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Total Fun at Totally Tejas

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It was a perfect fall day for Culinaria’s Totally Tejas at Rio Cibolo Ranch Sunday. The cool, crisp air meant that sitting outdoors under towering trees, listening to music, or taking a short barge trip on the creek were comfortable and inviting.

Two Bros. BBQ at Totally Tejas: serving up smoke and brisket.

Indoors, there was walkabout salsa competition going on, so the buzz of the day was who had what, and what direction to go to find it in the large hall. Arts and crafts, from handmade chocolates to jewelry, a silent auction, a lariat artist and plenty of wine samples flowed.

Jesse Perez, chef at the Alamo Cafe, had a creamy, green salsa with specks of habanero in it that was getting raves; the Food Bank cooking crew was there, too, with a more traditional salsa that topped some tasty little pork empanadas. One salsa was made with green grapes; others were of the straight-ahead tomato and chile variety.

“It couldn’t have been a better day for Totally Tejas. We’re glad so many drove out to attend,” said Suzanne Taranto, Culinaria president. This is Culinaria’s final event of 2011. The next event is the 5K Run at The Shops of La Cantera, May 12. The festival’s major Festival Week is May 16-20.

Alamo Cafe chef Jesse Perez took top honors for salsa, while the Food Bank came in a very close second place.

Perez’ habanero salsa won the contest, with the Food Bank coming in a very close second — it was almost a draw, said Taranto.

The Texas Heritage Riders, in full regalia on handsome steeds, lined the drive up to the parking area. Two Bros. BBQ added a smoky seasoning to the air, serving pit-smoked brisket.

If there had been a food contest, we think Paloma Blanca would have edged out the other contenders. They were pouring a delicious, warm, Creamy Poblano Soup that had a true blast of genuine poblano flavor.

On the sweet side, Flour Power Bakery served an orange creamsicle cake that certainly won our own, personal “best dessert” award.

It was a great day to be in the country.

Rollin' on the river: Totally Tejas barge ride on Sunday



Paloma Blanca servers had one of the tastiest treats at the festival.

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