Food & Drink All you can eat

News and notes from the San Antonio food scene

Sing it now: You're gonna cry, 96 beers

"Is it glowing?" my drinking companion asked, warily eyeing his Shiner 96 as if it were coolant from a nuclear reactor. An iridiscent amber, Shiner's new Märzen-style ale is not radioactive, but did seem to shimmer in the tall glass.

En route to its centennial in 2009, Shiner is brewing a limited-edition beer: thus, the unveiling of Shiner 96, available through the end of the year in 26 states and the District of Columbia.

Märzen beers are traditionally lagers brewed in spring and drunk in the fall, but Shiner has adapted the method to the ale, which in Texas defines beers with greater than 5 percent alcohol. With 5.8 percent, the 96 sports a thin head and carries pleasant lemony overtones, but it tastes thinner than I would've liked. However, I'm partial to beers strong enough to peel paint, so consider the source. Most casual beer drinkers will appreciate the Shiner 96 - and its glow.

Chiffonade like a pro

Sara has 15 apples and 12 tomatoes. How many pieces of fruit does she have? If you know the answer to that question and can wield a whisk with aplomb, you might want to consider culinary school. The Center for Foods of the Americas, the new culinary school at the Pearl Brewery, is now accepting applications. `For more information about the Center, see "First Course," August 25-September 1.`

The Center offers a 30-week certificate program focusing on the fundamentals of cooking, as well as culinary math, nutrition, food safety, and the world's classic cuisines. To qualify, students must have a high school diploma or GED, as well as at least six months of restaurant or food-service experience. For more information and an application, call 866-757-CHEF (2433).

Fish and tacos

Andrew Weissman's Sandbar, 152 E. Pecan, is currently open 11 a.m.-2 p.m., but the restaurateur hopes to reopen for dinner as early as next week. North of downtown, Pittos, 1700 N. Main has closed. By month's end, Circa 1900 owners Cesar Medelline and David Perez will replace it with Taco Queen, featuring tacos, enchiladas, fish kabobs, fajitas, and other quick eats. The Taco Queen will be open 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Monday and Tuesday, and until 2 a.m. Wednesday-Saturday.

- Susan Pagani and Lisa Sorg

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