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Photo courtesy of Eddie V's

Even with the most convincing of propaganda, the truth will out. Look at Norman Rockwell’s iconic 1943 painting “Freedom from Want.” Sure, the Thanksgiving scene seems idyllic as a family excitedly waits for the turkey to be carved. But zoom in on the family matriarch. No doubt cooking the feast left her completely worn out.

Nowadays, it doesn’t require hours in the kitchen to bring on smiles. Smart San Antonians can breeze through the holiday with no fuss by booking reservations at one of the local restaurants open on Thanksgiving Day. Now, if only Rockwell’s famous cook had had a smartphone.

Ambler Texas Kitchen
Downtown’s Hotel Contessa received culinary adrenaline last year thanks to chef Mike Collins’ finesse with Lone Star flavors. This year’s Thanksgiving prix fixe is no different, with classics like pan gravy reinvigorated with luxe ingredients like foie gras. Get in the festive spirit with a brown butter and sage Old Fashioned, then dive into salmon, ham, turkey, or prime rib. 5-10 pm. $85+.

Biga on the Banks
One of Alamo City’s fondest traditions is roaring back this year as chef Bruce Auden and his team prepare to wow locals with another New American Thanksgiving. Traditionalists are well-covered with prix fixe choices like ribeye or turkey, but guests can shake things up with red snapper, scallops, or grain-stuffed squash. Even pickier kids are covered with pasta and marinara. 5-10 pm. $75 for adults, $30 for kids 12 and under.

Dorrego’s
Should the Cowboys lose to the Giants on November 24, it will be easy to find comfort in this River Walk eatery’s hearty fare. The three courses include turkey with all the fixings or ever-popular prime rib. A slice of pie and a couple of blackberry brambles will inspire some cheer. 5-9 pm. $65.

Earl Abel’s
Yes, this San Antonio classic dazzles with savory Thanksgiving specials like a fried chicken basket or hickory smoked ham. Yes, the mashed potatoes and green bean casserole served alongside are a taste of home. However, nothing on the menu is as mouthwatering as the justly famous pies. Pick banana cream, pumpkin, apple, Texas pecan, cherry, or chocolate icebox. Better yet, waddle out after eating all six. 10 am-3 pm. $26.95 for plates, $3 per pie slice.

Eddie V’s
This upscale chain is known for its seafood, but guests shouldn’t sleep on the sides. Its all-day Thanksgiving special comes with plenty of them, from brioche sage stuffing to French green beans with sun-dried tomatoes. There’s also turkey, of course — made fancier when it’s slathered with pan gravy with a mirepoix brunoise. 11 am-8 pm. $47 for adults and $17 for kids.

Four Brothers Southern Provisions
A newcomer to the downtown scene, Four Brothers balances tradition with contemporary flavors. Get your gobble on with a three-course meal showcasing slow-roasted turkey breast with wild rice stuffing pilaf and goat cheese stuffing. A sweet ending is ensured with pumpkin cheesecake with a gingersnap tuille or pecan pie served à la mode. 11:30 am-10 pm. $65.

Landrace
Why wait until dinner for the Turkey Day feast? Lauded chef Steve McHugh is starting the day with an astounding Thanksgiving brunch. Choose your own adventure with breakfast staples like ricotta pancakes, made-to-order omelets, or cinnamon rolls, or carve some turkey to go with cajeta-glazed carrots. The Hang Up Your Spurs cocktail — a heady mix of rye, rum, and amaro — is de rigueur before a long afternoon nap. 7am-3 pm. $75+.

Ostra
There’s no need to save the pumpkin for dessert at the Mokara Hotel and Spa. Its in-house restaurant is going gaga for the gourd with a velouté bisque and tarts with Chantilly cream and pecan brittle. In between, diners can relish in a sweet tea-brined turkey served with garlic potatoes Robuchon (a swanky mashed potato for those who don’t keep up with French chefs). 5-10 pm. $65.

Supper
Reservations are going quickly at Hotel Emma’s signature eatery. No wonder! Chef Jorge Hernández is a wunderkind whose resumé includes a stint at José Andrés’ lauded Minibar. The Thanksgiving menu includes roasted turkey breast, buttery mashed potatoes, cranberry gelee, and more ($65). Additional sides include charred green beans with pecan macha; sweet potato gratin; Parker House rolls with honey butter and sea salt; and a selection of house made pies at $12 per slice. Hotel Emma is open from 7am-8pm.

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Where to see the once-in-recorded-history green comet approaching San Antonio

Seeing green

The world is buzzing with news of an approaching astronomical body, Comet C/2022 E3 (ZTF), more often referred to in the news and social media as "the green comet." Its most recent appearance was 50,000 years ago — compared to the about 200,000 years since modern humans emerged.

"While the pictures of it have been impressive, its visual appearance differs greatly," explains Joe Wheelock, public program specialist at the McDonald Observatory at the University of Texas at Austin. "Currently you might glimpse it with the unaided eye as a fuzzy patch of light[,] but you would need to be away from city lights. Binoculars or a telescope would improve the view, and you might even glimpse a faint tail."

As tempting as it is — and as much fodder as its made on social media — this experience will not be easy for most Texans to photograph and share. "The pictures that have been posted on various websites were taken by experienced astrophotographers and in most cases cameras designed for astrophotography," Wheelock warns.

Some logistics to note when planning a viewing:

  • The comet will be closest to Earth (thus, likely the most visible) on February 1.
  • Wheelan says placement will also be good in late January and early February, and it will be best viewed after midnight. Since the new moon was on January 21, every day the moon will compete with it a little more.
  • The McDonald Observatory posts daily stargazing tips, so viewers will have a few chances at seeing something special, even if the comment doesn't work out.
  • Getting out of San Antn is the best bet against light pollution.

Those who are willing to make a trip out of the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity should consider their best chances at out running the city lights. The closest popular option to San Antonio proper is McAllister Park, which sometimes hosts stargazing events. For a more structured approach, the Curtis Vaughan Jr. Observatory at the University of Texas at San Antonio hosts first Friday stargazing nights after sunset. The McDonald Observatory, although it is an entity of the University of Texas at Austin, is in Fort Davis, about 400 miles from San Antonio.

The International Dark-Sky Association (IDA) maintains records of some of the world's least light-polluted skies and works to protect them, ensuring that these places stay available for reliable stargazing retreats. There are four IDA-certified Dark Sky Parks in Texas: Enchanted Rock (90 miles from San Antonio), South Llano River (120 miles), Copper Breaks (370 miles), and Big Bend Ranch (490 miles).

In addition to the certified parks, there is a smaller group of Dark Sky Sanctuaries, which are especially dark and carefully protected. There are two in Texas: Devil's River State Natural Area (170 miles) and Black Gap Wildlife Management Area (390 miles).

For more in-depth reading on the comet's trajectory and context, Wheelan suggests an article in Sky & TelescopeSky & Telescope.

San Antonio suburb among the richest places in Texas for 2023, plus more top stories

Hot Headlines

Editor’s note: It’s that time again — time to check in with our top stories. Here are five articles that captured our collective attention over the past seven days.

1. San Antonio suburb cashes in among the richest places in Texas for 2023. Alamo Heights has been renamed the third richest place in Texas for 2023 in a recent study.

2. San Antonio home sales slowed in December 2022, report finds. San Antonio sold 36,477 homes all year, a 10 percent decrease from 2021.

3. Here are the top 5 things to do in San Antonio this weekend. Nina Simone, Pink Floyd, the Beatles and more music-centered events made our roundup of the best things to do in Alamo City this weekend.

4. San Antonio Home & Garden Show returns with HGTV star. Ati Williams will headline the San Antonio Spring Home & Garden Show, which takes place February 24-26.

5. H-E-B opens first location in growing San Antonio suburb. The state-of-the-art facility offers 110,000 square feet of floor space, providing everything from cat food to charcuterie.


Popular Pearl brunch spot remixes with new weekend DJ nights

OONCE OONCE OONCE

Though Full Goods Diner has barely been open for half a year, it has already become a San Antonio staple for working weekday lunches and lingering Sunday Fundays. Now the Pearl eatery is looking to be a hot spot after dark.

Via release, the popular local haunt just announced a new limited-time music series, Full Goods at Night. Starting on February 2, Full Goods Diner will open select evenings throughout the month.

The Full Goods at Night series will feature popular local San Antonio DJs, including El West Side Sound, Hector Gallego, DJ Plata, Steven Lee Moya, and Cami Gee. Guests can enjoy live sets while indulging in a specially curated food and drink offerings.

The menu will include some of Full Goods Diner's best—selling items, such as French toast sticks, barbacoa waffle fries, and jumbo cheesy tots. Libations like the Attaboy Negroni, Royal Bermuda Daiquiri, Pink G&T, and more will fuel the festivities.

In addition to enjoying moonlight brunch, guests can relish some prime people-watching. And, of course, the restaurant is just a hop from other nightlife destinations like Pink Hill, 3 Star Bar, and Summer Camp Bar, making it the perfect party starter.

The series runs every Thursday, Friday, and Saturday from February 2-25, 6-10 pm. The complete DJ schedule is listed below.

February 2 — El West Side Sound·
February 3 — Hector Gallego
February 4— DJ Plata
February 9 — El West Side Sound
February 10 — Steven Lee Moya
February 11 — Cami Gee
February 16 — El West Side Sound
February 17 — Steven Lee Moya
February 18 — Hector Gallego
February 23 — El West Side Sound
February 24— Steven Lee Moya
February 25 — DJ Plata