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Food & Drink : All you can eat

News and notes from the San Antonio food scene

This week Earl Abel’s begins its northward trek to Austin Highway, beginning with the Broadway restaurant closing its doors for real and forever on Sunday, May 14. According to a recent press release, the new digs will feature not only the fabulous neon sign we all love, but a custom carpet designed to look just like the retro red-and-green one being left behind. And the flapjacks? Should be the same, too, says the release. We’ll just see about that when the new Earl Abel’s opens in June.

Also in June: How better to spend a sultry summer evening than listening to jazz and sipping cosmos under a palm tree? Join the Current on June 17 as we toast our 20th anniversary with Very Vodka at the San Antonio Botanical Garden. At the event, Whole Foods Market will serve vodka-infused hors d’oeuvre, each one paired with a Grey Goose coctail, while the straight-ahead sound of the Chuck Kerr Quartet wafts through the lilies and succulents. Tickets are $25 presale, and proceeds benefit the Botanical Society. For info: 227-0044.

But enough of the shameless promotion and back to the sad subject of closures. Just when we thought Las Leyendas was beginning to hit its stride — the new afternoon tapas menu was an especially encouraging sign — the suits that run it have “pulled the plug,” said Executive Chef Jonathan Parker in a recent telephone conversation.

As regular readers know, we recently opined that this was the place where the food transcended the décor and the setting nearly trumped both. Alas, the city’s most urban restaurant apparently never found its market, due perhaps to the difficulty its market had in finding it — the restaurant’s location, the very thing that made the place so special, also conspired to make it inaccessible. There’s no reason, however, that British-born Parker, who came to the Alamo City from Manhattan to start up Pesca (he also spent some time working special events for the Boudro’s boys), should let Las Leyendas be his swan song. “I’m looking for some opportunities in the short run,” he said, “and would like to find a small place of my own eventually.” Let’s hope that he does, and that it’s here in San Antonio.

Susan Pagani and Ron Bechtol


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