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.
A new outdoor experience is bringing some tasty good times to the San Antonio River Walk. Introducing El Camino, a combination bar, food truck park, and mural gallery located at 1009 Avenue B. For eats, the hot new spot hosts a rotating array of trailers. Current offerings include bites from indulgent sandwich shop Big Papa Chapa’s and tacos and barbecue from Holy Smoke. Running the park’s extensive beverage operation, which includes such refreshing libations as a Negroni slushy, is Melanie Barrows, who made a name for herself working for masters of their craft, including renowned chef Rick Bayless. The whole operation is not just a feast for the stomach, but also a feast for the eyes thanks to surrounding murals that pay homage to San Antonio’s vibrant Latinx culture, courtesy of local artists Scotch Willington and Hailey Marmolejo. El Camino’s hours of operation are Thursdays 5 pm-midnight, Fridays and Saturdays noon-2 am, and Sundays noon-midnight.
Other news and notes
What better way to celebrate National Doughnut Day than with, you guessed it, a free doughnut? Friday, June 4, Dunkin’ Donuts’ participating Alamo City locations will offer guests a free classic doughnut of their choice with any purchase of a beverage. Classic doughnut options include Boston Kreme, glazed, chocolate, jelly-filled, and more. Dunkin’ fans can also shop the operation’s collection of limited-edition National Doughnut Day fashion items. The collection is set to drop Thursday, June 3 and can be accessed via Dunkin’s web shop.
Sometimes there just aren’t enough days in the year for celebrating all the foods. Not only is Friday, June 4 National Doughnut Day, it’s also National Cheese Day (seriously, who decides this stuff?). To celebrate this cheesy holiday, Volare Italian Restaurant is offering a special deal: Customers who purchase one cheese pizza can also purchase a second one for just $5. The deal is available for dine-in, pickup, and delivery service, with ordering available via the Olmos Park-based restaurant’s website. Additionally, guests who choose to dine on the special at the restaurant, located at 3902 McCullough Avenue, can partake in Volare’s new happy hour, which runs from 2:30-6 pm and includes half off select glasses of wine and $5 margaritas. Following the happy hour will be a live acoustic performance by musician Galo Gutierrez, who will perform from 6-10 pm.
Alamo City will soon play host to one of the most epic michelada cocktail throwdowns in recent memory. Lone Star Brewing Company announced its first ever statewide michelada making contest, with the winner taking home $5,000 in cash. The rules are simple: Any current resident of Texas that is of legal drinking age can submit their recipe for consideration. They can use whatever spices and garnishes they like, but the recipe must include Lone Star’s Mexican-style lager, Rio Jade. Once participants have perfected their “Riochelada” recipe, they can register it online and post a picture of their creation on Instagram and tag @lonestarbeer alongside the hashtags #riochelada, #riojade and #contest. The three highest scoring Riocheladas will move on to the final stage of the competition at Lone Star’s private event in San Antonio on Thursday, June 17, where they will be tasted and judged by a panel of qualified Texas guest judges, including local foodies, bartenders, and more. Finalists do not have to be present to win, as their creations will be made for the judges by a guest bartender. Click here for a full list of contest rules and requirements.
Do you want to have your restaurant included in the biggest culinary celebration the city has to offer? Now you can — and for a good cause! Culinaria, the organization behind the popular San Antonio Restaurant Weeks, has issued a call for Alamo City restaurants to participate in the citywide event, which will take place this year August 14-28. For participation, restaurants should agree to offer patrons a three- or four-course fixed-price menu that is $20 for lunch and/or dinner for $35 or $45. Restaurants must offer both dine-in and take-out options. A donation from each of the special menus purchased helps support Culinaria’s mission of promoting San Antonio as a culinary destination while also supporting the city’s hospitality industry and community. For more info, visit CulinariaSA.org.
Spoiler alert! Last week, San Antonio watched with bated breath as local chef Jesse Kuykendall (aka chef Kirk) competed on the popular Food Network competition show Chopped. In keeping with the premise of the show, Kirk, who’s known to locals as the mind behind Hotel Havana’s Ocho, was presented with peanut-butter-and-jelly-themed mystery ingredients, which inspired the chef to create a three-course meal of hot dog quesadillas, 30-minute mole, and peanut-butter churros. Kirk’s quick thinking clearly hit home with the judges because the Laredo native went on to win the competition, making them the first San Antonio-based chef to win a Food Network contest. No word yet, though, on whether Kirk’s on-air creations will be featured as new menu items at Ocho.
Pitmaster Adrian Davila of Seguin’s famous Davila’s BBQ is putting a new twist on San Antonio’s barbacoa y Big Red tradition. On Friday, June 4 and Saturday, June 5, Davila will bring his food truck all the way from Seguin to San Antonio for an authentic Texas barbecue pop-up. The event will take place at Bruno’s Dive Bar, 1400 S. Alamo Street, from 4 pm-midnight both days. Alamo City residents can enjoy the pitmaster’s signature dishes, like lamb barbacoa tacos, brisket grilled cheese, and brisket and sausage Frito pie. Don’t forget to save room for Big Red cake and banana pudding.