Tag Archive | "crawfish"

Spring Warm-up: Openings, Events, Tastings, Fun

Rosario's new Panela cheese, grilled and topped with two salsas.

Rosario’s new queso Panela, grilled and topped with two salsas.

Three much-anticipated restaurants open soon.

First, Rosario’s, at 3715 San Pedro Ave., will open Monday (March 31) for lunch and dinner. Enjoy the dishes and drinks you love at the downtown Rosario’s on Alamo Street, plus some new items. We sampled some favorites and the new grilled panela cheese with two salsas, seviche, a Rosario’s burger (complete with chalupa inside and some real good fries) and more at a soft opening Thursday night.

Hot Joy, opening at the former location of China Latina, will open April 3. The restaurant is at 1014 S. Alamo St.

Aldaco’s Dominion will also be opening in April, but toward the end of the month.

Conger’s Smoke Shack food truck announced they will move to a brick-and-mortar location. This will be at 3714 Broadway. A skip and a jump near the Pearl, and across the street from the Witte Museum. Will they still be setting up shop at Quarry Farmers and Ranchers Market?  No, says Heather Hunter, but they will be there this coming Saturday for one last round of great barbecue.  Chela’s Tacos, which has been there the past couple of weeks, will be taking over that post.

Travis Park and St. Anthony Hotel

St. Anthony Hotel garden.

St. Anthony Hotel garden.

Join The St. Anthony Hotel Monday (March 31) to celebrate the Grand Reopening of the historic Travis Park. The vibrant greens of spring and the new visions and plans for Travis Park will be honored for a full day.  At 9:30 a.m. the hotel participates with Southwest Airlines President and CEO Gary Kelly and other contributors to restore the park and invite you to join them.

This will be followed in the evening (6 p.m.) by farm-fresh foods crafted by  St. Anthony chef, Mike Mata, paired with wines from Becker Vineyards, and the soft sounds of Brent Watkins’ live jazz for Twilight on the Plaza.

Crawfish at Lüke

Celebrate crawfish season in true style this Sunday (March 30) at Lüke San Antonio downtown. From  3 p.m to 6 p.m at the restaurant at 125 E. Houston St., it will be not just lots of crawfish crawfish1but also savory sides such as crawfish boil potato salad, boiled “corn in a cup,” and Poteet strawberry shortcake for dessert. St. Arnold Brewery will be the featured beer for washing down those crawfish.

The event is all you can eat and drink, for $48 per person.  Call them at (210) 227-5853. See their event page at


King and Queen Anchovy Poker Run

Michael Westheimer and Elaine Wolffe have a party planned and you’re invited. Saturday, April 5, is the King and Queen Anchovy Poker Run.

Poker handHere are the attractions: Five restaurants, five bites, five drinks and (most important) five cards.

The best hands will win prizes, including tickets to Cornyation and gift certificates to the participating restaurants: Bite, The Monterey, The Brooklynite, Cured and Minnie’s.

The fun starts at  1 p.m. at Bite. The cost is $50; chefs are donating their hospitality so proceeds go to support Fiesta Cornyation.

Check out the Facebook page here and make reservations soon.

Baby grapesSummer events coming up at Becker Vineyards

The new outdoor pavillion is open now at Becker Vineyards, in the Texas Hill Country. The pavillion oversees the lavender field, plus new outdoor restroom facilities are available, too. Don’t forget the winery’s 16th annual Lavender Festival, with lavender luncheons, vendors selling lavender and gardening-related items, lavender cooking demos and more. Plus there will be, of course, wine tastings. The event is May 3 and 4. Go to their website here for more information.

April means Hornitos tequila at La Fogata

Aldaco MargaritaLa Fogata knows tequila — and mixes no fewer than 300 gallons of their tequila concoctions each week. La Fogata features monthly tequila tastings to allow its guests to explore different tequila flavors and enjoy special cocktails crafted by their experienced bar staff.

April’s featured tequila is Hornitos. On Saturday, April 19,  before you head to your table, stop by the tequila tasting table to learn more about Hornitos tequila. The free tasting table will feature the tequila served both straight up and mixed in margaritas. The tasting table will be open on La Fogata’s main patio from 6-8 p.m. La Fogata is at 2427 Vance Jackson Road.

If you can’t make the tequila tasting, don’t worry:  La Fogata is featuring Hornitos throughout the month of April, so you have the opportunity to try the tequila by ordering it in your favorite drink at La Fogata.






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Get Your Fill of Crawfish This Spring

Crawdads at Dry Dock.

Crawdads at Dry Dock.

They’ve got a number of names — crawfish, crayfish, crawdads, lobsters, mudbugs and yabbies, to list a few of the more common. But delicious is the word that most comes to mind.

That and the fact that they’re in season right now.

San Antonio seems to have developed crawfish fever this spring, and you can find them at a number of places around town, especially at eateries that specialize in Cajun food.

Luke, 125 E. Houston St., is featuring a crawfish boil every Friday this month with the crustaceans going for $5 a pound.

Dry Dock Oyster Bar, 8522 Fredericksburg Road, has the little beauties boiled in Cajun spice for $5.75 a pound. The plate comes with drawn butter and a new potato.

Acadiana Cafe, 1289 S.W. Loop 410, not only has them boiled and served by the pound, but you can also get fried crawfish tails

Where Y’At at the Alamo Street Eat Bar, 609 S. Alamo St., has a crawfish boil on Tuesdays through the beginning of June or as long as they’re good, owner Pieter Sypesteyn says.

Fat Bellies Cajun Food Truck from Boerne, which often stops at the Point Parks and Eats on Boerne Stage Road, has been having boils with corn and potatoes since the season began. Call (210) 410-7886 for details.

If you want to have your own boil at home, you can find live crawfish — and they must be live — at Groomer”s Seafood, 9801 McCullough Ave., on Fridays and at select H-E-B’s.

To plan your own crawfish boil, click here for a recipe and advice.

If you know of any other place that offers crawfish, email with the details.

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Griffin to Go: Austin Pulls Out All the Stops for SXSW

At the lively Pepsi Max party during SXSW, you could get a free Pepsi Max or pay for a mixed drink.

Evangeline Cafe serve up Cajun and Creole favorites at HBO's party for "Treme."

Since I moved to Texas 12 years ago, I have driven up to Austin several times for South by Southwest, or SXSW, as it is commonly known. It’s always a great time for music, music, music and even some good food. But I’ve never seen anything like the party that the town is throwing for this year’s event, which runs through Sunday.

There are gatherings everywhere that are open to the public. Some need advance registration, others are exclusive, a few charge admission. But even if you can’t get into the party you want, walk around the block and you’ll likely find a party you can get into.

Baby's first SXSW: Three-month-old Liam Peters, held by father Chris Peters, wears headphones to protect his ears.

I registered for a party that HBO was throwing at the Ghost Room on West 4th Street to honor the show “Treme.” It didn’t really matter. The guy at the door was letting in anyone who wanted to taste the fun. Though it was St. Patrick’s Day and most everyone was dressed in some splash of green, the theme of the party was New Orleans to match the show, which is set in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.

The menu, provided by Evangeline Cafe on Brodie Lane, included red beans and rice, boudin, and the house specialty, Crawfish Evangeline, an irresistible blend of crawfish, cream and cheese tossed with pasta. Perhaps my favorite was half of a stuffed pistoulette, a fried French roll stuffed with a cheesy crawfish filling. I’d gladly go back to Evangeline Cafe — and pay my own money — to have a whole pistoulette of my own.

Guest enjoy Rachael Ray's party at the Greenhouse.

I had just about finished with the generous plate of free food when I met up with a friend, Deb Orazi, who edits the online Austin Music Journal. We stayed on the crowded patio while I finished my Pearl beer (not free) and she ate. Henry Butler played keyboards just inside the door and Dancing Man 504 gave the gathering an authentic New Orleans feel. And as we sat in the balmy March weather, the cloudy morning gave way to glorious sun.

From there it was on to meet another friend who was waiting on San Jacinto. It took us a few minutes to recognize the place because CNN had taken over Max’s Wine Dive and set up its own party center. Admission was by invitation only, so we couldn’t even get to the door. But the Pepsi Max party across the street was open to all. Unfortunately, the party wouldn’t begin for another few hours. Still, the hostess at the entrance did give us icy cold bottles of Pepsi Max, which held us as we headed off on a fairly lengthy trek to Rachael Ray’s Feedback party on the other side of I-35.

The Holy Cacao's cake balls.

This was another get-together for which we had registered in advance, and we were glad we did. If your name wasn’t on the list for this shindig, you did not get to dig your shins or party otherwise. The party was supposed to go on until 2 a.m., so the Greenhouse setting was not overcrowded by mid-afternoon. That meant no lines for free beer, fruit drinks and Kind Bars. Ray wasn’t scheduled to make an appearance until the evening, but we didn’t mind, as long as we had the delicious cake balls from the Holy Cacao, a local dessert trailer that is developing a big following. Smaller than a cupcake, a cake ball is a delicious bite of cake dipped in frosting and served on a stick. The three versions served were made to match the Kind Bars that had been served earlier: apple cinnamon and pecan, peanut butter and strawberry, and cranberry and almond.

By the time we had returned to the Pepsi Max party, the free kielbasa sausage tacos were all gone. So was the roasted corn. That left us with mini-tacos stuffed with a spicy pulled pork that was a little on the watery side.

Cupcakes of Herb and Cupcakes performs.

The music was calling us, so we headed off to the nearby Cedar Door, where we caught several fun acts including Hank and Cupcakes, a two-person band with plenty of energy and a touch of anger. A little Dead Kennedys, a little B-52s, a lot of style and a lot of fun.

There were several only-in-Austin moments that made the day even more fun. So many cellphones were in use at every site that neither friend was able to get reception on a regular basis. But word reached us that the legendary Wanda Jackson was performing that night on South Congress. By that point, it had been a long, hot day for me. I was glad to drop them off at the outdoor venue where I had heard several bands play off SXSW performances in the past.

Fran's Hamburgers at twilight.

I drove a little further down Congress and had to stop when I saw Fran beckoning me in for a burger. Fran’s Hamburgers is an old-fashioned burger joint that looks great and, as I soon found out, tastes even better. A juicy patty on a jalapeño sourdough bun and some exceptionally crunchy onion rings tied me over during the long ride home.

SXSW is not like San Antonio’s fiesta, though both draw thousands upon thousands. The vibe is obviously different. In Austin, the emphasis is on the music. Fiesta is just about having fun.

That’s why both are great. Keep Austin weird, if this year’s SXSW is any indication. But, boy, at the end of the day, was I ever glad to be back in lame San Antonio.

P.S. I did catch sight of Rachael Ray at Saturday’s party, held at Stubb’s Bar-B-Q on Red River.

Rachael Ray talks with people after a set by Flix and the Tantrums at SXSW Saturday.

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