Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Tips For Making the Most of San Antonio Restaurant Week

Posted By on Wed, Aug 17, 2016 at 5:38 AM

click to enlarge LIZ WARBURTON
  • Liz Warburton

Even the most seasoned foodies can lose sight of what’s important during Culinaria’s San Antonio Restaurant Week (Aug. 13-27).

One big, wine-filled dinner at the beginning of the week could easily derail what should be two weeks’ worth of lunching and dining at new/favorite eateries for a good cause.

Background for the newbies: Held twice a year, Restaurant Week serves as one of the major fundraisers for Culinaria, which uses the funds for The Farm, a soon-to-be-completed educational farm that’s tricked out with several growing practices. Planting will start in two weeks with help from the MIT City Farm and the University of Houston’s Conrad N. Hilton College of Hotel and Restaurant Management which will share new planting and growing techniques.

Restaurants participating in Restaurant Week donate either $1 for lunch and $2 for dinner from each meal sold.

But before you get to eatin’, you’ll need a game plan. Here’s a few ways to make the most of #SARW.

Do Your Homework:

According to Culinaria President /CEO Suzanne Taranto Etheredge, chefs will likely test new menu items during these two weeks. Lüke’s John Russ shared his staff has been tweaking recipes for SARW for a few weeks now.

Familiarize yourself with the restaurant’s regular menu and then study the 100-plus options on Culinaria’s website.

Set a Schedule:

Maybe you love steak, but it’d be foolish to eat regularly sized portions of beef at Bob’s Steak and Chop House, Fogo de Chao Brazilian Steakhouse, J-Prime Steakhouse, Texas de Brazil, Kirby’s Steakhouse, Morton’s Steakhouse, Perry’s or all three Ruth’s Chris Steak House locations participating in a matter of nights. Instead, plan for variety.

Grab vegan eats at La Botanica one night, or über locally sourced fare at The Clean Plate the next. Don’t limit yourself to New American, either. There’s Mexican, Southern, seafood, sushi, Italian, and more to try.

Reservations are Key:

Just as you’re putting in the work of combing through menus, and budgeting for three-course lunches and dinners, chefs have been planning for Restaurant Week for, well, weeks. Call in reservations and shorten your wait time at popular joints, especially during Friday and Saturday nights. Waiting only makes people hangry.

Expand Your Footprint:

The best part of Restaurant Week is that it allows for exploration without an expensive investment. With Tier 1 restaurants offering a $15 lunch and $35 dinner and Tier 2 joints keeping things downright cheap with a $10 lunch and $25 dinner, patrons can feasibly enjoy several lunches or a few dinners without breaking the bank.

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