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Photo by Ashley Gongora

In addition to the beautiful bites and tasty treats offered up at this year's Tastemaker Awards, hundreds of guests got to sip on specialty cocktails designed just for the food and beverage industry's big night.

Sponsors Maestro Dobel Tequila and Stranahan's Colorado Whiskey made sure there was always a line at the bar with the Dobel Ranch Water, Black Diamond Margarita, and Stranahan's Fireside Old Fashioned — three drinks that can make any time of the year feel like a party.

But since it's summer, here are a few San Antonio hot spots where you can imbibe your own Dobel drinks:

At Gloria's Latin Cuisine, you'll want to go top-shelf. Order a margarita made with Maestro Dobel Diamante Tequila, Cointreau, freshly squeezed lime juice, and agave nectar.

Same goes at Mi Tierra, where the Black Diamond Margarita delivers Maestro Dobel Diamante, fresh lime juice, agave nector, and a black Hawaiian salt rim.

Get a little adventurous at Cuishe with a Cuernavaca: Maestro Dobel blanco tequila, fresh lime, guanabana, and orange liquor.

Go classic at The Rustic with a Rustic Waters Classic, made with Maestro Dobel Diamanté, fresh lime, and Q club soda.

And so you can know more about what you're drinking, here's a bit more about both spirits:

Maestro Dobel Tequila
There are seven unique variants of this single-estate tequila, each with a distinct flavor profile and crafted from 100-percent blue agave.

Dobel is short for Juan Domingo Beckmann Legorreta, the 11th generation of tequila producers. Maestro Dobel tequila is his legacy, and he personally oversees every step of its production. The signature of Juan "Dobel" is found on every bottle — a symbol of his deep respect for craft and connoisseurship.

The tequila is double-distilled, matured in Eastern European new white oak barrels and filtered for exceptional smoothness and clarity.

The world’s first Cristalino, Maestro Dobel Diamante is unique in its category; it has been formulated using a blend of extra anejo, anejo, and reposodo tequilas. Despite classification as reposado, Diamante's expression is crystal-clear due to a proprietary filtration process.

Maestro Dobel is also the official tequila of the PGA tour, including the Houston Open that's coming up November 11-14 at Memorial Park Golf Course.

Stranahan's Colorado Whiskey
Colorado's first legal whiskey since Prohibition and the pioneer and leader of the American single malt category, this Rocky Mountain single malt is handcrafted from grain to bottle in Denver, Colorado.

There are four ways to enjoy premium Stranahan’s Whiskey: Original, Blue Peak, Diamond Peak, and Sherry Cask.

When volunteer firefighter Jess Graber responded to a neighbor’s barn fire, he never imagined that any good would come of it. But the barn he made an effort to save belonged to George Stranahan. When the fire settled, the two discovered a shared passion for the Colorado outdoors and a good pour of fine whiskey. The pair developed a recipe for a distinctively smooth and flavorful American single malt whiskey using their mountain surroundings to their advantage.

Stranahan’s Original Whiskey is double-distilled using a proprietary blend of four barleys, then aged for a minimum of four years in virgin charred American white oak barrels.

Blue Peak is an American single malt distilled at high altitude, aged in new American oak barrels and Solera finished, a maturation process typically used in wine that results in a rich and mellow whiskey. Named for a 1,300-foot peak in Aspen and inspired by the alpine scenery of the Rocky Mountains, Blue Peak is built around a small batch of single malt whiskey that has been hand-crafted at a high altitude and aged for four years in 53-gallon, new American oak barrels with a #3 char, imbuing a warm, toasted flavor.

The profile of the aged expression is expanded through the time-honored Solera process, accentuating the liquid with fruit and butterscotch characteristics. Enjoy neat, on the rocks, or in your favorite classic whiskey cocktail.

From grain to glass, Stranahan’s Blue Peak is distilled and bottled at its Colorado distillery, the state’s first legal distillery after Prohibition.

The Black Diamond Margarita was a hit at the Tastemaker Awards.

Photo by Ashley Gongora
The Black Diamond Margarita was a hit at the Tastemaker Awards.
Photo by Ashley Gongora

The Tastemaker Awards toasts the best in Texas dining for 2022

A taste of Texas

CultureMap trekked across Texas this spring to toast the Tastemakers during our annual culinary awards program — and this year was bigger than ever. In addition to our longstanding events in Austin, Dallas, and Houston, we brought the party to San Antonio and Fort Worth for the very first time.

The series began April 26 with our inaugural San Antonio event before returning to Austin's Fair Market on April 28. The Texas culinary tour then headed to Cowtown for our Fort Worth debut on May 10, followed by an evening at Dallas' Fashion Industry Gallery on May 12. The foodie fun wrapped up May 25 in Houston with another sold-out night at Silver Street Studios.

The 2022 Tastemaker Awards served as a Texas-sized celebration of the culinary scenes they honored, with guests savoring bites from participating nominees, sipping signature cocktails alongside culinary stars, and raising a glass to the winners during our live awards ceremonies.

Nominees were selected by local panels of industry experts, including past Tastemaker winners and CultureMap editors. The panels then selected all winners, except for Best New Restaurant, which was determined by readers in our online tournament.

Meet all of the 2022 CultureMap Tastemaker Awards winners, listed by city, below.

San Antonio:

  • Restaurant of the Year: 2M Smokehouse
  • Chef of the Year: Jason Dady, Jardín
  • Bar of the Year: Bar 1919
  • Best New Restaurant: Dashi Sichuan Kitchen & Bar
  • Best Brewery: Dorćol Distilling & Brewing Co.

Austin:

  • Restaurant of the Year: Cuantos Tacos
  • Chef of the Year: Edgar Rico, Nixta Taqueria
  • Bar of the Year: Tiki Tatsu-Ya
  • Best New Restaurant: Wax Myrtle's
  • Rising Star Chef of the Year: Amanda Turner, Olamaie
  • Pastry Chef of the Year: Susana Querejazu, Lutie's
  • Bartender of the Year: Cory Starr, Tiki Tatsu-Ya
  • Neighborhood Restaurant of the Year: Better Half Coffee & Cocktails
  • Wine Program of the Year: Birdie's
  • Brewery of the Year: Meanwhile Brewing Co.
  • Best Vegan Restaurant: Counter Culture

Fort Worth:

  • Restaurant of the Year: Belenty's Love Vegan Mexican Restaurant
  • Chef of the Year: Jenny Castor, Luckybee Kitchen
  • Bar of the Year: The Lobby Bar at Hotel Dryce
  • Best New Restaurant: Dusty Biscuit Beignets
  • Best Breakfast: Ol' South Pancake House

Dallas:

  • Restaurant of the Year: Meridian
  • Chef of the Year: Ji Kang, Sloane's Corner
  • Bar of the Year: Rattlesnake Bar
  • Best New Restaurant: Hawkers Asian Street Food
  • Rising Star Chef of the Year: Aldo Lugo, Jose
  • Pastry Chef of the Year: Amy La Rue, Carte Blanche
  • Bartender of the Year: Reid Lewis, Atlas
  • Neighborhood Restaurant of the Year: Hillside Tavern
  • Brewery of the Year: Vector Brewing
  • Wine Program of the Year: Monarch
  • Best New Pizza: 400 Gradi

Houston:

  • Restaurant of the Year: Street to Kitchen
  • Chef of the Year: Aaron Bludorn, Bludorn
  • Bar of the Year: Tongue-cut Sparrow
  • Best New Restaurant: d’Alba Craft Kitchen & Cocktails
  • Rising Star Chef of the Year: Benchawan Painter, Street to Kitchen
  • Pastry Chef of the Year: Christina Au, Blacksmith
  • Bartender of the Year: Sarah Crowl, Better Luck Tomorrow
  • Neighborhood Restaurant of the Year: Click Virtual Food Hall
  • Wine Program of the Year: Tiny Champions
  • Best Pop-up: Luis Mercado and Paolo Justo, Neo

Luckybee Kitchen's Jenny Castor was named Fort Worth's Chef of the Year.

Photo by Ashley Gongora
Luckybee Kitchen's Jenny Castor was named Fort Worth's Chef of the Year.
Photo by Guillermo Rosas

San Antonio sips, savors, and celebrates Alamo City's culinary scene at the Tastemakers

Toast the Tastemakers

Our inaugural San Antonio Tastemakers event debuted with much fanfare this week. Every year, we celebrate the restaurants and bars that define San Antonio's culinary scene, but this year, for the first time, we brought the party to Alamo City — and the festivities did not disappoint.

On April 26, The Espee hosted the 2022 CultureMap Tastemaker Awards, where industry leaders and San Antonians sipped, savored, and celebrated the best offerings from the city’s culinary stars.

During an exclusive VIP hour, guests toasted the nominees and our nonprofit beneficiary, the San Antonio Food Bank, while sipping delicious beverages such as the Black Diamond Margarita from Maestro Dobel Tequila and a Fireside Old Fashioned featuring Stranahan’s Rocky Mountain Blue Peak Whiskey, plus a delicious strawberry mocktail. Craft brews came from all over Texas, thanks to Dallas-based Deep Ellum Brewing Company and Ellum Ranch Patio Water, plus Houston-based 11-Below and Hill Country favorite Real Ale Brewing.

As the event officially opened, locals filled The Espee’s beautiful Banking Hall to honor top talent from Alamo City’s restaurants and bars and to sample some of their best bites, of course.

Prior to the awards ceremony, a high degree of anticipation wafted in the air, mixed with the savory aromas of dishes like pork carnitas crepes from Chef of the Year nominee Ceasar Zepeda and Sangria on the Burg; huitlacoche cake from Best New Restaurant nominee Naco 210; and pork, duck, pistachio, and blueberry pate from Restaurant of the Year nominee Maverick. All these delicious morsels made us grateful for the steady flow of refreshing bubbles from Topo Chico. San Antonio's homegrown grocer H-E-B generously donated gift cards to this year's participating nominees.

Local news personality Sarah Foragney was the perfect emcee for the event, revealing all the deserving winners. Chef Jason Dady of Jardín was named Chef of the Year, while 2M Smokehouse took home the coveted Restaurant of the Year award. Dashi Sichuan Kitchen & Bar nabbed the title for Best New Restaurant, chosen by our readers, while Bar 1919 and Dorćol Distilling & Brewing Co. were named Bar of the Year and Best Brewery, respectively.

It was a celebratory evening filled with unmatched culinary talent, memorable toasts, and an atmosphere of camaraderie that only the restaurant and bar industries can provide. Cheers to all of our attendees — we can’t wait to toast you again at next year’s CultureMap Tastemaker Awards.

Guests raised a toast to our Tastemaker nominees.

Photo by Guillermo Rosas
Guests raised a toast to our Tastemaker nominees.
Dashi Sichuan/Instagram

San Antonio's best restaurant and top chef crowned at 2022 Tastemaker Awards

A Toast to the Tastemakers

If you've been following CultureMap this spring, you know that we've been celebrating San Antonio's restaurant and bar all-stars in anticipation of our annual Tastemaker Awards.

After a series of stories highlighting this year's nominees and a heated Best New Restaurant tournament, it's finally time to unveil the winners.

On Tuesday evening, we gathered with nominees and the San Antonio community at The Espee for our first-ever local tasting event and awards ceremony. Guests mixed, mingled, and sampled delectable dishes from participants prior to the awards ceremony, where this year's winners were revealed.

Our 2022 CultureMap San Antonio Tastemaker Awards winners are a perfect representation of the city's vibrant, eclectic, and delicious culinary scene. Meet them below and join us in raising a final toast to the Tastemakers.

Restaurant of the Year: 2M Smokehouse
The force behind this barbecue joint was a backyard griller long before the James Beard Awards noticed his fire. And that familial spirit still shines in pitmaster Esaul Ramos' food. The holy trinity of brisket, sausage, and ribs are done with just the right amount of bark and bite, no doubt perfected over years of get-togethers. The sides are a pachanga — macaroni with chicharrones, pickled nopales, and Mexican street corn.

Chef of the Year: Jason Dady, Jardín
No San Antonio chef has explored a broader range of flavors than hometown hero Jason Dady. Since opening his first restaurant in his 20s, the busy restaurateur has experimented with Spanish tapas (Bin 555), Asian fusion (Umai Mi), and Tuscan Italian (Tre Trattoria) in a city not often recognized for its cosmopolitan taste. His most recent venture, Jardín, planted at the San Antonio Botanical Garden, basks in the veggie-heavy fare of the Mediterranean. As always, his encyclopedic palate is right on point.

Bar of the Year: Bar 1919
There’s a reason barkeeps keep returning to the heady days around Prohibition. It was a time when cocktails had nuance before being assaulted with a riot of technicolor booze. Drink like a grownup at this Blue Star Arts Complex speakeasy where original creations hold up to the tried-and-true concoctions of yore. And bask in the soigné atmosphere — a reminder that imbibing can still be an elegant affair.

Best New Restaurant: Dashi Sichuan Kitchen & Bar
New from Sichuan House, one of the city’s most celebrated Chinese eateries, is Dashi Sichuan Kitchen & Bar, which aims to integrate the diversity and innovation of Sichuanese cuisine with a modern American-style dining experience. Dashi, which means “grand artist” in Chinese, is an appropriate moniker for this spirited gathering spot where familiar Chinese food favorites meet more adventurous ingredients in a bevy of family-style dishes.

Best Brewery: Dorćol Distilling & Brewing Co.
This long-running distillery is just as adept at making beer as it is spirits. Its High Wheel line features a quartet of easy sippers, mostly inspired by classic European styles like Belgian saisons or English porters. Although respectful of tradition, the team is comfortable mixing things up with newer trends, like the must-try 56, a West Coast-style IPA with notes of citrus, tropical fruit, and hefty pine.

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Brandon Watson and Chantal Rice contributed to this story.

Best New Restaurant: Dashi Sichuan Kitchen & Bar.

Dashi Sichuan/Instagram
Best New Restaurant: Dashi Sichuan Kitchen & Bar.
Photo by Ashley Gongora

A taste of what's on the menu for the San Antonio Tastemaker Awards

Toast the Tastemakers

For the very first time, CultureMap is bringing the Tastemaker Awards experience to San Antonio — and you're invited. There's still time to snag tickets to our signature tasting event and awards ceremony, taking place Tuesday, April 26 at The Espee.

Join us for an evening celebrating San Antonio's culinary all-stars. You'll sip and savor an array of bites and cocktails, then raise a toast to the 2022 Tastemakers nominees, many of whom will be onsite serving up specialty dishes throughout the evening.

Here's a taste of what's on the menu for our inaugural San Antonio event:

  • Beef tartare from Chef of the Year nominee Jason Dady, Jardin
  • Pork, duck, pistachio, and blueberry pate from Restaurant of the Year nominee Maverick
  • Huitlacoche cake from Best New Restaurant nominee Naco 210
  • Peeler Farms Wagyu beef tartare from Restaurant of the Year nominee Landrace/Chef of the Year nominee Steve McHugh
  • Carnitas tacos from Chef of the Year nominee Jesse Kuykendall, Milpa
  • Poached fish with cucumber and mung bean sprout salad from Best New Restaurant nominee Dashi Sichuan Kitchen & Bar
  • Pork carnita crepes from Chef of the Year nominee Ceasar Zepeda, Sangria on the Burg
  • Lemoncello from Best New Restaurant nominee Allora

The evening will culminate in an awards ceremony, where we'll unveil the San Antonio's Restaurant of the Year, Chef of the Year, Best New Restaurant, Bar of the Year, and Best Brewery. You can read about all of this year's nominees in our special editorial series.

Don't miss your chance to toast the Tastemakers in person on April 26. Limited VIP and general admission tickets remain and can be purchased here.

Scorpion/ Facebook

San Antonio's 6 top chefs are the heart of our vibrant dining scene

Meet the Tastemakers

Over the past few years, American cuisine has seen a seismic shift, a trend heightened by the pandemic. Gone is the preciousness and pretense and the notion that elevated fare only comes from Europe. Gone is much of the snobbery, a tendency that made our plates numbingly the same.

Consider the six nominees for the CultureMap Tastemaker Award for Chef of the Year the new vanguard. Though some are industry vets and some new upstarts, they all share one trait. Food should be personal, a reflection of their diverse backgrounds and cultures, and a reflection of the community in which they work. Because of them, San Antonio's food scene has never been more vibrant.

Learn more about their trailblazing work below, then join us on April 26 at The Espee when we unveil this year's winner. A handful of tickets are still available — nab yours today!

Jason Dady, Jardín
Maybe it's culinary wanderlust. No San Antonio chef has explored a broader range of flavors than hometown hero Jason Dady. Since opening his first restaurant in his 20s, the busy restaurateur has experimented with Spanish tapas (Bin 555), Asian fusion (Umai Mi), and Tuscan Italian (Tre Trattoria) in a city not often recognized for its cosmopolitan taste. His most recent venture, planted at the San Antonio Botanical Garden, basks in the veggie-heavy fare of the Mediterranean. As always, his encyclopedic palate is right on point.

Jesse Kuykendall, Milpa
Known as "chef Kirk" to their many fans, Jesse Kuykendall might be the busiest restaurateur in Alamo City. In addition to running a brick-and-mortar and food truck under the Milpa name, they serve as executive chef at Ocho at Hotel Havana. Oh, and they still found time to become the first local winner of the Food Network's Chopped. Classically trained at the Culinary Institute of America and mentored by Oaxacan food expert Susana Trilling, Kuykendall's cuisine is rooted in their mother's South Texas fare. It shows in everything they do, whether the complex marinade of Tacos Arabes or the pure comfort of fideo loco.

Kenny Loo, Scorpion
A veteran of San Antonio's most applauded restaurants, including Tre Trattoria and Hot Joy, Kenny Loo is now making his mark with something more personal. A native of Lima, Peru, Loo's work is entrenched in the country's traditional cuisine — including chifa, the region's coveted Chinese fusion. What sets him apart is his contemporary approach. Sure, his ingredient list includes salsa Criolla, chimichurri, and a brisk leche de tigre. It also makes room for a black mint ranch. And his vibrant plating is exuberant in Scorpion's desert-minimalist dining room.

Steve McHugh, Landrace
A note to this year's James Beard Awards judges: Go ahead and give Steve McHugh the medal already. With his inventive menu at Cured, the six-time nominee has more than proved his mettle. Not content to rest on those laurels, McHugh is now dazzling guests at Landrace, the luxe eatery inside downtown's Thompson Hotel. There, his exploration of Americana sharpens to Texas through regional ingredients and investigation of historical foodways. That doesn't mean the food veers too intellectual. Chile lime popcorn served with hushpuppies is still undeniably fun.

Laurent Réa, Brasserie Mon Chou Chou
Laurent Réa earned his chops at Chef de France, the Orlando restaurant conceived by nouvelle cuisine giants Paul Bocuse and Roger Vergé. Still, his San Antonio career has been marked by the more informal aspects of Gallic gastronomy. With stints at l'Etoile and Signature, Réa specializes in hearty, relaxed French fare. He has hit his stride at the Southerleigh Group's Pearl brasserie with perfectly executed standbys like Lyonnaise onion soup and chicken Cordon Bleu. There's no doubt he could whip up any mother sauce in his sleep. This town is fortunate that he also knows the simple pleasures of jus.

Ceasar Zepeda, Sangria on the Burg
Ceasar Zepeda was born in the tiny South Texas town of Banquete, and that rural spirit still shows up in his cooking. It's not that he doesn't know his way around today's arsenal of international ingredients; he's more interested in crowd-pleasing flavors than buzzwords. Bon Appétit subscribers surely appreciate how pasilla peppers add depth to onion strings or smoked brisket reinvents the cheesesteak. But it doesn't matter if guests know the difference between zhug and za'atar. Zepeda makes damn good food, and he does it for everyone who walks through his doors.

Kenny Loo

Scorpion/ Facebook
Kenny Loo
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Legendary Red Hot Chili Peppers heat up San Antonio with 2023 tour stop

one hot minute

One of alternative rock's most legendary acts is headed to San Antonio on their highly anticipated North American tour next year. Red Hot Chili Peppers will play the Alamodome on Wednesday, May 17, 2023.

Kicking off in Vancouver, British Columbia on March 29, RHCP will also stop in Houston's Minute Maid Park on Thursday, May 25 to close out the North American leg of the tour before heading to Europe. Effortlessly hip modern rock band The Strokes will support the Chili Peppers on both Texas stops, along with talented bassist-vocalist Thundercat.

Tickets go on sale at 10 am Friday, December 9 online. Other supporting acts along the way include Iggy Pop, The Roots, The Mars Volta, St. Vincent, City and Colour, and King Princess.

Touring in support of their two No. 1 studio albums released in 2022, Unlimited Love and Return of the Dream Canteen, the Chili Peppers have played sold-out shows in London, Paris, Los Angeles, and more with notable artists such as A$AP Rocky, Anderson.Paak, Beck, and HAIM.

The first rock band in 17 years to score two No. 1 albums in one year, the band has been red-hot on the Billboard charts and at the MTV Video Music Awards, where they received the Global Icon Award and brought the house down with a performance of the No. 1 single “Black Summer,'' which also won the award for Best Rock Video.

Fronted by the impossibly chiseled and ageless (he's 60!) Anthony Kiedis, the Chili Peppers formed in 1983. Unabashedly proud of their LA roots, the band burst onto the scene with early singles such as "Higher Ground" and "Give It Away," both showcases of bassist Flea's slappin', funk-fueled basslines.

Throughout the peak of alternative music in the '90s, the band saw tragedy, personnel changes at guitar, and reinventions — Kiedes' rap-singing, Flea's bass grooves, and singalong choruses all constants over the decades.

While many '90s alt-rock acts fizzled, the Chili Peppers stayed relevant; the band boasts two anthemic singles with more than 1 billion streams — "Californication" and "Under the Bridge" — and more than 25 million followers on Spotify.

Expect this show to be packed with Gen Xers and new fans for what promises to be one hot minute.

Red Hot Chili Peppers 2023 tour dates:

  • Wednesday, March 29 – Vancouver – BC Place
  • Saturday, April 1 – Las Vegas – Allegiant Stadium
  • Thursday, April 6 – Fargo, North Dakota – FargoDome
  • Saturday, April 8 – Minneapolis – US Bank Stadium
  • Friday, April 14 – Syracuse, New York – JMA Wireless Dome
  • Friday, May 12 – San Diego – Snap Dragon Stadium
  • Sunday, May 14 – Phoenix – State Farm Stadium
  • Wednesday, May 17 – San Antonio – Alamodome
  • Friday, May 19 – Gulf Shores, Alabama – Hangout Music Festival
  • Thursday, May 25 – Houston – Minute Maid Park

Texas-based 3D printing company tapped by NASA to build on the moon

To infinity and beyond

An Austin-based builder of 3D-printed homes, ICON, is making one small step for man and one giant leap for mankind by signing a $57 million contract with NASA to build on the moon.

According to a release from ICON, the Texas company will soon venture into a new frontier of space dimensions. The contract, announced on November 29, was awarded to the company under NASA's Phase III Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program. This program allows ICON to use the $57 million award to build their Olympus system, which adds to previous construction done by both NASA and the Department of Defense for exploration of the moon and beyond.

"ICON’s Olympus system is intended to be a multi-purpose construction system primarily using local lunar and Martian resources as building materials to further the efforts of NASA as well as commercial organizations to establish a sustained lunar presence," the release stated.

The project will work in conjunction with NASA's Artemis program, which launched its first rocket in 50 years on November 15. ICON will work with the program to:

  • Use lunar regolith samples brought back from Apollo missions, in addition to other regolith simulants, to see their mechanical behavior in lunar gravity.
  • Bring advanced hardware and software into space through a lunar gravity simulation flight.
  • Create results to inform future lunar construction approaches for the space community.
  • Establish critical infrastructure necessary for a sustainable lunar economy and habitation.

“The final deliverable of this contract will be humanity’s first construction on another world, and that is going to be a pretty special achievement," said Jason Ballard, ICON co-founder and CEO.

"It's a construction system we call Olympus system that will allow us to use the local materials of the moon to build all the elements of infrastructure necessary for a lunar outpost and ultimately a moon base ... launch and landing pads, roadways, habitats, you name it, all the things on the moon," said Ballard.

He added that they hope to start building on the moon by 2026, starting with a launch and landing pad.

In addition to the grant, ICON was awarded a subcontract in 2021 to support NASA's Space Technology Mission Directorate to create the world's first and only simulated 3D-printed Mars surface habitat. Called Mars Dune Alpha, it is located at NASA's Johnson Space Center and is assisting in long-duration science missions.

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Read the full story and watch the video at KVUE.com.

6 things to know in San Antonio food right now: New beer garden quietly opens

New 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

The owners of Gold Feather have unofficially untapped a new venture, LadyBird Beer Garden. Although official channels are keeping details mum, a Facebook page run by landlords VLA Real Estate spilled the beans on the November 25 opening. In addition to serving craft beer, the concept at 447 W. Hildebrand Ave has a full kitchen, bar, and a small patio for enjoying the mild December weather.

Months after coyly announcing a second location, Elotitos Corn Bar sprouted a new Government Hill location on December 3. The snack shop is well known for its aguas frescas and elotes flights, offering the street food staple in various flavors. The new outpost is open Monday through Saturday, 3-9 pm.

Following the recent San Antonio expansion of Oregon-based Dutch Bros Coffee, another out-of-towner is gaining some local buzz. According to Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation records, Arkansas franchise 7 Brew Coffee is brewing its first Alamo City location at 4825 Walzem Rd. Barring delays, the project will be completed in May 2023.

Pop-up concept Rose Hip Coffee has found a permanent home at 116 W. Olmos Dr. in Olmos Park. The broadened Rose Hip Market combines caffeine with boutique retail, offering everything from kid's clothes to ready-to-eat sandwiches and salads. The playful equestrian wallpaper might make it a can't-miss selfie spot.

Other news and notes

A new cocktail conference will lift San Antonio's spirits in January. The Culinaria-hosted Third Coast Cocktail Summit will feature seminars, tastings, dinners, and tipsy soirées during its five-day run from January 10-14. All-access passes are now available for $250 for industry and $500 for general admission at the nonprofit's website.

In other booze news, Kinsman's Brandy Alexander Tour is back in full swing for the holiday season. Dorćol Distilling's annual celebration of the famous desert cocktail has drafted 14 spots to offer the renowned desert cocktail this year, including several newcomers like Allora, Bar Loretta, Double Standard, Ladino, and Sojourn Trading Co. A full list of participants can be found here.