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.

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.

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+.

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.

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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H-E-B soars to No. 2 in Forbes' prestigious list of best employers in Texas, plus more top stories

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Editor's note: It’s that time again — time to check in with our top stories. From animal crossings to page turning, here are five articles that captured our collective attention over the past seven days.

1. H-E-B soars to No. 2 in Forbes' prestigious list of best employers in Texas. In addition to being based in San Antonio, H-E-B operates more than 300 stores in Texas and employs 154,000 people.

2. Wildlife advocacy tour treks to San Antonio's spectacular land bridge. The land bridge is getting national attention through a promotional road trip meant to highlight the structure's role in protecting local ecosystems.

3. Texas Book Festival releases full lineup of 300 authors, including Roxane Gay and Ali Hazelwood. The weekend will be full of panel discussions, author readings, book signings, and much more.

4. San Antonio foundation pounces on bold program to return ocelots to the wild. Following the proposal, the East Foundation will release ocelots onto a section of its San Antonio Viejo Ranch.

5. Famous furniture store Louis Shanks shutters last remaining San Antonio location. The furniture retailer first opened in 1945, with the San Antonio store opening in 1983.

San Antonio International Airport clears runway for 1st nonstop flight to Europe

booking tix now

Big news for Texas travelers: San Antonio International Airport's first-ever nonstop flights to Europe will begin in 2024.

Passengers can now book tickets via Condor Airlines for flights from San Antonio International Airport (SAT) to Germany's Frankfurt Airport (FRA) between May 17 and September 6, 2024. Flights will initially operate three days a week – Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays – and flights to Frankfurt are expected to take a little more than 10 hours, while flights coming in from overseas will last about 11.5 hours.

The seasonal service is a "spectacular win" for the city, according to Mayor Ron Nirenberg, and could bring in an estimated $34 million annually. The airport has been seeing wins left and right, having just been named one of the nation's least stressful airports, and consistently handling busier and busier days.

"Germany is where San Antonio has the most demand for travel in Europe because of the cultural, historic, tourism, military, and business ties," Mayor Nirenberg said in a news conference on September 21.

San Antonio Airport System Director of Airports Jesus Saenz foreshadows that the SAT-FRA flight is "just the beginning" of possible flight expansions for the airport in the future.

"We fully believe San Antonio will utilize this service to Europe and take advantage of Condor’s extremely competitive airfares," he said. "Once that happens, we anticipate Condor will expand their services even further."

The airline will be using a brand new Airbus A330-900neo aircraft for the nonstop flights, which features 30 business class seats, 64 premium economy seats, and 216 economy seats.

"With our growing fleet of A330neos, we can provide better travel options to more Americans every year," said Condor CEO Ralf Teckentrup said in a release. "I am particularly proud to offer the only nonstop connection from San Antonio, Texas to Frankfurt, Germany – the heart of Europe, where travelers can enjoy the popular touristic sights of Germany or travel beyond conveniently by air, road, or rail. I invite everyone to try out our newest and most luxurious in-flight experience ever."

Monday flights will depart from SAT at 10:05 pm and arrive in Frankfurt at 3:20 pm the following day. Returning flights from FRA on Mondays will depart at 3:40 pm and arrive at SAT at 8:05 pm.

For Wednesday and Friday flights, departures from SAT will take place at 8:25 pm and arrive at FRA at 1:40 pm the next day. Returning flights from FRA will depart at 2:00 pm and arrive at SAT at 6:25 pm.

New honky-tonk surprisingly two-steps into St. Paul's Square


When Steve Mahoney first relaunched Francis Bogside and sibling wine bar, Anne’s, in the former home of Smoke BBQ, rumors circulated on how he would use the expansive upstairs space. Now, San Antonio has its answer. In a surprise move, the veteran bar owner debuted his latest venture — honky-tonk concept Blayne’s — on September 22.

The name pays homage to the late Blayne Tucker, the former co-owner of the Mix and managing partner of Floore’s Country Store. A tireless advocate for the city’s musical scene, he helped usher in the Save Our Stages Act, assisting hundreds of venues to stay afloat nationwide during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“[Blayne’s] impact in San Antonio is nothing short of extraordinary,” said Mahoney via a release. “We hope to continue his efforts and support live music in the city.”

Fittingly, music will be in the air at Blayne’s, starting with The Babylonz and DJ Guero Vaquero from 5 pm to 2 am on the soft opening night. A large dance floor, pool tables, and bar games complete the honky-tonk vibe.

Like many of Mahoney’s bars, Blayne’s has a solid food program. The Tex-Mex fusion menu features eclectic pub grub like red curry short rib mini tacos, southwest eggrolls, street corn bites, smoked barbacoa pizza, and customizable nachos. The initial press announcement didn’t deeply discuss the drink options but promised margaritas, house cocktails, and beer.

Though no official announcement has been made, Mahoney has another bar up his sleeve. The Francis Bogside website teases the January 2024 opening of Robert’s, named after Mahoney’s late business partner, Robert Darilek. Details, including the location, are slim, but the landing page touts “feature club-style seating, an extensive whiskey list, and a cigar menu.”

Following the September 22 sneak peek, Blayne’s will be open Wednesday through Saturday, 5 pm to 2 am.

Blayne's San Antonio

Photo by TXTroublemaker

Blayne's food menu includes red curry short rib mini tacos.