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News and notes from the San Antonio food scene

North Side Ladies and Gents Who Lunch are in luck, as the Oak Room, 226 W. Bitters, is now open for mid-day meal. No dainty salads or finger sandwiches here: The Oak Room’s menu features wood-grilled meats and seafood. If you have the luxury of an afternoon nap, indulge in the prime center-cut Steak topped with a rich Port wine mushroom sauce, otherwise you may want to try the Cappellini Imperial with lump crabmeat in a smooth cognac cream reduction served over angel hair pasta — after all, what could be lighter than angel hair? Either way, take advantage of these balmy winter months to enjoy the noonday meal under an umbrella on the Oak Room’s outdoor patio. For info or reservations, 499-4068.

If your New Year’s resolutions included spending more time in the garden, get thee to the San Antonio Herb Society’s January meeting, where former president Janet Miller will present “Making Herbal Vinegars.” A Bexar County Master Gardener, Miller will provide planting suggestions for the spring herb garden, as well as a how-to on making, sharing, and using herbal vinegars. The meeting takes place at 6:30pm on Thursday, January 12, at the San Antonio Garden Center, corner of Funston and North New Braunfels. For more info, call SAHS hotline at 641-8166 or sanantonioherbs.org.

No less ambitious, is the gargantuan menu of newly opened Navarro Mexican Grill & Bar, 8055 West Avenue, which combines “traditional Mexican recipes and new world cuisine.” The restaurant is owned and operated by the Navarro brothers, Alfonso and Jose, who hail from Tepatitlan Jalisco, Mexico. “`Chef Alfonso’s` passion and influence `come from` from day one, in Mexico, and his travels throughout the Pacific,” says Jose Navarro. “Being a chef, he loves other types of cuisines.”

For example, the Thai Quesadilla combines Monterey Jack cheese, chicken breast, bean sprouts, cilantro, carrots, green onions, and pan-roasted peanuts. “The peanut chili paste is a wonderful blend of spices, and ties the wonders of Thai food into our quesadilla.”

In expectation of a liquor license — due in mid-January — Navarro’s menu includes 12 margaritas. Put the Navarro Especial Margarita, made with Patrón Reposado and Cointreau, on your to-do list.

Compiled by Francesca Camillo

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