News you can eat
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
The Jerk Shack recently shocked San Antonians with an Instagram post announcing that September 17 was the last day of service at its Northwest Side location. Since 2018, the tiny Jamaican restaurant has received heaps of praise, including winning the CultureMap Tastemakers Award for Best New Restaurant in 2019 and nabbing Chef of the Year honors for Nicola Blaque in 2021. Luckily, locals will not have to suffer long without the eatery’s wings and mac ’n’ cheese. A second post clarified that the original joint will be replaced by a new build near Alamo Ranch sometime in 2021. A Hemisfair location will follow in 2022.
Speaking of ch-ch-changes, artisan grocer Wong’s Bodega is also on the move. Via a September 20 Instagram note, owner Raul Martinez-Salinas III notified followers that September 30 was the last day of business for the Southtown shop. Martinez-Salinas said, “We are in the process of moving and restructuring the business in order to serve you better,” but did not include any further details.
Mobile coffee shop Olla Express is setting Alamo City abuzz with a new brick-and-mortar spot at 2015 NE. Loop 410 in Los Patios. Currently in its soft opening phase, the new Northeast Side outpost serves its famous spiced café de ollas in a jewel-box space awash with hot pink. According to a restaurant rep, the project will officially debut on October 1 with a pop-up from Japanese bakery Kijimuna.
BB’s Tex-Orleans opened its first San Antonio location 5423 W. Loop 1604 N. September 20. The popular chain, known for Louisianian fare like po’boys, seafood boils, and gumbo, is expanding past its home base in Houston for the first time. According to a release, locations in Kingwood and Tomball will arrive by the end of 2021.
Watch out Starbucks. Oregon coffee chain Dutch Bros Coffee is staking its claim in San Antonio with a new location at 8614 Potranco Rd. The first local shop features a menu of caffeinated classics, blended drinks, smoothies, teas, and a few pastries. According to a company rep, two more Dutch Bros are brewing in Universal City and Castle Hills, although the exact time frame is still unknown. The grand opening for the West Side outpost is set for September 29.
Other news and notes
The only thing worse than seasonal allergies is a lawn-care scheduling app getting into the culinary rankings game. Still, that didn’t stop LawnStarter from recently naming San Antonio as the fourth-best taco city in Texas. In deciding the list order, the company’s number crunchers factored in Google searches, access to taquerias, National Taco Championships awards, high consumer ratings, and the number of taco festivals. Scoring the top three spots were Dallas, Round Rock, and — ahem — Austin.