Chisme y Chicle 

It’s surely good news for the denim-and-diamonds set that Austin-Houston stalwart Max’s Wine Dive will open a San Antonio outlet in September. “Fried chicken and Champagne? Why the hell not?” is their professed mantra, and they practice it into the wee hours of the morning.

Menu highlights include Nacho Mama’s Oysters with garlic aioli, a Texas-raised Wagyu beef “haute” dog on an artisan bun, and the Strube Ranch Kobe Beef Burger that was named “Texas’ 16th Best Burger by Texas Monthly in 2009.  (Our own Cove ranked number five that year, well below Max’s $17 price tag.)

Owner Jerry Lasco says he’s “excited about the number of Culinary Institute graduates in the area.” As are we — though we hope they might be allowed to key into the wine list a little more than the menu currently appears to do. Yet I do applaud the fact that any bottle of wine will be opened for you if you commit to two glasses. This may be one of the reasons that Bon Appetit called Max’s “one of the ‘Hot Ten’ wine bars in the U.S.”

But I will also look to see if the comments of Austin’s Fearless Critic hold true for San Antonio. “The food at Max’s is sometimes quite good, sometimes not bad, but most of the time grossly overpriced,” they say. They’re also not in love with the wine program, claiming it “is filled with well-priced, but boring, mid-level wines.” Harsh words, but nonetheless, I’m looking forward to making up my own mind about the Texas Prairie Fire Chili with “Texas bison, venison, seven varieties of roasted seasonal peppers, Lone Star beer, and Mexican chocolate,” perhaps accompanied by a Spanish stud from the Bad Ass Reds list.



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