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Drink and Eat Your Fill at a Walk Through Mexico


Agave plants growing in Mexico. (Photo: David Suro)

Agave plants growing in Mexico. (Photo: David Suro)

The San Antonio Cocktail Conference is offering you the change to talk a Walk Through Mexico on Sept. 26.

Walk Through Mexico cover imageThe lineup includes mezcal and tequila paired with authentic Mexican street food with a highlight on the regions of Jalisco, Michoacan and Oaxaca. Participating restaurants include The Monterey, Toro Taco Bar, El Mirador, Hot Joy, Los Barrios and Mixtli.

The mezcal and tequila will be poured by the people who grow the plants and produce the spirits. Featured spirits will include Tequila Ocho, Siembra Valles, Tequila Fortaleza, Tequila Artenom, Del Maguey Mezcal, Don Amado Mezcal, De terra Collection Sotol (Texas), Rey Camero Mezcal, Milagro, Mezcal Vago, Real Minero Mezcal and Tequila Cabeza.

The fun is 6:30 to 9 p.m. Sept. 26 and will take place at 1119 S. St. Mary’s, behind the Monterey.

The price is $68 a person. Sign up online at www.saccevents.org. Tickets cost $68 per person. All proceeds of this event will benefit Houston Street Charities, which supports children’s charities.

Tequiladores at work. (Photo: David Suro)

Tequiladores at work. (Photo: David Suro)

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Grab That Coconut — SA’s Texas Tiki Week Arrives


Tiki with Bartender cropped

All Tiki Photos Courtesy David Rangel.

This week, your favorite drinking and eating establishments want to interest you in fruity, boozy cocktails that are not only delicious, but comparable to a vacation in a glass.

Or – you know – a coconut.

In San Antonio, it’s time for Texas Tiki Week, going now through Sunday, June 29. (See Schedule below.)

These days, tiki is no longer considered tacky, and with the support of the United States Bartender’s Guild, high-end versions of these delightfully potent libations are appearing in your favorite craft cocktail bars in San Antonio.

In San Antonio, popular establishments doing tiki include Hot Joy, Bohanan’s and Blue Box at the Pearl.

Most notable, though, are The Brooklynite (a proponent of Tiki Tuesdays since its inception in 2012) and El Mirador (under new ownership); both of which are participating in this year’s Texas Tiki Week.

The Brooklynite will launch its new tiki menu this week. El Mirador will hold an educational seminar with Wahaka Mezcal before an Agave Tiki hour on the newly-renovated back patio.

The Esquire owners now own El Mirador, and bar manager Houston Eaves had the following to say about his excitement for Tiki Week:

Tiki with flame cropped“We are going to be hosting our event at El Mirador, instead of The Esquire. Texas Tiki Week is a way to involve our community in a lot of fun, educational, and philanthropic events (with rum!). It exposes consumers to a really fun part of American history that may be a bit misunderstood. Tiki drinks have gone full-circle. They began with fresh, tropical fruits, and a variety of rums, then got dumbed down to bottled mixes & sub-par rums. [Now] we are embracing the fresh and quality ingredients available to us, as well as innovative culinary technique. This is a week to celebrate the kitschy, contagious fun of Tiki!”

Jeret Pena owner of The Brooklynite adds, “Our focus is to go back to the basics of tiki vs. the modern flavors, weird colors and hyped out vibe.  The goal is to focus on the classics and still make them fun!”

Schedule for Tiki Week

The Esquire Tiki Week menu will be running now through Sunday featuring drinks like:

IMPROVED DAIQUIRI:  3-island rum, overproof Jamaican rum, lime, sugar, absinthe. WAKING THE DEAD:  bonded bourbon, espresso-fernet, italian vermouth, pineapple, lemon. MAI TAI: 3-island rum, jamaican rum, demerara 151 rum, curacao, orgeat, lime.  SINGAPORE SLING: dry gin, benedictine, cherry heering, lime, mineral water. SEA OF CONFUSION: Jamaican rum, demerara 151 rum, pear brandy, chartreuse, zucca rabarbaro, passion fruit, lemon, angostura bitters.

Wednesday (6/25) Agave-Tiki @ El Mirador (new concept)

3-5 p.m. Educational Seminar with Wahaka Mezcal for Industy only

5-7  p.m. Agave-Tiki Happy Hour

Texas Tiki Week croppedThursday (6/26 – 6/29)  Tiki Late Nite @ Hot Joy starting at 11 p.m.

Late night tiki menus (food & drink)

Sunday 6/29 – Blue Box

Bacardi Blender Bowl @ The Blue Box

Starting at 1 p.m. -3 p.m.

Bohanan’s will be hosting the closing SA party on Sunday (6/29) at 4 p.m. in their courtyard. With tiki snacks and guest bartenders making tiki drinks.

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Book Your Holiday Parties ASAP


Have you booked your holiday party yet? If you haven’t you may want to get moving on it. Many restaurants in town are already booked on the weekends through the season, though there are plenty of options on weeknights.

Menus vary from place to place, of course, but one element all have in common is a desire to work with the budget you have. From El Mirador to Auden’s Kitchen, from Ilsong Garden to the County Line, the list of options covers all areas of the city.

Luce Ristorante offers as private dining as well as a patio.

Luce Ristorante

At Luce Ristorante e Enoteca, 11255 Huebner Road, owner Joe Buonincontri has already booked all of his Saturday nights through the holiday season. Most of the Fridays are gone, too.

His private room can seat up to 40 people depending on the demand. If the party givers want a buffet, then 30 is the maximum that the room will hold. He also has a patio with a fireplace for an outdoor get-together.

Buonincontri will gladly work with people to accommodate their budget needs. He recently hosted a four-course dinner that offered appetizer, entrée and dessert choices, along with a salad, for $33 a person.

He can also set up various drink policies, from an open bar to tickets, depending on how the client wants to plan.

Luce’s take on Italian food “brings back memories” for many of Buonincontri’s customers, he says. “It’s a certain taste profile they don’t get anywhere else in San Antonio.”

For more information, click here or call 210-561-9700.

Dashiell House

The Dashiell House, located in La Villita, offers the best of Fig Tree Restaurant and Little Rhein Steak House in a private River Walk setting. All of the food is prepared to order, not in advance, says Marlys Camilleri, event coordinator. So, combine the quality of the food with a gorgeous view of the Christmas lights along the river and a house built circa 1850, and you can understand why bookings are placed far in advance.

Downtown San Antonio is also bracing for two large conventions in December, including the annual breast cancer symposium, and they have led to bookings throughout most of two weeks.

Many of the Dashiell House’s customers are repeat bookings, Camilleri says. That says a great deal about how satisfied its customers have been.

Yet there are still some openings for the space, which seats up to 64. Almost double will fit for a stand-up cocktail party. Camilleri will work with people and their budgets. For a sample menu and more information, click here.

Brasserie Pavil and Watermark Grill

Whether you want a cocktail party or sit-down dinner, Brasserie Pavil can accommodate your needs.

Weekends are booked at Brasserie Pavil, 1818 N. Loop 1604 W., but there are plenty of weeknights available, says manager Jan Bonugli. And that’s all for the best, because the restaurant’s rental fee is waived Monday-Thursday.

The restaurant’s signature onion soup, its cheese tray and charcuterie, duck confit, seafood platters and carrot cake are available for parties, and Bonugli, who is also sales manager at Pavil, will work with any budget to ensure a pleasant evening.

Various sizes of rooms  are available, too, so both large and small parties will fit into the space.

At Watermark Grill, 18740 Stone Oak Parkway, parties are generally limited to the rotunda, which can seat up to 20 people comfortably, she says. But the bakery can also be used for a private function and can seat up to 40. Party menus featuring sustainable seafood start at about $40 a person.

Laughing Bird Shrimp, sea scallops, ahi tuna and lobster are all options, she says.

To book either space, contact Bonugli at 210-912-0041. For information on Brasserie Pavil, click here. For information on Watermark Grill, click here.

The Cove

Looking for a little some place different for your party? Think the Cove, 606 W. Cypress.

Owner Lisa Asvestas has started booking parties for the first time this holiday season. Her compound, with its laundry and car wash, is certainly an eclectic setting. But it’s also cozy in the bar area, where live music can be included.

But it’s the menu that places the Cove apart from the many, if not most, other places in town. Asvestas promises SOL food — that’s sustainable, organic and local. The suggested party plan includes a mini version of the restaurant’s lauded fish tacos, organic salads, wraps and a variety of snacks. And you can add beer or wine tastings, if you’d like.

For more information, call 210-227-2683 or click here.

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Ask a Foodie: Restaurant Recommendations, We Have Some


Rosario's Shrimp Nachos are good for an appetizer or a meal.

Q. I’m visiting from out of town and am a real foodie. I’m interested in places near the Convention Center that I can either walk to or take a short cab ride.  Thanks.  — C.Z.

A. The famous local food, as you probably know, is Tex-Mex, but San Antonio other good things to offer in or near downtown. On the River Walk, we recommend Biga on the Banks (high end, not Tex-Mex), or for contemporary, leaning to French, try Fig Tree with its edenic patio cascading down to the water.  Also on the river is Ácenar, with its mod ambience and authentic Mexican dishes. Las Canarias at the Mansion del Rio  (contemporary American) is good, as is Boudro’s for a taste of Texas with a Southwestern touch.

Another high-end steak place to try might be Bohanan’s. On Houston Street, a bit of a walk, or short cab ride.

A smaller restaurant that has been near downtown a long time and is very popular, you’d want a cab for. That’s El Mirador. A little further in a cab in that general direction is a colorful place we like to take out of town guests,  Rosario’s Cafe y Cantina. If you like margaritas, definitely try one here. In the same neighborhood is La Frite, a Belgian bistro, and Azuca with its pan-Latin dishes.

Restaurant Insignia, in the Fairmount Hotel across the street from the convention center, is great for lunch or dinner, if you’re looking for something as fun as a brisket burger with garlic fries or the San Antonio pizza.

At Market Square downtown, where you can buy lots of Mexican crafts and souvenirs and so forth, is Mi Tierra, a huge Mexican restaurant with decent food and a big, showy bakery full of Mexican sweets and breads. Mariachis stroll the aisles and it’s fun. It’s also open 24/7.

There are many more good restaurants to walk to, so don’t hesitate to contact SavorSA again if you want more ideas, when you get here.

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