Quantcast
Photo courtesy of Central Market

To celebrate Black History Month, Central Market is hosting a series of virtual cooking school classes featuring the stories and recipes of notable Black chefs and makers. The specialty grocer will also highlight the products and services of several Black-owned brands throughout the month.

Here's who you'll be learning from, and what signature dishes they'll be preparing for you live:

Chef Pierre Thiam is a celebrated chef, restaurateur, author, entrepreneur, and environmental activist known for his innovative cooking style rooted in the rich culinary traditions of West Africa.

His critically acclaimed New York restaurant Teranga introduces healthy fast-casual fare sourced directly from farmers in West Africa. He'll be making salmon and cassava croquettes with a tamarind glaze, grilled chicken yassa with onion and lime confit over fonio, and chocolate fonio pudding with honey roasted mango.

Marcus Samuelsson is the acclaimed chef behind many restaurants worldwide, including Red Rooster Harlem, Marcus Montreal, Marcus B&P, Red Rooster Overtown, and Marcus Fish + Chop House in the Bahamas.

Samuelsson was the youngest person to ever receive a three-star review from The New York Times and has won multiple James Beard Foundation Awards. He's also the head judge of the new show Top Chef Family Style. You'll learn to make blackened catfish with aioli and lime, coconut fried chicken, and roasted carrots with orange and fresh cheese.

Classically trained in French, Mediterranean, West Indian, and East African cuisine, chef Chris Williams has made a name for himself serving up refined Southern food with international infusions at Lucille's, his nationally acclaimed restaurant.

Cook along with the chef to make smoky citrus salmon on the half shell, coconut rice, and collard green salad.

Winemakers André Mack, Mahalia Kotjane, and Donae Burston join Central Market's wine expert for a guided tasting of four delicious wines, featuring grapes from Willamette Valley, Provence, and the High Plains of Texas.

You'll come to understand what a difference terroir can make and learn tips on pairing these wines with a variety of foods.

Central Market was founded on the unwavering belief that each and every person counts. Through its Be The Change initiative, they pledge to do their part to advance equity and inclusion across Texas.

Be The Change builds upon Central Market's established diversity and inclusion framework, driving the company to be a better employer, retailer, and community partner.

Learn from some of the best this month.

Photo courtesy of Central Market
Learn from some of the best this month.
Photo courtesy of Pioneer

The ultimate comfy giveaway + 3 holiday recipes to make your holiday bright

Turning Meals Into Memories

Have you been eyeing the popular Our Place Always Pan or super-soft Barefoot Dreams CozyChic Throw for this year's holiday list? Any chance you could use a tasty new recipe for get-togethers with family and friends? Pioneer has you covered on all fronts.

The contest
For 170 years, Pioneer has spread comfort during the holiday season. From sharing a basket of warm biscuits for breakfast to passing the gravy around the dinner table to the people you love, Pioneer specializes in turning meals into memories. This year, to celebrate the big milestone, Pioneer is introducing the Ultimate Holiday Comfort Kit Giveaway.

Valued at around $300, the kit includes the aforementioned Barefoot Dreams throw and Always Pan plus a Pioneer Prize Pack that includes Pioneer products and branded swag.

Here's how to enter: From now until December 16, follow both @culturemapsa and @pioneer_1851, like this post on CultureMap San Antonio's Instagram, and tag a friend in the post's comments. It's as easy as 1, 2, 3.

The recipes
Since Pioneer is the nationwide leader in gravy, what better dish to bring to the table than one that utilizes Pioneer’s Country Gravy Mix and Country Sausage Gravy Mix?

Here are three mouth-watering recipes from the iconic Texas brand:

Turkey Casserole
Topped with Pioneer biscuits and made even more savory with bacon, it's the perfect way to use up leftover turkey.

Broccoli Cheese Soup
A wonderfully simple staple for chilly days and festive nights.

Skillet Breakfast Casserole
No-fuss but full of flavor, this easy breakfast can feed a crowd without taking too much time in the kitchen.

Click here to find Pioneer products near you, and be sure to sign up for Pioneer's weekly newsletter for the latest news, recipes, and seasonal tips.

San Antonio seeks local chefs to serve as international culinary ambassadors

WE’RE MORE THAN JUST TACOS

Calling all chefs! The City of San Antonio wants you to cook up some love for the Alamo City as part of an international program highlighting the area’s culinary successes.

The City of San Antonio World Heritage Office has opened the application process for local chefs interested in acting as ambassadors representing San Antonio as a UNESCO Creative City of Gastronomy in a variety of local, national, and international events — including food festivals and media appearances — in the next two years.

Online applications are open now for practicing local chefs (no academic culinary training required), and close Friday, June 11 at 4 pm.

A selection committee will choose as many as 12 San Antonio chefs from the entries. They will then be considered for various opportunities within the UNESCO Creative Cities network. The selected chefs will embody the unique heritage and culture of San Antonio, according to the World Heritage Office, and will be encouraged to share local culinary traditions, cooking techniques, and authentic San Antonio recipes.

“San Antonio is a beautifully unique and diverse city that is the result of a confluence of cultures over the past several hundred years,” says Colleen Swain, director of the World Heritage Office. “We still see many of those influences today, especially in our city’s gastronomy, and we want to see that reflected in the chefs who are selected to represent San Antonio as a UNESCO Creative City of Gastronomy. Chefs of all backgrounds and experiences with expertise in diverse cuisines and culinary practices are encouraged to apply.”

San Antonio’s reputation as a culinary destination continues to grow, a reputation furthered by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization designating San Antonio as a Creative City of Gastronomy in 2017, in part for its impressive confluence of cultures and cuisine. And the COVID-19 pandemic notwithstanding, the industry is continuing to mushroom locally. According to recent economic reports focused on the San Antonio culinary field, one in eight workers in San Antonio’s metro area — 123,679 people as of 2018 — work in the $30.5 billion local culinary industry, which is likely to experience a boon as the pandemic wanes.

Previous local chefs that have repped the city as official chef ambassadors include margarita maven Blanca Aldaco of Aldaco’s Mexican Cuisine, Hinnerk von Bargen from the Culinary Institute of America (previously referred to by CultureMap as a “noodle wizard”), and Esaul Ramos of 2M Smokehouse (CultureMap Tastemaker 2020 Chef of the Year).

“To be a San Antonian, born and raised in this city, and then travel to the other side of the earth to represent the city I am from was the coolest experience that has ever happened in my life,” says Ramos, who represented San Antonio at the 2019 Jeonju Bibimbap Festival in South Korea. “I love the fact that our city is now getting the notoriety that it deserves, and I love that people are seeing that San Antonio is more than just tacos.”

Photo courtesy of Pioneer

3 must-try brunch recipes to wow Mom this Mother's Day

Bunch of Brunch

It can be hard to find the perfect gift for the Mom in your life, so this year why not keep it simple and stick with a classic? Homemade brunch. Serve it in bed, al fresco, or with her finest china — any way you spin it, she's sure to love it.

If your mom loves to cook, Pioneer has a chance for her to win big. From now until May 5, you can enter to win a Le Creuset 6.5-liter Dutch oven packed full of Pioneer favorites, valued at $300. To enter, complete these three steps: Like this post on CultureMap San Antonio's Instagram, follow @pioneer_1851, and tag a friend in the post's comments.

But back to brunch: If figuring out what to make and which recipe to use feels a little intimidating, take heart. Pioneer helps make at-home cooking a cinch, and because the Texas brand has been around since 1851 (it's celebrating it's 170th anniversary this year) you can feel confident in the tried-and-true ingredients.

Pioneer carries a wide range of products you want in the kitchen, including pancake and waffle mixes, seasoning blends, flour and cornmeal, gravy mixes, and gluten-free options. It's all available at H-E-B, Walmart, and select stores nationwide. Check here to see if your favorite grocer carries Pioneer.

Start planning for May 9, and take a look at these three favorite recipes, straight from the Pioneer kitchen. Make one, or make them all to wow her with a serious spread this Mother's Day.

---

Sausage Biscuits and Southern Gravy
Servings: 6-8
Time: 16 minutes

Ingredients
3 cups Pioneer Buttermilk Biscuit and Baking Mix
1 cup Milk
1/2 pound breakfast sausage
1 package Pioneer Country Gravy Mix

Instructions
-Preheat oven to 450°F.
-Prepare biscuits according to Pioneer Buttermilk Biscuit and Baking Mix packaging.
-In a skillet over medium-high heat, crumble sausage and cook until golden brown. Set aside.
-Prepare Pioneer Country Gravy Mix to package instructions.
-Using a slotted spoon, add crumbled sausage to the prepared gravy.
-Split open fresh-baked biscuits and spoon warm gravy on top.

Use two pouches of Pioneer Country Gravy mix if cooking one pound of breakfast sausage.

Photo courtesy of Pioneer
It can be hard to find the perfect gift for the Mom in your life, so this year why not keep it simple and stick with a classic? Homemade brunch. Serve it in bed, al fresco, or with her finest china — any way you spin it, she's sure to love it. If your mom loves to cook, Pioneer [http://pioneerbrand.com] has a chance for her to win big. From now until May 5, you can enter to win a Le Creuset 6.5-liter Dutch oven packed full of Pioneer favorites, valued at $300. To enter, complete these three steps: Like this post [https://www.instagram.com/p/COLDtbArX_y/] on CultureMap San Antonio's Instagram, follow @pioneer_1851 [https://www.instagram.com/pioneer_1851/], and tag a friend in the post's comments. But back to brunch: If figuring out what to make and which recipe to use feels a little intimidating, take heart. Pioneer helps make at-home cooking a cinch, and because the Texas brand has been around since 1851 (it's celebrating it's 170th anniversary this year) you can feel confident in the tried-and-true ingredients. Pioneer carries a wide range of products you want in the kitchen, including pancake and waffle mixes, seasoning blends, flour and cornmeal, gravy mixes, and gluten-free options. It's all available at H-E-B, Walmart, and select stores nationwide. Check here [https://pioneerbrand.com/where-to-buy/] to see if your favorite grocer carries Pioneer. Take a look at these three favorite recipes, straight from the Pioneer kitchen. Make one, or make them all to wow her with a serious spread this Mother's Day. --- Sausage Biscuits and Southern Gravy [https://pioneerbrand.com/2019/08/26/southern-biscuits-sausage-gravy/] Servings: 6-8 Time: 16 minutes Ingredients 3 cups Pioneer Buttermilk Biscuit and Baking Mix [https://pioneerbrand.com/portfolio-posts/pioneer-buttermilk-biscuit-baking-mix-40-oz/] 1 cup Milk 1/2 pound breakfast sausage 1 package Pioneer Country Gravy Mix [https://pioneerbrand.com/portfolio-posts/country-sausage-gravy-mix-2-75-oz/] Instructions -Preheat oven to 450°F. -Prepare biscuits according to Pioneer Buttermilk Biscuit and Baking Mix packaging. -In a skillet over medium-high heat, crumble sausage and cook until golden brown. Set aside. -Prepare Pioneer Country Gravy Mix to package instructions. -Using a slotted spoon, add crumbled sausage to the prepared gravy. -Split open fresh-baked biscuits and spoon warm gravy on top. Use two pouches of Pioneer Country Gravy mix if cooking one pound of breakfast sausage.
Courtesy photo

Totally Texan farm-to-table meal delivery service sprouts up in San Antonio

Farm to Kitchen table

When Texas-based Farmhouse Delivery launched in 2009, the idea was to hit the meal service delivery sweet spot between those people who want food delivery services because they don’t have time for grocery shopping or meal prep, and those who want to support local growers and producers. Farmhouse Delivery billed itself as bringing the farmers market directly to customers’ doorsteps, with 100 percent of its products coming from Texas farms and producers.

Now the service is going one better, offering a new Quick Dinner option, providing San Antonio customers with different meal options each week — all of which can be ordered within 48 hours, and don’t require a weekly subscription service.

Like other meal kit delivery services — think Blue Apron or Plated or Home Chef — Farmhouse’s meal kits tout dinners that can be prepared in less than 30 minutes. The kits arrive with prepared sauces and spice blends, which mean minimal cooking and preparation time for busy diners.

An off-shoot of that service, Quick Dinners keeps the organic and Texas-sourced ingredients customers have come to enjoy, and combined it with a farm-to-table restaurant style menu. With its new Quick Dinner option, as well as its existing concepts, Farmhouse Delivery is betting the service will appeal both to San Antonians' desires for convenience as well as their passion for supporting local businesses.

Options for the Quick Dinners change seasonally, and include selections such as one-pan crispy chicken thighs with blistered tomato and garlic; fennel and orange spiced pork chops with onion jam; and Thai red curry with Gulf shrimp and zucchini. Each is priced at less than $25 and will serve between two and four people.

Diners can expect menu dishes such as their One-Pan Crispy Chicken Thighs with Blistered Tomato and Garlic, Fennel and Orange Spiced Pork Chops with Onion Jam, and Thai Red Curry with Gulf Shrimp and Zucchini.

In addition to those services, Farmhouse also offers services for groceries and produce boxes. With the grocery option, customers can select the items they want to stock their kitchens and have them delivered straight to their homes. (There is a minimum $50 order requirement).

Those who don’t necessarily need the step-by-step instructions and already-prepped portions of a meal kit can opt for a weekly or bi-weekly delivery of a produce box, which is custom-tailored to their needs and likes.

Farmhouse Delivery's tomato chicken.

Courtesy photo
Farmhouse Delivery's tomato chicken.
Courtesy photo

Barbara Bush's famous chocolate chip cookie recipe shared by Houston hotel

remembering barbara bush

Heartfelt tributes to former first lady Barbara Bush, who passed away on April 17 in Houston, have been pouring in from around the world. Global fans have flooded social media and have been wearing blue (her favorite color) and donning pearls (her signature accessory) in her honor.

At the iconic Houstonian Hotel, a place the Bushes called home, a particularly sweet tribute is being shared with visitors: Barbara Bush’s “famous” chocolate chip cookies.

“We’ve been baking and giving away thousands of Mrs. Bush’s cookies since her passing,” says Catherine Rodriguez, head pastry chef at the Houstonian. The cookie recipe was a favorite of the former first lady, who, according to her press secretary, got the recipe from a dear friend. Bush once submitted it to Family Circle magazine’s “presidential bake-off,” a competition in which the wives of presidential candidates pit their recipes. The Houstonian staff discovered the recipe and approached Bush at the hotel.

“She was having lunch here at our restaurant, Olivette,” recalls Rodriguez. “We asked her if we could use it at the hotel. She said she would be honored and she was flattered that we even asked.”

The cookies have since become a staple at the hotel, as annual holiday giveaway treats to visiting children, dignitaries, and hotel clients. The label reads: “These cookies are made with gracious permission from Mrs. Bush.”

The Bushes lived in The Houstonian’s Manor House while George H.W. Bush served as director of the Central Intelligence Agency and vice president of the United States. Mr. and Mrs. Bush then relocated to the hotel when the house was renovated and reintroduced in 1986 as a private dining restaurant for the members of The Houstonian Club. In 1990, President Bush hosted world leaders in Houston for the G-7 Economic Summit.

Rodriguez says the couple soon became “family” to the Houstonian staff. “This was a special place for them; they would come in all the time," she says. "I found them to be so down-to-earth. They knew every server by name. I’ve been thinking a lot about her this week, and what great role models she and her husband were. They were humble, really wonderful people.”

As for the famous recipe, Rodriguez, an 11-year veteran of The Houstonian, says the secret is in the oats and the luxe Valrhona chocolate chips — the “best chocolate chips available,” she adds. Rodriguez says the cookies pair perfectly with morning coffee or with ice cream on a hot day, and, in keeping with the former first lady’s generous spirit, they’re perfect for sharing or gifting.

“They’re great because they have a distinct taste, with the oats and specialty chocolate chips,” she says. “But they’re not a soft, fluffy, cookie. They’re sweet and firm.”

Sweet and firm, not unlike the former first lady.

Barbara Bush’s famous chocolate chip cookie recipe

Ingredients

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 cups quick-cooking oats (not instant)
  • 1 (12 ounces) bag semisweet chocolate chips, preferably Valrhona

Directions

  • Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Sift together flour, baking soda, and salt onto waxed paper. Set aside.
  • Beat together butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar, eggs, and vanilla in a large bowl until fluffy. Stir in flour mixture until well blended. Stir in oats and chocolate chips.
  • Drop batter by rounded tablespoonfuls, 2 inches apart, onto ungreased cookie sheets.
    Bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes or until lightly browned. Transfer cookies to wire rack to cool.
Ad Placement 300x100
Ad Placement 300x600

CultureMap Emails are Awesome

6 San Antonio exhibits to warm your heart and soul this February

State of the Arts

All you need is art this month in Alamo City with fresh and fearless exhibits: Some will tickle your fancy; others, your psyche. Explore JooYoung Choi’s imaginary world at The Contemporary, or immerse yourself in the history of the Mexican-American War of 1848 with representations from various artists at the Centro Cultural Aztlan. Guy Blair brings San Antonio’s unhoused population into careful focus with painted portraits at the Semmes Gallery, while the San Antonio Museum of Art transports viewers into “Roman Landscapes” providing birds-eye perspectives and fantastical views. There's something for everyone this February.

Centro Cultural Aztlan

“Segundo de Febrero: Chicana/Chicano Reunion” — Now through February 24
February 2 marks the 175th anniversary of the signing of the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo. The landmark treaty ended the Mexican-American War, redistributed the border, and created a new bicultural population. In this exhibition, a group of celebrated artists will explore the impact of broken treaties, new borders, and their effects on Latino, Chicano, and indigenous history and culture.

The Contemporary at Blue Star

“JooYoung Choi: Songs of Resilience from the Tapestry of Faith” — February 3 through May 7
Through painting, video, sculpture, animation, music ,and installation art, multidisciplinary world-builder JooYoung Choi documents the interconnecting narratives of a highly structured, expansive, fictional land she calls the "Cosmic Womb." Her work explores issues of identity, belonging, trauma, and resilience through the sci-fi/fantasy genre. This exhibition introduces the Cosmic Womb multiverse and highlights some of its key characters and narratives. In creating a world that explores loss, healing, and growth based upon a connective web of belief and faith in oneself, Choi expresses human resiliency and the strength that can be found through the power of storytelling.

Centro de Artes

“Soy de Tejas: A Statewide Survey of Latinx Art” — February 9 through July 2
Soy de Tejas presents the works of 40 native Texan and Texas-based contemporary artists who reflect the diverse and beautiful complexity of Latinx identities. The more than 100 artworks forge new connections and explore intersections from a nexus of artists who ambitiously blaze a trail of contemporary artmaking, presenting fresh Latinx perspectives and experiences while amplifying the voices of a segment of Texas' most inspiring established and emerging artists. “The exhibit explores themes ranging from race, class, and gender to migration, mythmaking, displacement, and indigeneity," says curator Rigoberto Luna on the gallery's website. "In contrast, many works center on celebrating joyful customs, culture, and traditions that unite and sustain our communities in the face of a multitude of challenges."

Semmes Gallery - University of the Incarnate Word

“Homeless in San Antonio” — February 17 through March 17
Guy Blair is largely self-taught as an artist in the medium of pastels and watercolor. He always wanted “to do” art but was devoted to his ministry as a priest. For the past 40 years as a Catholic priest, he has ministered to both the deaf and homeless communities. In the past eight years, he has seriously paid attention to his desire to paint. This exhibit is a blending of his service to the homeless as well as his interest in art. “As we walk by homeless people on the streets of San Antonio, most people tend to look through them or judge them as perhaps deserving of the situation they are in,” Blair said in an artist statement. “This attitude allows people to build an emotional barrier, giving them permission not to connect with the homeless as destitute people whose suffering and tears are as real as our own.”

The Carver Cultural Community Center

“Alain Gakwaya"— February 23 through April 14
Alain Gakwaya hails from Rwanda and is a self-described, “activist, artist, and adventurer.” His love for art began in the 3rd grade, when his teacher requested that he draw for his entire class. Specializing in portraiture, Gakwaya paints to tell his story and the stories of his homeland. Though he's now based in San Antonio, he draws inspiration from everyday life in Africa and specifically his home country of Rwanda.

San Antonio Museum of Art

Courtesy of the Carver Cultural Community Center

Alain-Gakwaya's work is coming to the Carver Cultural Community Center this month.

“Roman Landscapes: Visions of Nature and Myth from Rome and Pompeii” — February 24 through May 21
The exhibition features 65 wall paintings, sculptures, mosaics, and cameo glass and silver vessels created in Roman Italy between 100 BC and AD 250. “Roman Landscapes” introduces visitors to the cultural and archaeological contexts of Roman landscapes, beginning with mural paintings and relief sculptures that depict coastal villas and rustic shrines. These works display the imaginary aspects of Roman images of the natural world, connecting the genre’s appearance to the political and social upheaval of the late Republic and early Empire. Fantastical views of Egypt and Greece reflect ancient fascination with these celebrated lands incorporated into the Roman Empire. Mythological paintings then reveal landscape scenes as settings for hazardous encounters between humans and the gods.

10 spots to rustle up a meal during the San Antonio Stock Show and Rodeo

Stock Up

And we’re off. San Antonians have barely had the chance to catch up on post-holiday emails before filling up the calendar again with annual traditions. The first, of course, is the San Antonio Stock Show and Rodeo, the nearly month-long celebration of mutton bustin’, live music, and fried food.

The latter holds a particular fascination — and it’s sacrilege to suggest that rodeo revelers shouldn’t sample a rattlesnake corndog, bacon bomber, or a deep-fried Snickers. But let’s face it, giving a little bit of uh uh during the Nelly set takes more than empty carbs.

What to do? Build a foundation by eating a proper meal at a nearby or on-premise restaurant. Consider this a pregame plan for putting more yeehaw into your visit. Fuel up for a long day of fun, then let’r buck.

Cherrity Bar
Take advantage of this eatery’s rambling patio on sunny days to share Japanese street food like gyoza, yakitori, and crunchy karaage. Snuggle up inside during a cold snap with a bountiful bowl of ramen. The tonkotsu always hits with a generous slice of pork belly. Then there’s the umami slap of the tantanmen. Whichever way you go, start with an Old Fashioned for that preshow oomph.

Con Huevos
It’s almost impossible for newcomers to break into the local taco pantheon. However, owner Hugo Garcia was more than fit for the task (yes, 2019 still counts as "new" in the city’s taco game). Traditional fillings like picadillo and carne guisada have uncommon zip, and the flour tortillas perfectly seesaw between the fluff and chef. And should one down too many Bud Lights during a rodeo jaunt, there’s no better restorative than fideo loco.

The Dakota
Food aside, this East Side icehouse is as snug as an old sweatshirt. That alone makes it a welcome respite before being dazzled by carnival lights. But it also dishes out solid comfort food like pizza, tacos, and loaded fries. Yes, that’s the type of bar food one craves with a pint. The Dakota does it one better, mixing shishito peppers with kielbasa and spooning Wagyu chili on a Frito pie.

Dignowity Meats
This is Texas, dagnabbit, and we like our burnt ends. Perhaps that’s why this East Side shack throws them in any dish imaginable. The beefy bits crown a baked potato loaded with sharp mac ‘n’ cheese and anchor a melt with the unexpected crunch of sliced pear. They festoon corn chips and potato rolls and can be munched alone by purists. That’s probably enough, but we haven’t gotten to the must-try hot chicken.

The Frontier Club
Don’t miss a minute of the action by grabbing a bite at this on-site restaurant, conveniently located in the Hall of Fame breezeway. Though it is open to the public for weekday lunch, spring for a membership to enjoy the raucous honky-tonk nights. It’s $100 and benefits the Junior Livestock Auction and the San Antonio Stock Show & Rodeo Scholarship Fund. Three real ones can be invited as guests.

The Magpie
The little bistro that could paused in January for a refresh, so there’s no word yet on what menu chef Jŭngsūk “Sue” Kim has dreamed up for its return. Past hits have included luscious lamb ragu, chili-flecked pork belly, and airy milk bread. Expect the same mix of European and Asian flavors served during the February bookings — paired with one of the city’s most captivating wine lists.

Surtierra Cantina
There’s not much information available about this new food court attraction. But it will serve Surtierra Tequila, the San Antonio Rodeo’s official libation. That’s good enough.

Sweet Yams
Bring a little balance to your rodeo diet by lunching at this health-minded spot. From veggie po’boys to blackened salmon, the menu has plenty of giddy up — though it is hard to resist the gooey three-cheese mac. Even that is gluten-free, and the sides are both decadent and vegan. A little lightness is a blessing before a spin on the Zipper.

Tucker’s Kozy Korner
Nudie suits, patchwork poly shirts, and fuchsia Rocky Mountain jeans. This East Side staple has probably seen it all. Trapped in midcentury amber and with an impeccably curated jukebox, it’s the perfect time warp hangout before seeing a nostalgia act like Bret Michaels or Ronnie Milsap. Pan-Asian treats like brisket eggrolls, pork dumplings, and bún bowls are relatively new but take nothing away from the retro glamor.

Van de Wall Fajita Corral
Hundreds of volunteers dish out tons of steak, chicken, and brisket tacos at this long-running attraction adjacent to the food court, all in service of the San Antonio Livestock Exposition Inc. Scholarship Fund. Plus, there's ribs! Yes, Belinda Carlisle, heaven is a place on earth.

New ghost tour explores one of the spookiest spots in North Texas

Ghosts of Cowtown

A national travel company is showing off the scary side of the Fort Worth Stockyards with the launch of a brand new ghost tour.

US Ghost Adventures, an Orlando-based company that hosts ghost tours in some of the most haunted cities in the country, has just added Fort Worth to its list of tour locations. The one-hour tour is held nightly at 8 pm and includes eight stops within a one-mile walking distance.

Some of the haunted highlights from the tour include Miss Molly’s Hotel (109 W. Exchange Ave.), a former brothel where unexplained activity – think lights turning on and off, heavy breathing, and footsteps heard on the stairs – have long been documented.

The Stockyards Hotel (109 E. Exchange Ave.), built in 1904, is said to be home to the apparition of its developer, Colonel T.M. Thannisch, as well as rodeo cowboy C.D. “Junior” Colwell, who is said to have committed suicide to avoid jailtime for swindling people.

Tour participants will also visit the Texas Cowboy Hall of Fame (2515 Rodeo Plaza), where it’s said the six-foot, four-inch ghost of famed actor John Wayne has been seen admiring the cowboy memorabilia on display – even with a museum dedicated solely to him located just steps way at John Wayne: An American Experience.

While other ghost tours exist in Fort Worth, US Ghost Adventures owner Lance Zaal says his tour specializes in storytelling.

“US Ghost Adventures offers EMF detectors and focuses on telling the history behind the hauntings,” says Zaal.

When paranormal activity takes place, theories suggest electromagnetic disturbances can be seen with electromagnetic field (EMF) detectors. Lights on the detector indicate the strength of the disturbances, with a green light meaning little to no activity, yellow meaning moderate activity, and red meaning high activity.

Fort Worth was one of 12 new cities recently added to the US Ghost Adventures roster, including Houston and El Paso. The company operates tours in more than 50 cities across the country, and full list of new cities include:

The tour is $25 per person and there’s a two-person minimum. There's also an option to add a 30-minute bonus tour of four additional stops for just $6 per person.

Reservations should be made in advance online, and participants should meet at the Livestock Exchange Building at 131 E. Exchange Ave.