acceptable at a wine fest. With dozens of booths providing samples, swallowing every drop will make you more than tipsy. As in all practical matters, identify the spit bucket before taking a swig. Nothing is more embarrassing than accidentally spitting into a vessel designated for a different purpose (like the water croft).

A COUPLE OF FESTS TO GET YOU STARTED. Some wine festivals are long-planned, some just pop up. Here’s a couple to get you started this season, and there are plenty more online to keep you busy all season long. Saturday, Nov. 16 | 6 p.m. – 10 p.m. Wine Down at the Garden The San Antonio Botanical Garden invites you to enjoy a relaxing evening at their 4th Annual Wine Down at the Garden event (for adults 21 and older). Discover new wines from the Texas Hill Country and tasty bites from some of San Antonio’s popular eateries. Visit for tickets and info.

Thursday, Nov. 21 | 5 p.m. – 8 p.m. Come and Taste It Sample Texas wines and craft brews at the Grapevine in Gruene Historic District. On the third Thursday of each month (except January), featured winemakers showcase three of their newest released, top-selling or hardest to find wines, alongside a craft brew hand-picked by Grapevine staff. The complimentary tastings take place on the patio and garden of this tasting room with live music and three prize giveaways. Visit for more info.


edible destination

The medievel fortress in Old Town, Sighisoara



hen Romanian tour operator Rodica Varna invited me to spend Halloween at Dracula’s Bran Castle in Transylvania, I couldn’t resist. The once-in-a-lifetime adventure to the national monument and landmark near Brasov in Romania was truly unforgettable.


Folks flock from all over the world to attend the spooky mega-event. On Halloween, a dramatic light show illuminates the night sky with inferno-like flames projected onto the high stone walls of Bran Castle. Loud, eerie, gruesome music and screeching blasts in surround sound fill the atmosphere – this event is not for the faint at

Romanian Tuica by Jesse Pearl


edible San Antonio


heart. This is the spot where Dracula groupies wearing elaborate costumes and outrageous makeup gather ... and their horns, tails, black capes and fangs add to the evening’s haunting drama. At the stroke of 8, goblins, ghosts, ghouls, witches and henchmen converge at Casa de Ceai, a five-star restaurant at the foot of the 14th century castle. The unusual menu pays homage to the blood-thirsty Count, known as Vlad the Impaler. Dinner starts with a beverage, Dracula’s Kiss Cocktail, followed by a blood sausage appetizer with red currant sauce and aromatic herbs, and the main course a bloody rare rib eye, of course. An odd-looking dessert, Coliva or Funeral Cake, is traditionally served after funerals to commemorate the dead in the Eastern Orthodox Church in Romania and Eastern Europe. Beautifully presented, Coliva is awash in superstitious symbolism. Made from bland, boiled barley and shaped into a mound of mush resembling a grave, the dessert is typically covered with powdered sugar and stenciled with cinnamon crosses or the initials of the deceased. Sadly, the flavors and textures render the cake inedible. This dinner is more a feast for the senses than for culinary enjoyment.



Traveling through the snow-capped Carpathian Mountains in Transylvania is worth the effort – the sightseeing, regional cuisine and local wines are delightful. Roadside gypsies sell handmade copper wares. In Sinaia, a popular ski resort, visit the 17th century monastery and spend time gazing at exquisite ivory-inlaid silver icons and fading religious frescoes. At Restaurant Vânătoresc Furnica, a former royal hunting lodge in a forest near Peles Castle, stuffed hunting trophies hang everywhere. The house specialty, a platter of wild game with venison, boar and pheasant, was on point. In Sibiel, at the Pensiunea Cristina, a rustic farmhouse and B&B, Cristina, the innkeeper, provides guests with a glimpse of life in rural Romania. Here you will enjoy hearty Romanian favorites, including Sarmale (stuffed cabbage), Mamaliga (Romanian polenta served with sour cream) and Mici (skinless pork sausage). Lively dinners are followed by rounds of ţuică, a clear, potent spirit distilled from plums. Lunch at Casa Vlad Dracul, where Vlad Tepes (Dracula) was born in 1431, is a must. Now a popular restaurant in Sighisoara, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the meal includes an oversized bread bowl filled with Ciorba de Fasole, a hearty peasant soup made with beans, Swiss chard and smoked bacon. Vinegar, lemon juice or sauerkraut juice gives the traditional dish its signature tart taste. Old Town, comprised of a charming medieval fortress with historic buildings topped with fairytale towers and turrets, is perfect for serious shopping. You’ll find traditional handcrafts and hand-carved wooden chopping tools shaped like mini-hatchets, a kitchen tool Romanian cooks use to make salata de vinete, or eggplant salad. (The wood won’t oxidize the eggplant, which turns it black.) Bucharest, affectionately known as “Little Paris,” has its own Arc de Triomphe (Arcul de Triumf ). The capital’s Old Town offers vibrant cafes, bars and restaurants along narrow cobblestone streets. Foodies on a budget will find abundant cheap street food and local favorites, from Turkish borek and mouthwater-

Mamaliga is a centuries-old traditional Romanian dish – the Romanian version of polenta, usually served as a side dish with Sarmale (stuffed cabbage). Also served with cottage cheese and sour cream. Save leftovers and sauté in olive oil for a delicious snack. INGREDIENTS 4 cups water 1½ cups yellow cornmeal 1 tablespoon olive oil Salt to taste Butter to taste Sour cream and cottage cheese for garnish. DIRECTIONS Bring 4 cups of water to a boil and add cornmeal a little at a time. Cook on medium heat for 10 to15 minutes, stirring until thickened. Add butter to taste. Serve with sour cream and cottage cheese


Street bakeries offer delicious affordable treats in Bucharest

Ciorba de Fasole, a hearty peasant soup made with beans

ing hunks of Moldovan cheesecake to gyros, pizza and pastries. Hanu’ lui Manuc (Manuc’s Inn), once a trading post and inn for caravans on trade routes built in 1808, is now a popular restaurant in Old Town. It’s also Bucharest’s oldest operating hotel, with a massive, multi-balconied courtyard. The legendary restaurant, famous for its 30-page-long, illustrated menu and enormous portions also stages lively folkloric dance performances for its guests. Try the roasted marrow bones, heavily sprinkled with salt and served with homemade horseradish sauce. One of Bucharest’s most iconic restaurants, Caru’ cu bere, is always packed. Popular for more than 135 years, the hot spot still offers great food, affordable prices and Old-World charm in a Neo-Gothic building with Art Nouveau décor accented with vaulted ceilings, painted arches and stained glass. The house specialty, a pig knuckle platter, served with a heaping portion of Mamaliga, will feed a party of four. Transylvania is a feast for all the senses that offers delicious memories to savor for a lifetime. To learn more about visiting Romania, visit www.romania. travel. From San Antonio, fly TAP AIR PORTUGAL to Frankfurt to catch a connecting flight to Bucharest Henri Coandă International Airport. Visit to learn more. 42

edible San Antonio


local pints

(Photo courtesy)




ad Pecker Brewing Company describes itself as “a small batch brewery with an unpretentious taproom, aiming to provide customers with the most enjoyable experience inside and outside the glass.” Yes, it’s a funny name. On a Wednesday afternoon visit with assistant brewer, cellarman and cask master Rey Duque, I learned the history of the brewery and the name. Over a pour from one of the two brews on tap, Rey says not a day goes by without a customer asking about the name. The story goes that before opening the brewpub, owner and head brewer Jason Gonzales would go for a morning run in a nearby park. As he ran, he would dream of the perfect place to drink beer – a place with food, a cozy atmosphere and a little music. And being a family man, his dream included that it should be kid-friendly, a place for graduations, birthdays and other family celebrations. But there was no such place on his side of town, with craft beers brewed on-site. So, the home brewing, craft beer enthusiast created one. Every day, during his daily run, a woodpecker always appeared to keep him company. When the time came to name the beer Jason was brewing at home, he honored his constant companion. By the time the taproom opened, the name stuck. The bar’s selection of 24 taps includes two to four Mad Pecker tap brews at any given time. They also feature craft brews from San Antonio, other Texas breweries and farther away. “We’re not selfish about trying to hog up all the drinkers,” Rey explained. “We want to fill up the wall with not only our (beers) but others. A lot are from Texas and a lot of people haven’t heard of them – we just want to introduce them and make them available.” Generally, brewers are a social lot. They like being together, enjoying fine

beers and talking shop. “I can talk beer until you’re tired of hearing about it. We (brewers) all hang out together when we’re not working,” he said. He and Jason like experimenting with new varieties of hops that impart complex flavors rather than only bitterness. “We like to make IPAs because you get to express yourself more in the flavors and get a little wild,” Rey shared. “We throw a ton of hops into the New England style pale ale, and when people say they don’t like IPAs, I suggest they try the New England style – and now non-pale ale drinkers are pale ale drinkers. It’s fun to turn someone on to something they didn’t know they would like.” Experimenting with yeasts yields even more variety and complexity, and thanks to their sense of adventure, the team developed great expertise with the process. “We recently started messing with a historic Norwegian style yeast that ferments very hot. It’s really old, I don’t know the whole story and I should, but it’s a Viking style yeast and from what I’ve heard, Nordic brewers were using it,” Rey said. “It loves being 90-100 degrees. We can ferment very hot and don’t get weird homebrew tastes like you can from ales that weren’t temperature controlled. We get more tropical flavors from the yeast and don’t have to add fruit.” In keeping with the spirit of the dream, the kitchen turns out snacks like nachos and wings or pizza and burgers for more filling meals. Wednesday is Geeks Who Drink Trivia Night, Thursday is Glass Night (order a beer and keep the special brewery glass) and Friday features flights of four 5-oz pours for $6. Happy hour is Monday to Friday from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. Find them at 6025 Tezel Road and visit for updates.



edible San Antonio


edible film

(Photo courtesy CNN Films



cademy Award winning director, Morgan Neville, will direct and produce a new documentary about the late Chef Anthony Bourdain according to a recent press release. The project is in the works thanks to a partnership between CNN Films, HBO Max and Focus Features. “Morgan is the top of the game when it comes to documentary filmmaking and we’re delighted to be working with him again on this project with our great collaborators at CNN Films and HBO Max,” Focus Features Chair Peter Kujawski said. Mr. Neville, a veteran filmmaker who’s worked for more than 20 years creating documentaries that illuminate and explore the struggles and triumphs of the human condition, recently worked on “Won’t You Be My Neighbor?” – the number one, highest-grossing biopic about Fred Rogers, also distributed by Focus Features. The director is thrilled to be working on this feature about the great storyteller and culinary explorer. “Anthony Bourdain did more to help us understand each other than just about anyone in the history of television – he connected with people not in spite of his flaws, but because of them,” Mr. Neville explained in the press release. “To have the opportunity to tell his story is humbling. CNN is in the DNA of Tony’s work, and they are the perfect partners in this journey.” For five years, Chef Bourdain brought relentless authenticity to his

work on CNN’s original series “Anthony Bourdain Parts Unknown.” The popular program earned 36 Primetime Emmy® Award nominations and 12 wins, as well as a George Foster Peabody Award. In 2016, Chef Bourdain even executive produced his own documentary (with CNN Films) about one of the first champions of the local food movement, “JEREMIAH TOWER: The Last Magnificent.”   Lydia Tenaglia and Christopher Collins, founders of Zero Point Zero Production, closely collaborated with Chef Bourdain for nearly two decades. They will be consulting producers for the film.  “Having worked with Anthony Bourdain for close to 20 years, Chris and I felt very protective over the story of his life and the decision on who to direct it,” Ms. Tenaglia shared. “In Morgan Neville’s hands, we are sure to get a nuanced portrait of the complex, wildly creative man we knew.” Kimberly Witherspoon, Bourdain’s longtime agent and literary executor, will also serve as a consulting producer. The Bourdain estate will provide access to family photos, home movies, letters, music and other content that will add greater insights into his work and life.  Before the film premieres on television on CNN and streams via HBO Max, audiences will get to watch the feature on the big screen. Focus Films will be releasing the documentary exclusively to theaters worldwide until it’s available on demand. No timeline has been released yet for the project.



edible San Antonio


edible SOURCES Alamo Ranch Farmers Market Click. Order. Receive. Enjoy. PO Box 380058 San Antonio, TX 78268 210-446-0099

Guerrilla Gourmet Revolutionary Good Food 813-504-2344

Austin Label Company Quality that sticks 1610 Dungan Lane, Suite A Austin, TX 78754

Humble House Foods Honest Food. Honest People. Pearl Farmers Market 312 Pearl Parkway San Antonio, TX 78215 210-706-0067

Cotton Gin Village More than a Bed & Breakfast 2805 S. State Highway 16 Fredericksburg, TX 78624 830-990-5734

Kuhlman Cellars Old World Terroir … New World Cuisine 18421 E. US 290 Stonewall, TX 78671 512-920-2675

Don Strange of Texas Catering | Venues | Event Management 1551 Bandera Road San Antonio, TX 78228 210-434-2331

La Bonne Vie Ranch Hill Country Weddings & Events 1827 Pfiester Road Fredericksburg, TX 78624 210-651-2506

Fredericksburg Convention and Visitor Bureau The Texas Hill Country Texas Heart. German Soul. 866-997-3600

Lick Honest Ice Creams Scoops full of Texas goodness at the Pearl 312 Pearl Parkway, #2101 San Antonio, TX 78215 210.314.8166

Frosted Home Fresh, Fun, Fabulous … Frosted. 5800 Broadway, Suite 101 San Antonio, TX 78209 210-826-1993 @FrostedHome #FrostedHome

Luminaria 2019 Contemporary Arts Festival November 9, 2019 San Antonio, TX

Mission Marquee Plaza 2019 Farmers and Artisans Market 3100 Roosevelt Avenue San Antonio, TX River Whey Creamery Artisanal Cheese 17361 Bell N. Drive, #115 Schertz, TX 78154 210-326-1342 SAFILM-San Antonio Film Festival 2020 Call for Entries SARAH South Alamo Regional Alliance for the Homeless 4100 E. Piedras Drive San Antonio, TX 78228 210-876-0720 Spec’s Wines, Spirits & Finer Foods Locations across Texas Tracey Maurer Photography Some of the best things happen in the kitchen San Antonio, TX 210-325-4550


the last bite



have to get through to you before it’s too late. We are in the midst of a dystopian thriller where we reach out for items that bestow us with magical powers only to find out that it cost us our soul. The more boxes we open the less of us there is. The stars of our memory are winking out. Every time we crack open a bag, we are trading our identities for convenience. Every time we buy a ready-made version of something our grandmothers used to make, we wipe away yet another layer of our cultural identity. We walk one more step away … from ourselves. The way anything was made – anything that keeps us alive – was a craft. It is a craft. You name it – the crackers, soft drinks, loaves of bread, wine, beer, a hamburger, a sausage. A sweater or a pair of sandals. An orange. The roof on your house. The cup you drink your coffee out of. All these things took thousands of years of trial and error – people fighting back against the terror of starvation, people looking for an edge of advantage against the threat of need. All these crafts were developed in a perception of need. We retained them because they served us in some way. Take the need away, the skill will leave, too. When we can buy absolutely anything we want, our perception of need becomes twisted and deformed. Denatured. We begin to feel that the pipe will always be there, flowing with the cornucopia of goods and services that make life go. Every time you accept this contract, a piece of that knowledge seeps away. We relax into a stupor and fill our 48

edible San Antonio


bloodstream with the drug of convenience. Who are you? Who are you really? How do you know? Anthropologists distinguish groups of people by their observable characteristics: what clothes they fashion for themselves, what they eat, the tools, weapons and dwellings they create, the fish hooks, arrow heads, the art, the religious figures, the plants or animals they grow or encourage, the methods of food preservation they employ. The specific use of water. What does an entire civilization built on things we don’t make say about us? Tell me, tell me please – what exactly should the anthropologists write? “So as fast as you can, think of something to do. You will have to get rid of Thing One and Thing Two.” So I lay down a challenge. Not for me, do it for yourself. I want you to face the inconvenience of real life and own a little piece of it. Tomorrow, at the store, before you pick up any box or bag, any package – I want you to stop and think about what you would do – how would you satisfy this need if you didn’t have this magic bullet to make your problem go away? You will have to reach back. Way back. “When you hear the crunch, you’re there.” You might not even have the answer – and this was the same problem your ancestors would have faced. So think of something you could do, something that you could feasibly do. And put down that product, that one product, and go make that thing.


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The Autumn Issue


edible San Antonio


san antonio®

San Antonio UNESCO Creative City of Gastronomy


Issue No. 35

Now Now delivering Hemp products deliveringWildseed Wildseed Hemp products


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edible san antonio issue 35  

edible san antonio issue 35