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Feast on Seafood, Music During Lent at County Line


County Line, 10101 I-1o W., is serving up some seafood specials and music during Lent and beyond.

Catfish at County Line.

Catfish at County Line.

The following specials run from Ash Wednesday, Feb. 18, through Easter Saturday, April 4:

Fried Tortilla-Crusted Catfish Sandwich: a fried catfish fillet with a cornmeal-tortilla crust served on a freshly made bun with fries; available at lunch and dinner for $8.99.

Fried Tortilla-Crusted Catfish: a plate full of fried catfish with a cornmeal-tortilla crust served with two sides and whole-wheat house bread, in two portions: “hearty” for $13.99 and “lite” for $11.49.

Grilled Salmon: a grilled 12-ounce boneless Norwegian salmon fillet served with a side salad plus choice of fries, garlic mashed potatoes or baked potato for $19.49; 6-ounce portion priced at $15.49.

Salmon Salad: hand-tossed Caesar salad topped with a grilled 6-ouunce boneless Norwegian salmon fillet for $14.99.

Happy Hour runs Mondays through Fridays from 3 to 7 p.m., except Thursday, when it’s extended until 9 p.m. for open mic night.

If you didn’t give up music for Lent, check out the three free music series, all occurring on the restaurant’s patio with Happy Hour:

Open mic night with local singers/songwriters runs Thursdays from 6 to 9 p.m.’

Friday Night Live returns March 1 with full-service outdoor dining and acoustical music under the stars from 7 to 10 p.m. The lineup includes Joe Moreno (March 6), Kerosene Drifters (March 13), Luke Huggins (March 20), Meyer Anderson (March 27), Will Owen Gage (April 3), Johnny Kiser (April 10), James Pardo (April 17) and Jonathan Garcia (April 24).

Ancira Chrysler Jeep Dodge Ram 2014 Live Music Series returns April 1 from 6:30 to 10 p.m. for its 15th season with Texas and national country music stars. It benefits the SA Food Bank.

Call (210) 641-1998 or visit www.countyline.com.

Enjoy these other Lenten offerings

Cantina del Rio, 1299 Gruene Road, Gruene Historic District at New Braunfels, (830) 515-1950 — The Lenten special is available Feb. 18 to April 2 and includes Fish and Shrimp Tacos seasoned and topped with avocado, cilantro, red onion, tomato and lime with your choice of homemade flour or corn tortillas. Fish tacos are also topped with South Texas Slaw. Available a la carte ($4.29) or as a plate served with two tacos, rice and refried beans ($9.99). 

Fried shrimp and fish at Gristmill

Fried shrimp and fish at Gristmill

Gristmill, 1287 Gruene Road, Gruene Historic District at New Braunfels, (830) 606-1287 — The Lenten specials are available Feb. 18 to April 2. The off-menu lunch special Monday through Friday until 4 p.. during Lent is the Shrimp and Fried Fish Platter with handmade hushpuppies and Hill Country Cole Slaw ($12.99). House favorites available all day:  Bronze Catfish, grilled with Cajun seasoning and topped with tequila lime butter ($14.99), Deep Fried Catfish ($13.99), Fresh Ahi Tuna & Fresh Catch at market price. 

Josephine St. Café, 400 E. Josephine St., (210) 224-6169 — The Lenten specials are available Feb. 18 to April 2. Gulf Shrimp Platter ($12.95), Salmon Salad ($13.95), Rainbow Trout ($11.95), Farm Raised Catfish ($10.95) and Fresh Catch at market price, all served the way you like it — fried, grilled, blackened or steamed with your choice of side. Friday’s Lunch Special features Fried Shrimp, a garden salad and choice of side for $8.99 until 4 p.m.

Mozie’s, 1601 Hunter Road, Gruene Historic District at New Braunfels, (830) 515-1281 — The Lenten special is available Feb. 18 to April 2. Fish tacos with fresh marinated tilapia (seasoned and grilled) comes topped with Mozie’s signature slaw, fresh avocado, diced tomato, red onion, roasted salsa, lime juice and a hint of cilantro. Three tacos served on corn tortillas for $11.99.

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Griffin to Go: A Taste of San Antonio in Upstate New York


I had to leave town in order to get a unique taste of San Antonio.

I am in upstate New York as part of my master’s degree program, and just after leaving the airport in Albany, my friend Carol decided she need to stop at Michael’s to pick up a picture frame. So, off we went to the store, and while she was shopping, I started browsing the aisles. That’s where I found a cookbook from Burt Wolf and Andrew F. Smith titled “Real American Food” (Rizzoli, $12.98). The front promised “Authentic Regional Cuisine” as well as “Restaurants, Markets, and Shops Plus Favorite Hometown Recipes,” while the back listed San Antonio as one of the 10 cities included, along with Boston, San Francisco, Richmond, Chicago and New Orleans among others. It was the only city in Texas to be included.

The volume, which came out in 2006, was wrapped in cellophane, so I couldn’t tear right in and see what San Antonio treats lay in store and from which restaurants.

But once in the car, I removed the wrapper and opened to read only what was included about San Antonio. I first found some fairly generic pictures included shots of margaritas, chiles and cascarones. Good, certainly, as descriptive as the images from Miami, Philadelphia and New Orleans, though I would have preferred one or two landmarks in view. (Mariachis and Christmas lights at Mi Tierra, for sure.)

The information was also some tasty morsels on the city’s culinary history, including Fritos, puffy tacos, Church’s chicken, Tex-Mex and chili, while highlighting restaurants such as Azuca, Rosario’s, Liberty Bar, Josephine St. Cafe, Ray’s Drive Inn, “Biga on the Bank” (sic), and Schilo’s. (Just seeing Schilo’s name made me long for a mug of their house-made root beer.)

But it’s the recipe area where such a book’s reputation stands. Here, Wolf, who hosted the PBS series, “Burt Wolf’s Table,” and Smith have provided us with several expected favorites: huevos rancheros, chili con carne, tortillas, enchilada sauce and pecan pie.

But there was one curiosity that I’ve never seen in the city: BBQ-Rubbed Sweet Potatoes. According to the legend that precedes the recipe, “Sweet potatoes originated in the tropical areas of the Americas and they were widely distributed throughout the Caribbean in pre-Columbian times. European explorers exported sweet potatoes to Europe, where they became popular enough to be mentioned by Shakespeare in the ‘Merry Wives of Windsor. Europeans also introduced sweet potatoes to Africa, where they were quickly adopted due to their similarity to the yam. It is through the slave trade that sweet potatoes and yams were introduced into the American South, where they were commonly grown by slaves and poor whites. It wasn’t until after the Civil War that the sweet potato became popular throughout the United States. This recipe for BBQ-Rubbed Sweet Potatoes is a real American creation fusing traditions from Africa with those of barbecue.”

I guess the word “barbecue” is what makes it a San Antonio dish. Regardless or its origins, the recipe sounds so good and so easy to adapt to your tastes (less cumin, more chili powder, no brown sugar, maybe a touch of cayenne — the choices are endless and yours to play with) that I can’t wait to get home to give it a try.

BBQ-Rubbed Sweet Potatoes

2 teaspoons paprika
2 teaspoons chili powder
2 teaspoons BBQ spice
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon poultry seasoning
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
4 medium sweet potatoes
4 tablespoons salted butter
4 tablespoons light brown sugar

Sweet potatoes

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil.

In a medium bowl large enough to fit each of the sweet potatoes, mix together the paprika, chili powder, BBQ spice, garlic powder, cumin, poultry seasoning, salt, oregano and onion powder.

Wash each sweet potato thoroughly under cold running water. Carefully pierce each potato 4 to 5 times, with the tip of a small knife or the tines of a fork. With the sweet potato still wet, dredge each potato into the spice rub and place on the prepared baking sheet.

Bake the sweet potatoes for about 1 hour 20 minutes, or until they are very tender when pierced with a fork. To serve, split each potato open, lengthwise, and dollop each with 1 tablespoon of butter and 1 tablespoon of brown sugar.

Makes 4 servings.

From “Real American Food” by Burt Wolf and Andrew F. Smith

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Daily Dish: Spur Fans, Catch the Bus at Josephine St. Café


This year marks the 30th anniversary of Josephine St. Café offering free bus rides from the restaurant to all Spurs home games.  The restaurant will mark the occasion with a Spurs Pep Rally and Parade on at noon Wednesday at the restaurant, 400 E. Josephine St. at U.S. 281 North.

Restaurant owners Pat Molak and Mary Jane Nalley will be joined by honorary parade marshals Marco Barros, president of the San Antonio Area Tourism Council, and Yolanda Arrellano, president of the San Antonio Restaurant Association.

Leading the parade will be the Samba Vida Dancers & Drummers, Spurs Baseline Bums, Magic 105’s Katrina Curtiss, and the Greater San Antonio Chamber of Commerce Ambassadors, who will officially kick off the season.

Beginning Oct. 28 and throughout the entire Spurs 2009-2010 season, the bus will leave the restaurant parking lot 30 minutes before tip-off during all home games.

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