June 12, 2011

San Antonio, Redux

Given that my vocation has me visiting San Antonio on a semi-regular basis nowadays, I figured I'd stop visiting the same four places whenever I was in town and defer to a higher authority on all things San Antonio, Mr. Amatourist himself. The man is a host to rival all hosts, and may very well be the nicest man alive and I'm not joking. Not even a little. Now, the only real problem with that is that he's set an insanely high bar for himself the next time I come to town. Free bars of gold? Human flight? I'm counting on it.

Our first stop along the way was the grand opening party of the Ocho Lounge which we later discovered, after being offered about seven free drinks, that we had unknowingly crashed. After the final gratis margarita was downed, we parted and I had my orders for the following day: go to Gwendolyn.

A very cool hotel. Gives you the feeling Larry McMurtry's going to jump out from around a corner.

Around this unassuming brick path...

Awesome atmosphere, cool people, and free drinks.

Gwendolyn, The Old 97's and beers deshabille, after the jump. 

Restaurant Gwendolyn is about three months old and sits just off the Riverwalk. It's got a lovely little balcony that at about 12:30 in the afternoon was shaded perfectly and offered easily the best possible vantage point from which to manually ingest a meal. Now, I say manually because it's significant here. Everything at Gwendolyn is made without electricity. The only thing in the kitchen that plugs in is the fridge -- and they don't even have a freezer, so if it's got to last beyond today they either smoke it, cure it, or pickle it and then call up the farmer for some more. No freezing here. It was also the first time that I, of considerable coffee wonkery, had ever encountered The German Siphon coffee method. Now, at first it kind of sounded like a torture device, but it certainly does not torture the coffee and makes a delicious sweet brew, no tannins allowed.

Such a cool location. 

A dense, flaky bread with handmade butter rolled in salt and some thyme. 

Chicken breast over a bed of lentils. There was just the right amount of  butter in the lentils to make it not taste like something served at that macrobiotic restaurant you went to college near.  

The German Siphon. I have no idea how it works. Probably Science is involved, but damn if it doesn't make a good cup of coffee. 

Peaches. Mascarpone. Fried crepe-y thingie. Mascarpone. Enough said. 

Go. Now. 

After I'd knocked off work for the evening I met up with my host and Mrs. Amatourist for an evening of culture. And by culture I mean an alt country band that can peel the paint off the walls. The Old '97s are one of my favorite in this genre mostly because they always keep it uptempo and aren't afraid to get loud. I was also introduced to the Texas tradition of a "dressed" beer, or more rightly stated, if your Mexican beer doesn't have salt and a lime, it's, well...naked.

Rhett Miller is about a good a frontman as there is in the world. Also, if your name is Rhett don't you kind of have to be in an Alt Country band?

Dressed, with salt, lime, and a sweet new koozie for the collection (more on that later...)

Thank you sir, and I hope you're hatching something deviously awesome for next time I swing by and can hopefully bring the girl to partake in the festivities as well.

1 comment:

  1. i mean... if you can't be a proper ambassador for your own town then what good are you? Looking forward to the next visit. great shots of Gwendolyn.