2919 N. Flores St., (210) 300-4728, outlawkitchens.com
Imagine if Mr. Rogers invited you over for dinner. Now, imagine that Mr. Rogers had a Mrs. Rogers, an elaborate garden, a couple of kitchens and seats for 23 or so of his closest neighbors. You don’t have to imagine because chef Paul Sartory and wife Peggy Howe have made all that a reality with their new takeaway restaurant Outlaw Kitchens, which officially opened this past September.
The new Alta Vista eatery was several years in the making. After Howe and Sartory married in 2012, the chef started to work on the idea he had been brewing since his time in New York. The Culinary Institute of America-trained chef and instructor wanted to open an eatery that would keep costs and food waste down.
They settled on a takeaway shop where customers could zip through on their way home from work, grab a great meal and enjoy at home. The couple also wanted to bring down costs by converting their Alta Vista home into a live-work business. A year of rezoning later (with help from State Rep Diego Bernal and their neighborhood association), the beauty-salon-turned-home was cleared for a Inner City Development designation. Turns out you CAN work from home.
The concept is simple. Open Monday through Friday from 5 to 8 p.m. only, Outlaw serves one menu item and a vegetarian counterpart the first three days of the week. The opening week menu was made up of Greek pastitsio (a baked pasta dish with beef and lamb) or choice of vegetable lasagna; each served with a Greek wedge salad. As the weather cooled, the patio at the corner of Magnolia and North Flores became the perfect spot for people- and puppy-watching, complete with upcycled mink coats.
Come Thursday and Friday, Sartory makes a new item. Favorites include the wood-grilled hanger steak with béarnaise, twice-baked potato and steamed snow peas. Previous efforts included paella, steak chimichurri, sautéed chicken breast with a tarragon cream sauce, or vegetable Shepherd’s pie. Hearty, literally home-cooked, and served up by friendly neighbors — what more do you need?