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

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

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8 Cultural Gems on the North Side

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City Guide 2014: “Outside the Loop” is used as a pejorative by Downtown-centric cool kids, but oases of culture can be found in the sprawling suburbs of the North Side.... By Dan R. Goddard 2/24/2014
Chris Pérez, Selena’s Husband, Faces His Past and Looks Forward, Musically

Chris Pérez, Selena’s Husband, Faces His Past and Looks Forward, Musically

Music: Chris Pérez never saw it coming. “All I ever wanted to do was play guitar,” he told the Current. “I never thought I’d be the subject of an interview... By Enrique Lopetegui 8/28/2013
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Free Guide: It’s almost summer, which means that your government-subsidized free daycare (aka public school) goes on hiatus thanks to an archaic allegiance to a rural agriculture economic system that hasn’t been in play for decades. What to do with the wee ones whining 5/21/2014
Chris Perez, husband of slain Tejana icon Selena, tells of romance, suffering

Chris Perez, husband of slain Tejana icon Selena, tells of romance, suffering

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Value Vino: ‘Girly wines’ aren’t so pretty in pink

Photo: Courtesy photos, License: N/A

Courtesy photos

We tasted these, so you don’t have to


LBD’s 2010 Divalicious Red is the wine equivalent of sausage making: there are nine listed red grapes plus “other.” “It smells like a Glade candle,” said one taster. “There’s very soft blackberry fruit,” said another, hopefully. “Nobody would buy this unless it were $4,” was another opinion. (It’s actually around $12.)

Which brings us to the pink-labeled 2010 Bitch Aragon Grenache, one whose target audience was less clear. In the words of more than one wine industry pro, it might be equally aimed at men and termed a “panty-popper.” (Note that others make variations on this theme: Royal Bitch, Sweet Bitch, Happy Bitch, Sassy Bitch…and these are more clearly woman-oriented.) Regardless, “Is this really a joke? That’s the secret power of this wine,” and “I’m upset that I like this the best,” were typical comments.

In the end, there was pretty much universal scorn for the marketing premise as typified by Little Black Dress: “Flavorful and feminine, [these] blends are the perfect way for every woman to embrace her inner diva.” Why not, we thought, celebrate instead women in wine by concentrating on influential female winemakers—of which there are many. Seems like a superior sisterhood.

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Market Eats: LocaVore dishes up worldly eats

Photo: Denise Mojica, License: N/A

Denise Mojica

There’s nothing boring about these grits


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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


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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


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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


Diner intervention has always been expected with a bowl of phô. The accoutrements don’t vary that much (Thai basil, bean sprouts, lemon, sliced jalapeño…), and we know to add as many as will reasonably fit to start so that they can begin to influence the flavor. PN’s No. 9 (the “kitchen-sink” version with eye round, tendon, tripe, flank, beef meatballs and fresh rice noodles) announces its primary aromas even before the bowl reaches the table. The dominant star anise does tend to fade into the background as the already appealing broth gets even better with time. My only reservation, and it’s a universal one, is that the “meatballs” aren’t balls at all—and they’re rubbery.

The owner/hostess suggested that next time we try the bun bo hue, a spicy noodle soup from the specials board. Deal. But when we asked about the minced crabs with rice, another special, we got another stereotypical reply: “not for you.” (The corollary of this one is “you won’t like.”) Despite the incidental fact that she also said the crabs were “stinky,” the won’t-like challenge is one I rarely refuse—sometimes with good results, sometimes not. I’ll let you know.

Phô Nguyen

18410 Hwy 281 N, Ste 115,
(210) 402-1553,
phonguyensanantonio.weebly.com
Skinny Another good option for phônatics, but also try specials such as broken rice from the whiteboard
Best Bets No. 9 phô, No. 4 rolls with pork in fresh rice paper, No. 2 fried “spring” rolls, No. 21 noodle bowl with char-grilled chicken
Hours 10am-10pm Mon-Sat, 10am-9pm Sun
Prices $5.95-$13.99

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