While I'm still thinking of bread, it seems appropriate to mention that Biga on the Banks is celebrating its tenth anniversary downtown this yearâ??appropriate not only because they deserve accolades and encomiums, but because the celebration reminds me of LocuStreet Bakery, Debra Auden's enterprise that occupied the rear of the original Locust Street location. From her ovens (and those of a subsequent space in the Yard on McCullough) came some of the best bread the city has ever known. And while we respect her decision to raise kids, not loaves, we nevertheless miss the place. And the bread. (Am I sensing a “Make Loaves, Not War” bumper sticker in a nostalgic throwback to an earlier era?)
Sadly, the bakery didn't spin off bakers the way Bruce's kitchens served as incubators for chefsâ??Mark Bliss among them. And though Guillermo Ardid at Handy Andy had earlier introduced us to croissants and other French, baked delicacies, it was Bruce who made San Antonio safe for contemporary cuisine from his Fairmount redoubt, Polo's. The now-venerable restaurant is not going back to those nostalgic days for its celebration, but it is reaching into its pre-River Walk past for items to be featured on the menu until 10/10/10â??surely an auspicious date, as their website (www.biga.com) notes.
Among the dishes to be so highlighted are the cheeky “expensive “ mushrooms sizzled with garlic, the Shiner Bock onion rings that presented our first taste of habanero ketchup, and the duck confit (maybe our first taste of that, too) with potato rosti. Make Reservations, Not Excuses, and get on down to Biga for a salute to the team that has done so much to put us on the culinary map. The night of the Cavaliers River Parade, April 19th, marks the beginning of the fÃªte.