Archive | September 28th, 2011

Feast is Open; Bill Miller Opens Second Laguna Madre Seafood Company

Feast is Open; Bill Miller Opens Second Laguna Madre Seafood Company

Feast is now serving dinner

Feast, in Southtown, is now open at 1024 S. Alamo. The restaurant, which is in the location where the former Oloroso was, opened Tuesday evening for dinner, said an employee who answered the telephone Wednesday. Feast is open Tuesday through Thursday, 5- 10 p.m. and from 5-11 p.m. Friday and Saturday.

Feast is owned by Andrew Goodman. The phone number is 210-354-1024.

Laguna Madre Seafood Company opens on S.W. Military Dr.

A second location of Laguna Madre Seafood Company, owned by Bill Miller Bar-B-Q, is now open at 402 S.W. Military Dr., according to company spokesperson. The first location opened last year at 5123 Rigsby Ave.

The menu is largely fried fish, including catfish and cod, shrimp and combo plates, as well as gumbo,salads, hush puppies, creamy coleslaw, fish and shrimp Veracruz style and chicken Veracruz style. Dessert is cookies or pie —pecan, Dutch apple or lemon meringue. Family meals are available, as are Bill Miller’s famous buckets of iced tea. Most of the dishes are under $10.

Trader Joe’s: Yes? No?

Rumors still flying: Now, we hear that they may be  locating in  Quarry Village later this year. We’ll be checking up on that.

In the meantime, here’s a fun link on the good, the bad and the whatever — at Trader Joe’s.



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Foodborne Illness Alert from CDC; Two Deaths in Texas

Foodborne Illness Alert from CDC; Two Deaths in Texas

From the CDC

An outbreak of listeriosis has claimed at least 13 lives, and several more are under investigation.

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) is collaborating with public health officials in several states, including Texas, and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to investigate a multistate outbreak of listeriosis.

As of  Tuesday, a total of 72 persons infected with the four outbreak-associated strains of Listeria monocytogenes had been reported to CDC from 18 states.  That number is 14 in Texas – and two have died.

Listeriosis is a serious infection usually caused by eating food contaminated with the bacterium Listeria monocytogenes .

All illnesses started on or after July 31, 2011.  On September 14, 2011, the FDA issued announced that Jensen Farms had issued a voluntary recall of its Rocky Ford-brand cantaloupes after being linked to a multistate outbreak of listeriosis.

The number of infected persons identified in each state is as follows: California (1), Colorado (15), Florida (1), Illinois (1), Indiana (2), Kansas (5), Maryland (1), Missouri (1), Montana (1), Nebraska (6), New Mexico (10), North Dakota (1), Oklahoma (8), Texas (14), Virginia (1), West Virginia (1), Wisconsin (2), and Wyoming (1).

Thirteen deaths have been reported: 2 in Colorado, 1 in Kansas, 1 in Maryland, 1 in Missouri, 1 in Nebraska, 4 in New Mexico, 1 in Oklahoma, and 2 in Texas. Several other deaths are being investigated by officials as well, according to a report by the Associate Press today.

The CDC recommends that persons at high risk for listeriosis, including older adults, persons with weakened immune systems, and pregnant women, do not eat Rocky Ford cantaloupes from Jensen Farms.

Even if some of the cantaloupe has been eaten without anyone becoming ill, dispose of the rest of the cantaloupe immediately. Listeria bacteria can grow in the cantaloupe at room and refrigerator temperatures.

For more information, check this site.










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Lodge Offers Seafood This Week, Darioush Wine Tasting Oct. 6

Lodge Offers Seafood This Week, Darioush Wine Tasting Oct. 6

From The Lodge Restaurant of Castle Hills

Jason Dady, executive chef at The Lodge Restaurant of Castle Hills.

A Taste of the Sea: Wednesday through Saturday, this week only.  This is a four-course pescaterian-inspired dinner with a glass of wine. $35 per person.

Darioush Wine Tasting and Reception:  6:30 p.m. Oct. 6. In the courtyard, a tasting of Darioush’s best selections paired the chef’s favorite hors d’oeuvres. This event is hosted by Darioush President Dan de Polo. Reservations limited. $65 per person.

The Lodge’s 10-Year Anniversary Dinner: 6 p.m. reception; 6:30 p.m. dinner. Oct. 17. This will be a tasting of some of the Lodge’s original opening dishes, fast-forwarded to today.  $100 per person, includes glass of Champagne.

Reservations for these events can be made by calling 210- 349-8466. The Lodge Restaurant is at 1746 Lockhill Selma.

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Spectacular Brilliance: Food-friendly Wines Great to ‘Go To’

Spectacular Brilliance: Food-friendly Wines Great to ‘Go To’

Troy Knapp is executive chef at the Hyatt Hill Country Resort, including Antlers Lodge. He’s also a Certified Sommelier and Certified Specialist of Wine. His column, Spectacular Brilliance, appears monthly on SavorSA.

By Troy Knapp

Troy Knapp

“What wine should we bring?”  This is a common question when attending a party, especially when you know the food and company will be outstanding.  Just because the cuisine is uncertain, doesn’t mean the wine selection should be.  When in doubt, a “Go To” wine is your best bet!

A “Go To” wine refers to a wine with friendliness, as it gets along well with others.  It typically offers flexibility to pair with a wide range of dishes, as well as the preferences of a diverse crowd.  “Go To” wines will typically have particular structural traits.  There are two major factors when determining a wine to be “food friendly”: alcohol content and acidity.  Wines from a moderate to cooler climate will typically display lower levels of alcohol and higher acidity, which is prime for “Go To” wines.

My personal favorite “Go To” wine selections are:

Sparkling:  Always a safe bet.  Not only is sparkling wine versatile, it is also a great way to kick off the party.  You can’t go wrong with Cava, Prosecco or Champagne.  Feeling adventurous?  Look for French Crémant de Bourgogne, German Sekt or South African Cap Classique.

White Wines:  You’ll want to look for medium to light-bodied white wines, with racy acidity, good fruit, and even a touch of residual sugar.  My personal favorites include, from Austria, Grüner Veltliner.  From Spain, Albariño and Txakoli.  From Oregon, Germany and North Italy, Pinot Gris/Pinot Grigio. For something with subtle sweetness, France’s Vouvray or Germany’s, Mosel Kabinett (off-dry) Riesling.

Dry rose wine

Dry Rosé Wines:  This is my favorite category!  Rosé is typically, very versatile, as the slight red fruit character lends itself to a wide range of dishes.  Highly underrated and reasonably priced wines from Tavel, in France, Vinho Verde from Portugal and Spanish Garnacha Rosado, bring a lot of excitement to the table.  One piece of advice: these should not be confused with cheap, pink sweet wine.  As they say, “Friends don’t let friends drink white Zin.”

Red Wines:  Here’s where it gets a little tricky.  The one thing to keep in mind here is to stay away from excessive alcohol and tannin (bio-molecule that contributes to the dry, “puckering” in your mouth you feel with certain wines). Check the label to ensure the alcohol content is not too high — you want to stay under 14 percent alcohol.  The lower the alcohol, the better indication that it will be friendlier to a diversity of dishes, as well as the audience.

Oregon, Washington and the cooler areas of California will offer bright fruit with balanced acidity.  Merlot can be a good option as it is typically rounder with soft tannins.  Zinfandel displays loads of fruit up front and moderate tannin. However, it can be very high in alcohol so keep an eye on the label.  Other exciting options consist of German Pinot Noir, Barbera from North Italy, Cru Beaujolais from one of the 10 highly regarded village /sites in France.

Dessert Wines: Selections such as Moscato d’Asti and Brachetto d’Aqui from Piedmont, Italy, are enormous crowd-pleasers.  Both offer light effervescence with balanced sweetness and acidity.  Low in alcohol with delicate minerality, these selections are sure to intrigue a range of palates.

Now that you have my recommendations, here are some items to avoid when looking for a “Go To” wine.

Big, oaky Cabernet isn't necessarily food friendly.

Wines high in alcohol, tannin and a big oak treatment should be nixed.  With this in mind, you may want to save the big California Cabernets and Chardonnays for an occasion that will do them justice.  As wonderful as they are, they are better suited for specific dishes and certainly have their place in the pursuit of the perfect pairing, just not for the “Go To” list.

Be wary of chasing critic scores or ratings. Remember we are looking for certain specific qualities in a wine that gives it the ability to work well under most conditions. Ratings are far too general and do not speak to the structure of a wine.

Don’t forget to do a little research on the wine; where did it come from, where’s the vineyard, what was the process?  What you discover may add a little something extra to the overall experience, plus, it would make for great dinner conversation.  Keep in mind the theme of this column — to educate yourself on the art of wine pairing, while intriguing your appetite for adventure.  Spectacular brilliance is always right around the corner, sometimes you may have to stroll from your comfort zone to achieve it.

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