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6 things to know in San Antonio food now: Acclaimed barbecue eatery blazes into downtown

6 things to know in SA food: Acclaimed BBQ eatery blazes into downtown

Pinkerton's Barbecue overhead
An acclaimed Houston restaurant is firing up its second location in San Antonio. Pinkerton's Barbecue/Facebook

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

One of the state’s best barbecue operations will finally open its long-awaited second location in San Antonio. Founded in 2017 by pitmaster Grant Pinkerton, Houston-based Pinkerton’s Barbecue has garnered widespread acclaim for its tender brisket and beef ribs as well as a peerless duck and sausage jambalaya. After much anticipation, Pinkerton announced via his Twitter page that the brand’s second outpost, located at 107 W. Houston St., will open Saturday, February 13, at 11 am. The restaurant’s regular hours will be Sunday through Thursday, 11 am-9 pm, and Friday through Saturday, 11 am-10 pm. Info on takeout ordering will be added to Pinkerton’s website ahead of the restaurant’s opening. 

This Valentine’s Day, San Antonio has a hot date with Vybrations, a new, adult-focused luxury lounge at 8800 Broadway, Ste. 102. The arousing new concept, whose Instagram page advertises both a dress code and “grown and sexy vibes only,” features a full bar and weekly live entertainment. According to, guests can look forward to daily events including a jazz and poetry night as well as Wednesday "wine down" women’s night. Appropriately, the lounge is set to open on Sunday, February 14, with a “It’s the Love for Me” grand opening event. The day party advertises drink specials and bottle service, plus an upscale food menu courtesy of the lounge’s onsite food operation, comfort-focused The Food Hive food truck. The 21-plus event will run from noon to 2 am. Interested parties can make reservations by direct messaging Vybration’s Instagram page.

San Antonio’s lauded taco culture lost one of its brightest stars last week. Lee’s El Taco Garage, the extravagantly decorated Tex-Mex eatery on Broadway, known for its indulgent puffy tacos, fresh homemade salsas, and colorful margarita flights, unceremoniously called it quits last week, posting a simple “It’s been a great run y’all” to its since-deleted Instagram page. The post went on to thank guests and employees for the restaurant’s 15 year of operation. Lee’s El Taco Garage does, however, live on in spirit, with its owner and namesake, Lee Beekly’s other area businesses, including Burleson Yard Beer GardenHops and Hounds; and Baby Taco Garage, which remains opened and operational next to the shuttered Lee’s El Taco Garage restaurant.

Other news and notes

Elsewhere in tortilla-centric news, one area wine bar is taking guests on every local foodie’s dream vacation: a taco tour of Texas. Happening Thursday, February 25, from 7 pm to 9 pm, Copa Wine Bar’s latest prix-fixe dinner features four courses of meaty, Tejas-inspired dishes. From the machacado and egg with homemade salsa (a spin on the classic breakfast taco) to a spicy honey chipotle shrimp taco to a red-hot birria de res, customers can experience the versatility of this storied dish, which will be paired with such refreshing wine selections as the Emma Pearl Rosé and the semi-sweet Matchbook Tinto Rey Red Blend. Tickets to the event are all-inclusive and sell for $60 a head. Reservations are required and can be placed by calling 210-495-2672.

Vietnam-inspired tea shop Lustea is offering Alamo City residents a chance to get lucky this Friday, February 12. To mark the arrival of Lunar New Year, one of Vietnamese culture’s most important days of the year, teahouse guests who make a purchase of $10 or more will receive a complimentary red envelope — a tribute to the gifts that are traditionally given to friends and family to symbolize good luck and fortune in the coming year. Each envelope contains a monetary prize ranging in value from $1 to $100, and envelopes are limited to one per customer. The promotion will run all day on Friday, February 12, during Lustea’s regular hours from 11 am - 11 pm.

One area restaurant is sending Girl Scout cookie season out in style with a boozy twist on this childhood favorite. This year, for Girl Scouts of Southwest Texas’s annual Flavor Fest, Rosario’s Mexican Cafe Y Cantina has whipped up a Samoa-inspired milkshake cocktail from February 12-21. The indulgently nostalgic creation features the popular Samoa girl scout cookie (also known as the Caramel deLite), mixed into a creamy dessert shake along with Bailey’s Irish Cream and hazelnut liqueur. The treat is then topped with chocolate syrup, toasted coconut flakes, and whipped cream. Additionally, customers can enter to win a year’s worth of Girl Scout cookies by snapping a photo of their shakes and posting to Facebook or Instagram with the hashtag #GirlScoutFlavorFest.