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Industry News: La Fogata tequila tastings, SA Pops, and a new Hoppy Monk

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It’s hotter than a Louisiana swamp orgy these days. The mere thought of ingesting anything resembling hot makes me want to cut a bitch. I’ve been craving ice cold beverages and chilly foods, which is why I’m so glad SA Pops (3420 N St. Mary’s, near Brackenridge Park) is now open. The popsicle parlor offers artisan ice pops, soft serve ice cream, and shaved ice, giving yogurt shops a run for their money.

Tequila is a vital part of another frosty treat — the margarita. La Fogata (2427 Vance Jackson) wants you to have a better appreciation of the spirit this summer. The Mexican restaurant is offering tequila tastings every month. July is all about Olmeca Altos Tequila, from Jalisco, Mexico. This month’s tasting is Friday, July 12. In addition to sipping it straight, the bartenders will be crafting tequila cocktails, and the featured appetizer is guacamole tequilado. The tasting will be from 7 to 8:30 p.m. on the main patio.

Jordan Mackey recently joined the Hotel Contessa and its restaurant Las Ramblas (306 W Market) to spearhead the hotel’s menu, including some 40 new tapas dishes. It’s a post formerly held by Brian West and Brother Luck.

Little Aussie Bakery (3610 Avenue B) is one of the few places you can get a completely gluten-free menu. Little Aussie makes it more affordable to try their treats by offering diners 10 percent off the cake of the month. This month’s special is chocolate velvet cake. You can also win a gluten-free gift basket from Little Aussie by submitting a vacation photo to their contest by July 31. Go to the Little Aussie Facebook page for details and to submit an entry.

If you are gluten-free but also gluttonous, you’ll be happy to know that Max’s Wine Dive (340 E Basse) has gluten-free fried chicken. They make it with gluten-free flour and cauliflower. There are other gluten-free items on the summer menu right now, and it looks like the restaurant will be including gluten-free options on their seasonal menus in the future.

Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar (255 E Basse) presents a special summer two-course prix fixe menu. The courses are prawns with ancho pepper sauce and a filet mignon and salmon duo with mustard tarragon sauce and asparagus. The menu is $40.95 per person and will be offered until August 31.

Cicerones and craft beer lovers will have another craft beer pub to visit soon enough. Hoppy Monk, a brewery in El Paso, is starting up a location in San Antonio near 1604 and 281. No opening date yet, but keep an eye out. I’m interested to see how Hoppy Monk competes with Freetail Brewing.

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