Archive | August 3rd, 2011

Boardwalk on Bulverde: ‘Octobeer’ Fest Date Set

Boardwalk on Bulverde: ‘Octobeer’ Fest Date Set

The Throw Down offers fun, as these kids enjoy the award-winning Smoke Shack fare at the Food Truck Throw Down.

Organizer Josh Davies says he didn’t expect the throngs, 6,000 strong, at this past weekend’s Boardwalk on Bulverde Food Truck Throw Down. But, it was so much fun it’s all happening again the last weekend in September (Sept. 30, Oct. 1-2. )

“We’ll trim down the number of trucks next time to around 20,” says Davies. Beer will be a featured item at Octobeer Fest, the Food Truck Throw Down’s take on Octoberfest.  The event is free for attendees, but there is a food truck fee of $500. This fee has risen from last time’s entry fee of $200.

Davies says that some of the trucks in a back area weren’t getting much traffic, which is part of the reason they decided to trim down the number of trucks.

Davies also said that the Smoke Shack, by Conger Catering, won the People’s Choice Award this past weekend and took home a cool $4,000 prize.



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Ask a Foodie: What’s the Difference between Apple Juice and Cider?

Ask a Foodie: What’s the Difference between Apple Juice and Cider?

Is it juice or is it cider?

Q. I was in the juice aisle the other day and I noticed a lot of bottles, some marked apple juice and others market apple cider. I read a few labels, but I couldn’t figure out what the difference was between the two of them. Do you know?

— Pam

A. There is no difference between the products you are talking about. In the eyes of the labeling gods at the U.S. government, the words can be used interchangeably.

But there is a difference between apple cider and apple juice in the bigger picture.

Cider traditionally has referred to fruit juice that is natural, unprocessed and raw, which is why it can ferment into a liquor or what is known as “hard cider.” You sometimes find fresh cider in the refrigerator section. If it looks darker and murkier than you’re used to, it’s because cider is not filtered and it’s likely that it has not been pasteurized. If it is not pasteurized, it should say so on the label, again another government requirement.

According to a website from the state of Massachusetts, “Cider needs constant refrigeration because it is perishable. It will stay sweet and unfermented for up to two weeks. Cider can also be frozen, but be sure to pour off an inch or two from the container for expansion during freezing.”

Apple juice has been pasteurized and most likely filtered, the government site says.

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At Hearthstone BakeryCafe, Fill Up on the Fillings

At Hearthstone BakeryCafe, Fill Up on the Fillings

"The Tony" Montino is like a Cuban.

Hearthstone BakeryCafe in the Forum is one of those places that, well, has never been quite as good as it should be.

The fillings on its sandwiches are very good, whether you’re trying grilled portobello with feta and tzatziki sauce or meatballs with three cheeses melted on top. On a recent visit, the modified Cuban, known as “The Tony” Montino, featured pork and ham with Swiss cheese, pickle and plenty of mustard.

So, what could be so wrong?

The bread. Too many of the sandwiches are made on a flat, puffy white nothing, like a drab ciabatta, desperately in need of something — maybe salt to give it flavor and keep it from resembling cardboard. Perhaps the marbled rye is better.

There was only one item on the menu that was diabetic friendly (a Greek salad with feta, black olives and onions), but that wasn’t terribly surprising for a place that bills itself as a bakery. White flour is a given whether you’re talking bread, sweets or even pasta in the soups. Even the tomato-basil soup was advertised as having a hint of brown sugar, which made it sound suspiciously like warm ketchup and not at all attractive, diabetic or not.

The Wedge features plenty of bacon, sun-dried tomatoes and onions.

I decided on the wedge salad, minus the candied pecans. It came with plenty of crisp bacon, tangy oven-dried tomatoes and red onions with a generous portion of blue cheese dressing on the side. I enjoyed the creamy dressing coating each bite of iceberg lettuce. (In case you don’t know, the point of a wedge salad is to showcase the toppings and dressings. The lettuce has to be superfresh, as this was, so it adds crunch without adding too much flavor. I couldn’t convince my friend of this; she simply turned her nose up at the notion of eating iceberg lettuce under any circumstances. Her loss.)

An oatmeal-raisin cookie.

We shared an oatmeal-raisin cookie for dessert, which my friend enjoyed. I found it in need of more oats and less flour, though a rich brown sugar shone through. A cookie, not soup, is the right place for that.

A second Hearthstone is at 4212 McCullough Ave.

Hearthstone BakeryCafe
8096 Agora Parkway
(210) 798-8646


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