Archive | April, 2013

Quarry Market Celebrates Year 2; Cookbook to Come

Quarry Market Celebrates Year 2; Cookbook to Come

On Sunday, May 5, the Quarry Farmers and Ranchers Market will mark its second year with music, fresh farm produce, baked and prepared foods and so much more.

Bakery Lorraine's French macarons come in a rainbow of colors -- and flavors.

Bakery Lorraine’s French macarons come in a rainbow of colors — and flavors.

Market organizers will also be selling t-shirts made from organically grown Texas cotton throughout the day. The anniversary marks the market’s weekly success of bringing products from local growers and specialty food makers to a loyal community of supporters.

Nicolette Good will bring her full band to entertain the crowd. Good has twice been named San Antonio’s favorite singer-songwriter by the readers of the San Antonio Current and was, most recently, selected as the winner of the 2012 Grassy Hill Kerrville New Folk.

Current market members include: 3G Farm, 9-1 Farm, Angel Song Acres, Bakery Lorraine, Bikkurim Organic Farms, Countryside Farm, Cowgirl Granola, Dos Lunas Artisan Cheese, Engel Farms, Good Gluten-Free Foods, Gretchen Bee Ranch, Humble House Foods, Katie’s Jar, Koch Ranches, Ming’s Thing, Mom & Pops, Naegelin Farms, Nisha’s Quick-N-Ezee Indian Food, Parker Creek Ranch, Patty’s Petals, Revolucion Coffee + Juice, Rancho Ojo de Agua, Señor Veggie, Springfield Farm, The Arrangement Nursery, The Gardener’s Feast, The Lemonade Company, (The Original) Winner Winner Chicken Dinner food truck, Well Seasoned Cuisine and Zamudio Farm.

Here’s a great way you can contribute!

The community is invited to celebrate the second anniversary of the Quarry Farmers & Ranchers Market by submitting their favorite seasonal recipes using farm-fresh ingredients. Recipes will be accepted through June 16.

Radish and Cucumber Salad

Radish and Cucumber Salad

The best submissions will be featured in the first edition of the “Quarry Farmers & Ranchers Market Community Cookbook,” available for purchase during the winter holiday season. “We want to encourage home cooks and professional chefs alike to submit recipes,” says market co-founder and director Heather Hunter. “The goal is to inspire people at all culinary levels to get in the kitchen and cook with local, farm fresh ingredients grown by people you know and trust.”

Categories include appetizers, soups, salads, entrees (including game and vegetarian), sides and desserts. A helpful recipe form is available on the market’s Cookbook Project page at, and completed recipes may be emailed to

The Quarry Farmers & Ranchers Market is held Sundays, rain, wind, cold or heat, from 9 a.m. – 1 p.m. in the parking lot of the Quarry Market (255 E. Basse), near Whole Foods Market.

For more information call 210-722-5077, email, or visit

Posted in Featured, In Season, Markets, News2 Comments

Azro Offers a Lively Taste of Morocco and the Mediterranean

Azro Offers a Lively Taste of Morocco and the Mediterranean

Azro's Bastilla with a salad.

Azro’s Bastilla with a salad.

When I arrived in San Antonio 14 years ago, the thought of not one, but two Moroccan restaurants in the city was wishful thinking at best. Yet with the arrival of Azro Moroccan and Mediterranean Bistro on Northwest Military Highway, we have two fine places where we can enjoy this savory cuisine from the north of Africa. (The other is Moroccan Bites on Evers Road.)

The Moroccan Mixed Salad

The Moroccan Mixed Salad

The first thing I noticed when I entered Azro for the first time was how cool and inviting the ambience of the dining room is. It is painted in vibrant colors that diffuse the light, so it feels more intimate and relaxed. The space has housed numerous restaurants over the years, from the sandwich shop Swede’s to the Mexican Huaraches, but never has any of its inhabitants felt quite so much at home.

The attentive waitstaff reinforced that feeling on a number of visits, answering questions as much as they could on the menu. On my first two visits, I had limited time, so I choose several options from the appetizer and salad sections of the menu that wouldn’t take much time. Every salad option is worth investigating because of the freshness of the ingredients used. That includes the Shepherd’s Salad with plenty of cucumbers, red onions and tomato in a lively vinaigrette; the related Mediterranean Salad with is punched up with more greens, such as arugula; and the generous Moroccan salad sampler, heaped high with a great white bean salad, pickled beets, a tangy carrot salad, cheese and a potato salad.

Harira Soup.

Harira Soup.

Felafel, fried patties made of garbanzo beans, is a traditional Mediterranean dish, but the recipe can vary from region to region. I don’t know which region Azro’s version comes from, but the menu says that it is seasoned with Moroccan spices, so that might be a clue. I can also say that on the two occasions in which I enjoyed the patties, they were dense and crunchy on the outside and moist inside. A drizzle of something resembling tahini, with an almost spackle-like texture, did not win over a friend of mine, but I liked the contrast.

Best of all was a bowl of harira soup, a Moroccan favorite that combines garbanzo beans, tomato and lentils with the brightness of a touch of olive oil. It a way, it was reminiscent of the Turkish soup mercimek.

Among the entrees, the Seafood Bastilla, also known to some as pastilla, caught my eye with its promise of salmon and shrimp in phyllo dough and served with a lemon cream pastry. The phyllo on top was flaky and crisp, crackling as it broke apart to reveal the beautifully prepared seafood inside. A lively salad, topped with a triangle of cheese, was so large that it threatened to dominate the plate, but it provided just the right contrast, its acidic dressing cutting through the cream sauce while its crunch complemented the silky nature of the salmon. It also had a hominess to it that made you feel as if an old friend were in the kitchen cooking just for you.

Couscous with Chicken

Couscous with Chicken

No discussion of Moroccan food is complete without mentioning couscous, the country’s unofficial dish. It can exert a mysterious hold, when it is made properly. I can remember it being the centerpiece of a banquet in Tangier about 15 years ago, and we dove in to the communal dish with our hands, which has long been the custom of the country. The pearls of pasta were loaded with a rich, buttery flavor and yet they managed to be light as a feather. We picked up most every piece on the plate.

The version at Azro was not that inspired, but it wasn’t bad, either. It had scant taste of butter. Instead, it picked up the flavors of the foods that had been arranged on top of it in a tagine. So, it tasted of the juices of zucchini and butter as well as some grilled chicken kebab and chopped parsley, all of which went well with a glass of Moroccan Sauvignon Blanc. These items were not cooked together, mind you. But the tagine, with its conical lid, makes for such a dramatic presentation that you can understand why it’s being used that way.

Lemon Chicken Tagine

Lemon Chicken Tagine

What a pair of nearby customers did have trouble understanding is how the restaurant could be out of eggplant on the evening they were there. That should tell you how good the vegetable  in both the restaurant’s baba ghanoush, brightened with garlic, and the Mosaka. If you were thinking that the latter would be like the Greek moussaka, you might be in for some surprise. Instead of being a variation on lasagna slathered with a béchamel sauce, Azro’s version, sampled on another visit, featured the roasted vegetable stuffed with seasoned ground beef and offered pure comfort. Too much cardamom made the beryani rice on the side less than welcome, however.

If you order the Lemon Chicken Tagine, don’t expect a dish with some Day-Glo sauce that’s sweeter than sweet. Instead, expect something savory, enlivened by tart preserved lemons. The chicken is also mixed with potatoes, green olives and garlic. On one visit, this could not hardly have been better, with the briny nature of the olives and plenty of lemon infusing the dish. On another, the lemons were in short supply, and the chicken tasted reheated. The differences suggest that Azro needs to work some on its consistency.

Bread comes with dipping oil.

Bread comes with dipping oil.

One dish that does not need work is the baklava, made with a light syrup and plenty of crushed pistachios sandwiched between buttered phyllo dough. Each order comes with two pieces, which we didn’t realize when we ordered two helpings. So, when the four squares appeared, we thought it was too much. After one taste, however, no one was complaining. It was enough to make us talk of returning.

Azro Moroccan and Mediterranean Bistro
2211 N.W. Military Hwy.
(210) 342-0011
Lunch and dinner: Monday-Saturday

Posted in Restaurants2 Comments

The Veuve Clicquot Airsteam Breezes into Town

The Veuve Clicquot Airsteam Breezes into Town

The Veuve Clicquot airstream.

The Veuve Clicquot airstream.

Veuve Cliquot, the Champagne long known known for its yellow flavor and brilliant bubbles, is breezing into town in a luxurious airstream trailer Monday for a two-day visit at a pair of San Antonio restaurants. It’s part of a national tour that began in Florida and will continue on to Los Angeles, Seattle, Washington D.C., and the Hamptons, among other destinations.

Choices: Yellow Label? Or Rose?

Choices: Yellow Label? Or Rosé?

On Monday, the trailer will stop at 20nine in the Quarry, 255 E. Basse Road, from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. The special Veuve Road Trip, or flight, is priced at $20. Reservations can be made at (210) 798-9463.

On Tuesday, from 6 to 9 p.m., the airstream will be at Feast, 1024 S. Alamo St. Guests will have a chance to check out the Airstream while sipping flutes of Yellow Label and Rosé and enjoying music from a DJ. Yellow Label can be purchased for $15 a glass and $60 a bottle, while the Rosé is priced at $18 a glass and $70 a bottle. For more information, call Feast at (210) 354-1024.


Posted in Daily DishComments Off on The Veuve Clicquot Airsteam Breezes into Town

Ending Fiesta with the Pooches, Burrata and Brunch

Ending Fiesta with the Pooches, Burrata and Brunch

Plenty of Fiesta color.

Plenty of Fiesta color.

Of all the parades that accompany Fiesta, my favorite has come to be the one for our four-legged friends. I’m referring to Fiesta Pooch Parade, which is a benefit for Therapy Animals of San Antonio.

Teena Starr Larson gives the parade a jungle touch.

Teena Starr Larson gives the parade a jungle touch.

It’s also the event I choose to close out my Fiesta. It’s much more low-key than the downtown parades. Plus, it features all those great and patient dogs being paraded through the shady lanes of Alamo Heights. There are big dogs and little dogs walking next to each other. Some are long-haired, others shaved to the bone. A few are wearing tutus and butterfly wings, others are dyed in a host of Fiesta colors. Two or three were spotted in their Spurs regalia, in honor, no doubt, of the team’s Friday night win. A few are truly pampered, being pulled in carts and carriages by owners who are doing the walking.

And best of all, the dogs seem to get along with each other and with the throngs on the side, many with dogs of their own.

Pretty in pink.

Pretty in pink.

After the last dog passed by, my friend Gail and I headed off to GauchoGourmet at 935 Isom Road for a taste of the new Burrata Bash that the food warehouse is having every Saturday. Sitting at one of the new community tables set up at the back of the sales area, we split a bowl of the soft mozzarella-style cheese presented with prosciutto and topped with a fig and orange marmalade. It was truly delicious, spread over a bite of baguette.

We finished off the visit by stocking up on slabs of frozen foie gras that were on sale that day. We did not sample from the salad bar, however, because we were headed to Earl Abel’s, 1201 Austin Hwy., which has introduced a Saturday brunch menu.

Nutella Pancakes at Earl Abel's.

Nutella Pancakes at Earl Abel’s.

We bypassed the Cajun Shrimp and Grits for two dishes that have their basis in long-time Earl Abel’s favorites. One was chicken and waffles with a fried thigh  atop a freshly made waffle with syrup, butter and, at my request, hot sauce, which gave it the sweet-hot balance I like in the dish.

The other special we sampled was Earl’s famous “thins” used in Nutella pancakes, a dish that worked all too well, with the creamy chocolate-hazelnut spread filling two pancakes and topped with buttery pecans and bananas. It’s one of those dishes that begs to be revisited.

I leave you with a few more precious pooches from the parade.

Pampered pets at the Pooch Parade.

Pampered pets at the Pooch Parade.

Sniffing out new friends.

Sniffing out new friends.

pooch parade5

Who’s walking whom?

Let's go for a swing.

Let’s go for a swing.




Posted in Griffin to GoComments Off on Ending Fiesta with the Pooches, Burrata and Brunch

Two Ways of Reaching Out to the Folks in West, Texas

Two Ways of Reaching Out to the Folks in West, Texas

A sign in Where Y'At.

A sign in Where Y’At.

The tragedy of what occurred in West, Texas, when a fertilizer plant there exploded on April 17, continues to unfold. And it continues to affect people from across the state, who are looking for ways to reach out and help.

Several eateries in San Antonio are doing their part by raising money, proving once again that restaurateurs in this city are willing to do what they can.

One is Pieter Sypesteyn of the Where Y’At food truck in the Alamo Street Eat Bar, 609 S. Alamo St. He’s donating any tips to the West Texas relief effort, according to a photo he posted on Facebook.

Plus, on Monday, the folks at Texas Roadhouse are donating 10 percent of their entire food sales to two relief funds. Dinner hours are from 4 to 10 p.m.

The two funds are the West, Texas, Victim Relief Fund and the West, Texas, Firefighters and EMS Fallen Hero Fund.

West TexasTexas Roadhouse has three San Antonio locations: 2893 Cinema Ridge, (210) 521-2988; 16915 San Pedro Ave., (210) 495-7427; and 13830 N. I-35, Live Oak, (210) 967-4998.

If you know of any other fundraisers for the folks in West, email or


Posted in Daily DishComments Off on Two Ways of Reaching Out to the Folks in West, Texas

Coming Soon: Taps y Tapas to Open in June

Coming Soon: Taps y Tapas to Open in June

taps y tapasThe following announcement has come from Denise Aguirre of the Point Parks and Eats about a new venture that she’s involved in:


“The owners of The Point Park & Eats and Texasada Mexican Street Food bring you Taps y Tapas. Modern Mexican Cuisine (not to be confused with Tex-Mex) in a comfortable historical indoor/outdoor setting, featuring 20 draught craft brew taps, wine + locally roasted coffee.

“Chef Luciano Valadez is a 2006 graduate of Le Cordon Bleu. He has spent the past 7 years in the culinary industry serving as Sous Chef, Executive Chef, General Manager and currently the Owner of Texasada Mexican Street Food truck. San Antonio’s premier Mexican/Oaxacan food truck, voted under Yelps top ten food trucks in San Antonio. Denise Aguirre & Noel Cisneros, owners of The Point Park & Eats food truck park & bar will partner with Luciano and bring you 20 craft draught taps, wine & locally roasted coffee.

“Taps y Tapas is located in the 5 Points district off of North Flores, less than a half mile from Downtown San Antonio. We are pedestrian and bike friendly and adjacent to Alamo Bike Shop. The Taps house was built circa 1893 and holds a special place in the heart of the 5 Points District.”

We’ll keep you posted when we hear more.


Posted in Daily DishComments Off on Coming Soon: Taps y Tapas to Open in June

How Do You Say Thanks to Mom? Treat Her to a Great Meal

How Do You Say Thanks to Mom? Treat Her to a Great Meal

The mimosas will flow at the Gruene Hall Gospel Brunch on Mother's Day.

The mimosas will flow at the Gruene Hall Gospel Brunch on Mother’s Day.

Mother’s Day is on May 12 this year, which means it’s time to make your reservations on where you plan to treat Mom on her special day. Following are places that will please most any kind of appetite and budget.

Prices do not include tax or tip. And reservations are recommended at all on the list, unless otherwise mentioned.

Arcade Midtown Kitchen at the Pearl Brewery, 303 Pearl Parkway, (210) 369-9664 — Mother’s Day brunch will be from 10:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.  A three-course meal will be offered with choices for each course. First course: Lobster soft taco, Bluebonnet Farms mixed greens, chile and lime calamari, chopped romaine, wild mushroom and goat cheese flatbread, spring squash and chicken soup, house cured salmon toast, deviled eggs and P&B meatballs. Second course: Chopped chicken salad, pan-roasted salmon, the Benedict Original, Hill Country peach French toast, Chef’s pork belly hash, “El Rancho,” George’s Bank Diver Sea Scallops or the Happy Daddy. Third course: Tres leches cake, roasted banana stack, red velvet cake or chocolate pudding cake. Price is $30 a person.

Azuca Nuevo Latino, 713 S. Alamo St., (210) 225-5550 — The Mother’s Day lunch is from noon to 3:30 p.m. The menu includes omelets made to order, Latin spiced pork loin, peel-and-eat shrimp, shrimp and penne, beef medallions with portobello mushrooms, chicken and artichoke ragout, roasted red pepper quiche, cheese blintzes with blueberry compote, guacamole, heirloom tomato salad, ceviche and an array of desserts. The price is $39 for adults, $30 for seniors 65 and older, and $18 for children ages 3-12.

Backyard Bistro, 167 Panther Ridge, Pipe Creek (830) 535-4094 — Mother’s Day brunch hours are 8 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Specials include: Egg, Ham & Mozzarella wrapped & baked in phyllo ($9.50); Vegetable Crepe filled with roasted mushrooms, vegetable and veloute ($8.50), with chicken ($9.50) or shrimp ($10.50); Roasted Vegetable Quiche ($9.25); 8-ounce Flat Iron Steak ($10.99); and Mimosas ($7.50).

Biga on the Banks, 203 S. St. Mary’s St., (210) 225-0722 — Mother’s Day hours are 10:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Highlights from the special menu include Vital Farms Organic Egg Benedict;  Maine lobster omelet, poblano rajas, Big‘A’ potatoes, asparagus, avocado and guajillo salsa;  Seared American Red snapper with ripe plantains, chorizo, queso fresco, pico de gallo and lime butter;  and grilled beef ribeye “sliced” with horseradish sour cream mashers, apple green beans with bacon, crunchy onions, and smoky maple demi glaze. Arrays of appetizers and desserts will also be featured. Price is $54 for adults and $27.50 for kids 12 and under.

Bin 555 at the Alley, 555 W. Bitters Road, (210) 496-0555 — Mother’s Day brunch will be from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The meal will begin with a bread basket, served family style, with Buttermilk Biscuits, Pain de Campagne, Banana Bread, and Brown Butter Cornbread Muffin. The appetizer is a chioce of Bibb Lettuce Salad with Applewood Smoked Bacon, Green Garlic Asparagus Veloute, Salmon Gravlax “Sashimi” and Espresso Machine “Steamed Eggs.” Entree choices: Huevos Rancheros and Duck Confit Carnitas, Pan Roasted Salmon with Horseradish Gnocchi; Vital Farms Cornflake Crusted Fried Chicken and Waffle; and 21-Days Dry-Aged New York Strip “Steak & Eggs” ($12 supplement). Dessert is a Nutella and Dark Chocolate “Soufflé” Cake or Smoked Pistachio Strawberry Shortcake. Price is $34.95 a person. An $11 children’s menu is available. An 18 percent tip will be added to all checks.

Bohanan’s Prime Steak House and Seafood, 219 E. Houston St., (210) 472-2600 — Bohanan’s Bar will be open for classic cocktails before or after your meal. Upstairs in the dining room, the regular lineup of Akaushi beef, custom cuts of prime aged corn-fed beef, seafood and table-side desserts flambé will be offered. In honor of Mother’s Day, all mothers will receive a complimentary yellow rose.

The Boiler House Texas Grill and Wine Garden, 312 Pearl Parkway, (210) 354-4644 — Mother’s Day brunch will be 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. The menu includes: spicy house-pickled veggies ($3); marinated olives ($5); toasted Texas pecans ($5); eggplant, tahini, olive oil ($6); white bean, roasted kale, aged balsamic ($6); bubbling Swiss, roasted elephant garlic, sweet onion ($9); grilled softshell crab with hollandaise and herbed grits ($17); culatello and spinach quiche w goat cheese and romesco ($14); Seared Kobe hangar steak Benedict ($25); pork T-bone chop ($18); house-smoked salmon and poached eggs ($15); Vanilla and Cumin-Braised Short Ribs ($15); Domestic Lamb Rack ($29); Dark Chocolate ‘Sin Harina’ ($9); Campfire S’mores ($9); and drunken berries in honeydew consomme with Meyer lemon sabayon ($9).

Earl Abel’s, 1201 Austin Hwy., (210) 822-3358 — The Mother’s Day menu will be served 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Choices include a Spring Salad Platter with Waldorf Chicken Salad, Wild Albacore Tuna Salad, Roasted Pimento Cheese Salad and fresh fruit; an 8-ounce bone-in Rib Chop with apple pear chutney and au gratin potatoes; Roast Turkey and Dressing; Honey-glazed Ham Steak; and Simply Delicious Fried Chicken. Each Mother’s Day entrée comes with choice of appetizer, side and choice of dessert. For dessert, it’s Di-Anna’s Red Velvet Cake, banana cream pie, farm fresh strawberry shortcake with almond whipped cream and Mom’s Apple Pie. Appetizers include carrot soup. The full menu will also be available, including the children’s menu. No reservations.

Thank Mom for all she's given you.

Thank Mom for all she’s given you.

Feast, 1024 S. Alamo St., (210) 354-1024 — Brunch will be served from 10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. with the regular menu, including a rib-eye burger, a Farmer’s Breakfast and Almond-Pistachio French Toast.

Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar, 255 E. Basse Road, (210) 824-9463 — Mother’s Day brings a three-course brunch for $36.95. Each mom will also receive a $25 dining card valid for a future visit.

Fogo de Chao, 849 E. Commerce St., (210) 227-1700 — Mother’s Day hours are noon-9 p.m. The full array of meats will be available all day at a price of $48.50 a person.

Frederick’s Bistro, 14439 N.W. Military Hwy., (210) 888-1500; Frederick’s Restaurant, 7701 Broadway, (210) 828-9050 — The Mother’s Day brunch will be 11 a.m. – 3 p.m. Starters on the menu include: New England Clam, Crab, and Mussel Chowder ($8); Baked Oysters Casino ($10); Crab Cake and Spring Mix ($12); Shrimp Cocktail & Jumbo Crab Meat ($12); Spring Roll with Mint Cilantro & Lettuce Wrap ($11); and Escargot Spanish Chorizo, Garlic Butter & Shiitake Mushroom ($10). Entree choices: Parmesan Crusted Rainbow Trout with Avocado Relish ($19); Fresh Alaskan Halibut “Veronique” Grapes & Grand Marnier Beurre Blanc ($27); Veal Piccatta with Mushrooms Madeira Wine Sauce ($25); Lamb Chops ($28); Day Boat Jumbo Sea Scallops & Shrimp Provencal ($24) and Beef Tenderloin with Grilled Shrimp & Bearnaise Sauce ($31). A children”s menu is available. Frederick’s Bistro will also be open 5 to 9 p.m. for regular dinner.

Freetail Brewing Company, 4035 N. Loop 1604 W., (210) 395-4974 — Bring your mother out to Freetail for a Mother’s Day treat from noon to 5 p.m. Featuring savory and sweet pastries from Choco Patisserie, such as savory cupcakes, maple bacon caramel popcorn and a chocolate dessert, paired with Freetail beers. Tickets are $20 per person.

Green Vegetarian Cuisine, 200 E. Grayson St., (210) 320-5865; 10003 N.W. Military Hwy., (210) 233-1249 — Mother’s Day hours are 9 a.m. – 9 p.m. The special includes Lasagna, Caprese Salad and Dessert as well as a drink and a carnation. The price is $12.99.

Gristmill River Restaurant and Bar, 1287 Gruene Road, New Braunfels, (830) 606-1281 — Mothers’ Day hours are 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., and no reservations are needed. The regular menu includes Beef Tenderloin Salad with creamy vinaigrette, Pepper Filet with herb-lime butter, and the Gruene Country Club with special prime sauce. Jack Daniel’s Pecan Pie, Fudge Pie with Blue Bell or Strawberry Shortcake are among the desserts.

Gruene Hall’s Gospel Brunch with a Texas Twist, 1281 Gruene Road, New Braunfels, (830) 629-5077 — The New Orleans-style Gospel Brunch with a Texas Twist is on Mother’s Day and runs 10:30 a.m.-noon. The all-you-can-eat buffet is priced at $25 for adults (includes mimosa) and $12.50 for kids. Entertainment by Bret Graham and The Gospel Silvertones. Buffet features roast beef and turkey, garlic mashed potatoes, green beans, migas, Falls City pepper bacon, smoked wedding sausage, buttermilk biscuits and cream gravy, scrambled eggs, Texas French toast, fried apples, fresh seasonal fruits, fruit juices, iced tea, coffee & soft drinks. Beer, wine and champagne available for purchase.

Hilton Palacio del Rio, 200 S. Alamo St., (210) 222-1400 — Seatings are at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. For the Mother’s Day brunch, chef James Bocanegra and students from the Culinary Institute of America are preparing an array of treats including Italian wedding soup, an array of salads include Mediterranean & Bibb salad and Teriyaki shrimp salad, a bread display, and a breakfast station with omelets made to order and hazelnut French toast.Entrées: Herb crusted salmon, Chicken cacciatora, Mother’s gourmet meatloaf, Rigatoni with pulled rotisserie chicken, confetti smashed Yukon potatoes and oven-roasted brussel spouts. At the carving station: steamship prime rib with horseradish cream and Texas sweet onion jus lie. Desserts: Assorted gourmet cupcakes, lavender mousse in chocolate cups, assorted pies, Mother’s hat cake, coconut cake, turtle cheesecake and red velvet cake. Prices are $38.95 for adults, $35.95 for seniors, and $20.95 for children ages 6-10 years. Reservations include complimentary valet parking, a chocolate gift for mom and glass of Champagne.

Hyatt Hill Country Resort, 9800 Hyatt Resort Road, (210) 767-7999 — Mother’s Day brunch is from 10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., with seatings every 30 minutes. The array of buffets will include an egg table with personalized omelets, brisket hash with poached egg and hollandaise, rosemary-brown sugar bacon, pancakes and waffles. Soup and salad display: Chilled potato leek soup with crab, tomato fennel white bean soup, fresh fruit, salad station and local cheeses. Pasta: Orzo “mac ‘n’ cheese” and build-your-own pasta and gnocchi. Surf and turf area: Fresh shucked oysters, oak-smoked mussels and bay scallops, iced shrimp, oak-smoked salmon, molasses-brined pork loin, chimichurri grilled flank steak and house-smoked turkey. Sides, high tea and a bakery with plenty of desserts as well as a kids buffet are also being offered. The price is $53.95 for adults,$39.95 for seniors over age 60; and $23 for children ages 5-12.

Kirby’s Prime Steakhouse, 123 N. Loop 1604 E., (210) 404-2221 — Mother’s Day hours begin at 11 a.m. and continue through dinner. Lunch and dinner menus will be available.

La Fogata, 2427 Vance Jackson Road, (210) 340-1337 — The Mother’s Day celebration will actually last three days, May 10-12. For Mother’s Day, the restaurant is featuring a special: a tilapia fillet topped with Parmesan sauce, served with three spicy jumbo shrimp, grilled vegetables and white rice. The entrée includes a dessert of churros with Bavarian cream filling, garnished with chocolate hearts and whipped cream. Every mother will be welcomed to the restaurant with a red carnation. La Fogata’s regular menu will also be available throughout the weekend.

Nutella Stuffed French Toast at Tre Trattoria Downtown.

Nutella Stuffed French Toast at Tre Trattoria Downtown.

Las Canarias at Omni La Mansión del Rio, 112 College St., (210) 518-1177 — On Mother’s Day, the hours for the Champagne Brunch will be 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Brunch menu items include Bananas Foster over Pearl Sugar Belgian Style Waffles with Made to Order Berries, Cream and Pecans; Eggs Benedict with Lobster Salad and Sauce Béarnaise; Colossal Chilled Shrimp and Lobster Tails with Horseradish Cocktail Sauce and Red Pepper Rémoulade; Blackened Texas Red Fish with Braised Mustard Green and Homestead Gristmill Polenta; Ricotta Tortellini with Wild Mushrooms, Grilled Artichokes, Sun Dried Tomatoes and Asparagus; and Smoked Prime Rib of Beef, just to name a few. As always, a delectable pastry selection will include Lavender Citrus Cream Puffs; Peach Croissant Bread Pudding with Brown Butter Rum Anglaise; Blackberry Basil Panna Cotta; and Italian Crème Cupcakes, among other items. The cost is $69.95 for adults and $34.95 for children ages 6-12.  Regular à la carte dining at Las Canarias will begin at 6 p.m.

Laurent’s Modern Cuisine, 4230 McCullough Ave., (210) 822-6644 — Brunch will be served on Mother’s Day with the regular menu plus some specials. Expect starters that include carrot-ginger vichyssoise and Scottish smoked salmon among appetizers, while entrees include grilled hangar steak, Brie and chives omelet, brioche “pain perdu,” crab cake and egg, and baked polenta.

Los Patios, 2015 N.E. Loop 410, (210) 655-6171 — Mother’s Day brunch in the Gazebo at Los Patios will be from 10:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. with a photographer available for family photos. The salad display will include  Russian Egg Salad, Tomato Blue Cheese, Fresh Fruit and Cheese, Smoked Salmon garnished with Texas Caviar, Peel & Eat Shrimp, Crab Salad, Asian Noodles, Three Bean Salad, Carrot & Raisin, Waldorf Salad, Sliced Beet Salad, Marinated Vegetables and Pasta Salad. Soup: French Onion. Carving stations:  Prime Rib and Marinated Texas Lamb. Entrees:  Tortilla Crusted Tilapia Fillet, Los Patios Cheese Enchiladas, Chicken Poblano Crepes, Beef Stroganoff, Quiche Lorraine, Roasted Pork Loin and assorted breads. For the children: Chicken Fingers & Cream Gravy. Desserts:  Signature Strawberry Crepes Assorted Cheesecakes, Strawberries & Whipped Cream, Texas Pecan Pie,  Homemade Brownies, Eclairs, Seasonal Berries with Brandy Sauce, Homemade Cakes. The price is  $38.95 for adults, $33.95 for seniors 65 and over, and $19.95 for children ages 4-12. Champagne or Mimosas: $4 a glass. Dog-friendly dining not available on Mother’s Day.

Luce Ristorante e Enoteca, 11255 Huebner Road, (210) 561-9700 — Mother’s Day service will be from noon to 4 p.m. with the following three-course special priced at $32.95 per person. Start with a choice of Lobster Bisque, Caesar Salad or Caprese Salad, followed by Roasted Prime Eye of the Rib with Rosemary Yukon Gold Potatoes and Toasted Garlic Vegetables. Dessert is a choice of Spumoni, Tiramisu, Crème Brûlée or Chocolate Lava Torta with Vanilla Gelato. The a la carte menu is also available.

Max’s Wine Dive, 340 E. Basse Road, (210) 444-9547 — A four-course Mother’s Day brunch will be offered from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. First course is Shrimp Bisque, followed by a mixed green salad with oranges, toasted pine nuts, feta cheese and yellow heirloom tomatoes. Third course is a choice of Chicken and Crab Florentine with angel hair pasta or Seared Lamb Chops with couscous, asparagus and apricot pan jus. Dessert is a mixed berry crumble with sour cream gelato. Price is $38 a person. The regular menu is also available.

Morton’s the Steakhouse, 300 E. Crockett St., (210) 228-0700 — The steakhouse will open earlier in the evening for Mother’s Day. The special is a three-course meal that begins with a choice of Lobster Bisque, Ahi Tuna Tower, Jumbo Shrimp Alexander, Caesar Salad, Morton’s Salad or Chopped Spinach Salad. Entrée choices: 6-ounce Center-Cut Filet Mignon served with Steamed Asparagus Spears; Honey-Chili Glazed Salmon Fillet with Vegetable Relish; Chicken Bianco with Artichokes, Capers and White Wine Sauce; and Double-Cut Prime Pork Chop with Grilled Asparagus Spears. Dessert choices: Creme Brulee, Double Chocolate Mousse and Individual Lemon Soufflé. The price is $59 a person. The regular a la carte menu is also available.

Myron’s Prime Steakhouse, 10003 N.W. Military Hwy., (210) 493-3031 — Mother’s Day hours are noon to 10 p.m. with the regular menu being available all day.

NAO at the Pearl Brewery, 312 Pearl Parkway, (210) 554-6484 — The Culinary Institute of America’s restaurant will be open Mother’s Day from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. A special menu will be offered and all mothers receive a complimentary margarita.

A mother's kisses are worth the best.

A mother’s kisses are worth the best.

Omni Colonnade, 9860 Colonnade Blvd., (210) 699-5803 — An elaborate Mother’s Day brunch will be from 10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. with seatings every 30 minutes. The price is $45 for adults, $41 for seniors over 65, and $18 for children ages 5-11.

Ostra Restaurant at Mokara Hotel & Spa, 212 W. Crockett St., (210) 396-5817 —  Ostra’s regular à la carte menu will be available during breakfast and lunch. Featured specials will be offered during dinner service, beginning at 5:30 p.m.

Paesanos 1604, 3622 Paesanos Parkway, (210) 493-1604 — The Mother’s Day special is a multi-course meal featuring a small Caesar salad, five-piece Shrimp Paesano and New York cheesecake along with a Bellini. The price is $32.95. The regular menu is also available.

Paesanos, 555 E Basse Road, (210) 828-5191; and Paesanos Riverwalk, 111 W. Crockett St., (210) 227-2782 — Both restaurants will be open all day with their regular menus.

Q on the Riverwalk at the Downtown Hyatt, 123 Losoya St., (210) 510-4477 —  The Mother’s Day buffet is from 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. It will feature local salads, including Hearts of Romaine-Baby Spinach, Vegetable Farfalle Pasta-Yogurt Parfait, Jerusalem Salad-Spring Fruit Salad, Seafood and Antipasti Display, Gulf Shrimp-Crab Claw Shooters, Brazos Valley Cheeses and Cured Meats. Chef’s Breakfast Fare includes omelets and eggs to order, Wild Boar & Sweet Potato Hash, and Ricotta Cheese Blintz with Blueberry Compote. The Wall of Fire: Blue Crab Encrusted Salmon with Garlic Buerre Blanc-Arugula-Cherry Tomatoes, Maple Glazed Natural Chicken with Spiced Texas Fuji Apple Compote, and Mixed Grill Texas Kountry Boy Sausage. At the carving station: Angus Prime Rib, Horseradish Cream; Molasses Glazed Bone-In Ham; Southern Collard Greens; Buttermilk Biscuits and Butter Mashed Potatoes. The cost is $46 for adults and $23 for children. A glass of Champagne and self-parking included.

Ruth’s Chris Steak House, 7720 Jones Maltsberger, (210) 821-5051; 1170 E. Commerce St., (210) 227-8847 — Mother’s Day hours are 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. The regular menu with steaks, lamb, chicken and seafood will be featured.

Saveurs 209, 209 Broadway, (210) 639-3165 — Mother’s Day hours are 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. The prix fixe menu is priced at $50 a person. It includes choices for the three course: Green asparagus, Parmesan and truffle caviar or Gazpacho, tuna bonito, heirloom tomato and Thai basil; Pan-seared scallops, bok choy, gremolata and lemon sauce or Hudson Valley duck breast, corn puree and raspberry; Grand Marnier souffle with orange sorbet or Stawberry and lime tart.

Silo, 1133 Austin Hwy., (210) 824-8686 — The Mother’s Day brunch features a three-course special priced at $38 per person. The menu starts with a choice of Signature Chicken Fried Oysters, Seared Sea Scallop, Roasted Vegetable Bruschetta, Classic Caesar Salad, Silo Spring Salad or Roasted Beets & Hydroponic Watercress. Second course choices: Silo Eggs Benedict, Shrimp & Crab “Scampi,” Wild Mushroom Omelet, Lightly Grilled & Blackened Atlantic Salmon, Grilled Beef Tenderloin and Australian Lamb Loin. Dessert choices: Vanilla Bean Cheesecake, Dark Chocolate Truffle Mousse and Toasted Coconut Mousse Pie. Children’s menu is priced at $11.

Sustenio in Éilan Hotel Resort & Spa, 17103 La Cantera Parkway, (210) 598-2950 — The Mother’s Day brunch will be from 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. One action station will feature omelets and eggs made to order with the likes of bacon, Italian sausage, ham, chorizo, cheddar, Swiss, brie, Asiago and queso fresco. Texas Prime Rib with Chimichurri and Horseradish Cream will be carved to order, while Gulf Oysters, Jonah Crab Claws and Cocktail Shrimp will be displayed. A dessert action station with Bananas Foster and Horchata Ice Cream will also be featured.  Also, expect fresh fruit, house-baked croissants, Danish, muffins and breads, Roasted Apple Buckwheat Pancakes, Scrambled Eggs with Crema Fresca and Chive, Tasso Ham and Potato Torta, House-Smoked Salmon with Pasilla Honey, Rotisserie Chicken, Blue Bonnet Farms Greens, and Macaroni and Cheese. Desserts: Homemade Chocolate Brownies,  Chocolate Dipped Strawberries,  Lemon-Scented Brulee, Individual Fruit Parfaits and  Chocolate Silk Pie. A glass of Champagne is included. The price is $46 for adults and $16 for children.

The Terrace Grill at Riven Rock Ranch, 390 Hermann Sons Road, Comfort, (830) 995-4045 — Mother’s Day brunch will be from 11:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Guests can choose one item from each course: Appetizers: Poached Asparagus Spears served with two sunny side up, naturally raised, Bandera Texas quail eggs, drizzled with béarnaise sauce; or Mini Crab Frittata lump blue crab, julienned green onions & Romano cheese with lemon aioli drizzle. Soup or Salad: Apricot & Almond Salad organic Texas Bibb lettuce served in blush wine vinaigrette with toasted almonds, sun dried apricot slivers, julienned red onions & crumbled Texas goat cheese; or Cucumber & Dill Soup chilled & blended with fresh Texas dill, English cucumbers, lemon, red & green onions & white pepper. Entrée: Prime Rib Texas Ranchers Registry certified Angus beef served medium rare to medium & topped with Marfa plum tomato demi glace & accompanied with fresh vegetables & roasted fingerling potatoes; or Hardwood Grilled Fresh Salmon topped with fresh Texas dill crème fraîche over warm bulgur wheat salad & sautéed naturally raised spinach. Dessert: Chocolate French Silk Pie rich velvety chocolate custard filled pie with chocolate cookie crust served with raspberry sauce & Chantilly cream; or Organic Berries & Crème Fraîche assorted seasonal organic berries topped with honey sweetened crème fraîche. The cost is $49.95 for adults and $29.95 for children ages 4-10.

Texas de Brazil, 313 E. Houston St., (210) 299-1600 — The doors will open at 11 a.m. with the regular menu. Dessert and non-alcoholic drinks are included in the meal price. Plus, you can sign up Mom to win a $200 gift card.

Two Step features a build-your-own Bloody Mary bar.

Two Step features a build-your-own Bloody Mary bar.

Tre Trattoria Alamo Heights, 4003 Broadway, (210) 805-0333 — Mother’s Day brunch is from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The multi-course special begins with an apertif of the Tre Berry Mimosa with an appetizer choice of: Caesar Salad with Garlic and Anchovy Aioli and English Muffin “Croutons”; Heirloom Tomato Caprese with House Pulled Mozzarella and Basil Two Ways; Green Garlic and Split Pea Soup with Cucumber Relish and Extra Virgin Olive Oil; or House Made Breakfast Sausage with Caraway Sapetzle, Pickled Cabbage and Grain Mustard. Entree choices: Cinnamon French Toast with Caramel Chantilly, Sour Cherry Syrup and Vanilla Sea Salt; Pancetta and Parmigiano Frittata with Smoked Tomato Vinaigrette and Springfield Farms Arugula; Crispy Skin Rainbow Trout with Roasted Market Squashes and Salsa Verde; House Made Tagliatelli with Crawfish Tails, Brown Butter, Roasted Garlic and Tarragon Pesto; or Petite Tuscan Marinated Ribeye with Heirloom Bean Ragu, Oregano and Porcini “Butter” ($8 supplement). After a cheese course, choose from Nutella x 3, a “Cookie Plate” or Roasted Stone Fruit with Lime Whipped Mascarpone, Candied Hazelnuts and Saba. The price is $39.95 per person. The children’s menu is priced at $11. $20 for a wine pairing. An 18 percent tip will be added to all checks.

Tre Trattoria Downtown, 401 S. Alamo St., (210) 223-0401 — Mother’s Day brunch is from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The multi-course meal begins with a choice of Caesar Salad with Garlic and Anchovy Aioli, Heirloom Tomato Caprese, Pork Terrine with House Pickles, Asparagus Bisque or House Made Molasses Pork Sausage. Entrée choices: Nutella Stuffed French Toast, Leg of Duck Confit, Seared Atlantic Salmon, “Steak and Eggs” ($8 supplement) or Crispy Skin Rainbow Trout. After a cheese platter, choose from Nutella x 3 or Poppy Lemon Cake. The price is $$37.95 a person. An $11 children’s menu is available. An 18 percent tip will be added to each check.

20nine Restaurant and Wine Bar, 255 E. Basse Road, (210) 791-WINE (9463) — Mother’s Day hours are noon to 8 p.m. The special two-course meal the following choices: First Course: Mixed Green Salad, Roasted Beet Salad or Turkey & Kale Soup. Second Course: Buttermilk Fried Chicken Breast, Mahi Mahi, Tenderloin Medallions, Lobster Scampi or Lamb Chops. The price is $25 per person.

Two Step Restaurant and Cantina, 9840 W. Loop 1604 N., (210) 655-6171 — Two Step’s Mother’s Special is an 8-ounce filet mignon topped with crab meat, roasted habanero hollandaise and asparagus for $29.95, plus a seasonal berry shortcake with blueberries, strawberries and raspberries topped with sweet whip cream for $5.95. House-made aguas frescas and a mimosa and Bloody Mary bar will also be offered. Live music will be from 3 to 9 p.m. Reservations accepted for parties of more than 10.

Z’Tejas Southwestern Grill, 15900 La Cantera Parkway, (210) 690-3334 — Brunch will include a free chef’s dessert and a complimentary photo for all moms. The offer is good until 3 p.m.

Restaurateurs, if your restaurant is not listed here, email details of your Mother’s Day brunch to

Posted in NewsComments Off on How Do You Say Thanks to Mom? Treat Her to a Great Meal

This Year Marks 65 Years of Partying for NIOSA.

This Year Marks 65 Years of Partying for NIOSA.

At NIOSA, it's a haven of meat on a stick, including Bongo K-Bobs.

At NIOSA, it’s a haven of meat on a stick, including Bongo K-Bobs.

The 65th annual version of A Night in Old San Antonio was underway, and the first two nights were marked by welcome if unseasonably cool breezes and hot fun for friends who just can’t get enough of the city’s best and most boisterous party.

Fiesta hats galore.

Fiesta hats galore.

It’s the perfect place for people watching. That is, if you can find a place where the press of human flesh gives way enough for you to enjoy the sights. That’s why so many working the booths love the safety of their stations: There’s a bit of breathing room with a great vantage point.

All the better to admire the mile-high hats decorated in all shapes and colors as they tower above the crowds. Some are so large that you have to wonder how the women and even some men wearing them could hold their head high for so long.

Don't forget the cascarones.

Don’t forget the cascarones.

But you need to throw yourself into the mix in order to get to an ear of corn on the cob or fried green tomatoes, quasadillas or churros, fried mushrooms or frogs legs, all treats that make NIOSA so special. Then there are the snacks on a stick: the anticuchos, the Broadway chicken, the Bongo K-Bobs, sausages, and the Yak-i-tori, to name a few of the favorites.

Of course, beer flows freely as a river, not to mention the wine, sangria and wine margaritas, all helping keep the adults happy.

You may not know it, but it takes more than 16,000 volunteers to run NISOA, which is a fundraiser for the San Antonio Conservation Society. Quite a few of them work all year to make four nights of unforgettable fun. You’ve only got two nights left this year. What are you waiting for?

Don’t forget to pick up a cascarone or two so you can crown your friends with confetti as colorful as all of NIOSA.

Photos by Phillip Kent.

What a hat!

What a hat!

Lonesome Louie adds his music to the scene.

Lonesome Louie adds his music to the scene.

Beer. It's even illuminated.

Beer. It’s even illuminated.




Posted in NewsComments Off on This Year Marks 65 Years of Partying for NIOSA.

On Saturdays, GauchoGourmet Goes Burrata!

On Saturdays, GauchoGourmet Goes Burrata!

Luciano Ciorciari says this past weekend’s Burrata Bash was such a success that Gaucho Gourmet will be making it a regular Saturday event.

It’s no surprise that customers of this specialty food warehouse at 935 Isom Road would fall in love with the creamy cheese that is typical of the Puglia region of Southern Italy.

Buratta Dough

One way to serve burrata is with sliced heirloom tomatoes, extra-virgin olive oil and a drizzle of balsamic vinegar.

Burrata, which means “buttered,” is a handmade mozzarella pouch filled with fresh Italian panna and stracciatelle, making it a mix of fresh sweet cream and mozzarella curd pieces. Once the cheese has been cut open, the pure, sweet, soft and luscious cream filling will slowly run onto the plate making it a must-have for all who like mozzarella and everything creamy, says Ciociari, an owner of GauchoGourmet.

GauchoGourmet will be serving the fresh burrata for eating in or taking out on Saturdays during regular opening hours, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

The 4-ounce personal burrata ball will be presented with weekly changing recipes or accompaniments at $6 per serving.

In addition, customers can purchase a sampler from GauchoGourmet’s authentic Mediterranean salad bar for $4, which currently features marinated sliced eggplant, a mushroom mix in truffle oil, cipollini onions in balsamic vinegar, Italian semi-dried cherry tomatoes, marinated artichoke hearts, an olive medley with herbs de Provence, spicy Calabrian peppers and more.

The warehouse’s hours open to the public are Monday through Friday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. and  Saturdays 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. For more information click here, or call (210) 277-7930.

Posted in Daily Dish, Featured, NewsComments Off on On Saturdays, GauchoGourmet Goes Burrata!

Avocado and Tomato Quesadillas

Avocado and Tomato Quesadillas

Quesadilla 3

Cheddar cheese, tomatoes, avocado and more between grilled whole wheat tortillas.

Layer a mix of fresh vegetables between two whole wheat tortillas, along with a good cheese, such as cheddar,  and you’ve got a lunch that puts junk food to shame.

We brushed one side of each tortilla with a little olive oil, and cooked them until the cheese was melted and the tortilla was crusty. It’s a healthy lunch, or snack, that tastes good.

Avocado and Tomato Quesadillas

1 medium avocado
1 medium tomato
4 whole wheat flour tortillas
3 teaspoons olive oil or vegetable oil
6 ounces cheddar cheese, grated
2 green onions, sliced, with some of the green
1/2 jalapeño, sliced
1 tablespoon chopped cilantro

Slice the avocado and tomato. Brush 1 side of each tortilla with oil. Use remaining oil to brush a griddle or large, nonstick or cast iron frying or sauté pan. Turn heat on to medium until the pan is hot, then lower it slightly. On a cutting board, lay down two of the tortillas, oiled side down. Put cheese, onion, sliced jalapeno, avocado and sliced tomato and some of the cilantro on two of the tortillas. Slide these off the cutting board into the hot skillet, top with the other tortilla, un-oiled side down. Let cook until the tortilla is crisped and the cheese has begun to melt.  Carefully turn each quesadill over in the skillet and let cook until the other side until the tortilla is crisp. Lift from the pan back onto the cutting board and cut into four wedges. Serve with immediately, with salsa.

Makes lunch for 2 or snack for 4.

From Bonnie Walker

Posted in RecipesComments Off on Avocado and Tomato Quesadillas