Friday, September 20, 2013

6 Signs the San Antonio Food and Nightlife Scene is Blowing Up

Posted By on Fri, Sep 20, 2013 at 5:40 PM

Here are a few signs the Alamo City is slowly, but surely, moving on up in the culinary world.
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Eggs benny from Arcade. National Attention The area with the most national attention is hotly contended between the Pearl and Southtown. The Pearl's gotten many a shout out in the NY Times and Esquire for The Granary, Boiler House, NAO and Arcade Midtown Kitchen. Bakery Lorraine made Travel & Leisure's list of America's Best Bakeries; Chuck Hughes visited El Milagrito, Biga on the Banks, The Monterey and Restaurant Gwendolyn as he ate his way through SA on "Chuck's Eat the Street" this summer. The Cooking Channel also (finally) aired segments on DUK Truck and Tapa Tapa Truck. SA is getting nationwide recognition and it's not for its puffy tacos. Did we mention Rickshaw Stop is the No. 7 food truck in the country according to the Daily Meal?
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Yep, this came from a truck. Mobile Eats It's been two years since Boardwalk on Bulverde claimed its spot as the first food truck park in the city. Since then, mobile kitchens have sprouted all over SA, in a park or otherwise. With upwards of 50 trucks (on a good day) rolling through SA and the addition of food truck parks including Alamo Street Eat Bar and Mission #6 in Southtown, the Point Park & Eats on Boerne Stage Road and the Block SA off UTSA Blvd, there seems to be no signs of stopping this delicious fleet.
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Pho, anyone? Scarcity Everyone wants to be in the know of where the next cool IT spot will be. Whether to capitalize on this culture or to fix kinks before really opening or both, the owners of Tuk Tuk Tap Room have been promoting soft opening dinners to the first 20, 35, 50 people that respond to Facebook & Twitter posts. This isn't as bad as cronuts or ramen burgers, by far,  but local councilman Diego Bernal and chefs Steve McHugh and Andrew Weissman all did 15-second Insta-video invitations for said dinners, helping drive the frenzy.
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No filters here, just pure unadulterated cocktail. Boomin' Booze Culture Five years ago, it wouldn't have been possible to have a SA Cocktail Conference. But now classic cocktails are here to stay. These days you can sip on great concoctions poured by a slew of die-hard bartenders at Arcade, Bar 1919, Bohanan's, Blue Box, Brooklynite, Esquire Tavern, Luke, Mon Ami, Ocho, NAO New World Flavors, SoHo and TBA. Moreover we're sipping on craft beer now more than ever with brews from local brewers Alamo, Busted Sandal Brewing, 5 Stones Brewing, Branchline Brewing, Freetail Brewing Co., Ranger Creek Brewing & Distilling. And we're drinking craft brews from all over with the help of well-stocked taps at Friendly Spot, Big Hops Growler, World of Beer and Filling Station Tap Room, and liquor stores like Twin Liquors Marketplace, Spec's and Joe Saglimbeni's Fine Wine & Spirits.
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Noodles for the masses. Ramen Mania We finally have a restaurant whose main focus is ramen. No, Kimura, doesn't JUST carry the steaming bowls of goodness, but it's putting a lot more thought into ramen than most. Let's hope it's just the tip of the iceberg.

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Variety Sure, SA loves to eat. But with one Trader Joe's (and another in the works), two Whole Foods Markets, more farmers markets than I can possibly list, we're clearly in the market for specialty items and a larger selection to choose from.

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