10 Hot Restaurants: Where to Eat and Drink Right Now in San Antonio 

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  • Jaime Monzon

Francis Bogside

803 S. St. Mary's St., (210) 988-3093, francisbogside.com

Somehow, Steve Mahoney, owner of Brigid and Francis Bogside, managed to lure chef Chris Carlson from Sandbar at Pearl to an unassuming brick building on the edge of King William — to cook food with an Irish accent. The staid old 'hood will never be the same. And neither will Irish food. And though Carlson volunteered that he couldn't be presenting the dishes he does at Francis without Brigid to serve as fodder, his bar menu is by no means a stepchild dependent on hand-me-downs. Where, outside of a Dublin pub crawl (yes, I have done this), have you ever had Colcannon potatoes?

  • Jaime Monzon

Here they will now become a winter staple. Basically no more than mashed potatoes with butter and onion (sometimes bacon and cabbage are added), they are perfect pub grub — and a natural match with a pint of Guinness. Bacon and cabbage team up in the obviously dubbed, uh, "Bacon and Cabbage." More like an especially friendly onion soup with benefits, this brothy dish makes best use of thick, salty bacon, caramelized onion and skin-on potato (there's cabbage in there somewhere) and is garnished with tiny, barely steamed carrots. All it needs to vault to the top of this year's best-dish list is some slabs of the potato bread served next door. That or sufficient glasses of happy hour draft to encourage tipping the bowl up to drain the broth.

Boxty, just so you know, is a potato pancake; Dublin Coddle a dish with sausage, bacon, onion and potato; the steak sandwich needs no translation ... but pork belly, due to its overexposure lately, might require some encouragement. Consider this it: The belly, initially cooked sous-vide, is presented with a sweet-tart confit of white peach — perfect for cutting across the fat o' the pig. Chase it with a shot of Jameson.

Dishes to try: steak sandwich, Boxty, Colcannon, pork belly

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