Monthly Archives: August 2011

CULINARIA

This is a short post, but it’s important information for you to know. CULINARIA: Restaurant Week in San Antonio – happening now. $15 for a three course lunch, and $35 for a four course dinner at a whole boatload of delicious and fancy SanAn restaurants. Hurry up because it ends on Saturday night, 8/27. Make reservations!

(I visited The Palm yesterday… YUM.)

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Filed under Eating, Events

Lovin’ on El Monty

Dearly beloved, we are gathered here today, in the site of the Tower of the Americas and the internets, to celebrate the holy matrimony of the constantly changing and the consistently delicious; the familiar and the unusual; the retrofunk vibe and the distinctly San Antonio feel. I present to you, kind people, The Monterey.

What can I say about The Monterey. I’ll start with this: it is currently my favorite restaurant in this city. Yeah. I’ll give you a moment to consider the gravity of that statement.

Right, so, The Monterey, conveniently located on South St. Mary’s, is a gastropub with indoor and outdoor seating, a constantly rotating (and totally rad) food menu, an expansive beer and wine selection, and an atmosphere that says, in the absolute best of ways, Come! Sit in my perfectly xeriscaped patio garden, drink this obscure beer, and have some pig head torchon! Or a grilled cheese? Or turnips and foie gras? Green curry shrimp and plantains? Fried BBQ chicken?! Now, let’s compare our interesting tattoos.

I’ll pause for some definitions.

  • Retrofunk: origin – me. Made it up. Definition – a hip and trendy yet comfortable atmosphere with eclectic and arguably retro décor, including but not limited to elements such as patio lights, bright colors, classic cars, unisex bathrooms (puzzling to newcomers.. it’s ok, use either one) and ironic/scary decorations.
  • Xeriscaping: Environmentally responsible landscaping that uses drought hardy and bodacious desert plants. Alternatively, growing a lawn on your roof or out of your chimney. (Not necessarily that last part.)
  • Turnips: Please don’t “turnip” your nose at me. Valentine, be mine!

The skinny on the food is that it’s all kind of unusual, if you couldn’t tell by the sound of their menu, but it is ALL tasty, tasty to the max. And if something sounds normal, be advised that the creative geniuses of El Monty’s kitchen have probably put a weird (BUT DELICIOUS) spin on it. You can always ask the well informed and friendly staff for a description of a menu item, or for a recommendation.

…OR YOU CAN ASK ME! I’ll tell you right now that anything with their crystal Hollandaise sauce is amazing, the expensive cheese omelette and French toast are ridiculous good, and  the corn with yogurt and grilled cheese sandwich both are fantastic. But my numero uno favorite thing I’ve tried here is….

The BRUSSELS SPROUTS. Seriously. Mind blowing. I didn’t even know that I like Brussels sprouts. I don’t think I would in any other situation. They’re not in season right now and consequently not on the menu, but I’m biding my time and hoping they come back soon. My only bad experience at The Monterey was the time I tried to look smarter than I actually am by ordering La Cigarrella Manzanilla Sherry. To be fair, this unfortunate situation was entirely my fault, as the kind server warned me that sherry is awful (in more legitimate words). I didn’t know a damn thing about sherry but obviously pretended that I did and ordered it. REGRET! AVOID! Unless, of course, you’re classier than me and enjoy drinking something that tastes like a dangerous household cleaner.

Anywho, follow them on Twitter, check them out on Facebook, and go see them in person. ASAP!

The Monterey on Urbanspoon

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Filed under Drinking, Eating, Southtown/King William

SOL Food in the Alamo City

Here’s a riddle for ya.

Two trains leave different cities heading toward each other at different speeds. When and where do they meet?

Come on, this is an easy one.

OK, so one train is coming from Houston and the other is coming from El Paso. Oh, except they aren’t trains, they’re cars. Very dirty cars. And the drivers only eat organic food, and one of them has a basket of dirty clothes in the back of her car.

Now with that, tell me: where are they going to meet? (I’ll let you off the hook about when they meet.)

Or how about this: where SHOULD they meet??

DING DING DING, the answer is: The Cove! (And they’re on Facebook and Twitter, too.) Are you confused about the laundry and dirty cars? Let me explain. Adjacent to this funky, SOL (sustainable, local, and organic) food restaurant, one finds both a laundromat and carwash. So good.

But let’s talk about the FOODSTUFFS, y’all. Since April 2001, The Cove has been cooking up grass-fed, non-hydrogenated, totally organic, legitimately local (all from God’s favorite state, Texas), and definitively delicious food for omnivore, vegetarian, and locavore consumption. (Locavore – The Current taught me that one.) You won’t find high-fructose corn syrup sodas here, either, folks; they’re made with pure, wholesome sugar. Personal favorites from the menu include the shrimp tacos, “Lisa’s Special” fish tacos, and the Texas Burger. And the 09’er Burger, which, to me, though very delicious, is a real sinus-opener. Which is to say, PRETTY DANG HOT. Furthermore, my own policy is to get sweet potato fries in large quantities whenever possible, so I should mention those, too. And the menu even features a good selection of vegetarian and gluten free options !

They’re closed on Monday, but open late-ish all other nights (11p or 12p, with the exception of Sunday, 6p). There’s live music every night that they’re open, which you can see here, indoor and outdoor seating, and areas for the little grubby ones to run around and make grubby little friends. Lastly, the bar is equipped with wines and lots’o’beers, bottled and on tap, and offers frequent (nearly weekly) wine or beer tastings.

If this were my blog, I’d say that The Cove is a great place for large and small groups, and perhaps one of the best places to bring friends who claim that (a) Austin is the only cool city in the state and (b) San Antonio is boring and unhealthy. And hey, this is my blog, so I’m going to say it. BAM.

So there you have it. The Cove. Give it a spin! …cycle. Laundromat. See what I did there?

Cove on Urbanspoon

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Filed under Drinking, Eating, Music, Vegetarian/Gluten-Free