All You Can Eat 

News and notes from the San Antonio food scene

Polka ,salt, and beer — what more could a hungry vagabond possibly ask for? Come and celebrate the Alamo City’s unofficial beverage at the First Annual AleFest, sponsored by the Current, Budweiser, and the Alamo Drafthouse. With 50 different micro and boutique beers to wash down Alamo Drafthouse’s brew-friendly snacks, Saturday, October 14, can’t come soon enough. Get your tickets from your local H-E-B: $16 (they’ll be $20 at the door). I’ll see you at HemisFair Park Arch Plaza at 1 p.m. sharp, and I won’t be leaving until they kick us out at 6 (p.m.). Must be 21 to enter.

Happy trails to you, until we meet again … After 73 years of continual operation, and more than 40 million beers, the Longest Bar in Texas will cocoon up for its transformation into “The Esquire Tavern and BBQ House.” You can raise a glass at the old Esquire Bar and Tavern today at the Best Little Going Away Party in Texas, featuring 25-cent Lone Star specials, 50-cent longnecks, and dancing and crying to Mitch Webb & the Swindles (9:30 p.m-close). Which partying will be followed Thursday by Nurse Your Hangover day, featuring $1 Bloody Marys and Bloody Beer and free jukebox play. 155 E. Commerce St, 223-4881.

Let’s go walkin,’ after midnight, out in the moonlight … Saturday, September 30, the San Antonio Botanical Garden will its annual fundraiser Gardens by Moonlight. Grammy-winning BeauSoleil avec Michael Doucet, and former Say-Town resident Monte Montgomery, one of Guitar Player magazine’s “Top 50 Greatest Guitarists of All Time,” will serenade you. Meanwhile, walk the grounds and admire sculpture by Jesus Moroles and Roger Colombik, night-blooming flowers, and the night sky via telescope. Food and drinks available. $12 advance at Starbucks and the Botanical Garden Gift Shop, $15 at the door. Free Parking, discounted membership and early entry for $12 membership fee. Rain date set for Sunday, October 1. 555 Funston, 829-5100,

The San Antonio Restaurant Association’s 30th Annual Taste Of San Antonio culminates October 4-5 at Sunset Station with two public events. Wednesday’s National Restaurant Month Celebration runs from 5:30-10 p.m., and features live music, comedy, and food samples from 30 local restaurants for $10. Thursday’s Showcase Dinner begins with cocktails and appetizers at 6 p.m. in Sunset Station’s Saloon, and features 15 of San Antonio’s finest chefs serving a five-course meal while guests watch the final round of the Lone Star Culinary Challenge; $90 for VIP on floor and $80 on upper level. Benefits local high schools. 734-7663

The Culinary Institute of America, based in Hyde Park New York, is coming to San Antonio for an Admissions reception at The Club at Sonterra on Thursday, September 28 at 7 p.m. Graduates of the CIA are offered prestigious positions in all aspects of the restaurant industry, and during the evening, one attendee will win a $500 grant toward his or her CIA studies. 800-CULINARY or

La Hacienda Treatment Center, Starlite Recovery Center, and the Serenity Foundation of Texas are sponsoring the Second Annual Recovery in the Park, a free event at Louise Hays Park in Kerrville on Saturday, September 30, from 5-10 p.m. Ray Wylie Hubbard, will perform and raffle one of his signed guitars. Rain or shine, so bring umbrellas, chairs, and blankets, but no drugs or alcohol. MC’d by Gary Stromberg, who has been clean for more than 23 years.

Stephanie Allen and Tina Kuna, founders of Dream Dinners, bring their version of the heat-and-eat bible to town this weekend. Their book also includes tips and ideas for bringing your family closer together. Author signing Saturday, September 30, from 6-8 p.m. at The Market @ Boerne Stage Road, 24165 IH-10 West Suite 117, 545-7677.

Wax on, wax off. Come and see the transformation this Friday, September 29, at 5 p.m., when artist Felecia Briscoe unveils the mural painted to cover graffiti at the Southtown Café, 1127 S. St. Mary’s. Champagne reception to follow. 224-9811 or for info.
— jessica beers

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