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Tag Archive | "Big Bob’s Burgers"

6 Ways to Help the Less Fortunate This Season


SAN ANTONIO FOOD BANK: Benefiting the hungry in San Antonio

Turn hungry holidays into happy holidays by ordering holiday cards from the San Antonio Food Bank. Designed by the Food Bank, you can send these cards to family, friends, coworkers, colleagues, and clients to wish them a happy holiday while helping to put food on the tables of those in need. Purchase cards here.

Christmas at the Caverns: Perfect for families and visiting relatives! Beginning on November 28 and running through December 23, Natural Bridge Caverns will be illuminated by thousands of twinkling lights outside along with two new underground Christmas shows and other holidays attractions on the grounds. $2 from every ticket will be donated to the San Antonio Food Bank and if you bring two cans of food to donate as well, you will receive a $2 gift card to use for food, beverage, or retail items at the park.  For more information and list of all holiday attractions click here.

NUTCRACKER SWEETS: Benefiting Battered Women and Children’s Center

The popular Nutcracker Sweets holiday tasting event is back – bigger and more scrumptious than ever. The event venue is the cherry on top: the exquisite Tobin Center.Christmas nutcracker

Nearly 20 of the city’s top restaurants, bakeries, chefs and trucks will roll out an evening of holiday delights – from savory to sweet – on Monday, Dec. 8 (2014) from 5:30 – 8:30 p.m. Proceeds benefit the Battered Women and Children’s Shelter.

“Domestic violence has been making national headlines lately,” says Marta B. Peláez, BWCS president/CEO. “But it remains a local issue that knows no socio-economic boundaries – and no particular season.”

Nutcracker Sweets tickets are $50 for adults, $25 for 13 – 17-year-olds, and entrance is free for kids 12 and younger. Tickets are available online at NutcrackerSweetsSA.org or may be purchased by phone by contacting Brooke Bell at 210-930-3669.

HOLIDAY TOY DRIVE: Benefiting Marine Corps Toys for Tots

Boardwalk on Bulverde, 14732 Bulverde Road, will host its annual holiday toy drive benefiting the Marine Corps Toys for Tots San Antonio on Dec. 5-6.

Admission is free, but attendees are encouraged to bring a new unwrapped toy for donation to Marine Corps Toys for Tots San Antonio.

On December 7, the food truck park will host its first Silent Disco event. Guests are invited to attend this high energy yet silent experience where the DJ broadcasts through headphones worn by event-goers. Admission is free and toy donations will be accepted (donations on Sunday will distributed to local children in San Antonio, not through Toys for Tots).

Boardwalk on Bulverde will feature a host of food trucks during this weekend-long celebration. For more information, visit www.boardwalkonbulverde.com or by calling 210-402-2829.

JINGLE BELLS AND BURGERS: Benefits Elf Louise Project

elflouiseThe new Big Bob’s Burgers, 4553 N. Loop 1604 W., will mark its grand opening by hosting Jingle Bells and Burgers to benefit Elf Louise. The fundraiser will be Dec. 9 from 6:30 to 10:30 p.m. 

The cost is $20 per person, which includes a burger, fries, drink and beer. All of the money will be donated to the Elf Louise Christmas Project, which provides toys to less fortunate families. In 2012, more than 19,000 children in 5,434 San Antonio families were given gifts.

Lucas Jack, who opened for Foreigner at The Majestic, and who does both covers of Billy Joel and Elton John, as well as his own music, will be entertaining. He’s playing for free as well.

There will be raffle items, including eighth row center Spurs tickets Santa himself will be there for pictures.

Tickets can be purchased at the door.

COWS FOR COATS: Benefiting local shelters

chick-fil-aParticipating Chick-fil-A restaurants in San Antonio and New Braunfels are collecting new and gently used coats Dec. 1-6.

Your coat donation will also get you a coupon for a free grilled chicken sandwich or chicken nuggets.

The coats will be donated to shelters in San Antonio and New Braunfels to distribute to those in need.

 

 

 

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Mixtli Announces Plans for a Mezcal Bar and Other Restaurant Notes


mixtli“It has been a really exciting day for everybody at Mixtli,” the folks at the Mexican restaurant on McCullough Avenue posted Thursday on their Facebook page. “It is with great joy that we announce the opening of Mezcaleria Mixtli early 2015. It will have a heavy focus on mezcal, Mexican craft beer and mezcal cocktails, along with other Mexican spirits like sotol, charanda and tequila.

“Food will also play a big role as we will focus on some traditional botanas. All with the same impeccable attention to detail and respect to our Mexican heritage that has made Mixtli unique. It has been a fantastic year for us and can’t wait to see our new project in action. Stay tuned for more details!”

If all goes well, the city’s first mezcal bar will be up and running by the 2015 San Antonio Cocktail Conference.

Burger and fries, anyone?

Burger and fries, anyone?

A new Big Bob’s is on the way

Big Bob’s Burgers is opening its third location in a few weeks. It will be at 4553 N. Loop 1604 W. in the space that recently housed Old West Burgers.

The menu will be the same as the other two locations of Big Bob’s, owner Bob Riddle says. But the new place will have a full bar as well as a spruced-up playground for the kids.

Except the new Big Bob’s to be open by the beginning of December.

Nao celebrates Puerto Rico

Nao, 312 Pearl Parkway, shines a spotlight on the foods of Puerto Rico in its next culinary adventure, which runs Oct. 21 through Dec. 1.

Dishes include a Piñones sampler, Sorullitos, Chillo Frito, Beef Steak Enccebollado, and a Bacardi Añejo Braised Pineapple.

The regular menu is also available. For reservations, call 210-554-6484.

pollo tropicalPollo Tropical opens

Pollo Tropical, Taco Cabana’s sister restaurant, has opened its first San Antonio location. It’s at 6819 N. Loop 1604 W. and is open 10:30 a.m. to midnight daily.

“We are really looking forward to bringing a taste of the islands to a new city, particularly our sister restaurant Taco Cabana’s hometown,” said Pollo Tropical COO Danny Meisenheimer. “Pollo Tropical offers a uniquely tropical twist on fresh, healthy, hand-prepared foods, giving families the convenience and variety of meal choices they can feel good about eating every day.”

Pollo Tropical’s menu has a Caribbean flavor, blending savory island spices, mixed herbs and citrus into rubs and marinades used on vegetables, pork, beef and, as the name implies,  chicken dishes.

In addition to its signature bone-in chicken, Pollo Tropical offers boneless, skinless grilled chicken breasts, Mojo Roast Pork, Calypso Beef and Grilled Tropical Wings as well as sandwiches, salads, wraps, kids meals and family meals. Made-from-scratch sides include rice, beans, yuca with garlic sauce, sweet plantains and many more.

A new Taco Cabana has opened next door.

A second Pollo Tropical will open later this year at 838 Bitters Road.

For more information, visit www.pollotropical.com.

Mike’s in the Village changes hours

Mike’s in the Village, 2355-3 Bulverde Road in Bulverde, has changed its hours. The restaurant with a Cajun flair is now open Wednesday through Saturday from 5 to 9 p.m. while Sunday brings a brunch buffet from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

For information, call 830-438-2747.

 

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Big Bob’s Brings Blazing Burgers Downtown


Big Bob’s Burgers is headed downtown.

big bob'sThe burger joint, which offers a variety of grilled burgers, fries and jumbo onion rings, will be opening its second location on Monday, Sept. 9. The location, at 100 N. Santa Rosa, is in an apartment building called the Vistana; despite the address, the entrance faces Houston Street and has sidewalk seating.

Bob Riddle is opening a second Big Bob's Burgers.

Bob Riddle is opening a second Big Bob’s Burgers.

The space had previously been a Taco Garage and an IHOP Express, but owner Robert Riddle, Big Bob himself, thinks the area is ready for a place where people can just hang out over a freshly grilled burger and a beer. “This neighborhood is extremely food curious,” he said on a recent tour of the space.

As if to prove his point, two passersby attempted to stop in for a burger. Not for another couple of weeks, Riddle told them.

The menu at the new location will be the same as the one you’ll find at the other restaurant, 447 W. Hildebrand Ave. That includes the 50/50, a burger made of half ground bacon and half ground chuck; that San Antonio tradition, the bean burger; a Patty Melt; a Buffalo Chicken sandwich; and a quarter pound hot dog. He plans on keeping the prices the same.

Riddle is planning an extensive beer program as well, with $3 domestics, $4 craft beers and $5 imports, plus three favorites on tap: Shiner, Dos Equis and Alamo.

Managing the space will be Joshua Vara, who has worked for Riddle for several years now.

big bob's2

The new Big Bob’s should open in the first week of September.

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Tips for Making Your Best Chili Ever


How do you make your chili?

How do you make your chili?

Chili is a San Antonio staple. But what kind of chili? Is it made with beef or a mix of game, sausage or even a touch of bacon? Does it have beans? Does its redness come strictly from ground chiles or do you add tomatoes to the stock? Does vegetarian chili count? Can you use corn kernels, garbanzo beans or tofu and still call it chili? What about white chili with chicken meat and green chiles?

Chili is a personal dish, with no right or wrong answers. It’s all a matter of your tastes, including the tricky issue of beans. Yes, beans are not used in Texas chili, but we probably have as many bean-loving immigrants from the Midwest as we do from south of the border, and they’ve never heard of chili without beans, so that’s how they make it.

Even though there are countless ways of making chili, some rules do apply across the board. That’s what we heard from three local chili experts, who offered tips for making your chili even better, whether you’re making a large pot for a party or for dinner during the next cold snap. Here’s what they had to say:

Robert Riddle, the “Big Bob” of Big Bob’s Burgers, 447 W. Hildebrand, offers his own chili on the Big Filthy, a burger jacked up with refrieds, jalapeños and cheese. It’s also in his Frito pie as well as his chili cheese fries and tots.

The most important thing you can do to make a great chili is to cook the chili powder. We do this two different ways. First we add the chili powder to the meat that has been cooked with the garlic and onions. We continue cooking the chili powder into the meat until the color starts to darken. We then add roasted poblano chiles and tomatoes and cook everything down until it thickens. While it is cooking we usually have to add more chili powder, so we place it in a dry skillet and roast it until the color darkens. The last advice I can give you is to simmer the chili for a couple of hours until all of the flavors blend completely. Chili is difficult because it is such a simple dish. Practice, practice, practice.

How do you serve your chili? Covered in cheese? Onions? Bacon?

How do you serve your chili? Covered in cheese? Onions? Bacon?

Garrett Stephens, pitmaster at The County Line, 10101 I-10 W. and cooking instructor, knows his way around chili in the same way he knows his smokers.

For chili, I think that it is best to use fresh spices. Instead of chili powder, I use fresh ancho chiles and make a purée out of them. I grind my cumin from seeds, and use fresh garlic clove instead of granulated garlic. I use marrow bones with onions and cilantro to make a rich broth in lieu of using water in a recipe. I would also suggest using a round steak, cut in a 1/4-inch cube, instead of ground beef. The trick would be to stop the cooking process once the meat has tendered, so that it doesn’t break down and flake apart.

Geronimo Lopez, executive chef at NAO, the Culinary Institute of America’s restaurant in the Pearl Brewery, 312 Pearl Parkway, knows chili con carne from his home country of Venezuela. It’s different from chili in Texas, but he knows that some rules apply, no matter the recipe.

There are a lot of differences in recipes, and you can use a lot of different types of meat, whether it’s game or different cuts of beef. But one thing you have to do is that the way you cut the meat must be the same. The meat must be the same size, so you can get the same mount of tenderness and so it cooks all at the same time. People need to choose their chiles carefully, so you get the right amount of heat and not too much. Balance is important with all of your flavors. Once the heat is in there, it’s kinda hard to take it out. But you can try. The one thing I know is that you can take a toasted baguette and stand it up in your pot. That can take out some of the heat, but not all. If it’s still too much, you could try to divert some of the spiciness with some sweetness, if you want.

If you haven’t developed your own chili recipe, we offer the following suggestions:

 

There's room for all kinds of chili.

There’s room for all kinds of chili.

Red Chili, Texas Style

Sizzling Pork Green Chile

Jamie’s Chili from Scott Cohen

Cincinnati Chili

Haymarket Chili

Vegetarian Chili with Cheese and Scallions

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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You Can Order All or Part of Your Thanksgiving Feast


The County Line’s smoked turkey breast is available for your party.

Whether you need help with dessert or the entire meal, you can find plenty of places in town that will help you out this Thanksgiving. Ordering early always helps.

Aldaco’s, 100 Hoefgen Ave., Sunset Station, (210) 222-0561; 20079 Stone Oak Parkway, (210) 494-0561 — Aldaco’s regular tres leches cake is available year-round. The seasonal flavor is Pumpkin Tres Leches, which is available for $39.95 for a 9-inch cake. Orders must be placed in advance and picked up by the Wednesday before Thanksgiving, all day at the Stone Oak location and by 3 p.m. at Sunset Station.

Big Bob’s Burgers, 447 W. Hildebrand, (210) 734-BOBS (2627) — Big Bob’s is smoking 15-pound turkeys this Thanksgiving season. The price is $39.95. Orders should be placed by Nov. 16 with the pickup running through closing time on Nov. 21.

Central Market, 4821 Broadway, (210) 368-8607 — Chef-prepared meals, sides and pies can be ordered for all your holiday needs. Or visit the website.

Chile Beach Jams at Saglimbeni Fine Wines, 638 W. Rhapsody, (210) 349-5149 — Order a handmade pumpkin spice roll from Chile Beach Jams. Place and pick up the orders at Saglimbeni Fine Wines. Call for prices.

CIA Bakery & Cafe, 312 Pearl Parkway, (210) 554-6464 — The CIA Bakery is offering pies this Thanksgiving in addition to its breads and other desserts. Pumpkin pies are $15.50 each and apple and pecan pies are $19.50. Orders must be received by Nov. 17. They can be placed in person at the café or by calling the number listed. Pies can be picked up on Tuesday, Nov. 20, and Wednesday, Nov. 21, during business hours, 7 a.m.-5 p.m.

The County Line, 10101 I-10 W., (210) 641-1998 — Treat yourself to any of a number of specials from the County Line. A boneless turkey breast generously rubbed with coarse black pepper and slow-smoked is sold for $16.19 a pound. The average weight is 4 pounds and feeds 10-12 people. Barbecue lovers can order an Emergency Kit priced at $11.99 a person. It comes with brisket, turkey, sausage, chicken, coleslaw, beans, potato salad, bread, barbecue sauce, plates and flatware, packed family style. No advance warning necessary, but you can call in your order and it will be waiting for you by the time you get to the restaurant.  Sides available in large portions include handmade bread, red skinned garlic mashed potatoes, mac ‘n cheese, salads and green beans. Fresh harvest cobbler (Granny Smith Green Apples, candied cranberries and walnuts) will be sold for $55; it serves 25-30 people. County Line’s Bread Pudding with Jack Daniel’s Bourbon sauce is $6.99 a serving; it’s enough for two people.

Pumpkin pie with a gluten-free crust can be ordered from the CIA Bakery.

Crumpets, 3920 Harry Wurzbach, (210) 821-5454 — You can order whole turkeys and hams to go with all the trimmings but without all the work. Desserts to go are also available.

Earl Abel’s, 1201 Austin Hwy., (210) 822-7333  — Orders for takeout, from turkey or ham dinners to pies, cakes and sides, should be made by Nov. 19. All pre-orders must be paid when the order is called in. Specials include a 23-pound oven-roasted turkey or a 6- to 8-pound honey-glazed ham for $160 and $145, respectively. The turkey package serves approximately 20 to 25. The family package includes 4 quarts of cornbread dressing, 1 quart of giblet gravy, 1 quart of cranberry relish, 25 yeast dinner rolls, and a free pumpkin pie and apple pie. A ½ turkey family package is priced at $100; a whole turkey  for $100; and a ½ turkey for $65. Sides such as green beans, candied yams, mashed potatoes, creamed corn, glazed carrots and many others can be purchased for $9.50 a quart; and our dinner rolls can be purchased for 35 cents each, minimum order of ½ dozen.

New Braunfels Smokehouse, 1090 N. Business I-35, New Braunfels, (830) 625-2416 — You can order everything from smoked turkeys to sides. Also check out the website.

Paloma Blanca, 5800 Broadway, (210) 822-6151 — Pumpkin tamales are available in your choice of pineapple or raisin for $10 a dozen. Tres leches cake lovers can get Paloma Blanca’s version, which is infused with pumpkin, topped with pecans, and covered in creamy milk (a whole cake costs $34.95). Thanksgiving orders require a 48-hour notice and need to be placed by phone or online (www.palomablanca.net) by Nov. 20, as the restaurant will be closed on Thanksgiving day.

Pappy G’s, 1210 Pat Booker Road, (210) 659-7799 — Get holiday pies (sweet potato, buttermilk, pecan or cream cheese) and large orders of sides, including cornbread dressing. Orders should be picked up by 6 p.m. Nov. 21.

Ordering side dishes, such as cranberries, can take some of the work load off.

Mike’s in the Village, 2355-3 Bulverde Road, Bulverde, (830) 438-2747 — Mike’s is taking orders for savory cheesecakes to be used as party appetizers or however you want to serve them. They come in three flavors: crawfish, portobello mushroom and green chili. Prices are $75 for an 8-inch cheesecake or $90 for an 11-inch.

Two Step Restaurant & Cantina, 9840 W. Loop 1604 N., (210) 688-2686 — Beginning on Monday, Nov. 21st, Two Step Restaurant & Cantina will take orders for apple, pecan, and pumpkin pies for $24.95 each. Pies will be available for pick-up as late as Wednesday, Nov. 21, until 10:00 p.m.

Whole Foods, 255 E. Basse Road, (210) 826-4676; 18403 Blanco Road, (210) 408-3110 — Pies, turkeys, side dishes, breads — all are available for special order.

Zedric’s: Fresh Gourmet to Go, 9873 I-10 W., (210) 541-0404 — Zedric’s is offering the follow meals to go throughout the holiday season, but they are available by advanced order only: Turkey Dinner for 6-8 with Oven-roasted Turkey Breast with Gravy, Chorizo Cornbread Dressing, Herb Mashed Potatoes, Green Beans Amandine and Orange Zest Cranberry Sauce, $139.99; Rack of Lamb Dinner for 6-8 with Oven-roasted Rack of Lamb with Au Jus, Chorizo Cornbread Dressing, Herb Mashed Potatoes, Green Beans Amandine and Orange Zest Cranberry Sauce, $209.99; and Mom’s Apple Crunch Pie, $15.99. Place your Thanksgiving order by Nov. 19 with pickup from 7 a.m.-8 p.m. on Nov. 21.

 

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Dishing The Dish: Three Perspectives on Porky Heaven


Today, we introduce a new feature on SavorSA that will focus on some of great work that’s being done in restaurants around town. It’s called The Dish and it will shine a light on a culinary creation that’s worth singling out for praise. It could be something seasonal, a new sensation or an old favorite. The sole point is to make you aware of the savory treats in SA.

If you have any favorites you’d like to share, either post them below or email walker@savorsa.com or griffin@savorsa.com.

This initial effort features three pork-related dishes to wet your appetite. Each illustrates porcine perfection in a unique way.

Pig Face Wood-Fired Pie at Bin 555

Pig Face Wood-Fired Pie
Bin 555 at the Alley
555 W. Bitters Road
(210) 496-0555

Who can resist a pizza baked in a wood-fired oven that’s hot enough to scorch the bottom of the dough, giving it a slightly burnt taste that’s practically irresistible?

That’s just the beginning, though, of the joys of this pizza from chef Robbie Nowlin, who creates his own house-made torchon using, you guessed it, the whole pig’s face.  The meat is cured in salt, pink salt, white pepper and sugar for one day. Then parts are braised before being added back to the torchon before it’s ready to use.

Then come toppings of slivers of radish, strips of pecorino and, in an inspired touch, pickled mustard seeds. The chef finishes it off with leaves arugula just before serving that add a fresh green vibrancy as well as a peppery bite.

I had a couple of leftover slices for breakfast the following morning. The radish flavor intensified, giving the pizza a welcome wake-up bite.

Using the pig’s head is, like using a cow’s head in barbacoa, a wonderful way to use as much meat on an animals as possible without letting it go to waste. Place another of these beautiful pizzas in front of me, and you’ll see another example of food not going to waste.

The 50/50 Burger at Big Bob’s.

The 50/50 Burger
Big Bob’s Burgers
447 W. Hildebrand Ave.
(210) 734-2627

Bacon cheeseburgers have long been justifiably popular, but why not take that experience to a whole new level by adding the bacon to the burger and not just on top of it?

That’s the appeal of this burger, which is made up of equal parts ground chuck and ground bacon. So, all that pork goodness fills every bite, while the chuck gives it a sturdy structure with plenty of meat and fat for the required beefiness and juiciness. Add a slab of sharp cheddar and chef Robert Riddle’s grilling, which lends it a smoky flavor, and you have a big fat phenomenon.

Of course, you could crown that combination with crisp bacon strips, but I can’t decide if that’s a bit too much or just a deliciously new means of satisfying my inner oinker.

A word of caution to those Texans who want their beef dead done: The whole patty is pinker than you may be used to. The grilling on the outside adds a little blackness, but the center is pinker than you may want. That’s from the addition of bacon, not the cooking technique.

For those of us keeping low-carb, Big Bob’s also offers the burger on a salad with artichoke hearts, garbanzos, olives, pepperoncini and more laid over a mound of spring greens. Good and healthful, just the way I like it.

The Peacemaker Po’Boy
Where Y’at
Alamo Street Eat-Bar
609 S. Alamo St.
(210) 420-0069

The SA food truck scene is burgeoning with exciting new flavors to please most any palate. Place this po’boy from Pieter Sypesteyn at the top of your must-try list.

The chef starts with an unbeatable combination of corn meal-breaded oysters and crunchy pork belly, braised in root beer before being deep-fried, both of which add a mouthwatering saltiness that enlivens the layers of mustardy coleslaw, pickles and fresh jalapeño slivers, all slathered with the right amount of creamy rémoulade.

Yet, as special as the combination of pork and seafood is, not to mention the pristine freshness of the other ingredients, were, the real stars of the sandwich were thick slices of perfectly ripe, old-fashioned tomato, which brought everything together in one incomparable whole. Not surprisingly, the tomatoes were from Cora Lamar’s Oak Hills Farm, by way of the Pearl Farmers Market. There’s a reason people rave about local food, and a tomato that tastes like a tomato is it. .

NOLA snobs may turn up their noses at a po’boy not made back at home because of how special the bread there is, but this is that bread. It’s Gambino’s French Bread, imported from the Quarter. For those don’t know the type of bread a po’boy should be served on, think of a baguette, yet one with a crackly exterior that is not too dense and a center that is not too fluffy. In short, it’s sturdy enough to hold its choice filling without falling apart into a soggy mess. Plus, Sypesteyn toasts the bread first and the rémoulade just melts into it.

I made the mistake of getting the half version of this beauty the first time I tried it. I’ve make peace with myself about that and will never let it happen again.

 

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Burgers and a Birthday: Great Reasons to Party


Bob Riddle, second from right, takes orders from the crowds at Big Bob’s first anniversary bash.

The folks at Big Bob’s Burgers decided to throw a party Wednesday night to mark one year at their current location of 447 W. Hildebrand Ave.

They invited their regulars as well as their social media followers on Facebook, and the crowds showed up, creating long lines at the register and filling the dining areas with the kind of friendly din and energizing buzz that restaurateurs love. There were even a few fellow members of the city’s dining scene on hand, including Jeremiah and Stephanie McMillan from Gallo Pizzeria on Castroville Road and Sameer and Meagan Siddiqui from the Rickshaw Stop food truck

Burger and fries, anyone?

It was also good to see former San Antonio Express-News publisher Larry Walker relishing his job as a partner in the enterprise. At times, he joined in the hustle with the rest of the staff to get hot burgers into the hands of patrons.

The patio at Big Bob’s draws crowds despite the temperatures.

It was so lively that those in the main dining room couldn’t even hear the live music on the patio out back, which was also filled with people enjoying Bob Riddle’s grilled burgers and beer-battered onion rings with a touch of caraway or his hand-cut fries.

G. Eugene Simor of the Alamo Beer Company was on hand to pass out cups of his local golden ale, which keeps getting better in recent tastes.

Big Bob’s is located in a space once occupied by Cookie’s Factory Outlet in a plaza that had seen better years and had become neglected. Since it and the neighboring Papa Murphy’s opened, the stretch of Hildebrand they’re on, just west of San Pedro Avenue, has begun to feel revitalized, and that has to be a present to the community.

Larry Walker hustles burgers to hungry patrons at Big Bob’s.

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Seven Seafood Sensations for Lent


Jalapeño Fried Catfish Sandwich at Big Bob's Burgers.

By Bonnie Walker and John Griffin

If you’re looking to give up red meat during Lent, here are several suggestions of seafood dishes in area restaurants that are guaranteed to keep you satisfied.

Jalapeño Fried Catfish Sandwich, Big Bob’s Burgers, 447 W. Hildebrand Ave. — “Big Bob” Riddle once featured a similar item at the now-defunct Podna’s, where it was a big hit. The fish is marinated in jalapeños and garlic before being breaded in cornmeal and fried. This sandwich builds on the fried fish with pickles, onions, tomato and lettuce with some soothing mayonnaise.

Haw-Mok, Tong’s Thai, 1146 Austin Hwy. — Several Thai restaurants in town serve versions of Haw-Mok, but no one’s quite matches the version here. Assorted types of seafood, including squid, shrimp, mussels and scallops, are cooked inside a foil pouch filled with vegetables, red curry and coconut milk. The pouch is opened at the table, so that the steam inside can escape in an often dramatic billow, leaving you with nothing but tongue-tingly flavors.

The Crab and Portobello Appetizer at Antlers.

Crab and Portobello, Antlers, Hyatt Hill Country, 9800 Hyatt Resort Drive — Antlers’ menu features a number of seafood dishes including a pan-seared Gulf red fish, but don’t miss the crab and portobello appetizer, a tower of lump crab meat and strips of mushroom are presented with roasted pepper tapenade, tomato and silky slices of avocado.

Georges Bank Skate Wing, the Sandbar at the Pearl, 200 E. Grayson St. — The menu is filled with more seafood treasures than you can imagine including an array of oysters that is pure sensory overload. But the skate wing, no matter how chef Chris Carlson prepares it, has always been one of those culinary experiences that calls you back for more.

Diablo Fish Fillet, Bourbon Street Seafood Kitchen, 24165 I-10 W.; 2815 N. Loop 1604 E. — As the name implies, the restaurant is a haven of seafood favorites. This one features grilled white with a topping of crab meat and crawfish swimming in a creamy butter sauce filled with garlic and tomatoes. The devil in the name comes from the addition of serrano peppers to give each bite an extra kick.

Mussels menu at La Frite.

Moules (mussels) with Frites, La Frite Belgian Bistro, 728 S. Alamo St. — On South Alamo, La Frite does a thriving business, not the least of which involves bowls full of mussels, steamed to perfection in their shiny, dark shells and offered in a variety of flavors. We are currently working our way through the list. Most recently it was the Basque and Spanish flavors of chorizo, smoked paprika (pimentón) and wine that  tempted both by aromatics and flavors. The bowl of Moules Provençal came with sprigs of fresh herbs. For a little bit more moulah, order your moules with frites, excellent, crunchy french fries. Add a cool glass of white wine and a slice or two of bread and this is one of the most gratifying meals in town.

Broiled Fish with Nopalitos and Cheese, La Playa, 3201 W. Poplar St.; 3343 West Ave.; 4411 I-10 E. — This casual Mexican and Salvadoran restaurant obviously specializes in seafood. We’ve enjoyed most everything we’ve eaten at the location on West Poplar Street. A favorite quick snack, for example, is the black beans, Salvadoran crema and fried plantain. For more substance, try the foil-wrapped fish, mildly seasoned, topped with cheese and sliced fresh nopalitos (cactus paddle). While you don’t always think of topping firm, white fish with cheese, it really does work in this dish. You can get fries with this dish, but we recommend La Playa’s excellent rice.

 

 

 

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Tacos and Burgers in the Alamo City. Any Questions?


Barriba Cantina opens Monday at 111 W. Crockett St.

In the kitchen at Barriba Cantina.

Saturday was a night for celebrating the new at two restaurants in San Antonio.

Barriba Cantina on the River Walk at 111. W. Crockett St. is a haven of “tacos, tequila y mas,” as the restaurant bills itself. Though it doesn’t open until Monday, the restaurant hosted a pair of preview parties on Friday and Saturday to help inaugurate the space, which is located on the two stories above its sister restaurant, the County Line.

The sign on Crockett Street.

Tacos filled with chicken tinga topped with caramelized onions, corn pico de gallo and ancho cream sauce or tilapia with jalapeño ranch and avocado tomatillo salsa were dished up.

When the restaurant opens, the tacos will be offered in plates of three with rice and beans, so you can expect heaping potions of the mango pork carnitas with mango and avocado tomatilla salsas, pickled onions, cotija cheese and more. Or the Del Rey, which was created in memory of Randy Goss, the Rib King of San Antonio who had been a part of the County Line’s success for years; this taco featured beef marinated with chipotle chiles and came topped with chipotle slaw, caramelized onions, salsa and cotija.

Purple Reign

A special emphasis is made on using lean meats, whether it’s the pork or the chorizo that was used in the Queso Deluxe, a treat that also featured guacamole and corn pico de gallo on top of the cheesy dip.

Mango Pork Carnitas Tacos at Barriba Cantina.

The bar is a big part of Barriba Cantina’s fun, and house specialties include the Purple Reign made with Ciroc Vodka, limoncello, violet liquor, Dulce Vida Organic Agave Nectar with blueberries as well as the Olé, a potent blend of Cinco Vodka, blackberries, raspberries, lime juice and soda.

Every bar in San Antonio has to have at least one margarita, and Barriba’s lineup includes the Skinny Dulce Vida Rita, a blend of Dulce Vida Silver, a splash of orange juice, agave nectar and lime juice.

Barriba Cantina will be open daily 11 a.m.-2 a.m. daily. Click here for the restaurant’s Facebook page.

Clellan and Matt perform a sound check on the new patio at Big Bob's.

Big Bob’s Burgers, 447 Hildebrand Ave., was also celebrating the opening of its new patio and stage out back.

The new restaurant, housed in what used to be Cookie’s near the San Pedro Avenue intersection, featured Clellan and Matt as the inaugural act performing in the space, which is decorated with picnic tables and a few nice plants. It looks far better than a dilapidated back alley it appeared when owner Bob Riddle first stated work on the space.

Big Bob's Cheeseburger

The visit was also a chance to check out Big Bob’s cheeseburger and a few of his crispy onion rings.

Click here for more on Big Bob’s Burgers.

 

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Big Bob’s Burgers Now Open on Hildebrand


Big Bob's opens on Hildebrand Avenue.

Big Bob’s Burgers has moved to 447 Hildebrand Ave. in the space formerly occupied by Cookie’s Factory Outlet.

The menu for now is the same as it was at the now-closed Harry Wurzbach location, owner Robert Riddle says. That means juicy flame-grilled burgers with your favorite toppings, from bacon to guacamole to refried beans and killer fries.

“Nothing is different than the old one, except the place is really nice and there are 50 or so beers available,” he says. “We also have Blue Moon, Dos XX, Shiner, Lone Star and Bud Light on tap.”

Wine drinkers can either try the splits offered or bring their own.

Work is still progressing on the patio, though, in this heat, who really wants to be sitting outside?  When it’s ready, expect live music on the weekends.

Once the grills are broken in and the routine with the burgers is down, Riddle plans to add pizza to the menu.

Hours for the new restaurant are 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Sunday-Thursday and 11 a.m.-midnight Friday and Saturday.

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