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.
After installing tons of wood paneling, locals Phil and Gina Bentley have transformed the former home of Picante Grill at 3810 Broadway into an intimate Emerald Isle hideaway. The Cottage Irish Pub debuted on September 23 after months of construction. Although the space is traditional, the kitchen serves a few unconventional dishes. Expect to see Ruben eggrolls, veggie paninis, and fish tacos alongside more standard fare like fish ‘n’ chips and beef stew. On tap are favorites like Guinness and Harp, and the well features an enviable selection of whisky.
Celebrity chef Johnny Hernandez celebrated the long-awaited opening of the fifth La Gloria location on September 27. The fifth location for the Interior Mexican chain, the Brooks outpost will be only open for dinner as it irons out the kinks. According to an Instagram post from Hernandez, lunch service will begin in approximately two weeks.
Recovery-minded eatery Comfort Café is now serving downtown via a food truck in the Heidgen House courtyard at 121 Starr St. Introducing itself with a soft opening on September 27, the trailer dishes up familiar fare like pancakes, chicken and waffles, and grilled cheese sandwiches. As with the other locations, the truck follows a pay-what-you-can model and benefits sobriety nonprofit Serenity Star.
More mobile munchies can be found on the South Side, where food truck park Rancho 181 celebrated its grand opening on September 17. Though the family-friendly space has not announced any permanent food vendors, it is already hosting live music performances and other community events.
Other news and notes
Prolific local bar owner Jeret Peña is taking on Alamo heights mainstay Broadway 5050 as his next venture. In a partnership with owner PJ Gottsacker, Peña will be revitalizing the food and beverage menus to breathe new life into the concept — a San Antonio institution since 1935.
Joel Rivas, head of the Saint City Culinary Foundation, has been named one of Bon Appetit’s "Heads of the Table" for 2022. The annual listings, which honor personalities that make the food scene more inclusive and uplifting, zeroes in on Rivas’ work with Heard, a mental health nonprofit targeting the service industry.