- Miriam Sitz
Has Christmas crept up on you? If the thought of visiting a mall makes the hair on the back of your neck stand up and, by some dark accident, Amazon doesn’t have what you need (or you’re boycotting similarly dark overlord Jeff Bezos), never fear: 2013 is the year of the last-minute foodie gifts!
To gift some local flavor, hit up Bird Bakery (5912 Broadway, (210) 804-2473). The Bakery sells small mason jars of the house-made, sweet-with-a-kick raspberry chipotle mayo ($4.50 each) used on their California turkey sandwich. For a sweeter option, try the granola, available in small, medium or large jars for $5.25, $8.25 or $12.75. The oat-based treat contains coconut flakes, dried cherries, honey instead of sugar and olive oil instead of butter. Bird Bakery is open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. throughout the week, stays open until 8 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays, and will be open for the holidays through December 23 at 8 p.m.
Fratello’s Deli (2503 Broadway, (210) 444-0277) carries a wide variety of authentic and hard-to-find international brands, in addition to fresh Italian deli fare. The most refined palate on your Christmas list will enjoy a bottle of Cora brand white truffle-infused olive oil, a tasty investment that clocks in at $41.18 for 8 ounces. Other herb- and pepper-infused olive oils from the Italian label Barbera run $16.18 for 16.9 ounces, but come just as highly recommended by Rick Perno, Fratello’s chef and general manager. For a traditional (and impressive looking) Italian holiday dessert that you can pick up at a moment’s notice, Fratello’s also carries Maina brand panettone with dark chocolate, chocolate mascarpone, tiramisu or sweet raisins. A full size loaf costs $19.04, while an adorable mini goes for $3.86. The deli is open every day except Sunday from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m., and will remain open until 4 p.m. on Christmas Eve.
Gaucho Gourmet (935 Isom, (877) 837-0521) is open during the week from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., and from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturdays until Christmas. Swing by this fine grocery specializing in South American and European foods for a yerba mate starter kit gift set ($31.99) or Villa Reale lemon, coffee and mandarin sweet cream crepe spreads ($10.35 each for 7 ounces). Gaucho Gourmet also carries a drool-inducing assortment of cured meats. Jamon Serrano for all my friends! You can shop until 6:30 p.m. on December 23.
Finally, if you missed the Coffee Festival last weekend, it’s not too late to snag some high-quality java from Aspen’s Brew Coffee (1255 Huebner, Ste 100, (210) 561-5551), which will stay open until 3 p.m. on Christmas Eve. Aspen’s Brew receives fresh-roasted bean deliveries twice a week from award-winning micro-roaster Dillanos in Sumner, Wash. For $7 to $9 per half pound, you can take your pick of bold, medium, mild or flavored beans from around the world. The café/coffee shop is open from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. during the week, 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Fridays, 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Saturdays, and 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Sundays.