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NAO Expands Its Hours and Its Culinary Offerings

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nao signNAO, the Culinary Institute of America's restaurant at the Pearl Brewery, has expanded its hours. Lunch is now being offered from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Friday, Saturday and Sunday. The menu is less formal than the dinner menu, chef Geronomio Lopez promises. One offering is the piled high Domenican burger, which marries Texas' love of burgers with the New World flavors the restaurant is known for. These lunches are in addition to the Thursday five-course lunches that include cooking demonstrations. And the restaurant at 312 Pearl Parkway is now open after hours on Saturday, from 10 p.m. to 1 or 1:30 a.m. The late hours are largely a SIN, or service industry night, says Lopez, referring to a time that waitstaff at other restaurants can enjoy going out themselves after their shifts have ended. Lopez and his sous chef Zach Garza have planned a rotating menu of dishes such as Fire-Roasted Brussels, Chili and Waffles, Turkey King Ranch Casserole and that Burger, while the bartenders are coming up with some late-night specials. The intriguing Chili and Waffles dish features a chili that takes 24 hours to make. Lopez describes it as completely unique, with a touch of Mexican mole as well as Texas chili mixed in. It's served over a sweet corn waffle and topped with a fried egg before serving. "It's street foods American style," he says. Or think of it as "a food truck that doesn't move." Reservations are not accepted for either the new lunches or for the late-night hours. For more information, click here or call (210) 554-6484.
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