Quantcast

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

After two years of explosive growth, vegan chain Project Pollo is unexpectedly contracting. In an Instagram statement, the brand broke the news that it was shuttering its original trailer at Roadmap Brewing. The owners explained that they would make “drastic changes” in 2023 “to focus on efficiency and guest service.” Project Pollo also will be relocating a kiosk location in Austin, though have yet to announce a new landing spot. Meanwhile, the decidedly carnivorous Last Place Burgers will be rolling into Roadmap starting January 14.

University of Texas San Antonio favorite The Well has tapped out after almost seven years in business. In a Facebook post, the owners thanked the local community for its support without offering any reasoning behind the decision. Fortunately, the building will not remain vacant. A third location of Big’z Burger Joint is sliding in on January 13.

It’s out with flavored sodas and in with … flavored sodas as Utah chain Fiiz Drinks takes over the former Sonic Drive-In location at 3521 Broadway St. In December, signage appeared on the long-vacant Alamo Heights lot announcing the move. The company, however, has yet to make any official announcement. Once open, the eatery will serve various technicolor drinks and snacks like pretzels, nachos, and cookie dough bites.

Bust out that Fashion Nova haul. A new nightclub is moving into the former V Lounge space at 107 E. Martin St. downtown. Exact details about Rio Azùl are still forthcoming, but promotional materials promise the club will thump Latin pop and dance and offer a glitzy, Vegas-like experience.

Other news and notes

Two of Alamo City’s breweries have made the jump to full-service brewpubs. First, Freetail Brewing announced the previously teased kitchen at its 2000 S. Presa taproom was open. Now, Southtown revelers can enjoy pizza along with their pints.

East Side watering hole Black Laboratory Brewing soon followed suit with its own pizza kitchen opening on January 4. The project is a partnership with 2-1-Dough Pizza Co., using the adjoining space recently vacated by Truth Pizzeria in October. In addition to pies, the brewpub will be offering sandwiches, salads, and shareable appetizers.

Voodoo Doughnut Facebook

6 things to know in San Antonio food right now: Voodoo Doughnut makes Alamo City debut

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

A gaggle of locals braved chilly temps and long lines for the December 20 opening of hip Portland chain Voodoo Doughnut's first San Antonio location. Like the other locations, the new Alamo City outpost at 400 E. Houston St. now delivers sugar and caffeine to both morning crowds and late-night River Walk revelers.

Besamé, the latest project from the owners of popular nightlife spot El Camino, is now open at 511 E. Grayson St. Located at the former home of Alamo BBQ Co., the concept combines a full craft cocktail bar with food trucks such as Pete's Chicken Shack and 2M Smokehouse.

Salad and Go continues to make a dent in the fast-food market with a second location. A filing with the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation reveals plans for a diminutive shop at Potranco Road and Reid Ranch. The Arizona-based chain employs a unique drive-thru model to deliver classic salads like cobbs and Caesars on the quick. Construction is set to wrap up at the end of October 2023.

Boerne mainstay Mi Casa Tamales is taking a breather after 15 years in business. In a Facebook post, the team announced it would shutter on December 31 after fulfilling holiday orders. It's not all bad news, though. The restaurant is remodeling under the original ownership to streamline production. The rebranded eatery will open at a still-unannounced date.

Other news and notes

Turns out the Gray Lady is a fan of a San Antonio institution. In a December 9 article detailing the 25 best dishes of the year, New York Times writer Priya Krishna waxed rhapsodic about the Minion taco from Maria's Café. Though "smoky shreds of brisket and creamy-crunchy migas" ultimately won the reporter's heart, she noted that any filling is superb in the restaurant's "buttery flour tortillas."

La Panadería, already used to getting shine from the James Beard Foundation and Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives, has received an unexpected plaudit. Yelp gave it the top spot on its list of best hot chocolate stops in Texas. The bakery was joined by two other local faves in the top 5. I Love Churros and Tlahco Mexican Kitchen nabbed the No. 2 and No. 5 slots, respectively, with Coffee Crush and Laika Cheesecake & Espresso also making the list.

8 things to know in San Antonio food right now: Neighborhood bar wiggles back to Broadway

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 Pigpen Neighborhood Bar is wiggling its way out of a lengthy Covid closure. The Broadway mainstay took to Facebook on October 24 to announce it had ended its two-year hiatus. The family friendly destination has been on hold since June 2020, when Governor Greg Abbott closed Texas bars a second time in response to the pandemic. Although the post did not elaborate on the prolonged absence, it revealed that it would serve the same menu as before.

Southerleigh Fine Food & Brewery also reemerged on October 24 after a brief reset. The Pearl staple shuttered on August 22 to undergo a few improvements. Among them were a few new menu items like stuffed ruby red trout, fried calamari, and classic Southern barbecue shrimp.

A new Peruvian concept has pounced on the former location of Tutti’s: A Place for Foodies in Southtown. Leche de Tigre, at 318 E. Cevallos St., is keeping its opening date mum. Still, diners can water their mouths by perusing an online menu full of cebiches, traditional favorites like lomo saltado, and pisco-based cocktails.

Anticipated arcade bar Be Kind & Rewind is officially pressing play at 115 Alamo Plaza on October 28. Owner Alex Amaro has stripped the former Fuddruckers of its workaday vibes, replacing it with neon and blacklight. Opening weekend will take full advantage of the retro set with an ‘80s night on Friday, a ‘90s/ Y2K party on Saturday, and karaoke on Sunday. Expect at least one version of “I Want it That Way.”

East Side spot Truth Pizzeria has bid arrivederci to San Antonio, according to an October 13 social media post. The small restaurant opened in the heat of the pandemic in June 2020, serving a menu of Neapolitan pies. The message did not offer an explanation for the sudden closure.

In brighter East Side news, trailblazing food truck park the Boardwalk on Bulverde is set to reopen in 2023. The space opened in 2011 as San Antonio’s first food truck park, closing in 2016 so the owners could focus on their Cruising Kitchens business. In a social media post, the team shared that it brought the concept back to address a need for “more impactful community activities.”

The Hill Country will taste la belle vie on November 1 when Bakery Lorraine opens its sixth location in Boerne. Located at 134 Oak Park Dr., the shop will serve the same sandwiches, salads, and pastries as the other outposts. Following the unveiling, guests can get their macaron fix Monday through Thursday from 7 am-6 pm. and Friday through Sunday from 7 am-8 pm.

Ahead of its first anniversary, Bubby’s Jewish Soul Food is getting a facelift. Owners Jason and Charlie Nuttall-Fiske announced the temporary closure on October 25, explaining the move is intended to “amp up [the] Bubby’s experience.” An expanded menu, gussied-up interior, and other improvements will be unveiled at a birthday celebration on November 14.

7 things to know in San Antonio food right now: Anticipated Italian restaurant says ciao to North Side

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

The hotly anticipated second location of Nonna Osteria said ciao to Alamo City on September 27. Located underneath Silo Elevated at 434 North Loop in the Ventura Plaza shopping center, the much-loved Italian restaurant offers indoor and al fresco seating Tuesdays through Saturdays. Though it does not have an identical menu to the Fairmount Hotel original, many dishes reappear — including a version of the decadent tartufo served in a cheese wheel.

Bakudan Ramen is hoping to bowl San Antonio over with a new location in Stone Oak. A second outpost of the Japanese favorite debuted October 11 at 22506 US-281 North #106. The fledgling chain isn’t entirely done laying its San Antonio footprint. A third outpost is underway at the Bandera-Loop 1604 interchange with an unannounced opening date.

Acclaimed Seguin eatery Davila’s BBQ is now playing ball with the AT&T Center. In a video Instagram post, the Texas Monthly-approved barbecue joint announced it will serve its smoked meats during the 2022-2023 season. In honor of the move, owner Adrian Davila will introduce a few Spurs items to the menu honoring icons like Tim Duncan and Manu Ginóbili.

The former home of goth hot spot Wax Club Lounge appears to be undergoing a resurrection. A new concept called REDBAR has applied for a late-hours certificate with the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission at 2211 San Pedro. There’s no word yet on what the bar will be — no web or social presence appears to have been established.

Other news and notes

The Southtown location of Freetail Brewing Co. will soon be offering wood-fired pizzas. The craft brewery took to social media to announce that it was now hiring kitchen staff to add to its team. Previously, the pies were only available at the 4035 N. Loop 1604 brewpub.

The San Antonio Grilled Cheese Fest will bring some ooey-gooey fun to The Espee on November 19. The third annual festival pits local restaurants in a battle for a $500 prize. Tickets are $38-$58, with the VIP pass including early entry.

Local food activist Jamie Gonzalez — aka Puta de la Fruta — has been named the sole Texas candidate for the American Heart Association’s 2022 EmPOWERED to Serve Business Accelerator and its big $50,000 prize. The annual program provides training and grants to organizations and individuals impacting community health. Locals can vote for the hometown hero here.

Ad Placement 300x100
Ad Placement 300x600

CultureMap Emails are Awesome

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

4 San Antonio culinary pioneers win $21K from the Texas Food & Wine Alliance

CULINARY INNOVATION

Texas’ skyrocketing culinary scene is about to get a huge boost. The Texas Food & Wine Alliance’s grant program has awarded $107,500 to 19 culinary innovators around the state. This marks the Alliance’s 11th year providing funding to support culinary projects contributing to local communities.

The award winners were announced in a ceremony at Austin's Holdsworth Center on January 21. A private panel of distinguished culinary experts chose the winners out of 40 grant applications this year. Nine winners hail from Austin, three from Dallas-Fort Worth, three from Houston, and four from San Antonio. The awards range from $1,500 to $10,000, with a special $25,000 grant investment from Austin favorite Tito’s Handmade Vodka in honor of the company’s 25th anniversary. Grant funding will support chefs, farms, and culinary education groups, among others.

Out of the four San Antonio area winners, Talking Tree Farm received the most from the grant program, $6,250 to purchase shipping containers for storage and to buy a solar-powered cold room for their harvests. John Marshall High School’s culinary arts program will use their $5,000 grant to establish a morning café. Agricultural project Habitable Spaces and pasture-raised chicken farm Cielito Lindo Farm also won $5,000 each to purchase equipment or build infrastructure to further their endeavors in the culinary space.

Austin-area winners received the most funding from the grant program, totalling $53,750, while San Antonio winners received $21,250 in total. Dallas/Fort Worth winners were awarded $19,750, and the three Houston recipients won $12,750. All of the 2022 winners reflect just how diverse the state's trailblazing culinary scene continues to expand.

“All of this year’s funded projects will further enrich the state through innovation and giveback,” said Erika White, executive director of the Alliance. “We’re extremely grateful to each of the Texas communities, our sponsors and their support in allowing us to reward these mold-breaking projects.”

In Austin, organic farm Trosi Farms was awarded the most funding ($10,000), which will help construct a germination shed for more stable plant start production. Locavore pioneer Boggy Creek Farm won $7,500 in grants to provide ADA-compliant accessibility to their new climate-controlled Tomato House, while Texas’ first organic feed mill, Coyote Creek Organic Feed Mill & Farm, received $6,250 to help purchase a building to be used as a store for the local community.

The six other Austin area grant recipients, each winning $5,000, include Vista Farms at Vista Brewing, Jamaican family business Tierra Todun ATX, coffee roasters Rising Tide Roast Collaborative, culinary educator Chef Pascal Simon from Bake Austin, East Austin food truck Community Vegan, and Latinx pastry project Comadre Panaderia (who also just earned a James Beard nomination). All winners will be able to use their grants to improve efficiency and expand their businesses, or in Chef Pascal's case, further research and development for her upcoming cookbook for Gen-Z young adults.

After starting the program in Austin, grant co-chair and TFWA past president Cathy Cochran-Lewis says it was the Alliance’s dream to expand the grant statewide.

“We’re so humbled and thrilled to now not only support worthwhile projects across Texas but also to give more than a half million dollars in funding over the last decade to help dreams come true,” she says. “This is a tribute to the culinary talent and the community mindset we are lucky to have in our state.”

The winners in the Dallas-Fort Worth and Houston areas include:

For this year's Honorable Mention, the Alliance chose San Antonio eatery Tacos Cucuy, who will soon open a brick-and-mortar space with an expanded menu. Tacos Cucuy are currently looking for support to develop a Tex-Mex charcuterie program called La Cura Carnes Especiales.

More information about the 2022 grants and its recipients can be found on texasfoodandwinealliance.org.