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6 things to know in San Antonio food now: Local chef sounds off on CNN about Texas governor

6 things to know in San Antonio food now: Local chef sounds off on CNN

Mike Nguyen Noodle House
Chef Nguyen has received death threats following his appearance on CNN yesterday. CNN Newsroom/Twitter

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

Considering how much starving artists love cheap beer, it’s about dang time cheap beer started giving back. On Saturday, March 13, is a new pop-up art gallery from San Antonio-based Pabst Blue Ribbon opens on the Saint Mary's Strip. Dubbed Pabst Blue Ribbon Studios, the free, public gallery will display 25 pieces submitted by emerging U.S. artists for the company’s annual can design competition, including Ashley Dreyfus’s $10,000 first-place winner. The opening show will be on display for the first 90 days, and after that, Pabst plans to commission different artists to create work in the space, which will rotate monthly. Pabst Blue Ribbon Studios is located at 1112 S. St. Mary’s St. and is open from noon - 6 pm on Saturdays and Sundays starting on Saturday, March 13

If you’re in need of some retail therapy and a strong drink (and let’s face it, we all need that) one Southtown restaurant has got you covered. The Good Kind is bringing back its popular outdoor makers market starting this Saturday, March 13. From 11 am to 4 am, families can browse a rotating collection of local vendors like BarbacoaApparel and Bloom, spread throughout the restaurant’s spacious, dog-friendly garden lounge. In addition, guests can enjoy The Good Kind’s full kitchen menu featuring favorites like their Good Morning Bowl as well as a full bar serving botanical cocktails, mimosas, and more.

Other news and notes

One local restaurateur is speaking out against Texas Gov. Greg Abbott’s recent decision to let Texas businesses reopen at full capacity without a mask mandate. Appearing on CNN Newsroom on Wednesday, March 10, Noodle Tree owner Mike Nguyen told hosts Poppy Harlow and Jim Sciutto: “We’re back to square one ... I will say that the governor doesn’t have us Texans’ interests at play at this point. I think it’s more of personal interest. I think to drop the mask mandate is selfish — cowardly ... he’s putting a lot of us in danger.” Nguyen has appeared on CNN multiple time during the pandemic, including to discuss his decision to remain closed to dine-in service out of concerns for the safety of his customers and himself (Nguyen was diagnosed with lymphoma in April), as well as the loss of his grandmother to COVID-19. On March 11, the San Antonio Current reported that following his appearance, Nguyen received death threats.

Mover over mimosas, brunch has a new favorite beverage. On Sunday, March 14, San Antonio’s first-ever self-serve taproom, The Dooryard will introduce an exciting new chef-inspired brunch menu. Adding to chef Phil Carden’s expansive menu of dinner options, early birds will now have the opportunity to pour themselves a glass of craft beer to pair with such nostalgic classics as biscuits with homemade sausage gravy, elevated French toast, and shrimp and grits. The Dooryard’s brunch service will be served Sundays from 10 am-2 pm. And yes, you can still order a mimosa, but with a rotating menu of 30-plus craft beers, why would you?

Though still reeling from a year defined by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, San Antonio’s hospitality industry stepped up in a major way to help those affected by last month’s winter storms. San Antonio Food & Wine Alliance, a Texas-based nonprofit specializing in culinary grants, educational programs, and events, rallied 17 area restaurants, including Botika, Little Em’s Oyster Bar, and La Pandería, to deliver 8,600 meals to South Texans in need from February 20-23. Their efforts were focused on vulnerable residents living in San Antonio’s District 5, many of whom experienced power outages for nearly four days. Along with Council Member Shirley Gonzales, the alliance arranged meal delivery to 21 community sites. "The San Antonio Food & Wine Alliance stepped up when District 5 needed help the most,” said Gonzales via press release. “When so many of our neighbors were stranded with no food, water, or electricity, we relied on the Alliance to feed our most vulnerable. 

Texas-based chicken chain Pluckers Wing Bar is putting a hilarious spin on the annual March Madness craze. During the second round of the 2021 NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Tournament (Thursday, March 18, and Friday, March 19), Pluckers’ online-only March Badness tournament lets participants choose each game's losing team (as opposed to the winners), with one lucky winner scoring a $1,000 Pluckers gift card. Additionally, once the Sweet 16 has been set, Pluckers will assign a special menu item to the four lowest-seeded teams. If any of the four teams reach the Final Four, Pluckers will feature that special on Saturday, April 3. March Badness brackets are available online, but fans must print out and drop off the brackets at their closest Pluckers' location in order to participate.