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
Savage Love: Friend in Need

Savage Love: Friend in Need

Arts & Culture: A straight male friend practices sounding and has for years. I am pretty sure he does other things that he isn’t telling anyone about... By Dan Savage 10/1/2014
San Antonio Music Awards 2014: Best Blues Artist

San Antonio Music Awards 2014: Best Blues Artist

San Antonio Music Awards 2014: 10/1/2014
Sky High: Getting acquainted with Christopher Ware’s Paramour

Sky High: Getting acquainted with Christopher Ware’s Paramour

Food & Drink: Christopher Ware leads our group into a lofty conference space with mile-high ceilings, two giant wooden tables and possibly the comfiest... By Jessica Elizarraras 10/1/2014
Best Brunch

Best Brunch

Best of SA 2013: 4/24/2013
Calendar

Search hundreds of restaurants in our database.

Search hundreds of clubs in our database.

Follow us on Instagram @sacurrent

Print Email

Food & Drink

Know Your ’Tender: Friendly Spot’s Junaid Syed

Photo: Courtesy photo, License: N/A

Courtesy photo

Junaid Syed (right) with co-worker Mel Ramos holding down the Friendly fort


What was SA’s hook?
I don’t know what it is about the Mexican culture. I’m Indian … my parents are from India. I grew up in a very strict Muslim household … no one in my family drinks now! I grew up very different from most people in the city. Maybe that’s why I appreciate it. I used to pray five times a day, go to the mosque; I used to be a Sunday school teacher in high school.

How did you get into beer?
Just drinking it. I tell new employees that come here—they are overwhelmed, much like customers—but the only way they’re going to understand is by drinking it. There’s a certain process about it where you’re thinking about the texture and effervescence, in terms of flavor. It’s not just beer. It’s a whole experience.

What’s the most frustrating question you get at the bar?
‘What’s good?’ I don’t think people ask it to be frustrating, they just ask it because they don’t’ know. But when you ask someone like me who drinks a wide variety of beer, it’s hard for me not to sound snarky when I say, ‘well, everything’s good.’ That’s something I struggle with a little bit and I know the rest of the staff does, too.

How do you recommend a beer?
You try to describe several flavor profiles and find what appeals to the customer. You ask if they want something dark or light, something aggressive or easy drinking … something bitter or something hoppy. All those descriptors I just used also apply to beers. It all depends on what you’re used to and what you’re in the mood for. That’s what I try to extract out of them.

What’s your beer of choice?
I don’t know what happened, or how it happened, but I became addicted to hoppy beers. Before I started working here, if I was drinking a good beer it would be a Blue Moon or a Stella. Now, I almost equate [them] with Bud Light and Dos Equis. People that worked here used to drink IPAs and my palate grew accustomed to them. Now it’s an insatiable desire.

9:00 pm, February 23, 2014: We have removed a question about a sensitive family topic at the request of Junaid Syed.

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