Tag Archive | "The Melting Pot"

Fralo’s Plans to Add Microbrewery, Plus Eating Vegan and More

Artful pizzas at Fralo's that taste as good as they look.

Fralo’s Art of Pizza, 23651 I-10 W., is expanding at its Leon Springs location.

Owner Frank Hakspiel says he has purchased microbrewery equipment from Sea World and plans to open his own brewery on the property in the spring. The microbrewer from Sea World has agreed to help him get started once the equipment has been moved to the site.

He has already named one of the beers, Grant’s Pale Ale, for his infant son. Grant’s name is also on the caramelized pear and prosciutto pizza the restaurant offers.

Hakspiel is also talking about adding a second restaurant next door. It would offer high-end Italian food prepared by former Il Sogno chef Luca Della Casa, who has been working at the restaurant, making all of the revamped pasta dishes and providing specials each weekend. “He makes all of the pasta,” Hakspiel says.

Della Casa has also added a Torino pizza — Italian sausage, chicken, arugula, sun dried tomatoes, mozzarella and provolone cheese with a spicy tomato sauce — that was named after his home region in Italy. Torino is also a possibility for the name of the new restaurant, Hakspiel says.

Isn't she a beauty? Fralo's is going to transform her into a catering truck.

As if all that weren’t enough, Hakspiel has plans for the 1940s-era fire truck he has on the property. He plans on adding an oven to the back of the truck and use it for catering. Kids of any age who have played with a miniature fire truck should love having the real thing at a party.

We learned this over a wonderful lunch at Fralo’s with vegan travel blogger Carolyn Scott-Hamilton, who produces and writes She was able to get a vegan pizza that she declared one of the five  best she has ever had. In keeping with Fralo’s ongoing desire to please a multitude of tastes and diets, the restaurant also offers gluten-free and whole wheat crusts as well as an off-the-menu feature of a miniature pizza made on a portobello mushroom for those who are avoiding flour.

For more information about Fralo’s, call 210-698-6616 or click here.


Exploring more vegan options

Carolyn Scott-Hamilton and her husband, Dan Hamilton: Healthy Voyagers at Fralo's.

Other restaurants Scott-Hamilton and her husband, Dan Hamilton, also her cameraman, visited during their stay were Mi Tierra, the Cove and Adelante. She described the latter, with its riot of color and collection of whimsical Mexican folk art as looking “like Pee-Wee’s Playhouse.”

The couple are from Los Angeles and were here on a Convention and Visitors Bureau trip for travel writers. A Boston blogger who writes about women traveling alone and an Orange County mom who writes about traveling with her kids were also invited. All three were part of teams that competed against each other in a series of events that ranged from feeding the lorikeets at the zoo to lassoing a statue of a cow. On Sunday, in the heat, the couple found themselves running from the Tower of the Americas to the Alamo, where they had to start a conga line and encourage as many participants as they could to join in.

If you’re wondering why Scott-Hamilton and her husband didn’t go to Green, Pavani Express or the city’s new vegan restaurant, Vegeria, which opened last week at 8407 Broadway, it’s because she likes to focus her trips on restaurants where vegans are welcome, even if the place is not entirely vegan.

At the Cove, she was able to get the Vegan Bacon Cheeseburger and a Vegan BLT along with a gluten-free beer before heading off to First Friday.

If you are looking for vegan food and are unsure if a restaurant can accommodate your tastes, give it a call first and ask. It’s as simple as that.

Wine Spectator honors area restaurants

Wine Spectator magazine has released its annual roundup of restaurants with excellent wine lists. New this year is Antlers Lodge at the Hyatt Hill Country, 9800 Hyatt Resort Drive.

Others to make the list are Bohanan’s Prime Steaks & Seafood, Biga on the Banks, Chama Gaúcha Brazilian Steakhouse, Coco Chocolate Lounge, Fleming’s, Fogo de Chão, Francesca’s at Sunset, Kirby’s, Las Ramblas, Morton’s the Steakhouse, Ruth’s Chris Steak House, Silo, the Melting Pot, the Palm and Wildfish Seafood Grille.

The importance of the list has been debated, but despite any faults, it does bring in customers, which is why you’ll find a restaurant like Morton’s unveiling a new program, the Sommelier Selections of its wine list. This area includes boutique wines and rare gems that include Ladera Cabernet Sauvignon (Howell Mountain 2005) and Freemark Abbey Cabernet (Napa 2002), which are available only at Morton’s domestic locations.

Wine on tap

We always thought wine sales would go up if you could get a great glass without having to buy the full bottle. This is the secret behind the Boerne Wine Company, 302 S. Main St., Boerne, where you can try such top-shelf wines as PlumpJack and Palmaz by the glass from their dispenser systems that keep an open bottle fresher for longer period of time.

Now, is reporting that a few wineries are selling their best by tap. “That’s right, sauvignon blanc and pinot noir from kegs, not bottles, dispensed from a tap like beer and ale,” the article says. “The approach promises to remake restaurant by-the-glass programs by lowering costs, dramatically reducing waste (wine in open bottles deteriorates rapidly), and making the whole process considerably greener. … But a switch won’t happen overnight.”

Costs, of course, are a factor. But if this catches on, it will be a revolution in wine and dining.



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A Restaurant Closure, A Pomegranate Event and Treats for Teachers

A few notes on the San Antonio dining scene this Friday. Check out Nancy Fitch’s pretty Artisans Alley restaurant, The Pomegranate, for a cozy spring wine dinner. The Melting Pot is treating teachers to a $29 deal in June; and while one restaurant on San Pedro closes, a third location of Tommy’s will take its place.


The Pomegranate

Owner of The Pomegranate, Nancy Fitch.

7 p.m. Wednesday, May 25, 555 Bitters Road in Artisans Alley. $45 plus tax and tip.  For reservations, call 210-494-9111. Wine dinner starts with a series of California chardonnays, including Clos Du Bois, Wild Horse and Robert Mondavi. Fourth course is Estancia Cabernet Sauvignon and dessert is a luscious Jackson Triggs Vidal Ice Wine from Niagra, Canada.

On the menu: Heirloom Tomato Salad with fresh mozzarella, country olive tapenade and basil pesto, drizzled with balsamic syrup; Seared Scallops on baby frisee with warm bacon dressing and sauteed apples; Shrimp on Fried Polenta Cakes with Jammy Tomatoes; Herb-crusted beef with Cambazola toast points, wild mushroom confit and sauteed spinach. Dessert is Creme Brulee Napoleons with fresh berries and Sabayon.


Tommy’s Opens Fourth Location, Gonzaba’s Closed

Tommy’s, long a fixture on  Nogalitos, has expanded to its fourth location on San Pedro Avenue, at the former site of Gonzaba’s Mexican Restaurant, which has closed. Tommy’s opened at 6702 N. San Pedro Ave. last week. Other locations for Tommy’s Mexican restaurant are 1205 Nogalitos St., 8823 Wurzbach Road and 1075 S. Flores Ave.


Melting Pot has Treats for Teachers

It’s time for teachers to take a break and have a treat at The Melting Pot at a special $29 price. Teachers and faculty staff are invited to The Melting Pot for the four-course fondue dinner with drink specials that runs from June 12-16.  On the menu will be your choice of cheese fondue, a salad, and entree that includes Peppercorn New York Strip, Marinated Breast of Chicken, White Shrimp and Spinach Artichoke Ravioli. Also, a chemistry and mixology class is available for “extra credit, with $6 martini specials and $5 wine specials.

Make reservations and mention the “Teachers Appreciation Dinner”. The $29 price does not include tax or gratuity. The Melting Pot is at 14855 Blanco Road. Make reservations at 210-479-6358.



Photographs by Bonnie Walker



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