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Burgers, BBQ and Beer — a Match Made in San Antonio Heaven


Michael Alvarez of the Grand Hyatt offers braised beef on a wheat bun.

Culinaria wound up five days of celebrating the finest in San Antonio food and spirits scene with an event that is tailored made for Texan tastes: Burgers, BBQ and Beer.

Sure, some wine and alcohol were thrown for good measure, but the highlights for the hundreds who thronged to the Pearl Brewery were treats such as the Wagyu beef burgers and lobster rolls that John Brand’s team from Las Canarias and Ostra served up.

Chef Jesse Perez of the upcoming Arcade restaurant offered up a chorizo burger, while Steve Warner of Two Step Restaurant served pulled pork with slaw on a buttery bun. Chef Michael Flores from Sur la Table offered pulled pork, too, but he complemented his with pulled shrimp.

John Brand is engulfed in smoke as he prepares burgers.

Jeff Balfour of Citrus won fans with a decidedly different rabbit burger with cheese and Dijon mustard; the bottles of Shiner Wild Hare Pale Ale that he and his staff used to fight off the heat were not chosen because of the meat, Balfour said with a laugh. Shere Henrici of the Rolling Pig had an Asian-influenced sweet and sour pork dish with peanuts adding crunch to the sauce.

Michael Alvarez was part of the Grand Hyatt team, which  served up three-day braised beef with house-made giardinara and a raspberry gelatin  shooter that had a touch of chocolate in it.

The array of burgers included patties made of sausage, venison and other meats came from the likes of Magnolia Pancake Haus, the Esquire Tavern and EZ’s, while barbecue came from Ben E. Keith and Q on the Riverwalk among others.

For those who partied a little too much the previous night at the Grand Tasting or wherever the party may have been, Jason Dady offered Bloody Mary’s with a smoky barbecue flavor.

Pet the possum? Sure, just not around the head.

Bakery Lorraine and Flour Power were among those offering sweets, with macarons in several flavors, brownies, cookies and cake bites drawing snackers of all ages.

For those in search of something a little different, Kameron Bean of Wild Times Edutainment brought a possum, a hedgehog and a non-fragrant skunk for people to pet. The shaded area drew plenty of interested visitors, as did the mister area, which helped take an edge off the warm day.

The sun made an icy beer all the more welcome, as Culinaria closed out its festival season on a high note.

 

 

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Quarry Farmers and Ranchers Market Celebrates First Anniversary


Two farmers bag their squash for customers.

The Quarry Farmers and Ranchers Market opened a year ago in a small section of the Quarry parking lot on a blistering hot Sunday morning. A handful of vendors showed up to display their freshly picked produce,  a few meat producers and bakers were also on hand while Whole Foods handed out water to keep shoppers hydrated.

Burgundy okra

Shoppers wander through the Quarry Farmers and Ranchers Market

In a year, the market has grown to about 28 vendors, and the array of goods has grown to include eggs, wild-caught salmon, hand-processed sausages and raw honey in addition to the latest seasonal offerings, such as beets, squashes of all shapes, okra, radishes, sprouts and even some early varieties of peaches from Fredericksburg.

There were also vendors with organic tamales, vegetables spreads and dips, granola and several bakers with everything from artisan breads to pastries.

We had a plan for the morning, which was to meet for brunch before going to the market, so the fresh produce wouldn’t spoil. That might not have been the best idea in the world, for we were greeted with plenty of sold-out signs and empty display cases.

Get there early.

Many of the products sell in a hurry.

We could have snacked on dumplings from Ming’s, crepes  or a pork snack from the Rolling Pig truck, which was parked there.

Still, plump kohlrabi were on a couple of tables, breakfast radishes with the pink top melting into white tips, burgundy okra and squashes, all of which filled our shopping bags, were at hand, along with some lamb sausages and a dill plant to add to the herb garden. (Here are two ideas on what to do with kohlrabi: salad and greens.)

Next Sunday, we’ll be there a little earlier.

The sponsors of the market posted the following on their Facebook page, acknowledging all that has happened in the past year: “My how time flies. 52 Sundays under our belt. 28 vendors strong. A medley of magical musicians. Thousands of customers. Lots of loving four-legged fans. A one-year anniversary celebrating local farmers, ranchers and artisanal food makers. Thank you, gracias and merci, San Antonio!”

For more information on the Quarry Farmers and Ranchers Market, click here.

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In With the New Year, At Quarry Farmers Market


Start 2012 on a healthy note!

Shere Henrici, owner of the Rolling Pig mobile kitchen, slices into roast pork. Rolling Pig is at Quarry Farmers & Ranchers Market.

Don’t delay your New Year’s resolutions. Head over to the Quarry Farmers & Ranchers Market to celebrate New Year’s Day from 9 a.m. until 1 p.m. with live music, festive foods and 25 vendors.

Celebrate the day with freshly squeezed orange juice and virgin bloody marys from The Lemonade Co., locally roasted coffee from Mildfire Coffee Roasters, eggs Benedict offered by Rolling Pig food truck, black-eyed pea soup and festive French pastries such as bûche de Noël and cherry and creme brulee croissants from Bistro Bakery.

Fill your reusable bags with fresh produce, humanely raised grass-fed and pastured meats, farm fresh eggs from happy chickens and a plentiful supply of prepared foods.

Live music will be provided by Brian Sergeant from 10 a.m. until 1 pm. For more information, please call 210-722-5077 or click here.

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