Trending
MOST READ
Beaches Be Trippin\': Five Texas Coast Spots Worth the Drive

Beaches Be Trippin': Five Texas Coast Spots Worth the Drive

Arts & Culture: Let’s face it, most of us Lone Stars view the Texas coast as a poor man’s Waikiki. Hell, maybe just a poor man’s Panama Beach — only to be used... By Callie Enlow 7/10/2013
How Rebates Have the Texas Film Industry Playing Catch Up To its Neighbors

How Rebates Have the Texas Film Industry Playing Catch Up To its Neighbors

Screens: See if you can spot the common thread that is pulling at the seams of the Texas film industry. On NBC’s The Night Shift, a stock-written staff... By Matt Stieb 8/27/2014
Texas Law Leaves Abortion Out of Reach for Many Women

Texas Law Leaves Abortion Out of Reach for Many Women

News: Texas’ sweeping abortion law has already eliminated all abortion clinics south of San Antonio, and the last clinic west of the city... By Alexa Garcia-Ditta 8/27/2014
Phô Nguyen Woos Phonatics

Phô Nguyen Woos Phonatics

Food & Drink: I don’t expect much from Vietnamese restaurants in the way of decor; it’s more not Chinese and not Japanese than anything. I certainly don’t expect... By Ron Bechtol 8/27/2014
Cityscrapes: A race to the convention floor

Cityscrapes: A race to the convention floor

News: “Conventions go to the city which exerts the greatest efforts to secure them. San Antonio can get any convention that it goes after.” That was the position... By Heywood Sanders 8/27/2014
Calendar

Search hundreds of restaurants in our database.

Search hundreds of clubs in our database.

Follow us on Instagram @sacurrent

Print Email

Food & Drink

Adiós Revolution Room, Hello Leon

Photo: Courtesy photo, License: N/A

Courtesy photo


Change. Some campaign on it, creatures of habit can’t stand the thought of it. For Lee Beekly, owner of Revolution Room, change was necessary.

Beekly, who also owns Taco Garage and Rebar, decided to do a 180 with Rev Room.

“A year, year and a half ago, it started going in a different direction that we wanted,” Beekly said. “I’m older now, I wanted something different.”

The catalyst for the upheaval? Constant police attention the Revolution Room received in the past two years.

This wasn’t always the case. Beekly first partnered with Greg Bickerstaff to open Revolution Room eight years ago after a would-be trip to Berlin turned into an extended stay in Prague. There, Beekly visited coffee shops, discotheques, grotto clubs and learned about the Velvet Revolution (the former Czechoslovakia’s non-violent protest that led to the collapse of Communism there).

The bar was a go-to for area college students looking to barhop between The Hangar, Rebar and Salud without heading downtown.

But now 48 years old and a family man, Beekly’s looking for a change of pace from the “Dance Party, USA” culture.

Sure, Beekly admits, fights happen. But the rowdy, rough-around-the-edges crowd garnered attention from WOAI this past February, which interviewed fed-up neighbors about the weekly parking lot brawls. The segment, followed by a particularly gnarly fisticuffs session amongst bar hoppers near Rev Room, led to Beekly taking down the establishment’s sign, changing the dress code and finding new deejays within days.

The bar is taking on a new moniker, Leon, after Beekly’s grandfather, a geologist born in 1883 who scoured South America and Europe surveying the land for oil and railroads on horseback and later Model Ts. Photos of Leon and his work buddies are scattered throughout the bar, along with new wooden panels, antique tables and wagon wheel light fixtures.

The lifelong restaurateur and bar owner isn’t going it alone. Beekly’s enlisted the help of new partner and longtime Taco Garage patron Joel Rivas to rebrand Leon into a rustic, Americana-tinged ice house/whiskey bar/beer garden.

“We wanted to build something that fits into the neighborhood,” Rivas said of the bar space they’re hoping to turn “from a menace into an asset.”

The upgrades have been slow and steady: The two-month old patio will eventually incorporate a 1955 Spartan trailer outfitted with some 18-plus draught beers. Already, the beer and booze selection is looking up with the addition of craft brews and local spirits. Although the grand opening isn’t slated until August 16, and Beekly often wonders if the venture will stick, he’s finding some peace of mind.

“Sales might have plummeted, but so did the police blotter,” he said.

Leon

8123 Broadway
(210) 320-4567
facebook.com/Leon1883

Food spotlight
Print Email

Food & Drink

Market Eats: LocaVore dishes up worldly eats

Photo: Denise Mojica, License: N/A

Denise Mojica

There’s nothing boring about these grits


The Quarry Farmers & Ranchers Market has seen its fair share of food trucks come and go, but it may have finally found a mobile vendor that gels with the market’s local-local-local mantra. After launching in early June, LocaVore has settled into making tasty and varied farm-to-table eats that pair with local market finds.

Chef Nick Fuentes and partner Jessica Vargas are dealing out morning and lunchtime fare that’s as enticing as it is unfussy, and that’s how they like it.

“We’re not trying to push the envelope. There’s no molecular anything … it’s just straight comfort food your grandmother would make,” Fuentes, whose résumé also includes a four-year stint at Jason Dady’s Tre Trattoria, just recently stepped down as sous chef from Bruce Auden’s Biga on Bank to focus on LocaVore. For her part, Vargas has been working on hospitality for the last several years. Most recently as a manager at the Fairmount Hotel, where the two met.

While the food is simple, it’s far from boring. “We’re attracted to more colorful food,” Fuentes said.

Their shared passion for simple food is evident in the varied menu, which already has some favorites such as the Braised Bits on Blue Grits with Guajillo pepper-braised pork (via Loncito Cartwright of Peaceful Pork) on organic blue corn butter grits (out of El Paso), topped with a sunny-side-up egg and charred okra (purchased via fellow market vendors). It’s farm to truck to your mouth in a matter of hours.

“The other vendors now know who we are and we’re consistent with the orders so they’re ready,” Vargas said.

Other brunch items include a chorizo hash and variations on eggs Benedict with fresh hollandaise, but LocaVore is stretching its legs to include lunch and dinner options.

Although the mission of LocaVore is to stay local when sourcing ingredients (the couple also uses prickly pear from around the area for a sweet punch), don’t expect the menu to hone in on any one particular cuisine. A lobster roll landed on the menu after Groomer Seafood’s crustacean-centric fest; Fuentes also whipped up a “porchetta di testa,” using hog jowls, tongue and ears in the same style as a pancetta; a house-made mortadella was also a hit; and a light ceviche using scallops, shrimp and baby octopus wowed market-goers.

“That’s what we’re trying to showcase—that you can do so much more with Texan produce,” Vargas said. “You can make beautiful stir-fries, Italian, Puerto Rican … it can be anything.”

Recently in Food & Drink
We welcome user discussion on our site, under the following guidelines:

To comment you must first create a profile and sign-in with a verified DISQUS account or social network ID. Sign up here.

Comments in violation of the rules will be denied, and repeat violators will be banned. Please help police the community by flagging offensive comments for our moderators to review. By posting a comment, you agree to our full terms and conditions. Click here to read terms and conditions.
comments powered by Disqus
Print Email

Food & Drink

On the Rocks: A rum chat with NAO’s Tim Bryand

Photo: Ron Bechtol, License: N/A

Ron Bechtol

Tim Bryand’s take on a rum Old Fashioned


This is the only time rum and Coke will be mentioned. We will not discuss mojitos because enough already. Nor will tiki drinks be touched upon as they are a subset unto themselves. However, as this is a piece about rum, we will dwell on the daiquiri. But first a word from our sponsors.

Just kidding. But I did sit down with a congenial host to get the lowdown on a spirit I have ignored over the years. Tim Bryand is the assistant manager and head wine and spirits guy at NAO; its small bar sports 25 rums—if you count the three cachaças. With stints including Bohanan’s Bar and The Esquire under his belt, Bryand is well placed to conduct a tutorial in almost anything spirituous, but as NAO’s focus is Latin American, rum is a natural. He started by sampling me with small shots.

The first was a silver, unaged rum (made, as are most, from molasses) from Panama’s Caña Brava. It was snappy and bright with a hint of lime peel. Next came 10 Cane from Trinidad. The label doesn’t use the term rhum agricole, but that’s what this was a twice-distilled version of—a “first-press” rum made directly from fermented and distilled sugar cane juice. (“Only about five percent of rums are made this way,” explained Bryand.) It had hints of vanilla and light caramel. Both of these categories can be aged, often in used bourbon barrels, to yield amber (or gold), then dark products. But for sobriety’s sake we next went to a blackstrap from Cruzan. “They boil it three times,” Bryand said of the molasses used in this dark and distinctive variation, heavy on allspice and clove aromas and flavors. The final leap was to a Smith & Cross Navy-strength rum at 57 percent alcohol (40 percent is the norm), a potential burner that turned out to be merely a little rowdy with fruity banana tones and a touch of yeast. Having successfully completed the course so far, the reward was a brace of daiquiris.

The daiquiri may be the ultimate, unfussy summer drink. Bryand’s ratio is two ounces rum, ¾ ounce fresh lime juice and ¾ ounce simple syrup shaken with ice and served in a chilled coupe—no garnish. Variation number one–fragrant, crisp and bracing—was made with Caña Brava, number two with the Smith & Cross Navy-strength—“deelishus,” according to Bryand. I’d agree, but would take either one. I’d also happily repeat Bryand’s variation on an Old Fashioned with 12-year Zaya rum; it was stunningly spicy and aromatic.

And I’d get back to NAO often for one of Bryand’s weekly creations. “We don’t reinvent the wheel,” he said modestly, of his seductive riff on a French 75 that was Mother’s Little Helper, a summery blend of Cruzan with house-made hibiscus syrup, lemon and a splash of sparkling wine. For NAO’s second anniversary he’s created another version with cachaça, Aperol, lime and mango syrup.

Recently in Food & Drink
We welcome user discussion on our site, under the following guidelines:

To comment you must first create a profile and sign-in with a verified DISQUS account or social network ID. Sign up here.

Comments in violation of the rules will be denied, and repeat violators will be banned. Please help police the community by flagging offensive comments for our moderators to review. By posting a comment, you agree to our full terms and conditions. Click here to read terms and conditions.
comments powered by Disqus
Print Email

Food & Drink

Flavor File: Good news for Hot Joy, new owner for Cockasian Food Truck and how to audition for MasterChef

Photo: Casey Howell, License: N/A

Casey Howell

Yes, you can still enjoy the wings


Getting into Hot Joy (1014 S Alamo, (210) 368-9324) these days will be slightly trickier. The Southtown eatery was named the No. 7 best new restaurant in the country by Bon Appetit food and drink editor Andrew Knowlton for being part of a “growing subgenre of ethnic cuisine (see: Mission Chinese Food and Mott Street) that, when executed with passion and skill, rewards the pleasure center of the brain just as much as some preciously foraged $100 tasting menu.” While the restaurant does take reservations, they do hold half the tables and all of the bar seats for walk-ins so diners can still stop in for an impromptu dinner of ramen and twice fried chicken wings…or the migas fried rice…or the lamb dan dan noodles…you get the idea.

In more Asian food news, Cockasian Food Truck is under new ownership after being put up for sale this summer by original owner Candie Yoder. Taps y Tapas executive chef, Luciano Valadez, is adding the food truck to his résumé (which includes previously owning and running TexAsada food truck, along with a five-year stint opening P.F. Chang’s and Pei Wei locations across the state). Fans can expect to find an entirely new menu with pan-Asian recipes produced by Valadez and his team, including Asian steamed buns, Korean fried chicken, an edamame salad and Korean barbecue tacos.

Fans of being yelled at by chef-hellion Gordon Ramsay can audition for the Season 6 of Fox’s MasterChef Saturday, September 20 inside the Embassy Suites Riverwalk (125 E Houston), from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Interested cooks will be given three minutes to plate and present their dish (which must be prepared ahead of time); visit masterchefcasting.com to register.

San Antonio Restaurant Week could not be contained to a mere seven days. More than a dozen joints decided to extend their menu for another week, including Arcade Midtown Kitchen, Boiler House (although there are a few caveats), Kirby’s Steakhouse, Zedric’s, Tre Trattoria Alamo Heights, Umai Mi, Tuk Tuk Tap Room, Texas de Brazil, Morton’s The Steakhouse, Ruth’s Chris and The Frutería. Biga on the Banks will extend the menu through this Thursday, August 28. Visit culinariasa.org for more details.

Durty Nelly’s (200 S Alamo, (210) 224-3343) is turning 40 with an Anniversary Week celebration from Monday, September 8 through Sunday, September 14. Patrons can look forward to piano sing-a-longs, Irish beer tastings, a kilt night, and special lunch and dinner plates. Or stop by on Wednesday for a St. Patrick’s Day Practice party for green beer samples. A portion of the proceeds will benefit Club 100 of San Antonio, a nonprofit that helps support dependents of firefighters and law enforcement officers killed in the line of duty.

Recently in Food & Drink
We welcome user discussion on our site, under the following guidelines:

To comment you must first create a profile and sign-in with a verified DISQUS account or social network ID. Sign up here.

Comments in violation of the rules will be denied, and repeat violators will be banned. Please help police the community by flagging offensive comments for our moderators to review. By posting a comment, you agree to our full terms and conditions. Click here to read terms and conditions.
comments powered by Disqus
Print Email

Food & Drink

Phô Nguyen Woos Phonatics

Photo: paytonphotography.com, License: N/A

paytonphotography.com

Don’t be afraid to check out the white-board specials


We welcome user discussion on our site, under the following guidelines:

To comment you must first create a profile and sign-in with a verified DISQUS account or social network ID. Sign up here.

Comments in violation of the rules will be denied, and repeat violators will be banned. Please help police the community by flagging offensive comments for our moderators to review. By posting a comment, you agree to our full terms and conditions. Click here to read terms and conditions.
comments powered by Disqus