News you can eat
Editor’s note: We get it. It can be difficult to keep up with the fast pace of San Antonio’s restaurant and bar scene. We have you covered with our regular roundup of essential food news.
Openings and closings
In perhaps the most unexpected downtown development of the year, fancy-pants jamón purveyor Enrique Tomas Experience is coming to Rivercenter Mall. A “coming soon” sign has popped up at the former Maria Mia Mexican Bistro space at 849 East Commerce St., promising the second U.S. locale of the Barcelona-based company. The luxury shop and bistro first expanded stateside in February 2020 with a Dallas location serving pricey pork, drinks, and tapas.
L & L Hawaiian Barbecue will soon say aloha to a new location at State Highway 46 and I-35 in New Braunfels. The San Antonio location’s TikTok spilled the beans on the upcoming spot, projecting that it would debut by the end of January. Locals can expect a similar menu to the Alamo City outpost, including barbecue chicken bowls, loco moco, and Spam musubi.
Peruvian restaurant Rocoto’s Grill is shuttering after almost 12 years in business. In a Facebook post, the eatery called the January 9 closure a “difficult decision,” but did not offer a reason for the move. It did, however, hint that the problem may have been with the lease. Via the post’s comments, the owners asked followers to forward leads on any new locations, signaling that “this is not a goodbye, but a see you later.”
Other news and notes
Getting a table at Broadway corridor diner The Hayden may soon become more difficult. According to a release, the restaurant will be featured on the Cooking Channel’s Food Paradise on January 26. To celebrate, the Jewish deli-inspired eatery will have a watch party from 8-10 pm. The show will air at 9 pm.
Locally owned Weathered Souls Brewing Co. is getting some shine from the critics at Hop Culture. The magazine named the brewery’s Habitual Line Stepper imperial stout one of the 21 best beers of 2021, stating “the beautifully strong flavor made this an absolute highlight of the year.”
Fast-food favorite Bill Miller Bar-B-Q will close all dining rooms in San Antonio, Austin, and surrounding areas until January 10. In a Facebook post, the chain cited a common hospitality lament — a lack of staffing — as the reason for temporarily locking its doors. There’s no word on whether that employee shortage was exacerbated by the omicron variant raging through Central and South Texas.
Five new San Antonio taquerias have been added to Texas Monthly’s Taco Trail, the publication’s exhaustive list of the best taco slingers in the state. In the December issue, taco editor José R. Ralat praised hole-in-the-walls El Pastor Es Mi Señor and Casa Tarasca Carnitas Estilo Michoacán, downtown mainstay Maria’s Cafe, and upstart food trucks Milpa from chef Jesse “Kirk” Kuykendall and Aroma from chef Jaime Hernandez, formerly of La Fonda de Jaime 2.0.