Cocktails with “Heart” and Soul

Eating and drinking can be …

Practical = “All I have in my fridge is moldy mac n cheese, a few lemons and BBQ sauce. I think I’ll go out to eat.”

Functional = “I’m Meeting ‘The Girls! We are sipping on pink cocktails, nibbling on shrimp flat bread, soaking up some juicy gossip and relishing in “girl time.”

Random = Question: ” You hungry?” Answer: “Yes, Please”

Romantic = Hot Date + Yummy Food + Zesty Cocktails = Hot ( you fill in the blank)

Somehow it feels better spending some money towards a good meal, booze and socializing with strangers if there is a charity involved. San Antonio is full of organizations, galas and gatherings that raise money and awareness for something wholesome.  We are also blessed to have talented Chef’s who donate their time, help organize said events,  and show up for some local-hot-celebrity-chef-googlin’. Recently, I enjoyed the San Antonio Cocktail Conference. I’m not a “cocktail snob,” yet I pleaded for a media pass to learn more about the art of mixology (cocktails are as cool as bacon these days).  In essence, I have made it easy for you, and offer three reasons to mark your calendars for next year…

 

1. HEART The proceeds of the entire  conference benefits Heartgift of San Antonio.  A seriously wonderful organization that enables children from AROUND THE GLOBE to have heart surgery they would not have opportunities or access to otherwise.  Recently, a dear friend of mine had to face a heart surgery for her baby, I cannot imagine a family in that situation not being able to provide a nesecaasry life saving surgury for their child. The San Antonio Cocktail Conference provides proceeds towards this organization. This year the conference raised $75,000 dollars and helped save the heart and life of a young girl from China, Ziran.

 

Heartgift-Ziran-2

(photo: Savor SA)

 

SACC press conference 2-1

 

 

2. PASSION not only does the conference give a hellava lot of money towards a kick butt cause-they invite awe- inspiring people to teach at the conference, such as: Dale Degroff (known as  The Godfather of Cocktails), Michael Madrusan, Julie Reiner, Robery Hess, Johnny Schuler and many more.  I had the pleasure of sitting down for an interview with Johnny Schuler. Johnny is a master distiller from Peru. He lives and breaths passion for Pisco Liquer. Pisco is a brandy produced in Peru and Johnny himself has won countless awards for his own brand, Pisco Porton. He is the type of guy that you meet and you want to literally, “drink his koolaid” or in this case Pisco Sour. He seeps passion and inspiration for what he does and believes there is a difference between “drinking” and “tasting” when it comes to cocktails or life in general. “You drink to get drunk, you taste to experience,”  Johnny stated during our interview. A sip much like a bite of food can take you to a new world, and create a new experience in and of itself.

 

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3. EATS  The opening of the conference and the pub crawl portion were my personal favorites, of course, both involved food. The historic and beautiful Majestic Theatre hosted the opening of the conference and the San Antonio Chef Coalition provided the food. I was working at the Jason Dady Restaurant Group table and our famous DUK Truck Tacos we served. People were drinking booze like it was water and  I over heard a few comments about there not being “enough” food. However, we gave out hundreds of tacos and there were other vendors as well.  It was a cocktail party, people, petite bites and mucho drinks was the-name-of-the-game. Perhaps, more food to sample from more hot local chefs next year might be some feedback, but still the party-and proceeds went to a great cause. The bar take over/pub crawl at Tre Trattoria Downtown, was also amazingly delicious~A Dallas bar, The Standard Pour took over the beautiful urban bar of  Tre Trattoria Downtown. The pub crawl included other stops at Bohanians, The Brooklynite, and Bar 1919 as well. Tre Trattoria provided a plethora of snacks  and the red double decker bus provided a safe ride for all attendees, all for only for 50 bucks.

cocktails DT

Overall, the conference had so much to offer and in the meantime, if you get thirsty there are great places to eat, drink and be merry in San Antonio.

The Brooklynite, great scene and award-winning cocktails made by James Beard Nominated Mixologist, Jeret Pena.

-Bar 1919, iconic meets chic

Arcade Midtown Kitchen  my favorite outdoor-indoor bar and you must order the shrimp-pineapple flatbread.

-Ocho in the Hotel Havana, where Miami’s flare meets San Antonio’s charm.

-Feast atmosphere is as modern as it gets, wonderfully sexy waitstaff, artisan cocktails, and delicious eats.

Other Noteworthy Charitable Events in San Antonio that involve copius amounts of food and drinks… Paella Challenge, Culinaria (beer and wine run is coming up), and Fiesta’s Taste of The Northside.

For more of the latest upcoming events around San Antonio, check SavorSA.com and as always–

If you are what you eat and drink BE Delicious

 

**(Note: I am the marketing PR manager for Jason Dady Restaurants, however all opinions are my own and if I dont like an event I dont write about it! see Delishcolosure for the fine print).

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.