All You Can Eat 

Your friendly neighborhood grocery comglomerate has stitched its binding to Random House and First Book, a national non-profit that donates children’s books to low-income families

Your friendly neighborhood grocery comglomerate has stitched its binding to Random House and First Book, a national non-profit that donates children’s books to low-income families. Until December 31, H-E-B and Random House will donate one book to First Book for every two Random House titles purchased at H-E-B stores. H-E-B made an indelible imprint of another kind last weekend at the Texas Book Fair, where the San Antonio company awarded $60,000 in college tuition to the winners of the Read Write Connect Short Story Contest, Houston high-schooler Deborah Gonzalez and San Antonio student Jenna Walsh, who attends Barbara Bush Middle School. Ten runners-up received $1,000 U.S. Savings bond. Gonzalez’s and Bush’s stories will appear in the December issue of Texas Monthly.

Meantime, H-E-B is still selling groceries. Today the company opens its second H-E-B Plus, Charles Butt’s Wal-Mart parry. The new far-Westside location, on Potranco Road just inside Loop 1604, has an outdoor-lifestyle section designed to appeal to the backyard barbecuer in all of us.

If a cruise through patio furniture, grills, and planters whets your appetite for rooting around outdoors, take the urge one step further at the San Antonio Botanical Garden’s Fall Garden Fair, 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday, featuring craft activities, local foods, and entertainment — including fourth-generation charro Jerry Diaz and family, the end result of the Children’s Vegetable Gardening Program, and a 3 p.m. Monarch-butterfly release. Free with admission to the Garden: $6 adult; $4 student, military, senior; $3 children 3-13. Sabot.org and 829-5100 for more info.

If aprons and up-’dos are more your thing, perhaps it’s time to buy tickets to W.D. Deli’s annual Holiday Drag Brunch. Tickets go on sale today for the festive, music-filled tribute to push-up bras, foundation, and hairspray. Two seatings will thrill diners December 10 at the restaurant, 3123 Broadway. Call 828-2322 or pick up tix with your next sandwich.

Do you miss Malik’s Philly Famous in the Quarry Market? (Really? Do you miss Malik, too?) Philly Connection to the rescue, 10:30 a.m.-9 p.m. daily, with its first Alamo City location at 8002 Callaghan Road. The cheesesteak factory claims authenticity via its company roots, anchored firmly in Philadelphia soil since 1984. The SA shop brings the franchise total to 135 in nine states. Sammies start at $5.29, and, in keeping with all things “My,” now the Connection offers the customizable “My Cheesesteak.” 524-8104 for more info.

Earl Abel’s dropped a weekly treat in customers’ wallets October 31, kicking off Kids Eat Free Tuesdays with goodies for costumed children. No masks required on future Tuesdays, but each child must be accompanied by an adult ordering an eat-in entrée to qualify for a free meal from the new Children’s Menu. Young’un dining options include hamburgers, chicken-fried steaks, mac ’n’ cheese, and more. 5-8 p.m., 1201 Austin Highway, 822-3358.

If dinner with the kids on Tuesday puts you in mind of a quiet retreat on Wednesday, Crumpets Restaurant & Bakery will be happy to fill your wine glass with a selection from the six vintages on its Fall Featured Wines List, which includes Buena Vista Carneros Chardonnay, Two Tone Farm Merlot, and Concannon Assemblage Cabernet Sauvignon — all go well with the restaurant’s bucolic outdoor seating. Crumpets is located at 3920 Harry Wurzbach. Call 821-5600 for more info or reservations.

Congratulations to Le Rêve/Sandbar team Andrew and Maureen Weissman on the birth of their son. The restaurants, located downtown in the Exchange Building, are closed while the Weissman’s welcome their new family addition, but will reopen soon. In the meantime, you can drool over Le Rêve’s menu at Restaurantlereve.com.

Send your restaurant and food news to: Foodie@sacurrent.com.

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