Viva La Vegetable 

Does San Antonio need more Southwestern cooking? It seems like we’re already pretty saturated. Whether or not we need it is immaterial — we’re inevitably going to get it — but the latest spot at least promises to be a good one. Lauded chef Stephan Pyles of Stephan Pyles Restaurant and Samarin Dallas will be bringing his culinary talents to Éilan, a mixed-use development outside 1604 near La Cantera. The complex will have a hotel, apartments, offices, restaurant, and a dance studio. Pyles’ restaurant is set to feature Southwestern flavors and proteins, and will include a ceviche bar.

What’s more interesting than the restaurant is this whole new complex. The 120-acre development seems to have everything necessary to sustain a small city, except for a grocery store. Is it only a matter of time before La Cantera splits off into its own city? Anyone want to put money on it?

Friday is First Friday, which means tons of sweaty people cruising around Southtown in the heat. For all the effort, you should at least get some free food out of it. Hyping Saturday’s interactive cooking performance “Viva La Vegetable” (see Theater listings), a preview “Test Kitchen” will be serving healthy food samples al fresco in conjunction with the Diabetes Democracy Project (donations encouraged). The main event ($25-$50; 8pm Saturday; jump-start.org) stars Iranian-Guatemalan chef Mero Cocinero Karimi, actor and local celeb Jesse Borrego, and Jump-Start’s finest, and includes a “veggie-tastic” sit-down dinner with vittles from Whole Foods, Central Market, and Green Vegetarian Cuisine.

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