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5 things to know in San Antonio food right now: Pearl street food eatery gets glorious transformation
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.
Chef Johnny Hernandez, the culinary genius behind San Antonio’s first pandemic-era mobile margarita truck (like the ice cream truck of your childhood but with an adult twist), is shaking things up again with his acclaimed Mexican eatery, La Gloria at the Pearl, which will soon transform into a new concept. According to the San Antonio Business Journal, Hernandez’s mysterious new operation will focus on South American cuisine, including the fare of countries like Colombia. One of the last originating restaurant owners at the popular former brewery space, Hernandez has remained mostly mum about the specifics of his new operation. “All I can say is that there’s nothing like it in San Antonio,” the chef says. “I don’t think there’s anything like it in the country. ... I’ve seen iterations of it throughout my travels in parts of Mexico, parts of Central America, parts of Europe.” The news comes as Hernandez continues to grow his restaurant empire, recently announcing on social media that he’s currently working to open a La Gloria location on the Southside. In the meantime, the new Pearl concept is in the works, but crucial details — including when La Gloria would close to make room for the new eatery — are still up in the air. Until then, La Gloria at the Pearl will be open from 2-10 pm Monday through Thursday, 2-11 pm on Friday, noon-11 pm on Saturday, and noon-9 pm on Sunday.
Even if your summer diet has been one hazy blur of brisket and tacos thus far (and let’s be real, that’s the case for most of us), it’s never too late to lighten things up a bit, and one new greens-focused setup is here to help. Roots Salad Kitchen opened Tuesday, July 20 near the city’s business district. Operating out of the Flats at Big Tex at 403 Blue Star, Roots Salad Kitchen offers everything you’d want for a healthier lunch option, including build-your-own wraps, loaded salads, and acai bowls. For refreshments, guests can enjoy house-made tea options like raspberry and lavender lemon. Roots Salad Kitchen is open Tuesday through Thursday from 11 am-9 pm, Friday and Saturday from 11 am-10 pm; and Sunday from 10 am-7 pm.
Other news and notes
Northside San Antonio’s premier creperie, the appropriately named Crepeccino, is offering an extensive new breakfast service. Conceived by chef and general manager Moe Masyaf as a way to create affordable breakfast options for local residents, Crepeccino’s new menu is described as bright, healthy, and delicious, incorporating fresh ingredients in every dish. New morning crepe flavors include the savory pastrami and Swiss, avocado and eggs, ricotta strawberry, eggs Florentine, steak and eggs, sweet turkey and brie, grilled cheese and pastrami, and sweet pastrami and cheese blend. These breakfast items range from $7-$9 per dish and are available for dine-in service or to go. The expanded offerings now also include an array of acai bowls for $6.49 each. And new espresso options include cold-brew coffee, available in cold foam and sweet cream varieties. Crepeccino is open daily from 9 am-9 pm.
The Alamo City’s three locations of coal-fired brick-oven pizzeria Grimaldi’s have announced a charitable new campaign this August to support the American Heart Association. Throughout the month, guests who donate to the nonprofit inside of Grimaldi’s locations in the city will receive a “bounce back card” to use for later visits to the restaurant. For every $5 donated, guests will receive a $5 bounce back card, up to a total of $25 per visit. The bounce back cards expire December 31, 2022, and are valid at San Antonio’s three locations (Quarry Village, La Cantera, and Stone Oak), as well as locations throughout the country. Additionally, in honor of National Wine and Cheese Day, Grimaldi’s Pizzeria Rewards members will earn double points on any purchase on Sunday, July 25. For carryout service, members can place their orders online via the Grimaldi’s website, via the Grimaldi’s mobile app, or over the phone.
Summer camp isn’t just for kids anymore. Now it’s also for one of San Antonio’s most coveted culinary talents. As new leadership takes hold of the nationally acclaimed James Beard Foundation, certain chefs are being approached to join an exclusive group of culinary professionals taking part in a Chefs Boot Camp for Policy and Change. Among those chefs is the Alamo City’s own Steve McHugh of Cured at Pearl and Landrace at Thompson Hotel. In the program’s past years, hundreds of chef advocates have successfully lobbied for causes like the betterment of nutritious meals in schools and the reduction of food waste. As for our local boy, McHugh hopes to ensure his San Antonio community concentrates on equality and diversity among workers, as well as issues surrounding food equity. Says McHugh via a press release, “A chef not only has the responsibility of his restaurant and staff, but also to create a food system which is respectful to the enhancement of all persons in the industry, as well as the environment, in order to create a sustainable food space.”