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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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


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


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.