10 Perfect Patios for Pleasing Palettes

I love spring. The vibrant wildflower landscape, the 75 degree weather (in San Antonio), the cool yet refreshing breeze… and the patio dining. Patios are like coffee shops. I need a comfy spot to really enjoy this rare treat. I want to feel taken away to someplace magical, mystical and delicious. The breeze in my hair, a glass of vino in hand and the food as mouth-watering as possible. In the name of blue bonnet season and San Antonio livin’ here are 10 places you may want to go enjoy during this brief, sunny weather treat. In no particular order…

1. The Monterey.  By far my favorite funky, outdoor dining atmosphere. Amongst hip decor you will find colorful miss-matched chairs and even a couple of comfy couches. They have a great beer and wine list and plenty of unique menu items to choose from. Personally, I love their brunch. Check out the bacon glazed donut. It’s a gooey marriage of sweet and salty with a sprinkle of little miss piggy crunch. As long as you keep an eye on your kids and don’t ask for mac n’ cheese your fam will be welcomed.

 

2. Sustenio.  A new place that stole my heart and ran away with it beating to Latin America. Enjoy this completely un-San Antonio experience with a ceviche tasting menu or go all out and indulge in some creative masterpiece menu items. A great date night spot but kids are welcome too as long as you got ’em reasonably well trained.

3. Cappy’s  The back porch is a shade lovers dream boat. There is a gorgeous old tree that covers most of the tables outside. And the chicken nachos are loaded with real cheese and fresh ingredients. (family welcome)

4. BLISS  A wonderful menu with “on point” flavors. The seasonal menu changes daily.  They even have a firepit to enjoy with a vino in hand. A fellow foodie mama (Mama2aidan) wrote a wonderful review HERE (well-behaved families welcome)

5. Pam’s Patio Kitchen.  The salmon sandwich will knock your sandals into next week. It’s flaky, tender, and drizzled with chipotle aioli. This hint-o-spice aioli is a sauce lover’s obsession. The patio itself is in a strip mall but there is plenty of space. There are also some plants sprinkled about to give a down home feel. (very family welcome)

 

6. Dough. If you haven’t been here yet, go early or go for lunch (lunch specials under 10$). This place is also in a strip mall setting but feels a bit European to me, they even have wool blankets to cozy up if you’re the sensitive-to-cool-breeze-type.  The seasonal burrata is a must order item, housemade and house stuffed buffalo mozzarella filled with a creamy, succulent, seasonal blend of flavors (say that 10 times).  (family welcome)

7. Bourdwalk On Bulverde.  This is not the Jersey Shore-roller coaster type of  boardwalk but rather a kick ass food truck park. If you’re into Pakistani eats, don’t miss the Rickshaw Stop. No really, DO NOT MISS. They have delightful saucity-sauces and tender juicy meats. If you’ve got chitlins, the boardwalk has a playground with swings and if you’ve got some vagabond in you, they occasionally have free beer… that’s right, FREE. You can find a bit more about their sauce HERE. (very, very family welcome)

8. Big Z’s. What do you get when you cross burgers, beer, and a plethora of  balls? No, not a bachelor party! Big Z’s baby. They have 2 locations and both have great quality (151) or (1604).  Whatever you do, don’t leave without getting your burger “dirty.” I love the patio at the 1604 location it’s a bit more rustic. But if you’re closer to 151 the food is on par there as well. (very, very family welcome, huge turf for plenty of ball tossin’)

9. The Cove  This place is for all my crunchy friends. They serve mostly organic food, oftentimes plucked from the in-house garden. There is also plenty of room to let the kids be as free-range as the chickens. (very, very family welcome, even a playground)

10. The PEARL Brewery: CIA bakery (with kids) or Il Sogno (lunch/dinner date).we love the pearl and it’s low-key end of the Riverwalk. There is a bunch of construction these days but don’t let it deter you. Either enjoy a lemonade (note: lemonade is fresh squeezed and even has a hint of vanilla) to go from the CIA followed by a picnic by the river. Or go on a hot date with your love at Il Sogno. The patio is small and, although we recommend getting a reservation, you don’t need one to sit there. (Thank you,SAfoodnazi for the insider patio scoop for Il Sogno).

Whether or not you live in San Antonio, I hope you are inspired to take advantage of a sunny day and eat outside.  Please, let me know your favorite patio-vino drinking spot? Maybe we can meet for a glass of cool breeze and an order of good eats.

Happy Second Day Of Spring!

*ALL above are SMOKE-FREE (a must). All opinions are my own, I was not compensated for the above information.

 

 

 

 

Meal Planning For Dummies

Being that in my last post I outted myself as a non-meal planner type, I thought would expand. Here’s the deal,  I adore cooking, eating and having food prepared for me. However, when it comes to any sort of number crunching, calendar checking and/or color coding impeding on my life I tend to abandon ship. Actually, the thought of any of “those” things makes me feel sea sick with a side of please don’t make me do it. I’ll be the first to admit I like to live in a fantasy world. As far as cooking goes, I need to be a hasty home cook and get the job done before my 2 kids start painting the walls red, literally. Plans usually don’t help me in this department but rather cause stress (something of the affect, oh sh** I forget to thaw the chicken for…X) More importantly, I love imagining I am an olden days European woman; picking my warm crusty bread up from the baker (reality: Central Market), plucking ripe veg from my abundantly green garden (reality: we only really have lettuce because my husband works 90 hours a week and doesn’t nurture the thing) and seeking a local butcher for a fresh cut of grass-fed meat (reality: Whole Foods). Truth be told, I live in the burbs and I drive to most places via highway. But give a girl a dream.

When I heard Erin Chase, the mastermind behind 5$ dinners was coming to town, I was curious and excited. My exact thoughts were, can a non-planner like me be more planny like Erin Chase? And budgets…oh budgets…Could I, a person who makes random whatchamacallit dishes on the budget of “whatever the hell I want and quick!” become more spend savvy? I wonder? I got to thinking, this event would be fun to attend and perhaps Erin is up to the challenge of converting me (and others) over to the spend-savvy-plan-smart-school? Erin, are you up for it? I tend to think she is. We shall see… Either way, there is another fun spring event to add to the food lover mix and support the local San Antonio Food Bank.


The class will be on March 30 from 6:30-8:30pm at Alamo Heights United Methodist Church in San Antonio. Cost is $5 plus a canned good – both of which go to the San Antonio Food Bank. To register click HERE

Take aways:

  • Learn how to save 50% on groceries with coupon strategies for local stores
  • Get valuable and exclusive tools to find the best deals and plan out meals every week
  • Connect with neighbors, make new friends, and find a savings buddy to help along the way

Whether you’re a type Anal planner or the non-planny type, like me, I think we can all benefit. Personally, I would really like to see if I can still live in my European-market-shopping-fantasy world and save me some dough? Furthermore, Erin is a native to San Antonio and we are all about supporting local, right? I’ll see you there. I’ll be the saucy brunette with the deer in the headlights look on my face. That’s right, a meal planning ‘dummie’ indeed.

You can find more information about Erin and the San Antonio event HERE

And if you cannot attend the meeting (try your darndest), check back here soon to see if Erin and her savvy ways converted me over to world of planning?

(Thank you, Debi from SA busy Kids for the above details on the event)

Spring 2012 Edible Adventures

I love food planning. No, not menu planning. That is reserved for people who are far more organized than me. I’m talking about food events that I get to look forward to eat, and eat, and eat at. San Antonio was one of the featured cities of this season’s Top Chef, so we’ve hit the ground running in the culinary scene. That’s right folks, San Antonio is becoming less known for the best taco ever and more of a hub for the best meal you’ve ever had. So, if you’re a local food enthusiast and you want to jump on the food-lovin’ bandwagon or if you’re just hungry, join us and jump into some spring events to tickle your taste buds.

March 11 The beautiful and historic Pearl Brewery, will be featuring talented chef’s from all over the WORLD (I told y’all we’re gettin’ fancy up in here) for an Iron Chef style paella competition. Tickets are 50$ ( includes more Paella than your Spanish grandma ever made, in her lifetime) or 60$ at the door. There is also a 12 and under ticket available so bring the kiddos. Tickets include: adult drinks and a chance to get some ‘liquid courage’ and talk with celebrity chefs. Maybe a cheesy autograph to show your grand kids? Read more about the event and get your tickets HERE (This event is Family-Welcome).

March 24 The Special Projects Social (TSPS) will be having a rockin’ after party. TSPS is San Antonio’s featured pop-up style restaurant. Some of my Foodie Mama friends (SAfoodNazi and Mama2aidan) attended the last event and raved about the food, art and colorful company. Tim Mcdiarmid known as Tim the girl, is a New York City native turned San Antonio transplant. Tim brings her fresh city palette and unique culinary skills with her and is making local food lova’s go coo coo for her tasty pop-up. Unfortunately, dinner tickets sold out but you can still come bust-a-move with us at the after party. Tickets are 40$ and can be bought HERE if you cant make this one check the TSPS site for the next event or join Tim and friends for an amazing trip they have planned for Italy this summer.  I know, she’s super- food- woman, like most of Tim’s events, tickets go quickly so seize the day and jump into an Italian foodie dream week. (None of the above events are Family-Welcome).

March 26 What do you get when you mix good eats and good peeps? That’s right, The SA Chef Coalition Dinner. Well known local Chef Andrew Weissman (owner of Il Sogno and Sandbar) is leading the SA Coalition pack alongside other talented San Antonio Chefs. This culinary powerhouse team is combining forces to make San Antonio hit the mark with incredible edibles on a National Scale. On March 26, there will be a family style dinner open to the public. Join these amazing trail blazers and enjoy good food and fabulous conversations. I put my request in for a seat (wink) and you can too. Tickets are 95$ and to reserve a spot emailSAchefcoalition@gmail.com  SAchefcoalition@gmail.com  for more information on the SA Chef Coalition click HERE (This event is not Family-Welcome).

March 31 One of our beloved Foodie Mama’s Tara ( Mama2aidan) is sadly leaving us for Arizona. Despite our tears we are Foodie Mama’s after all and will be having a farewell dinner at Restaurant Gwendolyn. If you are a Foodie Mama and on twitter click HERE to reserve your seats and if you’re not on twitter and would like to join the Foodie Mama’s as we eat, drink and make food porn, please email me. (Emily@definingdelicious.com). (This event is just for Foodie Mama’s. Sorry fellas)

Check Back soon as I have some Delicious April Adventures in the works!