News and notes from the San Antonio food scene
SA’s RK Group catering has launched a new service: Rosemary Delivers. The company’s tangerine-colored trucks are zipping around the city delivering breakfast, lunch, and dinner as we speak. How about herb-crusted beef tenderloin on a bed of mixed field greens topped with pickled red onion, bleu cheese, and caramelized shallot vinaigrette, delivered with a roll and a cookie? (We can attest to the chewy butteriness of Rosemary’s cookies). It’s tempting to get on the horn and order a snack right now, but, hold the phone, there are some limitations: There’s a $25 minimum on orders, and delivery downtown starts at $5 and increases as you approach the loop. For info: 270-8252.
La Villita hosts the 7th annual Soul Food Fest, 5-11pm Friday, May 19, and 11am-midnight Saturday, May 20. Friday’s Gospel Night lineup includes more than 15 praise bands and dance troupes, while Saturday is Family Day, featuring arts and crafts, a moon bounce, face painting, and music — SA’s Beverly Houston will be belting ’em out from 9-midnight. (Festival info: 240-0109)
But what about the soul food? Among the many booths will be Chef Leon Singletary’s, featuring his famous blackened shrimp creole over white rice, and a dessert of bread pudding in rum sauce.
Singletary was a chef in New Orleans before Hurricane Rita. “I worked in the French Quarter,” he explains, “so there’s still a job there, but I don’t have any place to live. They’d pay me a lot to come back, but I’d spend most of that money living.”
In San Antonio, Singletary and his brother Thomas Green have started a Cajun-Creole catering company. “Cajun food is spicy,” Singletary says. “Creole has more flavor,” and usually includes lots of garlic, basil, thyme, oregano, chopped garlic, and bay. “Oh yeah, and filé,” he adds. “That’s a wild sassafras, which we use ground up as a thickener and enhancer. We also use a thing called the trilogy, which is celery, chopped onion, and green pepper.”
Leon & Thomas Cajun Catering operates out of Ma Harper’s N’Awlins Creole Kitchen, 1830 South W.W. White, but Singletary hopes to find his own space by the end of the year. His menu features classics like red beans and rice, cornbread, and gumbo, but you won’t find étoufféé. “Too many people think they know what étouffée is,” he says. “But I haven’t had it right once in San Antonio. That’s a staple dish of New Orleans, and if people ask, I’ll make it. I make it with crawfish usually, because the word itself is crawfish smothered in a French gravy.” Info: 785-9345.