Sunday, January 17, 2010
Re-discovering SA for Parents' Weekend
What a delight to have visitors for the weekend! My parents arrived late on Friday evening and had a home-cooked Shrimp Stirfry waiting for them. B got me (us) a wok for Channukah and we've been excited to use it these past two weeks. We have gotten more adventurous with our cooking and decided to go off-the-cuff instead of strictly following a recipe. The secret to our stir fry, we have decided, is using Sriracha hot sauce and Oyster sauce. It doesn't matter what else goes in the dish as long as you get those flavors going. We are grateful that Ed, the friendly HEB employee, introduced us to the Oyster sauce. I dislike talking to strangers (more on that later), but in this case it worked out.
So after dinner we headed over to a local coffee shop, Olmos Perk, where they now host live music on Fridays. We have logged many hours at Olmos Perk studying for pathology or reading magazines on Saturday morning, but this was my first visit during the night hours. What a different vibe! We sipped on lattes and listened to the musical stylings of "A Likely Few."
Saturday morning we went to the Pearl Brewery for brunch and farmer's market action. The Pearl Brewery is no longer brewing beer, but the site is host to new shops, restaurants, a culinary institute, and a Saturday morning Farmer's market. Before getting our shop on we ate at Texas Farm to Table, an "environmentally responsible" cafe. The food was very tasty, but the service left a little something to be desired. I had a bacon, egg and cheese panini with a side of fresh fruit while others in the group enjoyed breakfast tacos, turkey sandwiches and a tomato-basil omelet. This food was just the fuel we needed to carry us through the rest of the day's activities.
(we arrived late and most vendors were sold out of fresh produce)
I love lavender! I am hoping this makes my home smell fresh and delightful. Last fall, B and I visited wineries in the Texas Hill Country and I acquired some "Lavender Linen Water." I thought I was being all fancy and French and I would sleep so well, but actually the scent did not last long enough to drift me into a blissful, stress-free sleep, the spray just made my bed wet!
After eating and shopping we walked down to the newly developed SA riverwalk extension. This addition to the otherwise crowded and kitschy riverwalk is extremely refreshing. I actually saw San Antonians running, jogging and walking along the river with their dogs. The creators of this addition were sure to include art and detail into every sidewalk and underpass. My dad was tickled to imagine the dialogue that must have occurred between the construction workers and the artistic director who insisted that little artsy squiggles be placed in the concrete sidewalk. Below are a few pictures from our walk. This section of the river actually extends all the way to the downtown portion of the 'walk, but that is one long walk I do not need to make again.
Saturday night we decided to try a new restaurant, Nosh. Nosh is connected to the restaurant/bar/concert venue, Silo and was apparently created by the same guy who is behind another SA treat, Bin 555 (although I'm not 100% on that).
The restaurant space is small, but you can see the open kitchen and the ambiance is that kind of casual yet classy bit that I love.
Our spunky waitress encouraged us to try the sizzling mushroom bruschetta pictured below and the "Backporch Lemonade" cocktail pictured above. We enjoyed feasting on the "Nosh-oes," as well.
This hot and crispy chicken sandwich was incredible. I am not sure what was in the slaw sauce, but I couldn't get enough. The chicken had been prepared in sesame and cornflakes, I think, with a kick of spice.
B ordered this Ribeye cheese steak and my dad devoured his veggie tacos before I could get a photo.
In our family dessert is not optional. We ended up having two orders of these doughtnut holes with white and dark chocolate dipping sauces.
After dinner we met up at the local smoky, female friendly, bar with Yasi and Tom. All in all it was a great long weekend. After my parents left I did a lot of nothing, but did get to see Funny People. Kind of a sad story, but an enjoyable cast.
Sorry for the weird white stripes along the pictures...I was trying something new, but I guess that method for posting pictures is a no-go.