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
Cluck, yeah! Zaxby’s, one of the nation’s most popular fast-food chains for wings, sandwiches, and juicy chicken tenders, is finally flocking to San Antonio. Known for its chicken-based menu and “Zalads” and “Zappetizers,” Zaxby’s has also grown a cult-like following of chicken fanatics, in part, for its signature sauces, including “Wimpy,” “Tongue Torch,” and “Nuclear” varieties (though we’re still partial to the OG Zax Sauce). The first Alamo City Zaxby’s location will open at Alamo Ranch Parkway on the Far West Side, but no exact address has been confirmed yet. A spokesperson for the new location’s overarching restaurant group (appropriately named Texas Chicken LLC) told the San Antonio Express-News that local poultry fans can expect the new location to open sometime between October and December.
Happy trails! With the shuttering of its only operational San Antonio location, American-fare icon Shoney’s has now bowed out of the Lone Star State entirely. The multi-state chain debuted as a drive-in eatery back in 1947 in Charleston, West Virginia, and since expanded its reach to 17 states, though as of Wednesday, August 4, that number has been reduced to 16 with the closing of Texas’ last Shoney’s eatery, located at 8206 I-35 North near Walzem Road. Shoney’s is known for serving its assortment of entrées, seafood, sides, salads, fresh fruits, vegetables, soups, and of course, the “legendary breakfast bar.”
Other news and notes
Saturday, August 14, San Antonio’s first self-serve taproom, The Dooryard, will host its first ever Dooryard Door Jam Tiki Slam. Attendees can grab their self-serve Dooryard beer card at the bar and enjoy a variety of tiki-inspired craft beers, including Martin House Brewing Company’s Pina Colada cream ale and Blue Owl Brewery’s Tiki Hop Totem and Tropical Brut ales. Texas brewery reps will also be on hand to celebrate the event, including those from Deep Ellum Brewery and Bexar Tonics, who will team up for a special collaboration from 4-6 pm featuring a cocktail made with Deep Ellum’s Blind Lemon and Bexar Tonics’ Texas Wildflower Mixer. For eats, chef Phil Carden will cook up a whole-hog pig roast on the patio, with guests able to enjoy a succulent porcine barbecue plate starting at 6 pm. The event runs from 1-10 pm and will feature live entertainment throughout the day, including a performance from the King Pelican Band at 7 pm.
Looking for a way to donate back to the community while enjoying some damn good local craft beer? Well, you’re in luck! Silver Eagle Beverages, one of the nation’s largest Anheuser-Busch distributors, recently announced a charitable partnership with Alamo City’s own Freetail Brewing Co. The collaboration will benefit San Antonio’s culinary/tourism-focused nonprofit Culinaria, which during the height of the pandemic in 2020, launched an emergency relief fund to assist those in need in the local hospitality community. Now through September 30, Freetail Brewing and Silver Eagle Beverages will donate $1 to Culinaria for every case or keg of San Antonio Pale Ale purchased. While no doubt generous, the new partnership is not the first time the Freetail team has paid it forward to the community. Since the brewery’s founding in 2008, its charitable focus on the local community has extended from trash pickup and recycling efforts to donating to the San Antonio Zoological Society. Get more information about Freetail Brewing, including its new partnership with Silver Eagle Beverages here.
“Chancho, when you are a man, sometimes you wear stretchy pants in your room. It’s for fun.” The San Antonio Botanical Garden’s latest installment in its ongoing celebration of food and film, Foodie Cinema, will pay tribute to one of the all-time greats Friday, August 6. Alongside a showing of the Jack Black luchador extravaganza flick, Nacho Libre, guests will be able to enjoy iconic bites from the movie created by chef instructor Katrina Flores, including the “Lord’s Chips” with fresh ceviche, Mexican street corn, warm chorizo salad, chicken enchiladas in red-brick mole, and strawberry tres leches cake. Wash it all down with fresh, boozy palomas! If you can’t make Friday’s festivities, enjoy some adult-beverage-themed good times with the garden’s DIY: Margaritas & Guacamole event, which will guide participants through the history of margaritas and guacamole while allowing them to craft their own delicious creations using fresh ingredients. The Garden’s Foodie Cinema: Nacho Libre takes place 6:30-9 pm, Friday, August 6. The DIY: Margaritas & Guacamole event happens from 11am-noon and 12:30-1:30 pm on Saturday, August 14. Learn more about these events and book tickets at the Botanical Gardens’ website.