Mall madness

Hot San Antonio barbecue joint bags unique new downtown location

Hot San Antonio barbecue joint bags unique new downtown location

The Hot Box San Antonio
The Hot Box is moving to the Shops of Rivercenter. The Hot Box/Facebook

When most people think of mall cuisine, they likely think of pasty Sbarro penne or treacly Panda Express orange chicken. San Antonio entrepreneur James English is on a mission to prove that food courts can do better.

The pitmaster tells CultureMap that he is moving his barbecue food truck, The Hot Box, to a permanent location inside the Shops of Rivercenter downtown. Though an exact date hasn’t been established, locals can expect to pair smoked meats with holiday shopping the first week of December.

English says the menu will include brisket, pulled pork, and ribs served with a sauce made with local William Tallus rum from Edwards Ridge Distillery, where he first kicked off the business in July. Various other proteins will be rotated in to keep the offerings fresh.

Though still approachable, the sides offer more interesting flavors than the typical barbecue joint. English combines mainstays like dill potato salad and charro beans with updated classics like serrano citrus coleslaw and smoked cream corn.

English says he is the process of getting a Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission license to add to the experience. The focus will be on local craft brews, but the list will also include a handful of wines.

The Hot Box isn’t the only new concept taking up residence at the Shops of Rivercenter. The first San Antonio location of Jimmy Buffett’s LandShark Bar & Grill surfs into the mall sometime this winter.